So, have you ever heard of Bugtussle? I did, I remember the episodes from the Beverly Hillbillies where the “Mayor of Bugtussle” paid a visit to its richest former citizen Jed Clampett. This fictitious Bugtussle was in Tennessee. Well, on a trip in February 2010 I became possibly the only person to ever drive from one Bugtussle to another one, all in one day (see entire trip journal).
In my research on the Bugtussles of America, I found three actual places called Bugtussle…one in Kentucky, on in Alabama and on in Texas. So, I chose the two between Lexington, KY and Keller, TX.
I left very early in the morning and got to Bugtussle, KY about 7:30 AM. There is an old Bugtussle Store there….step out the back door and you are in Tennessee. I drove almost 18 hours and got to the location of Bugtussle, TX, but couldn’t find it until I found the sign above. That is the only evidence…but I made it and got to two of them!!
I am currently on another business trip in Oregon and was down in the Ashland area in Southern Oregon. Just near Ashland is a small town called Talent, OR. I first heard about it when there was a participant from Talent that appeared on America’s Got Talent.
Called “The City of Talent“, I am not sure how much talent there actually is here. The community does have nearly 7000 people. According to the Talent website, the story of Talent begins in 1852 with the arrival of the first recorded settler, Jacob Wagner. Jacob completed his homestead in 1853 and named his settlement “Wagner.”
In 1854, the military came from Yreka and set up a fort on Jacob’s property. The fort was named “Fort Wagner,” and was intended to protect the travelers and early settlers from the Indians who had lived in the Bear Creek Valley for many years. There was never any trouble from the Indians, so Fort Wagner became a center for social activities and religious services.
There is controversy as to the first name of our town. Some say it was “Wagner Creek Fort.” Others say “Wagner Creek.” Regardless, in 1889, A.P. Talent platted a townsite and named it “Talent.” On November 2, 1910, Talent became an incorporated town.
Right behind the Talent City Hall there is a strange home that even has a shoe tree. I found it unique….
Of course, if you don’t have talent and try to do something wrong, you may get in trouble. There is a ‘Talent Police” here!!
On a trip to Kansas City back in November 2011, I returned via some back roads in south central Missouri. My main destination of choice was Tightwad, Missouri. This is an unincorporated town of about 65 or 70 people.
The village’s unusual name is said to stem from an episode in which a store owner cheated a customer, who was a postman, by charging him an extra fifty cents for a better watermelon. Some sources claim the transaction involved a rooster rather than a watermelon. However, there is really nothing definitive. Nonetheless, the town is fun.
Perhaps the biggest point of excitement is the Tightwad Bank, a real bank. According to its website, The bank was founded on September 5, 1900 as Reading State Bank, a Kansas chartered commercial bank. On March 27, 2008 the bank opened a full service branch in Tightwad, MO and changed its name to Tightwad Bank. Tightwad Bank is FDIC insured and is currently classified as “well capitalized” by the FDIC. They even sell Tightwad Bank shirts and hats!! YOU, yes YOU…can even open an account and get checks that say Tightwad Bank.
The other place of interest in Tightwad is the Tightwad Cafe. I actually stopped there for breakfast…couldn’t resist!!
The food was awesome and they do NOT skimp on the servings as all….see what I had below:
Though the price is right and the food is great, I was told by the owner Carrie (see below) that they “do not take credit cards.” When I asked her why, she said she “didn’t want to pay the fees.”
Of course, there is a Tightwad Volunteer Fire Department. I wonder if they are “volunteer” because the town is too tight to pay them??