I grew up in this little-bitty, rural town in south central PA. No one outside of the area has ever heard of the place, and most people interject an “s” into the name of the town when they pronounce it. I can’t tell you why, it’s not like the name of the town is something commonly spelled with an “s”, but it’s some sort of phenomenon.
My hometown is affectionately known as the Apple Capital. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because all we do are apples. Ok, so maybe we do peaches, pears and cherries too, but apples are the main business. We have an Apple Museum, each spring there is an Apple Blossom Festival, and every fall is the Apple Harvest Festival. When you drive around the area, you will be amazed by the amount of orchards. They are everywhere. There are the local big name families in apples who own thousands of acres of fruit orchards. I know most of their kids, who are now grown and have taken over the family business.
In the immediate area there are at least three major market fruit companies that you are sure to have heard of, and several more, lesser known, ones that thrive as well. Whenever you eat something from one of those companies, you are eating an apple product grown in my hometown. The fruit processing business is so prevalent in my town that our high school mascot was The Cannerman. Yes, that’s right, we are the Canners. The only ones in the country, in fact. At least to the best of my knowledge, that is.
When I moved to the big city, the last thing figured I would see in the concrete jungle was the likes of something from my hometown. And after 4 years I had yet to be proven wrong.
Two weeks ago I led a group from my work to check out a community center at 17th and Lehigh. We were trekking the streets of North Philly, when a billboard catches my eye. “Was that a Musselman’s advertisement?”, I thought to myself. I literally did a double take, and when I realized that my eyes had not deceived me, I whipped out my phone and grabbed a shot. The folks I was with thought I was going a bit loopy, taking a photo of an ad for applesauce, but it wasn’t worth explaining and we continued on our way.
Several days had passed, and I had all but forgotten about the Apple Capital run-in. Then, this morning I was sitting on my couch, groggy and waiting for the coffee to kick in, and staring at Good Morning America. They went to commercial break, but my still waking mind didn’t even notice. Suddenly, THIS catches my attention:
If the below videos are not working, trust that I will keep on top of this and when they are available again, they will appear for your viewing pleasure.
Again, my mind struggled to wrap around the fact that this somewhat little known fruit processing company was now placing ads on major network TV in Philadelphia. I know it may not seem weird to anyone else, but think about it this way: I come from this tiny town that no one has ever heard of, with a population of 1,100, where all we know is the business of fruit, and here is an ad for a product that was such an integral part of my youth, right here in my urban apartment living room. And all I can think to myself is “I think I recognize the landscape in the background. I think I know exactly where this commercial was shot!”
I thought I was so far removed from that chapter of my life, but I apparently I was wrong. My small town has invaded the big city. You can take the girl away from the orchard, but you can’t keep the orchard away from the girl.
How do you like them apples?
In case you are wondering, you can find out more about Musselman’s by clicking here.
Lastly, I just can’t help myself, so here is another Musselman’s commercial: