A Street with No Name

Last summer, I wrote about some of the pleasures and peculiarities about living in the country. What I hadn't come to appreciate at the time was the frustration that would come from living on a street that has no name. At first, the idea of having a nameless street seemed rather nice. In this day and age where it seems even the most personal information about yourself somehow ends up in the hands of marketers and government agencies, the thought of not having a street to be identified with gave me a certain sense of anonymity that I found comforting. However, as time goes by, I keep finding out that not having a street name causes far more headaches than having a street name does.

The problem first cropped up when I attempted to get the electric service connected. It's not all that easy telling someone to turn on the electricity to your house when you can't tell them where your house is. The solution turned out to be matching the name of the previous occupants with the house. I don't know how the previous tenant ever described where they lived to the electric company in the first place, but I don't really care - at least I have electricity.

After that incident with the electric company, I tried in earnest to discover if the road did, indeed, have a name. What I discovered was that yes, the street did have a name. Unfortunately, this "name" was different depending on who you talked to. Some said it was the Kimball Hill Road, named after the original settlers of the area. Others insisted it was the Tibbits road, so named because half of the people who live on the road are from the Tibbits' family. It's also been called the Raleigh Road after the family that built the house I'm living in. Recently, I heard it referred to as the Hatch road - I don't know the origin of that one. All in all, the consensus was that there was no consensus, and any maps showing the road leave it unnamed.

I do have a mailing address, which consists of a rural route number and a box number, but I've found that this is of little help when someone is attempting to actually find the house. The first time I got UPS and FedEx packages, I got calls from the drivers asking just where the heck I was located. The same held true when I got oil delivered. When I ordered the oil, I told them I lived on the Kimball Hill Road in hopes that this name would somehow ring a bell, but it only confused them al the more. On the oil bill where the dispatcher had typed directions to the house, the reference to the Kimball Hill Road was scratched out and above it someone had written "end of road past Tibbits' house."

Indeed, it appears that the reason the road has gone this long without a name is because people in these small towns identify a house not be where it is, but by who is living there. I live in the Raleigh house, plain and simple. I was talking to a guy I know who grew up in the area some 20 years or so ago, and as I was attempting to describe where I was living, he said, "Oh, so you live in the Raleigh house," and proceeded to describe every other house on the road in terms of it's occupants. In the course of 20 years, it seems I was the only newcomer to the road.

When I went to vote this past November, I again faced the "no name" problem. Since I had just moved to the area I had to register to vote and, of course, they want to know where it is you live. Once again I had to go through the complicated motions of describing where the street was in relation to everything else and where the house was on the street. After a few minutes of explaining that seemed to be getting me nowhere, the lady who was registering me said, "Oh, you live on my street." And that is how I came to meet Mrs. Tibbits.

As it turns out, Mrs. Tibbits is a very good lady to know. Last month, during the ice storm, I made the mistake of attempting to venture into work. After pulling out of my driveway, my vehicle decided to dance down the ice-covered hill on my unnamed road without much regard for where I was steering it. About half way down the hill, it finally came to a stop, the front facing into a snow bank and the rest of the vehicle straddled across the road. I wasn't going anywhere until the sand truck showed up to tame the icy road surface.

After a rather comical adventure of getting myself and my dog back up the icy hill to the house, I decided to see if there was anyone I could call to expedite the arrival of a sand truck. It was still early, so my attempts at reaching anyone were futile. And besides, once I did reach someone, I wouldn't be able to tell them which road I was stuck on anyway - it doesn't have a name! About an hour and a half later, I did manage to get through to the Jackson Town Hall, and, lo and behold, it was the aforementioned Mrs. Tibbits who answered. Now there would be no problem explaining where I lived. Mrs. Tibbits explained that the sand trucks had been out since 3 a.m. and there was no way she could find out where they were now, but that she would make some phone calls and see what she could do. Fifteen minutes later, I heard the sweet rumble of the sand truck coming down the road. He not only sanded the road, but he hooked up a tow chain and pulled me out of the snow bank. From now on, I think I'll just say I live on the Tibbits


1023 Worte in "englisch"  als "hilfreich"  bewertet