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Have You Ever Been in Funk?
The funny names of several small towns in America fascinate me. You may remember visiting Mianus … in Connecticut.
Well, how about Funk? Have you ever been in Funk?
No, I’m not talking about a depressed state of mind. I mean Funk, a tiny village in Phelps County, south central Nebraska.
Take Highway 34 which runs right through Funk. The official name of this road is Grand Army of the Republic Highway which stands for Civil War veterans who had fought for the Union. The G.A.R. as it became known provided support for these Union veterans.
Although there are only about 200 farming folks who reside there, you can’t miss the place. Funk is the spot with the gigantic grain elevators which take up most of the space along Main Street in the town.
Are you wondering how did Funk get its charming name? A gentleman named Philip Churchill Funk who emigrated with his wife from Wiesbaden, Germany, convinced a large railroad to establish a railway station there in 1887.
In anticipation, Herr Funk and colleagues had purchased 60 acres of Funkian land that year.
In 1903, a telephone company was established and soon Funk had the first dial phone system installed in the area.
By 1913, Funk was a thriving village with three grain elevators, two churches, two barbershops, and a hardware store, drug store, meat market, grocery store, brickyard, hotel, department store, millinery store and a blacksmith shop.
That Funk fellow must have been a pretty persuasive guy.
Are you wondering about all those gigantic grain elevators on Main Street? They exist because tremendous fields of corn completely encircle Funk.
Most of the Funkians are employed by the Farmer Co-op Grain and Supply Company which also owns a service station and manages a café. Other thriving businesses include mechanic shops, a tractor dealer, a finance company, and a craft store named the Funk Emporium.
Can you imagine the funky stuff you might stumble upon in that shop?
So … if you want to live on Easy Street – that’s really the name of the street – move to Funk.
And don’t forget to visit Mianus.
Footnote: Funk has other meanings besides a state of sadness. Funky can also mean something that has a foul odor like smelly socks; something that is artistic or cool; or a type of R&B music made popular by singer, James Brown.
For an example of the latter, listen to the background music of ‘Funky Town’ in this scene from ‘Shrek 2’:
Funky Town' music - 'Shrek 2' film
Favorite ‘small town’ quote by Will Rogers: "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip."
© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."