this article was linked in the penn state forum in ravelry. i'd love to add my two cents to it.
i grew up an hour from the campus of penn state. if you don't know the area, it is literally in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the state.
when i was little my parents took me christmas shopping there. i remember walking downtown and visiting the bookstores, where my mom would let me pick out a notebook or a pen. i remember the boutiques that lined the alleys - i loved picking up a trendy bracelet or pair of earrings. there was a card and gift shop where i'd buy funky stickers and stationary and hello kitty pens. we used to go to the mall - at that time it was one of the biggest in the area and it had shops that our own small mall didn't have. i felt so special on those days - it was a real treat. back in the day, there was also a hills in addition to kmart. those were the major stores - this was before walmarts infiltrated the place. down the hill from hills was the dairy where we'd stop for ice cream on the way home.
i remember going to campus, when i was in seventh grade. my dad had a church function up there, and i remember he took me to the creamery where i got ice cream and a lion chocolate bar. i sat in a lounge and read books and did my homework and felt so grown up.
years later hubby and i made quarterly trips to the town whenever he had church board meetings. at that time the edge of town was the walmart to the north, with red lobster across the road. a few years later target and wegman's moved in. now there's a chik fi la and a kohls. strangely enough, there's no old navy - the closest one is in altoona (or williamsport).
during home football games, the city becomes the fourth largest city in pennsylvania, due to the attendance to the games.
in less than a month thon will be in full swing. did you know that thon is the largest student run philanthropy in the world? imagine how many children with cancer have been helped by this.
i have many good memories of happy valley, and look forward to many more to come.