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29 August, 2010


A week or so ago, I drove through Acme. The name triggers memories of just about everfy Saturday morning between the penultimate year of the '60s and maybe the mid-1980s. Because Acme is the company that made catapults, rocket packs, pressure cooker lids that fit on rabbit burrows, and just about every other accoutrement of pre-computer technology a coyote could want to capture prey.

I'd always thought of Acme as a statement of high self worth, rudimentary branding that implied superlacy, and happened to come up early in the phone listings (before ham-handed companies started the A-race: AA Plumbing, AAA Travel Agency, AAAA Handi-Man). But here it was, the town, a few unmarked pole barns at the edge surely packed with giant sling-shots, magnetic bird seed, and such.

Washington kindly puts "Entering ___" signs at every little town. Precious few buck the trend and put up signs with some other phrasing. One of the things that keeps me entertained on long road trips are the Entering signs, like when the town is named after a person. I feel a little uncomfortable Entering Milton, the female towns being more my speed. Then there's Lebam (Mabel backwards, hmmm).

But back to Acme. The coyote association is probably true, since the town is located at a valley bottom. Who else but a trickster would give a name meaning Summit to a trown in a valley bottom, close to Mosquito Lake?

Someday, I will go back when I can spend some time. Maybe eat at the restaurant catering to bikers (somethign about Hog Trough). Maybe see if I can buy a back-mounted fan and sail and save on shipping.


  1. Someday, when I have royalties comin' out the yin-yang (Do they provide "exiting" signs as you drive back out of town ... ?), I'ma buy me a huge collection of Warner Brothers cartoons. And don't think I won't share them with you and yours.

  2. I passed through Acme twice last week going to Long Beach from Olympia and back (as I've done many times before in traveling to Long Beach). As for Lebam, my mother's cousins' widow (maiden name Mullins, aged 92) was born in Lebam. In keeping with the cartoon connection she had a brother, and of course they nicknamed him Moon.

  3. That's funny, I passed through Lebam the other day on my way to Van Zandt. We must have both bought Acme Maps.