18 January 2007
Looking back, it seems that I started moving to Lancaster back in 1992. Before MP3, streaming audio, or even internet access, I used to scour the low end of the FM radio dial for something worth my listening. I primarily found WIXQ 91.7 from Millersville University, but I expect I also found WFNM 89.1 of Franklin and Marshall College. York supposedly had a college station as well, but its transmitter was apparently poorly placed for it to reach my house to the East.
If I strung antenna wires from corner to corner of my bedroom or up the side of the house, I could get a mostly clear signal from WIXQ, and I had a much wider conduit of all that great alternative music of the time. From a powerful 30 second clip of sound, I discovered the Jesus and Mary Chain, and I moved on to watching MTV's 120 Minutes, etc.
In 1994, when it came time to look around for colleges, Millersville was obviously familiar, so I visited and found an excellent computer science program with intriguing resources, so I was sold. Millersville was the only place I applied.
I was fortunately accepted, commuted furiously from York to Millersville for nearly 5 years. I spent more time on campus (in the computer labs) over time, until I was nearly living there, and only returning home for showers and a few more hours of sleep.
Lancaster has always felt more metropolitan to me -- there was just more culture there. The clubs, education, people, shopping, and the downtown city drew me in. Great independent restaurants remain to be a huge attraction to this area.
In the end, I officially moved into Claire's apartment around graduation in 2000, and now I own a house and rear a family near Millersville. It's been a long road.
(The inspiration for writing this isn't as random as one may think: I've recently rediscovered that all the college stations in my area are again worth tuning. This time, WFNM has been keeping my attention, and WXPN has a transmitter in Harrisburg as well.)