Bringing Peculiar and Normal Together

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PECULIAR, Mo. -- A town that prides itself on being "peculiar" is about to get a little more "normal."

Peculiar, Missouri, just south of the metro, is discussing a possible sister city relationship with Normal, Illinois, near Bloomington. The two towns are about 400 miles apart, Normal has almost 50,000 people while little Peculiar has under 5,000.

This discussion got started on a radio talk show based in Illinois. They were discussing the sister cities Boring, Oregon and Dull, Scotland and they decided they could come up with a sister city pairing more exciting than that.

Mayor Ernie Jungmeyer says Peculiar has always embraced it's different name. Back in 1868, the town leaders submitted city names to the U.S. Post office several times but they kept coming back rejected.

"The fourth time they wrote to the post office and said 'just give us any old peculiar name' and the post office wrote back and said 'your name was peculiar' and that's how we got our name," says Jungmeyer.

The sign outside Peculiar used to read "Where the odds are with you." The mayor says the town slogan is "Positively Peculiar."

Last week, Jungmeyer and mayor or Normal Chris Koos went on WJBC radio in Illinois, and Koos said he's all for bringing Normal together with Peculiar.

"This is going to be fun," he said.

"Better relationships, getting both towns more well known throughout the U.S. might bring businesses to us and normal, and help our growth and have some fun with it," says Jungmeyer.

The ladies at Broadway Stylz hair salon in downtown Peculiar like the idea of building a bridge between Peculiar and Normal.

"I think it's cool, but I think Peculiar is more fun than Normal,"  says Carrie Henry laughing.

"I think it would be fun somebody to have a relationship with people different from peculiar people," says Sherry Elkins.

In a small town like Peculiar, everyone knows everything about you, so the ladies joke that they would have more to gossip about.

And if the towns need some marketing slogans for those hats and t-shirts, the ladies have one:

"It's Normal to be Peculiar," says Elkins, "I like that!"

Mayor Jungmeyer plans to propose the sister city union at a city council meeting next month. WJBC radio said they might just have to come to Peculiar to broadcast a show, to represent Normal.

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