Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The Asheville area of Western North Carolina is a retirement mecca, a haven for hippies and other counter culture sorts, and a vacation destination for the Obamas.The Chamber of Commerce ran an ad campaign for years called Asheville: Altitude Affects Attitude.

The car of choice in Asheville for both hippies and registered nurses seems to be either the Subaru Outback Wagon or the Subaru Forester. It is often joked that there is a requirement to have at least one of the family cars be a Subaru if you live in Asheville

Bumpersticks are big in Asheville. One of the more popular bumpersticks in town is "Asheville Where Weird Is Normal". Vying for popularity is "Coexist" where the letters are religious symbols for the major religions as seen below on a Subaru Forester.

About a year ago, SayUncle had a post about how Coexist bugged him. He linked to an alternative Coexist for gunnies composed of gun manufacturer's logos.

I thought it was cool and showed it to the Complementary Spouse. Now she is a crafty one and can make something out of nothing in a heartbeat. So she took the picture, blew it up, printed it out on a color laser printer, and then laminated it. Instant bumpersticker! And given the politics of Asheville, a counter-revolutionary one at that.

We love tweaking the noses of the liberals and gun banners. The best thing about it - they don't even realize it most of the time. She has explained the symbols to her more conservative co-workers who have to be somewhat closeted about their politics and they just smile.


  1. As my (now) wife and I were making plans to get married, she lived in Asheville and worked at Mission Hospital. I visited her a few times and, until I got hired at my current job, there was a strong possibility that I would have to move to Asheville.

    I noticed a few things. Primarily, Asheville as a whole looks like the parking lot to a Whole Foods store. It was clear just by reading bumper stickers that to be a straight, white, Republican male was to be in a very tiny minority. I have never seen such a high concentration of “Visualize World Peace” and “COEXIST” stickers in my life.

    There were no jobs to be had in Asheville for love or money. Asheville appeared to be a lovely place for rich people to buy a mountain cabin, or for lesbians to starve to death, but not much in between. I think the reason that you see so many Subarus is a combination of two factors. First, it’s practical to have a decent four wheel drive in the snowy mountains. Second, for some reason, lesbians really like Subarus. Asheville appears to be a sort of lesbian mecca. That sounds cool until all the girls hit on your wife and ignore you.

    Thankfully I did not have to move there. I had made my wife promise that if I did move down there that she couldn't complain that I couldn't get a job. I was also promised blanket permission to write a column for the local paper called "Straight, White, Republican Male trapped in Asheville." I would have had to write it anonymously, as if I had ever been identified, the locals would have treated me to a display of diversity that I would not have survived.

  2. My hippie neighbors have one of those coexist stickers on their Subaru, but thankfully the guy down the street has an NRA sticker on his Mini Cooper.

  3. Subaru used to ( might still have) an ad campaign targeting gays. Not so sure about hippies.

  4. @jdberger: Asheville is also very gay friendly. I'd call it the Key West of North Carolina.

  5. @Sean: I think you've got Asheville nailed....accurately. Asheville is also the 1st or 2nd most expensive place to live in NC esp. for housing.

  6. My wife's Subaru has Herman Cain campaign stickers.

  7. Isn't it interesting that YOU have a Suburu.

  8. @neal - Point of clarification. The Subaru in not MY car. It is the Complementary Spouse's car. Note I said that Subaru Outbacks were car of choice of RN's in Asheville. She is an RN.

    I drive a Honda Pilot.