For any other political candidate, the campaign stop would not have made headlines. But because it was this cycle’s Republican nominee, who has rarely deigned to perform the rituals of retail politics, it created a bit of a stir.
He would prefer not to. (Via Philly.com)
Happening now: Trump and his entourage make surprise visit to a Wawa gas station in PA. pic.twitter.com/1gEJZFSBgD— Sarah McCammon NPR (@sarahmccammon) November 1, 2016
*TastyKake. https://t.co/UCzEk693dZ— [RAPH]AEL (@MyNameIsRaph) November 1, 2016
The news reminded this Californian that there still are regional mysteries in this great land of ours. “Wawa” is one of them.
Wawa is a chain of convenience stores in the mid-Atlantic states; it was founded in 1964 and is the third largest retailer in the Philadelphia area. The retail business is the descendant of the Wawa Dairy Farm, founded in 1890 by George Wood and named for the area in which it was located: Wawa, Pennsylvania. The geographic name comes from an Ojibwe word meaning “wild goose”; it appears in Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha, whose hero is an Ojibwe warrior.
After more than 125 years, I suppose East Coasters no longer giggle when they say “I’m going to the Wawa,” and I imagine there are advantages to a business name that any toddler can pronounce. I profess no inside knowledge about the Trump troupe’s visit to the King of Prussia outpost; the candidate does love his junk food, but he appears to be more comfortable dealing with hoi polloi from the safe distance of a podium rather than in the agora. He likes big, rowdy rallies, not intimate meet-and-greets with Joe and Jane Voter. “I think if they ever saw me sitting in their living room they’d lose total respect for me,” he told an audience in June. “They’d say, I’ve got Trump in my living room, this is weird.”
Wawa isn’t the only odd-to-outsiders convenience-store name in the greater Philadelphia area Pennsylvania.
I don't have a horse in this race, but lots of people in my timeline reacting to the choice of Wawa over Sheetz today.— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) November 1, 2016
Yep, Sheetz. It was founded in 1952 and is still owned by the Sheetz family; its chicken wings are known as Shwingz.