Is This Oregon City the Real-Life Inspiration for “The Simpsons”?

When we tune into “The Simpsons” every week, more than 3 million of us consider them our favorite animated family. Are we watching a cartoon fantasy or something based on facts? Has someone stashed secrets in Springfield, OR storage units that reveal the truth behind this TV world? Let’s start with Homer’s hometown.

Is Springfield an Urban Legend?

Natives here in Springfield always wondered if the series was based on our locale, with speculation running wild in 2007. That’s when the studio that released “The Simpsons Movie” sponsored a contest. They encouraged America to vote on which Springfield was the inspiration for Simpsons-styled shenanigans. Vermont’s Springfield won while our Springfield came in third. Still, we have the official Matt Groening plaque and a cool mural. In Bart’s own words, “Say what?”

Are We Really the Real Deal?

Groening came clean with Smithsonian Magazine in 2012. He named his Springfield after ours, but he intentionally kept the origin a mystery. Groening wanted all the natives of all the Springfields to enjoy thinking that their town was the basis for this very special city. Always the joker, he waffled a few years later and then admitted he’d been raised just two hours north in Portland. Groening sealed his final word with the now-famous “Yo Springfield, Oregon” plaque, and we iced our cake with the Simpsons mural installed by the Old City Artists in 2014.

Do You Know Your Simpsons Stuff?

If you know that Groening’s sisters are named Lisa and Maggie and his father’s name is Homer, you know your Simpsons trivia. If you have an original pair of Deadstock Simpsons shoes and a Simpsons pinball machine stashed in self storage, we’re very impressed. Most of us stick to affordable stuff like Moe magnets and Homer cookie jars, but the wonderful world of our Springfield Simpsons gets bigger and more collectible every season.

You don’t have to be a mega-fan to appreciate the finer points of Simpsons memorabilia. Meanwhile, if you can’t find a safe place at the house for that Duff Beer sign or your Krusty the Clown collection, don’t have a cow, man. Just tuck it away in a climate-controlled unit here at Northwest Self Storage. We’re fans too, and we’re just down the road.

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Monday September 5, 2016