Life is so much better in small town America. The pace is somewhat slower and friendships much more real. I grew up in a small town and ever since have always lived the rural community life. I know nothing of the hustle and bustle of the big city, and I’m a better person, I believe, because I grew up where everyone knew everyone.
New Year’s Eve is my dad’s birthday. Even though he died eleven years ago, he still has a treasured place
in my heart. He too is a product of a small town. Thirteen years ago he emailed me this piece. I would
like to share it now.
Those who didn’t grow up in small towns will be in disbelief and won’t understand how true these are:
- In a small town school you can name everyone in your graduating class.
- You know what 4-H means.
- You went to parties at a pasture, barn, gravel pit, or in the middle of a dirt road. On Monday you
could always tell who was at the party because of the scratches on their legs from running
through the woods when the party was busted.
- You whispered the ‘F’ word and your parents knew within the hour.
- You scheduled parties around the schedules of different police officers, because you knew
which ones would bust you and which ones wouldn’t.
- You could never buy cigarettes because all the store clerks knew how old you were.
- If you were lucky enough to find someone to buy cigarettes for you, you still had to go out into
the country and drive on dirt roads to smoke them.
- You knew which section of the ditch you would find the beer your buyer dropped off.
- It was cool to date someone from the neighboring town.
- The whole school went to the same party after graduation.
- The golf course had only nine holes.
- You couldn’t help but date a friend’s ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.
- Your car stayed filthy because of the dirt roads, and you will never own a dark vehicle for this
- The town next to you was considered ‘trashy’ or ‘snooty’ but in reality was actually just like your
- You referred to anyone with a house newer than 30 years old, as the ‘rich’ people.
- The people in the ’big city’ dressed funny, and then you picked up the trend two years later.
- Anyone you wanted could be found at the local gas station.
- You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town or to school occasionally.
- The gym teacher or football coach suggested you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.
- When you decided to walk somewhere, at least five people would pull over asking if you wanted
- Your teachers called you by your older siblings’ names.
- Your teachers remember when they taught your parents.
- You could charge at any local store or write checks without an ID.
- There as no McDonalds.
- The closest mall was over an hour away.
- Most people went by a nickname.
- You laughed your butt off reading this because you remember it to be the absolute truth.
Thanks dad, for the memories. May you be laughing in heaven.