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Small town living is a priceless commodityPosted Monday, May 16, 2011, at 12:54 PM
There's something to be said about growing up in a small town and most of it is good.
It's true the more urban areas of the state may have more things to do -- such as more and different places to enjoy a meal out or places to go shop, and more cultural offerings that we don't have here in our little "burg" of Greene County.
But, what we have in our neck of the wood here southwestern Indiana is priceless.
That's something our upcoming high school graduates ought to reflect on as they prepare to be handed their diplomas in a few weeks and trek off to new adventures in college, trade schools or the military.
Many will be saying they can't wait to get out of this county, but really what we have here in small townville is not all that bad.
Being from a small town myself in Perry County, I can relate to and appreciate what it is to be from a rural area -- even if I wasn't raised on a farm.
There are some things that just stand out as unique and good about being from a small town.
In the town where I grew up -- Tell City -- we used to "drag Main Street" on Friday and Saturday nights, making a huge loop from the high school down Main Street by the river for hours and hours just to see who was out.
We'd gather at the local Dog N'Suds or the Frost Top and just hang out ---- passing the time in an affordable, fun manner.
People from small towns and small schools like the ones we have here in Greene County can also name nearly everyone in their high school graduation classes.
Many know what 4-H is and can name all four H's.
In the town I grew up in, when you said the dreaded "F" word, your parents knew about it within an hour and there were some severe disciplinary consequences to be paid.
In school, it was nothing for our teachers to call us by our older siblings' names or our teachers mentioned that they had our parents in their class.
At church we had unspoken assigned seats where the same families always sat.
Many people went by a nickname. Some of those nicknames still stick today 40 years later.
Coming from a small town, I still give directions by people or landmarks and not street names.
Here in Greene County, we refer to things like the Lighthouse Junction or the Blue Barn Hill or we tell someone to turn at the Thompson house, go east to Jones' farm and it's the fifth house on the left.
Also, any directions given to "strangers" in town include "the stop light" as a reference. Such as, turn left at the fourth or the last stoplight.
In my hometown, two of the golf courses I learned to play on had nine holes and sand greens. On one of them sometimes you had to wait to tee off until a group of grazing cattle got out of your way.
Most cars were always filthy because of the dirt or the gravel roads. If you lived in the town you could readily identity those who were raised on the farm by how dirty their car or truck was.
Everyone considered someone from a nearby town to be "trashy" or "snooty," but it was actually exactly like your own town.
I remember referring to anyone with a house newer than 1950 as being the "rich folks."
You always thought people in the "city" dressed funny, until you picked up the same trend about two years later.
I came from a town where our football coach "highly suggested" that we should build our strength and muscles by bucking bails of hay in the summer, rather than doing the conventional weight lifting training.
If you decided to walk somewhere just for exercise at least five people would stop to ask if you needed a ride.
Small towns are really good to grow up in, very safe and well ... home-ish. People know who to trust.
The pace seems slower and you have a chance to enjoy some of the things around you like nature, seeing a sunset or going fishing at the pond down the road.
You know what it is to hunt mushrooms, deer, rabbits and squirrels.
Being in a small town also gives you a strong sense of community. Everyone is always there for you, if you need it. When you hurt, they hurt. Or when there is death in your family, it affects many and there are well-wishes and prayers that go up without hesitation.
These are just some of the small town values that I wouldn't trade for anything.
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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