[rescue] OT: response to "small town"

Wes Will wwill at siu.edu
Fri Oct 7 15:58:27 CDT 2005

>> Is it the small town that makes the diff?  Something in the air?  I

>Could be- in our small Minnesota town our mailman has biscuits for the dogs

It is a small-town thing.  Most definitely.  Warmth in wooden form, for sure.

The comments about the job market and economy are also correct.  It's
sluggish here-abouts.

I was born and raised here, in the north end of the American south, near
the confluence of the Wabash, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers.  We get to
drawl if we want, but standard English works too.  The weather?  Summers
are sticky, winters are mild with maybe one or two snows and some ice now
and again come February.

I have since lived for at least some few weeks (or years) each in a lot of
diverse places; San Francisco and Monterey CA, Berlin (it was West Berlin
at the time), Tokyo, London, Paris, Marseilles, Frankfurt, Hoechst,
Wiesbaden, Nice, Venice, Johannesberg, and Hong Kong.  Short-term, one or a
few days, in over a hundred more different cities and towns.

I'll take a really small town over even a medium-sized city, any day.  Even
with the economic problems.

City people seem to be all screwed up in the head somehow.  When they
laugh, it isn't about anything funny.  Overcrowded, over-stimulated, too
noisy, too smelly, too bright and brash, too rude, too dangerous, and
that's accepted as the norm for some reason.  It's okay to not be able to
walk in the park at night without taking the risk of losing your life.
It's okay to have drug deals going on in your schools and on your street or
just down the block.  It's normal to not know any of your neighbours, to be
afraid all of the time behind multiple locks, bars, alarms, and guarded
doors.  It's accepted etiquette for everyone to avoid eye contact with the
people on the sidewalk around you.  A friendly "Howdy!" is cause to run
quickly away.  It's normal to hear about someone, whose only error was that
he made eye contact or said "Howdy!", being gunned down in the street.

That's not normal.  That's truly, seriously, SICK.

I moved back here after almost ten years of bouncing around the world.
I'll never leave, unless it is to some place even smaller.  So I can't get
twelve kinds of Thai food within fifty yards of each other.  Wah, wah, wah.
 I can cope with that.

It's quiet here.  You can step outside any time of any day or night and
take a deep breath of clean air.  The deer roam the streets, along with a
dozen other wild animal species, right in town. (The coyotes are getting to
be a nuisance.)  They're seeing bears and cougar again, just a few miles
from here, and the hawks and eagles are getting just plain thick.
Ivory-billed woodpeckers have been seen again just a very few hours south
of us.

I let my kids and now my grandchildren play anywhere in the neighbourhood
or in town, without worrying that some screwball is going to snatch them
away, rape and kill them, or even just bother or frighten them.

My pedigreed Newfoundland dog ran off from the kids' house where we had her
kennelled while we were away for a couple of days; somebody brought her
back to our house, they knew whose dog it had to be, and they never once
thought of stealing her or selling her to some lab for whiskey money.  Or
eating her, we don't have a "China Town" thought there are several Asian
immigrant families around.  The person who returned the dog turned down an
offer of some cash for her trouble and gasoline.

We actually had a couple of idiots from Chicago come here and try to get
some sort of gang crap going a few years back.  Didn't last long, and they
probably recovered from the attempt, but maybe not and who cares?  They
left, and that was the whole idea.

Our problems are large to us, laughable to city folk, small enough to be
manageable.  The worst one seems to be the stupid rednecks (rednecks are
tolerable; it's the stupid part that makes it a problem) with extremely
noisy trucks and motorcycles and rude behaviour.  Most of the truly rude
ones seem to have recently visited or lived in a city....

We straighten them out, a quick call to their parents (who went to high
school with me, more often than not) and they quieten right down.  Now and
again, when the parents are just as stupid, it takes a call to somebody's
old granny, and that fixes that for sure.  You don't mess with your granny,
she'll thump ya.

Every now and again, some bad-boy types from St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas
City, or the like, try to slide in here and cause trouble; once in awhile
we have stupid fools (there's that 'stupid' bit again) that get themselves
all wrapped up in methamphetamine (but that seems to be dying down - these
are the really dumb ones, they have all died because meth ages you *quick*).

Other than that, life's pretty quiet.  Not idyllic, that would require a
bit more money, but it's close.  My wife's out of school early, and she's
home with the grand-wiggles making cookies that look like bees and giraffes
and such, and I'll be gone home in an hour to join in and mess with the
kids and the dogs and other critters.  My garnddaughter and I are making
dog treat cookies, using canned mackerel.  She calls the tail sections in
the cans "fish butts."

Life could be a lot worse than here in small-town Nowheres-ville.  Yeah, it
would be nice to get a little more pay, but not nice enough to put up with
living somewhere large and ugly.

Been there.  Done that.  Got the scars.  I'll stay poor and on the small
end of things.

wes will

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