#1  
Old 01-19-2019, 03:07 PM
Nawth Chucka is offline
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Peak Small Town


About a decade ago my co-worker/friend had to go back to her tiny home town in Nebraska for her mom's funeral; I wanted to support her as best I could from Middle Georgia by sending a basket of pastries to her. I didn't know what hotel she was staying at but there were only 2.
I called Hotel #1 and explained who I was looking for and what I wanted to do; they said she wasn't staying there, but was at the other hotel and did I want that phone #?
I called the Hotel #2, asked for her and was not only put through to her room, but given her room # - unheard of even then due to guest security; when she didn't pick up I asked to leave a message; the clerk literally went to the window to look for my friend's rental car, came back and said she must be at the funeral home but she was checking out that day anyway to go stay at her uncle's. Did I need that address? And did I want the bakery's # to order the food?
Hotel #1 had already called hotel #2 about me.
So I got the bakery's # (needless to say they didn't need my help w/ an address at all) and then had me call back to Hotel #2 to pay for it by card, b/c they only took cash. Same business or family? Nope, just a small town.
These folks weren't related to her, hadn't seen her in many years AND both her parents had been in a nursing home in another city for several years, plus she went by her married name. They still knew who she was and I don't think it was just good business sense. To me, that is peak small town.
What's your small town experience?
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:14 PM
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I live in a small town. Your story doesn't surprise me at all.

Here's the first "small town" story that popped into my head:

A few years ago, Mr. Athena and I were biking on our local mountain bike trail system. He was in front of me, and suddenly stopped, got off his bike, and bent down to pick something up off the ground. It was a GPS unit, a pretty nice one, obviously fallen off someone's bike.

There was no ID on it, and no lost & found or anything like that at the trailhead, so we just took it home with us. We wanted to get it back to the owner, but didn't really know how. I happened to think to myself that there was a certain brewery that a lot of mountain bikers liked - this place sponsored races and such, and it had a good local following. I posted something on their Facebook page about finding a GPS on such-and-such a date/time, and the trail where we found it.

Within a couple hours, the owner contacted us, verifying it was his via the serial number. Turned out it was our eye doctor. #smalltownliving.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:26 PM
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I visit a lot of small towns during road trips, so I don't have more than a visitor's impression of them. But I find the overwhelming percentage of people I meet very nice and helpful to someone who happens to be passing through.

I stop in at local museums as often as I can. I'm always impressed by the folks who take the time to volunteer and keep the artifacts and stories of the town alive.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:42 PM
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Does this count?

I've lived both in the heart of large cities and in tiny towns. Both have their upsides and downsides. The city was big, noisy, and not particularly friendly—and this was in Portland, one the friendlier cities on the west coast.

However, the grocery stores were well-stocked and I had access to some real culture: museums, live theater, music, and people from different cultures. It made for interesting living.

Small towns lack much of that. In the above-linked thread, the small town in question (Rudyard, Montana) has no... anything, really. They have a movie theater and a nice automotive museum, but no grocery store and no ATM anywhere in town. The only restaurant is a "Grandma's Kitchen" type of place. Everyone in town is Catholic or Lutheran, and non church goers are looked upon with a certain level of suspicion and slight derision.

But on the other hand, people are overwhelmingly friendly and willing to help each other out with the most mundane things: last second-to-last time I was there, in 2008, my cousin had asked me to stop by a local hardware store and pick up some large piece of equipment for him since I was going through town anyway. I went and paid, but couldn't fit it in my trunk. Another farmer, who happened to be in the store at the time, offered to take the piece of equipment back to my cousin's place because he was headed that way anyway. You don't find that kind of friendliness unquestioning helpfulness in bigger towns or cities.

If I won the lotto I'd likely buy someplace very remote, but within not-too-bad driving distance of a least a medium-sized town. I like the small town atmosphere, but being able to do a decent grocery shopping or see a play is pretty important to me.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:04 PM
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I like the small town atmosphere, but being able to do a decent grocery shopping or see a play is pretty important to me.
I've loved visiting/vacationing in small towns, but hadn't thought of that as a price you'd have to pay.

I wonder how large a town has to get before it has good ethnic restaurants? We had friends who moved from one college town to smaller college town (Okay, Madison to East Lansing. Happy now?:-)

Hopefully, Lansing has more now, but in the 80s their local "exotic" restaurant was basic Italian.

Oh, wait, I remember... just before they left a Cambodian family started an "Any Kind of Asian Cuisine You Want" spot.



ETA: Lancia, move here with your lottery winnings. A friend lives fifteen minutes outside of town on a little farm in rolling hills and can't see her nearest neighbor. (Deerfield, WI) (Just outside Madison... with its ethnic groceries and a Trader Joe's)

Last edited by digs; 01-19-2019 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:31 PM
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ETA: Lancia, move here with your lottery winnings. A friend lives fifteen minutes outside of town on a little farm in rolling hills and can't see her nearest neighbor. (Deerfield, WI) (Just outside Madison... with its ethnic groceries and a Trader Joe's)
In about 6 or 8 months I'll be looking for work, with pretty much "the whole country" as my target location. I would like to stay in the northern half of the country though... does Madison have a community college looking for freshly-minted history profs?

::Googles::

Seems Madison has a sizable higher ed presence. Intriguing...
  #7  
Old 01-19-2019, 06:40 PM
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I wonder how large a town has to get before it has good ethnic restaurants?
My current town has a population of ~20K, and it's fairly remote--the next town of any size (150K) is about 70 miles away. We have one decent Italian restraunt and a couple of passable Mexican restaurants. One or two very Americanized Chinese restraunts. And of course the usual fast food selections, Sizzler, and Applebees.

Let's put it this way: the locals consider Red Robin the epitome of haute cuisine. I refuse to partake.

We have a decently stocked Safeway but nothing more exotic than that. We have a couple of community theaters and a couple of live music festivals during the summer, which can be fun.

It suits our needs, but I don't particularly like it here.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:10 PM
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I recently moved to a small town (about 1800 people). It's in New England, which is a different kind of small town than many in America. For one thing, they have more practice at it. Some of my neighbors' ancestors settled here in the 1700's. No one thinks of them as special. New Englanders have more respect for education than anywhere I've ever lived. They don't expect you to go to church (though I do).

I have already accumulated many a small-town story. Including when I first got here and since I never saw anybody in the forest around my house I was in the habit of walking my (dog aggressive) dog off leash. So one day, we come around the bend and there's a lady with four dogs! All also off leash. My dog rushes out and pins one to the ground. Chaos ensues. Dog was not hurt (my guy never has actually bitten a dog in his life, just is scary). The next day I go down to the city office to pay taxes or something and the town clerk says as I introduce myself, "oh, I already know who you are and where you live. You're the lady whose dog put Sophie on the ground yesterday."

Today I went to the post office to get my mail (there is no mail delivery to my house) and told the postmaster sheepishly that I had forgotten the key to my mailbox. He just went and got my mail for me. He didn't need me to tell him what box it was, and I did not expect that he would.

We are a half hour from the Pioneer Valley, with its many colleges (UMass, Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, Holyoke) and its shopping and cultural events. I have no complaints about here at all, although January is quite bleakly cold, and last year we had snow the third week of April. If that's the price I have to pay, I'm happy to pay it.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
I visit a lot of small towns during road trips, so I don't have more than a visitor's impression of them. But I find the overwhelming percentage of people I meet very nice and helpful to someone who happens to be passing through.

I stop in at local museums as often as I can. I'm always impressed by the folks who take the time to volunteer and keep the artifacts and stories of the town alive.
Bolding mine. I also like small town or county museums. One of my favorites is the one in Marysville, Kansas. It's in the building that used to be the county courthouse of Marshall County.
  #10  
Old 01-20-2019, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
My current town has a population of ~20K, and it's fairly remote--the next town of any size (150K) is about 70 miles away. We have one decent Italian restraunt and a couple of passable Mexican restaurants. One or two very Americanized Chinese restraunts. And of course the usual fast food selections, Sizzler, and Applebees.

Let's put it this way: the locals consider Red Robin the epitome of haute cuisine. I refuse to partake.
I work in advertising, and 15+ years ago, I had Applebee's as a client. At one point, we got a new creative team assigned to the account, and the new art director told us that he was quite familiar with Applebee's -- he'd grown up in a small town in Oklahoma, and his parents considered Applebee's to be the "fancy restaurant" in town.
  #11  
Old 01-20-2019, 12:36 AM
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I lived for many years in a small town in Wyoming. Each town in that area was about 25 miles away from the next small town. It was over 100 miles to the nearest mall. Applebee's? We'd have been thrilled. Every so often, a rumor would circulate that we were getting an Olive Garden or Red Lobster, and everyone got excited, even though there was nowhere near the population base those franchises require.

But pretty regularly there'd be a letter to the editor of the local newspaper from someone passing through (almost always in summer--winters were rough, about like in Rudyard, MT) expressing gratitude for locals who helped them when their car broke down, or a wallet was lost, or someone got sick. There's often a culture of helpfulness in small towns because isolation means people have to rely on each other.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:14 AM
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there is a mid sized town in Indiana where its been proven that im either related by blood or marriage to about 65 percent of the town...……


but the thing that made me never want to move back happened when I was 14 or 15 and went back for a visit


Grandpa who I was staying with had been a sub minister at or helped start 3 or 4 Pentecostal churches in the town was well known at the gm plant so and was the head of the family...

well me and a cousin went to see an old friend who was about 10-15 minutes away we watched a movie hung out and left about 11:00 walking down the main street stopped at the convenience store got snacks and pop and was home by 11:35


my grandpa had gotten at least 5 or 6 calls letting him know we were tramping all over creation ..and my dad even got a few asking if he knew we were in town and tramping around ….


if the house we went to wasn't a family friend wed of been bitched at for days …… that's when I decided I like my wide open desert spaces …...

Last edited by nightshadea; 01-20-2019 at 03:17 AM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:15 AM
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This is a story about my parents, not me, but it happened near the moderate sized town of Walla Walla, Washington( pop 33k)

While their health and age permitted my folks took motorcycle trips each summer, with Mom riding behind Dad. One year, in the aforementioned location, they had an accident. Coming around a curve in the road there was gravel spilled, and between that and leaning into the curve the cycle slid out from underneath them. Dad had a bad gash on his arm, Mom broke her ankle. They were taken to the hospital in Walla Walla. While there a volunteer put Dad in touch with a retired gentleman who had been a motorcycle racer and crop duster, and bombadier in WWII. Dude was shot down and in a German POW camp, escaping three times but always getting caught. He helped Dad work on his vehicle, and put him up at his house for two days, while Mom waited in the hospital. This guy also guided him to a small truck for sale that Dad bought, as Mom wouldn't be up to riding back on the cycle. My folks became friends with this guy and his wife and kept in touch with them until they passed away. For several years Mom sent a big container of popcorn, in a fancy tin, to the hospital volunteers, and would get a nice thank you note, which usually included a story on how everyone competed to get the fancy tin when it was empty.

Walla Walla sounded like a nice place to be.

Last edited by Baker; 01-20-2019 at 03:16 AM. Reason: bad spelling
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
there is a mid sized town in Indiana where its been proven that im either related by blood or marriage to about 65 percent of the town...……


but the thing that made me never want to move back happened when I was 14 or 15 and went back for a visit


Grandpa who I was staying with had been a sub minister at or helped start 3 or 4 Pentecostal churches in the town was well known at the gm plant so and was the head of the family...

well me and a cousin went to see an old friend who was about 10-15 minutes away we watched a movie hung out and left about 11:00 walking down the main street stopped at the convenience store got snacks and pop and was home by 11:35


my grandpa had gotten at least 5 or 6 calls letting him know we were tramping all over creation ..and my dad even got a few asking if he knew we were in town and tramping around ….


if the house we went to wasn't a family friend wed of been bitched at for days …… that's when I decided I like my wide open desert spaces …...
Different strokes ...but I would guess you'd have felt differently if you were the parent or grandparent and it was your kid out late without letting you know where he was.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:05 AM
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My best one was from a few years ago, it wouldn't be legal now due to bank regulations changing.
I'd been overseas for a year, and was back temporarily living with my parents for a bit. One day my parents asked if, seeing as I was off for the day, would I mind taking some of their business' cash takings in to the bank, which was in the local big village where we'd lived previously- population around 2000. They gave me the account details, but, just as an experiment, I got to the teller and simply said 'Hi, could I put this in my parents' account please?' and got the reply 'Their private one or the business account?'

Yup, she not only knew who my parents were, despite the fact I moved out the village 10 years earlier and I wouldn't have been in that branch at all for at least 2 or 3 years, she knew both account codes without checking.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:02 PM
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I've loved visiting/vacationing in small towns, but hadn't thought of that as a price you'd have to pay.

I wonder how large a town has to get before it has good ethnic restaurants? We had friends who moved from one college town to smaller college town (Okay, Madison to East Lansing. Happy now?:-)

Hopefully, Lansing has more now, but in the 80s their local "exotic" restaurant was basic Italian.

Oh, wait, I remember... just before they left a Cambodian family started an "Any Kind of Asian Cuisine You Want" spot.



ETA: Lancia, move here with your lottery winnings. A friend lives fifteen minutes outside of town on a little farm in rolling hills and can't see her nearest neighbor. (Deerfield, WI) (Just outside Madison... with its ethnic groceries and a Trader Joe's)
Seems like every other small town in Indiana has a Chinese restaurant. Midwesterners do love a buffet!
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:15 PM
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Seems like every other small town in Indiana has a Chinese restaurant. Midwesterners do love a buffet!

that and Indiana was the "best place in the us to open a new restaurant" by the major trade magazines (yes they have trade magazines for Asian restaurants) and the small town I mentioned above was the no1 city in Indiana for new restaurants from about 98 to 2006 or so when the recession was just starting


they went from having one that was almost out of business to 12 in about 8 years and half are still there

Last edited by nightshadea; 01-20-2019 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:03 PM
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My family comes from a modest city. And visiting there is a lesson in weird connections. Was introduced to a cousin's old coach, who turned out to be an uncle's brother-in-law. Visited another uncle and he had a friend with him. Who was the brother of my mother's first roommate after she left home (70+ years ago).

And in each case the family relations were from different sides.

Just a ton of stuff like that. For a small town it's got to be 5x more interconnected.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:53 PM
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My aunt was born in a small Kansas town (population ~4000) and lived there for 50 years, at which time she was widowed and subsequently married a man from a nearby town. When she passed away recently, her children decided to hold the funeral and bury her in her home town. There are actually two funeral homes and two florists in the town!

When I called a florist, the woman who answered the phone sounded like she was about 100 years old. But she was very competent and helpful and seemed to already know everything about the funeral. She assured me that she’d get the floral arrangement to the right place at the right time and that she’d make an arrangement that looked good with the other arrangements.

When I gave her payment information, she said, “You must be Titus’ daughter. I knew you aunt. She was a beautiful person”. I agreed, and we cried together on the phone for a few minutes.

I see that the town now has a Mexican restaurant.
On my aunt’s 70th birthday, her grandchildren took her to Red Lobster in Bigger City. She had never had seafood before.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:28 PM
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Grew up on a farm in the Riverina of NSW and the nearest town was about 40 miles away.

At one stage the local police had two high speed chases after cars stolen from the main street in one week. To highlight the issue they did a spot survey.
They walked the main street on Saturday morning and checked how secure each the parked vehicles were. They found nearly 200 cars unlocked (over 75% of vehicles), nearly 50 had the keys in the ignition and 5 had the motors running.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:31 PM
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I have always lived in or near small towns < 2k people except for a few years in a college town (~35000.) Do not recall the last time I locked the car doors in my yard. Have to occasionally remind the wife to bring in her purse.

My mom was born in a similar area during the depression one state away. Picture Mayberry in the corn belt. She moved away at about age 5 after grandpa died. Her much older sister stayed behind with extended family. About 12 years ago, my family visited my aunt and her family. We were camping about 40 miles away over the 4th of July. On the third, her town has a "Teddy bear" parade. All the tykes would walk around the town square with a stuffed animal. Afterwards was a free ice cream social. Of course my cousins invited us to join them and their grandchildren for the event. The next day was the 4th festivities. My youngest son was about 4. He was in their parade on my cousin's tractor. My older sons took part in the kids water barrel fight. (use a fire hose and shoot at a suspended barrel, moving it to your opponents end with water flow.) Kids division was 12 and under. Didn't need teams, just get in line.
FF five years to my aunt's funeral. My brother and I drove 7 hours and went straight to the wake. We planned on finding a hotel about 30 miles away afterwards. Nonsense. My cousin told us to use her mom's house, she wasn't. We're like "what would the neighbor's say." She's like I'll call them. BTW, the house was unlocked. We throw our bags in the house and walk about 3 blocks to the only open bar. It was a Sunday night. Only people in the joint was the bartender and her sister. No smoking inside so all four of us would go out to smoke on the sidewalk every 20 minutes or so.
Definitely an area I wouldn't mind retiring to except for their winter is no better than here.

Last edited by PoppaSan; 01-20-2019 at 07:35 PM.
  #22  
Old 01-20-2019, 07:58 PM
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Peak Small Town


Bit of background: Piper Dad and Piper Mum grew up in a middling sized town in Saskatchewan. Piper Grandad was a pharmacist who ran a drugstore, which he eventually sold to my uncle. Piper Dad was also a pharmacist, and bought a pharmacy in a nearby small town. So Mum and Dad moved from their hometown in the late 50s to the small town.

Piper Uncle eventually sold the store and retired in the 80's. The guy he sold the store to eventually retired and sold it to yet another guy in the early 2000's.

When Piper Mum and Dad retired in the 80s, they moved to the Big City, 2 and a half hours away from their home town.

When Piper Mum died in the 2000s, we took her home to be buried in the same cemetery as her parents.

The day of the funeral, I nipped into the drugstore to get something. As the new pharmacist, second owner from my uncle, was ringing in the purchase, he looked out the window and saw Piper Dad waiting for me on the sidewalk.

"Oh," says the pharmacist, "there's [first name] Piper. He's looking pretty good for his age, but sad day - must be in town for Mrs Piper's funeral."

I mentioned that they were my parents and asked how he knew them?

"Well, I bought the store from so-and-so, who bought the store from your Uncle [First Name], so you just get to know these things. My condolences - please pass them on to your Dad. "

I.e -the pharmacist recognised the brother of the guy who'd sold the store to the guy he'd bought the store from, and who hadn't lived in that town since before the current pharmacist had been born, and who had moved away from the area over 20 years before.

Afterwards, I mentioned this to Piper Dad, and you could see the wheels turning. "Oh, yes, I know that fellow's name. Can't remember why - don't think I've ever met him. Nice of him to say that."

Last edited by Northern Piper; 01-20-2019 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:05 PM
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After reading this thread, I asked my neighbor if she had a house key with her.

"Why? It's not like we lock up... John, do we have any idea where a key even is? (John shrugged) Y'know, I really don't know if I've ever seen one. We must have gotten a key or two when we bought the house, what was that, thirty-some years ago? But if you said we didn't, I couldn't prove you wrong."
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:37 PM
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In the late 80s-90s I was working with a stock feed mill just outside a town pop about 5,000
Gets a bit warm in the summer out there though humidity is very low.
One day in January the temp was in the usual mid 40s (110F+) and the car has been in the sun for a couple of hours so inside it's around 60C (140F+). Hot enough to slow cook chicken in a pan on the drivers seat.

Needed to go into town to pick up something and in the couple of minutes drive the aircon unit isn't going to have much effect. So naturally you wind the windows down to get a bit of air flowing and some relief.

Parked outside the store and walked in to pick up the parcel. Left the windows down which is fine and my wallet on the dashboard which is just dumb. Came back a couple of minutes later and the wallet is gone. Bugger. Drove back fuming at my own carelessness. Back at the office I looked inside the console and there was my wallet with a nice note from some unknown good Samaritan cautioning me that I really shouldn't leave stuff unsecured in the car as somebody might take it.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:48 PM
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I think your small town could easily be transplanted to Saskatchewan, with folks like that.

Of course, you'd have to add a negative sign to your January temperatures.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:54 PM
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I have lots of small town stories.

Not long ago, a thumbdrive must have fallen out of my pocket at the barber shop while I was waiting. The barber knew I had something to do with computers, so it must be mine; couldn't remember my name, but knew I was a Realtor. But which real estate office? There are two on the same block as the barber's.

So a customer took the thumbdrive to the nearest office. It wasn't my company, but they knew who I was, and who I worked for, and they called me up and I got my thumbdrive back.

If they had taken it to the other broker on the block, they would have known me, too.

Our rural postal carrier saw that my mailbox had been shattered by the snowplow the other day, but she knew I also had a PO Box, so she put all my mail in that without my filling out a change of address card.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:55 PM
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One more story about small towns, and this time I mean small.

In the summer of 1967 I was just out of the sixth grade. My teacher was getting married in a little town about fifty miles to the north of my city. It happens to be where my Dad was born.

There were two little churches, one Methodist and one Lutheran. The wedding was at the Methodist church. My folks drove me and three other girls from my class up to the wedding. I was all dressed up, the first time I wore nylons! Gloves even. Mom had coached me on wedding etiquette and I felt so grown up when the usher offered me his arm after asking us "Friends of the bride or groom?"(MY teacher was the groom)

After dropping us girls at the Methodist church my folks drove over to the Lutheran church to see if it was open. Folks saw them looking in the windows and told them "The wedding's down that way!" They all knew about that of course and assumed my folks were lost wedding guests, not burglars.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:03 PM
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Peak Small Town


Years ago as a teenager interested in politics, I asked Piper Dad for advice, because he had always followed politics.

He said "You should join Party X. The Pipers have always been members of Party X. (Except for your Grammie, who always voted for Party Y, cancelling out Granddad's vote for Party X. But we don't talk about that.)"

So I joined Party X, and suddenly I'm a youth delegate from our riding to the upcoming leadership convention in the fall!

That summer, as I'm walking down the street in our little home town, a guy in his sixties walks up to me. "You're [First name] Piper, right?"

"Yes," I say, wondering who this old duffer in a pork pie hat is.

"I'm so-and-so," he says, shaking hands. "I'm doing advance work for Candidate A in the leadership this fall, and I hope we can count on your support!" So we chat a bit about the different leadership candidates, and why A in his opinion is head-and-shoulders above the rest; the usual salesmanship that an advance man does.

As the conversation is coming to an end, I say: "By the way, how did you recognise me? We've never met, have we?"

"No, but you Pipers have been in Party X for a long time and I knew your grandfather. You have exactly the same gait as him, especially the way you move your right leg forward when you walk. Recognised you as soon as I saw you walking down the street, just like old [First name]. Have a nice day!"

Spoke to Piper Dad that night. "Yes, that guy's been around the party for a long time, but he's a bit on the shady side, so be careful with any assurances he gives you. [pause] But now that you mention it, you do have the same gait as Granddad had - I'd never noticed it before."

Last edited by Northern Piper; 01-20-2019 at 09:06 PM.
  #29  
Old 01-20-2019, 10:38 PM
penultima thule is offline
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Went for my drivers licence in the local small town.

Cops there know all the farm kids have probably been driving cars, trucks, utes, tractors etc on unprepared roads since primary school so when we turn 16 and go for our driver licence it's our knowledge of the road rules rather than whether we can handle the vehicle that's the determinant issue.

For my test it was probably the first time I'd ever seen a policeman up close, let alone spoken to one. Big gruff bastard. Drove around the town. Did four left hand turns, a right hand U-turn and saw no car in either direction. Passed. Being away from home at boarding school I didn't drive a vehicle on the road during the 9 months of my "P" plate period. Hey presto! I have a full drivers licence.

Cousin went to same station about the same time. Now in our neck of the Riverina it's flat. Real flat. A rise of more than a couple of metres is called a hill or rise because it's too hilly to irrigate. So you park the car you leave it in neutral if it's a manual. It isn't going to roll anywhere. Anyhow when Sally did her test her father drove to the cop shop. Being mindful of the scrutiny he thought it might be a good idea to leave the car in Reverse when he (parallel) parked. When Sally went to start the car she just turned the key in the ignition, not putting her foot on the clutch, just as we all did out there. The vehicle lurched backwards violently and knocked over her father who was standing behind the car. The impact was severe enough to put him in hospital for a day's observation. She passed.

Next door neighbours kids were all car nuts and a bit wild. When the one my age went for his driving test the cops gave him his licence without doing the test. When his father asked why the policeman said "I've been chasing George around the streets of town regularly for a couple of years now. I know he can drive. Now I've got something I can take off him."
  #30  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:38 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 14,031
My mother grew up in Port Washington, Wisconsin -- it's about 25 miles north of Milwaukee. It now has about 11,000 people, but when she was growing up, it was around 5,000.

15 years ago, my wife and I went on a long driving trip out west, for our 10th wedding anniversary. On a Sunday morning, we were in Yellowstone National Park, driving around and looking at various sights. We had parked (we were driving my car) in a parking lot, where ours was the only car there, and walked a few minutes to go look at some thermal features.

As we were walking back to the car, we saw that there was another vehicle now in the lot, and an older couple was walking away from it, and towards us. As we got closer, we waved to the couple.

"Is that your car?" the man asked.

"Yes, it is," I replied.

"Oh! We were wondering why someone would have Illinois license plates, but Green Bay Packers license plate frames."

I laughed, and my wife pointed at me. "His car, his frames. He's from Wisconsin originally."

"Oh? Where are you from? We're from Wisconsin, too!"

"I grew up in Green Bay, but I live in Chicago now," I replied. "Where are you from?"

"We're from West Bend."

"I know where West Bend is -- my mom is from Port Washington." (West Bend is a few miles west of Port Washington.)

The woman of the couple looked at me. "Oh? What was your mother's maiden name?"

"[Name]."

The woman smiled. "June?"

"No, Joan," I said. "June is my aunt."

"June and I went to high school together!"

So, 1500 miles away from home, I ran into a woman who went to high school with my aunt.
  #31  
Old 01-21-2019, 02:09 AM
nightshadea is offline
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Location: a condo in hell 10th lvl
Posts: 4,552
when dad retired from the gm/delco plant his uncle filled out his papers when he was hired ….when he retired his great cousin the grandson of the uncle signed him out …….
  #32  
Old 01-21-2019, 09:51 AM
Nawth Chucka is offline
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Location: Whites elevated; UT
Posts: 5,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by ioioio View Post
My aunt was born in a small Kansas town (population ~4000) and lived there for 50 years, at which time she was widowed and subsequently married a man from a nearby town. When she passed away recently, her children decided to hold the funeral and bury her in her home town. There are actually two funeral homes and two florists in the town!

When I called a florist, the woman who answered the phone sounded like she was about 100 years old. But she was very competent and helpful and seemed to already know everything about the funeral. She assured me that she’d get the floral arrangement to the right place at the right time and that she’d make an arrangement that looked good with the other arrangements.

When I gave her payment information, she said, “You must be Titus’ daughter. I knew you aunt. She was a beautiful person”. I agreed, and we cried together on the phone for a few minutes.

I see that the town now has a Mexican restaurant.
On my aunt’s 70th birthday, her grandchildren took her to Red Lobster in Bigger City. She had never had seafood before.
It sounds like the florist was even more of a comfort to the family than she expected to be when she picked up the phone.
  #33  
Old 01-21-2019, 12:23 PM
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Lancia is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Denial
Posts: 1,644
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulfreida View Post
I recently moved to a small town (about 1800 people). It's in New England, which is a different kind of small town than many in America. For one thing, they have more practice at it. Some of my neighbors' ancestors settled here in the 1700's. No one thinks of them as special. New Englanders have more respect for education than anywhere I've ever lived. They don't expect you to go to church (though I do).

I have already accumulated many a small-town story. Including when I first got here and since I never saw anybody in the forest around my house I was in the habit of walking my (dog aggressive) dog off leash. So one day, we come around the bend and there's a lady with four dogs! All also off leash. My dog rushes out and pins one to the ground. Chaos ensues. Dog was not hurt (my guy never has actually bitten a dog in his life, just is scary). The next day I go down to the city office to pay taxes or something and the town clerk says as I introduce myself, "oh, I already know who you are and where you live. You're the lady whose dog put Sophie on the ground yesterday."

Today I went to the post office to get my mail (there is no mail delivery to my house) and told the postmaster sheepishly that I had forgotten the key to my mailbox. He just went and got my mail for me. He didn't need me to tell him what box it was, and I did not expect that he would.

We are a half hour from the Pioneer Valley, with its many colleges (UMass, Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, Holyoke) and its shopping and cultural events. I have no complaints about here at all, although January is quite bleakly cold, and last year we had snow the third week of April. If that's the price I have to pay, I'm happy to pay it.
Your town sounds like a little slice of heaven.
  #34  
Old 01-23-2019, 04:51 PM
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bare is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Northern Idaho
Posts: 1,382
You know when you live in a small county when:

An envelope simply addressed bare in Idaho shows up in your mailbox. Yep, my doper handle and it wasn't a doper that a sent it, but on old friend that only knew me as bare, my nickname from years ago. No address, not even a zip code. I had to quiz the postmaster about that and all she could tell me is that "we have ways". A few years later I ran into my old mail lady that ran our rural route and she's the one that remembered my nickname from more than 40 years ago and got the mail directed to the intended recipient.

Another time I started getting calls from all over the county. A woman was asking for my whereabouts by name, explaining that I'd once saved her life. Heh, nobody would tell her where to find me or even hand over my phone number, thinking they were protecting me.

It was super frustrating when nobody bothered to get her name, vehicle description or even a license plate. She was persistent but I was at a loss of who it could be. Finally she managed to find me at home, a couple days later, same place she last saw me. Was an old girlfriend looking to reconnect and reminisce 35 years later.
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