Small Town Phenomena

IMG_9705There is big news in our little town. And when I say big news I mean camp-out-days-before big news.   The last time there was this much ruckus was when Walmart opened a few years ago, or maybe the night the Zaxby’s burned down. Tomorrow, after several delays and promises postponed, Chic-fil-a will finally open its doors. People have had their tents pitched since yesterday. My teacher friends are planning different routes to school for the next few days to avoid the breakfast traffic. Yes. I am serious. Now where you come from a new fast food restaurant is probably not a big deal…but in my little town anytime we get a real bona fide eating establishment, fast food or slow, it is a cause for celebration. To say our choices are limited is an understatement. This kind of excitement is contagious and makes me want to go pick up a chicken sandwich just to be a part of something bigger than myself. It’s a community wide event. It’s in the paper. It’s been talked about for weeks. The crowds are building. How can you not get caught up in the heightened anticipation and sheer magnitude of it all? This monumental occasion has caused me to think about all the small town phenomena that city dwellers miss out on. I decided to make a list for you.

  • Grand openings in which most of the town camps out to be there when the doors open. (Walmart, Chic-fil-a, and probably Taco Bell if the rumors are true.)
  • Christmas and Easter parades that contain more floats with Jesus on them than Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
  • Larger-than-life sized Cabbage Patch kids at every event in town.
  • Announcements in the paper when a baby is born, someone is getting married, anyone gets arrested, or when a child gets his/her first kill of either deer or bear.
  • News that travels faster than any social media via the family trees, in which everyone is related to everyone else in some way.
  • Festivals with local arts and crafts, farmer’s markets with local crops, and fun days with the locals.
  • Customer appreciation day at the bank where everyone gets a tomato plant…better known as Tomato Day.
  • Girl Scout cookie weeks shortly following sales…girl scouts at every entrance around town with tables of cookies.
  • Car washes and church bazaars. Homemade jellies, jams, and afghans.
  • Boy Scout troops doing pinewood derby and community service…everywhere.
  • A cannery that opens to the public every summer so people can “put up” their garden produce for the winter.
  • An annual Cornfield Derby in which wrecked cars race to wreck each other to raise money.
  • Fishing Days at Smithgall Woods where a kid and their grown up can fish for free.
  • Hiking Mt. Yonah…or rappelling Mt. Yonah…or looking at Mt. Yonah.
  • Swimming holes…Dick’s Creek, Waters, Yellow rope, Blue rope, and covered bridge.
  • Getting your name on any of the town marquees on your birthday.
  • Hearing third graders argue over the best ammunition to use in their guns to hunt deer, bear, and hogs.
  • Having third graders write about gutting a hog as an expository writing assignment.
  • Thinking that is normal.
  • Because around here it is.
  • Believing that charm does not have to be created because it resides here.
  • Knowing all the small town phenomena and loving it.
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