The little town I grew up in must have had a population of 3500 people and everyone of those people knew each other. It hasn't changed much. I'm not big on living in a town that quaint. Oh, I know all the positive points that people that live in those little towns like to tout but I'm not buying it. First of all, who wants to know everyone where they live? Who wants all those people to know every thing you do and every where you go?
One movie theatre offered entertainment along with a few bars where having a drink was like a family reunion; you knew everyone that walked in. The churches were where all the activity happened. I'm amazed at the now devout previously known hell raisers that are spouting religious affirmations constantly. What? You get to a certain age and all that is left is spending time in church? Is that where all the party people end up?
If a stranger showed up in town, they might not have realized how scrutinzed they were and god forbid you weren't light skinned and fair haired. You would have been the topic of conversation and speculation for what have small town people to talk about but each other. Nope, the small town is not some where I want to be. Not enough diversity for me. I like "different" and enjoy being around "different".
I live in a college town and the students are from all over the world. You see the girls in their long dresses, third eyes painted on their foreheads and no one here gives them a second glance. Students from the middle east, from the far east (I'm talking the world globe here, not the state) and I often times imagine them moving to the little town where I grew up. I don't think there is a black family living there but I do remember the white girl that married a black man and with their two small children tried to live in that town. Not only did her respectable parents disown her but the town turned that oh so religious shoulder away and eventually they moved on and out of town.
Ok, so much for my descripition of that little town. What I really wanted to note was the upcoming celebration that every year draws people back. The "4th of July" celebration was where I was going with this post. This is the biggie. The place you want to be if you want to see friends that have long since moved on to live in other states. An unofficial family reunion or class reunion where they gather on the courthouse square at the base of the large wooden stage that is assembled for the bands that are scheduled to play. Snow cone machines, cotton candy and carnival rides are offered along with the music. Every politician that is running for office that year will be there to press the flesh and kiss the babies. The young girls will be strolling around in their pink short shorts and cropped tops showing belly rings and shocking the older crowd that have long since forgotten their day when they wore those short shorts but find now that they are just scandalous. The boys will be trailing those girls, the married men will too but only with their eyes while the wives try to keep track of all that is going on.
Gosh, I miss this part of that little town. Or not? I'm afraid that I wouldn't find it as much fun as I once did. The last time I was at one of those celebrations, I was wearing the pink short shorts and the belly shirt minus the belly ring and shocking the town matrons. Such fun that was!
I've moved on.