Small Towns : Part 1  

madeinmichigan 41M
39 posts
8/3/2006 9:06 pm
Small Towns : Part 1

I grew up in a very small farming community in the thumb of Michigan. The town population was about 5000 people. There wasn’t much as far as major chain business in this town outside of things like Ace Hardware, A&P Grocery, and Norman’s Sporting Goods, and the Shell gas station. All other businesses consisted of small mom and pop shops that were locally owned. Businesses were either concentrated on the major county road that past through this small town or in the down-town area stretched across three city blocks. The town had a school system that actually combined four townships together and it still was only considered a small class C school district. My graduating class was around 60 people.

The town didn’t have much to offer for the younger generations. A lot of times we would find ourselves having to travel over forty minutes to the nearest Movie Theater or mall. A vehicle becomes your most valued possession, because it represents your social livelihood to travel great distances for social events held in the woods (bon fires or beach parties) or in distant farm houses set back from civilization (no cops). You can pretty much figure out that drinking was quite common amongst us all because there was nothing to do.

Growing up in a setting like this, the major focus in adolescence becomes figuring out the best way to get out. It seemed as though as people graduated high school, they either moved as far away as possible or end up stuck in that town in the middle of nowhere. In such a small setting, everyone knows who you are. Dating in this type of setting is impossible because everyone is so close. I was surrounded by the same group of people literally from preschool to the 10th grade.

Thinking back on this, one thing was influenced by these surroundings that I didn’t really realize or appreciate until now. Everyone that I hung out with in that small town has been the best friends that I will ever have for the rest of my life. We were so close for so long that we became closer than friends, we became family. I haven’t spoken to a lot of them in a number of years, but I know that if I met any of them on the street it would be like we never were apart. I have had to opportunity to go back and visit a few times in the past and I have seen a few people in bars and other social gatherings. I have always been greeted by a friendly hello and a hug.

To be continued.....................................

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