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Small Town Crazy

I was out early chasing cows when I snapped this picture of Small Town. You can see the trees just beginning to change color. I’m sorry I wasn’t doing something glamorous like apprehending bad guys but it wasn’t that kind of day.

My husband and I were raised in the city and always dreamed of moving to a small town. My love started young with the Anne of Green Gables series. The eccentric people made me crave that small town atmosphere. I now live the life and get to imagine I’m Anne. This post is dedicated to all the people who make Small Town wonderful.

A few years ago, I had my first “sheep” call on a Saturday afternoon. I was working on a report, at my desk, when dispatch contacted me and said they had Mr. Tackshaw on the line. I told them to forward the call. A gruff voice said, “I’ve seen a prostitute walking down Main Street.”

We’ve never had a prostitute in Small Town and I thought I misheard, “A what?”

“She’s walking her sheep.”

“I’ll check it out.” This was all I could say, I was not commenting on the connection between sheep and prostitutes.

Indeed, she was walking her sheep and her dog. Marla let me take the picture in this post. I see her all the time now and she is sometimes more scantily clad than what is considered acceptable here. Marla doesn’t care; this is how she feels comfortable. Her sheep is named Jo Jo and her dog is Sunshine. How she could be confused as a prostitute is a true sign that I live in a small town.

One of our lifelong residents died recently. He was 97-years-old. He lived a wonderful life and left behind an incredible family of sixteen children. Instead of using a hearse to transport him to the cemetery, the family built floats on trailers and had a parade. The colors were garish and the entire effect gaudy. They played 50’s bebop music from a stereo system. What a sight! I’m wondering if they would be willing to plan my funeral. I want pink flowers made with tissue paper strung everywhere. I want ACDC music blasting (Highway to Hell would be apropos). I want…I’ll let them know the rest.

The tallest flag pole in town is at the post office on Main Street. Some industrious juveniles placed used car tires from bottom to top and we never saw them doing it. The pole is fifty feet high. It was great! Everyone laughed and the unknown culprits were front page news. Every year we wait to see what the next wave of juvenile delinquents will come up with. The flag pole incident has yet to be topped. I was the investigating officer but quite frankly, derelict in my duties.

Here in Small town, we live hundreds of miles from the big city. Yes, we are Arizona Diamondback and Cardinal fans but mostly we are devotees of our hometown football team. The neighborhood stores post weekly signs, “Spear the Tigers,” or “Pulverize the Pirates.” The entire town gets into the fever. Friday night arrives, the stores shut down, dinner is served early and everyone makes their way to the high school. The stands are packed with home team colors displayed proudly. Our department ordered special long sleeve t-shirts with Police imprinted across the back. We wear them on football night, it’s the only time you see our police officers out of blue uniforms. We walk around proudly greeting people or we go down to the field to watch the action up close and personal.

While the parents sit in the stands, their children have impromptu games on the practice field. Five games will take place at once as different age groups divide up in teams, including the girls. I would not be surprised to have the first female NFL player come from Small Town. Those girls are tough and give the boys a run for their money.

During those few hours we don’t worry about crime. Its Friday night football and our criminals are in the stands cheering on our boys.

A few years ago, half our town was faced with the consequences of major flooding. No lives were lost but cattle, horses and dogs were taken. Everyone, even those with houses destroyed, pitched in to clean up. Sunday church was not held. The entire town came together and praised God beneath cloudy skies by helping their neighbors.

Our front yard washed out and my fishpond was filled with muck. I thought my fish were goners. When the main crisis passed, my neighbors came over to help. It didn’t matter that everyone was exhausted and in need of rest. No one took time out until everyone was cared for. If you couldn’t lift a hammer or transport materials, you cooked. I will never forget the mud covered goldfish we unearthed, alive and well. It was such a small thing but to me it was a miracle. In the picture you can see Dos sticking his head out of the water to say hello.

Cities have malls and attractions, high paying jobs and cultural centers. Small towns are large families; sometimes dysfunctional but never boring. Small towns are where people care about others and finding an open store on a Sunday is a miracle in itself. We are the heartland of America. I’m proud to be considered a small town hick. My husband and I fit in perfectly.

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  1. October 30, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Sheep… Well… I haven’t had to worry about sheep calls – but I wonder if you have ever had to chase and EMU? Yeah… I did… sigh…. Loved seeing your town! Great post!

    • October 30, 2011 at 9:03 am

      I didn’t chase an Emu but one of our officers tried. The poor Emu died. We mostly chase cows. They are the bane of my existence.

  2. October 30, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Sounds like an ideal little town and you sound like an ideal police officer for the town. I used to fly into Phx, hire a car and just take off with no fixed destination. Polystyrene ice box on the back seat with cokes and juices, Never went much further afield than Monument Valley to the North and El Paso to the South. Diners and motels and chatting with locals who heard my British accent. Great times. You are very lucky

    • October 30, 2011 at 9:00 am

      Yes I am and if you ever make it back to AZ, I’ll give you directions and show you around Small Town. It’s a long drive but worth the fuel. You would fit right in.

  3. Suz
    October 30, 2011 at 9:06 am

    What a great town. I wonder how many youngsters ache to get out, and then ache to come back…

    Oh. And maybe the caller had it all wrong; maybe the sheep was the prostitute!

    • October 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

      I was worried about the sheep as well. Too funny. Yes, the kids can’t wait to leave. We see them back when they start families and don’t want to raise their children in the city.

  4. October 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Everyone knows sheep are floozies. Thankfully this one’s got Marla to keep her in line.
    That’s amazing that your goldfish survived being deluged with mud, Suzie. I’ve never heard anything like that…cool, weird, and yes, miraculous!

    • October 30, 2011 at 10:20 am

      They also freeze solid all winter and come back in the spring. It’s the reason I picked goldfish for my pond. I’ll try to get a picture of them this year frozen in flight. Things will warm up during the day and they will swim to the top for food, then a quick freeze at night and they can be seen swimming, but frozen. It’s amazing.

  5. October 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Laughing, smiling, longing, and crying all in one post. Nice work.

    P.S. You forgot the Coyotes. Although I personally never believed an ice sport belonged in a desert state.

    • October 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      I have the same problem with the Coyotes but those hockey fans are mean and we must speak quietly.

  6. October 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Suzie –

    If I didn’t know you so well or know true westerners pride themselves on being colorful, I’d start to think you were making these stories up.

    Thanks for the laughs!!

    • October 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      My imagination is not that good and fact is stranger than fiction. My first year on the street, my mom told me to write these stories down so I wouldn’t forget them.

      • October 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm

        You have a wise Mom!!

  7. October 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    A prostitute? What was she supposed to wearing, a Victorian shirtwaist dress with a bonnet? Men are funny animals, the little dears. So funny.
    Glad to hear your fish are hardy. I’d like to have a fish pond one day, if I could keep the cats from harvesting their own dinners.
    Finished Bad Luck Cadet and will put up a review later this week. I loved it!

    • October 30, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you Melanie! I love sheep lady’s black gloves and her, “Don’t give a damn” attitude. She’s a little on the goofy side but it makes her even more lovable. So glad you enjoyed BLC. Next book is triple the size and written as a novel and not combined blog posts. I think it’s much better. I hope I can say that with everything I write.

  8. October 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I love the small town life. Not sure how I feel about T-rex being a cop here! To often I find we see the worst of small town drama,

    • October 31, 2011 at 7:29 am

      I couldn’t agree more. It’s one of the reasons I started my blog. I had to get past the ugly side of law enforcement and remember the good, funny and caring sides. I think drama is the perfect word and we in Small Town are surrounded by it too. I love your blog! http://ammointhedryer.com

  9. October 31, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I always love your prose. Love that “prostitute” and her posy. 🙂 I live in a smallish town now and the thought of going back to the big city does not bode well with me. Great post!

    • October 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      Thank you, I don’t think I could ever survive the big city again.

  10. October 31, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Your small town sounds better than my small town. It makes me think I need to move to a smaller town, a different town or YOUR town. Great piece! 🙂

    • October 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      Move on over, I think you would fit in as well.

  11. November 1, 2011 at 7:45 am

    not my life but it sounds a good one – enjoyed your post 🙂

  12. November 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Funny that you mention Anne of Green Gables. I read the whole series for the first time this summer on my Kindle. I loved it and my Canadian blogger friends would be highly annoyed to know I think of them all as Annes.
    I love small towns– my current town is not a town because every time talk of incorporating comes up, it gets voted down. I’m in the wacko minority that would like us to be a town because we need more policing with the huge volume of traffic that flows through our town. Not to mention some zoning to keep us from becoming wall-to-wall strip malls, but it’s almost too late on that count.
    Great post and looking forward to your next book!

    • November 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      I’ve been hoping someone else would be a fan of Montgomery’s work. I’ve re-read the books numerous times. Always wanted red hair:-) Thanks for the comment. I’m looking forward to having the edits done on the next book, ugh! Started writing book 3, that’s the fun part.

  13. November 6, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I’m a city girl but you make country sound so good!

    • November 6, 2011 at 8:22 am

      Thanks. I believe I will be a country girl for the rest of my life:-)

  14. November 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    A very good friend of mine lives in Prescott, AZ…a small town in my eyes, considering I live in Silicon Valley. I love small towns!

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