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.