Small Town Vibe

Blog Post No. 531

img_20160702_111353At the end of the 2000s, I spent some time in another city for school. The city in question is a bit larger than the one I’m from, but it’s also fairly close. It takes less than two hours to get there on the highway. Personally, I like to take the back roads, which makes the trip a little closer to three hours. I did that drive a good dozen times that year, driving past small towns with a couple of stop signs (or sometimes the highway went right through them). Since the drive was leisurely and my mind wanders, I liked to imagine what my life would be like if I moved to one of those towns.

Maybe it’s the movies I’ve seen over the years that show small towns as underdogs, maybe it’s the slower speed that comes with a smaller size (I’m not sure) but there’s something appealing about that life. Though, having spent my life in a small city, I’m making big assumptions. (But, why would TV and movies lie to me?)

I imagine that it’s great to know your everyone in your town, but that comes with everyone knowing your business, too. (Maybe I’m less interested in that part since I don’t even know my neighbours all that well). Still, there was a sense of local comradery at Anchor when I was a regular, and I like that part of it. Speaking of a coffee shop, in my head, all small towns have a diner. How could it not? I love a greasy spoon diner like few other things in life and one where you know the owner and cook starts your meal when they see you walk through the door. Where, if you leave in under an hour, you must be in a rush.hoosiers24

There’s a special feeling about a place where the whole town shows up for the local high school sporting event. Not like in Texas where high school football stadiums are multi-million dollar facilities, but like in Hoosiers where the whole town crams into the gym for the basketball game. We have an OHL hockey team in my city, and I would love to be more of a fan, but it’s a hassle to get out to the arena and while the rink is nice, it’s certainly not as quaint as the old (admittedly outdated) barn.

There’s a movie that came out a few years ago that I love called Vast of Night that captured the feeling I’m trying to convey. It’s a slow burn sci-fi movie set in the 50s in a tiny town. It shows that even a small town has intrigue (outside of the obvious science fiction elements). Even thought I have an interest, I don’t know if I would ever actually move to a small town. Realistically, I could be a writer nearly anywhere in today’s society. Since I’m not a full time writer, I need a day job for now, and the larger the city, the more job opportunities (and expenses).

the-vast-of-night-stillMaybe one day I’ll end up in a small town that’s not to far from a larger city. Maybe I’ll move there and hate it. I don’t know. The idea is nice though. But, so is moving to a cabin (with wifi) and shunning the outside world. Sometimes it’s best to dream and sometimes it’s okay to just visit. The Writing Wrecking Crew is due for a retreat. That would scratch the itch, I’m sure. Until then, I can satisfy my curiosity with my imagination and maybe a short story or two.


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