Small Town, Small World
June 10th, 2011
I grew up in “Mid-Sized Town USA” (which somehow doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “Small Town USA”). My hometown is west of Chicago in almost-rural Illinois. We’re not a one-horse town, but it sometimes felt like it. Feed jackets were a common sight at my high school, some of my friends had horses, and corn stalks outnumbered humans approximately 84,000 to one.
It’s the kind of place where people tend to stay. I sometimes forget this because many of my friends from high school did leave the area (though several have drifted back). But, by and large, a big chunk of the people I grew up with still live in this neck of the woods.
This fact was clearly illustrated to me this afternoon. Two of my high school buddies came over (one driving in from Chicago) and we took our kids to a nearby park, about a mile away. In the span of that two hour excursion, we bumped into three other people we had gone to school with. Three. In unrelated encounters. It was a little bit freaky, but sort of nice, too. It’s good to have roots.