Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Small Town Living

I linked up with Heather at From Here to There for Home Town Hop #2 yesterday and it got me thinking about growing up in a small town, the good and the bad. Which of course led me to society today. My mother told me of a stabbing at Lone Star College. I had been at work and do not know what was going on, so I check the news when I got home. According to usatoday.com, a man stabbed 14 people at the college. This comes on the heels of Sandy Hook Elementary and Aurora, Colorado Theater all within the last year. I think back on my childhood and wondered did this amount of violence and at this scale ever happen way back when?

I grew up in the 70s and 80s in a very small town in Kansas. You can read a little about the town here. What I didn't write is what it was like to live in a small town. You know what they say about small towns, "everyone knows everyone's business", and, well it's true. I knew everyone and they knew me, or at least my parents because I looked like my dad. It was my cross to bear. It was hard to get away with stuff because it was always "You are Johnny's daughter." Crap. Busted.

Grain elevators in Spearville, KS
source


That is the disadvantages. Everyone knew what was what. Some examples are when I cruised Main Street with my boyfriend and missed curfew. Everyone in the cars would be yelling at me that my dad was looking for me. See this was pre-cell phones. I made sure I got my be-hind home ASAP! Another time was when we ditched religion class on Wednesday night to go to Dodge City and cruise Earp. By the time I was home (same time I would have been home from class), my parents already knew I skipped, where I went, what I did and who I was with. Busted again!

But there was great things too. Growing up, I could venture out of the yard to play as long as I could hear mom's whistle when it was time to come home, I was good. Ok, it only allowed me to go a couple houses down to Marsha's house, but that was huge! As I got older, my curfew was to be home for dinner when the church bells rang. How many can say they hear church bells every night at 6:00? Oh and FYI when I was in high school I got to stay out later than the church bells!

St. John's Church provided my
church bell curfew.
source


You could ride your bike anywhere in town. Heck I remember riding it out to my friends house who lived in the country about 5 miles! Of course her dad had to bring us back, but that is beside the point. I rode to mom and dad's work, the swimming pool, or just around the town because I could. Oh and don't forget to go by that boy's house that you were crushing on (mine was David). The traffic in Spearville was barely there compared to cities. It was so small you could walk anywhere you wanted to go. There was more freedom in a smaller town, but with that freedom came expectations and respect. Good grades, home at curfew, meet the boyfriend, join clubs, participate at functions both school and community and just help in the community when needed. I guess because it was so small and everyone knew you, you couldn't get into too much trouble. Don't think I was a good girl. I was grounded a great number of times and had the car taken away. I also got the privilege of weeding the garden at 6 am when I broke curfew.

Does this make how I grew up better than kids today or even make me better? Heck no! All I know is when and where I grew up, I not only had that sense of freedom but also a sense of security. I never was scared about someone abducting me or drugs/shootings or school violence. My parents worried enough about all of that I am sure. Maybe I was naive or sheltered, but I feel that gave me a great foundation to who I am today. Trust me, I am no longer the naive little girl I was, but it has helped me appreciate what I have, given me high expectations for my at-risk students, and never felt denied growing up.

I do not remember any major crimes that affected society then like it does today. I remember some cult incidences like the one in Waco, or the start of Desert Storm, but I don't remember any violence in America during my childhood. So what has happened to society? Why are people turning to violence as an answer? What was the turning point?

I don't have the answer. All I know is I am glad I am from a small town and had the childhood I did. I would not change that for anything. I am also glad that I moved out of the small town to better and more opportunities in the bigger city.

Sorry for the heavy, long post. It was just on my mind and had to get it out.

What are your thoughts? I would love hear about your hometown or a childhood memory.


These are all true!

1 comment:

  1. That list reminds me of my childhood--except we had a mall and a McDonalds. The comment about your dad looking for you after curfew made me laugh. My poor mother would pull right up to the party and everyone would say...your rides here! This also happened to my brother several times. We also dated each other's ex boyfriends. I mean, there were only so many to go aruond, right? I loved growing up in a somewhat small town.
    Laurie
    Lulu and Daisy

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