You Know You Are From a Small Town

My parents live in a small town. Actually, where they live is not even a small town. To get to a small town, you have to go about 40 miles. And there is no Walmart there. All you will find is trees.

Let's start with the area my parents live. The place they live has a name, because where we are from, if there are two houses next to each other, you name it. That way you can use it as a landmark. However, many of these landmarks are only known about by the people who live nearby. For example, Jack's Place, which is probably a cluster of 4 or 5 houses. You would say, "to get to my house, use the pull out on the right about 100 feet past Jack's Place". Which is fine if you know where Jack's Place is. You won't find it on Google maps, or probably any map at all. It's like a secret cult. You have to find a local to find your way around. Otherwise you will be driving in circles looking for a sign that says, "Jack's Place, Population: 8", and you will never find it.

You don't have road signs. To find something, you may use the name of the bend in the river, the gold mining claim, a creek, a powerhouse, a dam or somebody's house.

Everybody knows everybody. A couple of weekends ago, we drove about 60 miles away from home and had breakfast at a restaurant in a different "bigger" town and my Dad pretty much knew everybody in the place.

In the big town, we now have not one, but TWO stoplights. I remember when the first one went in. It was such a big deal -- a stoplight! Also, I think sometime around that time we also got our first fast food joint -- Taco Bell. How exciting! Even now, we still only have that and a Subway. Two fast food joints, two stoplights.

I went to school in the big town. We had to catch the bus at 6:40 a.m. and had an hour long (+) bus ride to get to school.

If you tell someone a phone number, you only say the last four digits. You don't need the area code or first three because they are all the same. For example, I would say, "Johnny's number is 1124". Everyone knows the rest is always the same.

We used to party in the woods when we were in High School. There were a few popular spots, which were the same places our parents partied when they were in High School. If I went there right now, there would probably be High School kids there now. All the cops know where these places are -- they probably partied there too! However, they usually just tell you to go home and threaten to tell your parents, who they probably partied with in High School.

My graduating class was about 90 people. I know them all, plus their siblings, and their parents.

I am sure there are many more things I could tell you about small town living, but I will leave you with this story. My friend and I were driving back and forth on Main St and we decided to do a chinese fire drill. After doing it, we turned around and went right to my friend's Mom's work (about a 27 second drive). Her Mom told us to stop doing silly things in the middle of the street. Someone had seen us and known who we were (of course) and told her Mom. 

Are you from a small town? Are there other examples that I am forgetting?


  1. The lack of sidewalks. My cousin visited Boston when she was 7 and her mom asked someone for directions- the guy told her to "follow the sidewalk." My cousin asked her mom "how do you 'side walk'? because she didn't know what the guy was talking about it. :-)

  2. That's too funny! And SO similar to where I used to live! My parents live in a town of 500 people. There are no stop lights - we have a four way stop with a flashing light and that's it! ;) no fast food restaurants either. no grocery store, even! But there is somehow 3 BARS!

    And people stop their car on the highway when they meet someone they know (mostly old farmers do this). On a HIGHWAY.

  3. I've always wanted to live in a small town. As long as there is a big town nearby. I just love the idea of knowing everyone and neighbors looking out for each other.

  4. We lived in a small town that bordered Pasadena so we got all the benefits of a small town (everyone knew each other, small town parades and festivals) with all the big city conveniences :)

    The town actually prided itself on not having one stop light in the whole town!


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