Saturday, July 4, 2015

Small Town 4th of July

Today, rather than talk about books, writing, or up and coming bands, I just want to take a moment to talk about small town America. This is where I live. In a small farming community of about 4,000 people where you can't go anywhere without seeing folks you know. It also happens to be one of the most patriotic places I have every lived. It isn't a patriotism that is celebrated once a year, but rather, year round. This is a town where the people sing the Star Spangled Banner before every sporting event, race, demolition derby, rodeo, ect. and know every word. I live in a town where folks still gather each morning at the coffee shop together to talk town happenings, politics and yes, even gossip before they begin their days. This is a town where being married for 45, 50, 60, even 70 years is commonplace and there is still courtesy carry out and loading at the town grocery store.

If it isn't obvious, yes, I am very, very proud of my town.

In one hundred years there has only been one murder here. People still say ma'am and sir to their elders, still open doors for them too. Men take their hats off in restaurants, quilting circles still take place. There are farmers markets and crafting fairs, Friday Nights in the park with bands and entertainment, homecoming parades, school pride, and folks who gather when others are in need. Our fire department is Volunteer, our conservation center actually teaches classes to the children on how to preserve our natural resources, and I can walk around at night around here and not have to worry about getting mugged.

I truly can't imagine living anywhere else.

Last night we had our fireworks display. Today we had our 4th of July parade. From start to finish it was over an hour and a half. Following the parade, members of the community gathered for a town and country picnic, then it was on to the annual rodeo. During the event, there came a beautiful moment where the announcer asked everyone to sit, and took a moment to remind them of the sacrifices that have been made to attain and keep the freedoms that we all enjoy as citizens. He also took a moment to mention that the idea of freedom in America was so that everyone would have the same opportunities to live their dreams. He then asked every Veteran in the crowd to please stand up, so that they could be acknowledged by their town.

Well let me tell you, we had veterans from World War 2 forward who were present today, and it was a pleasure to take part in giving them all, including my dear mother, a standing ovation.

As I sit here now I can already smell the scent of BBQ in the air. Things are finally calming down again, only the occasional car drives up main street. But it's very easy to sort through the pictures that I took today and find plenty to share, so that you two can see a small town celebration.

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