Just Passing Through

I like spending time in the city. Which one, you say? Really… any of them. I like walking through downtown sections. The streets are busy. There are businesses open everywhere. The buildings stretch up to the sky. Everyone is going somewhere or doing something important, at least to them.

However, after a while, they all start looking the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC or even Louisville, KY. The scenery starts to run together after a while. Sure, they have their unique qualities but they all become incredibly similar after a while.

I have spent my entire life living in a small town. That’s probably why cities fascinate me so much. I think the largest town I have ever lived in might be my current place of residence of Highland, IL which contains around 10,000 people. I lived in Charleston, IL for a few years and their population was closer to 20,000 when I lived there. But, probably half of that was college students who were not there year round.

Other than that, I have lived in Louisville, IL (1,000 people), Flora, IL (5,000), Ashmore, IL (700), Carmi, IL (5,000) and Brookneal, VA (1,100) over the last 40 years. As you can see, I am more familiar with a small population when it comes to my living arrangements.

So, what I really like about these small towns is how personal they can be. My daughter and I were talking about our favorite pizza places a few weeks ago. She still claims that 4th Street Pizza (RIP) in Carmi is her absolute (non-Blaze pizza) place to get a pizza pie. Her reason wasn’t even because the pizza was so good. She loved the small, personal atmosphere. For those of you who have never been (probably most of you), 4th street pizza only has enough seating for 8 to 10 people. It’s small and family run. However, it was awesome. We loved sitting up there and hanging out with the people who run the place.

And, that’s what you always remember about these small towns. It’s those little personal touches that draw our minds back there. Yet, another thing that I love about these small towns is found in their local murals. You know what I mean? You’ll be driving by an old building and there will be something painted along the side of the building that is very distinct to the town itself.

I was passing through Mulberry Grove this morning and saw one of these murals on the wall of the local grocery store. I love it. It’s simple. Greetings from Mulberry Grove. It’s personal. Like the whole town is saying welcome. You won’t find this personalization in larger cities. You can’t. They’re too big.

Does your small town have any murals like this? If so, take a picture of it and include it in the comments below. I would love to see them.

Life is Strange. Live it Well.

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