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This town is pretty great after all
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This summer, I spoke with a teenager from San Francisco. After his unsuccessful attempt to impersonate a Southern drawl and my explaining to him “No, people don’t drive tractors to school, at least not unless it’s ag day,” we began to discuss the differences between our towns -- mainly what we did for fun.
I was not surprised to learn there are a whole lot of differences between what we do in our respective hometowns. He began to tell amazing stories of what it was like growing up well-to-do in California. When it was my turn to talk, I feared my stories from small-town Tennessee would pale in comparison to his, but I was surprised to see quite the opposite.
Perhaps it was just a grass-is-always-greener scenario, but both of us were incredibly interested in each other’s hometowns. He grew up with the beach in his backyard and walking to school, where I grew up on the lake and spent my afternoons hiking and swinging on a rope swing.
I came back from that trip with a newfound perspective. One thing I realized I had learned from growing up in a small town is how to have fun without the need for something elaborate and expensive.
I learned to be entertained with the simple things. That is not to say everyone shouldn’t travel and celebrate. Those things are great, but it’s important to not be reliant on such things.
I used to have great-grandparents who spent every afternoon watching cars pass their road and watching the sun set. Some of the best times in our lives are due not to the setting of the memory, but the people around.
When I look back, I see some of my best memories were the simplest of times. Some of my best memories originate sitting with my family in the living room, or eating Taco Bell with a group of friends after a football game, or fishing in a pond with good company. Entertainment isn’t based upon a where or what. It is comprised of the who.
So, as the fair has shut down, food booths emptied, rides dismantled, and trash cleaned, thank the people who make this town so great, and remember this town is pretty great after all.
Rylan Lorance is a Warren County High School student who is writing this year for the Standard.