Friday, July 4, 2008

Where's the Town Square?

I was up by the magazines in Broadway Drug and Photo, when somebody from out of town came in. He’d pulled up across the street, with a boat in tow and one of those streamlined boxes on top of his car.

"Hi," he said, walking up and getting about a pace closer than I’d have preferred. "Where’s the Town Square?" The way he said it, you knew that Town Square was capitalized.

Loonfoot Falls doesn’t have a Town Square, capitalized or otherwise. I told him so.

He wasn’t having any excuses. "Look, I just want to know where the Town Square is."

"You parked by Railroad Park. That’s the closest we have to a town square."

"No. You don’t understand. I'm looking for the Town. Square." He said the last two words nice and slowly, so I'd be sure to understand.

"Well, like I said," I started. Then I saw the way his nose was getting redder. He might have been on the road all day, and just about ready to pop. "'s right there." I pointed to the other end of Railroad Park, down by Center Avenue. "Town Square. There it is."

I'm going to assume that the grunt he made was supposed to be "Thank you," but it sounded more like "finally."

I still haven't decided whether I did the right thing, letting him think the Center Avenue end of Railroad Park is Town Square. It's a lie, but I think right then he needed his Town Square.


Jack Payne said...

Disappointing. I thought every small town in Minnesota had a town square. Have been through many of them that had just that.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Jack Payne,

Thanks for the comment. You're nearly right: many small Minnesota towns have a park near the center of town.

Sauk Centre, where I live, doesn't - although the park on Sauk Lake comes close to fitting the "town square" definition.

Loonfoot Falls, a fictional town, has what quite a few small towns in Minnesota have - a "town square" that's called "Railroad Park," officially or otherwise.

What happened, as I understand it, is that railroad companies would often donate land to the town, for use as park land, from the substantial tracts they were granted as part of the 19th century federal transportation initiative.

That's what Loonfoot Falls has. I expect that we'll be getting a look at their Railroad Park sometime.

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