Friday, February 19, 2010

'When Does it Warm Up Around Here?'

Central Minnesota isn't for everyone. It's the weather, I think. Dr. Glenn DeLoach, at Foggton State University, told me about a new faculty member he'd been sent to meet at the airport. It was one of those beautiful late-fall days: cloudless sky; and temperature around 60. Fahrenheit, that is. It was so warm, Dr. DeLoach left his jacket in the car.

The first words the newcomer said to Dr. Deloach were, "when does it warm up around here?!"

He lasted, I'm told, about three months.

Life in a small town isn't for everyone, either. Particularly for folks who think of Foggton, home to around 50,000 people, as a "small town." I'll grant that it's not like Los Angeles, which can be a good thing or a bad one: depending on what you're looking at.

Then there are places with a bar, two or three churches, a grain elevator and a hundred people or so. Now that's a small town!

One thing I've heard about small towns is that they're cliquish. I suppose it's true: but then we're supposed to be too interested in each other's lives, too. I grew up here, so I'm used to living in a place where I know my neighbors, and am related one way or another to a good-sized fraction of the town.

Like I said, it's not like Los Angeles.

It's not like those "small town museums" you see, either. Those generally show the way small towns were like: maybe a hundred years ago.

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