Chances are excellent that when you read the heading on this column, you thought to yourself, “Man, what’s he talking about? I live in Chicago, New York or Los Angeles! That’s not a small town!” You’re right. However, in every big city there are lots of “small towns.” The place you work, the neighborhood in which you live, the local church, etc., are small towns in many ways.
I was literally raised in a small town, and in a recent issue of The Executive Speechwriter Newsletter, I read an excellent definition of a small town — obviously, with tongue-in-cheek: You know you’re in a small town when:
Third Street is on the edge of town.
The editor and publisher of the local newspaper carries a camera at all times.
You don’t use your turn signals because everyone knows where you are going.
You were born on June 14 and your family received gifts from the local merchants because you were the first baby of the year.
You know every dog in town by name and they know you.
You dial a wrong number and talk for 15 minutes anyway.
You drive into the ditch five miles out of town and the word gets back before you do.
You write a check on the wrong bank and it covers you.
You miss a Sunday at church and receive a get-well card.
Someone asks you how you feel and then actually listens to what you have to say.
I will confess that the town I was raised in, Yazoo City, Mississippi, was bigger than this one, but many of these little things would still apply to the folks at home, where I got a good, solid foundation for life. Yes, a small town really does give you something to smile about!
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