The Big Deal about Small Towns

It was very much like Norman Rockwell: small town America. We walked to school or rode our bikes, stopped at the penny candy store on the way home from school… ” Dorothy Hamill

I come from Main Street, from a small town that’s really depressed.” Ben Bernanke

Do you come from a small town? If so, which of the above quotes applies to your town? If you live in a typical small town and are over fifty, then it is very likely that both quotes apply to your town… the first to the town of your youth, and the second to the town of the present.

Why is that, I wonder? There are probably dozens of reasons for the decline of small towns in America, from the large shopping centers in the big cities luring small town folks from their small town merchants, to our ever mobile society, to the fact that kids are kids and typically cannot wait to shake the dust of their little town from their feet and move to where the action is.

The small town I live in is kind of a mixed picture. Our Main Street has fallen into the typical disrepair of an older, untended, downtown area. We have very few businesses and, therefore, very few opportunities for our kids to stick around when they do graduate from High School.

On the other hand, we have pockets of activity that show our town still has a lot of life left in it. We pack the football stadium with about 300 people on Fridays (the town only has 678 people when everybody is home),and pack the basketball gym with about the same number of folks during basketball season. It’s still hard to get a seat at graduation, and it’s still not unusual to have a 100 people show up for Sunday morning worship at the church I attend.

We also have a lot of people who want to do something about restoring Happy. The town is in the process of trying to bring back our old train depot that the very kind folks in Tulia, Texas have decided to donate back to Happy, if we can get enough money together to move it back.

You might be wondering what an old depot has to do with restoring a town, but I will tell you that I think it has a lot to do with it. Happy is clearing a lot, and raising funds to bring back and restore a part of our town from a by-gone era… an era in which things were simpler and people were maybe a bit kinder and the town was certainly a more thriving community - with multiple grocery stores, drug stores, barber shops, car dealerships, and the like.

Tonight, we are having a family night in the park. No big deal, perhaps, just a bunch of families getting together for games and hotdogs and that rare fellowship that good friends in small towns just seem to share… when they take the time.

So, if you have nothing pressing on your schedule, why not come on out tonight (Friday, June 27 at 8:00PM). You will see old friends and make a few new ones. And, you will have a chance to do your small part in helping restore our little town back to the cheery times that good old Norman Rockwell used to reflect so well in his vision of what was good and right in the U.S.A.

And that, dear friends, could be the beginning of a very big deal!

"Thus says the Lord, “Stand in the ways, and see. Ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16, NKJV