Small Town Living

Discussion in 'Not Sure Where it Goes' started by Cody Fousnaugh, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    There was an article online this morning talking about living in a small town compared to living in suburbs or a big city. Even though I lived on a farm, about 10 miles from a small town and went to high school in a small town, I could definitely relate to this article.

    I knew everyone in my high school graduating class.

    The big "hang-out" place, on weekends, if you had a car, was the Azar's Big Boy Drive-In Restaurant on the edge of Ft. Wayne. I wasn't able to do this until I was half-way thru my Senior year and finally had a car. And, since part of my class was made up of teens from farms, like myself, we had farm work to do during the daytime hours.

    Getting into trouble..........very-little-to-none. Just wasn't part of the "small town" or farm ways.

    Don't know how many on this forum were raised in a small town or farming area, but it is a pretty cool way/area to be raised in.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I was raised in Pittsburgh and my high school graduating class had 1,000 students so I didn't know all of them.

    I loved it though, it wasn't a huge city like NYC or Chicago or LA but it wasn't a small town either, although to me it had a small town feel.

    We had lots of woods to play in since my parents bought a brand new home in a new area that was just being built. Behind our house were woods and we would spend most of our time swinging on the monkey vines as we called them and playing Tarzan.

    Later and by the time I left home the woods were gone. Houses were built there too.
     
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  3. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I'm sure both Pittsburgh, and its suburbs, have changed a lot even since you have left. It's unreal how many people live in Florida that are from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
     
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  4. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yep, I don't think I would recognize even the downtown area...it's been many many years since I've been there.

    I think the last time was for my baby sisters wedding in the early 90's.
     
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  5. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    One of the complaints I hear about small towns, from big city folks is.........."Everyone knows your business and I don't like that". That never bothered me or my step-parents. It was very nice to have neighbors help during haying season (bailing/stacking hay on a flat wagon) and we'd help them. It's nice to own a cattle ranch and have neighbors help during roundup/branding time. A nice outside dinner after a day of work for everyone. This still goes on.

    Those nice, little small towns still exist. They are nice to live in and people are very sociable.........unless, like a previous thread that I done, people who move in try to change the "small town" into a big city thing. That's where the trouble begins.
     
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  6. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I did live in Chicago for one year when I was 7 and it wasn't much different than living in Pittsburgh for me at the time. We didn't have the woods but we had Lake Michigan and still had lots of fun times in my neighborhood with my friends. Never felt afraid or unsafe..maybe the times were less dangerous and it didn't matter where you lived unless it was in the worst part of any town or city.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Other than a stint in California, I have mostly lived in small towns and wouldn't have it any other way, other than to live a few miles outside of a small town, which might be even better.

    When most of us were growing up, small towns were more self sufficient than they are now, and even more so in the generation before us. People generally shopped in their local grocery store, bought gas at the local gas station and, depending how large the small town was, there might have been a bakery, a meat market, and other shopping places.

    Probably before our time, for most of us, people usually lived and worked on small farms surrounding the town, at businesses in town, or there might have even been a sawmill, foundry, or some other place of employment. I have seen old newspapers that reported when someone drove to Menominee, just over ten miles away, to go shopping, or when someone was visiting from Escanaba, about twenty miles away.

    My dad used to farm full-time but, by the time he got back from World War II, he found that it was difficult to survive by farming alone. The USDA had imposed new regulations on farmers, requiring the purchase of new equipment that they couldn't afford - but that's okay, because the USDA could provide low-cost loans, which put small farmers in debt to the point where they had to seek outside employment in order to repay the loans.

    In recent years, perhaps because traveling has become so much easier, and with online shopping, a lot of small town stores have closed. Millinocket is far enough away from the nearest larger town that it still has stores where we can buy much of what we need if we're willing to pay the higher prices, and to put up with the fact that they close at stupid times. For example, our hardware store closes at 4:00 pm during the week and is open only until noon on Saturday.

    A lot of small towns no longer have anything but houses. When we moved to North Carolina for a couple of years, I didn't want to live in Fayetteville so we found a place in Parkton, about twenty miles away. It looked like a nice little town, but we soon found that there wasn't anything there. While I would have liked to have been able to eat at the Parton Cafe, it was closed, and we had to drive into Fayetteville for anything that we needed. When our lease was up, we moved to Fayetteville.
     
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  8. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    My first house as an adult was in Cary, Illinois with a population of about 4,500 and it was unincorporated. It was a very friendly neighborhood where people even went on vacations together. We always had neighborhood parties and the moms coffee klutches. Doors were unlocked and kids would just go in and out of the neighbors houses they knew well enough.

    The neighborhood had access to the Fox river and we even had a park and pier. Some people had boats and we were always going boating, etc.

    One neighbor owned a hot air balloon ride business so we got to do that too. There was also a ski jump that had competitions.."think it was called Norgi. My neighbor across the street was always in it as he was a pro.

    My kids at the time were around 3 and 8 when we first moved there and it was the best place for a child to grow up.

    The street next to ours had a very steep hill and in the winter the kids would go sledding...thinking about that now
    I'm glad nobody ever got hurt. :)

    Plus it was only about an hour drive from Chicago so we would go there too since my grandparents lived in Chicago.

    I would say apart from my 6 years in Hungary, those years were second best. We moved after a few years though because my husband got a much better job.
     
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  9. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    I just asked a high school classmate of mine, how much the area's have grown where we went to high school and the town that was close to all of the farming area some of us were in.

    I do know this, from visiting the area in 2008, some of the farmers I knew that raised hogs, cattle and had field crops, now only have the field crops. The livestock thing just got too expensive. Growing/harvesting corn and soy beans is expensive enough.

    Apparently, there are still small towns in America, where kids still play ouside, families don't have an alarm on their home, vehicles are left with doors unlocked and windows down.....all that good stuff many have thought has disappeared.

    When I was in Cheyenne, Wyoming in the later 80's, I did see many of those things. Stopped in a small strip mall and numerous cars/trucks with their window down and unlocked. I was surprised, but very happy also.

    IOW, that "good old small town life", that some of us use to know, isn't completely gone!
     
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  10. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    My baby sister lives in such a town. Sparta, NJ. She is the one with a house on 13 acres and on a lake. Also has an in ground swimming pool. I loved visiting her, it was like being at a resort.

    Her children are growing up now but last time I was there they played outside well into the night.

    Her front door was unlocked and she lives in an almost 8,000 sq ft home.

    She's about a 1.5 hr drive from NYC so they also have the big city if they so desire.

    She's the one that also owns the vacation condo on the beach in west Palm Beach, Fl.

    They were just there last week....
     
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  11. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Don't know about anyone else here, but if wife and I could, we'd live in a small town. Actually, leaving this city of almost 1 million and going to an area of 66,000 will do for us.

    It's sort of like wanting to get back to our "western" roots, in a way.
     
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  12. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Well, good luck and hope it all works out for the two of you!
     
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  13. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Fresno has a population of about 600,000 but I don't think of it as big because I never leave my northeast corner of it.

    Some cities now are like little batches of the same stores, restaurants etc...just placed in the different areas.

    I have the same stores that northwest Fresno has so there's no reason for me to leave my little section of Fresno.

    Also I live on the border of Clovis which is kind of a western type town. They have a rodeo and western shops and it's not out of place to see people in boots etc if they can stand the heat.

    Nobody looks at what you wear here...Ive seen it all.
     
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  14. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    The lady (Asst. Manager) we rented our apartment from in 2009, told us that she never crosses the river here that separates this city. She told us, "I have everything I need right here on the south/southeast side of town".

    We hardly ever go downtown and definitely not at night. There has been gun violence there at night. We do take our boat, by way of the river, to the Landing by the downtown area. Again, only in daytime.

    Unless we go to the Range, we don't cross the river at all.

    Since there is over a million people in Jacksonville metro, the streets, freeways and malls, in our area, can be pretty crowded.

    With the amount of people that have moved here since we came, I sometimes wonder if anyone still lives in any of the other eastern coastal states. Always seeing license plates from Georgia, NY, Tenn. among other southern and east coast states.
     
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