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wtf, eyes

For LJ Idol -- Where I'm from

I'm from what was a small mill town in Western Pennsylvania. Seriously, when I was a kid, there was a steel mill about six blocks away from my house.

The mill is long gone now, but that's not what this is about.

I was in grad school, talking with a friend, when the subject of small town living came up.

Friend: I want to work in college town.
Me: I guess. I kind of prefer to work in a city, though.
Fr: I just like small town life... don't you?
Me: Not really. I got enough of that growing up...
Fr: I mean, everyone knowing everyone else...
Me: And always being all up in your business...
Fr: Neighbors being nice to one another...
Me: To their faces, anyway...
Fr: the calmness of your surroundings...
Me: The stifling feeling of nothing happening...
Fr: Everyone feeling like a real community...
Me: As long as you fit in...
Fr: And nothing out of the ordinary happens...
Me: No, no. You just aren't looking. Take my town for instance.
Fr: Okay.
Me: Kids in my town would either party at the local garbage dump or out in the abandoned train cars by the old steel mill.
Fr: Did you ever do this?
Me: No. I didn't get along with most of the neighbor kids, and, honestly, A DUMP? I have standards.
Fr: Still... that's not so bad.
Me: I'm not done. Frequently, they would start fires, to keep warm.
Fr: Still..
Me: The fire department wouldn't go out to investigate, at least partially because some of the firemen were running a prostitution ring out of the firehouse.
Fr: Come on!
Me: But it was just young women... if your taste ran to guys, well, THEY in the old union workers' building about two blocks away.
Fr: ... I...
Me: It has been my experience that just about everything that happens in the big, bad city happens in small towns. It's just that no one talks about it in small towns, so everyone can pretend.
Fr: I still think that small towns are better.
Me: That's cool. Just leave me out.

My friend did end up getting a job at a college in the Midwest somewhere, and, as for me, I ended up in THE big, bad American city, NYC.

Comments

This reminds me of my comfy little suburb...More happens than you'd think...
If that didn't discourage your friend, nothing was going to. lol
Small town girl here. My hometown was the meth capital of Oklahoma. :)
Your friend's innocence died a cold, hard death that day... and you were kicking it in the butt every step of the way. :D
It has been my experience that just about everything that happens in the big, bad city happens in small towns. It's just that no one talks about it in small towns, so everyone can pretend. This is the conversation I keep having with my mom, on and off about how city is ruining the youth when statistics says that the rural population is more affected.

A nice take!:)
Parties at the dump and prostitution out of the firehouse -- not idyllic, romanticized small town life, is it? If you don't talk about it, it doesn't exist. Great entry!
Mia Farrow, the famed movie actress, apparently got her start on a television series (and arguably the first ever "night time soap opera") called "Peyton Place," drawn from the trashy novel of the same name by Grace Metalious. Well, trashy for the mid 1950s. I'm sure today it would be a fairly boring YA novel.

But that's what this reminds me of - small towns are filled with secrets and lies and people attempting to present the façade of normalcy while trying to break the ennui they claim to celebrate.

As a kid, I often spent summers in Connellsville! But what's entertaining to a kid is very different from an adult, and there were a lot of kids around, which, I suppose, proves that point!
Sounds like a small town all right!
Love the conversation!

Good read!