Life in a Small town

October 17, 2008
By Adrianne Pursley, Enders, NE

Country singer Miranda Lambert recently released a song, “Famous in a small town” which struck quite a familiar chord with me. I like because it describes small town life fairly accurately. One of the lines says “we’ve been stars in this town since we were seventeen” which is so true. Almost everyone knows basically who the high school kids are and what they are doing because everything that happens anywhere in this town ends up in the news paper. Now, some may say that it is a bad thing that everyone in the town knows you and your business. Something can happen one minute and an hour later it’s all over town. One can’t even get a speeding ticket or any traffic violation without it appearing in the news paper. People even know when your birthday is, because oftentimes friends and family wish you “happy birthday” with a little add in the paper. If you belong to any type of organization or attend any school activities everyone will know, and it’s possible that some older person that you don’t recognize will come up to you and ask you about it just because they know your grandparents.

I have many identities, but one that is important to me is being a western Nebraskan in a small town. Though stifling to some, I like it. The fact that here, everyone knows you, knows of you, or knows someone in you family is comforting to me. Around every corner is a familiar face. It’s nice because you have the assurance that someone is always there for you and the community feels safer. In general, everyone is very friendly. Where other than Nebraska do drivers wave at you as you pass them on the highway? The cops in town make sure they know the high school kids and their parents. Although that may seem like a bad thing, all the kids are aware of this and it helps keep them out of trouble. And if teenagers even come close to crossing the line with questionable behavior, they know that the local law enforcement may visit with their parents about it.

Our small community is generally very supportive of young people. Audiences turn out for concerts, musicals, plays and fundraisers. During the school year, there are always crowds of fans at home sporting events, and many even travel all the way to Lincoln to watch if the team makes it to state. The support isn’t just from the parents or families of the kids; many of the people that attend activities aren’t related at all.

Like many, I’ll go away to a big city for an urban experience and to receive my education. I’ll be excited to branch out encountering new and different adventures. No matter where I go, though, my small town will always be near to my heart. Who knows? I might even move back some day to raise my kids here.

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