Classic Column… um, Tuesday: I Was Born in a Small Town

Okay, so I was supposed to do these things on Sunday nights, and okay, I missed a couple of weeks. I’ve been busy, alright? Just get off my back, already!

*deep breath*

Okay, I’m better now. Anyway, this week’s randomly selected column came from my sophomore year at Union. Enjoy!

For all you in Sparta who have always dreaming of leaving our fair city and moving to the city, I want to share with you a few of the joys that I’ve discovered about our little town and other small towns in Tennessee verses what I’ve learned about city life over my last year and a half in Jackson.

First off, Superman’s boyhood town was called Smallville. That’s got to say something about the benefits of small town living.

Only in a small town can you call the bank when you have car trouble. I’m staying with a friend of mine and his family in the little town of Gadsden during this January semester to save on school expenses as well as allowing me to escape from my dorm for a month. Last week I was the only one left at the house in the morning at the time that I was supposed to leave to get to my class. Now, I take certain things for granted in my life so that I assume I have nothing to worry about. For instance, when I sit down behind the steering wheel of my truck and turn the ignition key, I expect for the engine to roar to life (and it does roar pretty loud) and take me to where I want to go. Well, you know what happens when you assume, don’t you? Since this is a family column I don’t think I can tell you outright, but basically you end up looking like a donkey of some sort. My truck didn’t even click.

I’d left my lights on after a long night working at the hotel the day before and they had been on for roughly 24 hours. Needless to say my battery was deader than a doornail. (Just a side note here: Exactly how dead is a doornail? For that matter, what is a doornail?) With everyone else gone and not knowing Gadsden at all, I had no one to call and no way to get a car to jump me off. I called my girlfriend Alanna at work (too far away to drive) and she suggested I call one of the places in Gadsden. Now, as far as I can tell, the actual town of Gadsden consists of a store, a bank, and a church. Of the three, I knew the name of the bank. So, out of other options, I called the bank to report a dead car battery. I explained my problem to the very friendly teller (who laughed at me), and she told me that she would call her husband who was at home with their little boy to see if he could come jump my truck off. Within an hour, he and his little boy pulled into the driveway, got my truck started, and sent me on my way.

Where else on earth but in a small town could you call the bank when you have car trouble?
On the flipside, here in the city of Jackson things are quite a bit different. Jackson is the fifth largest city in Tennessee (which really isn’t saying a whole lot) and functions like a city. In Jackson, I have police officers come up to the front desk in the hotel showing me mug shots and asking “Have you seen this man?” I don’t know what he’s done, but if I do see him, I’ll crawl up under the desk until he’s gone.

I don’t know exactly what it is about rural living, but I know that when I’m away from it, I miss it. That’s why I love my little diversion in Gadsden this month. It’s nice to have a real house to go back to in the evenings after school or work. I like it actually being dark outside when I go to bed without the glare of street lights and flashing signs. I guess before I got to Jackson, life in the country was another one of those things I took for granted. Never again though.

I have to leave now and call the bank again. I think my stereo is going out.