Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Small Town Life

my first real taste of small town Main StreetImage by incendiarymind via FlickrI have often wondered what it would be like to live in a small town.  Currently, I live in Bowie, MD, a suburb of Washington DC.  While Bowie itself isn't exactly a bustling metropolis, it is near just about anything you could want.  In addition to being near the nation's capitol, we are about the same distance from Baltimore MD and very close to Annapolis MD.

In 2004, I lost a job with a company that I had worked for for over 20 years.  It wasn't anything that I did wrong that caused me to lost my job, but the company decided to centralize a lot of job functions to the corporate office in northern California, and they eliminated my job. 

Over the next several months, I went on a lot of job interviews, mostly local though some were out of state.  One company that I interviewed with was in a town called Sunbury PA.  In reviewing info about the area, we discovered that there was not a lot around the area, at least not of interest to our family. 

My wife did not like the idea of living in a small town very far away from a lot of shopping.  On the other hand, I am pretty much a homebody, and think I would be happy just about anywhere, at least as long as minor league baseball was nearby.

Today was the day that we had to go pick up our son from his school on the eastern shore for a long weekend home.  To be honest, his school is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  On the way out to pick him up, we have to go through a small town called Ridgely MD. 

Today on our way out to pick up my son, I noticed a sign upon entering Ridgely.  The sign was one of your typical "Welcome" signs.  I remember when driving to Myrtle Beach SC, seeing a sign announcing that it was the home of Vanna White.  The Ridgely MD sign honored a life long resident of Ridgely MD who happened to be 100 years old.  I thought the sign was kind of quaint and sweet.

Shortly after entering Ridgely, you come upon a block with a church on one end and a school on the other.  Between the church and school is a line of shops that looks straight out of Mayberry RFD.  I fully expected to see Floyd the Barber standing outside the barber shop talking to Goober. 

Now, Ridgely may be just a bit smaller than I would prefer, but the idea that the town would honor a resident who has lived there 100 years is the type of small town charm you just can't find in the city, nor can you find it in the suburbs of Bowie MD.
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  1. Ridgely sounds like an ideal place to live, but it might take some getting used to. Speaking of "Welcome" signs, my all-time favorite is from Dumas, TX (pronounced dew-muss, not the other way), and it said, "Home of 5,000 friendly people and a few old soreheads." I am fairly sure that is not an exact quote, but it is close enough for the girls who used to live there (and may still do).



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