||[Nov. 15th, 2006|06:39 pm]
the folks up there have lived there all their lives. Hardly anyone moves in, and when people leave, they don't come back. So nobody ever gets a chance to go off and reinvent themselves. They're all operating off the same relationships they've had since high school. Or 8th grade. Or 4th grade.Went up to Radium this weekend. Mom & Larry will be heading back to Nebrasker before too long (Larry's quitting the DoW job because he can't stand working for his boss any more), and I wanted to get up there one last time. They're not going to live in NE all the time. Instead, they'll travel a lot and use the place in NE as home base. They just don't want to deal with the small-town politics. Mom explained it this way, which I found illuminating and scary: |
It was a good visit. Quiet. It snowed a little Sunday night. Mom sent me home with a ton of food so she doesn't have to move it. Plus some stuff they brought back from Connecticut. I read a little of a memoir my Mom had that was written by my great-grandfather's brother, who was born in like 1898. It was interesting, although he talked a lot about cows.
I have found that I like a lot of people who grew up in small towns, but then left them. (I've particularly noticed this with queer folk. da_lj
's hometown has a population under 1000.) There are lots of genuinely decent aspects of small communities, but their insularity drives me crazy. The only small towns I could ever live in are college towns.
I understand the adversion to small town politics. It's one of the major reason's I left Akron (town of 1,489). One of the other reasons was that it was 99.13% white. Some other fun statistics: The median income for a household in the city was $29,583, and the median income for a family was $37,404. Males had a median income of $30,875 versus $21,286 for females.
Yeah, not my kind of town. I understand where your mom is coming from.
I had a grade school class that moved as a unit from second through sixth grade. Almost everyone else was going to one of two junior highs, while I was attending the one about a quarter mile from my house. They said it was sad that I wasn''t going to be there... and I, the "sweet" girl (read compliant, unassertive, and actually shy), thought No, it isn't.
Even in sixth grade, I knew how valuable a fresh start can be. It's actually appalling, looking back on it, to realize how much I was rebelling against the role I was in.
Come to think of it, no wonder I wasn't that rebellious as a teen. My "rebellion" was played out on other stages, and involved funky earrings.
Is she talking about Radium or Nebraska?
Will the place in Radium still be with your family?
Where in NE?
Heck, sometimes I feel like I moved back to a smalltown, though Squaresville is now filled with strangers, and pushing 70,000.
Nebraska. Radium is population, like, 12, so it's too small to have politics (or be a town, really), there are just individuals.
The place is Radium is on Division of Wildlife property; it's for the use of whoever is caretaking the land.
Nebraska is Harrison, population about 300, up in the extreme upper-left-hand corner of the state. There's literally nothing between there and the state line in both directions...
Today I spent the morning reading a manuscript in a coffee shop. I ran into five people I knew, but only one of them recognized me, and she said, "Sarah, I barely recognized you!"
Have I changed so much, or is it just that I am quiet and now blend in where I used to be unmistakable?
Your mom is dead on with her insights about small-town politics, which can be extrapolated into small towns in general. The population in my hometown was about 550, with the same 5 or 6 families ever expanding and taking over the town board, the fire department, the maitenance department (all of the town jobs).... I dearly love going back to visit but I couldn't live there again, but since DIA was built, the population is up to 1500!