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This weekend [Nov. 15th, 2006|06:39 pm]
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: 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.

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.

[User Picture]From: melted_snowball
2006-11-16 02:16 am (UTC)
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.
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[User Picture]From: rg_rothko
2006-11-16 04:38 am (UTC)
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.
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[User Picture]From: thedragonweaver
2006-11-16 04:54 am (UTC)
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.
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[User Picture]From: zalena
2006-11-16 04:56 am (UTC)
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.

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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-11-16 05:56 pm (UTC)
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...
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[User Picture]From: zalena
2006-11-16 07:17 pm (UTC)
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?
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[User Picture]From: mahannie57
2006-11-20 03:15 pm (UTC)
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!
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