Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Opinion

April 3, 2014

‘Small town, USA’ has advantages, disadvantages

Athens — Living in a small town can have its advantages and disadvantages. For me, personally, I love “Small Town USA.”

Some disadvantages possibly are: if you do something out of character, everyone will know by tomorrow morning; everybody tends to be related, so watch what you say;  limited resources;  it's not easy to broaden your horizons; and driving more than 50  miles to the nearest mall.

Here are some advantages: familiarity; security; a slower-paced lifestyle; and close-knit community. Not a very impressive list.

I made the choice many years ago to move to Henderson County. Honestly, it had nothing to do with the lake. Jackie and I were just looking for some acreage and a smaller school district for our son, Justin, to attend.

I read something recently, that said when you live in a small town, you get invited to everything. The  reasoning was because there are fewer people to go around, and so they need everyone to pitch in.

You will be invited to every party, every charitable cause, everything you can imagine on day one.  You will think you are the most popular person in town, but you will soon learn that nobody is excluded from anything. 

Not to say there are not good people everywhere. It just seems that since I have lived in Henderson County, I have come across more than my share of very good people.

Here’s a few of my favorite small-town stories.

Recently,  I went to the Athens Post Office to mail a couple of packages. After getting my credit card out of my wallet, I picked up the packages. When I got out of my car, I had the packages, my keys but no credit card.

The only logical thing that could have happened was I dropped the card in my car. Logical maybe, but no it was not in my car.  I spent about 15 minutes in the parking lot of the Post Office looking for the elusive credit card. I never figured out what I did with it.

It wasn't under the seats. I checked under the car. I even moved the car from the original parking spot to check to see if the card had blown further under the car. No card. I was late for a meeting, and had to leave, disappointed.

The only thing left to do was cancel the card. Not so fast. The Athens Post Office called the Athens Review to report someone had turned my card into the Post Office. Great. But how did the post office  know where I worked?

When I retrieved my card, I asked the very nice lady at the Post Office how they knew to call the Athens Review. She said she had seen my name in the paper. “Small Town USA,” where everyone knows your name. Hey, thanks to the Athens Post Office, I didn't have to cancel my card    again.

I have to admit, I read the Dallas Morning News often, but I cannot  tell you the name of one of their local reporters. What I do know, is most of the reporters in Henderson County.

My other great story about living in a small town was when I worked at The Cedar Creek Pilot in Gun Barrel City.

Each morning, I would drive through Whataburger for breakfast. It sure is good.

On this particular morning, a young man working at the restaurant  gave me the wrong order. No problem. I took it back to the paper and proceeded to eat it.

A few minutes later, that same  young man showed up at the paper with the correct order. I asked how did he know where I worked? 

“Someone in the restaurant told me you work for the Pilot.”

There you go,  Small Town USA.

There was the time my car broke down and the Chief of Police in Gun Barrel City called the paper to let me know some police officers were going to push it out of the middle of the road. Luckily he knew where I worked. It possibly would have been towed in a big city.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Living in a small town...is like living in a large family of rather uncongenial relations. Sometimes it’s fun, and sometimes it’s perfectly awful, but it’s always good for you. People in large towns are like only-children.”

Kathi Nailling is a Staff Writer for the Athens Daily Review.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Wilson mug.JPG Rolling into something new

    She did it.
    My baby girl rolled over for the first time this past week while daddy and mommy were watching closely.
    As other major news broke across the county, watching my baby roll over for the first time was by far the biggest news of the week for me. Odd.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joe new mug.jpg Fanfare is a time to prepare for another season

    I love to see the talent our student athletes have across Henderson County. To know that each player puts in the blood, sweat and tears to play for a district championship and hopefully a state title is something special to see.
    Another great in the world of sports is a player who is retiring this season in New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
    Jeter once said, “There may be people who have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do — and I believe that.”

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • kathi New  copy.jpeg The greatest country in the world has hungry children

    No child should go hungry. We are the greatest country in the world, yet we have hungry children.
    An article I recently read said that if a child in school can't afford lunch, they will be given a sandwich and water. I was told the sandwich is cheese between two pieces of bread.
    I hope everyone realizes that is what they serve in the county jail. Not that I know this from personal experience. I was told from someone who did know from experience.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase

    Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase.
    Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze.
    It means no worries for the rest of your days.
    It's our problem-free philosophy.
    Hakuna Matata!
    Congratulations, if you have watched the Lion King a couple of times you now have this song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff's mug.jpg It was a week in the depth of heat, then cooler

    Sunday and Monday of this week have been very uncomfortable.  The air conditioner at our house has been down, and the temperature outside and in the house have been way up.
    Thank God for the blessing of the cool temperatures and the rain that fell on Tuesday, then on Wednesday.  It changed things just a little bit.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Time away is necessary for everyone

    I can remember as a kid writing essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” As the years pass, and we are more in-tune with the workplace, those vacations get shorter and shorter.
    Do you ever have those days  when you just need a vacation? Sometimes you just need to get away.
    Taking time off work should be fun and rejuvenating. We all need a recharge every now and then. But vacations aren't what they use to be. We rarely disconnect ourselves from our jobs.

    July 12, 2014

  • Joe new mug.jpg Student athletes: Time to wake up and get to work

    Hey student athletes, it is about time for you to wake up and get to work.
    Your summer is coming to an end, and the early morning wake up calls for practices are right around the corner.
    I am talking to the football players, volleyball players, cross country kids, band members, drill team members and cheerleaders.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Remember who you are

    Are you running so fast that you have forgotten why you started the race in the first place?
    Life moving at a blistering pace that it is tough to keep up?
    Maybe it is time to stop, take a deep look into the pool of water and remember. Remember who you are.
    On numerous occasions, I have had to do just that. Ironically, various movies have caused me to look inside.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff's mug.jpg CSUMC provided a memorable experience

    My wife Jean and I went to a very interesting, and what I consider a very unique event last Saturday night.
    I had heard that the church where we are members, Carroll Springs United Methodist Church, was having an event in which people sitting in the audience would sing their favorite hymns into a microphone.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich mug.jpg Independence ultimately won on battlefield

    I always enjoy celebrating Independence Day, and hearing some of the stirring words written in the Declaration of Independence.
    Thomas Jefferson wrote that our Creator has given us certain rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The way I see it, if I have life and liberty, that gives me a pretty good start on the third one.
    But as eloquent as our founding fathers were, and how moving the texts they left behind, one fact can’t be overlooked. Our independence was ultimately won and secured on the battlefield.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

Biz Marquee
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating