Scattered across the land are a variety of small villages. Many have disappeared into ghost towns or been absorbed into a metro-plex. In my travels, I try to avoid the Interstate and travel the old two land black tops. Time limits me on haw of these little burgs I can tarry in. I enjoy the old store fronts, that classic brick buildings and their details and the occasional wood frame that is still standing.
The little towns reveal a character that is disappearing. So many want big things, including big cities. So the little towns get left behind, the politicians over look them and they struggle to live on.
What kind of stores were they? Some are obvious because the sign is still there. Others is left to the imagination. The butcher, baker and candle stick maker all had shops. There would have been harness shops, the livery, shoe repair, moving picture houses, boarding/rooming houses, the drug store and oh yes… the local greasy.
There is the trash barrel a burning, keeping the insects down and doing their earth day trash burning.
Then there is the junk collector, usually disguised as a repair garage and oh yeah, thing are repaired there. Be prepared for lots of hot air ushering out when passing by.
Small towns operate at a different pace. They are not toied to the hectic frenzy of the big cities. Yet they keep their eye on the markets, pay attention to the news around he world and generally are pretty savvy of what happening. They tend to be pretty independent and take care of themselves, democrat or republican.
Most are prosperous and many are millionaires. One thing is the work ethic, they work when it is time to work. This is the pace the big city slickers do not understand. For they tend to see them as laid back and moving at the pace of a snail. Well if that what their crop is, snails, that’s how fast life moves for them.
Then there are the towns that are next to the Interstate. No longer is there a town center. Things have moved to the fast pace of the cross country slab. The highway used to jog through town and business had sprung up next to the road to serve the traveler. The Interstate left these places high and dry. A few hang on and survive, clinging to a life dream.
Yet as long as there are back roads I will travel them, peeking through a window in to a time that is disappearing.
I will search out the buildings, watch the trains and enjoy the brief moments. The pace moves with the balance of nature. It is not forced, hectic and a person does not feel harried.
As people insist on bigger things, cars, trucks, homes, stores… etc, the small towns will continue to shrink.