Small Town Charm

Small towns can be charming; they can also be quirky. Unfortunately, small towns can also offer a variety of establishments and residents who make you scratch your head and wonder what is wrong with the world.

One afternoon while Caroline was at camp and my mom was at work, I took the car around and snapped pictures of some of my small town favorites. I also took pictures of things that make my eyes roll way deep into the back of my head.

Some of these pictures were hastily snapped, from inside the car, so that explains the less than stellar quality of some of these snapshots.

Most towns have Walmart, but in small towns, Walmart is the place to be. Especially the Super Walmart where you can get your groceries, a DVD player, windshield wiper fluid AND get your nails done, your hair cut, your eyeglasses adjusted, your oil changed and your belly filled with Big Macs and french fries.

What more could you possibly want?

and there is Checkers, conveniently located across the street from my high school. Checkers, with their tasty seasoned french fries, is sandwiched between Wendy’s and Taco Bell. A high school student’s dream come true.

Small towns have 6 theater cinemas that dwarf in comparison to the 16, 18, 24 theater megaplexes in larger cities, but boast a charm (and a lack of stadium seating) that can’t be beat.

My small town has the Roller Barn. Bet you didn’t know I was a disco roller queen! I’ll share more pictures later.

Beyond fast food, Walmart and dumpy roller rinks, I always joke that my small town is comprised of three things: doctor’s offices, funeral homes and cemeteries. I usually add churches to the list, but I cannot find the church pictures I took.

There are grandpa cars as big as boats,

and big trucks that require step ladders to get into.

Even better if they’re decorated with school pride. Because in the south? College football is religion.

Unfortunately, you often encounter these types of trucks:

trucks with dangling deer targets. Yep, small town charm. Ugh.

And we can’t forget Cooter statues.

What, you mean your town doesn’t hold a Cooter Fest each year?

Our town also has an old fashioned courthouse that has been refurbished to its original charming state.

and old cracker style houses, hidden behind trees streamed with Spanish moss.

it has landmarks with words that most cannot pronounce. Withlacoochee. Ichetucknee. Okahumpka.

and miles and miles of railroads turned into bike/running trails.

You could run and bike for miles, which is wonderful, except for the fact that on my one and only 40 minute run on the Rails to Trails, I encountered two dead baby snakes. If I ever lived there for good, the treadmill would be my best friend. It’s a a good thing I was a big, fat lump in my teenage years because running in Florida, with the stifling humidity and increased chance of snake encounters, would have sworn me off for good.

When I was younger, I didn’t take the time to notice and appreciate the natural beauty my town had to offer. I was much too busy worrying about my hair and complaining about the lack of a decent mall nearby. When you’re a self absorbed 16 year old, shimmery blue lakes and Spanish moss covered trees do nothing to endear you to a town you’re unhappy to be living in.

I saw my town with new eyes when we were visiting. Not the run down parts and the houses with ridiculous lawn ornaments, but the natural, untouched beauty of some of the land. I’m still quite self absorbed, but I’m glad that my attitude has changed.


3 responses

  1. Thanks for the nice tour of the old town! I do not remember, AT ALL, the Cooter Festival. I must have blocked that out. I do, however, remember the heat and all those fast food restaurants. They were all on my walk home from school!

  2. You didn't block it out, Sissy. The Cooter Festival is only 7 or 8 years old. In fact, I had never heard of it either…and I certainly didn't know that a cooter was an aquatic turtle. Don't you wish it had been around when we were younger. I know you'd want to be the Cooter Festival Queen and participate in Cooter Idol. 😉

  3. Alison, the boys had the funniest conversation about the cooter statue w/ the two turtles, one on top of the other. Brock said they were for the hooter festival! I dared not correct him for the actual festival is possibly worse!


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