My Home Town, by Barbara Black — Coronet Magazine, September 1952

I’m glad I live in a small town. This is where I work and eat and sleep and pursue my trivial small-town hobbies.

This is my town, nestled in a great bend in the river, its narrow streets lined with trees, its uptown buildings gray with the snow, rain and fog of almost 150 years. A tall old brick mansion houses the public library, and the schools are gray with wear except for a new addition here and there.

The marquee of our one movie is big enough and bright enough to attract the attention of our townsfolk, and inexpensive enough to match our small-town purses at least once a week. We even have a place called “Mortgage Hill.” That is what the lesser folk call the street the “moneyed” people live on. And yes, we have our wrong side of the tracks, too.

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If one cared to look long enough, I suppose one could find a lot of things wrong with our town, but to me it’s the place that houses all those familiar faces that I see on the street, and all those familiar places I like to visit. To me, it’s carefree because in the back of my head lies the secret thought that I can walk a mile in any direction and find myself in a cornfield or along some shaded brook.

I sometimes think that this face is what brings a sense of happiness to small-town folk It’s all familiar to me, including the thought that I can get away from it if I want to. But I suppose the most important thing about our town is the fact that here is where my loved ones live. Here is the side street, the tiny house and the yard I call home.

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