I was daydreaming today when I should have been paying attention. I try with little success not to do that. I was thinking about small town life.
Mabank, TX, where we live now, could be considered a small town, but it’s still many times larger in population than Murdo, SD. I can go into a store or cafe and not know a single person in there. I can’t tell you who lives in every house in town. I haven’t lived in Murdo for decades, yet on our recent visit, we drove through the neighborhoods looking at the houses and I could remember who lived there fifty years ago. My husband, Kip, couldn’t believe it. He grew up in the big city of Laramie, Wyoming.
Back to discussing the small town connection. Where does the time go?
While in Murdo, we went to visit Tammy Van Dam at the grade school and she told us they were going to build a new elementary school. I said, “Huh? This school is new!” We moved into it when I was halfway through the eighth grade. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that was in 1966…51 or so years ago. My school is old and shabby. They are going to tear it down. It’s enough to give me nightmares.
I went to the first elementary school until the 2nd semester of 8th grade, which is when we moved to the new school. Tammy Lindquist Van Dam,(in the next photo), the day we visited and she gave me the shocking news.
Does that mean I’m old and shabby? I don’t think anyone mocked us when cousin Val and I rode down Murdo’s Main St. in a convertible. I went to see the red convertible when Kip and I visited last summer. It’s in a museum for old cars. Everyone has heard about the Pioneer Auto Museum. Museums are for old, outdated, antique cars. People live longer now. They might start calling old people antiques. It will be senior, elderly and then antique.
Is that an antique person sitting in the car on top of the sign?
Every time I visit home, I find myself a little more removed from the people. I used to see families and classmates I knew. Now I don’t recognize some of the names, and I get confused looks when I ask about someone who I think is related to the one I’m talking to. I’ll ask, “Are you so and so’s youngster?” They will say, “No, I’m his grandson, and I’m 45. My mind is a generation behind.
I am comforted by the fact that a lot of things are the same. The auditorium looks like it was just built yesterday, and it’s still the center of everything. Cafe 16 is now the Star Cafe, but the inside is very much the same. Kip and I had a great breakfast there.
The home we moved to when I was eleven is still there, although it’s buried under the trees at the Range Country Motel. How many people can say their childhood home is buried? “Yikes!”
The motel back in the 70’s when it was the Chalet. The motel now…my house is under that tree.
The Frosty Freeze is gone, but what used to be Super Value is still there and when I walked in, Ruth Daum called me by name. (I hope I have her name right. If not, please correct me.)
Someone posted a picture of Main St. back in the 40’s. There was a restaurant where the dry cleaners used to be. I’m not sure what is there now. Robin Cromwell and Butch Rada listed several businesses that are north of old Hwy 16, and on or near Main St. I like knowing it’s thriving.
Getting older isn’t all bad. I don’t have to fill out anymore employment applications or punch a time clock. I don’t have to worry about kids misbehaving or cooking big meals. I think I was about 40 when I stopped trying to figure out what I was going to be when I grew up. I was a mortgage loan underwriter. I don’t remember telling everyone that’s what I wanted to be when I was planning my future.
I’m probably not going to get back home this year, but I’m looking forward to a trip to Phoenix, AZ in February. My brother, Billy, our step-father, Gus, and our cousin, Valerie, are going to the Jones County Reunion. I don’t think they have a parade, or a Pioneer Auto Museum with a red convertible. I do know a lot of the people from Murdo who moved to AZ when they retired. Most of them are a little older than Valerie and I are. I wonder if they have a Pioneer People Museum there yet…
Do you think Valerie and I should take our crowns? I’m not wearing my long red Kitty Reynolds formal if I have to walk everywhere.
Here we come Phoenix!
I’m taking some blog breaks over the holidays. I have a big birthday on New Year’s Eve to plan for. My soon to be 8 yr. old granddaughter was born on my birthday and we usually celebrate together.
After the first of the year, I will be taking you on an adventure of a different kind. I can’t wait to tell you about it.
I hope everyone had a glorious Christmas. Here are a few of our Christmas pictures.
The above pics were taken Christmas Eve at daughter Heidi’s home. She is a born entertainer. Christmas day, we helped at a local restaurant. They served a free Christmas dinner to over 300 people. Vicky, who owns Vicky’s BBQ is a genuine community supporter. She accepted donations, but that all went to the Fire Department.
Kip got me an intensive pulsed light hair removal system. I don’t know what it is for sure, but unlike my grandson, I don’t think I’ll have to buy anymore razors. The 3rd picture is of our son, Mason and his family hunkering down in cold Wyoming. The picture below is of Daughter Heidi with her granddaughter, our GGD, Ryan Constance.