For those of you that SNIFF about small towns … I shall remove your nose.
While I cannot say my life is filled with excitement or glamour, it is genuine and odd — which might just be better.
In the village atmosphere that is the heart of my new job, I get to talk to THE MOST unique and overwhelmingly peculiar assortment of people.
A few times a week I chat with a tourism director who calls me only “doll”.
I met a software engineer whose weekend hobby involves monkeying around with early 20th century steam-powered sawmills … for fun.
I toured motor homes that cost more than any home I will ever own, and had a pesky parrot as a second tour guide.
I have raced around town in a motorcycle trike and successfully dodged a rampaging bovine … the sneaky swine, however, knocked my knees out from behind.
In the morning, I have an “appointment” with Red Bird to discuss the unfortunate end of Railroad Randy, Iowa Blackie and Road Hog USA … and by “appointment”, I mean someone told me I could probably call a restaurant he would most likely be at around 8 a.m.
I was driving to a swine show last weekend when I heard about “Emus Loose in Egnar: Big Stories from Small Towns”, a new book by Judy Muller, a professor of journalism at USC. The book celebrates small town newspapers and the stories that erupt from them. Muller explained in an NPR interview how she encourages graduates-to-be in her classes to start at a small newspaper, learn, and work their way up. Recently, it has been the large daily newspapers that have been closing, said Muller–not the weeklies, who have a steady viewer base of Moms who want to see their high school athlete featured or morbid oldsters who flip to the obituaries first to see who they beat. Small weeklies don’t have scoops, but they do have a heart.
I never claim to know what I”m doing, but I feel like I may be on the right track.
Unless I”m in a livestock pen with an angry hog.