When many people think about the South, they conjure up myriad small towns in their minds. And for good reasons. Small towns showcase what is special…and different about the South. Oh, you can get a good glass of sweet tea in a bigger city, but you might have to look a little harder for it. In a small town, you can walk into any Main Street diner and order a glass of sweet tea and know it will be great. Small towns are absolutely synonymous to this thing we call “Southern.”
In a small town, hospitality is the law. You simply must invite people over for dinner, take your neighbor a meal when it’s appropriate (there is a law about this, I think), invite near strangers into your home and treat them like family, and automatically accept all party and dinner invitations. It goes on and on, but you get the picture. Play nice (like in kindergarten).
You must choose a side for college football. Trust me. Even if you don’t like college football, you must pick a side. And if you want to truly fit in, buy a t-shirt with your team’s name emblazoned across your chest. If you try to get by without a home team, you will immediately be registered as an outsider.
In a big city, you can manage to appear respectable without going to church. Not so in a small town. Everyone goes to church—everyone respectable, that is. So, if you find yourself in a small town, you’ll be involved with “dinner on the ground,” “homecoming,” “camp meetin’,” “cake walks,” “Christmas shoeboxes,” “UMW,” “RA’s,” and a number of other unfamiliar vocabulary terms. By the way, the Methodists and the Baptists are the most popularly accepted Southern churches, followed by the Presbyterians and Episcopals. I’m not sure if the others are even listed in the phone books. Don’t kill the messenger. I didn’t make up the rules; I ‘m just reportin’ the facts as they are, ma’am. 😉
The list of things that make small towns in the South uniquely Southern is a very long one, and I could go on and on, and you’d stop reading after the next paragraph or two. Suffice to say, I’ll stop here; however, I did want to inform you about some of the reasons small towns are special…and why I write about them. The people have good, kind hearts and a talent for making anything taste like home. They’ll help their neighbors and strangers alike. Small towns will take care of their own…and then the gossip ladies will talk about you later…but that is the subject of another post!
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