Cruisin’ Through Life

“I was born in a small town … guess I’ll die in a small town.” John Mellencamp

What is it about small towns that folks from the big cities find appealing?

Consider ‘Bob’ from New York, a guy I met at the downtown New Hamburg annual Cruise Night. He likes the friendliness of the people and the area charm. He normally comes to attend the big weekend Moparfest of vintage Chrysler-made cars; but this year he also brought some friends to catch the car action a day earlier downtown. (I wonder if he knows about Expressway Ford’s car cruise, a few days later.(?)

In any event, this type of enthusiasm makes you appreciate what many of us take for granted. And nothing says ‘Happy Days’ like an old car or an old song. In fact, the number of people I met that evening – affecting many aspects of my life – was truly amazing. These included:

·         Meredith, of MeMe’s Cafe; discussed a Marketing presentation to my night class.

·         Kristen, of Upper Case Books; graciously offering wisdom regarding literature and research

·         Les, vehicle registration officer / turn the town’s mayor; a funny guy who can cut through red tape like nobody else

·         Gary, with wife, Bernice: a great car guy and neighbour who will be looking after our property when we’re on vacation.

Some family members showed up: Jessica and Wade, my daughter and her husband, along with our new grandson Kolton. (Somehow when my wife Judi arrived, the men got the assignment of pushing the stroller, while the ladies enjoyed the car show from the dining comfort of the Puddicombe’s restaurant’s veranda!)

Of course, all communities, big and small, have also seen their share of trials – adversely affecting the lives of family, friends and neighbours.   However in small towns, the awareness happens much faster and as a result so is the response – helping hands that often times overwhelm the recipients. It’s just our way; and that makes all the difference.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, internationally renowned author and speaker, has said:

“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”     

I guess it’s all the way you look at it. Or again, as John Mellencamp sings:

‘Got nothing against a big town … (but) I can breathe in a small town … Oh, and that’s good enough for me.’ 


– Fred Parry

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