You know you're in a small town when . . .

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
My significant other, my daughter and I have moved from Richmond (which is a reasonably sized area) to a very small county. It's the least populated county in Virginia. I have already been warned that I will always be considered an outsider. We have been noting some interesting differences.

The highest bus number is 20, and there are only 6 buses.

The high school has one hallway and the kids actually use their lockers.

The bus driver calls your house to tell you when he will pick up your child.

When the bus doesn't run, the school superintendent comes by to pick up your child.

The orchestra teacher and the band teacher have to coordinate activities, because they share most of their students.

Most of the teachers teach 2 subjects.

People don't know to introduce themselves to you, because everyone knows everyone else.

People know which house you bought when you refer to it by the owner who lived in it during the 70s.

The library does not issue actual library cards; they know who you are.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
LOL does that mean that all your neighbors know ALL your business too?

We don't live in a small town but my brother lives in Southern, Illinois and his farm town only has one stoplight!

Driving to the grocery store is at least 30 minutes. OMG I'd die. On the way we saw a dead cow literally lying on its back with it's feet up in the air. It looked fake.

On his "street" a dog lays in the middle of the road to sleep. I swear to God we thought it was dead but drove by next time and it was running around. We had good laugh at that one.

To me that's a small town!


Well-Known Member
I kived in a town of 1900 for ten years. We HAD no buses or library or even a gas station. The school was in two modest buildings and the kids were like family. Much less picking on. Teachers helped more and made less. My daughters graduafing class was 39 kids. ALL went to college in Wisconsin...not one out of state and only two abstained from college.

You could stay out of the gossip mill only by detaching from neighbors, which we couldnt 100% do since Jumper was in sports so we all sat together at games. She was a school star so everyone knew her, if not us. I work at an Applebees and run into teachers, coaches and residents of the small town. All of them remember me, often hug me, ask anout Jumper with honest interest, tell me about their kids. It is heartwarming, really. (Sonic went to a different school due to his autism, but same reaction when I see people from THAT small school/town).

I loved it. I am in a small city now (18,000 people) and we have no buses here too. But it is more impersonal. Still kind of friendly.

I grew up near Chicago. I prefer small and caring, which it mostly was, to big and everyone is a number.

My daughter who grew up here wants nothing to do with big cities. Most kids stay around here in the end, although many tend to mouth a lot about moving to a big city. Many try and come back. Many marry others from this area. As many of their parents did.

But it is different :)
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pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Uh, RN, so far so good on the gossip. We left that back with Ferb and the teacher. Everyone is talking about that. No one here knows about it, so Candy does not have it hanging over her head at school.

Yes, I am aware of that issue. I had a friend years ago from a small town. His wife passed away and all the local widows kept bringing him pies. He took a mannequin, put a blonde wig on her, and drove her around town in his convertible. That gave all the tongue waggers something to talk about.


Well-Known Member
We don't live in a small town but my brother lives in Southern, Illinois and his farm town only has one stoplight!

An actual stoplight??? Wow!

Ladies, the town I grew up "in" was the county seat and it literally has a population of (according to Google for 2016) 206. They had a population boom in the late 90's I believe. It was more like 150 for a long time. My school, K thru 12, had approximately 200 students (rural kids mostly) and my graduating class had a total of 17.

I myself lived 5 miles from town, on a gravel road. The town used to be a river port, like in the 1800's and early 1900's, so it was kind of a boom town in the day...but they built a damn and the water level no longer allows any commercial river traffic. In addition to the school, we had two gas stations, a post office, a general store, an actual restaurant, a bar, two churches (Baptist and Christian), a really nice park, a meat processing plant, a factory that makes little wooden boxes for and stuff like you see in a souvenir shop, a medical clinic and of course, the sheriff's department and courthouse. Those were the days. Now it has a much bigger and nicer courthouse and school, but they've lost the clinic, restaurant, store and not sure if the post office and factor still exists. There was a feed store too now that I think about it...but I think it's gone.

There's still no fancy stoplight, just a sign. :)

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
We only have a blinking light. Candy has 10 kids in her grade. We have no grocery store, but we do have a farm co-op. There are no fast food restaurants. We have two restaurants opened most of the time and two which are opened part-time.


Roll With It
My dad grew up in a town, sorry - a city, that occupies one square mile. The town next door also occupies one square mile. Both are basically in Cinci. When my dad grew up, he was mostly related to the town. BIG Catholic families and everyone was a cousin or married to a cousin. The house he grew up in was next to my grandma's older sister's house (my great aunt's house). Across from my Great Aunt's house was their brother's house. My aunt still owns my grandma's house. One of the cousins now owns my great uncle's house. Within four blocks I can barely throw a rock without hitting six relatives.

You want to talk about people all up in your business? The older generations were always willing to help out. I used to love sitting around in the kitchen listening and watching as they cooked. Especially if they put me to work. I learned the most interesting things when they forgot I was there!

I hope Candy enjoys life in this smaller town and that Ferbs relationship never gives her unpleasant notoriety. I remember when we moved to OK. The town we live in had 50K people at the time, plus the college kids. It seemed so teeny after life in Cincinnati!! I loved it most of the time!! It seemed so safe and quaint. It was easier to get to bookstores here too, and that was my priority. Still is, actually. Sadly we only have a used one now. I learned my way around town by finding all the bookstores and learning if they were college books or fiction books. Mercy, can you tell I was a geek?

Enjoy your life on your farm!!


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
I grew up in a tiney little township called Thurlow. Due to building and development it no longer exists, it was swallowed up by the Big City. The city was 38,000 and is now 42,000. After my dad passed we sold the family home. It was a wee little storey and a half. 4 bedrooms, living room, massive kitchen and one bathroom. There were 12 of us. It was on a 2 acre parcel we had a family garden in summer and an ice rink in winter.
When we sold the home the the first city street, with street lights and a stop sign was 2 houses down from my family home. It made me at bit sad.
I moved to the Big City Toronto after nursing school and then off to Saudi Arabia and around the world. I like both big and small.


Well-Known Member
Graves County kentucky. It was a very appropriate name. It is home to one of the largest Civil War cemeteries. There are more people buried there than are live ones.


Well-Known Member
As I was growing up, we moved every year whether we needed to or not. Consequently, that simple, little question, "Where are you from?" has always filled me with dread. I usually answer, "I went to high school here in C." My mom grew up in a small town, where everyone knew her mom was a teacher and her dad owned the gas station downtown.

Because I wanted Miss KT to be able to start AND finish school in the same town, I changed careers, and settled in here in the OTC. That kid knew everybody. Some from school, some from sports, some from karate, some from church, some from the summer program, some from band, some from her high school ROP classes, some from her grandfather's lodge buddies and their families...whenever we went to farmer's market or a street fair, we'd wonder how many people she'd stop and talk to. A lot. The principal of her elementary school was a student in the high school biology course her grandfather taught.

There's history here. My house was built in 1924. The other houses in the neighborhood are, for the most part, 1930's and 40's era. The first high school in town is still in use, not by the district, but by adult education. The second high school is the junior high now. The "new" high school, opened in 1969, and was out in the middle of NOWHERE at that time. Though we're no longer a small town by the numbers(over 100,000 residents), we have a strong downtown area, and many of those original families are still here.

You know you're in a small town when you know people more than just in passing, you know the family and what area of town they're in, when the history of the town is held up and honored, when you still go to the parade even though your kid hasn't marched since 2008, when you feel comfortable with just your screen door between you and the great outdoors, when you still ask about the scores even though your kid graduated in 2009 and you don't like football anyway, when you eat at the local coffee shops instead of IHOP, when there's a guy about half a mile away who has a herd of deer (keep in mind, I'm in the middle of town) and every fall he advertises venison for sale. The kids walk home from school singing or practicing their clarinets or flutes.

You're in a small town when you hear one neighbor screaming at his TV during a football game, then see the guys come out and play football in the street during halftime, when the guy down the street is racing remote control cars with his son, when someone is almost always mowing or edging or painting trim or working on a car, where the kids run by with basketballs or frisbees towards the school (a block and a half away), where I can hear the rallies and jog-a-thons and the carnival, and on Friday nights, I hear the cannon go off from the stadium, signifying we scored.

I really didn't mean to write an entire chapter. But once I started thinking about it, I realized I'm in a small town. I like it. I fought being here almost as soon as we landed when I was in the fourth grade. I wanted to go back to the Bay Area, and as an adult, I did, for several years, until I realized the punishing commute and the crippling hours I was working left me no time to see my newborn daughter. I love San Francisco with every fiber of my being, but now, I'm from the OTC.