1. IzzGidget

    IzzGidget New Member

    Feb 19, 2013
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    Small Town Life

    Discussion in 'Research' started by IzzGidget, Feb 22, 2013.

    Ok, so I'm a suburbanite, but my story is set in a small town. Now, I went to a school in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, but I don't think it's enough to go off of. So I'm trying to get a bigger picture than my own, limited experiences.

    Has anyone around here grown up in a small town? Would you mind giving me a small description of what it was like to live there? In the South would be preferred, but I can work with anything. I just don't want to paint the cliched 'everyone knows everyone' stereotype if it's not actually true. The town size I have in mind is between 600 - 1000 people.

    If there are any other ideas of resources y'all can think of, please send them my way!!
  2. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    i've lived in small towns all over the world, including some in the us, so feel free to email me for detailed info...

    love and hugs, maia
  3. OllyKiriyama

    OllyKiriyama New Member

    Apr 26, 2013
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    I don't live in the US but as a person who has lived in towns/villages in the UK all his life I could probably share a bit of info :)

    -most people are friendly, at least friendlier than the city, but there are some individuals that some people stand out as 'odd' or 'weird', example; there's an old lady that walks between towns near me, and every time a car or lorry goes past she stops and shakes her head.
    -town events like fundraisers and historical celebrations occur a lot. Our town has quite a long, historical element to it so we celebrate events that happened over 150 years ago.
    -the 'everyone knows everyone' trope is actually true in my case, although it's mostly among the nosey old people ;)
    -it's usually quiet, although you get the usual 'old people going to the shops', or 'youngsters causing trouble on the park'

    Will post some more later if you want :)
  4. TerraIncognita

    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

    May 28, 2010
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    I actually spent the majority of my childhood in a smallish Oklahoma town. I think one of the best ways I can describe it is between the suburbs and the boonies. Everyone knowing everyone is pretty accurate in my experience. I knew the vast majority of the people in the area even if it was only by name and not acquaintance. People were gossipy but also very tight knit. If you had a crisis you knew at least twenty people would show up at your door to bring food over or to help out around the house or do yard work. Whatever you needed they'd try to help. It had its faults but all in all I loved the sense of community I felt there.

    If you want more details or have any other questions feel free to pm me as well. :)
  5. Avvy

    Avvy New Member

    Sep 19, 2008
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    I've only lived in this place for 5 years, but here are my observations:

    - The people who grew up here seem have a very tight bond, even if they dislike each other. As an outsider, it's hard to fit into that.
    - Especially if you didn't grow up in that place, everybody knows you and your story within a few days. I'm still struggling to remember some of their names... And when it comes to who's related to who in what way, I give up completely.
    - If someone (who is liked) needs something (fix a gate, find their dog, etc.) there are a lot of volunteers. Same with broken objects (e.g. computer); the matter can be handled privately because someone knows someone who knows someone who knows... who will fix it for free because someone they know knows you. Phew.
    - Meeting somebody in the street can result in an interrogation. Especially the elderly want to know everything and they rarely dance around the subject.
    - Neighbors will not refrain from knocking on your gate, listening to your dogs bark, for a half hour at 8 in the morning if they "need" something.
    - If there's a graveyard and you live next to it, you're one of the first to find out when someone has died. The elderly lady from across the street will provide the details as you make your way from your house to your car.
    - Rumors.

    Hope this helps.

    Oh, God... now I feel like I really don't belong here...

    PS.: The town I live in has ca. 464 people.
  6. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    I spent some time on a small Scottish Hebridean island (which shall remain nameless) where most people have a nickname. One fellow named Calum's nickname is "Aberdeen." Oh, says I, he came from Aberdeen, then?

    No ...his Grandfather came from Aberdeen!
  7. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

    Mar 21, 2012
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    Brighton Heights
    UK Village template (no copyright exists on this article)

    A rigid class structure with
    1. The big House – family ride everywhere on horseback, they breed lurchers, husband owns ball-bearing factory.
    2. The vicarage – vicar selects and eats children.
    3. The blow-ins – the idiots bought the cottage from last escapees.
    4. Corporation hovels housing the long-term community.
    5. Three farms. Cows, sheep, grass.

    There is a deep sense of cultural oppression, mainly religious and superstitious, conservative with some talk of homosexuals in the towns. A new-age witch/creative writing type campaigns for the maintenance of the village well facility whilst the weekly cattle market is hotbed for lunatic politics of the kill the kaiser, stranger danger variety.

    A single extremely depressed Nigerian poet lives in the neighbouring village.
  8. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributor Contributor

    Jul 27, 2011
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    I grew up in a small town and now live there again. A lot of the cliches are pretty true and accurate - except we aren't all hicks, hillbillies, or uneducated. Some things depend on the type of small town, especially nowadays. The town I live in is a farming community - another small town about 15 miles from here is a 'bedroom community', meaning it's mainly people who work in the city and just live in the small town. Totally different feel (I lived both places).

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