Small Towns and why they matter

I went to high school in a small town in mid-missouri 8 miles east of Rolla Missouri. When I graduated our class was 98 souls that all knew each other in some way or another. I belonged to 3 cliques, the Heads, The Jocks and The Band,, let me break it down for you..wait let’s back up and let me explain how I got here.  I was a Navy brat, my dad rose through the ranks and retired as  a Lt. we moved every 3 years from as early as I could remember to 1972. My dad’s last base was in Patuxent River Maryland and that would be where he would retire from the Military, we trekked across the country to Missouri where my father attended University of Missouri/Rolla and then St. Louis while us kids struggled to survive a small town mentality, schools and lifestyle. It was extremely different for me, I mean I never had trouble making friends as I had to do so every 3 years whether I liked it or not and now that this was our final “home” that meant I would be here for awhile and I could make LOTS of friends, hence the trio of cliques that all small towns have. 

Now where was I, oh yes the groups of people that influenced my life.  Lets start with the Heads, these are still my closest of close friends, the very first person I befriended was a pistol of a woman, short, skinny, a smile as big as anything you can imagine and an outlook on life, like no other. I asked her if I could borrow a pen in our Psych class… I did this everyday for our Junior year, we became fast friends, and she introduced me to the rest of the “gang”. Now when you think of Heads, you might not get it right away, and then again you might, guess it depends on how old you are. We frequented rock concerts, smoked weed, drank excessively, partied to all hours of the night on weekends and generally raised all kinds of hell. The Jocks, self explanatory, I played baseball and football.. great bunch of people, both men and women. The Band.. again pretty self explanatory, I was in Jazz Band, Concert Band, Pep Band and Marching Band after the football season, not that it mattered much really after that, parades and such were the extent of the Marching experience. Why does all this matter, and what can you take away from it?

Without this small town life and atmosphere I would have never met the people I have, met my wife, developed a career in entertainment. I would have never ever done the things I did when I left that small town, trying to make it on my own in a very scary world.  My whole adult life has roots in this small little town, (although not so small now, hey they put a traffic light up at the 4 way stop), I will never forget the good times, the lean times, the high times and the lessons it taught me.Image


Those that never left after graduation and raised their families in this small town life have my envy in a way. I miss them, I think of them almost every day, and I thank God that they are who they are. Without them, I wouldn’t be me

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6 thoughts on “Small Towns and why they matter

  1. Scott,
    Thanks for posting, I enjoyed your blog! Hope you continue to write and to post in the future! Maybe one of these days you will make it back to town for a visit. I suggest the month of September, it seems there are several classes that gather at the wine garden at the fall festival! Also this year is the All School reunion, 110 classes have graduated from John F Hodge! I think the reunion is in July, Dennis Wilson at City Hall could share more details! Again, thanks for sharing!



  2. Steve C says:

    Those were some good times, brother!


  3. Tonya says:

    I am a small town girl. I love the way small towns are. Not only do I currently live in a small town that’s mostly all about fishing, hunting, four-wheeling. LOL. River float trips. Lake of the Ozarks! Just country. Quiet in my neck of the woods. I love the fact I hear a siren maybe once a week. And I live in the center of my little town. We need to really stick together and keep our small town restaurants, shops, gas stations Luke Delano for instance. Spurgens, eds package. Yes Djs liquor. With everyone going to these places they will stay open. I am so country I miss s gas. Can I get a hell ya from the red necks like me?


  4. Karen Jackson Smith. says:

    This small town holds many memories for me. I can’t think of a more perfect place for me to have grown up. I was an Air Force brat and so glad we ended up here after dad retired from the USAF. Thanks for writing this. More memories keeping flooding back.


  5. Demmetros says:

    I grew up in this town. 25 years. I hated it Mr. Larson. You might know a name and the “legacy” that came with it.
    I understand that you miss that small town and the close friends you made, but the people I met, moved and are happier about it. Those that stayed, I feel nothing for. St.James is my bane and quite frankly could care less if it died or not. If you knew the side of the story never being accepted, being shunned by both family and community, all because people can’t let you live down what your family did years before. So, glad to know people out there like that place. Good for them.
    Small minded towns grow small minded people, its all in experience.


  6. Steve B. says:

    Good ol’ St. James and Johnny’s Bar! Class of 76′


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