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Our Town

19 September, 2012

A few weeks back, I was driving along a country road somewhere outside of Murray, KY, when Iris Dement’s “Our Town” came on the radio.

I was first introduced to this song many years ago while watching the series finale of one of my favorite TV shows, Northern Exposure.  That chance meeting has linked certain feelings about that show with the song, and while I haven’t yet forged any strong connection with our new town, I couldn’t help but think about driving down a country road not far from here and hearing “Our Town” on the radio.

Puryear, our new town, is located a few minutes south of the KY-TN border.  There are about 650 people who live here, but my coworkers tell me that Puryear used to be quite a bit bigger.  There used to be a train station here, as well as a “movie house” and a number of businesses and restaurants that have moved elsewhere or faded away.

our post office & beauty shop


one of Puryear’s churches


our grain elevator & water tower



One of our first nights here, The Husband & I went out for a walk.  We managed to walk down every street in town and get back home within the hour.

So far, I’ve noticed the following in our town:

– one traffic light (and between 2100 and 0700, it’s just a flashing yellow light)

– a combination fire department and community center building (with accompanying picnic shelter across the street)

– two diners

– town hall (which is in a small house)

– one BBQ restaurant

– the post office

– a beauty parlor

– five or six churches

– three bars

– one gas station

– one retirement home

– one shuttered school

– one open school

– a building with a “used cars” sign in the window, and occasionally some used cars in the lot

– a Dollar General

– a grain elevator

– a home-based day care

It’s really quiet here, and it is unlike anywhere I’ve lived before.

It’s comfortable though, and you can see the stars out at night.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 September, 2012 14:45

    This reminds me of the town I grew up in. It’s great to go back to for the peace and quiet but at the same time the silence can be deafening. With nothing going on in the small town you are left to your own devices. This is where I think most of my insanity came from.

  2. 22 September, 2012 01:08

    This reminds me of my hometown in Yadkin County, North Carolina. Growing up, I found its simplicity bothersome. I would daydream of escaping to Europe or even to go to a high school where they had tall lockers like on “Saved By the Bell”. However, after living a faster paced life, I’ve grown to appreciate the minimalist life that I left behind on that grassy farm land.

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