A nice post about the place where I live now. I grew up about 30 miles away in a somewhat larger town where everyone also knew everyone else’s business.
My two-stoplight hometown
Where everyone knows your name—and your business
A while back, a conspiracy of kindness unfolded like an unassuming flower in my hometown.
The haircuts of a beloved barber in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s began to falter in their military precision. His clientele, unanimously concluding that his feelings trumped their vanity, made a pact to continue submitting to his clippers, while wincing imperceptibly into the mirror. Some of them slipped into a more feminine salon for damage control afterward, but one customer who was already shiny in the pate just shrugged and said, “What’s one hair out of place when it’s all I got?”
These gestures can happen anywhere, but I associate them more with small towns, where we know each other’s history and tender spots, for better and worse.
I grew up in Cleveland, population 3,410. The town has more than…
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