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Until we moved to our current home in 1996, my wife and I had always lived in cities or on military bases. Small town life was a revelation for us. We live in a rural area and I worked in a small-town high school for 16 years after leaving my corporate job. Going to town is always an experience, as everyplace we go is staffed by former students and their parents.
Waitresses know your name and usually have an idea what you will order. When we respond to medical or other calls for our fire department, we typically know the family, which is a big relief for people under stress. When I visit the schools in town (I’m on the school board), I see the children of my former students, and other former students work in the schools now.