Oh, the wildness and wonder of it all

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

We live in a town

Of great renown

Where hail-fellow and smiles

Beguile

 

But mayhem on Maple

Made untrue the fable

That life in our time

Was benign

 

While just ‘cross the street

On a night dark and deep

Six pots were smashed

Three garden chairs slashed

 

And over on Oak

A tea set was broke

Just after high noon!

 

Inner Citians swooned.

This all happened last summer off the square just a block or two, in what residents call Jefferson’s Inner City.

One afternoon, the neighborhood watched two guys with sticks fight in the street over a gal—as serious as High Noon but not as lethal; the next morning, a discovery was made of a patio vandalized in the dead of night with a hand spade; that afternoon, a little girl found her tea set thrown to the ground, no witnesses around.

Highly unusual week, all that violence. Usually, Jefferson and the rest of the county fulfill all our needs without much ado breaking in on the quiet and peace. We are fortunate for such a small county with such a small population (9,000 people, 12,000 deer, 150,000 pigs [all averages or guesses]) to be so loaded with amenities (from A to Z), advantages that many bucolic counties can only dream of.

For example:

A: airport                                                                                                                                                                     B: bike trail                                                                                                                                                                C: courthouse                                                                                                                                                           D: day care                                                                                                                                                                 E: elevators (grain; although there is a people elevator in the county courthouse)                      F: fire trucks                                                                                                                                                                 H:hospital                                                                                                                                                                     I: ice cream joints                                                                                                                                                    J: jeweler                                                                                                                                                                    K: kinder (lots of ‘em)                                                                                                                                            L: libraries                                                                                                                                                                 M: manufacturers                                                                                                                                                    N: newspapers (3!)                                                                                                                                                  O: orchard                                                                                                                                                                   P: proximity to bigger places with more stuff, if that’s your delight                                                Q: quilt shop                                                                                                                                                             R: restaurants                                                                                                                                                            S: swimming pool                                                                                                                                                   T: trains                                                                                                                                                                      U: utility companies                                                                                                                                               V: VFW                                                                                                                                                                         W: wind turbines                                                                                                                                                     X: X-traordinary Broadway plays                                                                                                                       Y: yard of the month                                                                                                                                               Z: zen doodle art

The purpose here is to remind myself when I get down on a very small burgh in the middle of cornfields, bean fields and pig confinements that this is quite the place, this particular center of the universe. I am lucky to have grown up here and lucky to live here once again. And it seems to get better all the time (Did you see the play at History Boy? Have you been to the made-over bowling alley?), despite a few dust-ups in the Inner City reported now and again in the police blotter.

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