My Home Town

What makes a home town a ‘Home Town’?

Folks live in a town for years know the streets, avenues, alleys, who lives where and what stores have come and gone. They know where the new high school is and that the ‘old’ high school is now the elementary school.  When a visitor passes through asking of the whereabouts to a location, chances are the home town direction giver will answer. “Go down this street a block or two, turn left at Mrs. Walker’s and go past the old high school. It’ll be on your right, just next to Jack’s Garage.” The truth of the matter is that the visitor doesn’t know the story of the old high school, neither Mrs. Walker or that Jack’s Garage has been closed for 2 years since he retired. Of course the visitor would have to have more pertinent detail. Ah ha! Perfect segue way to engage in an extended conversation that may last a lengthy amount of time.  That’s the way of the home town resident. Treating a new comer or visitor with the same congeniality as a long time friend.

The Road to Home

The Road to Home

If you ever left and being gone for many years, it would seem, upon coming back that the inner homing pigeon would automatically take you where you needed to be.

Back in the 1950’s when I would visit my grandparents with my father.  Even as I lay in the back seat,  The Road to Home riding in the dark I could feel the long straight stretches of the road, the curves and turns that brought us to the homestead door. It was a warm and secure feeling knowing  I was going ‘home’… even if it were only a few days.

 

 

After not having been ‘home’ to Paris for many years, I finally had the chance. Driving into town, I now had stoplights and buildings which had not been there before giving me a challenge in direction. Going only my instincts and vaguely familiar landmarks, I turned here and then there when all of a sudden, I was in sight of my grandparents home! How did I know? So much had changed, yet somehow I just knew. It was a wonderful feeling to know that, ‘Yes, you really CAN go home again’!

Almost Home

Almost Home

 

I come back frequently now, enjoying the same fresh air fragrance I remembered as a child. The quiet sitting on the front porch is broken only by the multitude song birds, jaybirds and cardinals, just as it always had been.

One of the best parts of coming to town is getting to know folks and feeling like I had never been away. Being treated like a life long friend and neighbor is heartwarming and gives a strong sense of attachment to a community I instinctively feel I belong.

 

That’s the way it is in a Home Town. Paris is a perfect home town to visit. You’ll feel like a part of community the moment you strike up a conversation with folks at the gas station,  a local restaurant or any one of its museums and attractions.