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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tiny Towns

I live in the Los Angeles California area. The population is approximately 4 million people.

Almost immediately, I was struck by the population size of the towns we we traveled through. Towns where the population is less than the altitude of the town. Towns were everyone really does know each other and each others business.

In one town, more like a collection of a handful of buildings, we were in a store looking at a wall calendar. We commented on that the calendar was too large to take with us on the bikes. The store keeper mentioned that across the street we could get post card versions of the pictures. We then apologized that we would then buy the post card versions from across the street. The store keeper said that it was ok, because her mother ran the store across the street.

In Townsend Montana the walls were covered with photos of the graduating students. Some graduating classes were 6 or 7 each year, some years as large as 12.  I bet that each of those students received individual attention!

Aston Idaho was a larger school but you could see the same couple of family names popping up year after year reaching back to the 30's. What is it like to grow up in a community that almost everyone in town is an uncle, aunt or cousin?

Long as I'm thinking about small towns and schools, for the majority of towns I was blown away by the quality of the education facilities and the libraries. In California, many of our schools are tired. To expand the class rooms, the schools are dragging trailers on to the former school yards as class rooms.

The schools in these small towns, for the most part were modern buildings with very nice physical education facilities.

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