The 2010 Coolest Small Town in America according to the CBS Morning Show, Owego, NY, is nestled between the middle of nowhere and small town USA. Growing up in this small world, there are a few things you could be sure to understand.
1. Finding a parking spot on Lake Street between the hours of 12:30 P.M. and 6:30 P.M. is a blessing.
This one way street in the middle of Owego is graced with the presence of the world's best pizza place and an equally amazing candy shop, which makes it the place to be if you're looking for a bite to eat.
2. Chances are, your first date was at Originals or the Tioga Theater.
Let's face it, there isn't too much to do in Owego. Sure, there are nice restaurants downtown, but if you're a seventh grader and your parents are both paying for the date and driving you there, you're left with two options: pizza or the movies. (If you're lucky, both!) We've all been there standing outside on Main or Lake Street, nervously awaiting the boy or girl we have been going to school with since we were 5 years old.
3. Seeing a tractor driving up the road isn't too out of the ordinary.
We live in a very rural area where you can probably name at least 20 people who work on their family farm. If you live in the Owego Hills like I do, at least once a week you probably encounter a tractor going at the lightning speed of 15 mph up the road.
4. You most likely know everyone in your graduating class by name.
And, this is coming from someone that went to St. Pats. Come on, people -- we had 18 people in our class. Over the six years we spent together in middle school and high school, playing little league and TCYSA together, we've all become very acquainted with each other.
5. Everyone went crazy over spirit week and Homecoming.
It was always a coming of age event, being the senior class and finally being able to wear pink on Color Day of spirit week. Red and Blue day was always filled with colored hair spray, face paint, sleepovers as a team (so we could wake up at 4:30 A.M. to get ready), and the swim team putting on their lobby cheer off before the first bell. Everyone would come out for the homecoming football game to see the homecoming queen crowned. And, who could forget getting all dressed up in the dress you searched months for for Saturday night?
6. Waiting to be in high school so you could stand in the O-Zone at basketball games.
I remember going to my sister's basketball games when I was only 5-years old, being completely entranced by the O-Zone: the sea of high schoolers that stood on the end of the bleachers at every home basketball game that did the Owego chants, which will forever be embedded in my brain.
7. Although we ALWAYS complained about it, Owego will always be our home.
It's too small. There's nothing to do. Everybody knows everybody's business. I've said them all, and chances are, you have too. On senior skip day, you finally realized your time in high school was coming to an end. At prom, you sang and danced with not just your friends, but your whole class )and you seemed to all get along, if just for one night). On graduation, you still got a pit in your stomach hearing your classmates make their speeches, knowing your time as an Indian has come to an end.
Once an Indian, always an Indian.