Small towns are a blessing and no matter how much you claim to hate it when you’re there, it will always be home when you leave. There is just something about the entire population knowing your name and most likely your parents, their parents and three generations prior.
Although I’ve left my small town of Smiths Station, there are a few things that you know if you’re from the area, no matter how far away you travel.
1. You know about Rainbow Foods.
To anyone else it might sound like a weird club that you wouldn’t ever want your kids to know about, but to those of us from Smiths Station, it’s your saving grace when you really don’t feel like driving all the way to town or when you’ve decided to hang around until the football game on Friday night and you’d really like a snack. Besides the store itself, the parking lot is its own entity. There’s no way you haven’t been here a time or two.
2. Driver’s Ed is like finding a buried treasure because you get to embrace freedom for thirty minutes when it’s your day to drive.
You don’t even care if the people in your group don’t know that there is a brake on the car, as long as your teacher lets you go to Taco Bell that day, you’re the happiest person alive.
I don’t need to say anything else. Anyone from Smiths Station just thought of the exact same building and probably the nice lady who has worked there for as long as I can remember. You probably also thought of the weird (and miraculous, because honestly, I’ve never seen anyone ever actually go inside) collectibles shop that’s attached to the Subway.
4. If I say red light you say Smiths Station Baptist Church.
I mean, there is only one red light inside the city limits, so to be fair, that one is kind of obvious, but nonetheless, you probably know every route possible to avoid this particular intersection, especially if it’s time for school to start or finish.
5. You thought you knew north from south until they restructured our entire childhood for that new high school.
Now you’re not sure which school is south, east, or west and you’re even more confused why they skipped north but kept calling it Wacoochee. Me too, honestly.
6. Wacoochee Junior High.
The junior high part is gone, but the name, that’s still going strong. Unless you’re from Smiths Station, you probably think it’s a nickname or made up, but no. It’s real. It’s there. It’s a strange place and I, for one, am extremely upset that Junior High students don’t have to go through Wacoochee days anymore. It was a rite of passage into the big, bad world of high school and now the kindergarteners go there and I’m not sure why, they can’t even say it.
7. Friday night is the most important time of the entire week.
Whether you care about football or not, you’re probably at the game anyway. You also probably got there several hours before the game, or never went home, and hung out in the parking lot beforehand.
Every small town has its local spots, its traditions and even it’s weird collectible shops that somehow manage to exist for years without a single customer. My town is no different and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.