Where everybody knows your name.

keo (2)Have you ever lived in a small town? I mean a really small town. I’ve lived in several but I think I lived in the town of Keo, Arkansas the longest. The population there is around 256 (providing no one passed on today.)

Knowing everyone’s business happens whether you really want to or not. Once you’ve been told you can’t un-remember. It makes it harder to greet them at the post office without thinking about it. The thing is though; they know all your dark secrets too. So it’s best to keep your mouth shut and crack your biggest smile.

You may be thinking that you don’t really have any dark secrets. Oh, you do. You’d realize it if 256 people knew about them. Suddenly they become bigger than they really are. In a way it’s like being a celebrity with paparazzi exposing you all the time. As soon as you do something stupid you know it’s going through the grapevine faster than a pig through slop.

If you sneeze you’ll be on the prayer list before you can grab a Kleenex.

Going on vacation? Yep, that’s going to be printed in the local paper. That shit is NEWS.

Getting a divorce? Yeah, we all know because your ex is selling your stuff in the front yard. (I swear I didn’t buy any.)

Have a fight with the Missus? Yep, we know and we’re pretty sure she’s right. We’ve seen the way you just leave your stuff laying around in the yard. Can’t imagine the kind of messes you make in the house.

Decide to do some renovations? Nosy Nelly will knock on your door and blatantly ask “What cha buildin’?”

Have an unknown visitor? After they’ve called the grapevine with no luck they will just walk on over and ask “Who was that?” This comes in handy though when you’re out of town. They will walk up to any stranger parked at your house and request the nature of their visit.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. Small towns are wonderful. We stick together in case we have to stand up to them LRP’s (Little Rock People). Yes, that’s what we call them. They’re a different kind of species than us. They’re prone to park willy nilly on our city streets and that’s just askin’ for a war. They may even pull up in front of your barn like they own the dang place.

You see, Keo has the best eatin’ place around for nigh unto 50 miles. The LRP’s love to come bask in the nostalgia of Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets and get a slice of that mile high pie. I don’t blame them none. I’m partial to the Italian Cream Cake myself. Their business is very welcome. It’s their parking abilities that set us on edge. This aint Little Rock. We know every car in town and we know when you aint from around here.

Then there’s Morris Antiques. Who’d a thought you could buy priceless jewels of walnut and oak at this place that barely even shows up on the map? If you got a mansion to fill I guarantee you can find the furniture to fill it right here.

So, you may be asking you’re self: “Now, why on earth did you move from such a wonderful little town like that.” Well, the truth is I do so much stupid stuff I decided to go hide in a town of 4,000 people. When you’re bi-polar and prone to fits of idiocy it’s best to blend in with the nuts.

14 thoughts on “Where everybody knows your name.

  1. MissSteele

    Oh wow, 256 people? That’s crazy. I think that was about the number of people in my graduating high school class. And I thought I came from a small town. That sounds pretty wonderful though. But, you’re right. If you fly above the radar, it’s best to move somewhere where you can “blend with the nuts” lol

  2. Gloria

    Well, I still live here so I know exactly where it is and what she is talking about. There are good points and bad points to living in a small town. the bad point is everyone knowing your business but if you aren’t doing anything wrong what difference does it make. The good thing about small town living is the safety. I love being able to walk around at night without worries. Not locking my doors and fearful of any sound I hear outside. The fearful noises from outside are usually skunks so that is a bit to be afraid of ….well, it might be a possum too. Our cat brought a possum home one night thinking she had gotten the biggest rat in history and wanted to show us so she could be in Guiness but when the possum said enough is enough and chased her up the tree that ended her 15 minutes of fame. Daddy had to kill the possum to save her.This is what you can excitement in small town life. No there is more excitement ….how about the night the phone rang at 3 am and the cop across the street wanted my husband to come kill a possum in his garage….at 3 am. There was also the night a neighbor down the road was cleaning his gun and forgot to unload it and shot toward my house. He was scared to death he had killed me….I always thought afterwards how scared he would have been if I had not answered the phone….

    1. snoogiefisk Post author

      Oh, there’s lots of excitement. Once a neighbor got his first gun and accidentally shot a hole in the kitchen floor. My favorites are the old people stories. Like the time George Waller and his buddies disassembled a wagon and re-assembled it on top of the owners store. You get away with a lot of things in small towns that you just can’t do in the city.

  3. mewhoami

    I grew up in a small town, but not quite as small as that. I would happily move to a small town again. There is something so special about knowing just about everyone in town and waving to folks as they drive by. They always return the favor with a wave and a big smile. If I do that where I live now, the only thing I get in return is the middle finger.

  4. Almost Iowa

    The farmers around here only grow two crops: corn and beans; so the motto of our little town is “Come for the corn and stay for the beans.” Catchy as it is, it doesn’t attract many people from the Twin Cities. Come to think of it, it only attracted one – me.

    The toughest part about moving to a small town is that everyone knows everything about you and you know nothing about them. It refreshing for them and they take full advantage.

  5. April

    I escaped the small town, after my sisters and I pitched a royal fit. We almost moved to a tiny town in eastern Oregon. The class I would have walked with at graduation, was 8. Thankfully, we moved to the city, which wasn’t much bigger. Now, that small town life sounds wonderful.

  6. April

    That little town we moved to? I was entering my senior year of high school. We moved a week after I finished my junior year. That was devastating, but I recovered–even made some life long friends.


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