One of the absolute joys of living in a small (5000 or so) town is the existence of the local newspaper. Twice a week it comes out, chock full of reports concerning everything from plans for refurbishing the town hall to how the junk yard owners are in the process of getting rid of that mountain of old tires to photos of kids at the high school prom.
But then there’s my favorite part (OK, except for anything concerning music, which you already knew): the police blotter. Where else can you read about an officer assisting a resident with a raccoon stuck under the porch? Or the account of one student attempting to set another student’s hair on fire? How about the living room couch and chair set that was abandoned beside the road? “…officer was unable to determine who dumped the furniture.” My favorite is the report, right up the street from me, of the “horse acting in an erratic fashion.” The incident’s resolution: “…it was determined that the horse was hungry.” Love that!
Sadly, the stereotypically pretty town center does have a dark side. For every funny entry, there are three concerning some brand of theft, arrest, or incidence of domestic violence. This isn’t to say that things are as bad as the turmoil-laden television news would lead us to believe. Not at all. Folks are just moving along getting work done, dealing with the occasional trauma, raising families, making music, making art.
We know what’s going on “out there,” but for the most part, we’re too busy dealing with today. That’s how, when things are moving in the right direction, we impart our spin on all of it. As Mellencamp said, “Your life is now.”