Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Small Town

My babies and I jammed out to John Cougar Mellencamp's song "Small Town" on the way to a park this morning. Well, actually, it was me jamming out, while the 6 month old Elsa just hung out in her carseat and the two year old Arlo listened intently, like he always does when he hears a new song. Nothing beats hearing an old song that you love and haven't heard in, oh, about five years. Especially a song that reminds you of home.

One of the places I consider home is a small town in Oklahoma called Muskogee. Located in what they call "Green Country," it is a town of about 45,000 in the northeastern part of the state, which is sort of rolling and green. Football is king, everyone belongs to a church, and it is not hard to find a truthworthy mechanic or a dentist on the spur of the moment because you will likely just go with Bob from your poker group or Sunday school class. Women don't even think about ducking into Walmart without their hair and makeup done because you will invariably see at least three people you know while in Walmart.

Hearing John Cougar Mellencamp's song made me think about the Daylight Donuts shop, where the old men used to smoke cigarettes and drink coffee on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It made me think of Chet's hotdog stand, where we ate hotdogs and chips and Coke after junior high on Fridays. It made me think of Friday night football games and long, hot summers riding bikes and swimming till it got dark, and then catching lightening bugs in repurposed glass jars once it did get dark.

All that nostaligia made me just plain happy to be alive. Music can do that, can't it? As Clint Black put it in one of his songs, music can take you to another place and time and even change your state of mind.

Cheers to that.

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