Last week I shared What I Learned Growing Up in a Small Town. Writing about this special small town brought back such beautiful memories of my childhood and young adult life. Many from “my town” commented on my post how much they loved growing up in, or being a resident of it too. It was a pretty special place… and still is. My high school English teacher resides in it still, and I love how she fondly refers to it as “Hooterville.” I need to ask her sometime how that name came to be.

Doing some research on “Hooterville,” the population, according to the 2012 census, was 537. I love to think that my brother, sister-in-law, and three nieces are a part of that number. Since we live outside of “Hooterville’s” limits, we aren’t counted in that total. (Sad face.) Wikipedia says it has a total of .45 square miles, all of it land. The Union Pacific Railroad runs on the edge of town. (Those of us familiar with this town know those trains well!) According to the 2010 census, 243 households and 146 families reside in “Hooterville.” For those of you from bigger metropolises, that seems pretty tiny, doesn’t it?

Elaborating on a piece of my original post, I learned a sense of community living there. Our little town was filled with small businesses. Those businesses thrived from the local people who patronized them. I know this because my dad was an owner of one of these small businesses, Bill’s Garage. Dad did all sorts of mechanic work on all type of vehicles in town, and on school buses, local farmers’ tractors, lawn mowers, etc. I saw him work on all kinds of things that moved on wheels.Bill's Garage

We also had Ray’s Foodland (our local grocery store), Rasty’s barber shop, a veterinarian office, another mechanic shop and gas station, a couple local taverns, a post office, Pollock Elevators, a meat locker, and at one point, a restaurant. I know I’m forgetting many, but currently that’s all that’s appearing in my memory. Small businesses kept our little town going.

Because my family depended on the support of the fellow townspeople of Dad’s mechanic garage, I learned early how important it was to support other local businesses. Food on our table, our warm home, our school lunch tickets, gas in our vechiles, etc., all were possible because of those who supported Dad’s business. And now, owning my own business, I appreciate the support of others all the more.

There is much community going on around us still today. Take look around you… look at those who have followed a dream, took a chance and stepped out, and now own their own businesses. Maybe it’s the local hair stylist, the massage therapist down the street, the local family restaurant, the local Mary Kay consultant or Thirty One Bags consultant, the main street boutique or even the small mechanic garage. They will not survive without your and my support.

Just this week we took our daughter’s vehicle to our local mechanic who built his shop on the exact ground where Dad had his mechanic garage. He commented to my husband how business has been slow lately, and how grateful he was for us bringing our car in to him. His livelihood depends on us, and what a good feeling it was to support him!

I encourage you to be a part of your community, and support those local small town-type of businesses. Trust me, you’ll bless them more than you know!

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