I used to live in a small town, before I moved out to the plains. This is my story of a little town called Mead.
It is six-and-a-half blocks. They never completed the west side of 7th Street. You can live on either side of the tracks. The fields stretch out on all sides, interrupted by the interstate and stopped cold by the mountains. The wind can bring the pungent smell of composting dairy cow, or the bitter cold of a Wyoming winter, possibly the wood-burning smoke from the neighbor’s too short smoke stack.
A crop-duster buzzes your roof at six AM for the cornfield to the north needing some pest relief. The ebb and flow of the engine makes you duck slightly in cadence as you sit reading the paper delivered just before the plane took off. It is more than just a farm town. The pinto bean plant has been quiet for many years, the ‘for-sale’ sign rusted. The co-op thrives-a center for expensive fuel, quality feeds, and the place to get a Red Bull and a Snickers after school.
I remember the celebration at the opening of the new post office. There were speeches. The Postmaster’s of the surrounding small communities stood eating cake with the locals. All the lips were blue and green from the frosting. Everyone’s fingers gliding along the new boxes to find their number. Those who lived outside of town, somewhat bereft because their mail was delivered to their door.
If you head downtown at seven AM, noon, or 6:30PM, you will find a crowd at the Mead Cafe or the Die Hard Saloon-the name changes at 6PM. The food is simple. Home made. Connie’s burritos are a local favorite. The parking out front goes from pick-ups to sedans and back to pick-ups with a stray Harley mixed in any time of day.
Stay tuned for part two tomorrow.