Saturday, June 8, 2013

Seeing my hometown through a different lens

Today I took off at dawn to make a round trip excursion to the city in Indiana that I grew up in.  I was making the trip to pick up some mementos that my mother wanted to give to my sister and me because she's sold her Indiana home to move permanently to her Florida home.

Seeing my mother's home nearly empty in preparation for leaving our hometown, I couldn't help but think about my own escape 26 years ago.  Well, that's what I thought it escape from the "small town" of Evansville, Indiana.

I was a college graduate, just married and I was ready to get the heck out of this small town, go to the big city and really experience life.

I laughed today as I thought about how small Evansville seemed to me back then because Evansville is anything but a small town.  It is the third largest city in the state of Indiana - behind only Indianapolis and Gary.

It has a little over 110,000 people who live in the actual city and over 350,000 people live in its metropolitan area.

It has five public high schools, two private catholic schools and at least two other very large public high schools just outside of the city/county limits.  It also boasts a state university (the University of Southern Indiana) and a private college (University of Evansville).

In comparison, the "city" I live in now has about 25,000 residents whose children feed into ONE high school.  There's about 700,000 people who live within the entire metro-east area of St. Louis.  Metro-east is an area that includes all the small cities and towns located on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River across from St. Louis, Missouri.

So Evansville is roughly half the size of metro-east St. Louis.  Yet, at the tender age of 21, I felt like Evansville was too small and suffocating me.  That seems so comical to me now.

Ironically our daughter, who is now 23, feels that St. Louis - not living in Metro East - is too small for her, and she would like to move to Dallas! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, huh?

I have to wonder this rate, will my great grand children be able to find a city in the world that is big enough for them?!

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