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Streets of a Small Southern Town – Rural Georgia Art


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There’s a familiar vibe to the streets of small southern towns for anyone who grew up in one. They feel like unchanging places in the southern landscape. And for the small towns like little Leary, Georgia, that are far from the suburbs of any large city, the slow pace of life does seem undiminished.

My childhood was spent in a small southern town as well. And during those early years, whenever we were bound for South Alabama to see my grandmother, we passed through a litany of little towns. Most of those town I never walked the streets but they became familiar if informal mile markers for me. Each one was a little closer to our destination. Leary was one of those small southern towns that I remembered. And when I moved back to the rural south, I decided to spend a day re-visiting some of those small southern towns of my memory. Many of them, like Leary, were as close to ghost towns as one is likely to find in the rural south.

There’s a side of me that looks at those empty streets on that beautiful summer afternoon and feels a little sense of loss that so many of these small southern towns have lost the purpose they once enjoyed. But I also see a little town where life goes on. There are still familiar stories in those quiet streets. As I looked down this street past that beautiful red-brick bank, I loved the classic old pickup truck outside. It tells the story of a thrifty farmer who has gone to town to run his errands. Perhaps he stopped at the bank to do business or chat with an old friend. Of course, that’s my interpretation, the story that’s based on my own life experience in a small southern town.

Do you have roots in rural Calhoun County, Georgia? Perhaps you’ve wandered these same small town streets? Or like me it speaks to your own life experience in the rural south? I do hope you’ll choose to take a moment and share what you appreciate about this small town print!


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