First assignment a, well, cultural experience
Caitlin Byrnes: Staff Writer
Pulling into Rutledge, I thought about how I should check the event off on my list of life firsts.
Being a city girl to the core, my knowledge of small-town USA is limited to gas stations, fast food restaurants and what can be learned from listening to country music on the way to the nearest mall.
The town is just over three square miles? I didn’t know towns could be that small.
I looked down at my directions: right at the four-way intersection, left at the stop sign, right over the railroad tracks.
There is something beautifully quaint about directions that don’t need street names and a head’s up on where the camera lights are.
I parked next to City Hall, and nervously walked in. My past experiences with administrative meetings have been filled with angry people yelling amidst budgetary shortfall. I took a deep breath and prepared for the worst.
I walked in to a small group of happy city council members, bringing the visitor count to a whopping one.
They talked about someone who applied for a business license, momentarily discussed improving the park entertainment area in the future and scheduled a public discussion of the annual budget.
A-ha! So the meeting of angry people I was expecting is happening later!
Not so much. The budget, about the price of a suburban home, is not expected to bring any contention.
“We keep people happy,” Mayor Knight said. “We watch our spending and don’t overspend.”
Wow- sounds like a concept a few other Georgia towns should embrace.
On my way home I thought about my first experience in a small town- kids throwing around a football, a man mowing his front yard in the rain, American flags prominently displayed outside buildings other than a post office.
Yes, I have quite a bit to learn, but I’m excited. Help me in my journey by writing to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about why you love (or hate) living in Morgan County.
I can’t wait to hear from you.