Country Living Series

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Small-town America

I love faces that tell a story.

I was in town today while Younger Daughter and her friend did their weekly volunteer work at the county animal shelter. I parked myself in a small restaurant and had tea while I waited.

Two gentlemen came in, clearly regulars at this restaurant. They so perfectly embodied the typical blue-collar small-town America working man that I asked permission to photograph them. Etched in their faces was a lifetime of hard work, and on this quiet snowy afternoon these friends had paused for a cup of hot coffee.

I love Real America.


  1. your restraunt pics remind me of my hometown diner called the cozy corner cafe...early every morning miners and logger, rangers, business folks and folks of all country walks of life would meet up for hot chocalate, coffee, a donut and the jukebox would be playing something from the late 50's or 60's. now i am homesick somethin fierce.

  2. Yes they do look like real America Patrice. I have huge scars all over my body as a roadmap of my lifes journey. And the journey continues.

  3. When I'm on vacation, I like nothing more than going into a local coffee shop for breakfast and seeing the locals. They all seem to look the same - worn out jeans, warm shirt (even in summer), and a resigned look on their faces. I admit that I eavesdrop on their conversations and have learned quite a lot about the currrent gossip of the town.

    I can't do this in my own small town because the local coffee shop closed down and the new generation of hippies exhales a pot-filled smoke cloud that prevents an older woman like myself from enjoying the walk to Main Street.

    Enjoy this while you can, Patrice. I recently read that Idaho has the fastest growing population. Soon your state will be as messed up as mine. Too much of a good thing eventually gets found out and then ruined. Paradise Lost, perhaps?

    Anonymous Patriot

  4. Ah, but that's **southern Idaho,** AP. Northern Idaho, especially outside the bigger cities, is still small town America.

    - Patrice

  5. Heh. We have places like that in rural Florida. You get away from the coasts (and Orlando), and it's rural farmland.

  6. Wow, I think you captured an endangered species with your camera today. If the bozos in government have their way, small town America will become extinct. The pictures of these gentlemen have reminded me that we must not let this happen on our watch.

  7. If I had been there, I would have HAD to ask them for a few of their life stories....but I'm fascinated that way.....

  8. Twenty five years ago I moved to a quaint little town in north central Florida. So small in fact you did not have to blink to miss it if you drove through the place. Over the years we have had bario rift raft move in from New York city and we are now blessed with gang bangers, drug and sex trade and the first murders in this town in many years. Small town Americana was evicted and the innocence that went with it. Our country is facing a very fast spreading cancer and we our collapsing from within. Never thought our great nation would be losing the very roots that imbeded our values in society, but I see it first hand daily. Linda in So Cal hit it on the head, we have lost what made our town great. Even the mighty Oaks that stood for hundreds of years were cut down to make way for a road expansion by our short sighted local government. Patrice , you have a very precious treasure there in your small town. I only wish we could turn the clock back here!
    Had Enuff

  9. The summer before my senior year in high school my family moved to Craigmont, ID. Do you know it? The next summer I worked in the only cafe in town and waitressed/did dishes. I loved it! Good memories!


  10. We live near a small town like this in N IL. I love to sit and listen to the old retired farmers tell about their youth. I'm almost afraid to mention that we still have Christmas trees and a nativity scene set up every year in the park across from the court house.

  11. My first job was serving coffee to fellows of just that sort. Fifteen years have passed since I poured their coffee and still they smile and ask how I'm doing when I see them at the coffee shop in town. Small towns are all kinds of wonderful!

  12. Looks like the real America where I come from too.

  13. True Americana.

    God bless.


  14. There's a good old hometown cafe in Bellville, Texas called Newman's Bakery. We don't go very often, but it's a place where a man that looks like Santa will get you some coffee if the waitress is busy!

  15. I lived in a small town like this in Vermont in my 20s. We had our own doctor, too! She was well north of 80, and sharp as a tack. I know, because I went to her, me and my smart ass.

    She had not just her license, but her DIPLOMA -- the bare paper -- THUMB tacked to the wall. She charged me $ 5.00, and fixed me right up.

    I am glad I was fortunate enough not just to "see" it, but to LIVE in it.

    Bill Smith

  16. Except for the snow, this looks like a picture that could have come from a distant memory have of Alabama. Here in Chickaloon Alaska I don't see the types of old-timers such as these guys.

    Off-Grid Living Forum

  17. We have a group of these old guys that meet every single day for coffee at 4:00am. My niece is the one that serves them and I am glad that at 25 years old she gets to see and hear what these guys are all about. They are old fishermen and their language can be rather "salty" but their hard working life stories are really something we should all be paying attention to.

    We are in Alaska, so once the May tourist season hits these guys will move their meeting spot farther north into one of the places the tourists don't know about and then go back to their regular spot in September.

    The tourists come off the cruise ships into the downtown area, purchase some trinkets Made in China and tell everybody they visited Alaska. LOL