Stranger in a Small Town

The Years Leading up to  1997

We grew up in a small town. A really small town. We had to share our football stadium with the two neighboring towns. Everyone’s parents had gone to school together. We even all had the same doctor – Dr. Popish was certified in family practice, which included pediatrics, geriatrics, and everything in between. The whole town knew Frannie Jacobs was knocked up before she even left Dr. Popish’s parking lot.

My aunt Liza owned the local hangout – Liza’s Pizza. “Liza Rhymes with Pizza” was her slogan, but the occasional goon adapted it to, “Liza Rhymes with Miz-uh.” During our High School years, it was easy to get booze from Aunt Li’s place and if we left our cars in the visitor lot & travelled home by foot, everyone knew we’d had a rough night. We could never get too drunk, though, because the polic station was directly across the street.

Nobody new ever came to town, but several people left after going away to college, after discovering the world outside our bubble.

Dani & I came back – and we brought Caleb Mitchell with us. He was from Maryland. He didn’t have any relatives in town & and he didn’t know anything about anyone. Even worse, Dr. Popish wasn’t present for Caleb’s birth, teething, puberty, growth spurts, or flu seasons. But Dani & I wouldn’t have brought Caleb around if he wasn’t a decent person.

The town was just too small for him, some people justified. He got cabin fever & lost his marbles.

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