Some say it's a backward place, narrow minds on the narrow way, but I make it a point to say, that's where I come from." ~Kenny Chesney
I grew up in Decatur, Texas, a town of between 5,000 and 6,000 people, located about 40 miles northwest of Fort Worth. Relatively small. I lived there from the age of two, when my parents moved there, to the age of eighteen, when I went away to college. Decatur was a great place to grow up. It is probably not that different from other small towns except for the fact that it's my small town. Of course there are things that make Decatur unique. Our pink granite courthouse on the square is a sight to see. We have the Old Settlers Reunion at the Sheriffs Posse Grounds every summer. And don't forget Moon Light Madness or the Swap Meet. If you don't understand what any of that means it's okay. You just aren't from Decatur.
I graduated from DHS in a class of around 125 in '98 and of those people, a big number of us had gone to school together since kindergarten. Everyone knows everyone in Decatur. Not so much anymore as the town grows, but it rang more true when I was growing up there. That is sometimes a blessing and a curse of a small town. Everyone knows you, meaning everyone knows your business. The town is full of school spirit and everyone can be found at the football stadium on Friday nights during the fall. There are churches on every corner and you usually know who goes to church where. And yes, driving through town you will see cows and horses in pastures. I never thought about that growing up. That was normal life. But bring an outsider in, someone who grew up in Houston or Las Vegas, and it's a sight to see. I'll never forget a friend of mine being surprised at the gravel driveway at my parent's house. lol! Yes, some folks call me country, but that's okay. Growing up there made me who I am today and I'm pretty okay with that. What's that song?..."I'm from the country and I like it that way." The thought of this post occurred to me when I was in Decatur for Easter. My sister and I were driving back from my grandparent's house, 20 miles north of town (yes, that is country) and we passed some men that were pulled over on the side of the road and they gave us the finger. Not the rude middle finger gesture you may be thinking of, but the index finger wave. It just made me smile. I remember seeing my Dad and Papa do this when I was growing up and I thought it was pretty funny. But that's what you do in the country. This little gesture made me think about "my town" and how much I appreciate having grown up there. I have wonderful friends from Decatur, many of which I've know over 20 years. My parents and sister still live there in the house we grew up in. As much as I love living in the city and being 5 minutes away from everything, I'm glad I didn't grow up here. I'm glad I didn't graduate from high school with over 1,000 people I didn't know and learn to drive on these crazy highways. It just made me realize that small town life isn't so bad. I am thankful for where I'm from and where I've been.
Eighter from Decatur, County Seat of Wise