Life in Banjoland

So when I moved out to Commerce almost a year ago, I understood that it was going to be different than living in Dallas. But I didn’t realize just how different it was going to be. I hate to be judgemental, but I think in the 17 or so years since I have lived in a small town, the people have changed…and not for the better.

The first thing I notice about living here now is that it seems like more people are poor. They drive cars that are older and more broken down, they live in houses that are more ramshackle, they wear clothes that are tattered. It seems that any tech boom or housing bubble never took here. I think that a small town like this is the last to rise in good economic times and the first to suffer in bad. I often wonder what everyone here does for a living. With the absence of industry or retail or manufacturing, where does everyone work? Certainly not in agriculture because that industry is dead too.
The second thing I notice is that everyone is out of shape. Gluttony is not a sin in Commerce, TX. People don’t see the correlation between having to ride around Wal-Mart in a scooter and the fact that they have flour, sugar, sodas, candy and fried foods in their shopping carts.
I won’t even go into the idea that most people out here vote Republican, if they vote at all. I can sort of understand those people who are, for Commerce standards, economically advantaged, but to see a sign in front of a ramshackle home for a Republican candidate tells me two things. The Republicans are great at selling their message and that people don’t necessarily always vote in their best interests.
Luckily I won’t have to live here forever. I wonder if the city/town I land a job in will be similar to Commerce. Not all small towns are so…dingy…backwards…but this one sure is.

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