By Melanie J. Knox, Opinion Editor
As I Wish
My prom date dumped me a week before senior prom. Determined that I should attend, my best friends hooked me up in a Popeye’s parking lot with a friend’s boyfriend’s friend who lived in a town near ours. No one thought twice about it.
That’s right. For Christmas, I’ll be going home to Corsicana: population 24,485, surrounded by fields and other small communities. Many students have grown up in towns much smaller than this, but Corsicana felt like a small town, and I want to vouch for the small towns of Texas.
When I came to Abilene and found a mall with a Gap, an Old Navy and an American Eagle, I almost died of happiness. Going to a mall like that took an hour of driving where I came from. I didn’t understand Dallas people who were disappointed with the Mall of Abilene.
With no malls to loiter in, my friends and I most often entertained ourselves in the next-best thing-Wal-Mart;. Our favorite rainy night activity included a trip to Wal-Mart to dress up in the ugliest clothes we could find and make a mini-fashion show. None of the employees tried to stop us, and we laughed so hard we cried.
Wal-Mart’s parking lot also proved useful on Independence Day. We’d all pile in the back of a truck with glow sticks and watch the fireworks go off in the high school football stadium. Then we’d find a deserted field and explode our own fireworks. One time we set the field on fire. I hope I never have to stomp out knee-high flames again.
We also spent a good majority of the weekends cruising 7th. We found beauty in this activity’s simplicity: drive up and down a two-mile stretch of road with the music really loud and laugh a lot. The only other goal we had was the occasional stops in various parking lots to visit with friends who also engaged in cruising. Anything could happen during these stops. Who knew? You might get a party invitation or even get a prom date.
I love many things about Corsicana. Old men still sit around every morning at Ray’s downtown. A little farther down the bricked street, you’ll find Dee’s Place, an old soda shop where Dee still makes his own ice cream in the back.
At Phil’s R&H Pharmacy where I worked, customers still say, “Hey Phil, just put that on my account,” and we did. The whole town shows up for the football games through rain and cold, and all the shops paint their windows with our colors, blue and gold.
Some of my other favorite activities included: decorating flip flops with fabric, toilet papering friend’s yards, making T-shirts in our school colors, mudding/getting stuck, in my little Plymouth Breeze, and going to What-a-burger for chicken strips and cream gravy at one in the morning.
These events, places and activities shaped me and my life, the only life I knew. And I loved it.
So to my fellow small-towners: show pride in your unique heritage. Don’t let the Dallas preps and the Houston brats get you down. Keep telling your stories, speak with a Texas hick drawl, and most of all, show pride in your hometown. Go Tigers!