Re: The Optimist, Oct. 10 Winters, Abilene a wonderland to some by Lori Bredemeyer, managing editor.
Props to Lori Bredemeyer for upholding the virtues of small-town life. I am also from a small town: Bonanza, a 350-person farming-and-ranching community in Southern Oregon.
I agree; too many people don’t appreciate Abilene, or small towns in general. Growing up in the country, we learned to have fun in the simple things … impromptu rodeos, riverside camp-outs, 4-wheel drive and country music. We manage to find joy in everyday stuff: ranch work, like mending fences and cutting firewood. Going to “town,” a place about half the size of Abilene, complete with a Wal-Mart and coffee shop, is a fun outing, as well as necessary for groceries and other essentials.
Probably many people reading this are rolling their eyes, thinking what a hick I am … but I’m proud of rural America. I don’t think that many people truly understand or appreciate farmers and ranchers and the value that they give to our country. I know that this sounds clichZ, but small towns are the heart of America.
The farmers and ranchers that so many deride as hicks actually have very important jobs that require a considerable amount of skill, intelligence and finesse. How many people know how to doctor cattle, bale hay or fertilize crops? These are all skills that feed America and yet are derided by those who do not understand this way of life. So many skills that come naturally to us hicks are often unheard of here. Knowing how to ride horses, build fires, buck hay and mend barbed wire fence is essential to rural life.
All I’m saying is give us hicks a chance. Pay attention in your Environmental Science class, and don’t deride Abilene and its small-town cousins. We are more essential to your life than you think, and in our own quiet way, we’re taking care of you.
junior journalism major from Bonanza, Oregon