Hot. Sultry. Outside on a Saturday night in a small town in the South. Feels much like wearing an angora sweater in a wet sauna. But you suffer the oppressive heat and humidity to gain something more than a satisfactory test of whether your anti-perspirant works like the commercials said it would. You endure the climatic discomfort to connect with the many reasons that keep you here in this small town in the South: the many people.
There are those in this place that loudly complain there is nothing to do here . . . ever. They decry the lack of things to do using foul language. Well, I would like to say a few F-words myself to tell you what this Saturday night in this small town held for me: Family, friends, and fireworks.
A family reunion was taking place at a renovated local train depot. One attending family member is an employee for a professional fireworks display company. Out of his desire to make the reunion memorable, and his love for this community, he put together the biggest fireworks extravaganza the town has previously seen, even larger than the display at the annual Portfest. Free to the families, friends and neighbors of this area.
Who says there is nothing to do in this town? This night is just one of many opportunities we have to enjoy in our small town.
So, we went out to watch what was a spectacular, professional display of fireworks but more than entertainment took place, recreation took place. As the town assembled on Front Street, people connected, relationships were "recreated." The disconnect that happens in the busyness of living life: heading off to jobs, to school, home and garden chores, meetings, civic duties, family activities . . . gone, as people sat next to each other, catching up, connecting. What you heard and saw was laughter, conversation, friendship, hugging, back-slapping, handshaking.
What you experienced was . . . community.
A small town in the South on a Saturday night.