Tag Archives: small town



 andrew killawee is a canadian tv producer who recently had his wheelbarrow stolen and he announced this with a sign outside of his home: “BRING BACK MY WHEELBARROW.”

 a few days later, the sign had changed: “THANK YOU FOR BRINGING BACK MY WHEELBARROW.” apparently tersely worded demands for stolen property, in rural canada, lead to results. and results lead to politely worded replies.

all of this might have gone forgotten—a brief, humorous tale of small-town crime, one among many brief, humorous tales of small-town crime that happen in small towns across the world—if it hadn’t been for twitter, where an acquaintance of killawee combined the hand-painted signs into a single tweet.  

her tweet went viral, and he later noted his regret at not being more fluent with the service. “well it took a lot of hard work, but I think I can now retire. thanks to my friend for really making the big push here … i’ll learn twitter one of these days.”

“i mean if we even had a wheelbarrow,

that would be something.”

-william goldman




credits: erik shilling, atlas obscura, andrew killawee -photo

it’s a small town after all.


my friend

who spends days working in our busy capitol city of lansing

comes home at night to the quiet little town of owosso

 – its polar opposite.

in fact, it’s the home of the polar express

which wakes up the entire town with its early hour whistle blow

 each and every morning from thanksgiving on through the holidays

but there is so much more here

with all the charm and quirks that only a small town embraces


the castle built by a local eccentric from the past overlooking the river


a tea room complete with hats and boas to wear

a trading post with gold, tools, guitar and guns

and best of all

the local five and dime store

complete with

an accordion on a bench waiting to be played

brach’s candy counter

wall of embroidery floss

balsa wood pieces of all sizes

suet cakes


50 cent bags of popcorn


my favorite feature of all

the special of the week – napkin sale

which far surpassed all expectations

this was my lucky day for so many reasons.

“every week in a small town is very different. something is going on.”

– emily rose

a small town is a place where there’s no place to go where you shouldn’t. – burt bacharach



spent a slow, sunny afternoon

in the pretty little town of

st. clair, michigan

right on the river

reading and writing

watching people and ships

come and go.


and in the

friendly coffee shop

right across from the water

run by sue

where i sat near

a retired teacher

meeting her former student

who long ago was

a 3-year old

in her class

for the first time

after many years

with photo albums

and stories

and catching up on life

and finally she got tired

and said it was time to go


they hugged

going their separate ways

with a promise to meet once again

before so long.

and the high school girls

gathering around a table

excited and nervous

about the coming school year

chatting and giggling

sharing stories

 someone’s little sister

sat on her lap

having her hair braided

looking at her comic book


as part of the group

and learning from these girls

dreaming about what it will be like one day

to be a high school girl

and giggle and fret with your friends.

and the old man

 who held the door

offering to buy a ‘drink’ for two older lady friends

who were awaiting his arrival

regaling them with tales

of his days in europe

reliving them

or perhaps living them for the first time

with his retelling.


and the young boys on the river

determined to enjoy the last days of summer

jumping in without fear and with squeals of laughter.

the nice part about living in a small town

is that when you don’t know what you’re doing,

someone else does

 – immanuel kant