Across America, states are littered with small towns, and each city has its own intricacies that make it unique and a treasure to visit. However, as a proud citizen of a small town and eager tourist of other small towns across the Southeast, I can confirm that, despite our unique qualities, there are simply some landmarks that can be found in every small city. Here are the 10 places that every small town has.
1. A greasy spoon restaurant with local delicacies
Every town has its hole in the wall locations that serve some of the best food, hands down. These are places that chain restaurants simply can’t touch. An unlikely champion? Absolutely. Healthy? Absolutely not. Nevertheless, we small town folk value quality served up by people who have been in the business for a long time. Here in Cochran, The Grill is that place for us.
2. Flash Foods
Errr… Circle K?? Sorry, never heard of her. Every small town local has a deep affinity for Polar Pops, the cheap, delicious ale that flows from this store’s receptacles and won’t hesitate to pop on in and reach for that X-Large Styrofoam cup.
3. Culturally diverse food options.
Don’t you ever tell me we aren’t cultured when we have two Mexican restaurants, a Chinese eatery, and places that offer good ol’ Southern style and American food. Who needs travel abroad when you can have that kind of culinary experience in town?
4. Parking Lot Yard Sales
If you hail from my neck of the woods, you know that you’ll crane your neck to spot good deals from the road. The first of the month is the opportune time to get your deals on the secondhand (though DEFINITELY NOT second-rate) goodies.
5. Home of the ROMEOs
The ROMEOs, aka The Really Old Men Eating Out, is an elite club for men past the age of 60. In essence, it’s a group of old men who eat together and get coffee together every morning. Mickey D’s is that place for our Cochran ROMEOs.
6. Two Grocery Options
Once upon a time, we had Piggly Wiggly and Harveys, yet, even before this, we had Piggly Wiggly duking it out with IGA. These days, our choices are limited to Walmart and Dollar General Market. Though the numbers from town to town may vary, this reality doesn’t: we overcompensate with Southern hospitality to make up for the severe lack of groceries in town.
P.S- Two most dangerous words to say in these stores? Snow Storm.
7. Locally Owned, Tried and Tested Businesses
These businesses have faced the turmoil of the new days, and they have stood the test of time. These businesses are often multi-generational and always monumentally appreciated! Only in a small town will the pharmacist meet you at the business after hours to make sure you have your meds. That’s what I call service!
8. Nearby Big Towns
For all those essentials you simply can’t get in town. We speak about it with such frequency and gusto that outsiders might be compelled to think that Warner Robins is a store in town, not a completely different city.
9. Parking Lot Hang Out Spots for Teens
No, there is not a movie theater, teen club, etc. in town, so teenagers are forced to make their own hangout spots. This PL could come in the form of Walmart, Flash Foods, etc. It’ll never fail that this place will be occupied by a truck or six every Friday and Saturday night, assuming that there’s no high school football game that week, of course.
10. Some Landmark for Teens and Grown Ups
Here in Cochran, the best way to tell if you are speaking to an outsider or simply a local you’ve never met is whether or not they respond “which one?” to your reference to “The River.” The local spot for multi-generational hangouts is often known in general terms; after all, it’s Cochran very own hallowed ground.