I live in Lake Wobegon. And the Lake Wobegons of our country are still relevant. My brilliant co-author Julie says of our town, "we're so far behind we're ahead."
If you listen to Garrison Keillor and the show is live, the weather he reports in Lake Wobegon for that day is exactly the weather in River Falls, Wisc. for that day. But it goes beyond that, and the fact Keillor has a house outside of River Falls. My favorite small town aspects of River Falls:
-Parking downtown is a penny.
-The hardware store owner knows my name.
-The movie theater, for first run movies, charges $3. Popcorn is 50 cents.
-Farm Tractors drive through town. (They are enormous)
-Everyone brings a potluck dish to the bar to share on Packer game days.
-The family run local radio station has funeral announcements every day, and its "sports from around the world" means every team within 20 miles.
-Farmers sell their produce on the honor system. Drop money in a box, take your food (see below).
And what I know is that some of the small town Lake Wobegon values are actually those of the 21st century. Small dense communities, people walking, safe neighborhoods at night, knowing your neighbor, volunteering, closer touch with farms and nature. What other values of small town America are 21st century?