I’ve posted before about creating the town of Wallington, GA when I wrote the “Small Town” Quilting series. I used four towns I’ve lived in or have visited extensively; one in Georgia, one in Louisiana, one in Maine, and here in South Florida. I threw in other things as needed for descriptions, plot, or character support.
Small towns are definitely not for everyone. E-commerce and all the on-line deliveries available now though has gone a long way to minimizing one of the big drawbacks which is limited access to goods. Then again, there is also the definition of “small”. Census data uses a range of less than 5,000 although less than 10,000 is referred to as well. For me, around 15-20,000 is more my comfort zone, which isn’t the kind of “true small town” where literally everybody knows everybody. When I go back to visit Louisiana, my stops include the range of the very small place where my favorite aunt and cousins live to the larger university town, and of course I was going to the town where Daddy lived. There’s no one left there for me to visit although I may need to make another trip to take care of one lingering task.
Anyway, what prompted this post was I spent a frustrating part of yesterday morning trying to reach Social Security to get a piece of information about Daddy. Not surprisingly, he didn’t have an on-line account. Without getting into dreary detail, I was at that stage of raising my voice at the robot “help”. And yes, I had looked everywhere I could to try and send a query on-line. After my second round of calls attempting to get through, I did finally get passed to wait for a representative. That went to a “we can’t accept any more calls today. Please call back at another time”, plus a couple of comments about how busy they are. I then had a thought and looked up the number to the actual office in the town where Daddy lived. I waited until afternoon and tried the main number once again just to be fair. No luck on even the first round of trying to get help. I then called the office and spoke with an actual human. He listened to my problem, looked up what I needed and will allegedly mail it to me today. No, he didn’t know Daddy – the town isn’t that small – yet he was sympathetic and was willing to help.