Rural resident pool cash to save last bars, gathering sites Once-bustling Renwick, Iowa, lost its grocery, hardware store, school and Ford dealership years ago, but when its sole bar closed last June, it seemed to some residents there wasn't much of a town left. So a group of seven friends and spouses who had met for beers at the bar for decades took matters into their own hands.
Jim Stiles at the Zephyr does a thorough job reporting on a small group of people dismantling small town governments in the Rocky Moutnain west. Are Rebecca Davidson and crew agents of change bringing small town 20th century bureaucracies into 21st century reality? Or are they neocons dismantling “big government” from within one small town at a time? Or they just conmen snowing ignorant/greedy city councils? Story long and well researched and still in progress.
Rural neighborhood churches, once the heart of many Iowan communities, are disappearing along with local schools. The result is a tear in the social fabric of life in the Midwest. “There is no glue holding these communities together ... and it’s making us forget how to neighbor. ... If someone is working all the time and has less disposable income, where can they go for help? It used to be church. Now?” ... “you can’t survive unless you become a neighbor and then let other people neighbor you in turn.”
"The twins’ mother, Sandra King, held her sons tightly, then returned to her post at the Grant Aviation ticket counter. She said she’d be joining them in California later. The rest of the family went out to the tarmac. Kremer was left leaning against an educational display detailing the natural wonders of the Izembek Lagoon. “Well,” he said. “I guess I’m the last kid in Cold Bay.”
Imagine your hometown never changed. That no one ever grew old or moved on. Part book, part film, part family photo album, Welcome to Pine Point unearths a place frozen in time and discovers what happens when an entire community is erased from the map. [Autoplaying music/film in links] [more inside]
Ghost Cowboy :: True Tales of Adventure in the American West
Adam Steele was not a loved or lovable guy in his hometown of Bemidji, Minnesota. But is lovableness a requirement for journalists? Part 2 here.
The Tao of Podunk celebrates the vast diversity of the American urban experience, from big cities to, well, Pudunks (be sure to check out the Podunk extras, such as claims to fame and imaginary places).
Murder on Swan's Island Not a Stephen King story or a Murder She Wrote episode, but a real tragedy in a real small town in Maine (not far from my home town) where the deaths of two people change the lives of an entire community forever. It set me thinking ... how would this story be different if set in Boston, or LA, or London? Would the pain and loss for those who knew Jamie and Stacy be the same? Or is it magnified by the close-knit family that makes up a rural island township?