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Mayberry Does Exist and I Live in it.  By Frank Rolfe.

Like most kids in the 1960's, I watched the Andy Griffith Show and was envious of the carefree, friendly lifestyle that was presented.  Compared to my hostile, stressed out world in a city of over a million people Mayberry seemed like a dream. 

Then I moved to a town with a population of 4,500 people and I learned first hand that this ideal town does exist.  In fact all over the United States, but only in small town population towns.  Why?

Small town U.S.A. relies on 100% participation from every resident in order to operate.  Unlike the big city, there are not enough people to fill every roll.  In the big city there are too many people to fill the roles, so there has to be a series of screenings and exclusions.  As a result in small town U.S.A. you will be asked to participate in nearly everything: at home, school, church and the community.  There is no exclusion in small towns, there can't be. 

Since you will quickly find yourself involved with so many people you will develop a large network of friends.  There are fewer people and you will soon discover that almost everyone knows your name and what you have been up to.  As a result, people tend to naturally look out for you and your family.

Recently, our daughter came home from school unexpectedly.  Before she could wonder where we were, one of our neighbors invited her over and called us to let us know she was home.  In fact, I can go into any restaurant in town, before I order it they will bring me my customary iced tea with a how you doing Frank. 

Some people take this type of social structure as being nosy.  I would disagree.  There is a big difference between being nosy and being friendly.  The nosy people I have known were in the city.  Always asking what you did for a living and where your kids went to school.  Collecting data and looking for weak spots to gossip.  Nobody will ask you what you do or any other private information in the small town.  Since they don't believe in exclusion, it wouldn't matter anyway.

I haven't met Andy or Goober yet, but I feel every day like I'm in a classic black and white movie.  This is one movie that lasts a lifetime.  Do yourself a favor, investigate some small towns you might be interested in.  There are plenty of towns out there that would like to meet you.


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