“Your arm gets tired if you sit here long enough, because you’re waving at people all the time. That’s really what America is about. Before the big cities, people in small towns socialized with one another: you got to know everyone, so when something happened, you could help them.
“This is a small village—only 800 people—so people should know and care about one another. But some of them come from the city and still have a different mentality. In the city, you can live next door to somebody and all you say is ‘hi’—you pass by, never talk to them, and don’t know anything about them. People are on edge. Maybe they’re tense because they’re trying to provide for themselves economically. There’s also more crime, more polarization, more inequality: you have the poor neighborhood, and you have the rich neighborhood.
“Most of our town may not be rich, but we treat each other as equals, more or less. And you don’t hear about burglaries here—once in a while you hear some kid smoked marihuana or someone drank too much and couldn’t handle it, but that’s the biggest crime you hear about.”
Paw Paw, IL