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Why I like living in a small town

By John Toth

The Bulletin

I have written before about how I prefer small town living, after growing up in big cities. What happened to me recently further confirms my point.

I walked into the Angleton Recreation Center recently to do my routine - stretch, get on my phone, lift some weights, get on my phone, get on the machines, my phone again, and finally walk on the treadmill while being on my phone.

That’s the routine I usually follow. I try to make it a meaningful workout, but never to the point that I pull something or over-exert myself. There is probably very little chance of that, although my phone did run out of battery once, and I had to cut short the routine.

Before I do all this, I place my belongings in a locker box and create a combination. Everything goes in there except for the phone, reading glasses and a casual shirt I wear over my workout shirt. The casual shirt goes on a metal rack next to the locker boxes.

The other day I did all this and got a good workout in, checked all my emails and browsed social media.

Then we left - Sharon and I usually go together. Neither one of us noticed that my shirt was still lying on the metal rack, nicely folded so that it would not be wrinkled when I put it back on.

Three days later I was looking for my gym membership card everywhere.

I called upon Sharon to help in the search since she has a knack for finding things that I misplaced. She’s had plenty of practice.

Even a professional finder like Sharon could not find this card. But she did find another Angleton rec center card I missplaced a few months ago, so that solved the problem. Off we went to the gym.

After an extensive workout and surfing the web, we started to leave when I saw something familiar on the metal rack.

“Hey, I think this is mine. I left it here the last time we were here,” I remarked.

It was the shirt I had carefully folded up and placed on the rack. It was still in the same place, untouched.

Nobody looked in the pockets, one of which contained my newer membership card; now I have two.

People in small towns don’t take other peoples’ stuff (a few do, but most don’t). That is one reason I like small towns.

Sharon grew up in small towns, but I grew up in Budapest, Vienna, and New York City.

Budapest doesn’t count because I was 10 years old when I left and didn’t really get to experience the big city life there. Plus, I was born just before the Hungarian Revolution, so that put a damper on things.

Vienna was a lot of fun, by far the best big city I have been in. I would not have minded if I had grown up there, but the political winds were blowing in a different direction.

Hence, my mother and I landed in New York City, the Big Apple, in which I never got all that comfortable.

I remember telling my mother that I was going to settle down in a small town, maybe near a big city - that’s the best of both worlds. I could go into the city to have some fun and then return to my safe and friendly small town.

I wanted to live on a street where kids still run around and leave their bikes outside at night, where I can forget to close my car’s trunk at night, and nothing would be missing from it the next morning when I notice that I forgot to close the trunk.

We raised a family in a house located on a street like that. We still live there, minus the kids.

My mother never got to experience this peaceful lifestyle. She loved the city, although she really didn’t do a lot to take advantage of what it had to offer.

I left as soon as I could and came to Texas to start on my career. I was done with the big city life.

My small town is growing by leaps and bounds, but even so, it’s still going to be just my small town - where kids can leave their bikes and balls outside, and I can leave my shirt at the gym, where it remains until I go get it.


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