Yesterday I spent almost 4 hours in the car driving back and forth to southern Missouri. Well maybe not as south as I could go but 80 miles south of Kansas City. My son had to go work on a truck near Archie,Mo. I took the opportunity to research Archie a smaller town of about 1,170 souls.
The down town business district consisted of a barber shop a very small post office closed store fronts and a library. I pulled into the library. Two sweet ladies answered all my questions and gave me more to think about. My novel I am currently working on is set in a very small town and near the Arkansas Missouri border. In my story we have a very rich land owner who owns the majority of the county and is a scrooge-type miser. His recent death is what our hero Matthew(may change that name) is dealing with as his grandfather is well known and unloved- he has felt alone his entire life.
I want a diner at the center of the town to be the gathering place and the beginning and ending where progress will be shown. I didn’t see a diner in Archie. Another strange thing was they had NO grocery store and have to travel to a bigger city for that. The school was huge- but then it also taught grades K-12-which is common in smaller burgs.
The crowning glory was he town park- It was small. But it was also a family named place done in a memorial to those who served in the surrounding areas in all branches of the military. Something I may take into advisement to add to my story. I also got a name and phone number t a lady who is willing to answer more questions and is involved in the historical society for the county. WOW.
Events in small town USA are centered mostly around School athletics and programs. People go to K.C. for night life. Just some insights into rural America I found interesting.