21 April 2016

Welcome to Cecil

I'm from a small town. So small, in fact, that I rarely even bother mentioning it when someone asks me where I'm from. Ditto the next closest town. I usually say Defiance, and even then people give me blank stares.

Some people know, though, that I'm from Cecil. Technically I lived 3.1 miles outside of Cecil. In a different county altogether. But my mailbox had the pleasure of living on the south side of the road, so, Cecil it is.

Population 172.

Earlier this week, a friend shared an article on my Facebook page about, of all places, my hometown. I couldn't think of any reason Cecil would make the news, so I quickly clicked to learn more. Imagine my surprise when I read: 10 Small Towns in Ohio Where You'd Never Want to Live. #1? You guessed it!

Using science and data (population, unemployment rates, housing cost, median income, education and crime), the author declared my town the winner, er, loser?

I wasn't sure how I felt about this at first. I don't have any real connection to Cecil. My only memory of Cecil involves a store that had gigantic jawbreakers. And the post office. I think I went there once. There was also a bar around there I remember going to once or twice (as a minor, oddly enough, with my parents).

That's it. That's all I got for Cecil.

It is small; that's a fact. I can't argue the crime rate, because I don't know anything about it other than what the author wrote. And I didn't know graduating high school was such an accomplishment (something 2 out of 3 people barely do) - yay me. The thing I did take offense to was the author's "boring" label. Just because a town is small doesn't mean it's boring.

I have amazing memories of growing up in the middle of nowhere. Sure, I couldn't walk to my friends' houses or call them all the time (unless it was after 7 p.m., long-distance charges, don'tcha know), but we had fun. Sometimes we'd go into Sherwood (population 813) and Rollerblade. Or Ney (population 348) and drink (when we were 21, of course). Other times, most times, we just hung out. Listened to music. Went swimming in someone's pond. Went fishing or canoeing in a pond or on the river. Had bonfires. Went four-wheeling. Risked our lives on our homemade ziplines and rope swings. Definitely not boring.

The author would probably argue that I liked living in the country, not specifically Cecil, but you have to be from somewhere and my mailbox says I'm from Cecil.