A friend says I missed an opportunity in Wendell for the best Mexican food in the Magic Valley.  And I had been parked across the street taking pictures.  Wendell could represent the definition of “small town America”.  I saw an old man leisurely riding a bicycle through town and several young boys were up to some hijinks outside the grocery store.

I suspect there’s somewhat of a friendly rivalry between the towns.

Gooding is a bigger place and, yet.  Still a textbook small town.  Friends tell me it’s known for a really great local pizzeria.  I suspect there’s somewhat of a friendly rivalry between the towns.  It was that way when I was a teenager.  We had a competition with a neighboring town where most of my cousins lived.  They went to a school with the dominant football squad in the region.  My school produced multiple state champions in basketball.

Now that we’ve all grown and mostly moved away, there isn’t much of a contest.  Both towns are experiencing hard times.

While we’re living through some economic turbulence, I believe much of Southern Idaho will be fine.  These small towns with agriculture as a base have a means of weathering storms.  I watch the traffic passing through and if it’s a measure of economic health, there doesn’t appear to be any serious drop off.

Funny, as a teenager I couldn’t wait to grow up and leave a small town.  Now that I’m nearing retirement, I find I’d like to spend my later years anywhere but a large city.  Don’t write the fly over country obituary.  The future may yet belong to rural America.

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