Free Falling

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BOB WOELK
This is the time of year when people move into and out of our fair city of Hillsboro. For those who are leaving, good luck. I hope you find what you are looking for somewhere else. If not, come on back.


Those of you who are new to town, I hope you like what you see so far. I have been a resident of Marion County all my life, and I have lived in Hillsboro for more than 20 years.


So, I feel qualified and obligated to offer our newcomers some helpful information about their new hometown. Keep in mind, however, my comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chamber of Commerce, the publisher of this newspaper or even my wife.


The top 10 good things about living in Hillsboro:


(10) If asked where you live, you can just mention the name of the person who used to live in your house.


(9) If you are lonely, just tear away and rebuild your front porch. Everyone will ask you what is going on. It’s a great conversation starter.


(8) You won’t be caught up in the dilemma of which Hillsboro barber should cut your hair.


(7) Nobody has complained about the school mascot being politically incorrect and offensive to people from Troy.


(6) The view of the sunsets is not obscured by tall buildings.


(5) Enough tanning beds for everyone.


(4) The sighting of a stray dog is a rarity, and your neighbors’ cats will ensure that your flowerbeds are well fertilized.


(3) It only takes a little poop to close the pool.


(2) When you are ready to move up to a newer home, there are plenty of housing developments developing. Just be sure to read all the fine print.


And, the No. 1 good thing about living in Hillsboro: it’s nothing like living in a big city.


How about the negatives? The top 10 drawbacks of living in Hillsboro:


(10) Progress comes slowly. The promised movie theater has yet to show, and the new Chinese restaurant took so long to open people thought its name was Co-Ming-Soon (punchline courtesy of Adam Driggers).


(9) Wheat truck traffic jams on Ash Street during harvest.


(8) The only place to walk or jog around town is on the streets (See drawback No. 9).


(7) There’s no place to rent a movie on Sunday.


(6) Those pesky hubcap thieves are at it again.


(5) Some business owners expect your hometown loyalty without making any effort to earn it.


(4) Last year, the pool was closed a lot (See strong point No. 3).


(3) Sunday drivers can be found seven days a week. Never assume any driver will do the smart thing or even the legal thing.


(2) Some really bad sidewalks with some low-hanging branches over them.


And, the No. 1 drawback to living in Hillsboro: it’s nothing like living in a big city. Sometimes it’s about as exciting as watching wheat ripen.


Overall, the living is good in Hillsboro. The town offers just enough exciting events to keep things lively. There’s the annual Marion County Fair in August, the Arts and Crafts Fair in September and the Folk Festival in May.


Marion Reservoir is only a long rod-and-reel cast away to the east, and movie theaters and steak houses are within a half hour’s driving distance. Larger metropolitan areas are only about an hour away. We even have enough gas stations to create mini price wars once in a while.


I am constantly intrigued and amused by all the high school seniors who vow they will never return to “this one-horse town” once they graduate, but somehow many of them end up back in town in a few short years.


I think that one fact says volumes about our fair city. Sure, we have our share of slowpoke drivers, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, bratty kids playing car stereos too loudly and gossip.


However, by any yardstick I’ve ever used to measure, small towns of Marion County come out far above the rest.

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