Rock Port was not my first home, nor will it be my last. I have lived here for around five years, now, and by the time I leave for college at Mizzou next fall, it’ll be six years. I loved Rock Port at first—the idea of a safe, friendly, small town was appealing to me at twelve years old. I still loved it for a long time. However, I have grown to realize that the small town life just isn’t for me. This does not, by any means, mean that small towns aren’t great!
First of all, since Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, I would like to start by saying thank you: for graham crackers and frosting, for Ibuprofen, for boys, and for all the opportunities I’ve been given here (among other things).
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Josie Crow. I’m a senior at Rock Port High School. I’m Student Body President, I was captain of the Flag Corps, I am currently captain of our minute dance team…and I just cut my hair because after five years of growing it out, I needed a change! So, I would like to start off with my newspaper story, to illustrate what I currently love about this small town, and all towns in Atchison County, that is. Opportunities. Oh, I mentioned that earlier? Well, I’m mentioning it again, now.
I lived in Kirksville, Missouri, until seventh grade, which is a fair-sized town. If you wanted to play sports in high school, you picked one and you focused on it. Maybe two if the seasons weren’t too close together. If you played basketball, you couldn’t be a cheerleader. If you played football, there was no way you ran cross country! I am so thankful we moved to Rock Port, though, because if we hadn’t, there is no way I could do as many things as I do here! The sky is the limit!
If you can’t tell, I also love to write. I would write all day if I could! When I was five, I would read Nancy Drew books and dream about being a famous author. At five, I could just see it: the mystery novel would have a heroine, and she would be beautiful and smart and funny and have the cutest boyfriend…
Well, I’m no award-winning novelist, yet, but I’m getting there! I work at the Atchison County Mail office at the front desk. I do odd work; a cut-line here, an article there, and a lot of filing and answering phones…and I’m totally okay with it. I love that job. I would love to work at a small paper forever. Why? Because you get to dabble in a little bit of everything. You want to make an ad? Go for it! You want to learn a new picture program? Go for it! And on and on like that. It’s awesome.
Moving back to the school aspect of this little writing bit I’m making for you to read, I love that I get to dance every day during my study hall. I get to be creative and show my stuff. I get to get my groove on! I’m considering taking a Zumba class in St. Joseph, actually, and I’m very excited about it. Dancing has always come naturally to me. No, I can’t do the splits (not even close!), but I can keep time with music and my body just follows where my heart wants it to go. So, anyway, before I got side-tracked, I was going to touch on how, had I grown up in Kirksville, I would never have known I loved to dance. I hate basketball. I didn’t know this until my freshman year, but I really do. I have no passion for the game. This strikes most people as unusual because my mother is a coach and played basketball at KU and UMKC for a time. I hate it. As hard as I try, I just can’t get the danged thing in the hoop (it’s smaller than it looks). I don’t have the weight to throw around as a post, and I’m not fast. At all. Like, put me in a race with a snail and the snail would win nine times out of ten.
Okay, so, if I had stayed in Kirksville, I would have probably tried out for the basketball team. I probably wouldn’t have made it, been crushed, and continued on about my miserable life with no sports to throw myself into. Besides that humiliating fact would have been that my mother was the assistant coach! Can you say ouch? And I definitely would never have even considered trying out for the dance team. It would never have been on my radar. Now, of course, I realize how happy dancing makes me. It lifts me up. I get the chance to express myself!
So, there is a plethora of opportunities in small towns. Everything is open to everyone. If you have some talent with graphic design, go to the yearbook. Heck, while you’re in the yearbook, if you want to, you can go out for track. It all works in harmony. And maybe that’s what I’m getting at. Harmony. Small towns make schedules flow. Less stress, maybe.
So, yes, I see why parents willingly raise families here. It’s safe and there is no door closed to their children without another one opening. Here’s to opened doors and beautiful scenery!