Everyone thinks that growing up in a small town now is so much different than it was 50 years ago, but how different was it actually? Sure, there might be less mom and pop stores ran by the neighbor two doors down, but everyone knows everyone and their parents. Wayne County has gotten smaller itself, with the town of Sims having no businesses now, whereas there was a gas station, three restaurants, a general store, two mechanic shops, and three sawmills in recent history. All that’s left currently is one sawmill, outside of town, and memories from grandparents of what used to be.
When children hit the age of about ten, they were usually allowed to walk to their friends’ houses to meet them to pass the day. They didn’t have cell phones, internet, or even a way to report back to their parents. They were expected home by the time that the street lights started to flicker on and the sun was setting. Neighborhoods were generally safer and kids were trusted a little bit more. They walked to and from school, in the heat or the icy cold weather. Nowadays, kids have to check in with parents almost every five minutes, they drive them places instead of trusting them to walk across town, and they get bused to school. Even in Wayne County, neighborhoods have been forced to adjust to the changing times and face the feeling that neighborhoods aren’t as safe, even in towns as small as the ones in Wayne County.