Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Hometown

I grew up in one town for almost all of my life. We moved there when I was one year old and moved away for a short time during elementary school, about a year and a half, then moved back, even to the same neighborhood. I went to college in another state, and after graduating began teaching in a nearby community, but I will always consider this my hometown. Shortly after we moved away in fifth grade, my new school had an essay contest called, "My Hometown." Since I had only lived in Farmington for a couple months, I got special permission to write about my real hometown...and I won the prize! Anyway - I found the essay this summer when I was moving and wanted to share it here...with some pictures I took recently (plus one "borrowed" St. James sign picture from google images and a couple older pictures!). Do you have a place you consider to be your hometown?

"My Hometown" by Alicia W. - Fifth Grade - 1995

My hometown is St. James, Missouri. Even though I live in Farmington now, St. James will always seem like my hometown.

When I was one, my family moved to St. James. We soon met our neighbors. My mom said they were very nice to us.

Soon, when five years had passed, it was MY turn to go to school. One thing I liked about St. James was their schools. I went to one of their two schools. It was called Lucy Wortham James Elementary. It had kindergarten through sixth grade. The other school was John F. Hodge High School. It had seventh through twelfth grade. Their schools were gun, drug, and gang free. (Ok, so I THOUGHT so at that age...sad to say it may not have been completely accurate...) Every student got a good education.

One of many things you could count on was good friends. I had many good friends there. Also, when you went to the grocery store, you were usually known by your name. Not just ma'am or sir.

At St. James there were neighborhoods large and small. No matter what, they were safe. We had tall houses and short houses, old houses, and new houses. Your neighbors were nice, and when you needed them, they were there.

There were many typical stores in St. James that sold things like medicine or groceries and food. Many were gift and antique stores, though. If you needed lumber, tools, or garden things, there was a Scott's True Value Store and a Wilson Lumber Company, right in town.

In St. James, you could always feel secure. There was a police department, fire department, and city hall in the middle of town. When you needed to mail a letter, or buy a paper, you would go into town.

Do you like movies? There was even a movie theater.

When you needed food for horses, cats and any pets, there was a feed store. You didn't even need to place a special order.

In St. James, there were many flower shops. At Larken's Flower Patch, you could get flowers, gifts, cards, plants, and balloons. It was the best!

In the summer, I liked to go to Nelson Hart Park. There were three baseball diamonds, restrooms, two basketball courts, a soccer field, a community center, and a parking lot.

When it got hot, I really liked to go to the city park. They had three pools, two basketball courts, four playgrounds, a nature trail, a lake, restrooms, barbecue grills, picnic areas, one baseball field, bleachers, and a cemetery. It was fun.

My favorite place to spend time in the summer was the library. I liked to go and do the summer reading program, hear stories, and check out chapter books.

In St. James we had a winery and an apple orchard. Sometimes I would go to the grapevines and pick grapes.

My favorite time of year was August. We always had the Grape and Fall Festival. It was just like Country Days only smaller. It was neat!

At St. James there were at least five churches to pick from. I went to the Baptist church. People there were very nice.

A few miles away was Meremac Springs. It was a natural park. It had springs, playgrounds, fish, history museums, and a look-out tower. In the fall, it was beautiful!

Sometimes I think St. James is just a little town, but then I look back and say, "Wow! Look at that town grow!" I am proud because St. James will always be my hometown!

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