By Rick Hinton
Indiana native musician John Mellencamp sang, many years ago, about the virtues of a small town … and he was pretty much on target.
Small towns are a fixture of Americana – a timeless and solid bedrock of a time past when life was simpler, and the opportunities in the “big city” lie on a distant horizon. Many folks in these small communities elect to remain in a time and place of their own choosing. Others, however, move on to a bigger picture and make their mark – whether good or bad. Yet, in it all, the small town atmosphere never completely leaves the heart or soul. Many return in the end.
Indiana has its share of small towns with that inescapable hometown feel: Wanamaker, Beech Grove, Irvington, Southport, Greenwood, Trafalgar, Bargersville and Nineveh, that manage to keep that feel in place through either a lifetime of residency or the act of bringing folks back permanently at a later date to rediscover the home of their youth. Indiana small towns can be aloof and mysterious, sometimes off the beaten path, defined and cemented and set firmly in history regardless of the progression around them. However, many times these communities hold memories of a series of tragic events swept under the rug and best not discussed.
A small town has its “quirky” stories to tell – most often interesting. A community built of brick, cement and wood is also composed of the human element that drives the machine. And regardless that it is a small town or larger city, this human element always carries the potential for things not so nice. It happens!
Events that evolve into these quirky stories can, and do, translate into paranormal possibilities. Are there remnants of things lurking in the shadow lands of a small town? They seem to be full of them!
People in small towns come and go after their walk in the sun. Their impact can be as gentle as the passing wind, or something more dramatic resonating long after they’re gone. An imprint is just that – what you see, touch and feel never really goes away. In life and death, immersion in small town values instills a solid foundation, never fully leaving your soul, regardless of distance. Physically we may be miles from the source, but – do we ever truly leave?
Paranormal secrets can certainly become in and of itself a resident in a small town. Yet, getting those to talk about it becomes another matter entirely. …
Well I was born in a small town,
And I can breathe in a small town,
Gonna die in this small town,
And that’s probably where they’ll bury me.