September 2, 2014

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Guest editorial — Delphos: a perfectly boring place to live PDF Print
Saturday, March 08, 2014 9:00 PM

Growing up in Delphos, I thought the town should’ve changed the motto on the welcome sign to “America’s Most Boring City.” I didn’t care that Delphos had friendly people — I wanted something to do. But with no mall or movie theater and only a few places to eat, Delphos seemed like the least exciting place my family could’ve chosen to live.

After college, I moved to Dallas and I thought I had found the perfect city that offered me everything Delphos hadn’t (and couldn’t). If I got hungry, I could choose from dozens of restaurants or grocery stores, all within a 5-minute drive of my apartment. If I got bored, I could head to one of the country’s largest malls or take in a movie at one of the 40 theaters nearby. And to top it off, if I had an emergency, I could call for help from a 3,500-member police force or walk across the street to the second-ranked hospital in Texas.

What more could I want from a city?

Turns out, a lot. I used to think only a big city could offer what I wanted. But now that I’ve started raising a family in Dallas, I’ve realized something ironic — all I really want are the little things that seemed to make Delphos so “boring.”

Delphos may provide few options to its residents but it does offer them something that cities with myriad resources cannot: small-town charm — a quality some, like me, can’t fully appreciate until they’ve had to live without it.

I miss the peace and quiet of a small town that has no concept of traffic, let alone rush hour. I might have endless entertainment options at my fingertips in a big city but battling scores of cars and traffic lights to travel there gets old quickly. If only I had SR 309 as a regular part of my drive time.

I miss the no-frills attitude of a small town that values locally-owned eateries serving good food at reasonable prices. I can choose from hundreds of pizza places in Dallas but I have to spend twice as much to get something half as tasty as a pepperoni pie from Niedeckens or Jack’s. And Dallas’s mediocre ice cream chains and overpriced frozen yogurt stores have nothing on the tasty quantities scooped at the Creamery and Dairy Hut.

I miss the country feel of a small town surrounded only by farmland and blue skies. A simple walk to the mailbox greets the Delphos resident with something almost foreign to the big-city dweller — the sounds and smells of nature from a grasshopper’s chirp to the pungency of manure. Without skyscrapers invading their view, those in Delphos can see for miles on a clear day. And tonight, they’ll look out their window and enjoy an array of stars, none of which I can see through the city’s bright lights.

So allow me to offer you, the reader, some advice: the next time you think about the excitement you could discover living elsewhere, remember all that you’d leave behind in Delphos. You’ll have little trouble finding a more extravagant place to live. But you might also find that what you want most in a city had been right in front of you all along. At one time I wanted nothing more than to escape Delphos. Now, all I want looks a lot like that perfectly boring place to live.

 

Nate is a 2005 graduate of Jefferson High School, where he was active in several student organizations, including band, choir, Quiz Bowl and baseball. Since 2010 he has lived with his wife, Noel, in Dallas, where they raise their 20-month old daughter, Zoë. He works in higher education and is pursuing a master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary.

 

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