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"Empty House on the Prairie"

This feature in the New York Times chronicles how small, midwestern towns are literally paying people to come live there. It is a reflection of how due to a number of factors, the growth of corporate farming and the information/service economy, small-town life in Mid-America is dying out. People are rapidly migrating to the cities.

I am tempted to take these folks up on the offer. However, living in community requires, to a certain degree, likeminded people with similar values. I'm not sure how many Catholic, intellectually serious (at least I'd like to think so), and culturally/socially/politically conservative folks (well, there are plenty of those, I suppose) I am going to find on the range. For better or worse, to a certain degree I am addicted to the pleasures of cosmopolitan city living. I will have to focus my search on the plethora of small, German-Catholic midwestern cities if I am to be successful. (Although, the way the boys at Southern Appeal talk about the South makes me want to hitch a trailer and move the family to Birmingham, Macon, or Charleston right now.)

A few nights back I had dinner with an important figure in the legal community who indicated that he gave up on the rigors of big-city American life and moved his family to Utah. It turns out, he loves it, and his family has flourished. Salt Lake City might not have all of the resources of Boston, but it does have them, and they are enjoyed in a less-pretensious manner. People loved the fact that he brought his small son to a Shakespeare performance. This would be taboo in Chicago, or even Minneapolis. Additionally, in smaller metropolitan areas, one can enjoy the happy medium between the big "Euro-cities" and the provincialism of a town in northwest North Dakota.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 2, 2005 10:53 AM.

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