Small-town living at its best, not worst

Kim Brooks
Babbling Brooks Column
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     I recently realized I have been here in Monticello for nine and a half years. And I have loved every minute of it!

     I came across an article in Reader’s Digest that was almost a warning to city slickers about the tidbits people should know when moving to a small town. Warnings?? Living in a small town isn’t a move that requires warnings!

     “Medical services are difficult to access.” That definitely doesn’t describe Monticello and Jones County.

     We’re lucky to have Jones Regional Medical Center a hop, skip and a jump away. Not to mention, the quick access of doctor clinics right here in town.

     “Refreshing peace and quiet.” Yes, Monticello has its quiet moments and spots, while also showcasing its celebratory times and excitement.

     Fair week here in town and the Fourth of July are big events for Monticello that draw so many people here in a short amount of time. I don’t know about you, but I exhibit a bit of pride in Monticello knowing we’re a popular destination during certain times of the year.

     “Education priorities may be different.” I beg to differ. Monticello schools, both the public and private systems, are known to be leaders in education. Other schools look to Monticello for being on the cusp of the latest and greatest in education and what’s the best for the youth here.

     I am always proud to showcase (brag about) what our schools are doing here.

     “Business and personal mix.” True story.

     So many of our locally owned and operated businesses come with that personal touch. From the restaurants and bars to shops and services, the people here really do work hard to provide the best for the people of Monticello. We are quite lucky.

     “Everything slows down.” Again, not quite. At least from my perspective of working at the newspaper, it’s not very often things “slow down” here. I think Monticello is the exception to that rule.

     “The job market is limited.” Monticello/Jones County has a plethora of employment opportunities. Our industries have brought in a lot of jobs to the area. We have people who have started their own businesses, providing employment for others. Our schools and even JRMC are some of our biggest employers.

     “Everyone really does know everyone.” Well that can be good and bad at the same time. It’s like the tagline from the TV show “Cheers:” “Where everybody knows your name.”

     I think we’ve all been witness to the times in this community when it’s good that everyone had your back. The people here really do step up and stand behind their own.

     And when everyone knows your business, that’s not always a positive thing. But, just another “perk” of living in a small town.

     “There’s a strong sense of community.” This goes back to my previous statement about people in Monticello coming together at the worst of times to support others.

     “Public transportation is scarce.” Yes, but I don’t think Monticello is in need of a bus service.

     Speaking of bus services, though, Jones County does have a couple of transportation services for residents here with Jets and the Transportation Center (RSVP). We’re lucky people can get around with services like this.

     So you see, living in a town the size of Monticello isn’t so bad. We have various opportunities to offer people here, those not seen in the city. We can get to know our neighbors. We can walk to work or to the nearest shop/restaurant. We can get from one edge of town to the next in less than 10 minutes. We have the services we need to survive and enjoy small-town living.


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