By Evelyn Richardson Here and There

Going to town for us country kids was a treat, whether or not we bought anything there. It was a different and interesting world compared to our daily surroundings.

The sidewalks and paved streets made the greatest difference. I imagined how much fun it would be to pull my little red wagon along or push my doll buggy on those smooth surfaces.

I never owned a pair of roller skates; our paths had natural bumps in them, not good for the sport. We had nice porches, but they still were too short for us to have gotten up much speed on skates.

Just walking was a different adventure in town. Our sandals didn't pick up dirt through the open toe, and if it had been raining, we could navigate well without putting on galoshes.

To have so many destination choices within easy walking distance was certainly a contrast to country living. We had to bridle the mule or hitch up the wagon if where we wanted to go was too far to reach quickly on foot.

In town, one could go buy a bag of sugar or assemble a bunch of playmates for a game of croquet in no time at all.

The sounds of town were certainly different from those that surrounded us in the country. Even the moo of a family's cow in the backyard was not the same as a dozen heads hanging over the barnyard fence wanting to be fed. In town, motors running and people talking ran together in a hum.

At home, we could isolate sounds coming across the spring bottom and know exactly what was going on at my grandparents' house quite a piece down the road.

When we went to town, Adairville or Russellville, we were gone from home those hours between mid morning and long before dark when we had to be back to do the chores. I vividly remember the early morning sounds of Owensboro when my mother and I once spent the night with relatives there. I woke to the clump, clump of horses' hoofs on the pavement and glass milk bottles rattling near the front door.

I would not have been more fascinated with the sounds of New York streetcars.

Standing under big ceiling fans in the stores when summer days were hot was special. We had to sit under a maple tree in the yard and wave a cardboard fan to cool off.

Significant in winter was the drifting coal soot that filled the air in town. Chimneys of businesses and residences were all putting it out, so we went home with flecks on our face; no trouble to wash off.

In town, we could window-shop in 3-D. The mail order catalogs were great, but to see the real items literally within reach tickled our fancy excitedly.

Smells were noticeably not the same in town and country, but we didn't pay much attention to that.

Over the years, town living and country living have blended a lot to become the best of both worlds to enjoy.