Amy

I’ve lived in Greencastle 15 years and the most common question I’ve been asked from my fellow citizens is, “why do you live here?” The emphasis is on the word “here” which is spoken with incredulity. It’s a follow up question, really. For some reason everyone assumes either my husband or I came here to work at DePauw. While that would be a fine place to work, it’s not where either of us do work. For many years I didn’t work anywhere and my musician husband worked seemingly everywhere:  Chicago, Indianapolis, and too many European cities to mention. We are the rare couple who could actually live anywhere as far as work is concerned. The first few years here I provided my stock answer to the puzzled stares. “Greencastle is a wonderful place to live. It’s a great small town.” It took me a while to understand that the people asking the question weren’t really looking for an answer. They wanted a partner to join them in their despair. Someone to understand how
it felt to follow a spouse to the middle of nowhere. Someone else who moved here from a large urban area to complain about the lack of “culture”. But our new friends were accepting and welcoming. One claimed that we were the best thing to happened to Greencastle since Taco Bell. The others? They weren’t buying my answer about the quaintness of our little town. They wanted someone to confirm their own dissatisfaction. I had to resort to the fact that my mother lives here. That I’d grown up in nearby Danville, Indiana. That seemed to make it okay; I didn’t know any better. Trouble is, it’s not the reason I live here. Believe it or not, I do live in Greencastle Indiana because it is a wonderful place to live with creative, smart and caring people. And despite what many people believe we have more diversity in this town than one is likely to find anywhere. It may not be the kind of racial and ethnic diversity that makes it fun to dine out, but it’s a challenging sort of
diversity: economic. We live in a microcosm of all that is right and wrong with our great country and yet this place is small enough and accessible enough that we can change things if we want. I’ve had choices and I’ve traveled my share. Greencastle is just about as nice a place to live as anywhere else in the world. Switch the cornfields for vineyards and you would be in the south of France. Are there nicer places to live? Perhaps. But I don’t call any of them home.

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