Fairfield is a pit stop for wealthy Californians who fly into Boise and are speeding their way to Sun Valley. It’s a simple town about 50 miles away from glitzy Sun Valley. There is no glitz in Fairfield. It’s a quiet, conservative and peaceful town. The streets are aligned in a simple grid pattern and the homes are modest boxes with no thought for appearances in Architectural Digest, Better Housekeeping or Martha Stewart.
There’s a single grocery/gas store on the highway. I went inside to observe the shoppers. There were two general classifications of people. Locals and tourists. The locals shopped carefully and wore small town fashion. The tourists swaggered in, snickered at the clothing racks, laughed loudly, ravaged the bathroom and slapped their fritos and diet coke down on the worn out checkout counter.
Of course, these are wildly general types I’m casting but I saw them with my own eyes. I don’t know how the employees of that grocery store deal with such disrespect. I was embarrassed for the times I’ve been a condescending tourist.
Small towns are in decline. I read some years ago that for the first time in human history more people live in large cities than in rural towns. What will happen to small town America?