Monday, August 10, 2009

Thinking of moving to the Ozarks?

Are you interested in fleeing from your big city in another state to the peace and quiet of a small town in the Missouri Ozarks? If you're thinking about Rolla, think about these things:


1. There's nary an opera nor ballet in either Pulaski or Phelps counties or surrounding counties.

2. Never, ever say Row-lah. It is Rolla, and it is pronounced RAH-lah.

3. Rolla's traffic problem is worse than it was when I move here in 1984, but it's nothing compared to Houston or Dallas, the armpits of the United States.

4. There's plenty of outdoors activities.

5. For high-brow artsy-culture folks, the town to live is Rolla. We even have an Arts District.

6. Rolla is halfway between Springfield and St. Louis. I know that you outsiders like to do some "serious shopping" so that's where you can go, as so many of the wealthy in Rolla do. Perhaps that is why we have so many empty buildings downtown. We poor folks shop at Wal-Mart, K-mart and Aldi.

7. We don't have a Starbucks. We have a Panera Bread Co., which is a chain bakery that serves coffee. We also have a coffee shop near the campus called The Giddy Goat and a new coffee shop on Highway 63 called Harvest Coffee Co., which is my favorite.

8. We have no mall. Sorry.

9. Our city is working on a big sprawl along the interstate called the Rolla West project, which the big daddies of local government hope will lead to a mall and a Starbucks so we can be just like big highway towns.

10. Rolla has a two-layer society, especially in the schools. Way up there on the socioeconomic scale are the professors, doctors, lawyers, federal workers high on the GS rank, high-ranking support staffers at the hospital and university and scientists who work for a couple of corporations. They stick together, and their children stick together in the schools. Down here in the strata where I live are the tradesmen, the lower-paid support staff members at the hospital and the university, retail clerks (there are no factory workers here); they stick together, as do their children in the schools. We're all pretty happy the way this works, at least I am. I enjoy not having to put up with the bigwigs, and I assume they're equally happy not to have to deal with the likes of us.

Any questions?

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