Friday, April 13, 2012

Population 221

Welcoming Sign in City Park

Original Store Front

Antique Storefront full of Antiques

More Antiques and Great Stuff

Paxico Municipal Complex - City Hall is door to the left

It is a question of scale.  The fewer people in a community, the smaller the infrastructure.  The town of Paxico contains an elementary school and a junior high school.  You can go to church in Paxico.  You can get a beer and a greasy burger at the local watering hole.  You can get delicious homemade food sometimes.  A variety of cafes have come and gone.  There is never enough business to keep a cafe going but there is always some hopeful business person trying.  It is difficult.  For several years, work on the interstate kept all but local business out of the town.  Now it is the difficult economic times that have come to Kansas, just as they have come to everyone else in the country. 

There are a variety of antique stores offering merchandise that range from world-class antiques to old junk (in the eye of the beholder).  There is a steady supply of tourists that keep these places in business. It is a great place to spend a couple of hours going through all of the shops.  I almost always find something I cannot live without.

It is a nice little town, and most of the people are related to one another or have known each other all of their lives.  I know some people but a lot more people know who I am.  That is just how it is in a small town. 

Settlement in this part of the country is relatively recent, only five or six generations back in many instances.  I think a lot of German people settled the Paxico area but it is a melting pot.  I can detect a mild but distinct Wabaunsee County flavor in the speech of the people who were born and raised here.

When I first moved "to the country", about eight miles from Paxico, one of the things that most delighted me about the town was the combination Post Office/City Hall building.  I do not know how many people serve on the City Council, but it cannot be too many or they could not all fit into City Hall!  The people who work in the post office are some of the friendliest people of all.  They all knew me by sight and called me by my first name, even though I did not know them for a long time.  People in this part of Wabaunsee County enjoy the best mail service in the entire country.  Being a mail carrier here includes stopping to help my daughter, me, and a complete stranger try to chase a cow back into the neighbor's pasture.  When the cow outsmarted all of us, the mail carrier said she would call the owners to let them know.  (She knew exactly who owned the cow!)  For all I know, it was the mail carrier who chased my escaped horses back into the pasture and baling-wired the gate shut behind them. 

Paxico is not my home town, but it is close enough.

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