I read this post by Nicole the other day and it made me think of my previous life as a small town girl. My hometown is in the middle of nowhere Illinois. It's the largest town, at 35,000, for 45 miles in any direction. It's actually just a stone's throw from Iowa. Do people under 70 say "a stone's throw?"
Despite living in the boonies, we were always able to make fun of the tiny towns around us. One of our favorite targets was a town with a population smaller than my high school. This rinkie-dink community was the home to a just over a thousand people, 150 dogs, 75 tractors, 2 stoplight intersections, a Hardee's, and my Great-Grandma Jones - the resident crazy cat lady.
The majority of the people in this town were strange; and so, strange things happened in this little town. A lot.
One summer, there was an albino squirrel running around. The student newspaper scooped the local weekly paper on a story. About the squirrel. Really. Two weeks or so went by with people calling in the radio station and writing into the paper with "squirrel sightings": "We love the squirrel. He is so cute. I saw the squirrel in Mabel's backyard!"
And then... some redneck shot and killed the squirrel. Just because he could.
There weren't many jobs in this little town before factories started leaving Illinois. Now, I think there's just the Hardee's and a gas station. But brain drain? I'm not sure it's an issue.
*EDIT* I'm not making a political statement about hunters or rednecks... Just about the redneck, squirrel killer in this town.