I grew up in a small town, a very small town (Sequim, Washington) and very few people know where it is, but one thing about having parents who owned (and still own) a local business meant that many folks knew me even if I didn’t know them. Now, small towns can be great to raise your kid in- they can also be very hard to grow up in. Sequim has a current population of around 7,000 in city limits (surrounding area makes it 28,000), Durango has 17,000 in city limits (surrounding area makes it 43,000)- you’d think that this scale up would mean that you get more degrees of separation between people you know and people you’re just meeting.
Not true! I went to a Time Bank pot luck at the Best Small Library in the nation (http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/01/awards/best-small-library-in-america-2014-pine-river-library-co/ To prove it) and started talking to someone. I mentioned I lived south, between the airport and the landfill. She said she had a friend named Michael who lived down my way, she mentioned a road name (my road name too). I asked if he his dog was named Hopi (I’ve mentioned Hopi before, I also call him Dog), it was! Small small community.
When I was a kid, living in a small town didn’t mean that I knew the neighbor’s dog, it meant that if I ran a stop sign on my bicycle- someone called my parents before I got home.
I think I’ll take the local community that I’ve got now!