Sunday, October 24, 2010

The One Thing

This is a story of how one small change can have a huge impact on one town and can change it forever. The town in question was a small mining town, one of those one industry towns where everyone worked for that one industry. The miners worked 12 hour shifts in four day rotations so it gave everyone a lot of recreation time. This town was one of those places where everyone came out and participated in the activities. There were hockey games and curling matches in winter and softball games and bowling league in summer. The men played hockey while the wives watched and chatted and drank beer. It was a community minded town that shared in everyone’s joys and shouldered everyone’s sorrows.
            This story was told to me by the town doctor. He was a guy who knew everyone intimately. He had seen most of the people naked at one time or another and he had delivered almost all of the babies born in recent years. He said that one thing that came to the town changed that town irrevocably. After its arrival no one came out to the hockey games anymore. The rink stood silent. The bingo games at the community center were no longer attended. At night you could have shot a gun down the center of the road and hit no one. Even the kids weren’t around anymore. The town stood silent and quiet every night. The people were inside their houses with the doors locked. This is a true story. Can you guess the one thing?


  1. The one thing that changed in that town was that they got cable.

  2. The one thing was television. This is a common refrain from remote mining communities in the 1960s to the Distant Early Warning Line radar stations in the 1980s.