Apr 6, 2007

Sounds of a Small Town

We drove to another town last night to have dinner with some friends that we had not seen since our wedding. They were in town from South Carolina where his military service has taken them. It was good to sit for hours and talk with another couple that is very similar to us.
I was thrilled when they said they were going to move back to this area when his military service was finished. They weren't sure about what town to live in, not wanting the city life of Nashville , but something a little more rural and homey. Then, they asked about Dickson.

Now, I tease about Dickson all the time. It isn't hard. Dickson is about as country as turnip greens. There are things in this town that have not changed for fifty years. That is the way that people like it and that is the way it is going to be…….dag-nab-it. If you don't like it…….go somewhere else.

If you listen to the only AM radio station in town, you will get a good feel of what Dickson is really like. WDKN aired its first broadcast in January of 1955 and it sounds like nothing has changed in the 52 years that it has filled the airwaves. Some of the daily lineups include the agri-business news, friendly neighbor time, Crazy Chucky's Country Classic Corner, things to do in Dickson County and the staples of Paul Harvey and Focus on the Family. There are prayers and hymns sponsored by local churches and an obituary report every afternoon. (Because the paper is only published twice per week and someone might be pushin' up daisies before it is in print.)

There are two times in the day that I really get a kick out of…….Swap-N-Shop Times! This is a very popular show in Dickson that comes on in the morning and the evening. If you are ever in the need for fresh farm eggs, chicken manure, guns, puppies, Volkswagen parts, Star Trek tapes, Cadillac converters or ping-pong tables, please let me know. I will be happy to listen to Swap-N-Shop for you.

The best part of the show is listening to the people that call in. Apparently it is the same people every day and the DJ knows them by voice. They talk about how their daddy is sick or how hot the weather is…….and somebody is missing a real deal on the goats that they have for sale.

WDKN also shows a softer side to Dickson. For the whole month of April, the radio station has an auction for one hour in the afternoons. All of the proceeds go to Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. It melts my heart to listen every afternoon. Today is only the fifth day of the auction and they have already sold over 700 items. Almost every business in town donates some kind of item or service. There are homemade cakes, cookies and pies of every kind made by every grandmother in town………some that sell for well over a hundred dollars. There are ferns, peonies, lilies and tulips. Items can range anywhere from a tea-kwon-do gift certificate to a stop sign donated by the public works department…..each item donated in the memory of someone special.

I am glad that I live in a town that has a radio station like WDKN and I think, no matter how much I giggle, that its programming reflects our small town life to a T. I am glad that I live in a place where Sundays are filled with church and family, where people eat dinner together, where there is bluegrass music at the Grand Ol' Hatchery every Saturday night, and where there are more hardware stores than clothing shops. I am glad that I live in a place where I am not scared to leave my door unlocked or my windows open. A place where I look forward to raising my children, where lightening bugs dance in my yard at twilight, and where there is a 90% chance that I am related to the person driving the tractor down the road.

I truly hope that my friends and their children come to live in Dickson County . I am sure that they will appreciate its charm as much as I do.

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