You'd think that Appleton, population almost 100,000, would have some big-city ways about it.
But there's much about this Northeastern Wisconsin burg that's puts it right there in the category of Small-Town America. And that's what makes it such a neat place to live.
Aunt Julie had a "Small-Town America Moment" in the City of Appleton just the other day.
She had taken her family room blinds to be cleaned at a business recommended by a friend. A regular Mom & Pop, 9 to 5 kind of place. She'd heard the proprietor was the best in the biz.
Julie Eliz hauled the blinds out of the back of the car and up the steps. It was a little after 5 p.m. A hand-scrawled note greeted her arrival.
"Leave the blinds in the alcove, with your number attached," the note read. "Will call tomorrow with an estimate."
Julie looked around, a little unsure what to do. The "alcove" mentioned in the note looked pretty exposed. She didn't want to have to purchase new blinds if these were stolen. She says she hestitated more than a few minutes.
Well, this gal grew up in a real small town ~ Chippewa Falls, WI, population perhaps as high as 12,000, if you count the cows and the dogs and maybe the cats. She still leaves her keys in the ignition if her car is in the driveway, which this big-city gal finds pretty risky behavior.
The Chippewa Falls in her won out, though. Julie left the blinds. She received a call the next day, with the estimate.
"I'll call you when they're ready," the proprietor said. "If you can't make it 'til after 5, I'll leave them with the bill in the alcove."
Julie's not worried about paying the fellow. He trusts her to hold up her end of the bargain. Just like she trusted him when she dropped the blinds off.
That's what they do in Small-Town America. Trust is a beautiful thing, isn't it?