Dear Small Town by Erin S.

Creative Nonfiction

2022 Cedarburg Reads Writing Contest Winner - Grades 6-8

Dear Small Town, 

          I know you and you know me. We’ve grown up together and helped each other after we fall to be built back up. I know we’ve had a lot of fun times together, you and me. So let’s play a little game. Let’s call it “Do you remember?” 

          I’ll start. Do you remember when Mom, Dad and I went on a bike ride to McDonalds and tried to go through the drive through lane on our bikes, last summer? Do you remember when I ogled the Magic Fairy play set with a friend I don’t think I’ll ever see again?  Do you remember every holiday parade, every festival, every trip to the ice cream store for custard? Do you remember the pandemic, and how I was lonely at school ever since my best friend left? Do you remember every summer wish I had to go to the pool, and how I loved the warm rain in the summertime? Do you remember the frigid winters where the plows made the snow mountains as tall as lamp posts, and made the trees look like they were covered in crystal beads? Do you remember…


And I stopped for a second, and wrote another part to my letter. A response.


Dear You,

          Yes, of course I remember. I remember how you were told to order inside on the day you rode through McDonalds on your bike. I remember the day you stared at the window of the Cedarburg Toy Company, the exact playset and the exact friend. You will see her again, just you wait. I remember every holiday parade, every festival (Even the bootlegged festivals), and every trip to Waynes for custard. I remember the pandemic, though I’d like to forget, and I remember every tear you shed over losing those close to you. I remember every summer wish and comfort. I remember every autumn rain, spring shower, and crystal winter. I remember the hard days, and the days you were so happy that you nearly burst. I remember, child, I remember it all. For that’s what hometowns are for, remembering your past and celebrating your accomplishments. I know someday you’ll leave, and there will always be other young children to remember, but your impact will forever remain here. I choose to pass on my turn of your game because you wouldn’t remember many of the important days for me. Your parents weren’t even alive, but remember this will always be known to you as your hometown.