Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Small town elements: Colorful Characters

I am beginning a new series on my blog, in which I will be writing entries on the elements of a small town that make it interesting.

Are you from a small town? If you are, I bet you know at least one "colorful character" from your town or surrounding area. You know what I am talking about. This person is usually older, often homeless, what many would consider odd, and yet...something about the person pulls on your heartstrings. This person belongs to you, your town, your culture.

I grew up in a small town, not the same one I live in now, but we have our own colorful character back home. His name, or at least the name we all know him by, is Moon Dog. Moon Dog is an older African American man, who rides around on a bike covered with flags. Everyone knows who he is, as soon as they see him. He is well knows for riding in the Christmas Parades of all the local towns. So popular is Moon Dog, the local minor league affiliate hockey team made a bobble head in his likeness for a give away at a game.

Now that I live in a new small town, there is a new "colorful character" for me to get to know. Actually, not one, two, but they function as one unit. Sadly, I have not yet learned their names, and can only refer to them as The Twins.

The Twins are older women, tiny little things, from what I can tell, identical twins. I do not know if they are homeless, rumors say they are. Rumors also say they are wealthy and eccentric, so who knows. All I know is they are always in the same clothes, no matter what the weather (and of course they match each other). They can be seen in local stores and restaurants where they often clean up in the restrooms. They carry bags with them, which seem to hold all their worldly possessions, though who knows what they really contain. And they often fight with each other in a secret twin language.

Not that long ago, some punk tried to mug one of the twins, stealing her bag. It happened in the parking lot of a local store, and one of the store employees chased the hooligan into a wooded area, and tackled him, keeping him in custody until the police came. The Twin's bag was recovered. I am not sure what happened after that.

It seems there is much that is unclear or unknown about The Twins, as is common with "colorful characters" in any small town. But what I do know is this...we take care of our own. I remember someone once stole Moon Dog's bike, and someone in the community gave him a new one. The same with The Twins, and that employee chasing down their mugger. We may not understand these folks, though I personally would love to, but we do recognize them as a part of our community, and we take care of them in the ways we can.