Perk of Living in a Small Town: Fame
I love these small towns around me. I actually don't live in one. I live outside of about 5, including Jackson, which I also consider a small town. But I'm in the center, like a nucleus with the town electrons out in the perimeter (nutrition school is getting to me).
New country pop (most of it) just makes me sad. I won't get into it, and a few songs out there are really good. But most of it just pop fluff. Except Miranda Lambert.
I went through a huge Miranda Lambert phase that's still going on. It never ended. I knew her before she got big. She sang a song a while back called "Famous in a Small Town" about living in a small town, watching your back and behavior because everyone knows who you are and is noticing what you're doing. That was when the my love affair with my husband was just heating up. I was belting this song in my boyfriend's truck, and Will looked at me like "you have no idea." Because I am from a big city, and he really is from a small town. Did I have an idea?
I didn't. Until I got here. Nashville is a big small-town, or it was, and you would run into people wherever you would go, or you used to. It's definitely got more privacy now. A major U.S. city. Insert sad but confused because also happy emoji here.
Especially if you're a movie star. Especially if you're a big one like Morgan Freeman.
For instance, I lived in Nashville for a long-ass time. Nicole Kidman lived in my best friend's neighborhood. Faith Hill's kids went to the school down the road from mine. Reese Witherspoon's parents live down the street from my mom's house. I never saw one. Except for Vince Young one time at my apartment building. He left Nashville shortly after. That was it.
In a place like Greenwood, Mississippi, you can bet everyone knows Morgan Freeman ate at Giardina's. Especially if I'm the one who saw it. I'm like the Paul Reviere of movie stars.
What happened was it was just he and I on Howard Street in downtown Greenwood. It was like a face-off. He was coming out of the restaurant, and I was going in. He looked at me. I realized it was Morgan Freeman and started blushing immediately. We smiled at each other. Then I looked away, made a funny face and burst out laughing. Hard. When I got to the door, he said something like, "Aren't you peculiar?"
I actually have no idea what he said because there was some kind of ringing in my ears or I was thinking too loudly maybe. Then I said, "I'm a fan, and thasss amina goodyeh" (like Will in his sleep). Anyway, I'm honored to say that Morgan Freeman thinks I'm weird.
Now I don't know if I've told you I work at the bookstore in Greenwood, Turnrow Book Company between my yoga classes. I was telling them about the Morgan incident. Then there proceeded to be a Morgan Freeman accent-off. My Morgan Freeman sounds like a bitter, old woman. Then in walks a movie star. I swear. She was talking to everyone, and then I thought "Dang, she looks familiar. And has the most flawless skin."
Later that day, eating lunch at the bookstore, a man sits next to me and starts talking to me about a moving being filmed in town. Apparently, James Franco is hanging out here now. Making a movie based on one of Faulkner's books. That explains the nice Hollywood actress rolling in and out.
So then I'm standing there, and they ask a woman to sign some books. Apparently, she is the poet laureate of the United States. "The best living poet walking the earth," as Ben put it. As someone who loves the written word and hopes to write one, this blew my mind.
She actually introduced herself to me.
Then I'm discussing Shannon McNally with Jamie. He says, "Oh yeah she played at your neighbor's house this summer while you were gone in Bali." What? Bacon powder? She's one of my favorites. I mean, I know she's from Holly Springs, but damn. Across the lake. My lake. My neighborhood. At one of my three neighbor's house. Shannon McNally. Filmed something for Showtime. Sang. Dang.
Private concert deal. I really can't complain that I was on the other side of the world, but dang it.
And when I asked someone else about it, they said, "Oh yeah, that Showtime thing at the Thompsons?" Very nonchalantly. Like, don't you know stuff like that happens here all the time? What!
So now I'm thinking the Delta is the hub of the universe. There are famous people all over. Talented people all over. The most talented people in the world right here in my towns, in my Delta. This is the place to be. Forget Nashville with its bright lights.
I've got real stars.
Miranda's point was that everyone is famous in small towns. Who needs privacy? Especially when you're rubbing elbows with awesome writers and musicians and actors. Sure, you can't go to the store in your pajamas. It's not exactly down the road from me, anyway. Sure, you can't be in a bad mood and ignore everyone. You just end up talking to people about it, anyway. It's nice.
This whole place has it figured out.
I like it that people are starting to know me, figure out who I am. They're famous to me too. Not that I'm Morgan Freeman or anything (I mean, how A-list can we get? He's been in half of all the movies out there, for goodness sakes. Really, think about it. One of your favorite movies has MF in it).
It's a small town thing.
It's not a nosy thing, no sir. It's a community thing. People care about each other. You'd think it was a gossip situation, but it's a connection situation. Everyone is connected, and the smaller the town, the tighter the bonds.
And the more relaxed the famous people.