I had my fair share of the big city life in younger years: Houston, Austin, Honolulu (aloha!), Chicago (brrr), Washington DC,  Nashville and Ft. Worth.

I feel very fortunate to have experienced these places before the age of 35.  It gave me a better perspective on our great country and life in general.   

But as I grew older and priorities changed, the wife and I (with two small kids in tow) decided we were ready to embrace the move to a smaller community. We sought a slower pace, a less hectic lifestyle and more manageability within the family - a place where folks know you by name (or in my case, by my car, but that’s another story). 

Glen Rose beckoned and we heeded the call. We looked forward to being involved in the community, establishing friendships and we did.   

My goodness, I can’t count the times I’ve told my wife I’m so glad we live in a small town. Like last month when I couldn’t find my VISA card. There it was, at the restaurant where I’d left it two days prior. The manager was waiting for my return.

I can’t help but think of many others who help make Glen Rose the special place it is - the service station/car mechanic brothers who don’t treat me like the “dummy” I am (in those things) and go the extra mile to take care of my car needs, the long-time GR resident who repairs mowers/small engines and is always personable and more than fair in his dealings, the local pharmacist who knows me and is always available for objective consultation, my doctor and his staff at GRMC (where I rarely have to wait beyond the appointment time) who treat me as an individual and genuinely care for my well-being, the ladies at the bank who greet me upon entrance with a friendly “Hi, Charlie” or ”Hello, Mr. Norman, sir!” and have even stayed after hours handling some tedious paperwork for us.

At the heart of all these people is trustworthiness.

You see, over the years, I’ve witnessed their fairness toward their patrons. It’s just the way they are. Shoot, I even trust my barber without telling her what I want in terms of a trim. She just knows.  There are lots of other genuine, honest, and caring folks that live in our fair city, too.     

Out in West Texas between here and  Odessa, off I-20, there’s a sign inviting drivers to check out their particular town.

It reads “the world’s friendliest people… and a few ol’ soreheads.” 

Sounds a bit like Glen Rose. Mayberry , we’re not, but we’re pretty close.

Charlie Norman has lived in Somervell County since 1994. He and his wife have two adult children, who graduated from Glen Rose schools. You can contact him at chn345@usa.com.