(NOTE: This week's entry is another faux newspaper story...)

From the Sipokni West Dispatch, March 26 2009:

The Brownsberg Town Council has appointed a local resident to help the community overcome what some residents have reportedly described as its “inferiority complex” with regard to nearby larger communities.

Yvonne Gordon, a resident of Brownsberg since 1993, has been named to spearhead a town council initiative aimed at injecting a greater sense of style and sophistication into community life.

One member of the council, who asked not to be identified, said the plan was devised to capitalize on the renewed popularity in recent years of such old-time TV programs as Green Acres, following their release on DVD.

"Now there was a show that gave people a pretty good idea of just how much better life in a small rural community can be, if people were to give it half a chance,” the council member said.

Gordon was reportedly selected for the position because, like Lisa Douglas – the character portrayed by actress Eva Gabor in Green Acres – she had previously spent most of her life in far more urban surroundings.

Prior to moving with her husband Jake and son Josiah to Sipokni County in the summer of 1991, Gordon had resided in Ulrich’s Mill, Illinois, a city of approximately 12,800 located near Chicago. The Lisa Douglas character had lived in New York City before moving to the fictional berg of Hooterville.

The council member said the decision to make such an appointment at all came about during a recent council meeting, during which its members found themselves looking for ways to make the residents of their small community feel better about themselves.

“For a long, long time, Brownsberg has suffered a sort of inferiority complex,” the council member said. “Some of our residents look at bigger cities like Sipokni West and Eureka Creek, and they say to themselves, ‘Gee, those people seem so much more more stylish and sophisticated than we are.’ And they want to know what they can do to be more like the people in those cities. 

"Those of us who were elected to represent the people of Brownsberg decided it was time to give those people what they wanted. We want a Brownsberg, not just now but years down the road, where good taste and sophistication are the birthright of the many, not just the privilege of an elite few.”

Gordon said she initially turned down the appointment because she didn’t feel she was the right person for the job.

“Just because I grew up near Chicago does not mean I’m some kind of urban sophisticate,” she said. “I’ve always been a country girl at heart; some of my happiest memories are of all the time I spent at my grandpappy’s farm when I was growing up.

“Besides, I don’t know that this so-called ‘inferiority complex’ really exists. The people I’ve spoken to so far seem to like their lives in this small town just fine. My concern was that this would end up being one of those situations where a small handful of people who have moved in from other parts of the country want to change things and dictate how the majority will live. And I didn’t want to be a part of that.”

Even so, Gordon said she finally relented and agreed to take the appointment after deciding there were some areas where improvements might be made without a drastic disruption of Brownsberg’s inherent small town dynamic.

“It would be nice if the local convenience store had a wider variety of soda pop to choose from,” she said, citing one example. “Back in Ulrich’s Mill we could buy Green River, Canfield’s Swiss Cream Soda, Nu-Grape, Upper 10, 50/50, Barq's, Nesbitt's... all kinds of different brands. But here we’re pretty much limited to the different varieties of Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew.

“Don’t get me wrong – I happen to like Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew. But every once in a while a choice is nice.”

(Copyright 2014 by John Allen Small)