Here at my church, we’re interviewing some people for a newly created full-time youth minister position. Our first interviewee is coming to town shortly and I’ve been charged with the task of showing and hopefully selling her this town: Bowling Green, Kentucky. But the thing is, I don’t know how well I can do this.
|This is the big landmark of Bowling Green, or what my family calls “Granmon’s Water Tower” because she used to live just down the block from it.|
See, I’ve always had an odd relationship with my hometown. If you are from Bowling Green and you say you love it, I will just roll my eyes and scoff at what I judgmentally assume is your lack of worldly experience. However if you are not from Bowling Green and you in any way insult this town, my nostrils will flair and I will get defensive and judgmentally assume that you’re jealous that you aren’t from such a sweet wholesome place. However, on both accounts, I am probably horribly wrong.
Let me clarify here that I have Bowling Green in my blood. I can take you down to the courthouse and show you portraits hanging of my great-grandfather. I was born here, my parents met and married here, and I have an endless supply of happy childhood memories within these city limits.
But somehow I’ve found this place to be my hometown in definition only and not in feeling. There are a number of things that irk me about this town: that it’s built in such a way that it’s impossible to be a functioning member of society without a personal vehicle. Being a Democrat in Bowling Green is the closest I’ll ever come to feeling like a Christian in the first century. And it’s a solid hour’s drive to the nearest Whole Foods, Volvo dealership, or J.Crew. (Woah, when did I become such a yuppie? I’m in the wrong tax bracket to want any of those.)
Still, there are still some good things about this town/city. We are the home of Duncan Hines. In fact, if you’re planning your own pre-packaged dessert mixes pilgrimage, be sure and make a stop at my church and the Duncan Hines Memorial Chapel. No joke. There is a local orchestra that once a year puts on its biggest fundraiser: Beatlemania and plays only Beatles’ songs- that’s pretty awesome. And there’s a minor-league baseball team, the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
I really hope this girl I’m showing around my town likes it because this is an awesome job at an awesome church and if she is awesome, she’ll fit right in. In conclusion, I’ll just leave you with this video which is as honest a description of this place as you can find: