A Town of History and Mystery – 300 Days of Writing Prompts – Day 5

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Give your city a new name that reflects what type of place it is.

I live in a place that has been written off as a den for drug dealers and uneducated hicks mixed together in a weird way that makes it more of a junkyard than a working environment. I have seen videos, read articles, and seen images on social media all portraying us in a horrible light.

I’ve lived here my entire life. I’m rooted in. As a child, I only knew of this city as boring. There’s never anything to do. We don’t have cool malls. There’s no arcade. The best place for young people to hang out is the local Walmart.

But my view has changed as I’ve grown older.

I live in a place rich with history. A place of firsts. At first, I thought only the great Samuel Clemens came from here (Mark Twain). There’s so much more to it than that. We have the inventor of the Leer Jet Engine. We have Molly Brown, Admiral Coontz, Mary Myrum (The very first woman to vote), continuing on to painters, sports players, activists, poets, and music stars. All you have to do is give a quick search on the Internet, and we suddenly come alive to the world.

I live in an absolute tourist hotspot. Every body here knows that downtown parking is almost an impossibility during tourist season. We have Folklife where main street is turned into a settlers dream spot. Cowboys sell their stew. Old maids have quilts on show for purchase. Cloggers dance the streets while banjos ring out in the background. Everything is done with elbow grease and creativity just like in good ol days of the covered wagon.

Then we have the SteamPunk Festival. All our covered wagons get souped up with steam engines. People come from far and wide to let their imaginations roam free. We dress up, create cool gadgets, and ogle at others who have done the same. Side shows, balloon rides, and market stands line the streets. If you are lucky, you may even get to meet the Doctor and his TARDIS if he has the time on his hands. Who am I kidding? He always have time being a time traveler and all.

Sure. My city has it’s bad points. Some of us are as redneck as they come while others are affected by the criminal elements coming from Chicago up north and St Louis down south. We are smashed in between those two empires with a single highway connecting the two. Of course unsavories may find us suitable for their operations.

That being said, there are neighborhoods that have the potential for being absolutely perfect to raise children. We have people who truly care. From being a parent, I have learned that there is so much this city has to offer their children. The special needs community is large with events every week. Our parks and recreation department throws free camping trips, nature walks, and many more educational activities. Churches have VBS, Block parties, and retreats right and left all over. If you look, and are involved, a whole new world is opened to you.

Even now as an adult, I am still discovering new mysteries that await around the corner, new lessons to learn, and new sights to see. There’s something for everyone if they only look.
To many, this place is simply called Hannibal. To me, I like to think of it as an open book to be read. Welcome to to the adventure of a lifetime.

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