I grew up in a small town that has no interstate exit, so it’s a rare day I meet someone who knows where it is. In college, I began to tell newly made friends “It’s like a chicken with a percussion instrument,” because apparently “Hendrum” was hard to wrap their heads around.
Today, there are 309 people, according to the sign, though when I lived there we sat at around 365. Both my parents were born in this town. My paternal grandmother, too (I think). My mother’s parents moved to Hendrum around 1940, where he was the only Swede for miles around. He sometimes read out loud to himself from his Swedish Bible just to hear his native language.
It was, by and large, a good place to grow up, and I’m still stunned that V’s elementary school has more students than my entire home town has people.
Hendrum is a big part of who I am, who I was, and who I will be. And that’s all I have to say about that.