Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

watching as a server talked with customers as if they were lifelong Lacoste Shoe 2016

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

friends, which they may well be."It's a great place," Hopkins said.Still, as has been the case for at least a couple of generations of young people all across Indiana, she knows she'll soon have little choice but to leave.

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

Road of life hits a roadblock in small towns

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4

RENSSELAER Emily Hopkins stood behind the cash register at Devon's Family Restaurant on a recent cold and blustery Northern Indiana Prada Trainers Shiny Black

Saturday, tapping her fingers to the beat as John Mellencamp's "Jack Diane" poured from the restaurant's speakers.The 17 year old senior works part time at the restaurant, in the heart of this farm town's commercial hub, and stars on Rensselaer High School's soccer team. With hopes of becoming an athletic trainer, she plans to leave her hometown this year and head to Manchester University, a college with a strong soccer tradition about 90 miles to the east.As she waited for customers that Saturday, Hopkins talked about Rensselaer and the small town life she enjoys. It's comfortable, she said, and it seems she knows just about everyone in the community of about 5,700 people, from the regulars at Devon's to the students at her school. If she ever needed help, she said, it wouldn't be hard to find."I know it can get a little boring," Hopkins told me. "But I love it here; I love it more than anywhere else. I know people think small towns are hickish if that's a word but we have a variety of people. I know them, and Black Ralph Lauren Shoes Size 4 they know me, and just about everything I need is here."Except, she joked, a shoe store. And hills.Despite her affection for her hometown, Hopkins looks down the road of life and sees too little opportunity here. Her father found a career working for the city, and her mom works at a trucking company, but in a storyline playing out in small towns all across Indiana, Hopkins knows she will have to go elsewhere after college if she wants to reach her goals.It's easy to see why. Drive through town and you'll spot a Wal Mart, grocery and drugstores and a part time BMV branch, but not many other employers. The small campus of St. Joseph's College, and the town's proximity to Chicago, just 90 minutes away, actually give Rensselaer a leg up over many small towns in Indiana. But that doesn't come close to canceling out the difficulty a young college graduate would face trying to build a life here."For a lot of the girls, especially, parents push us to find a life other than in small towns," Hopkins said. "It's easier for some of the boys. They might take over the family farm. But for us, we kind of know we have to look elsewhere."It's a reality and a tremendous obstacle for Indiana, a state that was built on agriculture and is home to more than 450 cities and towns with populations of fewer than 6,000 people. These towns are a crucial piece of the state's fabric, but so many of them have been left behind; the jobs are gone, and the path forward is unclear.Although politicians speak so poetically about small towns, the state has done little to suggest it is serious about tackling the unique challenges facing them. Those challenges include everything from a lack of high speed Internet access and jobs, to increasingly aging populations and the ravages of poverty."I know that in a bigger town you have more to choose from, more jobs," Hopkins said.It's true. Nonetheless, the appeal of small town living is obvious.Here in Rensselaer, where my wife grew up, the golden cornstalks paint a beautiful Indiana picture each fall, and even in the dead of winter, the snow covered farm fields, punctuated with horses, barns and farmhouses, look like a painting.There was something relaxing about sitting in Devon's, eating a piece of pie and Lv Shoes Leather

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