It's always a strange experience to welcome folks to the town where you live, when that town is utterly unfamiliar to them. Our little college burg is unknown outside of the state, by and large, so people visiting have no basis for any particular expectation.
We are well aware of the limitations of our town, but we also like living here and rarely get frustrated with what we don't have. It's when we're showing it to friends from out of town that we wonder if our impression is accurate. Does Conway seem impossibly minor -- or quaintly so? Is there more here than you would think, or less?
Right now we're aware of a certain degree of privation since we're down to six movie screens for a population of 75,000 -- and for a week, after the fire marshall closed those down, we were at zero. Yet we also hear of new restaurants and businesses opening constantly, and the city continues to expand its parks and recreation facilities. On the other hand, the town's Fourth of July fireworks have just been cancelled due to a budget snafu in which a couple million dollars in operating funds evaporated overnight (they were committed to a project but had been mistakenly included in the balance of available funds).
So do we live in a charming village or a one-horse town? And who is the best judge -- the resident or the traveler?