Dad gum! You guys keep going on about the good old days and now you've made me homesick, or time sick, or something. Just basically really missing those really good old days. As for me, my home was 6 miles from town and that town had a population of 1600. The actual count wavered over the years between 1400 and 1600, but I don't recall anyone ever claiming 1700 or more. Then the next “big” town was 7 – 8 miles from there and it had a population of about 6500 – 7000.
Here is the amazing thing. My home town with the 1600 population had 7, yes SEVEN, service stations and those were FULL SERVICE stations. We also had 3 grocery stores, a large hardware store, clothing store, drug store, jewelry store (and he did watch & clock repair), Dime Store (5 & 10), western store, 2 restaurants, 2 taverns, one private club, fabric and sewing store, 5 tractor dealerships, furniture store, carpet store, 2 paint stores, and there are probably several business I can't recall at this moment. And all that was in a town with only 1600 residents! Oh, I forgot the electronics repair shop. And we had 2 banks and one savings and loan. Dang, forgot the auto dealership stores – one new & used and one used only. I could check out the models at the Dime Store, drug store, or at one of the grocery stores.
My son can't understand why it was unnecessary to travel 60 miles or more to shop. The fact is that a trip to the town of 6500 was a special trip and a trip about 30 miles to a city of 25,000 was an absolute adventure!
Ohhhh, how I miss those days. But like High octane commented, “this is now and it's a lot different.”