MELROSE, Minn.-- I love small towns. As one who has spent most all his life in major metropolitan cities, I love the open air and sprawling landscape of a small town. I especially love the sense of community and comradery that accompanies such a setting.
So when we got a chance to visit the hometown of newly crowned U.S. Olympic Trials champion triple jumper Amanda Smock, we jumped at the opportunity.
Melrose, Minnesota, about a half hour west of Saint Cloud off highway 94 is beaming with pride. I think you'd be hard pressed to find anybody in the town that isn't aware of its first Olympian. The town of just under four thousand will be celebrating this weekend with a parade in her honor.
We caught up with Amanda's mom, Beth Thieschafer at the Meadowlark Country Club golf course. It was ladies night. We took to the 9 hole course, and had a blast. I must admit, I've never golfed in a twelvesome. It was a blast. and the women were donning their "Team Smock" shirts. It was frankly, adorable.
After golf, we drove the carts down a couple blocks on the streets of town, to Beth's house , where the banners, ribbons, and flags made it obvious, this was the home Amanda is from.
The decorations were a lot greater and pronounced before we arrived, but since it's the 4th of July, a bunch of the red white and blue streamers and flags were borrowed from the home for the holiday.
A small town. A super town. And one that will be glued to KARE 11 when Amanda competes on August 3rd in London.