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This item originally appeared in the January 21, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

Dear Ruston,

You are an anachronism. Sometimes I even think of you as an old soul. So what if people talk about you being a little "behind." You are so much more than a sleepy town. You are a friend.

Take for instance your stability. You have always been there when I needed you. If I am sick, you provide me with a 24-hour Wal-Mart where I can grab my Sudafed at any hour of the evening. And, your libraries, they are quiet enough to study for long hours without interruption, but not too quiet where you can't concentrate on what you're reading.

And, I love the fact you are far enough away from home that I can live on campus and have a normal college experience. But, at the same time, you are close enough to home that I can go home to Mom's brisket any time I feel like it.

There are enough people around you where it is easy to meet new ones everyday. However, there are not too many people that it is not inevitable you will see them again.

You are comfortable to be around, and yet you have been open to change to all those who need you and depend on you. That move you just did, getting Chili's to open a restaurant here, was priceless. Now, my friends and I don't have to go all the way to Monroe for Grilled Caribbean Chicken Salads. And, I hear you are about to get a new movie theater. It will be such a relief to be able to spend date-nights with you now.

You are a romantic, aren't you? Some of the places you have are picture perfect. Take for instance Lincoln Parish Park, one of the most beautiful places to have a picnic. Or, the cozy downtown area where people can dine at some of the most darling restaurants like Monjunis.

And, you may not be as massive as New Orleans, but you still have the culture that any Louisiana town can pride themselves on. During any given time, one can enjoy live theater, a tour of a museum or a festival.

You are even on a first-name basis with many celebrities. Terry Bradshaw has called you home, and artists like Willie Nelson have called you home for nights at a time.

I will admit I do get a little angry at you every now and then because I feel the restlessness in me longing for a larger city with more activities. But, just like with any relationship, it happens. You are always there for me, though, and you never get bothered by me. I appreciate you for that.

Maybe I should make a confession. Please don't get upset, though. For the past two summers, I have left you for another city thousands of miles away. You could call it a fling, because each time, I came running back to you. And, each time, it felt right. But, I will be leaving you permanently in November. Although we will be far away from each other, I know our relationship will still be in tact every time I come back to visit.

That is because you are awesome. In my heart, you will always be my college home.

We have had so many memories together, and I hope you cherish them as much as I do. Let's make the next ten months together great. And, I promise I will never forget you.

Love always,


Julie Miller is a junior journalism major from Shreveport and serves as managing editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to

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