Memories of Benson: Center of the Universe!

First of Four
By Bill Guerra 

The author is a Benson native and was a member of BUHS class of ’63. He resides in suburban Atlanta.

During visits home, I’m always amused and inevitably let out a chuckle when I hear my niece Suzy playfully refer to our hometown as ‘Benson, Center of the Universe’!  Her description contains a bit of tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, but for those of us brought up in an earlier time that phrase may have an eerie resonance because, for us, Benson was the center our youthful universe.

An outsider might easily scoff ‘Why, of course! You were so remote and insular that all worldly matters were contained within the City Limit signs at the East and West ends of town!’  But this is really an overly simplistic conclusion and, in fact, I would argue the opposite.  Benson WAS our universe, but it wasn’t because of our isolation or ignorance (not as in stupidity, but as in unknowing) but, rather, because we like any number of communities in Small Town, America, were reliant on our own resources for entertainment, information, and social/civic cooperation.