In a Small Town article published a few years ago, Marti Willetts of Albia, Iowa, described her experience of living on the town square in a restored second-floor apartment: "It's just like living in Disney world. I look through my front windows at the wonderful Albia Square and feel as if I'm in Disney's Main Street U.S.A. with the little shops and people walking around and things going on." But Marti did not realize that Disney's Main Street image is based on those real images existing in small towns like Albia. Mrs. Willetts' description expresses the dependence people have on images shaped by commercial settings and the mass media and also exemplifies a desire of people who live in small towns to revive community identity and the lost vitality of their downtowns.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/miriam_engler/5/