Small Town Superheroes

All my life, I imagined living in a community of people who brought casseroles to new residents, helped build each other’s fences, or hosted barbecues where all the children would play together. Until I moved to this tiny little town in Tennessee, I thought that this might be a fictional and unattainable dream set by dramatic depictions on the big screen.

While we were traveling 700 miles south to move here, our new neighbor was mowing our lawn for us. That was our very first glimpse of this beautiful community. Since then, it’s like we’ve been engulfed in this long hug of support and prayers from everyone we encounter. Places like this do exist and when times are tough, they pull together.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but 2020 has been quite the colossal year. It’s like Godzilla is traipsing through our lives, only someone is tickling him and he’s stumbling about. It’s been difficult enough for adults to navigate this but children don’t deserve to be crushed by the weight of pandemic burdens, especially at Christmas.

torry martin superheroes

*dramatic intro music* In steps local author, comedian, and actor, Torry Martin. Torry hails from Alaska but like me, he’s entranced by the sense of community here and he does everything he can to contribute. A creative mind and clear comic book enthusiast, Torry had an idea to revive Christmas spirit for our town. His ideas were tall, like him. So tall that I’ll admit, I wasn’t certain he could amass most of these goals in the mere few weeks before the deadline. I peered around me at the giant and nearly empty M&H Hardware Store. I admired his passion and imagination, though I couldn’t help but wonder aloud how he planned to create more hours in a day to finish this large project in such a short time. Surely, he possessed the power to multiply?

Multiply, he did. Not by radioactive spider nor alien heritage, no, Torry used the power of community. Local residents heard of his plan and sprung into action. Every person has their own little super power or gift, be it building, arts, crafts, anything. These superheroes came out to share their gifts with us. The Angry Ironsmith lent a hand with building. Crafty people adept at the dreaded Mod Podge helped to decoupage comic book ornaments. There were painters and memorabilia donations. It was Sparta’s own Justice League except this is real life, the real Christmas miracle.

small town community christmas

The result is an incredibly magical Christmas display of comic books, toys, and a variety of inspirational characters. From comic book floor to ceiling, it’s quite a joyous sight to see. Thousands of ornaments are spread across several trees, the best being the giant tree that towers in the middle. There are life-sized figures of Santa, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, and so much more. Everywhere you look, there is something to see and a story that goes with everything. Torry is actually working on a very adorable children’s book that incorporates the famed Yeti!

superhero christmas display

This display is so full that I can’t even begin to describe everything or the amount of time and work that went into it. It’s something you truly need to see and even then, the most important part is what you can’t see: the community, the love, the people. If Santa’s sleigh only flew on Christmas spirit, I think it might fly a little higher over Sparta, Tennessee this Christmas.

superhero comic book christmas

The moral here is to BE the superhero every day with kindness. That’s a super power that we can all possess, spread, and share. Sending socially distanced hugs and encouragement to you and your family this holiday season! Merry Christmas!


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