There is really only one city that I love, Garden City, Kansas. Sure there are cities that I like more than others: Denver, Tulsa, Wichita, and Manhattan (KS). But these cities are just places I like and I want them to succeed just so that I have more things to do while visiting or living in them. However, I want Garden City to succeed because of the city and the people in the city -I know that I am biased but it really is a good city.
Almost as much as I like Garden City I tend to dislike Dodge City, Garden City's rival town. Yes, THAT Dodge City; the smaller, dirtier, Applebee's in Boothill, "special" cousin of Garden City. There are a few reasons why our cities are rivalies. First is city size, we both have approximatly around 30,000 residents, Garden being a little bit larger. Second is that the trip over to Dodge is less than an hour away, so the cities are spread far enough apart that there isn't constant interaction between each other, however they are close enough that decisions in one town can effect the other. Third, there is no other sizeable towns in the area. The next biggest town to the east is Wichita (200 miles away), to the south is Amarillio (230 miles away), to the west is Colorado Springs (250 miles away), and to the north is Rapid City South Dakota (580 miles away). This means that there is no other local town to draw away the "rival spirit" from. There is no question that Garden City and Dodge City are rivals.
However our rivaly is not just limited to sports. The proximity of the two cites makes luring businiess a tricky ordeal. Sometimes when a buisness desides to move into the area they build in both cities at the same time, which was the case when Applebee's moved into both towns. Most of the time though a company will only chose one city to build in. News that something is going to be built in Garden is doubly good becuase that means that not only do we get a new store, but chances are Dodge City will be shut out for also getting the same store. With every step forward Garden City takes Dodge City doesn't just fall back because we moved up, they fall back because they are now prevented from taking the same step forward. So stems why some of the rivalry is so intense.
My main point here though isn't to just point out that Dodge City sucks; because they have a meat packing plant in the middle of their town and that the smell of the refined fat is nauseating, nor that I had never seen a cockroach in real life until someone brought one back in a blanket that they used in Dodge. No, my point with this post is to say that having a rival is important for building a strong community. I know that poeple in Garden try harder than they would normally just because they want our city to be better than Dodge. The proximity of a similar town keeps the pressure on everone to keep on improving. And for that I am thankful that Dodge City is around.