Living in Paw Paw: The User’s Guide

Living in Paw Paw: The User’s Guide


When making your initial attempt at a life in Paw Paw, IL, there are certain guidelines you must follow in order to have a happy experience. There are always the basics, of course, but every town has it’s quirks. This guide will help you make a smooth transition into a Paw Paw lifestyle, no matter what age group you find yourself in. Below, you will find four categories varying in age: young (0-12), teen (13-19), adult (20-65), and elder (65+). Find the category that best suits you and begin your Paw Paw journey!



This guide assumes you understand the preliminary objectives to completing your Paw Paw experience, including being polite, not riding your bike on the wrong side of the road, and not bumping rap music like a thug. If these requirements are not met, this guide may be misleading toward your overall education. Thank you!


Young (0-12)

As a youth in your prime, there are certain expectations you must meet in order to firmly establish yourself in town. To begin, make sure to keep your bike well oiled and maintained. You will be using this mode of transportation frequently. If you need parts or accessories to spruce up your bike, direct your needs to Mel’s hardware. You will find all you could ever need here, and you could pick up a movie on the way! You can find Mel’s hardware on Chicago Road, just past the old Paw Paw bank. Speaking of the old Paw Paw bank, be sure to never trespass in this area. There was a fire many years ago and this building is off limits.

Even though the bank is off limits, there is plenty more to do on Chicago Road to get the full Paw Paw experience. Be sure to stop by the Fresh Market and say Hi to Tom, the sales clerk. You can find this local establishment just a hop and a skip down the street from Mel’s. Tom is a hard working man and knows everyone who’s anyone. If you want to plant your name in Paw Paw, he’s the man to know! Past the Fresh Market is the town library. You may see cars outside in the large parking lot. This is because the library is on top of the community center and that is where the town leaders meet. You will be sure to come to this building eventually for birthday parties or celebrations.

Speaking of celebrations, let’s begin to discuss the kids you will meet in town. At Paw Paw Elementary school (or Junior High, depending on which end of this age gap you are) there will be a multitude of colorful people you will meet. Be sure to have a good sense of humor and establish yourself in your class as a nice person. Nobody wants to learn alongside a boring anybody, you have to be a super somebody! Alongside your classmates, you will have teachers to meet too. As long as you keep up the personality traits as mentioned before, teachers will be no sweat! Finally, sports are a must if you want to stay on the good side of the town. Everyone knows a sports player is an active participant in the community!

Being a youth in Paw Paw is a no-brainer! Be kind, keep your bike in check, get accustomed to the local spots, and be an active and friendly member of your community and school. Follow these steps and you’ll be a local favorite in no time!


Teen (13-19)

Being a teen brings new responsibilities to the life of a Paw Paw resident. At a young age, you relied on your bike for every transportation need. Now, you need to ditch that old hunk of junk. If you wanna fit in, you need to drive. Of course, only half of the teenage age group can drive, but even if you’re too young it’s better to hitch a ride than ride your bike. Getting caught on a bike may lead to excessive name calling and regret in your decisions.

As for fun, there really isn’t much to do. You will likely drive with your friends to the next town over to get some McDonald’s or China House. Don’t even consider staying in town for any of your needs. If dire circumstances lead you to entering a local business, you must act like you don’t want to be there. If you buy from Mel’s, greet him, but don’t be too friendly. Same goes for Tom at the Fresh Market. He works there to serve YOUR needs, not the other way around. Get what you need and leave immediately. No matter what you do, under NO circumstances should you EVER enter the library. Books are for tests and homework, not for fun. Anyone who enters the library is in the market for a new name, and that name is nerd.

At school, you will likely join one of three cliques: the sports players, the musicians, or the try-hards. As a sports player, you will have privileges among everyone else to do the things you want. You want to say leather jackets are cool? Do it. You have the podium and you must preach. Musicians fall under the sports players, but still have pull. Your power in this group will be through the community. Playing concerts and going to music conferences will put a label on you that says “Team Player”. The bottom of the clique totem pole are the try-hards. These are the kids who want to go to college and try to make a life for themselves. But why go this route? You’re in highschool, who needs to plan ahead. Trying this hard at your education makes you a boring person and no one will want to hang with you, except the other try-hards of course. If none of these cliques fit your personality, you can always be a loner. Loners are normally found smoking cigarettes from their older brother by the park gazebo, or driving around playing loud music. Your grades will suffer and teachers will likely pick you last for presentations. This isn’t the life you should try for, but it is always an option.

Being a teen in Paw Paw is no problem at all. Just remember to always drive, avoid going to local businesses (and if you must, make it quick), find your clique, and continue down your path toward Paw Paw glory!


Adult (20-65)

Adulthood in Paw Paw can be a jarring experience, but this guide should help make the obstacles a little less difficult. You will find that, although the town is small, driving is not always your best mode of transportation. You’ll want to get your old bike out and take it on a ride around the beautiful countryside, or even take a walk. The town is begging for life, and a walk around town will help bring some activity to the streets. Be sure to say hello to all of the town regulars. If you have grown up here, you may find that the people in town are becoming less and less familiar. Either try and get to know them or just walk by, this is your decision.

As mentioned before, the energy in town is a little low recently, so be sure to help out any of the businesses that you can. Try to get groceries or any other necessities from the Fresh Market, your contribution may just help this local business stay afloat. Mel’s is always there to help if you find yourself in a hardware flux, so be sure to give Mel some company and reassure him that his business is the heart of the town. If there is any type of meeting or gathering in the community building, try to participate. The more people the town can get together the better. You will find that Paw Paw tries to keep its traditions alive, like the turkey dinner at Thanksgiving and the big Labor Day fair. These are the lifeblood of community spirit, so make sure to at least try and be there.

At this point in your life, you’ll be out of Paw Paw High School and either be on your way to college or you may have a job. This does not mean you should exempt yourself from school activities. Whenever there is a game for the seasonal sports team, make an appearance and give the students a reason to keep doing what they’re doing. Alongside sports, there will be concerts and musicals happening too. These also require your attendance to continue, so be sure to go. If you are a alumni of Paw Paw High School, you may find yourself longing to go back. Do not despair, the school will welcome you back with open arms. Go in some day and say Hi to all of your old teachers, they would love to see you. The absolute worst thing you can do as an adult in Paw Paw is not participate. The town needs you, don’t let it down!

Adulthood in Paw Paw can seem daunting, but don’t fret. Be sure to take walks and meet the locals, support the local businesses, keep up with traditions, and join in with the school events. You are the towns heart, make sure to keep it beating!


Elder (65+)

From this point on, life in Paw Paw is a gentle breeze. You’ve worked hard your whole life and now is the time you can finally kick back and enjoy yourself. Be sure to trade out whatever means of transportation you have and get a Cadillac, you need to dress for the part! Oh, and don’t worry about what those pesky speed limit signs say. You wanna go 15 in a 30? Go for it! You wanna go 80 in a 55? Of course, what’s holding you back? The streets are your domain, make sure the world knows it!

We all know that this leisurely life of driving and relaxation will put a hurting on your gas bill, so be sure to scope out the cheapest gas station possible. Is the local Caseys six cents higher than the town over? That’s outrageous! Be sure to go in and voice your opinion, then take your business to the cheapest gas station you can find, in or out of town. That being said, you should still go up town to get groceries and your other needs. Tom at the Fresh Market looks lonely today, why not stop by and chat for 30 minutes? If anyone complains you’re holding up the line, just ignore them. They don’t respect you enough anyway!

When it comes to the local activities, you simply must go to support the kids. But remember, you are an elder and therefore control the town. Is the baseball game not close enough for you to see? Just drive right up to the diamond, everyone will understand! Is the chior concert too quiet? Make sure everyone knows it, and crank that hearing aide up to 10. You are part of this towns very soul, and without your attendance, who’s gonna fill those seats?

Paw Paw is simply the place to be for an elder. You control the town and deserve all the respect you can possibly muster. If something isn’t to your liking, then make sure the town knows. You’ve done your duty, now it’s time to relax and enjoy what Paw Paw has to offer.

As you can see, Paw Paw is a great town for any age, you just have to know what you’re doing. If you find yourself wondering what the next step is in your journey, just pick up this guide and read away. Paw Paw loves it’s members, and we only want the best for each and every one of you. The memories you will make are sure to last a lifetime, so why not begin your journey now?


Welcome to Paw Paw!

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