Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.
– Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 1. Scout Finch the narrator describes Maycomb and the small-town life that defined her childhood. It suggests a kind of sleepy town where not much ever happened. This sets the stage for the conflict of Tom Robinson’s trial.