Sunday, May 10, 2009

Where I Come From

I’ve always had a tough time telling people where I am from. I feel like it is a very important question that usually deserves a straight answer. You can make a good irrational judgment of someone based on where they are from. Just remember how you feel about someone when they tell you they are from Texas or Canada. Stigmas, right? My point exactly. So where am I from? Let me tell you.

Where I come from, the humidity is so thick that you can cut it with a knife. I remember going back to visit and I when I got out of the car I felt like I could swim. I don’t remember this town much because I was a wee little boy when I lived here but every time I drive through I can’t help but get all sentimental. After all it was my first home. I am from Colombia, Missouri.

Where I come from, Abe Lincoln is a hometown hero. After all they built a library there in his honor. I guess they do it for every president. But does every president have a National Historic State Park named after them in their hometown? Or how about an historic depot? Or law office? They might as well call the whole state the Land of Lincoln. Oh wait, they already do. I am from Springfield, Illinois.

Where I come from, things like back porches, baked ravioli at McDonalds and fireflies are common place. I’ll never forget those nights I spent running around trying to catch those magical bugs in mason jars. It never got old. This place was perfect for summers as a little kid. There were millions of trees to climb, nearby fields to plan in and even a pond to skip rocks in. To many this place is known as the Gateway to the West, but for me it was the gateway to my childhood. I am from St. Louis, Missouri.

Where I come from, cookie cutter houses dominate the landscape. It’s almost eerie how similar everything is in this town. They try to mask to exact same house with different color paint it hopes of creating variety. Even three of the four high schools in the area have the exact same floor plan. Don’t worry, it’s not some sort of a communist community, just a planned one. I am from Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Where I come from, the mafia is alive and kicking. It might not be old school like the Godfather but you better believe they’re out there, running the pizza joints and dealing graft with the government. I used to work for a family who I still think to this day was a part of organized crime. They were a typical Italian family that was oozing with clout. Heck, I was even scared of the 87 year old grandmother. Thank goodness I never crossed them, or at least they have yet to find out about it. The thing is this is just one of many powerhouse families across the state. I guess that’s why they say here, only the weak survive. I am from Montgomery, New Jersey.

So now you know where I am from. Soon enough I will be passing onto another place like a tumbleweed blowing in the wind, looking for another new adventure. But no matter where I go, I will never forget my roots.

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