Saturday, October 20, 2012

Local Tourism

Mockingbird Song by Jack Temple Kirby was a book chosen for class with a category of Ecological South and although the book twists and turns and talks of terrain and how people of the south have manipulated and worked with it, we determined that this book is as much autobiographical as it is about where one lives. It feels as if I have been labeled the California girl here in the Southern Studies program, partly because when asked where I moved from, the response is Los Angeles. I then often expand that I had lived in Minneapolis, Chicago, Savannah, Durham and Hendersonville (as well as Daytona Beach) for stints of time. My favorite response by a woman in the Southern Studies program was - ‘well more importantly, where were you born?’ and I always find myself light up when I respond Dallas. The long answer is I can usually navigate and find enough to talk about that relocation and moving from different states can be easier but people who don’t do it (and that is a majority) do not realize how regionalistic the United States can be. This same majority is impressed with all the places in Europe I can name and yes, Dublin, Madrid, and Prague are places I would return to in a heartbeat, Savannah is just as magical and special for me. An acquaintance (and fellow Southerner in LA) once talked at a dinner we were at about the importance of being a local tourist and asking everyone about this place- whatever place you are in. It’s an instant in because in his experience, everyone has some sense of civic pride for the place they reside. This thought kept running through my mind in reading Mockingbird Song where Jack Temple Kirby seems to embrace history and where he lives. All the interest in Florida shared in his book shows how he embraced retirement and relocation and change to mold it into the civic pride he expressed in the book. I am in the rocky waters of relocation where solitude and loneliness make the days and nights long. I have laid groundwork, but eagerly await festivals and events where I can get involved and meet a variety of people in the community but sadly these can’t come soon enough. I think I shall be pleasantly surprised what civic pride and what becomes endearing about this new community I have put myself in. _______________________ _________________________________

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