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May 09, 2003

California, my native state, used to be a great place; it really was "The Golden State."

The schools were among the best in the country. Every cop was Joe Friday. Two cars in every garage and a swimming pool in every backyard. We gave Ronald Reagan two terms as governor, then gave him to the nation.

California was where everyone wanted to be; indeed, the population has nearly tripled in my lifetime. It's almost as if someone had picked up the entire country at the east coast and shook it - but only the debris slid down to the west coast.

By the time I kicked the California dust from my shoes in 2000, the state had gone completely and, I fear, irrevocably down the toilet.

Still, when I left California to relocate to North Carolina I knew there would be things I'd rather not have left behind, despite all the things I don't miss one iota.

I don't miss the explosive growth of ill-governed big cities. I don't miss the crowding or the crime. I don't miss paying more for rent than most Americans pay for their mortgages. I especially do not miss the moronic PC crowd running the state into the ground, the exceedingly moronic city governments doing even worse to what used to be such great cities, and the criminally stupid bureaucrats driving the schools at top speed on a highway to educational oblivion. I don't miss the corrupt politicians like Willie Brown and Grey Davis. I don't miss paying taxes so lawbreakers can get freebies from the state.

Now, I have come to love North Carolina; there is nothing I can think of [family crises excepted] that could persuade me to move back to the People's Republic. I love the fact that there are four discernible seasons here every year. Even as late as November, the landscape here is just so green - a novelty for one such as I raised in perpetually drought-stricken California, where brown hills are the norm from April to January.

The culture here is far more polite, far more respectful. Children raised here typically address their elders (when permitted to speak at all) as "Sir" or "Ma'am," not by their first names (a habit I consider to be particularly rude.) Neighborhood block parties happen every year, and you know all your neighbors' names - and they all know yours.

Mmmm.... Pig pickin' and other barbecue.

Still, there are particular things I miss about California. Yes, I miss having the beach within a stone's throw and the mountains half a day's drive away. I miss the really amazingly excellent Mexican food - and even the not-quite-so-good Mexican food. I miss having a computer store within ten minute's travel from any place in the state. But I can live with the loss of all those.

What I miss most - unquestionably, unalterably, undeniably - is being close to my family. I miss seeing my nieces and nephew growing up - too, too fast. I even, on occasion, miss my brother and sister (but I suspect that's a symptom of temporary insanity on my part.) I feel badly that they are all stuck there, and I almost feel bad that I have been lucky enough to escape.

With Mother's Day coming up any minute now, I am reminded of how much I miss seeing Mom as often as I used to. Steve over at Little Tiny Lies misses his Mom, too. (Read all about it.) But I am lucky - I have a mother to miss, to try to be a good son to.

If I could only get her to leave California.

Love ya, Mom.

Posted by Russ at 12:52 AM, May 9, 2003 in North Carolina & Personal Stuff

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Oh Lordy - how I miss you too Russ. But such a nice tribute! And who says I'll be in California (that late great state) forever? XOXO

Posted by: mom at May 13, 2003 01:42 PM

I, too, am a native of California. I have grown to despise the place to an unbelievable degree. Say! Do you know any companies or electric utilities there that can use a good lighting conservation and lighting layout guy?

Posted by: bear, the (one each) at May 16, 2003 08:55 AM

I certainly know what you mean. Born in a weird little oil town an hour North of LA, I, too, miss the same things. I thank G-D that I got a great education in the '60's and '70's and got the hell out. I now live in the REAL BBQ heaven, the great state of Tennessee, which also provides the universe with the finest of distilled brown corn based nectars. The end of civilization as I know it came when Old No. 7 was reduced from 90 proof to 80 proof to keep the PC crowd happy. Unfortunately we are also home to the most despicable of all "humans", Algore. I often wonder what he'd taste like after 8 hours over a slow burning oak/hickory fire and basted with my secret basting concoction?????

Posted by: Daniel Richard at May 16, 2003 10:05 PM

Nice Site


Posted by: Melodias at November 15, 2004 07:26 PM