Where is the place you think of when you hear the word “hometown?” Is it the place of your birth? Isn’t it the place where your home is? Sure, if you’ve never moved, it’s the same thing. There’s a problem if you don’t feel comfortable in the town where your home is. Hometown is a comfortable word.
Home should be a comfortable word, too. I understand how one’s emotions and baggage determine just how comfortable their home is. I know it can be damn uncomfortable. Mental turbulence can make the home and the towns turn sour.
But, if you have everything going good right now; your health isn’t taking away smiles, music, hugs, or sleep; your bills are not late, your kids, siblings and grandkids aren’t processing “drama,” then maybe you can open one eye to the community around you and check it out.
If you live in a community that has a daily newspaper, and you don’t subscribe, then you don’t know your hometown as well as you think you do. If you think watching the pretty talking heads showing you the biggest baddest crime of the day, the worst looking car wreck, political talking points, and a silly non-weather report is keeping you informed…uhhh…huh-uh.
Every city worth its salt is working hand-in-hand with the local newsrag and merchants pulling off some amazing tastes/music/art and cultural events. It’s usually free to enjoy and some good exercise. Reading about these community shin-digs and learning the names of your fellow citizens doing the labor, local shops and restaurants participating, will provide insight into integral parts of your hometown. It could be a brand new experience providing new taste treats, mind-boggling eye candy at the art exhibits and most importantly, new friends. It makes the town feel homey.
Reading the local sports stories about your local college or high school teams give you time to actually get to know the coaches, kids and opponents. It’s sure better than viewing a 10 second clip of a scoring pass while a goofy guy is yelling dozens of scores in the background. On top of that, your eyes can hardly keep up with all the area scores trailing across the screen.
Reading stuff, any stuff, even this stuff, slows you down, lengthens your life. Right now, I know you’re feeling itchy; like what point is this long-winded dude trying to make?
Here’s my point. I’ve lived in my present town the last 11 years, less than 15% of my life. Every day I read most of the pages and a small portion of the ads in my newspaper. Today I read about the big football game between Bakersfield High and Long Beach Poly. Long Beach Poly has the 2nd. most wins in California high school history, 710 wins. They have an enrollment of 4,750 and Snoop Dogg goes to every game. The most football wins in California High School history is 718, owned by Bakersfield High School.
When my brain absorbed that item of new information, I immediately felt HOMETOWN Pride.
Bakersfield won the game, 29-6…kicked ass. I even felt more pride.
There are 17 more high schools in our high school district, each has around 2500 kids enrolled. When I read about one of their victories, I really don’t feel any attachment. Yeah, I hook up with winners, I feel good more often that way.