Monday, May 14, 2007

All The Young Dudes

When I was 19, after spending nearly my entire life growing up in the Los Angles area, I began to make half-hearted plans to leave this crowded place and establish roots elsewhere.
Seems all guys have the same ideas, at about the same stage of life. The desire to find his own way. To claim his own place. Establish manhood on his own terms.
I think it's a 'gene thing' among us.

For me,two places held allure. Chicago was the city of my birth, and sole foundation of my family roots, and the foremost in my thoughts. As most of my relation was leaving for points west(California,of course), or passing on, I never made that move. Actually, it's a longer story than that,also involving a girl I never married. Nuf said.

Promised Land #2: Arizona. Everybody was doing it. Arizona was new and still had a rugged reputation, with a lot of technology industry type stuff moving there (to flee California.)

Generally, jobs were there for the taking. A couple buddies of mine drove east supplied with gas money and $185 between them, landing jobs on the day of arrival, and living out of a '72 dodge station wagon for two weeks until the first paycheck, which put them into a slummy pad. Within a few months, they upgraded to a nice apartment, returning to visit California to preach the Arizona gospel to the rest of us, and disappeared again, to resurface a couple years later with homes(and mates).
Arizona was happening,ya know?

Soon, lots of restless young dudes from California were hitching their wagons eastward on Interstate 40,and that desert trail swallowed up a few more of my gang, never to be seen or heard from again. One spoke of never returning, proving the point by leaving behind two unanswered traffic tickets.
Stickin' it to The Man on his way out. Gotta respect that,yeah?
He urged me to follow. But by this time, I was hitched to a different kind of wagon, had sired twice, and accepted the reality that I wouldn't be leaving for anywhere in a very long while.

We shared some beers, hugs and tears, and he drove off into the night.
(I miss that crazy bastard more than all the others.)

It's been a long time.
And finally, I sense my time is coming.

17 comments:

RW said...

Moving to Florida to drive to the drug store in a golf cart?

Gino said...

NO!
(though they do have some good huntin in FL)

interesting you bring that place up. dad's brother relocated there, from chi,bout the same time we moved to CA, and two of his kids went back to Chi to start new lives after school.

Mick said...

Move to Oregon and give me your daughters hand in marriage then?

Kal said...

C'mon, you know your a redneck at heart. North Carolina here you come.

Kal said...

err... "you're"....

Duh!
(and I call other people names...)

Gino said...

not looking at OR either, but i did entertain the idea of NC rather recently.

Kal said...

I dunno Gino, there was this woman on Deal or No Deal last night from North Carolina. Her voice was enough to make me consider any other state. Man, I used to Looove southern accents, but, criminey! She had my eardrums bleeding....

Gino said...

now,now...
the uberintelligent brian (on the roll) lives in NC.

i'm not southernish as much as i'm more kinda midwest hayseedish.

Mick said...

How about UT? The land of the giant salamander!

Brian said...

Yeah, I live in NC. I'm not from NC. (I don't know about "uberintelligent", though...)

Actually, it's a stretched out, rambling state, very heterogeneous both culturally and geographically. (Kinda like California, in that way, actually...) Where I live is the boring part, with all the other overeducated geeks.

But I'd endorse southern Arizona, if you don't mind the heat. Lots of open space, plenty of animals to shoot (ever hunted javalina?) great food, laid-back lifestyle, and still a bargain compared to SoCal. You could probably still get a spread somewhere in the mountains/foothills between Tucson and the border (it's cooler down there too.)

Mercy Now said...

What about Colorado? I've skied there a few times and even spent a week in the summer there. It's very nice temp wise. The only down side is no ocean.

Gino said...

actually, i'm looking at TX,MO and AR/OK.

hammerswing75 said...

Have you considered Minnesota? We have mild winters, limited government and topographical excitement!

But I like it anyway.

Gino said...

i've seen KD's icefishing pics. i think i'll pass on that one.

Kal said...

Massachusetts!

You can hunt all the liberal varmints you want!

Gino said...

kal, i'm not always nice, but not even I would stoop so low as to liken the Irish to varmints.


well, not in public, anyway.

Allan said...

Do not come to Montana. ;)