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Thread: Influence of place on who you are.

  1. #1
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Influence of place on who you are.

    I was thinking the other day about how location influences individuals. For instance, I was born in Wisconsin but moved to Colorado after 2nd grade. Lived there till I graduated from High School.

    Since that time I have lived in S. Illinois except for a year and a half when we lived near Ft. Benning, GA in the late 60's to early 70's.

    I can vividly remember when it dawned on me that I was a Midwesterner. Until that time I thought I would move back to Colorado at some point.

    Generalizations work not because they are true of everyone, but because they are true of many/most. So when someone hears I'm from the Midwest, they immediately have some preconceived notions about me. The same for someone from the South or California or the NE or Chicago, etc...............

    OTOH, some people choose to live where they do because of who they are. They find the place where they are the most comfortable.

    I, for one, could never live in FL and yet know many, many people who do and love living there. They may feel the same way about S. Illinois.

    So, what do you think?
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  2. #2
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Bud, I've thought about that quite often throughout the years also.

    It seems to me that in different areas of our great land attitudes, morals, politeness or lack of, ect. are a symptom of location or prevailing attitude if you will.
    Where you are brought up and these personality aspects become ingrained in who you are, i.e. your personality.
    We as humans tend to want to live around like minded people. Some tend to move as you mentioned to areas that more suit their personality.
    Others try different locations, and find that they are more comfortable where they were raised.

    I too remember realizing I'm a midwesterner after trying several different parts of the country. It hit me after coming back to the midwest and realizing that I was much more content here than other places.

    Ken
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    na1g
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    When I'm out on a tour, on the RT or in the car, I often pass through a town or simply a crossroads and ask myself "Why does someone live here?" Not in a negative way, like "Why on Earth would someone live here??" but just curious as to why a person would choose to put down roots in this particular place.

    I'm a Jersey boy but move up to the Boston area in my early twenties to be nearer the mountains and the New England coast, finished college and taught school for 32 years, so I guess I'm a New Englander now. Can't see myself living anywhere else, although I might be less committed come February blizzards. It hurts to look at the RT sitting under a sheet in the garage.

    pete
    "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." -Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sibud View Post
    I was thinking the other day about how location influences individuals.
    I live within 25-miles of the places that I, my father, grandfather and great grandfather were born. Daily, I drive past the pre-Civil War iron furnace were my great-great-grandfather worked. My great grandfather, a civil war vet, is listed as a school board member on the corner-stone of the old 4-room brick school house in the village that I was raised. His son was the JP for several decades in that township. My father, a master machinist, spent his whole life in this area and dreamed of his children going to wonderful lives elsewhere. I started down that path, but the recession of the early 1980's sent me back to a job in the area. My father wasn't disappointed, but I sure was.

    In any case, nearly 30-yrs later, I'm what my colleagues call a local. To transients from ubiquitous suburban communities, my supply of anecdotes, factoids and fables about this place in the middle of nowhere can be entertaining. A discussion about almost any local person can lead to a multiple generation tale of hero's, saints and, in a few cases, bootleggers.

    I don't know what folks without this baggage do?
    Last edited by 36654; 12-05-2013 at 11:46 PM.
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  5. #5
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    City folks come to where I live and say "Why on Earth would someone live here??" . I go to the cities where they live and say "Why on Earth would someone live here??" . I think our ancestors have a lot to do with where we want to live. My ancestors came to the remote mountains hundreds of years ago because they wanted to get away from population centers and simply be left alone to do what they wanted to do the way they wanted to do it. I grew up the same way. I left the mountains and didn't like it. I just want to live comfortably where the few people I live near know me and would do anything for me. I like to be able to ride for hours without a red light, stop sign or policeman. I like to go out in my yard and shoot my guns as much as I want. I like the freedoms I have here that I didn't have when I lived in the city. That is why my ancestors came.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  6. #6
    Route 66 Missouri gstom's Avatar
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    I was born in a very small town in rural (is there any other place) Iowa. That place truly influenced me for the rest of (so far) my life in that the values of frugality, hard work, living within your means, kindness toward neighbors, etc. were ingrained in me.

    I have since lived in various locations, New England in high school, Air Force assignments in Wichita Falls, Texas: Belleville (St. Louis area) Illinois, UK (RAF Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire) then college in Ames, Iowa (Iowa State).

    After college we relocated to the far SW corner of Missouri where the Kansas Prairie gives way to the Ozark Mountains, an area with a notorious mining past, an area with an outlaw Bonnie and Clyde history, and an incredible work ethic where men would go down daily into the earth and dig for lead and zinc in order to feed their families.

    Every one of these diverse areas, regions, and cultures has had a shaping effect on the personality of my wife and I. You cannot deny that where you live has a definitive effect on who you are.

    One thing that has really struck me, though, is that no matter where you live, you get out of it what you put into it and how you view it. I guess I mean that any place you are, you can see the good or you can grouse about the things that you don't like. You can make your own happiness as easily as you can be unhappy with a place. I think for example of the many people who complain about riding across Kansas as "boring", yet it is truly an awesome place if view it with the perspective of the awesomeness of the great plains and what it would be like for the pioneers to cross it in their wagon trains.

  7. #7
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    I have lived in South Central PA for the majority of my adult life. I moved here in October of 1973, a couple months into my senior year of high school. I grew up in an Army family, moving from place to place each year, for the most part. Up until I was 17, the longest I had ever lived anywhere was maybe a year and a half. Our extended family was scattered. I had cousins up and down the east coast, and grandparents and great aunts & uncles all over the place. The upshot of all this was that I grew up really not having a clue about where I was "from". I was born in Ft Benning, GA. I knew my dad's folks lived in NC, and my mom's folks lived in MO.

    When I was about 33, I met my parents, who were by then living near Houston, TX, at our "family" place outside Raleigh, NC- I still had one great aunt living there, as well as a few other relatives- my dad's first cousin, for one. My dad took me for a ride, and showed me an elementary school he'd gone to (HIS dad was Army, too- so they'd lived all over the world)- the school carried our last name, as did/ does the road it was on, as does the community where the building sat at the time (it's since been torn down). He showed me our original family property, and we waded into a grove of trees in a plowed field, where he showed me family graves dating into the late 1700s. Then he told me that we are directly descended from a man named Joel Lane, who was one of the founding fathers of North Carolina! Turns out my dad used to get invited every year to come speak at Founder's Day in Raleigh. Well. You really could have knocked me over with a feather, as I absorbed all this information. At first, I was almost POd about not having been shown all this sooner... But the sheer relief, of KNOWING I was from somewhere- of knowing where that somewhere was- overrode anything else.

    It was a major life moment, a complete paradigm shift for me. I realized I was FROM somewhere very specific. Later, I found out my mom's side of the family was mostly from South Carolina, Sumter, primarily, and Charleston, and Columbia- as well as also from around Poplar Bluff, MO. To this day, even tho I've been here in PA for over 30 years, if anyone asks, I'm from Raleigh, NC. Or if I want to be vague, I just say The Carolinas. In retrospect, I probably could have figured it out much sooner.... But none of the pieces were ever presented in so succinct a fashion, as they were that one day. In truth, it caused me much confusion, and sometimes borderline embarrassment- not really KNOWING where exactly I was "from".

    We (family LLC) still have my grandparents' 60 acres (with house and barn- 9 acres of one corner have been designated for an exit ramp off the still-under-construction Raleigh outer "loop") quite near downtown Raleigh, my dad's 1st cousin there owns a pretty big chunk of property across the road from us.... And my three old spinster great Aunts' place, also right there, is BACK in the family, in the hands of my distant cousins (long story)...

    To this day, even tho I haven't moved around for many years, I dream almost daily of where I'll live next, or might go to. The dream destination varies all the time. Maybe I'll move "home" some day.
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  8. #8
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sibud View Post
    I was thinking the other day about how location influences individuals. For instance, I was born in Wisconsin but moved to Colorado after 2nd grade. Lived there till I graduated from High School.

    Since that time I have lived in S. Illinois except for a year and a half when we lived near Ft. Benning, GA in the late 60's to early 70's.

    I can vividly remember when it dawned on me that I was a Midwesterner. Until that time I thought I would move back to Colorado at some point.

    Generalizations work not because they are true of everyone, but because they are true of many/most. So when someone hears I'm from the Midwest, they immediately have some preconceived notions about me. The same for someone from the South or California or the NE or Chicago, etc...............

    OTOH, some people choose to live where they do because of who they are. They find the place where they are the most comfortable.

    I, for one, could never live in FL and yet know many, many people who do and love living there. They may feel the same way about S. Illinois.

    So, what do you think?
    I'm an Army Brat and spent 27 years in the Army myself. I've called over 20 different places home. My daughter lived in three nations on two continents before she was two. If your theory is true, then it may account for my multiple personality disorder.

    Sign me Belinda.
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  9. #9
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I kind of love it when posters here characterize Kansas, Nebraska, west Texas, etc., as "boring" and hope they follow up by not moving here.

    It's in fact my "policy" as regards MOA Nationals, i.e. I'm not riding anywhere east of maybe Nebraska, Kansas, etc., and those living with that population density can have it.

    Of course if there could be another National in Missoula, I'd go for a third time.

    Steve A. might also understand when last year when returning from trip to TX I looked around at all the "nothing" (ha) west of Clovis and noted the fact I was mostly alone on the road and I felt an involuntary shudder at the beauty of it. It's the Great Plains for me.
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  10. #10
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    I kind of love it when posters here characterize Kansas, Nebraska, west Texas, etc., as "boring" and hope they follow up by not moving here.

    It's in fact my "policy" as regards MOA Nationals, i.e. I'm not riding anywhere east of maybe Nebraska, Kansas, etc., and those living with that population density can have it.

    Of course if there could be another National in Missoula, I'd go for a third time.

    Steve A. might also understand when last year when returning from trip to TX I looked around at all the "nothing" (ha) west of Clovis and noted the fact I was mostly alone on the road and I felt an involuntary shudder at the beauty of it. It's the Great Plains for me.
    If you ride across Kansas, you pass thru several geologic areas and plant zones. It's interesting to watch if you want to do more than slab it on 70. Last September I rode home from Denver and enjoyed all of it.
    Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to

    Charter Member "High Town" crew.

  11. #11
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Winter is officially here.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  12. #12
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    Winter is officially here.
    Now calm down, Bud.

    Not poking fun (OK ......... maybe a little) at your thread.

    I actually look forward to the 'cabin-fever' posts, as they usually turn introspective and generate some interesting commentary.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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    Bud, For future reference, you live in "central" Illinois. Or are you taking a Chicagoan position, claiming everything south of I-80 is southern Illinois....LOL. I grew up 70 miles south of Bloomington and I'd never claim to be from "southern" Illinois.
    '14 R1200RT

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    Actually people aren't anybody unless they are from OHIO!

    Ohio bred and born!

    JUST KIDDING EVERYONE!!!

    Actually I love to hear perspectives from other people from other states - so I can know all the wrong things out there!!! - Just kidding again!

    All I can say is the we don't talk about that "school up north" up there in michiganland. Those people really are whacko!! (Now I am NOT kidding!)

    GO BUCKS !!! that's the guy spelling out O-H-I-O

    jlc - Proudly from Canton, OH, home of the PRO-Football Hall of Fame!

    But wanting to move to South Carolina some day!
    "The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    City folks come to where I live and say "Why on Earth would someone live here??" . I go to the cities where they live and say "Why on Earth would someone live here??" . I think our ancestors have a lot to do with where we want to live. My ancestors came to the remote mountains hundreds of years ago because they wanted to get away from population centers and simply be left alone to do what they wanted to do the way they wanted to do it. I grew up the same way. I left the mountains and didn't like it. I just want to live comfortably where the few people I live near know me and would do anything for me. I like to be able to ride for hours without a red light, stop sign or policeman. I like to go out in my yard and shoot my guns as much as I want. I like the freedoms I have here that I didn't have when I lived in the city. That is why my ancestors came.
    Being from Virginia, do you live in the middle of lots of Civil War battlefields?

    I am from Ohio, but have been converted to being a "Southerner" as my two all-time heroes are General Robert E. Lee & Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson.
    "The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers

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