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Thread: Influence of place on who you are.

  1. #61
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    One thing I've not seen mentioned is that places often morph. Case in point: I enjoyed growing up in San Diego CA (pop 120,000), but after a decade in the military I returned to find it completely different. It wasn't just that it had tripled in size (and new residents were continuing to flock to the place) but that in absorbing so many people from other places so quickly it had lost its personality. It was if Alexis de Tocqueville's prophecy that democracy would fail when every man became a castle unto himself (paraphrased) was coming true.

    And to be fair I had morphed as well. Being raised in southern Cal and never having been anywhere else I had inherited my stepfather's beliefs that Southerners were slow, New Englanders were arrogant, etc. But the Marine Corps is a meritocracy, and I found that there are all sorts hailing from different parts of the country, that painting with a broad brush hurt nobody but yourself. You learn to accept folks on their merits. That lesson has helped me keep my eyes and ears open to meeting people of all types, and as a result Barley and I have met some wonderful and fascinating people everywhere we've been.
    Last edited by glenfiddich; 12-14-2013 at 10:02 PM.
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  2. #62
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    there are a couple OK restaurants, a burgeoning art scene, and The Strand has an almost continuous run of shows
    I think I recall saying that 30-yrs ago......
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenfiddich View Post
    It was if Alexis de Tocqueville prophecy that democracy would fail when every man became a castle unto himself (paraphrased) was coming true.
    Without community, a place is just a place............
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  4. #64
    Registered User sudani's Avatar
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    Over the years I've lived in and out of Illinois, Germany, North Dakota, Indiana, Florida and now Arizona. Each situation brought life experiences and wonderful memories. Reaching an age where "retirement" is here, my life before and now seem to run in 10 year cycles. So, with this move, 10 years of "living simply in a nice environment" seems to be where I am. No drama! After that who knows. But then......that would be the next adventure, right??

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  5. #65
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    I think I recall saying that 30-yrs ago......

    Yeah, well, ya know, RE: York: social changes come slowly, (or not at all) to South Central PA.
    One of the restaurants that I like- Left Bank- may be the one you recall. Still pretty consistently good.
    The Strand has really ramped it up just in the past couple years- they have something, be it a film or concert/show almost every night. My GF has worked in York County for the past 3 years. The people there are as if from another world, another time.

    And I get the thing about places changing... The most outstanding example of that I ever saw was Houston. My folks first moved to the Houston (TX) 'burbs in 1975. I lived there in 1977, and again in the early 80s. Among other things, it seemed predominantly both an oil, and a cow town. The lack of zoning gave it an almost unreal atmosphere- with cow pastures, schools, neighborhoods, and industrial facilities all shoulder to shoulder.

    It seemed wild to me at my young age. Construction & other workers gathered on the side of the roads, and in convenience store parking lots to drink beer and wind down their day. The roadside was a market place- you could buy anything from cars, to furniture, to firewood, to fresh shrimp, to the Aids drug AZT (banned by the FDA) and other things brought up from Mexico- from sellers who would set up on the road shoulders. There were drive thru liquor stores where you could get a mixed drink and a six pack to go. There was a big boom going on, with lots of transient people about, license tags from all over the country.... and it was so totally... distinctly....Texas.

    The boom ebbed & flowed, the truly transient people came and went- there was an oil bust, and then a tech surge.. Thru it all, the town just kept growing, and morphed almost completely. While it was so apparent in Houston, the rest of the country was also undergoing some of the same changes. The end result -which was so stark in Houston- is that now every suburb is the same... With Home Depots, Walmarts, TGIFridays, endless strip malls and their ilk dominating every possible bit of the landscape.

    Meanwhile, Houston has continued to grow and morph, becoming one of the biggest cities in the U.S. Tho it has quite nearly lost its "Texasness", many of the changes have been good for the city itself, for the city proper, inside "the loop" (the common term for the circumferential interstate surrounding the broad city proper). Today's Houston boasts an international community with an even stronger rep than ever before for advanced medical facilities (first heart transplant- Houston), where doctors come from all over to work, to intern, to learn. There is a popping theater/museum/restaurant scene (Houston even recently made a NYT travel writer's "top 10" list for its restaurants & theaters), it is still a hot sea port town, and the oil biz is back.

    Houston has its ups and downs. A couple years ago, before my dad died, I was thinking I'd move close to him and help him thru his old age. There are a good many older working class neighborhoods surrounding his once-affluent neighborhood- when I was looking -around 2009- there were HUNDREDS of small homes empty, and for sale within a five mile radius of his home!

    Today, I cannot say exactly... Haven't been back since 2010, just after my dad died. But I'm guessing that Houston is OK, that it has made it thru yet another wave of changes to survive, as it always probably will. It has out grown its former "space city" 1960s skin (Astrodome, NASA) to become even more, a modern city of wonder... With sprawling burbs, and endless loops, middle loops, and outer loops, byways, and tollways, it is still bisected by I-45 (N-S) and I-10 (E-W). The old neighborhoods are now being treasured and preserved instead of getting torn down and replaced by condos, and some of the old family businesses- like Pappadeaux's -have survived it all.

    Houston is definitely NOT the "Wild West" anymore.

    York, OTOH.... Still pretty much the same.
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post

    York, OTOH.... Still pretty much the same.
    Back in the day, I was chatting with a guy that did business in York in the 1950's. He used a term that always stuck with me........"They break the glass". I asked what it meant and he said........"They'll happily serve you a drink, but they'll break the glass you drank from as you leave the bar". It meant move-on and don't come back.

    Yep, that was pretty much York.

    The boom time in Houston was the early 80's? I remember being offered a job on a NG drilling crew in OK, because I didn't look drunk. I was standing in line at a convenience store.
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  7. #67
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Back in the day, I was chatting with a guy that did business in York in the 1950's. He used a term that always stuck with me........"They break the glass". I asked what it meant and he said........"They'll happily serve you a drink, but they'll break the glass you drank from as you leave the bar". It meant move-on and don't come back.

    Yep, that was pretty much York.

    The boom time in Houston was the early 80's? I remember being offered a job on a NG drilling crew in OK, because I didn't look drunk. I was standing in line at a convenience store.
    The boom I was referring to began in the 70s and went into the mid 80s, til the oil bust broke it. I rolled out (the second time) of Houston when construction jobs were getting thinner and thinner. Guess that was maybe 84?

    Yeah, York... Where they may hate each other, but they'll hate you more cuz you ain't from there.
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    The boom I was referring to began in the 70s and went into the mid 80s, til the oil bust broke it. I rolled out (the second time) of Houston when construction jobs were getting thinner and thinner. Guess that was maybe 84?

    Yeah, York... Where they may hate each other, but they'll hate you more cuz you ain't from there.
    BTW - I finally had a meal at your favorite place in Millheim.........The Elk Creek Brew Pub. The food was excellent, as per the reputation. The beer was brew pub ale.........eh. I will definitely go back for the food.
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  9. #69
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    BTW - I finally had a meal at your favorite place in Millheim.........The Elk Creek Brew Pub. The food was excellent, as per the reputation. The beer was brew pub ale.........eh. I will definitely go back for the food.
    Sweet. We actually went up yesterday. One of our artist friends in Penn's Valley had an open house, so we doubled up and had brunch at Elk Creek, then (swung? swang? swinged?) er... went over to see her. I had the eggs benedict, and Cynthia had a burger. Most enjoyable, "so it was"... Afterwards, (DOH! I know, right?) I thought maybe I should have let you know we were coming up your way. Ah well, I'll catch up with you sometime.
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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    The boom I was referring to began in the 70s and went into the mid 80s, til the oil bust broke it. I rolled out (the second time) of Houston when construction jobs were getting thinner and thinner. Guess that was maybe 84?

    Had grown up in Space City until I was 27...seems such a long time ago...guess it was.

    I left in '84 and moved to booming Austin. In my SE Houston neighborhood, 400 of 800 something homes were for sale as most owners were tied to oil business and struggling.I couldn't sell my hose and renting it turned into a big mistake.
    The late 70's to around '84 were definitely a boom for the outer loop sprawl. The Sugarland area in particular was just a State prison and Imperial Sugar...not now! We were working long days and weeks to keep up with power construction needs. Then it went "poof".

    Looking around the parking lot of the Light Company around '81 had a lot of Ohio,Michigan, and Illinois license plates with transplanted linemen. We had to teach them to say Y'all in place of you guys and coke instead of pop/soda!
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  11. #71
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    Sweet. We actually went up yesterday. One of our artist friends in Penn's Valley had an open house, so we doubled up and had brunch at Elk Creek, then (swung? swang? swinged?) er... went over to see her. I had the eggs benedict, and Cynthia had a burger. Most enjoyable, "so it was"... Afterwards, (DOH! I know, right?) I thought maybe I should have let you know we were coming up your way. Ah well, I'll catch up with you sometime.
    Sounds good. Who is the artist?
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  12. #72
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Sometimes cliches are true, to wit: You can take the boy off the farm but you can't take the farm out of the boy. Or, "the city". Or the girl ...

    On a more sinister note, the abused become abusers.

    We are all, to a greater or lesser extent a product of our surroundings. But today, with a highly mobile society and folks living many many different places some folks become an amalgam of all of them.

    On a similar theme, I just took a 25 question linguistics quiz I stumbled upon on Facebook. The questions were all about what a person calls things or how a person pronounces words. At the end it identifies locations you speak most like and the least like. It nailed me exactly based on where I have lived most of my life.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  13. #73
    Ponch
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    I lived on Long Island for over 40 years, over 9 in Iowa and pushing 2 in AZ. I still have a NY accent, but I'd never move back home. It's changed for the worse. I am not sure about AZ either as it's too hot in the summer, but I like the politics here better. Anyway, to what Paul said, you can't take the X out of the boy.


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  14. #74
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    It nailed me exactly based on where I have lived most of my life.
    It made a determination of 'shop talk'?
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  15. #75
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    It made a determination of 'shop talk'?
    Sorta I suppose. There were some terms - roundabout vs rotary or traffic circle, median vs divider, and berm vs parking which were more products of my city planning profession than my locale - but it nailed me as having language most like Des Moines, Omaha, and Wichita. Not bad for a guy who in round numbers spent 20 years in North Dakota, 20 years in Iowa and 20 years in Kansas. My linguistics was least like Brooklyn, Yonkers, and Boston. No big surprise there either.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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