Saturday, July 17, 2010

Relocation / Dislocation

My son Sean has been in Kansas City for a visit recently and picked me up from an appointment in the middle of the afternoon. Like his father, Sean always has the radio or CD player going while in the car; but unlike me, his political views and taste in radio stations do not permit him to enjoy conservative talk radio on weekdays (in spite of my failed attempts at political conversion)

After scanning the radio dial twice (according to his retelling of the event) he was unable to find more anything other than National Public Radio to suit his tastes. It appeared that there was plenty of Country music, and what to his sensibilities seemed an inordinate amount of Christian radio, but nothing like the music selection that he was used to in his home of Columbus (OH). Thinking of his problem reminded me how much this country changes as we move from place to place. 

Now as I look back in time, I have lived in Chicago, Kansas City (now twice), Columbus (twice), Cleveland (actually Medina if you want to get technical), LaGrange GA, and Toledo. Each of these places had things that recommended them, and some had more than others. Certainly however, each featured differences in the level of culture, variety and type available cuisine, and in the personalities of their populations. Ultimately, each had a charm of its own (sometimes in spite of itself)

This is turn reminded of that first time I had moved to what is known as the "City of Fountains" in the mid 70's. I remember a time not long after that arrival that found me sitting in a quiet local bar and enjoying a quiet local beer. The discussion of my fellow patrons that day was of their attire, more specifically of the material making up their foot coverings. One described cowboy boots as being made of alligator skin, another of rattlesnake skin, and the third of shark skin. (Please, no complaints from PETA members, as these none of these politically incorrect foot coverings were mine.) My reply, as the three looked at me was simple and to the point: "Sorry guys, but I just moved here from Chicago. I don't own a pickup truck, don't have a rifle rack, and I'm wearing penny loafers." (Wow, did I just date myself or what?) 

Any fears that I might have had of physical intimidation following this shocking admission were quickly dispelled however, as having just moved from Chicago, my erstwhile companions in libation assumed that I was part of the Mafia (Higgins being a well known Sicilian surname). I came to love the city and its people over the subsequent seven years that I lived here the first time. I find likewise that I am enjoying my return to both KC and the family that remains here in residence, in spite of the fact that it has a Mayor whose name suspiciously reminds me of one which should not be spoken (Mark Funkhouser)

I have to admit however, that even though I have lived here before, there is a bit of dislocation that comes with this most recent relocation (as has occurred with every previous relocation), and I'm sure that I will continue to experience periodic mental displacement (beyond what I normally experience) caused by the difference between my current surroundings and those of my previous home in Toledo from time to time.

In considering this current situation, I couldn't help but recall the line from The Wizard of Oz; when Dorothy said, "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more." "Sorry Dorothy, but you're wrong," I would be forced to reply to her these days. "In point of fact, we both are!"


Roland Hansen said...

Say what, Tim?
Other side of the rainbow or other side of the river? You mean we're not in Missouri? Oh, boy, did I take a wrong turn; I guess I should have turned right instead of having turned left.
And how about that St. Louis? Just as confusing. Sort of like Chicago and East Chicago.
Heck Tim, I do not know whether you're coming or going. Me? I'm barely treading water -- in the Maumee.

Tim Higgins said...


You need to turn neither right nor left, but only to continue on the straight path you have always been on.

As for treading water in the Maumee, I suspect that you should stop such practices ... or at least shower immediately afterward.