This is your real-life interlude amongst the SCA-focused trend my exercise in material generation seems to have taken. Boy. I can see where the readership comes from. Or at least the vocal portion. (Edited to add a personal note to Glas and Charlotte – your answers are in the comments section of the original blog. Didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you.)
How did I get from Arkansas to New Orleans? I guess to really answer, I should go a bit further back from that and tell you how I got to Arkansas in the first place.
I have been told that natives of Texas or New York will find a way to tell you that within the first five minutes of any introductory conversation. I have managed to a certain extent to quell that impulse over time, but I have to abashedly admit that the cliche holds true. I am not the kind of New Yorker that most people associate the term with. I am not from the city. I did not live in a loft apartment or a brownstone or a high-rise. I grew up in Upstate New York, dividing my time between Rochester – the city that Kodak built – and my grandparent’s dairy farm in Livonia. Upstate is everything you don’t think of New York being. Green. Rural. Quiet. Conservative.
My Dad’s company relocated us to Missouri in 1980 during one of the biggest droughts in decades. When we got there, my mother took one look at her brown lawn and cried. I swear I had never seen anything so dusty and brown in my life (okay, not true, I had already been to Albuquerque, NM). And, the culture shock. Oh. My. Since then, I have grown to love both St. Louis (lived there in ’86 to ’88) and Columbia (grad school, ’94-2000), but I have never been overly fond of Kansas City. Too much like a western city – all sprawl and obsession with progress at the expense of the past. They say St. Louis is the western-most eastern city and Kansas City is the eastern-most western city – believe it.
From there, I went to Tulsa to go to college, and from this point onwards, my travels have been dictated equally by boys and education. So….
1984 – Kansas City again (boy, several other boys, back to the original boy)
1986 – St Louis (running away from a boy, toward a few more boys)
1988 – Little Rock (well, Pine Bluff, to be accurate – a boy. This time I married him)
And now actually begins the answer to your question, Sheila.
1994 – Columbia, MO – Grad school (Leading to divorce and eventually a new boy, who moved for ME for a change)
2000 – NEW ORLEANS!!!
I moved there for my post-doctoral work – so, file that under education. There were probably other, more prestigious (and paradoxically lower-paying) post-docs I could have taken, but at that point I wanted to come home to Gleann Abhann/Meridies SO badly I would have promised my first-born, had a first-born been on my radar yet. So incredibly glad it didn’t come to that.
And, well, I would be there still if it hadn’t been for that little storm…