Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

A Californian in Arizona


It's true that you can never really go home again. I grew up in Minneapolis, went to college in Tempe, Arizona, lived for about ten years in Southern California, and now live in Glendale, which is a suburb of Phoenix. And I know that I really don't fit into any of those places.

When I go back to Minnesota, I really don't fit in with my friends who have stayed there all of their lives (which is most of my friends from high school). They're real locals, they know the best places to fish, what days the snowplows come through, that sort of thing. I ask where a good Mexican Food place is, and they just stare at me.

When I go to California, of course I seem very Minnesotan. Although I'm an Arizonan, and have lived there for more years than I care to admit, it's the slight midwestern twang in my voice that people hear, and the fact that I can't imagine eating dinner at 9 pm. At restaurants I order a steak. I can't tolerate seafood, so I'm an embarrassment to my California friends.

And when I come back home to Arizona, I seem to be very Californian to my friends there. I seem to be wearing a tie-dyed tee-shirt with a peace symbol on it, eating sun-ripened avocados, using the word "dude" all of the time. There's a sense that I was lucky to get out of there, before I drank the Kool-Aid, if you know what I mean.

As you can tell, I really don't fit into any of those places. I'm not a local. I do try to hang with locals, and other than my inability to eat fish, do what they do when I visit California. I do like avocados, and there's a nice fitness vibe in California that I don't see in Arizona, which makes me more comfortable. I love my Arizona home, but I'm not really a true truck-driving Arizonan. I have a fascination with tiny sports cars, and I see a lot of them when I visit California. And did I mention the California girls? The Beach Boys were right. All you gotta do is just wink your eye - although it helps to be doing it in a Ferrrari!

I'm a Californian in Arizona.

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