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View Full Version : Any town, Anywhere--where are you?



SRHowen
06-12-2005, 09:43 PM
I recently recieved my class reunion letter--ha--I'm not going for many reasons the least of which was that HS was hell. But, when filling out the survey inside and then putting it in the SASE to return, I noticed that the person who had sent it out still lived in the same (under 15k people) town she had lived in when she went to HS. I did a little research and came up with a huge percent of people (90% plus) still lived in the same small town area--basicly where they lived when they were in HS.

Having lived all over the USA and in Europe these past, shall I say it 25 plus years (Ok closer to 30 years)(Ok 30 years), it astonded me. On classmates.com I discovered that a great many never left the area--never went to college, have never lived any further from their HS stomping grounds than 20 or 30 miles. And I found this out through the very small amount of people who have left--those on classmates are the ones who left, something like 15 people out of a class of about 400.

To me that is just weird--

But even at work in this 25K town (which would be a 15k or less if the military wasn't here,) there are those, many--many who went to HS right here in small town Texas.

Is this normal? Do most people stay right where they were when they reached adult hood? Do they go out, (college) then return? Or is it a thing more common to rual America or rual anywhere?

Just a poll, and opinions--you can make more than one choice---

Shawn

Poppy
06-12-2005, 09:58 PM
I have only moved once in my life and that was when I got married...I moved across the road from my parents. I stay because my roots run deep here. I am surrounded by people I've known all my life (or either I've known them all of theirs). I cannot imagine moving/living anywhere else (and I'd probably die of culture shock if I tried).

:)

Poppy
06-12-2005, 10:00 PM
Oh yeah, and I meant to add that since I'm not well-traveled, I can't say whether or not this is normal everywhere, but in my neck of the woods, it is.

firehorse
06-12-2005, 10:09 PM
I went to boarding school starting in eighth grade. There were some day students in my (boarding) high school, but they made up only about 10% of the class. So I'm guessing very few live in the same area.

I moved *tons* as a kid - first we moved when I was four; then I went away to school, which meant moving every summer and fall (different dorms) - I didn't go to my father's house during the summer; I was always visiting one sister or another, or traveling. First college lasted two years; moved to DC, lasted a whopping five years there (in several different apartments) before New Haven for a year, NYC for three, and now Toronto for TEN, a personal record.

When Canadians ask why I moved from the States - with the underlying question "the US is more exciting" - I say that I need the stability.

I'd be thrilled to move to Vancouver, but it's not entirely in my hands. If I do move there, I think that's where I'll find 'home' - a place I'd be happy living the rest of my life.

reph
06-12-2005, 10:15 PM
I'm also from a small town, pop. about 15,000 when I left. I went to just one reunion, the 20-year one. It seems to me, from the pamphlet they produced in connection with the reunion, that a lot more than 15% of my classmates had left town. Most people who answered the questionnaire lived elsewhere, though few lived in other states. The town has few job opportunities for educated people, aside from teaching. Some were working in the nearest large city. The pamphlet probably underestimated the "leavers," since those who'd moved farther or more often would have been harder for the reunion committee to trace.

Speculation: People for whom HS was hell are less likely to stay.

Further speculation: Maybe the hellish nature of HS comes partly from its being full of adolescents. At my reunion, many classmates had mellowed.

BradyH1861
06-12-2005, 10:46 PM
I live an hour and a half away from my hometown, but that is where I work. Though most of my family lives in or around the same area that I live. Well, most of my mother's family. My dad's family still lives in the area where I grew up. I think when I retire I'd like to move to Eastern Tennessee and live in the Smokey Mountains. But for know, I'm content to live and work in the same area I grew up.

Brady H.

maestrowork
06-12-2005, 10:50 PM
I'm about 10,000 miles from my hometown.

rhymegirl
06-12-2005, 11:02 PM
I live in a nearby city to my hometown. My family is very close so we wanted to stay close together. I have never understood why some people are so anxious to leave town after they graduate. I went to college right here in my home state, commuting from home. I didn't even move out of my parents' house til I was 26. That was way too long, though!

I have a girlfriend who is living in the house she grew up in. Both of her parents are gone; she lives there with her husband and daughters. She has the same address as when she was a kid!

BlueTexas
06-12-2005, 11:03 PM
I don't have a hometown, and I wouldn't know which HS reuinion to attend. The one where I graduated, or the one where I spent the most time?

I was born in Virginia, and by the time I finished school (3 grammar schools and four high schools) I'd lived in 2 towns in Virginia, 2 in New Hampshire, Tennessee, New York, Connecticut (one town, three houses), Maryland and two towns in Georgia. Since then, I've lived in Nebraksa, back to Georgia and now a second town in Texas.

All told, 17 moves in 27 years. I spent the most time in Connecticut.

And the funny thing is, Mom made Dad get out of the Navy when I was born so we wouldn't be moving all the time. Sometimes fate is inescapable.

Dawno
06-12-2005, 11:08 PM
I'm an AF brat but we lived at one base for years and years. I went to 1 - 5th grades there and we came back for my 8th - 12th. My dad has retired to a town nearby as well. I consider my dad's home as my 'home town' and I live about 6 hrs away. Very few of my classmates still live in the area. Our 30th reunion is this fall and I'll be very interested to see who shows up.

brokenfingers
06-12-2005, 11:13 PM
I was born and raised in New York City but I'm damn glad I don't live there any more. I live in "the sticks" according to my family.

They all still live in that area though and have the typical NY'er attitude that NYC is the center of the universe and anyone who doesn't live there is a poor deprived unfortunate missing out on some vital essence of life.

The funny thing is that even though we grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, they all live within twenty minutes of each other in New Jersey now - except for my father who stubbornly refuses to leave his place on the border of SoHo and Little Italy (which he pays $2800/month for) and my grandmother who refuses to leave her place in Bklyn.

And the old Italian neighborhood? It's completely Russian now! Everybody's moved to Staten Island, Long Island or New Jersey!!

You gotta love New York!

stormie
06-12-2005, 11:34 PM
I have only moved once in my life and that was when I got married...I moved across the road from my parents. I stay because my roots run deep here. I am surrounded by people I've known all my life (or either I've known them all of theirs). I cannot imagine moving/living anywhere else (and I'd probably die of culture shock if I tried).

:)

Same here, only I didn't move across the road from my parents. Next town over, one mile away. Then a few years ago, moved back into my childhood home with my husband and sons (my parents died). My in-laws live in another town two miles away (can't really say if that's good or not. Depends on my MIL's mood). We're surrounded by small communities here. Many of my HS classmates are in the area, too, but then, there is the Atlantic Ocean right at our doorstep.... Only time I left was to room and board at college.

stormie
06-12-2005, 11:36 PM
I have a girlfriend who is living in the house she grew up in. Both of her parents are gone; she lives there with her husband and daughters. She has the same address as when she was a kid!

Just noticed this--sounds like me, except I have boys. And my sister lives with us, too.

mommie4a
06-12-2005, 11:44 PM
Several states away, but I wouldn't say I had to get out, the way the poll implies. I lived in the same state most of my youth, went out of state for college, traveled outside the country and moved back to my home city for three years before coming to Ohio in 1988. I met hubby here (he's from New England like I am) and we settled here because we had jobs and could afford the lifestyle. The East Coast seemed out of control to us, from here, given our grad school debt etc.

I still miss New England - Lake Erie is NOT the North Coast no matter what anyone tells you. And I refuse to accept that I live in the Midwest, no matter what demographers say. Delusions have medicinal qualities, you know.

firehorse
06-13-2005, 12:32 AM
All told, 17 moves in 27 years. I spent the most time in Connecticut.Wow, Kira! And I thought I moved a lot :). Oddly enough, most of my time was in Connecticut (all my school years through high school, as well as a year and a half of grad school).

firehorse
06-13-2005, 12:36 AM
I have a girlfriend who is living in the house she grew up in. Both of her parents are gone; she lives there with her husband and daughters. She has the same address as when she was a kid!I've met a few people like this in Canada; my overall impression is that Canadians stay closer to home than Americans - and tend to be much closer to their families as adults. Then again, that could just be my culture. Or it could just be Toronto. Or maybe it's me ;)

BlueTexas
06-13-2005, 12:36 AM
I saw that you lived in New Haven. I was closer to New London...in Ledyard, next door to Mystic.

Celeste
06-13-2005, 12:58 AM
I've lived in Michigan all of my 33 years. Right now, I'm about 40 minutes from where I grew up, went to school. As much as I think I'd like to leave Michigan, I don't think I could ever do it. Just too many people to leave behind. I'd get homesick.

reph
06-13-2005, 03:01 AM
I have never understood why some people are so anxious to leave town after they graduate.
Some young people have toxic families; some are misfits in their home towns and goodfits elsewhere. For me, it was both.

SRHowen
06-13-2005, 03:06 AM
I was the only Indian in a small northern WI town, if you know anything about that area in the 70's you know why that wasn't a good thing. Still that way in a lot of the area---they never let me forget what I was. And they didn't think I was even human, at least they treated me like less than dog doo.

ritinrider
06-13-2005, 03:12 AM
Wow, KTC, maybe one (or both) of your parents always wanted to move back, but they didn't want to disrupt their kids' lives so they waited untill you were all grown and settled to make their move. Of course, finances could've played a part.

For my part I wanted to ask what a home town is? Like Blue Texas my family moved, too much. Dad's job only changed 4 times (if you count retirement), and two of those moves were at his request. But he never liked to stay in one house for long, so we moved, and moved, and moved. I ended up going to three different high schools, although two of them were in the same town. Right after graduation my family left the state to return to their home and dragged me with them. Now, that doesn't seem like such a bad thing. I mean I would never have met my husband or had the three kids I had if I hadn't come here. But then, oh wow, I was not happy to be moving back here.

We live about 1 hour from my mil, and have for the last 26 years. Before that we lived further away, but that's because we went where the job was. Of my three children only my daughter lives out of state. But she was born a 'city girl' even if she did grow up in the country. One son lives next door to his grandmother, partly to keep an eye on her, and works about 30 min. away. The other son lives about 2 hours away.

Nita

BlueTexas
06-13-2005, 03:23 AM
Some young people have toxic families; some are misfits in their home towns and goodfits elsewhere. For me, it was both.

And sometimes it's nice to be able to reinvent yourself.

mommie4a
06-13-2005, 05:54 AM
I saw that you lived in New Haven. I was closer to New London...in Ledyard, next door to Mystic.

Hey Kira - I had a good friend in college from Ledyard and my dad did work at the Groton subbase. I can't believe it's slated to be closed.

BlueTexas
06-13-2005, 05:58 AM
I bet your dad knows someone in my family...the subbase has been slated before, and it didn't close then, so maybe it won't this time, either. I still have lots of friends and family there.

Small world--Ledyard was a tiny, tiny town. Now it's casino land, but not then!

mommie4a
06-13-2005, 06:03 AM
I bet your dad knows someone in my family...the subbase has been slated before, and it didn't close then, so maybe it won't this time, either. I still have lots of friends and family there.

Small world--Ledyard was a tiny, tiny town. Now it's casino land, but not then!

I know re: Ledyard. The friend's first name is Maria - I'm blanking on the last name, I can't believe it. She's a lawyer - still in the area. Married with a couple of kids. Mohegan apparently but they won't let her in the tribe for some reason. But she did grow up there. My dad worked there in the late 60s through the 70s. He was a chemical sales guy and helped clean out the missile tubes!

BlueTexas
06-13-2005, 06:06 AM
My grandfather was stationed out of that base in the 60's.

If your lawyer friend is a criminal defense lawyer, I bet I can think of some old high school classmates she might have represented, lol!

Renee
06-13-2005, 09:44 AM
I have never understood why some people are so anxious to leave town after they graduate.

I was the opposite from that. I never understood why people wouldn't want to leave their 'hometown,' I wanted to. Of course I'm still there so it doesn't count.

Honestly, I can't see why someone wouldn't want to leave, but that all depends on where you're from.

jdkiggins
06-13-2005, 04:13 PM
I moved away for awhile, but I couldn't stand cities, or even tiny suburbs. Moved back not only to my old home town, but part of my father's property.

Now, I'm living in the same house where I grew up. That's really sticking close to home. :)

Maryn
06-13-2005, 06:10 PM
I, too, was shocked at the one high school reunion I attended (mistake--you resume your status no matter what you're like now!) to learn how many of my classmates had stayed close to home as adults.

The only ones who seemed, as a group, to have gone far away were the kids who were both very bright and social misfits for whatever reason. Whether they went to college near home or not, they accepted job offers that were not in the area. To my pleasure, these people--some practically tortured in adolescence for being weird--were almost all successful (either financially or just loving what they did for a living) and seemed fully happy with themselves and their lives. Many of the nerdy guys had very pretty, and smart, wives. Their female counterparts were often the people you'd turn to if you were really sick, or had been arrested or sued.

The ones who didn't go to college at all seemed to remain in the area at close to 90%. Inertia is a powerful force--it's got to be easier to stay in a place that's familiar, with people you've known all your life, unless something forces you to leave.

I got out.

Maryn, about 2500 miles away

MadScientistMatt
06-13-2005, 06:37 PM
While I grew up in Georgia, I went to college in Ohio. I'd lived all but the first two years of my life in the Atlanta area and wanted to find out what life was like elsewhere. Found out that it was about the same in Cleveland except that snow was a lot less fun when it happened for several months straight. Now I'm back in Georgia.

sgtsdaughter
06-13-2005, 07:44 PM
I don't have a hometown, and I wouldn't know which HS reuinion to attend. The one where I graduated, or the one where I spent the most time?


That sounds like me . . . started in Washington state, went to Copper's Cove, TX, then to base (Fort Hood), my best friend lived in Killeen and I spent ample time there, then we moved to Fort Wayne, IN (we moved three times within the city), while there I spent my summers and Christmas breaks in Hammond--southside Chicago, then Jackson, MS, then Marietta, GA, then Maysville, KY, then Jarratt, VA, then Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA, then Santa Fe, NM, then back to VA (this time in Jarratt and not in the sticks--my folks bought a house), then Owensboro, KY, then Las Cruces, NM (two moves within that city), then Seldon, NY, Miller Place, NY, Huntington Station, NY, Port Jefferson Station, NY, twice in Port Jefferson, NY, and I'm moving again at the end of July (again on Long Island).

I think that there are a few missing in there. Yeah, HS reunion . . . wouldn't know where to go.

A

Lisamer
06-13-2005, 10:06 PM
I grew up in New York City and swore I'd never leave. After a fluke accident caused me to not be in the World Trade Center Lobby during the 1993 bombing, my husband and I decided we needed to live in a kinder, gentler city, we moved to Boston, Brookline to be exact. We spent 9 years there, while taking frequent ski trips out West. At first, I thought I could never live anyplace but a city. Last July, we moved to Summit County CO. I've only been to Denver once in that time frame.

reph
06-13-2005, 10:55 PM
The only ones who seemed, as a group, to have gone far away were the kids who were both very bright and social misfits for whatever reason.
At my reunion, the bright kids tended to have gone farther away whether they'd been social winners or social losers. How else could they work? The town is in an agricultural area; maybe you saw my post about halving apricots as a temporary summer job. I was a misfit there because there's no intellectual community. High-school graduates with literary or artistic leanings, and those who trained to become, say, engineers or corporate managers, wouldn't have found jobs in town that matched their interests and qualifications.

What happens to graduates of urban high schools where educated people can find employment if they stay?

Fractured_Chaos
06-13-2005, 11:46 PM
I was born on Guam, raised for a few years as a military brat until my parents split. Lived in Arizona until I was 14, when my mother decided I'd given her one too many grey hairs. Moved in with my dad in Kansas, and was stuck there for about 20 years, until I ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma by way of Michigan (I took the scenic route). So I guess Wichita, Ks is my "hometown".

firehorse
06-13-2005, 11:54 PM
I grew up in New York City and swore I'd never leave. After a fluke accident caused me to not be in the World Trade Center Lobby during the 1993 bombing, my husband and I decided we needed to live in a kinder, gentler city, we moved to Boston, Brookline to be exact.That's why I moved to Toronto, though I wasn't supposed to be in the WTC - just that it happened scared me enough. And a woman I worked with at MTV was killed in the Long Island Railroad massacre. Two events in a very short time = Sarah going to a safer country. (Ostensibly safer.)

LOVE Brookline - lived there in the summer of 1983. I've lived in a half-dozen Boston suburbs. My three sisters combined have probably lived in all the others ;) . I still miss Cambridge - it's not unlike Toronto, except with guns and more racial issues. And a much better university.

Maryn
06-14-2005, 04:27 AM
What happens to graduates of urban high schools where educated people can find employment if they stay?(I do indeed remember the apricot post--every time I buy them, and they're in season now.:)) This was in a suburb of Phoenix, where there were undoubtedly jobs to be had for the bright and educated. Some moved to Tucson, far enough away to be 'gone,' but most left the state, especially the engineering types. I suppose for many it might be the difference between some job and a really great job.

I haven't been back in a long time. As we age, some of us are drawn back, or return to help aging parents. Makes me wonder who's around these days.

Maryn

astonwest
06-14-2005, 06:29 AM
Alas, there's not an entry in the poll that fits me (not one specifically).
I still live in my hometown state (which is one of the options), but I went to HS in a bordering state (which is another option). Grew up in a town of about 1500 people...and my parents realized quickly that a better route to college would be had in a larger HS, which happened to be across the state border.

Sucked rotten when trying to apply for scholarships, though, considering the technicalities about in-state graduations (for scholarship purposes) and in-state residency (for tuition purposes)...

At my reunion, the bright kids tended to have gone farther away whether they'd been social winners or social losers. How else could they work? The town is in an agricultural area; maybe you saw my post about halving apricots as a temporary summer job. I was a misfit there because there's no intellectual community. High-school graduates with literary or artistic leanings, and those who trained to become, say, engineers or corporate managers, wouldn't have found jobs in town that matched their interests and qualifications.

Sounds like my hometown. Unless you were training to become a farmer or some sort of agricultural specialist (engineer?), there wasn't much in the way of employment opportunities.

poetinahat
06-14-2005, 11:39 AM
I'm about 10,000 miles from my hometown.

I'm 9442 miles away (according to this website (http://www.indo.com/distance/)). Don't know anyone there anymore. It's fun to travel, but it means precious few lifetime friends.

Then again, the ones you keep are priceless.

aadams73
06-14-2005, 01:40 PM
I'm 9442 miles away (according to this website (http://www.indo.com/distance/)). Don't know anyone there anymore. It's fun to travel, but it means precious few lifetime friends.



Great website. According to it I am 8155 miles from my folks and 7235 from where I was born.