Everyone’s From Somewhere

Map of Reno

On this the last day of August, is my only post for August.

It’s been busy.

I don’t much like that word — busy, not August — but it’s good shorthand, and right about nowshorthand is most welcome.

In August we

got new flooring in the kitchen and bathroom
had the entire interior of the house repainted
drove approximately 1400 miles for holidays
received children back to home from summer
started back up at school (kids) and school (M)
started a book, the first full draft a year away
signed on with a major new freelancing client

Happy Labor Day.

With all this activity, I’ve been thinking (again) about place. When one’s place is changing radically and/or a moving target, this may not be so odd. I want to enhance this commonality by stating the obvious:

Everyone’s from Somewhere.

I know. But

There’s no there, there.

and

You can’t get there from here.

were already taken.

Everyone’s from somewhere. I realized this in thinking a lot about Reno, which is one of the places we drove, and a little less so about Monterey, the other place we went this month. I don’t think about Reno much, and before doing so would have assumed others don’t either. Except there are some people living there, and they probably do it often. Everyone’s from somewhere.

To me, Reno is a sad little town, as dismal as Las Vegas but without the bright and distracting lights. It’s also hot. And it’s not Tahoe — which is cold, beautiful, and near. At one time — the 19th century, I think — it was important, and perhaps even interesting. Even into the late 20th century Reno’s status as a place to go was fairly secure. Las Vegas without the lights, but Northern Californios had to gamble somewhere.

Now there are Indian casinos throughout our state, and you can gamble anywhere.

And you can win office and gamble with other people’s money right in Sacramento.

So why go to Reno?

We went for the GK Chesterton conference of the American Chesterton Society. We did not go to gamble, though we dutifully lost about 50 bucks in 27 minutes at a blackjack table in the Circus Circus up there. It is, as you will have surmised, not much like the Circus Circus in Las Vegas.

The conference was swell and I met a lot of great people who like Chesterton. M and I enjoyed ourselves and each other, away from our place, which is, well … not Reno.

But Reno itself did not seem like a place to go, or stay very long once you got there. There did not seem to be much industry, beyond check cashing or strip clubs, and most people we saw seemed unhappy. Judging by appearances, which many say one should not do. But of course one does, at least at first.

At second glance, and second and third thought, though, there were a few elements to recommend itself, and to recommend to others. M found great food at chic restaurants. I still don’t know whether they are the front or back end of a boom, and the difference is crucial, but they are there. Then too … everyone’s from somewhere.

People live in Reno and call it home.

Jesus this is sounding jejeune but what do expect from a blog of partially digested bits of beef?

I only want to say that while sometimes it can seem there’s no there, there … there most certainly is to the people who live in Oakland. Or Reno.

And even if sometimes you can’t get there from here … perhaps just maybe you can get here from there.

Because here from there is my home.

Just like Reno is to those who stay.

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