From Here…

Eating some breakfast at Blue Ridge Restaurant the other day when a local approached. "You that photographer up at the dairy barn?" The locals call The Jacksonville Center "the dairy barn." "Yep." "Where you from?" "Willis." "Nah. I don't mean where you're living now. Where you from?" "Willis." "No shit?" "No shit. Graduated from FCHS in '65." "Then what are you doing with them hippies up at the dairy barn?" "Making new friends. You should try it some time."

Eating some breakfast at Blue Ridge Restaurant the other day when a local approached.

“You that photographer up at the dairy barn?” The locals call The Jacksonville Center “the dairy barn.”

“Yep.”

“Where you from?”

“Willis.”

“Nah. I don’t mean where you’re living now. Where you from?”

“Willis.”

“No shit?”

“No shit. Graduated from FCHS in ’65.”

“Then what are you doing with them hippies up at the dairy barn?”

“Making new friends. You should try it some time.”

He muttered something obscene and left, leaving me to finish my pork loin and eggs and wonder why, after all these years, it still matters so much whether or not someone is “from here.”

This is a country founded by people who were all from somewhere else. We moved in on the people who were “from here” at the time, pushing them off their lands because we felt we had some God-given right to do so.

Will Rogers, who was part Cherokee, used to tell the story about the woman who bragged to him that “my ancestors came over on the Mayflower.”

“That’s nothing,” Rogers replied. “Mine met the boat.”

It shouldn’t matter where someone is from. What should matter is that they are here, making a home and becoming part of the community.

Yet, to some, it still does matter.

That’s a shame.

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2 Responses

  1. I was not born in Floyd County, but moved here with my family when I was eight years old. It is, and will always be, my home. Over the years as I have made friends from all sides of the community I have come to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of both the “local” and the “alternative” sides of Floyd. I might be wrong, but it seems as if there is more tolerance now then there used to be. I welcome new neighbors, and try to show them what a unique and friendly place Floyd County is. I enjoy meeting folks whose ancestors were born here, and try not to make snap judgements about anyone- whether they wear flannel or tie dye.

    I hope people see me as a good neighbor and a valuable member of the community, whichever side I happen to be on. Because I am. And I hope the fact that I was not born here matters less and less as the years go by.

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