Friday, January 21, 2022

A question about your home town


I learned something surprising this week: that filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Justice League, etc., etc., etc.) was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

It’s a good thing I don’t have a connection with him. I’d probably be unable to resist the temptation to ask, “So, tomorrow night: who d’ya pick, the Packers or the 49ers?” And then I’d watch his reaction very closely.

In a lifetime in the creative arts, that’s a weird but consistent thing I’ve observed. Be it music, theater, film, publishing, or whatever, and no matter where you go, the people in the creative business almost universally fall into two categories: those who still feel some fondness for the (usually small) town they originally came from, and those who loathed it and couldn’t get far enough away from it fast enough. That one factor is an amazingly accurate predictor of so many other things about their personality, attitudes, and beliefs. 

Me, I was born in Milwaukee, but grew up in a little town that’s basically at the other end of Wisconsin Highway 29 from Green Bay. I may have spent my early years in Milwaukee, but I didn’t start to grow up until I was out on my own, and no longer Ray and Charlotte’s youngest kid. So no matter where I go, a significant piece of my heart will always be in that little town.

How about you? How do you feel about the place where you grew up?

While you’re considering your answer to that question, here’s some music to ponder by.


Judith said...

I was born in Liverpool and am what I call a professional Scouser. Full of nostalgia and northern pride. I left for London when I was 19 and now people meeting me for the first time on hearing where I came from say “you’ve lost your accent”, “you haven’t lost your accent” or “are you Irish?”.

Kersley said...

I'm from St. Johns, a rougher part of Portland, where they filmed the parade scene from Mr. Holland's Opus and the bridge from The Librarians. Up the river from where Katee Sackhoff grew up. It's weird to be from a place that scares other Portlandians but is so beautiful. Or was. Now it's getting gentrified which means tearing down 100-year-old buildings and putting up apartment high-rises that will probably melt in the rain. But I hear the motorcycle gang is gone, so that's good.

Mr. Naron said...

I grew up in the Mississippi Delta (Greenville) until age 15 when we moved to Claremont, California. I challenge anyone to formulate a greater culture shock. While I eventually came to appreciate The People's Republic of Claremont's pleasant way of life and deep, deep commitment to education, My heart will always belong to Mississippi. I almost tear up thinking about it.

Invictus said...

My hometown is a little burg in northern California where dreams go to die; my father told me the only things the place exported were rice and serial killers. I spent my childhood bouncing back and forth between that little California town and southern Idaho, which has its own issues but is generally a better place to grow up, even after three decades of wild growth. At one point, I would have said I hated my hometown, but that isn't the case anymore; it just isn't important to me in any way. I miss the weather, and that's it.