Lee Pitts: We’ve all got something (Best of)
October 28, 2011
Every state has a natural disaster that it can call its very own. Oklahoma has tornadoes, Arkansas has chiggers, North Dakota has wind chill factor and Florida has Miami. This is nature’s way of insuring that everyone does not move to Tulsa, Conway or Fargo. If it didn’t have toll roads and bridges, muggers, no place to park and $500 a night hotel rooms, I might even consider visiting New York.
California has more than its share of regularly occurring disastrous events including earthquakes, forest fires and community property settlements. The Gulf Coast has hurricanes, Hawaii has humidity and Cleveland has, well, Cleveland has Cleveland if you know what I mean?
Minnesota has freezing winds off the Lakes, Oregon has Big Foot and South Dakota has the Badlands. Michigan has high state income tax and the sink hole that used to be Detroit.
Often times the very thing that attracts tourists is the very thing keeping a lid on the population explosion. New England’s leaf season is gorgeous but only if you are a visitor. If you have to live there and rake the leaves I’m quite sure they’d quickly lose their luster. Nevada’s slot machines are the reason millions of tourists go there… and the reason that nearly all of them leave sooner than they expected.
Washington, DC is a favorite destination of the tour buses because it is our nation’s capital, home to our federal bureaucracy and beautiful monuments to the tax collection power of the IRS. But I’ve noticed that when the buses turn around to head home every seat is taken. No one is really dying to live there. Which would probably be the result if you did.
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Florida is another popular tourist trap and it has attracted millions of folks who want to live there, at least part of the year. Usually that part when the gators aren’t biting. I don’t think I’m old enough to live in Florida yet but that could change with a few more birthdays. I don’t know which scares me more, those upcoming birthdays or the thought of me and my white legs and knobby knees in a pair of Bermuda shorts and tall white socks.
Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, truly is. And it has hot chilies too, which can be good or bad, depending on your taste buds, pain tolerance and ability to drink vast quantities of ice cold water in a short period of time.
There’s something for everyone. Iowa has corn, Wisconsin has cheese, Texas has barbecue, Montana has snow and Arizona has heat. Colorado is a beautiful spot to break your leg in winter and the south has some of the best hunting in the nation. If you survive. Maine has fishermen, Wyoming has cowboys and Alaska has roustabouts. Tennessee loves country while Louisiana listens to cajun.
Not everyone likes these things and that’s fine with the people who live there. Idaho is quite proud of its potatoes, Ohio its Buckeyes, and Georgia its grits and you are quite welcome to visit and take home a sample. But please do… go home that is.
If I haven’t mentioned your state, I apologize but I am probably doing you a favor. Whenever anyone discovers that your little corner of the world is the perfect place, so many people move in that it no longer is.
If your home is a little slice of heaven I’d keep it a secret for as long as you can by advertising the fact that you have mountain lions, grizzly bears, mosquitoes the size of large birds, and hard working Highway Patrolmen who think your stay is not complete without a speeding ticket.