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Home Sweet Home: The Chicks Reminisce

We Chicks are a peripatetic lot, having made our nests in cities across the country. But there will be always be a special place in our hearts for our origin homes, and here’s why.

Vickie Fee

vickie

Having grown up in Memphis, I’m the Chick with a Southern accent. Here in my very northern town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I sometimes miss hearing Southern accents and people saying “y’all.” (Although the people in the U.P. are super nice!) And of course, I miss my family and friends back in Tennessee. But one of the things I miss most about my hometown is the food. Memphis-style pork barbecue tops the list. But I also miss fried catfish and fried green tomatoes and pan-fried okra. Notice a common thread? And really good cornbread. And finding pimento cheese at the grocery store. (It really is a Southern thang. They don’t stock it here). And—I know some people don’t appreciate this, but—a waitress who calls me “hon.” With a Southern accent, natch!


Cynthia Kuhn

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Upstate New Yorker here. It was a lovely place to grow up. I miss the forests, especially in the fall when they turn glorious shades of red and gold; Lake Ontario, as nothing soothes my soul like sitting on the beach watching the waves crash into the shore; and of course the wonderful people in my hometown. I’m also feeling nostalgic about Seabreeze Amusement Park, particularly a ride called the Gyrosphere, which was kind of like an eggbeater; you’d sit in a car in the dark and be “scrambled” around inside a light show while they blasted ELO’s “Fire on High.” Also, there was a wooden roller coaster that was absolutely terrifying—not because of the height but because it was super old (built in 1920!) and jerky and felt like it was going to break at any moment. Good times.


Ellen Byron

11

“Whoa oh oh, I’m a native New Yorker.” That’s from one of my favorite disco era songs because it speaks to the affection I feel for my hometown. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for more years than I care to remember and two things I continue to miss about the city so nice they named it twice are rain and public transportation. I remember the days when I’d be strolling along Columbus Avenue or any avenue watching the horrible traffic and scoffing at those poor shlubs who put their money into cars instead of Metro cards. Now I’m the shlub in traffic, but nobody scoffs because like another song goes, “Nobody walks in L.A.”

As for my passion for precipitation, I owe my wedding ring to my status as a pluviophile (I learned that word means rain lover, and am very excited I get to use it. But apologies for the excessive alliteration.) Jer and I met at a dinner party where he heard me say I miss the rain, and immediately made a connection. Although from St. Louis and not NY, he recognized a fellow pluviophile. (Hey, I got to use it twice!)


Lisa Q. Mathews

CotC Word balloons

I was born in Boston, grew up in coastal Connecticut, went to school in rural Massachusetts (the Berkshire Mountains), lived in Brooklyn, NY and worked in Manhattan for 20 years, then moved to Atlanta, Nashville, and ultimately to our present abode in small-town New Hampshire. I’ve had a Country Mouse/City Mouse thing going all my life (remember those children’s books?). I love the thrill of city lights, endless things to do, friends to hang out with in person, awesome publishing jobs and the general vibe and fashions of the Big Apple. My husband will never, ever live in a city, though, and I have to say I also love the beauty and slower pace of a small New England town. (Four very distinct seasons: snow, mud, heatwave/black fly and breathtaking fall foliage!) I never have to worry about what to wear for a night out (jeans or cords? cowboy boots or Bean boots?) or a run to the grocery store. I’m also known around town as The Author, which is rather nice. What do I miss about my hometown? Well, with global warming as it is, New Hampshire seasons feel a lot like Connecticut’s used to. But I have to say, I miss getting to the beach in no time flat. Of course, these days in my old town, you have to park so far away without a resident beach sticker that you might as well be in New Hampshire!


 Marla Cooper

CotC Marla Cooper

I’m from Austin, Texas — home of breakfast tacos, live music, and the largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in North America. When I used to say I was from Austin, people would say, “Boston?” Then later it evolved into, “Oh, Austin, I’ve never been but I’ve heard it’s cool.” Now of course, people say, “Ohhhhh, I loooooove Austin.” My friend tells me its poised to be the tenth biggest city in the country soon. But when I go back to visit, I still see that funky, artsy, weirdo-filled college town where you could still get anywhere in twenty minutes. Where the waiters are friendly and everyone you meet is in a band or paints murals or is staging a puppet musical. I miss the sprawling live oak trees and the super-loud grackles perched in the live oaks. (I didn’t like them when I lived there, but when I go home I’m all, “Grackles!!”) And I miss the food! Guacamole, beef brisket, the aforementioned breakfast tacos… What I don’t miss though? The heat! (Seriously, if you’re thinking of moving there, rent a house for a few weeks in August first.)


Kellye Garrett

6

I’m a Jersey Girl through and through. I grew up in a small township called East Hanover and went to the same high school as Linda Tripp. (Not at the same time though!) Most people don’t know the town but if you tell them Route 10, they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. I haven’t lived there in almost 20 years but my mom still lives the town over. And there’s just something so comforting about driving down the first street I ever drove by myself after I got my license or passing the library I had my first job or the chinese food store that I compare all Chicken Lo-Mein too. There’s truly no place like home!


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23 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home: The Chicks Reminisce

  1. What a great variety! Everything is covered except Florida! Don’t know if I prefer the Eastern Seaboard or the South.

    Me? I have no hometown to speak of. I’m a Marine brat, and was married to an Army man. Here’s my list of places I’ve lived:
    Orange CA, Kansas City MO, Sunbury PA, Laurel MD, Washington DC, Virginia Beach VA, Northern VA, Arlington TX, New Orleans LA, Charleston SC, Fairbanks AK, San Antonio TX, Tacoma WA, Denver CO, and now back to Northern VA. That’s just the ones I remember off the top of my head.
    I’ve visited all states except Hawaii, Michigan and Wisconsin. Actual visits.
    My favorite places are places where I can find unique history. Like Philly, AC (I read it originally started to be a spa or wellness town?), Las Vegas, New York City, Boston, San Francisco (the place laying claim to Pizza Orgasmica!)
    Even though it’s not my hometown, my heritage goes back generations in Sunbury, PA. A small city (2.1 square miles). To go to the Walmart, you have to go to the next town. We have Fire Hall Wedding Receptions. The best place to eat is a hot dog palace with 5 stools. And it was the first town Edison put in overhead street lighting.
    Okay, enough of the history lessons.

    Where should I visit next? Anyone?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m like Hestia. I was an Air Force brat. After my father retired and I moved out of the house, I kept moving around out of habit at least every two years. When people asked where I was from, I’d say, “Nowhere.” So I’m envious of people who feel ties to a particular place. After graduating law school, I made my home in Anchorage, Alaska and now have been in the same house for 12 years (a first). It’s amazing how much crap you can accumulate when you don’t move! I had to start cleaning out closets for the first time in my life this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m a California native, but I grew up in the north San Francisco bay area. What I miss most are the redwoods. I grew up camping in them, and I still love to visit. That’s the one thing I wish southern CA had.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And yes, I love rain as well – in winter. I wouldn’t want it right now, but come January I’m perfectly find with some rain. And to me, rain means Christmas. That’s what happens when you grow up in an area where winter means rain instead of snow. (I’m bragging. I couldn’t handle the snow.)

    Liked by 1 person

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