Friday, June 3, 2011

A New Hampshire Yankee at Jamboree!

map by Daniel K. Wallingford, circa 1930s or 40s
Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Boston Public Library.  http://maps.bpl.org/details_10494/

Yes, I’m excited. I know I’m a rather laconic Yankee, but I’m trying.

When I was growing up, and even now, New Englanders had a rather insular point of view. I lived in Beverly on Boston’s North Shore. When I was about eight we removed to Holden, in Central Massachusetts. You would have thought we were taking the wagon train west to parts unknown. The weeping and wailing of family, who all thought they would never see us again. We had all lived in the same town since the 1630s. Boo hoo!

And then I went to school in Cambridge, which is practically Boston for anyone but the Cantabrigians. You’d never believe their point of view until you remember why Boston is called “The Hub”. They all think Boston is The Hub of the Universe. One townie took a vacation once a year to go to the Burlington Mall. “It’s way over there!” (It’s about 12 miles from the Hub, better take a map and survival gear.) These types of peculiar people still exist in Boston.

When I was growing up “out West” meant New York. Beyond that was… I don’t know, foreign parts? I had never been west of Niagara Falls. California was a place in the geography book that we read about, but did anyone actually go there? After I was first married we went to Europe, which was completely acceptable, to visit my in-laws. Why was Europe acceptable and not Texas or Washington or Arizona?

When I won the chance to go to the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree I realized that I was heading to someplace completely different. Instead of packing up serious, boring suits and business cards, I was told to pack a funny hat, mardi gras beads (whatever they are!), and new PJs for a blogger pajama party. Whoa….

This is going to be fun!

[This is all written tongue in cheek-- I’ve grown up a lot in the past 30 years, and have expanded my point of view.  I even live out of state, although Londonderry, New Hampshire, is only about 35 miles from where I was born in Massachusetts.   I have actually traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico and even San Francisco. I even went to Michigan once!  Honestly!  But Burbank, California is going to be a first!]

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

10 comments:

  1. Very cute post. :) And I hope you have a wonderful time at Jamboree! Hopefully you will tell us all about it.

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  2. Lucky you. It could only be better if you were coming to Michigan again.

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  3. Can't wait to meet you Heather!

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  4. Funny! The map seems almost accurate from this Nutmeger's perspective. Cape Cod really is just that important. The only thing I'd change is skew the weight towards NY City ;-)

    You'll have a grand time. Can't wait to read about your experiences and perspectives (Mark Twain comes to mind, but no pressure). California grows on you. Eventually it becomes almost irresistible.

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  5. You and the map are greatly amusing, Heather :)

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  6. Love the map! Of course, those of us in Upstate NY have only a slightly broader "worldview". For us, saying that "They moved out west" meant anyplace beyond Buffalo - like, say, Cleveland.

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  7. When my father moved from California - where he'd lived his entire life - to Massachusetts, he pretty much described what you posted. On my first visit to MA, I managed to find a sweatshirt that had a very similar picture on it. Of course, all my California friends thought it was hilarious because we think CA is the hub of the universe, and Las Vegas is about as far east as we travel. ;-)

    Looking forward to meeting you next week, Heather!

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