There’s a common question I get these days. It’s usually asked very politely, but with a slight tone of suspicion: “Where are you from?”
Now, my first response is “Colorado,” and before I can even finish the sentence, most people around these parts immediately seem to have their jaws drop. “Why would you move here?”
At this moment, I’m always tempted to say: “Have you ever been to Colorado? It’s really cold there. And then there’s the pot.”
Texans are a funny bunch, they love their state with all their heart, but they love to go to Colorado.
In fact, a 2018 study on Colorado tourism suggested nearly 10% of the state’s 37.8 million overnight visitors came from Texas — most likely to ski. That’s a lot of folks heading to Colorado.
Of course, the call of the mountains is strong for many people, especially winter-loving Texans.
The reality is that I’m not really from Colorado; I’m really from California.
I know, the “horror.”
I didn’t come here to escape California’s politics, or eccentricities, or natural disasters, or celebrities — I came here to escape the traffic.
California’s traffic is a nightmare.
However, if there’s one thing that horrifies Texans, it’s probably people from California. You get a lot of: “I’m so sorry you had to live there.”
There’s a notion, held by many, that Califonians are invading Texas, and the U.S. Census confirms that more than 60,000 people moved to Texas last year from the Golden State.
There are plenty of Californian’s interested in relocating to the Hill Country, as we’ve been told by the Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce, but we also seem to attract a lot of people from Nebraska and Arizona.
I’m going to be honest, I’ve always liked Texas, and when my daughter decided to attend Baylor, we looked around a bit in Waco, and when the opportunity at The Kerrville Daily Times came up, we weighed it against some other options — including going back to California — but we correctly decided to make the move here.
Now, I will never tell anyone that I’m ashamed of living in California, just like I would never be ashamed of my Texas roots on my father’s side. There used to be a time that people were ashamed of those things, like my own Texan-born grandfather denied his Mexican ancestry until just before his death in 2006. Just three years before his death, we discovered the truth, thanks to the 1930 Census, and in the days before he died, I will never forget him saying: “Bring me enchiladas and a 40 (ounces of beer).”
So, the moral of this story is that we’re all from somewhere, there are places we would like to be and places we definitely dream of being.
I suspect, for many Texans, the slopes of the Rockies has particular appeal. But, for this California boy, with some Texas roots, I think the Hill Country will suit me just fine.
Louis Amestoy is the managing editor at The Kerrville Daily Times. He welcomes feedback, and can be reached at email@example.com or 830-257-0317.