A Hatred Turned to... Something Approximating Affection
I grew up in Northern California. This may seem insignificant to you but a 6,000 foot mountain range geographically separates Nor. Cal. from So. Cal. This wall is known as the transverse range and slices east to west providing not only the aformention physical barrier but also a psychological and sociological demarcation as well. It was a God ordained wall, we in the North believed, intended to keep the nuts and degradation of the south at bay. I grew up in a culture that looked down upon Southern Californians will all the disdain my upbringing could muster. This has since changed as I have adapted to living in this spaghetti bowl dish of freeways and concrete marinara. But every now and again I run across something that plucks the most primeval nurturing strings in my heart. The concluding quote is reminiscent of the feeling most Northern Californians have of where I now call home.
In Edward Weston: His Life, author Ben Maddow quotes him saying:
My disgust for that impossible village of Los Angeles grows daily. Give me Mexico, revolution, smallpox, poverty, anything but the plague spot of America – Los Angeles. All sensitive, self-respecting persons should leave there…
Edward Weston was an artist who lived in Los Angeles for 17 years, after which time he left and devoted considerable amounts of time destroying any record of his residence in LA.
You learn to love living in a place that elicits such vitriolic repulsion from some but is also nearly worshipped by every sun deprived, sand lacking, ocean missing, dry heat desiring East Coaster and Mid-Westerner in the US.