Texas vs. California

I’ve always thought of myself as an American – period. But if you push me for a regional identity, I’m a Tennessean. Always have been, always will be. I was born in Tennessee, grew up in Tennessee, went to school in Tennessee, and lived in Tennessee for almost all of my first 33 years. Much of my family and many of my friends are still in Tennessee. I felt at home in Atlanta and I’ve made a home in Dallas, but Chattanooga will always BE home. I may live in Texas, but I am not a Texan.

So I have some objectivity when I say that Texas and California are a lot more alike than either care to admit.

Both are big. Both are full of people who are kind, hospitable, and gracious. Both have some great food. Both have some geographic sections that are beautiful, and some that are butt-ugly. Both have a deserved reputation as a land of opportunity, and both have been inundated with people seeking those opportunities.

But both have an awfully high opinion of themselves. Both were once independent republics (Texas for 10 years, California for less than a month) and both occasionally act like they still are. Californians think the world revolves around Berkeley and Texans think the world revolves around the Alamo. Both have areas that would be a better fit in the other state (Austin, Orange County). And both have governors that would be better off in another line of work.

I was in Southern California for three weeks in 1985 and didn’t see any reason to go back. But I could get into living in the Bay Area… if I could afford to live there… which I can’t. And then there’s the earthquakes and wildfires…

I think I’ll stay in Texas. I hear there’s a shortage of Druids…

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About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.

  • http://www.celestiallands.org David Pyle

    I enjoyed being a Tennesseean living in Texas…

    I would always tell people I was "spending a few years in the colony…"

    Yours in Faith,


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06917275516051074093 Batbogey

    You are a brave man.

    You didn't get the memo? Non-Texans are not allowed to criticize the state! 😉

    I've been in Texas since third grade, and I consider myself a Texan, but I have to agree that your post is spot-on.

    And now you've emboldened me to say: North Texas is ugly! And you can't sit in the grass here without being assaulted by the "organic military." You know what I mean: the chiggers, the fire ants, the mosquitoes and the cockle burrs.

    Maybe I need an infusion of Pagan love for nature?