Dont Call it Nowhere
i turned 30 on a boat off the shore of a tiny Mexican fishing village. No friends, no cake, no party. What was memorable about the day was i discovered a logic contradiction in the writings of Bertram Russell on how to handle nuclear weapons and i went to the dentist.
In Berkeley some months earlier i had gotten a crown which kept falling out. My Mexican local dentist was especially proud of her dental chair, which was in a room with no roof. My spanish was terrible, but she managed to understand me and re-affixed my crown for all of $6. It never came out again.
This was years before the internet was a gleam in Al Gore’s eyes. But this lush sleepy port town was the type of place i would later refer to as “nowhere dot nowhere”. Mockingly modeling the place based domains like Chicago.Illinios.US
It was also on this sailboat hitchhiking trip that i started asking people who were not natives why they were living in these place so far from their home. It was when i started hearing “i looked all over for the best place in the world for me, and i decided it was here.”
City slickers might well refer to Ripley West Virginia as nowhere dot nowhere. It is the kind of place the national news wont pay much attention to. It is also the site of the fourth of July weekend craft fair which is an annual pilgrimage for Angie, Willow, Corb, Hawina and myself.
At the Ripley fair i hear a few Obama jokes. Yesterday i saw a young man in a T shirt with foot high letters that said “COAL” on the front and on the back it said “because all i know is mining coal”. It is also a place where in our conversation with people about buying hammocks we hear snippets of their life stories. Many of these stories are from people who came from more affluent places, places with higher cultural recognition, places with more possibilities. Yet they have chosen to live here instead. Don’t call it nowhere.