Monday, July 16, 2007

A Man Without A Country

As my profile states, I was born in Windsor Ontario, the city I currently live in and raise my family in.

I have no plans to leave here, having just moved into our dream home, and my daughters just moving into elementary school, where their lives will revolve around their new friends and hopefully the sports they will play.

But I have not lived here all my life. I moved back as recently as seven years ago.

When I was three and my brother Paul just newborn, we moved from Windsor to Jackson Michigan, where my Dad worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield.

As my Dad made a name for himself, he was picked up by 3M Company and we moved to St. Paul Minnesota when I was 10. When I was 13, 3M moved my Dad to Atlanta to manage business product sales for the south east. The culture shock of moving to Georgia is fodder for another entry that I plan to write later.

When I was in my first year of University, my Dad was transferred to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Baton Rouge and New Orleans (Nor-lenz as it’s pronounced by the locals) is yet another completely different culture.

Louisiana drove me nuts.

Friends were messing around with each others wives.

The Governor at the time – Eddie Edwards – was most popular for his corruption, personal spending and gambling with tax-payer dollars.

But the food was amazing!

But the races hated each other. Quite openly in fact,

I did serve a period with the U.S. Coast Guard, and am today considered a U.S. Veteran.

I moved to Canada in 1985, when I was twenty-three. I have since lived on a Farm southwest of Toronto, Ottawa, London, and now Windsor.

I lived twenty years in the United States of America. All of my childhood.

I have been back in Canada now for 21 years.

And of course my first three years were in Canada.

All of the time that I grew up in the U.S. it was made clear to me that I was not an American, but a green-card-carrying Canadian. Eh?

All the time since returning to Canada, my fellow countrymen refer to me as an American.

I still have a slight southern accent – more noticeable when I am relaxed.

I still say y’all.

I still follow the American sports, and because all of my family has for the last one hundred and six years has rooted for the Detroit Tigers, I do as well.

But I also rooted for the Twins, Braves, and Blue Jays when I lived in those areas. But the Tigers were always my home team.

And Al Kaline was always my hero.

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