Okay, I Guess I’m From Atlanta
I’ve just returned from a week with the Canucks, our lovely neighbors to the north, in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia. Besides the awesome snowboarding and much-needed respite from the daily grind, I also enjoyed a bit of a revelation.
I guess I am, indeed, from Atlanta.
I met countless folks who asked where I was from, and I always answered, without hesitation, “Atlanta.” When asked that question here in the South, I always answer “nowhere”—an homage to my nomadic childhood as an Army brat. I lived in places from Germany to El Paso before landing here in 1990. Although 2007 marks my 17th year in Atlanta, it wasn’t my tenure here that made me realize that I guess I really am from Atlanta now…it was the feeling, for once, that Atlanta really is my home now.
I giggled when a Canadian waiter recounted stories of visiting “the Buckhead” and Lake Lanier, and when the San Francisco couple struggled to remember the name of the town they stayed in while visiting “Hotlanta.” I felt a sense of kinship with neighbors from Kentucky and Tennessee I met on the slopes, recognizing them by their accents and declaring “I’m from Atlanta.” And most of all, I actually felt comforted when I heard that familiar Georgian accent—not quite a drawl, and not that awful Southern accent they try to portray in movies—come over the intercom from the Atlanta-based flight crew on my way home.
Sure, I have my complaints about Atlanta (that’s another post for another time). But I must admit, it’s good to be home.