Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 07/19/2021
I’m writing this from Asbury Park, NJ, on the Jersey Shore (other coasts have beaches, but Jersey has “the shore” as Billy Joel sings in “Allentown”). When I was younger, I came here infrequently because we couldn’t afford anything more than a night in a cheap motel, or a day trip in cars that overheated in ghastly traffic coming home.
But now we’ve come every summer like migratory birds for over 40 years with two more generations of family. And we’ve progressed from inexpensive motels and one room to rental houses and swank hotels on the beach. The car doesn’t overheat and it has air conditioning, but the traffic can still be dreadful.
And despite the fact I’ve been to over 60 countries, from Bora Bora to Brazil, and Greece to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s comforting to return every year to familiar sands. There is a stasis which permits reflection and appreciation, reminding me of where I’m from and the ensuing journey. It’s a reminder that we’ve wanted our kids and their kids to understand.
“It’s a nice place to have been from” is often the faint praise bestowed on one’s “native land.” But I wouldn’t be who I am if I hadn’t been from here. No matter how much I’ve “made it” in life, I always manage to “make it back.”
When I slid into third base safely I realized I had hit a triple. I certainly wasn’t born on third.
You never get away from that thing in your hometown that it has over you. You don’t outgrow where you come from. —Brian Fallon
The most powerful words in English are “Tell me a story,” words that are intimately related to the complexity of history, the origins of language, the continuity of the species, the taproot of our humanity, our singularity, and art itself. —Pat Conroy