Remembering Home Towns


While many experiences bring out senses and images that take me back in time, none are as distinct or intense as trips to New England and London, perhaps because my life in each was so magical and life forming……whereas life in other parts of the world were either stepping stones or romantic comedies.

At times, I think it of in this way……each move and experience is like a book chapter, whereas traveling back to my ‘home town’ unravels a beautiful historical novel that consistently introduces lesson after lesson, the kind that are so sacred in our life journey.

I don’t think anyone is truly prepared to handle the passing of the guards, yet its such an integral part of every culture. Some cultures have more structured traditions to help make this rite of passage tamer, yet none powerful enough to make the process easy for any of us.

Loss, and it comes to us in more packages than physical ones, i.e., a job, a severed relationship with a friend or a business associate, a divorce……and then there’s the physical kind which is always harder, i.e., losing a spouse, parent, child or family property.

A recent trip back to upstate New York to deal with a family property, courts me down memory lane. While tantalizing, engaging and spiritual on multiple levels, it’s also somewhat surreal as images of teenage traumas and family fueds pass before my eyes.

The senses are always woken up at times like this…….a first kiss on an avenue where time stands still, a bakery where the grandchild of the owner who served you as a child now hands you a scone, the worn sign of the town’s newspaper, the library that is still housed on the same corner, in an old historical building you never quite appreciated at age ten.

It reminds me of Joe Jackson’s famous song “Home Town,” a song that followed me around the world, first on a scratchy cassette tape, then on a used portable CD player, thereafter a Sony mini-disc player, and now on an iPod.

If you know the melody, recall it as vividly as you can while you read his lyrics; words that allow you a dance of a lifetime……..

Of all the stupid things
I could have thought…
this was the worst
I started to believe
That I was born at seventeen
And all the stupid things
The letters and the broken verse
Stayed hidden at the bottom of the drawer
They’d always been
And now I plough through piles

Of bills, receipts and credit cards
And tickets and the Daily News
And sometimes I just . . .
Wanna go back to my home town
Though I know it’ll never be the same
Back to my home town
‘Cause it’s been so long
And I’m wondering if it’s still there

We think we’re pretty smart
Us city slickers get around
And when the going’s rough
We kill the pain and relocate
We’re never married
Never faithful not to any town
But we never leave the past behind
We just accumulate
So sometimes when the music stops
I seem to hear a distant sound
Of waves and seagulls
Football crowds and church bells
And I . . .
Wanna go back to my home town
Though I know it’ll never be the same
Back to my home town
‘Cause it’s been so long
And I’m wondering if it’s still there
Back to my home town
Though I know it’ll never be the same
Back to my home town
‘Cause it’s been so long
And I’m wondering if it’s still there

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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