How we feel about where we live has a lot to do with how emotionally tied we are to a place.
Take me for example. I have lived here for 15 years and I love Carbon County in particular and eastern Utah in general.
I know other people who have lived here their whole life and hate it.
You have to ask yourself. Why do they stay here then?
Often people get moved somewhere when they are kids or by a job requirement and hate a place. But once a person is grown up or changes jobs (something they could do if they really wanted to anyway) why would they stay living somewhere they hate.
But more amusing than the people who live here and hate it are the people who don't live here and hate it.
Now over the years I have traveled extensively across the United States and Canada, have found places I really liked by first impression and those I don't. Generally when I found a place I liked it was because I liked the people. When I found a place I didn't like it usually had to do with...well the people I met.
Now for me there are some downright bad places to live, but that is purely my opinion. For instance, I don't care much for Texas or Nebraska. Both too flat.
I also was not crazy about some of the big cities I worked in on the East coast either. However, after getting out of my comfort zone, understanding how they operate and looking for the good there, I really came to appreciate them.
I think that is why many people from outside an area don't like a place. It is too hard to separate themselves from their comfort zone.
Certainly we live in a predominately rural place, but I always have to laugh when people from other places say to me, "Gee what do you do for fun in a place like that?"
First of all I don't spend all that much time having fun, I mean in the traditional sense. I spend a lot of time working, just like I did when I lived in Salt Lake or Los Angeles and when I was on the road in all those big cities I used to work in. That's not to say I don't enjoy what I do, but I can't call it fun.
Secondly, besides work there are a lot of things to do in life just to keep surviving. I spend a lot of time doing those things.
For the fun time, I watch some television, read and often go hiking, camping or work on projects of interest to me.
Gee, all of those are many of the same things I did when I lived along the Wasatch Front. The difference is that when I do outdoors kinds of things here I don't usually have to fight crowds (except on weekends when all those people from up north come south).
No, I can't go to the mall at the drop of a hat (as if I did that much anyway) and there aren't 32 movie houses to pick from. Not big things in my book anyway.
But people seem to get impressions of places they have passed through and never really got to know the area before forming their opinions.
When I moved here I found out my cousins wife's relatives were from here. One day I was talking to him on the phone and he told me how much he hated to come to Carbon County to visit her relatives because he "hated Price."
When I asked him why, he told me because there was nothing to do and it was always too hot. Our conversation drifted to this point after he talked about how all his free time had been spent working on his house for the last five years. I asked him if he lived in Price how different that would be; would he still be working on a house.
"Probably," he said.
"So what would be so different then?" I asked.
"The temperature," he answered.
I just happened to be watching the weather on that July afternoon while I was on the phone with him.
"Mark Eubank says the temperature where you live is 98," I said as I watched the screen "He says it's 89 in Price."
At that point he shut up.
Last week a friend of mine was at a meeting in Salt Lake where someone was telling a story from the speakers stand concerning a prize they won in a raffle. It happened to be a two night stay at one of Price's nicer motels and dinner for two at one of the local restaurants.
Everyone in the room laughed, like they thought it was the boobie prize. Had the speaker said stay was in Moab or St. George do you think anyone would have snickered?
You can't change everyones mind about a place, but you can certainly try.
I guess it is just up to us to keep at it.