Westward Adventure

17 Mar

My wife and I have just returned from our trip out west.  We were in the great state of Kansas.  Yes, Kansas.  (Insert ‘Wizard of Oz’ joke here.)

It’s weird being in that state.  I lived in the place for four years of my life though.  Nothing has changed there.  I swear I saw the same piece of wheat growing that I saw last time I was there.  Although, it might have had a little hint of brown on it this go-around (or it could have been just the lighting).

Actually, I love going out that way on occasion.  Seeing a place where there isn’t much of anything is really SOMETHING sometimes.  Here in St Petersburg, there’s constant flow of electricity and energy running through the city.  Out there in the middle of Kansas, there’s a constant flow of dry air and squirrels running through the city.

I have a lot of relatives out that way, and it’s always nice to stop by.

Nowadays, I look like an “out of towner” when I go there.   I used to blend right in, but this time I noticed the glares.  I have spiked up hair, a slight tan and I’m not wearing a Carnhartt jacket.  I felt a little more distant than I did when I was a local.  After all, this was the state where I had my day job of building barbwire fences out in the middle of the prairies in hundred-plus degree temperatures.  I faced all the elements, and it showed.  Fit right in.

I try to make it a nice resolution to venture out that way at least once a year.  I haven’t hit my mark, but starting with this last visit, I’m going to try.  It’s worth the voyage out into the dusky plains to see a few of my roots.

I tried to think to myself if I could ever live there again?  Really – I doubt it.  Cartooning in Kansas is about as predominant of a career as a hi-wire juggler in Compton.

Visiting is nice.  Home is nice.

Too bad drawing boards can’t travel coach or I would take it out there with me on occasion to get my paper dirty.  That would define a true rough-and-gritty cartooning gig.  Does something like that need defined though?

Oh well.  Back to the smoldering south for me, y’all.

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4 Responses to “Westward Adventure”

  1. Bearman March 17, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    Does a cartoonist really need to be in a certain place though?

    • Nate Fakes March 17, 2010 at 6:40 am #

      Really…no. A cartoonist can work anywhere. BUT, I think there are certain places where “the arts” are a bit more looked at as an actual career. Kansas has always been one of those dusk-to-dawn, get dirty, work outdoors, farming, etc. type states. Saying I’m a cartoonist doesn’t sit as well as saying I’m a crop duster.

  2. George March 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    I’m glad you had a nice time, Nate. I’m heading back to VA during spring break. I haven’t been back “home” since June, so it’ll be neat to see how/if it’s changed.

    • Nate Fakes March 19, 2010 at 6:14 am #

      It was amazing that really nothing has changed in over ten years since I’ve lived there! Good luck in VA. It’s always fun to go back to the old homestead!

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