- List five things about your hometown that you wouldn’t trade for the world
I can trace who I’ve been in my life through the places I’ve lived.
I grew up mostly in Utah and Wyoming with stints in California and currently in Nevada. These places have many memories: the food, sometimes it was the people or those I met or just discovering myself. Each place is special to me.
When I was a kid there were places we went to eat, either in celebration or when my parents would have their tax money. The places are like any town, the favorite Chinese restaurant, the Mexican restaurant, the Italian restaurant and the things we ate when we were short of money.
Tony’s Pizza is still my favorite place for pizza, El Matador isn’t anymore, China Night has closed and there are few places to find a potato log. In Ogden, Utah the food was the best when I was growing up.
When I left Ogden for Salt Lake things changed and I discovered I wasn’t the nerd I was at other schools, I was the new kid. The one who all the girls stared at because I was something new. In Salt Lake it was the new experiences of living somewhere I wasn’t used to and finding myself outside of a comfort zone I’d grown used to. There were good times in Salt Lake and bad, but every time I found out something new about myself. My favorite part of Salt Lake was it helped me find part of myself.
When I left Utah for the snow covered and wind-swept areas of Wyoming I didn’t know what to expect. But, I liked it after the first few days. when I got the attention of a few girls at my new high school. I discovered a part of myself that I’d been looking for. It was in Salt Lake that I started writing, but it was Green River, Wyoming I truly felt home. Everyone at that school treated me like one of them, something I never had in Utah. I learned more about myself during that year and a half year than I had at any time up until then. In Green River I learned that writing was the best escape from break-ups, from disappointment and from life.
I lived in California for only a few months, but those were some of the best months of my life. I learned how much I loved the ocean and why I feel so connected to it. I discovered parts of myself along the way that were missing and I eventually discovered who I was sitting on the beach, staring at the sun. The beach as much as my writing is my sanctuary from life and I miss it everyday. California taught me to embrace the darker parts of myself and for that I owe my cousin a greater debt than he’ll understand.
Living in Vegas hasn’t always been wonderful. Losing our house when the economy crashed was a bad one. Watching my daughter in the NICU for the first month of her life was another one. But, in Las Vegas I discovered my soul. I’ve learned that my writing is what makes me who I am. My wife and kids are always the muse to my writing and without their support I’d never had made it this far. Las Vegas helped me discover the writer, husband, father and the spirituality I’d been hunting for my entire life. Without this beautiful city I’d be without friends I adore, writing I cherish and the kids who stole my heart.
These are my hometowns, Ogden, Salt Lake, Green River, Oceanside and Las Vegas, without them I wouldn’t be who I am.
Brian B. Baker is an unpublished writer of Science Fiction/Fantasy and Horror. He’s been writing short stories since high school, and is certain it’s one of the few things that keeps him sane. Brian blogs at The Bleeding Inkwell.