Welcome, Stranger: Is Humboldt Hospitable?
When the Back to the Landers showed up in Southern Humboldt thirty years ago, they were met with suspicion and hostility. Today they are pillars of the community–starting health clinics (Redwoods Rural), gathering places (Mateel Community Center), and businesses (Garden of Beadin). But some of us the old timers while married to them or good friends with them– deep down, consider most of them not-quite-us.
And, in turn, the newcomers greet newer-comers with more overt friendliness but some of the same standoffishness. A new blog in Humboldtia describes the stranger’s feelings. He (or possibly she) in a post titled Unwelcome to the Emerald Triangle gives a sample snippet of a speech to show what s/he means. “Did you see that MSNBC video on the Emerald Triangle? We’ve been overrun since that show aired. It’s awful. You want some weed?”
Married to a newcomer and immersed in the new-comer culture for years (which I love), none-the-less I think I know why this latest influx feels excluded and unwelcome and why old-timer and newcomer Humbolters alike don’t seem totally welcoming. When outsiders come, they want to be appreciated for who they are (not asked to change) and likewise Humboldters of all stripes want the same thing. However, mixing in new elements means change and, relatively comfortable and happy in their lives, most don’t want change. Change might mean something bad happening.
At least on the Humboldt Blog scene, let’s try to welcome new elements. Let’s try to incorporate change with an eye to how we can be better for it. We may not totally succeed but, I’m going to enjoy the effort.
So “Howdy, stranger J2Bad. Welcome to the Humboldt blog scene. I’m looking forward to knowing you…Oh, and have some virtual hot chocolate chip cookies. Let me know what you think of them.”
Hattip to Highboldtage