Hello, my name is Thomas, and I am a local of Mason. Unlike perhaps many other students working on this project, however, I am not able to say I know Mason thoroughly. Although I have known Mason for all my life, I have never quite been involved with the city itself. Both my family homes (I moved to where I currently reside when I was six) are outside of Mason itself, not within the suburbs but instead out on distant roads that correlated with the countryside. Sure, I went through the Mason public school system, but I did not feel attached to Mason. My elementary days were at a school outside of town as well (although my sister went to one of the schools situated within town). Even though I have driven through town countless times, I could not tell you the streets, or much about Mason itself.
Only the few places I have been to throughout my life are memorable. When I was young, I used to go to Mason’s First Church of the Nazarenes, and go trick or treating in the surrounding neighborhoods. I also remember fondly days of visiting Kean’s, a local shop that had just about anything a child could ask for in terms of candy and toys, as well as nick knacks and craft materials for my mother and grandmother. I remember once being inside the historic courthouse in the middle of town, helping to carry stuff in for something.
Why am I not much connected to my hometown? It’s hard to say, but I feel as though being just outside its limits, outside of its center location and surrounding neighborhoods, meant that I was not truly concerned with what went on in Mason. Sure, if there was some event that my family was involved in that dealt with Mason, I participated, but for the most part any holidays or annual events outside of those cases I ignored.
This disconnect with my hometown does not make me not want to move away though. Indeed, I think it would be hard for me to associate with any other place in Michigan, yet alone the United States. In the end, one’s hometown is a place they can always look to for reflection, and I wouldn’t want anywhere else.