Last call!

I didn’t plan to live here, but I’m one of those people.

One of those who got caught up in Columbia’s boomerang effect.  I came to attend Mizzou’s journalism school, then returned after graduation to make a home base.

In full disclosure, I thought NYU or somewhere in Boston or Chicago would be a better match for a journalist-to-be. I laughed when my dad told me that University of Missouri had a top journalism school. Admittedly, I was snotty at 17. I agreed to look at the school anyway.

When we arrived for that college visit, I walked up Broadway and Ninth Street, and thought “This place isn’t bad. It kind of reminds me of Ann Arbor. People seem cool.” The university tour and J-school sales pitch made me a convert. My dad and I settled in to a booth at this pizza place called Shakespeare’s that the admissions lady had recommended and I told him my mind was made up.

Since then, I’ve eaten enough Shakespeare’s Pizza to pay for the owner to buy a nice boat, and I walk up Broadway or Ninth Street almost every day. This formerly new place, the furthest west I’d ever been, has become one of my homes. I’ve been here for 10 of the past 14 years.

As I type this, the leaves have changed colors and our warmer blankets have found their way to our bed. And this could be the last year I experience this in Columbia. My husband will finish grad school in summer 2011, and we’ll probably have to move for both of us to find jobs in our fields. Next year, I could be watching the leaves change in Michigan, Minnesota, Maine or Oregon. Or, we could go some place totally crazy like Arizona and not see the leaves change at all.

So, I think of this as our last call in Columbia. This could be the last year that we watch the town drape itself in black and gold for nearly every fall weekend, and the last year that we experience the hush that falls over downtown and campus after graduation every summer. If we’re still here by then.

This blog will cover Columbia from someone who’s been a student and a townie. A teenager and a 30-something. I’m going to write about the places, people and events that make Columbia more than just another dot on the map that a snotty 17-year-old has to look up. Stay tuned!


6 responses to “Last call!

  • Mr WordPress

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  • Eve

    I don’t remember my very first costume and my parents weren’t big on picture taking, but I remember being a witch twice when I was quite young. There’s also a photo of me dressed as Minnie Mouse. I love Halloween.

    p.s. Happy early b-day!

  • Mike Watters

    The final year in Columbia is bittersweet! I was a lot like you — after J-school, I never thought I would return. But, after a few tough years living in the “real world,” Columbia drew me back for a few years in my mid-20s. Life was just SO EASY there.

    Don’t get me wrong — I love Portland. But sometimes I long for the simplicity of that time. And the taste of Shakespeare’s pizza.

    • raychwrites

      You’re very right that life in Columbia is easy. It’s affordable, it’s easy to get from place to place, it’s easy to meet people. Sometimes the thought of going somewhere else is a little overwhelming. Also, supposedly, I’ve heard that someone took the Shakespeare’s recipe and opened a pizza place in Portland with it. So, if you just try all the pizza in Portland you might find it!

  • Katelyn N. Ratliff

    The school’s athletic program is one of the most storied and successful in the Washington D.C. metro area, with both individuals and teams earning titles and championship berths across its sports program since 1991.

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