I grew living between Pasadena and Sacramento, California. Big city life was all I knew until the age of 17. That’s when I moved to the far away land of Huntsville Alabama to attend college at Alabama A&M University on a basketball and academic scholarship. It was a culture shock for me to see my first cotton field on my way from the airport to campus.
California was drastically more diverse at that time. Attending Alabama A&M, an HBCU, was another culture shock: seeing a sea of beautiful black people, but not Asians or Hispanics, and only a handful of white people. I heard different kinds of country accents that I had never heard. Until then I thought there was only one country accent.
Eventually I would meet my best friend in adulthood and he would have me travel to his hometown of Leeds Alabama. Just so you know, Leeds is also the hometown of Charles Barkley, one of my all-time favorite players. So that was a big deal to me. During my trip to Leeds I realized that I actually liked the slowed down lifestyle in comparison to the fast speed of city life. I also liked how even the thugs showed southern hospitality.
My time in Huntsville and visits to other small towns in the south planted and nurtured a seed of desire for country living. Now I currently live outside of Atlanta in a suburban area. However I have a deepening desire to embrace more of a country boy lifestyle. I’m planning on growing food on my property, and desire to buy a residence with plenty of land to expand my urban farming efforts.
I fully embrace the idea of self-reliance. Which I have only embraced further in the face of lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing. I would much rather have acres upon acres of food and herbs, family, pets, and space to social distance with my family, than feel forced to do so by people outside of my decision making.
The country boy lifestyle is calling folks, and this California Country Boy will answer that call.
--- Rodney Kellum