How Can One Guy Live in so Many Different Places?

By Joe Darby

I’ve been trying to figure out just exactly where I live.  I’m being told that I live in a whole lot of different places.

First of all, don’t think I’ve finally gone around the bend.  I do realize that I live in Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish, La.  But there’s lots of agencies or entities or whatever saying I live in other places too.  Let me explain.

For example, the Shreveport TV stations tell me I live in the Arklatex.  Or should that be the ArkLaTex, with the appropriate capital letters?  The Alexandria station that we watch says I live in CenLa.  Being amenable to a good compromise, I’d be willing to agree that I live in the ArkCenLaTex.  Or, since I do actually reside in Louisiana, should I put that part of the combo first and say I live in CenLaArkTex?

I know, confusing, ain’t it?

But that’s just the beginning.  I’m also told that I live in the Cane River Creole Heritage Area.  Okay.  I can go along with that.  And, they tell me (I’ll let you know when I figure out who “they” are) I also reside in Area Code 318 and Postal Code 71457.

And, not to be forgotten, the official state Louisiana map tells me I live in the Crossroads.  I also learn from that map that I was born and raised in Plantation Country and spent most of my life in Greater New Orleans.

In the area where I grew up, in Baton Rouge?  That’s also in the Florida Parishes.  Now I’m going to take a moment now for one of my well-known digressions and talk about the Florida Parishes.  That’s the area that comprises the toe of the Louisiana boot, the part that’s east of the Mississippi River and north of Lake Pontchartrain.

Did you know that the Florida Parishes were not part of the Louisiana Purchase?  When the US bought the huge Louisiana Territory from France in 1803, the Florida Parishes were not included.  They still belonged to Spain, which had conquered that area from Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War.

By 1810, the Florida Parishes were populated mostly by folks born in the USA and they decided they no longer wanted to live under the rule of Spain, so they rose up in rebellion.  (The aide to the Spanish commandant rushed in to tell him “The people are revolting!”  and he answered, “Yes, they certainly are.”  Just a joke, folks.)

Anyway, they set up their own little republic that lasted for a few weeks, under a nice flag showing a single white star on a blue background.  Thus originated what came to be known as the Bonnie Blue Flag — in the Florida Parishes in 1810, not in the Civil War as many think.  In any case, after they enjoyed their little republic for a while they became part of the state of Louisiana and the nation of the USA.  So that’s why I was born an American and not a Spanish subject.

Okay, my digression is over now.  So!  Back to my point about how many different places that I live in.  And it wouldn’t surprise me to find that I’ve inadvertently left out a few other areas or zones in which I live.

But, hey, you know what I’m going to do?  The next time I’m traveling and someone asks me where I’m from, I’m going to tell them, “I’m from Natchitoches, La., CenLaArkTex Crossroads Cane River Creole Heritage Area 71457 318.  Or, maybe I won’t.  People have enough trouble just pronouncing Natchitoches.

3 thoughts on “ How Can One Guy Live in so Many Different Places?

  1. It’s irritates me that Northwestern State has been around since 1884 and obviously in the northwestern part of the state; yet there are claims of being in CenLa? It’s all a political thing established a few years back although there is limited time to discuss local events in the public schools due to testing .

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