It seems that Mike Nesmith is one guy who has everything—fame, fortune, a beautiful, loving wife, and a darling son. This is all very true, and Mike is the first to be thankful for them all. It’s just that he is a transplanted Texan, and he can never quite forget certain things about his great native state.
It’s a long, long way from San Antonio, Texas, to Hollywood, California, and the difference is a lot more than miles. Each place has its own ways of doing things, its own ways of thinking, its own ways of living. When Mike moved to Hollywood, he knew that life would be a lot different, but he never suspected just how different. Mike enjoys his life as a Monkee very much, but he’s found that he’s still a Texan at heart.
Of all the things Mike misses about Texas, the open spaces are what he misses most. There are a lot of people in Southern California and, although it’s not a place like New York or Chicago where the people are all crowded on top of each other, it still isn’t spread out nearly enough as far as Mike is concerned.
Wide open spaces
He remembers the long stretches of land, where you couldn’t see anyone for miles, and compares it to Los Angeles, where it’s possible to carry on a conversation with the car next door every single morning in the freeway traffic tie-up.
Strangely enough, Mike misses the beach, too. Of course there is quite a lot of ocean in Southern California but the beaches are a lot different than those of south Texas. Down there you can drive for miles and miles along the Gulf coast and never see anyone, and you have a clear view of the ocean all the way.
In Southern California, however, much of the beach area is devoted to private homes so, even if you’re driving on the highway right next to the ocean, you can’t see it for the houses. And, the public beaches are usually so crowded all the time with surfers and swimmers and sail boats you aren’t able to see a whole lot there, either. Mike misses very much the long walks he used to take down deserted Texas beaches, walks where he could be all alone with himself.
Mike misses good Texas cooking every day. Although Phyllis prepares many of Mike’s favorite dishes there are many things Mike likes that can’t be bought in Southern California stores, like fresh tomato relish and pepper sauce. Mike doesn’t like the canned foods, even when they’re available. He misses Texas favorites such as fresh baked cornbread every day. Mike likes California but he sure would like to get some Texas goodies once in a while!
Mike misses the people of Texas, too. People are people everywhere, but there are different ways of expressing the things that people have within them. Mike misses the Texan hospitality and graciousness he grew to love. Things in California are much more rushed and businesslike than in Texas. People just don’t stop in for a cup of coffee or a chat; they stop in for a definite purpose or they don’t stop in at all.
There’s a story around Hollywood that the only place you can go to and actually believe you’re in Texas is Mike’s house. Everything about the house and the people who live in it suggests Texas. Mike loves his home, but he wishes there were other places he could go that make him feel he is in Texas again, too.