As near as I can recall, and as much as I can feel, San Diego has always been my home.
I have lived in other places, near and far, around the United States (and just across the line in Mexico), and, in their own way, each and every of those places have been, in their times and for their months –even for their years, my home. Yes, in a certain, special (dare I say “exceptional”) way, they are still my “other” homes – especially Tijuana.
But San Diego has always been my most homiest home. It is where I always say I am from, even though I was not born here. I did pass nearly all my childhood years here (albeit mostly in the smaller, suburban town of La Mesa, one of the jewels which hangs about the throat of San Diego). I have also passed most of my adult years living in one neighborhood or another of the city of San Diego. I am, for all intents and purposes, a San Diegan.
Yo sí soy sandieguino.
Furthermore, my mother grew up here, and one of my grandmothers lived here for all of my life. She and my grandfather (who died three years before I was born [my grandmother lived until I was 33]) were both interred at Fort Rosecrans cemetery on Point Loma, here in San Diego. So even some of my family graves are here. Oh yes I forgot my grandmother’s grandfather and aunt and uncle were also buried in San Diego.
So in a strong and certain sense, that my roots set where my ancestor’s graves are, well, that too is true, here. Here are several of them buried.
Here in this city on the far southwest corner of the United States of America.
Here on the Mexican frontier of California.
Here. Home. My. Self.