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The Difference Between The Empire State Building and the Gouldsboro Radio Tower

on January 01, 2013

For me, home is too amorphous to define. I've lived in many places in my life and each one brings their own bucket of synapses for my brain to rifle through when time permits. Christmastime, especially, allows me many opportunities to better analyze my self's perception of home.

The dust is still settling from the shooting in Newtown so my experiences around the holidays '12 were atypical to say the least. We headed to Sandy Hook from the city on the first day of winter to attend a town vigil. I've been alive almost 30 years and I never thought I'd ever need to attend a town vigil. But, there I stood, in a crowd of Newtowners collectively sobbing as a chorus of 'Silent Night' filled the cold air. How was I supposed to act as just a guy who'd been going to their town, their home, for years? Was I allowed to be standing there amongst them? Or was the nature of this horrific act so unique that the rules for such an event were up in the air? Unanswerable questions aside, the vigil played a small part in the healing process and I'm glad I went. When it was over we went through some of the boxes of stuffed animals, toys, and other miscellaneous items people around the world sent to the town to bring some solace to the families affected. Children and adults alike were taking home these donations to claim some of the comfort they were sent to bring. I took an angel made by a child hundreds of miles away. That child's teacher thought it'd be nice to have her class make Newtown tiny angels. I might not believe in anything but I feel like that angel transcends religion altogether and goes straight to humanity. The breadth of what happened touches everyone. Just knowing that people all over the world want to show their support means a lot. And it might not be where I grew up, but Newtown is certainly a place that welcomes you as if you had.

After Newtown we headed to Mountainhome to bring my dad to Wilkes-Barre. We had a nice time at my Aunt Marilyn / Uncle Bobby's house on Christmas Eve. It's one of my family's traditions to spend our Christmas Eve there. I wish I saw that side of my family more. They're all hilarious and remind me of going there when I didn't talk as a kid and I'd just play Sega Genesis. Christmas Day we spent at my Aunt Traci / Uncle Kevin's house in Canadensis. It was a nice dinner, just a little strange to not have Grandma there. When I have kid(s) they'll indelibly know who she was. A couple days later we were back in Newtown and did Christmas with Kayla's family. Her family has basically been mine since day 1, they're all great people.

On the drive back to the city I started thinking about where my actual home is. I still have no idea how to answer the question, "Where are you from?". I usually say, "The Poconos, but I'm from Wilkes-Barre.. it's a town next to Scranton where The Office takes place, but I lived in Philly for 7 years, and now I've been in NYC for 6". I've lived in the middle of forests, small towns in PA, North Philly, South Philly, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan... but I can't tell you where my home is without talking for 5 minutes or writing a post on my Internet site about it. There's no difference between the Empire State Building, Exit 1 off PA-309, the Gouldsboro radio tower, Boathouse Row, or Newtown's Main Street flag: I feel like I'm home if I see any of them. And I guess that's all that matters when dealing with something so subjective.

  • #Evolution
  • #NYC
  • #Kiowa Path