I grew up in Kokomo. Don’t hold that against me.
That’s not to say I dislike the place; quite the opposite, actually. That factory- and stoplight-laden seat of Howard County certainly has its charms, not the least of which are its great local eateries, its museums and its water park.
But, you know, Kokomo is …Kokomo. It’s blue collar, it’s rural, it’s simple, it’s country. Those things really don’t have much in common with Carmel. I spent the bulk of my first 25 or so years disliking this fine city, if I’m completely honest. I thought it was pretentious – form over function ran rampant, in my book. I thought roundabouts were ridiculous. I viewed its evening traffic from afar, as if it mirrored Los Angeles’ gridlock (two John Deeres side-by-side constitute a vehicular backup on U.S. 31 in Kokomo, you see.)
But then, I spent some time here, mostly by chance. I met a girl here, I found work here, and so I was here. Like, a lot. Still am.
Now, I see less pretense in Carmel, and more potential. I figured out that I liked navigating roundabouts, because they’re a great test of anticipation and reaction time; I look forward to them now. And that traffic? Not so bad at all, really.
So, here I sit: your editor. I’m looking for houses in the area as we speak. I love the Monon, I love downtown, I love a woman who lives here. I can’t readily foresee a scenario that has me living outside a 10-mile radius of this place in the next 15 years. Am I a full-fledged Carmelite? No, I wouldn’t go that far. But in the same breath, to say Carmel has grown on me would be a vast understatement.
Yep, I’ve switched sides. Don’t hold that against me.