Did something this month I never dreamed I’d do: I became a Californian.
After I retired in August, my wife landed a job in Sacramento. We sold our house in Idaho, bought another in California and I arrived last week — like the Beverly Hillbillies — on an old truck with three dogs, three cats and our furniture.
There’s some history here: I’m an Idaho native — lived in the state of 53 of my 60 years — and in print I’ve had a glorious good time for decades making fun of Californians. Especially California expatriates to Idaho.
They tried a little too hard to impose their big-city ways on the Gem State, I reckoned. And they boasted much too often about selling their houses in Orange County for 10 times as much as they paid for their new homes in Idaho.
According to the Idaho Department of Commerce, in the neighborhood of 40,000 Californians have migrated to Idaho since 1980 — mostly, I’m guessing, driven by fatigue with Golden State’s lifestyle, traffic, crime, taxes and overregulation.
That’s a number roughly equivalent to the population of Twin Falls. Fewer Idahoans, I’m guessing, have gone the other way.
Few enough that while I was standing in the checkout line at a Home Depot in Sacramento last week — attired in my vibrant orange Boise State University sweatshirt — a couple of locals suggested that the Broncos paid football coach Chris Petersen in spuds.
Petersen, of course, was originally a Californian — he went to college at UC-Davis. A fitness addict, I’m not sure the coach believes in spuds.
I do, but when my wife and I went out to dinner the other night I must admit that I ordered rice. When in Rome …
What if that was just the first step down the slippery slope of Californication? You know, morphing into a Democrat, buying a skateboard, becoming an addict of Groupon.com?
And there’s this: When I left Boise last Monday it was snowing and 17-above. As I write this on my deck in Sacramento on Friday afternoon, it’s 65 degrees and the sun is — of course — shining.
I’ll always be an Idahoan: Heck, I was Pocatello before Pocatello was cool.
But, yes, thanks: I will have another glass of zinfandel.
Steve Crump is a retired Times-News editor who lives in Sacramento, Calif. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.