Adios, Tyler

Posted by admin - 10/10/13 at 09:10 pm
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Time to mosey on down the…well, you know.

One last moment staring up at the beautiful East Texas sky before I go. After eighteen years in Tyler, I’m headed out.

I’ve reached one of my goals. I’m finally homeless.

And I mean that in the best possible way. After spending what seemed like forever in Limbo, my house is finally sold and I’m gone for good. After a year bouncing back and forth between Tyler and Cincinnati and months on the road in ten different states, I’m heading to Cincy to stay.

This is finally it.

Good-bye, Tyler. I love you.

I’ve lived in Tyler primarily for the last twenty years, but I’m really talking about the whole area. East Texas has been my home since I was twelve, back when the Cosby Show wasn’t on TV yet, and John was still Cougar and not yet Mellencamp.

Tyler means a lot to me, probably more than it should for a preacher’s kid who wandered rootless through the first half of his life. I finished college here (eventually, anyway). Tyler has seen the best of me, and certainly the worst moments in my life too.

This is where I lived when my daughter was born, and this is where my marriage finally ran to ground. It’s where I was a guest on Larry King Live and national ESPN Radio, and where I realized I was doomed in television, and where I got fired from the best radio show I ever put on the air. I was on television and radio in this area for twenty-five years, which means I’ve got a lot of great stories and no money to show for them. I’ve met some fantastic people and good friends, and also some of the worst people imaginable, usually in the same meetings.

I’ve seen a million games and final scores, and loved them all. I’m at the point where I’m seeing the sons and daughters of players I covered in high school now making their own highlights, which makes me feel both excited and very old. It’s been an honor to be a part of that, at every level.

Tyler’s where I got my big break(s) and made the most of some of them, but got sidetracked, and didn’t take enough chances and make enough mistakes. I’ve made a lot of great friends, and didn’t sit around and drink nearly enough beer with them. I did things around here, but I also settled into the same stasis everyone does, where we look forward to going other places and don’t do enough in the area where we live.

I’ve loved this place, and I always will. There’s just something in my nature that tells me I’ve got to go. I’m a minister’s kid who’s worked radio and TV all my life, so I grew up moving regularly. I’ve moved more often than I care to count, including once in the womb. My life has always been a series of U-Hauls, cardboard boxes, and tape guns. Part of me was just always on the road, and that’s where I can think the best.

When you get accustomed to your life, you grow fearful of change. Prior to now, I never got accustomed to anything. I moved eight times before I turned eighteen, and was pretty much homeless for part of that time. My family worked hard. My mom and dad never faced a mountain they couldn’t climb, and they taught me to work and fight for everything, and appreciate it when you get it.

It was nice to finally have some place I belonged for a while. But eventually, you realize what you are. In my world, the cowboy hero always rides away at the end of the movie.

I haven’t seen enough. I haven’t done enough. I haven’t made enough mistakes, and don’t have enough stories that are only funny because I survived them. I need inspiration, and I know I need to wander to find it.

So my house, the symbol of everything both good and bad in my time here, is now sold and gone. I can get back on the road, Cincinnati for a while. After that, we’ll see. It’s time to step out and take those chances again, to work hard to catch that break and ride it as far as it’ll go. Or fail spectacularly, whatever. Either way is interesting. I’m not saying it’s easy, not at all. But you reach a point where you have to cross the bridge or burn it down. What the Hell, whatever works.

A couple of things before I go, thanks to all of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter. The feedback I get from you guys really means a lot to me. Some days the “likes” really sustain me, seriously. If you want to support me, there’s a couple of ways to do that. First, feel free to recommend me to your friends. The more the merrier, assuming your friends will get the jokes, too.

Check out my writings here on the blog, on Project Shanks.com, in the sports section of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, in E-Guide Magazine, and on any bathroom stall wall I might happen to wax eloquent upon. And by all means, if you really like them, throw me some cash. There’s a Paypal tip jar on the top left of this page if you’ve really enjoyed some of my best columns, like this one where I ran into “Mr. Douche” at Chick-Fil-A. Or the guy eating barefoot in the seafood restaurant. Or the one about my two (2) vasectomies. Or the bloody children’s underwear. Or my battle against a spammer. Or the real difference between men and women, and romance and porn. Or my vacation to Cincy, or to Tijuana, or my Super Bowl timeline and NFL Draft columns, or…well, you get the idea. Just consider me a street lunatic, if you enjoy me, toss a few coins in my hat.

Also, my first book, “The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape,” is coming out shortly, I’ll plug it on Facebook when it’s out. It’ll be a great gift for friends, enemies, total strangers, meter readers, hobos, and pretty much anyone else in your life. Pick up a couple dozen copies when you can.

I’ll miss you guys, but let’s face it, about 80% of my human interaction these days comes through Twitter and Facebook. Except for occasionally bumping into me at Target and making fun of my hair, most of you won’t even know I’m gone. Well, except that I’ll have new things to hopefully be funny about.

So I’m off, and out of Texas and on to Cincinnati for a while. For those of you who live elsewhere, if you live somewhere I’ve never been and you’ve got a chunk of floor you can spare for a couple of nights, let me know. I’m always looking for the next adventure.

It’s been a lot of fun, Tyler. I couldn’t have made it without you. Thank you for everything. I love you, and I love the friends I’ve made and the times I’ve had.

Adios, amigos.

— Reid Kerr, in addition to being an expert mover, is now also an acclaimed expert on garage sales.

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