The story of two married California urbanites that think Tennessee is the place you odda be!
Since we just revised the web site and some of you are new to what we are doing I thought you might like a little history on how we got here. The following is a brief, light hearted update.
Once upon a time in a place called LaLa land, better known as Los Angeles, a couple fell in love and got married. When they met in 1997, Richard was in the process of getting through a divorce, lived in a 1,800 SF, one-story home on a 10,000 SF lot in Upland, CA. He dressed in business suits five days a week for his job as a VP and Planning Consultant for an engineering, planning and surveying firm in Ontario, CA. His three children, all in their early 20’s, were living at home. Richard’s hobbies were following the NASCAR races and enjoying his Corvette. He was very active in the community. He had just finished a term as President of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and was the current Lt. Gov. for Kiwanis Division 15.
Katrina lived in a similar home in Chino Hills, CA. She also dressed up in business suits five days a week. Her job was VP of a bank and a commercial underwriter. Katrina’s hobbies were occasionally showing her dogs and spending many hours in community activities especially as President of the Chino Hills Kiwanis Club. Katrina’s real love was her three dogs (Whippets). She also had a fondness for cars but had not yet been bitten by the collecting bug.
As all good stories go Richard and Katrina were married in 1999 and began their new life together in Upland on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Their lives were busy with work and play. They showed Katrina’s dogs, began collecting Corvettes and vintage Muscle Cars, they did all the typical Southern California car things. There are lots of car shows, cruises, famous museums and speed shops in the LA area. If you needed something for your car, chances are it was only a short drive to pick it up on the spot. However, they soon realized something was missing. They both grew up with the opportunity to roam through open land and experience nature. They began to look for such a place in Southern CA.
You can’t be bored in Southern California. Disney Land, Rose Parade, Hollywood, Venice Beach, Malibu, the Pacific Ocean, Catalina, snow skiing in the San Bernardino mountains, riding ATV’s in the desert, movie stars, rock stars and the list goes on. There are realistically a half dozen activities you want to do every weekend and the weather is always perfect, well most of the time anyway.
However, it isn’t all sun, glamor and beauty. True, Southern California has fantastic weather, mountains, beaches, palm trees, beautiful landscape but it also has smog, forest fires, earth quakes, grid locked freeways, dust storms, water shortages, huge taxes, graffiti plus millions and millions of people. Trying to find open space in Southern California is like trying to find a snow ball on the Fourth of July on a California beach. You can get on the freeway in Santa Monica; head east and be in bumper to bumper traffic anytime of day and still not see real remote open space for hours. Southern California is an urban, car oriented megalopolis.
The happily married Fleeners then expanded their search nationwide. After two years of research and traveling, they settled on a 12 acre ranch in Middle Tennessee.
Here we have two urban dwellers neither of which had ever lived on a farm or ranch now taking up residence on one. Today, Katrina still works at a Bank but now has to do chores before she leaves for work in the morning. Her co-workers have been known to pick hay out of her hair just before a big meeting. Richard is still a planning consultant in California but now commutes once a month from Tennessee to California to meet with clients. The rest of the time he is in his blue jeans tending the livestock, playing with his car collection or tending to this web site.
We don’t have a rat rod but we do have a “rat tractor”!
They still have dogs and collect muscle cars but now they also have an old tractor and more animals (miniature donkeys) than you can count on your fingers and toes!
To Be Continued: Moving the Cars
Getting ready for the moving truck!
About the Author: I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California. The time there was very rewarding but the urge for a slower pace moved us to Tennessee a few years ago and we love it. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle. As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. When they don't we are usually out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.