At Age 84, Why Did A "Big City Girl" Pack Up And Move To a Small, Rural Town In Texas?
Conversation with ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D, President & Founder of Diamond Associates--Larry Hayes
I got to know ArLyne Diamond through her monthly newsletter of many years: "Diamonds To You." A prolific writer and author of six books, she lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years as an educator, therapist, forensic expert and consultant. When she moved last year to Montgomery, Texas--a small rural town of 1,500--I wondered if she had lost her mind. This is her story.
I was born and raised in The Bronx in New York City and worked
there in Manhattan for many years. I was a receptionist, show room model, magazine model (my hands) and in my next job, secretary
and executive secretary. I next worked for an International Distributor of Hospital Supplies (IPCO) in credit and collections and started the first ever Customer Service Department – which I managed in an era when it was very rare for a woman – let alone a young woman in her early 20s – to be in management.
I left IPCO and New York on a whim and moved to Los Angeles and later to the San Francisco Bay Area more commonly known as Silicon Valley where after working in offices days while going to school nights, I became a therapist and later a consultant. While working nights, I earned my AA degree, Bachelor’s degree, two Master’s and my Doctoral degree in Psychology.
After living so many years in the SF Bay area and seeing so many
of my friends move away and/or die, I got lonely and itching for a change. Friends of mine in Montgomery, Texas were inviting their friends to come to Texas and get away from the craziness of Silicon Valley. I think Covid had something to do with it as well because it added to my lack of social contact and loneliness.
So at great expense, I packed up and moved to Texas.
Q: The good and bad of living in rural Texas?
Prices are much lower than in California. All restaurants and stores are open for business. Unlike California, it does not look like a war zone.
I bought a charming little house in a gorgeous gated community just
a block away from a lake. My friends live just about a mile away and we see each other often. There is great charm living in Texas. People are genuinely friendly and courteous. The workers that I have hired are all a wonderful combination of cowboy and Southern Gentleman (Ma’am.)
However, I hate the isolation. I hate that I am five miles away from
the nearest store. I hate that I have to drive more than a half hour to other stores. What did I do to myself? All I could think about was being near my friends. I’m just starting to join associations and meet new people. That will help considerably I know because, just like Barbra Streisand “I am a person who needs people."
Q: What was it like living through the deadly winter storm?
Rural Texas! Two days of power outages, no heat, no electricity,
no computer, no cell phones, no company. This would never have happened in Santa Clara, California where I left just a few short months ago or The Bronx, New York where I was raised. The
people are wonderful but the infrastructure needs a lot of help.
Q: What drives you to continue to work when many people of your age are retired or dead?
I would shrivel up and die if I didn't have the stimulation of learning and doing new things.
(Click Here to read more of ArLyne's challenging life in rural Texas.)