It's fair to suggest that I'm obsessed with the history of my home town. At the moment, there's a ton of building work going on - a couple of the icons of my childhood are being torn down to make way for high-rise flats, and it's changing faster than at any other point in my life. Getting to witness change like that is the benefit - or downside - of living in the same place more or less your whole life.
Indeed, my house is built on land which used to belong to a local miser called Daniel Dancer, whose only real friend was one Lady Tempest, the widow of a Yorkshire baronet. His reputation for hoarding - hiding his money in piles of pig shit, strapping hay to his body in lieu of having to purchase clothes etc. - was such that he became the basis for Dickens' Ebeneezer Scrooge.
I've read quite a lot about Daniel Dancer, and though his miserly ways were no doubt the result of something which would today be classified as a mental illness, I love the notion that where I live was once wild and rural and unpoliced, and populated by characters who could've stepped out of a novel.
It's part of why I love so much of America, because so much of it is still, even today, completely isolated from the rest of the world. So much of it doesn't even feel real. There are huge swathes that are just... empty. You can drive for hours and not see another car, just mile upon mile of the most stunning open country.
It's also no coincidence that it's in many of those areas where the NRA and Trump have been able to get a foothold, and why there's such a suspicion of a liberal Washington elite wanting to take away their freedoms.
And the thing is, playing Red Dead Redemption 2 is helping me to understand it.