A day late again
I was going to make some cornball joke about it being a quiet week here in
Lake Woebego the suburban hermitage, but it's been busy. Busy for us, that is.
Over the last couple of years Mary and I hosted quite a few gatherings, and parties here. It was our way of creating a social life for our friends, and giving us all some relief from the pandemic crap. But things have changed again, and I can hardly say it's for the better. The last party was way back in October, and it ended badly with people drunk, sick, and acting like assholes.
I wanted to do a gathering for Memorial Day, but Mary wasn't really up for it. She doesn't wear her feelings on her shirtsleeve, but she lost her brother around Christmas, and then his wife died suddenly, just weeks ago. This weekend was a memorial service for Chris, the framer at Clayton's Framing, where Mary and I met.
Nonetheless, we had Mary's old friends Suzie, and Steve over Saturday night, and we ate, partied and talked, and the night ran late, and it was good.
Sunday we had dinner for my brother, Don and his son. Don's heading back to Thailand. His plane is scheduled to depart right about now, as I sit here typing on Monday afternoon. Makes me sad. But I understand why he just has to get out of here. I don't have to go far to get a reminder. The place is a filthy traffic choked, over crowded, shithole compared to what it was. And the new high density construction is going on, hell bent for Hong Kong everywhere. The best nursery in the area was less than a block away from my house, and right across the alley from Jordan School where I worked. It's gone. We're getting a condo development, and a few thousand new neighbors in place of the nursery.
I took the bike out Friday night. Just made a slow, after-dinner cruise around the neighborhood. I saw half a dozen or more homeless on the boulevard. I saw guys passed out on the parkway, haggard women pushing full shopping carts at intersections, two full blown skid row derelicts. All this crap is now in walking distance from my property line.
And yet. I
took the bike out again Monday morning, and cruised Old La Habra. Nostalgia mining. I
don't know if it's good, or bad for the mental health, but every once in
a long while, I'll do it. I cruised over to La Bonita park for a wake
n' bake, and then took the Tour de La Habra. I rode past the huge
apartment complex where the house we rented used to be. I rode past The Burger-Q,
now a Mexican fast food, the Dental office that was once Dan Cotterman
Triumph, the used car shop that used to be La Habra Schwinn, the Pollo Loco where the old A&W once sat. And on through the neighborhoods, climbing past the
elementary school, and all the way up the steep hill to Pete Hampton's parents' old
house. At 69, I can still make the hills, even on the heavy old cruiser.
I took in the view and then rolled down into old La Habra, and past the places I lived in back in the 70's. The nostalgia mine hit a rich vein of memory, a silent yearbook of
people, parties, paths, and paths not taken, faces, good times, and not so good ones.
So, I understand. I understand both what holds me here, and why my brother decided to get out. We grew up in The California Dream, but now that California is as dead as a 45 RPM record. And, truth to tell, Mary and I did consider getting out, but we don't have the energy to sell the home, pack up all our belongings, and walk away from all the connections, and friends we have, just to start out new in a new place where there are no friends, and nothing familiar.
For my part I am deeply rooted here. I'm living within walking distance of where my folks landed almost sixty years ago. So many of our family, and friends back then made the move from the Detroit suburbs to here in So Cal. Most stopped right here where north Orange County meets the eastern edge of LA. Sorta' near Disneyland, and sorta' near the beach. They're all gone. Of course, my parents' generation has all passed on. Everyone in my generation moved away a long time ago. Sometimes I feel like a remnant, sometimes like a ghost.
It's Tuesday afternoon as I'm sitting here, now. We were up late again last night talking with our friends Holly, and Glen. Short version: The Lost Canyon Project is on again. More on that in coming weeks.
So finally, here's where we are with the long stone project. I got these pics a few days ago. These things look like they just sort of happened, but there's a lot of planning, and thinking, and stuff that goes into making them look like that.
So that's about it, for now. Next week- maybe a trip.