November 2, 2011
You can't go home again...
I don't know who first said it, but you truly cannot go home again. You can return to the scene of the multiple crimes, but alas, the old place has changed. First of all, there are new people living in the old house, so the house doesn't look like it used to. The ditch running behind the old house seems to run slower than it used to and the water isn't nearly as deep as memory serves. The pond is sad, it hasn't seen a group of boys exploring its banks for awhile. The lake where the monster carp and the legends under the raft, that floated around it seems to have been choked out by the cat-tails and weeds that are growing where once lines were cast to pull in one of millions of sunfish, bluegills, carp and the occasional rainbow trout, which at this point I think we must have dreamed up. The picture of the gatekeepers that sit on both sides of the once "grand" entrance are now surrounded by industry. A storage unit company has built their units right up next to my once country neighborhoods entrance and on the other side, behind the grand entrance sign I used to hide behind with my buddies to watch the cars roar down what is one of the longest highways in the US now is far less grand and looks like it is something someone soon will decide is no longer necessary and be removed.
The neighborhood that once held so much wonder now lives, seemingly only in this author's imagination and memory. Populating the world in which Gabriel Peters and his family and friends live in is a once upon a place that must be kept alive by recording it. How many country neighborhoods have been lost to progress? How many childhood echoes lost because the child, now all grown up has never passed the stories on? Perhaps the memories of a neighborhood that once existed are only in this author's mind. Perhaps the houses even back then were just as small as they seem to me now. As I felt like all was lost and I had somehow just imagined it all, I pulled up the street, past my old home and as I was about to leave and maybe never return I saw something that made me smile. Coming down the old ditch were two boys and on each one of their shoulders were fishing poles. Ahhhhhhh....summertime memories began to flood into my head.
I went from feeling slightly depressed to feeling quite envious. I wanted to join those two boys at one of the fishing holes and while away another summer day with my toes in the water and a fat bluegill wriggling on my line. Instead, I got out of my car and walked down the railroad tracks and found myself skipping rocks across the rippling waters of good ol' Tunnel Number Three trying to reconstruct the events that had happened there .
I got ready to leave and I was feeling more than slightly depressed and wondering why I had expected more, I swear I could almost hear my character, Mr. Patchett, calling from his back yard to warn me of some legend in the old neighborhood, pushing me to return to the echos of the neighborhood that still live vibrantly in my mind.
As I stopped to get gas at the multi-pump gas station with the mini-mart that was in the place one of my favorite places to ride my sting ray had been back in the day, I looked across the highway at a neighborhood I no longer recognized or really could relate to in modern day and saw the brick SKYVIEW signs that held so many memories of my back in the day.
I wonder how the old Skyview entrance structures might look in my front yard on opposite sides of my driveway?