Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Can't go home again.

Quote of the day: it's in the title

CD of the day: Rage Against the Machine, Live. ~Testify

Mood: nostalgic

Date: 2/8/05

I think it is possible that I grew up in the most boring town ever. It is so small that I actually have a picture of the whole thing. From border to border... in one picture.
I tried to spice things up when I was a kid by falling out of trees or jumping out of them, or being in one that fell. I finally got the message and just stopped climbing them.
I also tried discovering buried treasure in the forest behind the town playground, but alas I found nothing. I guess I was under some delusion that all small towns with grade school aged kids had a Goonie like treasure hidden somewhere. However, I did find the trash heap that belonged to the sole restaurant in town that burned down when I was 12. You will be relieved to know that I did not contract Hepatitas C from digging around in it. I did find a lot of clam shells though.
It was a sad day when the La Casa caught fire. I came home from school to the excitement of our all-volunteer fire department standing outside the smouldering building. No one was hurt, but that isn't what the firemen thought at first. While down in the sewer to turn up the water supply to put the fire out they discovered a hand. Boy, did that stir the bees nest. Turns out it was a prostetic hand that belonged to one of the waitresses that a few years before had sliced off her own hand while making someone a sandwich. (I will refrain from the obligatory 'finger sandwiches' joke...)
She swears that she didn't feel a thing. I broke my leg once and that hurt like hell, so I cannot fathom how slicing off your hand doesn't hurt.
One of the older kids in the neighborhood got a job cleaning out the burnt shell of a building and as a perk was able to keep anything that he found that was salvagable. Nothing much survived except for the largest collection of drinking glasses ever. He put them all up on shelves in his room and to a kid of 12 or 13, seeing that collection, it is the coolest thing ever. Now, I would just think of how long it would take to dust them all. (Getting old sucks, BTW.)
One great thing about where I grew up was the multiple places to ice skate. I think I learned to ice skate before I learned to walk. I was like Tootie from 'Facts of Life' except that I had on iceskates, and I'm white, and didn't go to a private school, (although my mother threatend...) We had a pond at the end of John St. which was imaginatively named The John Street pond. It was split in two by a wall reminescent of the Berlin Wall, except you could get over it and no one demanded we tear it down in the name of democracy.
On one side was ice as smooth as glass around a forest. You could spend hours weaving in and out from in between the trees. The other side was a large open space with an island in the middle that the adults would sit on next to a fire they built to make hot chocolate. Norman Rockwell couldn't come up with anything this cool. There was a larger open space next to the one around the island that was reserved for the older kids to play hockey on. * sigh * Awesome.
When no one wanted to hoof it to the end of John St. and the firefighters were feeling generous, or bored, they would make walls with snow in a large rectangle and fill it with water in the baseball field across from my house to make an ice rink. Somehow though that one always froze bumpy. We needed a zamboni. One year, I was skating on it and fell and as I lay on the ice one of the older boys skated right up and over my face. I felt his blades slide across my cheek and thought I was scarred for life. Didn't even break the skin. I think my face was too cold.
I went by my old house the other day, and how strange it looks now. The side yard that always filled with water and then froze over to make the third ice rink in town has been filled in, and the field that the firefighters made the ice rink on now has a road running through it. I found out a few years ago that they drained John St. Pond because they were going to put in a housing development.
All I can think is how much more boring it must be to live there, and to feel a little bit sorry for any kids growing up there now.

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