Sunday, April 10, 2011

You Can Go Home Again, But...

It's not the's older, it's run down, it's depressing! Okay, I am older, but I don't feel run down, or depressing... some of it's seeing that Scotty's donut shop is still at the corner of Tennessee and Tuloumne Streets where in 1958 I went after a Jr. Prom with Charlie Ellis (it took me half a day to remember his name). We went there instead of Terry's Restaurant where all the other kids went because Charlie was not allowed to drive on the freeway yet! I did, however, impress Charlie when I ordered coffee with my donut! There was no such thing as 'espresso' yet, just plain coffee in a thick coffee mug. We drove down Tennessee Street to Amador Street, the street where I grew up...There used to be a Foster Freeze on one corner, where as little kids Patty and I went to get free chocolate dipped ice cream cones from the owners, Rod and Dale, who took a liking to us...A Richfield gas station on the other corner where we as eight year olds flirted with the teen aged pump attendants!
Just a block from our houses we could walk down this street to the 5 and dime store (Sprouse Ritz); to the El Rey movie theater where we went most Saturdays to see a double bill, cartoons, and news reels for 25 cents. Leo's liquor store sold us bubble gum for five cents or was it pennies? On this same block was Lodena Edgecombs School of the dance where at age five I took ballet lessons and at age ten Patty and I took drama lessons. "Some day somebody is going to sprinkle ant poison on you!" was a line I spoke from a play called Junior Miss. I took ballroom dancing lessons there in Jr High School when I went steady with Billy Elliot, who went to Saint Vincents. He started dating someone else and I threw his class ring at him across that dance floor. I really loved dancing with Delbert Cheesebrow who had bad breath and bad acne, but danced I thought like Fred Astaire! I can still remember what it was like when he "dipped me". I was Ginger Rodgers!!!
We could walk from our houses to the Vallejo Plunge where we went swimming in the summer..our bathing suits rolled up in a bath towel. I can still smell the chlorine when I think about it. We had to walk through a tub of it before we could enter the pool.
As teenagers we went to football games at Corbus Field next door to the high school. This facade is new.
The only thing that even looked familiar at the high school was this grove of trees!
Just one block from our houses is what used to be a Spanish Style Vallejo Junior High School, now called a middle school with a whole new look. We sat on that front lawn at noontime and talked about boys and stuff.
Patty's house across the street from ours used to be white with brown shutters on the windows...That small concrete wall in front by the side walk seemed much higher in my childhood. Patty's bedroom is the window that now has a blue trim! We skated down that slope of a driveway or they did, I was probably too chicken to try it.
Joann's house to the left of Patty's house used to have a rock wall in front and a fish pond, both now gone. The house itself was quite hidden from the street. Joann had a closet full of toys we loved to go play with (especially the red cash register) and a huge airplane in the backyard we could climb in that her dad made.
Marion lived on the other side of Patty's. The big tree we climbed in and played on that was in front is gone. The paint was peeling off this old house and looked so sad. (Both Marion and Joann are now deceased).
The only thing familiar on my old front porch was the brick wall. I used to sit on the stairs there looking down toward Tennessee Street but seeing New York and my unknown future.
We moved into this house new in 1941, I was six months old. It was white, not muddy brown.
We played in this neighborhood (kick the can, hide and seek, outside until dusk and our parents whistled for us to come in) for eighteen years until we graduated high school and all went our separate ways.
I was amazed to see some of my mother's rose bushes still surviving in the side yard. But this ugly black fence had not been there before...There used to be a low box hedge we could jump over. And we rode our tricycles around the four squares of roses in that garden.
My dad build this barbecue fireplace in the back yard and we could still see the top of it over the fence. The fence is new. Our fence used to be covered in roses and honey suckle vines.
That's my old bedroom window over the garage door. Then my brother's old room down stairs, and then the living room window!
Well, like I said you can go home again, but it's not the same. It is filled with lots of memories though and that is kind of fun. What did I expect 70 year old houses to look like?


  1. I love this trip down memory lane, sounds like you had a wonderful childhood. We had a sprouse ritz here when i was a kid. We would save up our change and ride our bikes there to get candy. Congrats on your anniversary!!!
    Much Love,

  2. This brought back memories to me too. We had a sprouse Ritz too. I forgot what the name was.. Then a woolworths. Oh yes those were the good ole days. :))
    I cant believe that the BBQ your Dad is still standing. He did an excellent job. Fun to go down memory lane sometimes.

  3. Oh.. I forgot what the name was UNTIL you mentioned it here.. That is. :))

  4. What a wonderful tribute to YOU. Loved it. Brought back lots of my own memories. It was good to be a kid when we were kids (and I was a kid in the late 60's) I'm sad for my kids.

  5. Wow! Did this bring back memories!! So much of your childhood is very similar to my upbringing! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  6. What a trip down memory lane! Very different houses in your old neighborhood. I love that red house very much - that's a house I could imagine living in.

  7. It's bittersweet to go down memory lane isn't it? But you still have Patty! And friendships are what matters

  8. What a great trip! Love the houses in your old neighborhood! Great to see your old childhood home!!!

  9. Catching up with you is so fun. Thank you for taking us on your trip. I moved around a lot when I was young, so I don't have memories like this. You are a lucky duck.
    Also love to see you having a fun visit with your life long friend.
    Love the heart afgan!

  10. I loved this...I can so relate! I love going back to the places of my childhood (we moved a lot and there were many) or even my young adult life. I took my kids to see all the old San Diego haunts when they were teenagers (where I met Michele). They were bored, but I wasn't. I can really picture you there in Vallejo. I still remember going to the dinner's at your Mom's place...such fun! Terra

  11. oh man, I loved going down memory lane with you! I really miss the simpler times and the five and dimes. And playing OUTSIDE until the streetlights came on, not having our noses to computers and video games.

    This is a wonderful post Lynn!♥


Thanks for leaving your comments as I love hearing from you. Your words of encouragement are why I continue to draw!