As I grow older, I also find myself longing for the things of my youth. Things that I know I will never see again except in my memories. While most of these memories are scarred by the passage of time, many are still intact, but when I say scarred by the passage of time, I do not mean that in a bad way. We all distort things as we get older, it is just part of being human. Certain things are worse now than when you were a child, people were nicer, times were better, etc…
In reality, and taken in context, things were probably about the same then that they are now… but there are things that change…
When my family moved to a little town, no too far from where I live now, called Taft, the door had a very basic lock on it, but we never worried about using it too much. The community was small enough that we never had to worry so much about people breaking into the house. We knew all our neighbors and did not have to worry about any of them being criminals or the like. One of the down sides about living in a community like that is that you really do know EVERYTHING about your neighbors. While I was really too young to know it at the time, my mother told me, many years later, about some of the things that happened in Taft. Some good, some bad and some just strange. In short, I miss the security that I felt as a kid growing up in a town like Taft. Yes… at the time it was considered a backwater little hick town. But I cannot say that this is always a bad thing. Sometimes smaller is better!
Here in Bakersfield, Ca. as I was growing up, there were miles and miles of farmland and open fields around the apartments that my mother and I lived in. You could walk for miles in the fields, and except for one farmer that would send his dogs out after you, no one would ever really bother you. Later we even found out that the dogs were not all that bad. They would bark a lot and growl, but when you started talking to them, they would wag their tails and let you pet them. We would go catch crawdads in the canal, and then let them go. Nowadays the same area is overgrown with low income housing, school, fast food and high density housing. The farms, fields, canals and dogs are gone. If you walk through this area at night, you better have a gun or be able to run real fast. It is not the peaceful neighborhood I remember.
I miss Sambo’s restaurant… There used to be two locations here in Bako, but they both closed down. I recently learned that there is one Sambo’s remaining in Santa Barbara, and I desperately need to go there, if for no other reason , than to capture a little of the past.
I also miss the clothes that we used to wear back “then.” I remember my father’s “Leisure Suits” that he used to wear… especially the lime green one, and the peach colored one. The wide ties and the wide collars. I was certain that if my father jumped off a building that he would fly because his collar on his shirt was so large. Then there was my mother’s bell-bottomed jump suits with the bright colors and the paisley designs on them, complete with the large belts and her “go-go boots.” I remember that I had my own, child’s version, of a leisure suit made by a company called Billy The Kid. It was a brown corduroy get-up with bell bottom pants and a checkered shirt.
Looking back now, at some of the pictures of the clothing that women wore back then, and how the styles come back around… I am really hoping that I get to see women wearing mini skirts and go-go boots again. They may not have been a great fashion statement, but they were nice to look at. 😉
There are so many things that we remember from our youth, that we will never see again, or that are too difficult for us to see again. This is, unfortunately, just part of growing older. There is nothing that we can do about it but remember and share with others that also remember.
The good thing about memories is in the sharing. Sharing your memories with others is great, because the stories change as you grow older. The fish get bigger, the fires get larger and the trials and tribulations that you went through get legendary. Before you know it, you are sounding like your grandparents did, and then it hits you… You have become one of those old people you used to chuckle about behind their backs.
Don’t worry though… you can live happy in the knowledge that you will not be the last to come to this realization.