It seems like every time I turn around these days progress, or the economy, is killing off more of my childhood. Places guaranteed to trigger memories of things that happened while I was growing up are closing down, being remodeled to use as something else, or being bulldozed to make room for something else entirely.
When I was four, my family lived close to a huge General Motors complex. My baby sister would have been about two years old during the time we lived there and one morning, while she was using the second floor bathroom…the lock jammed. Dad was at work so an uncle brought a ladder to free the captive.
As an adult I realize it probably took him about twenty minutes to get there. My four year old mind, however, thought it took forever and I wound up sitting on the floor outside the bathroom, sliding cookies under the door to her so she wouldn’t starve.
It’s a great memory, and I was a more than a little blue when the buildings were torn down a few years ago because they always reminded me of that day.
So many things are gone now that meant something to me at some point in my life…
An apartment complex and parking lot sits on the site of the field where I played softball for two summers. Okay, played is a bit of an exaggeration. Of course none of us girls knew what we were doing. In fact, the only thing that made us a team was our matching tee shirts. We were ‘The Untouchables’ the first year, and ‘The Octopuses’ (yuck!) the next. Turns out we should have kept The Untouchables because it was fairly accurate…in that none of the other teams even came close to removing us from our last place standing.
As I think about the title of today’s post, I realize that it’s actually wrong. While the fields, restaurants, stores, theaters, and so many other places are gone, or closed down, the memories are still alive and well. I not only remember what is no longer ‘there,’ I remember why it still means something to me.
The abandoned building where we used to buy the world’s best nutty donuts. Another that’s now an office used to sell the world’s best fish and chips. Or the old hardware store, across from the school that’s no longer there either, where we were introduced to Zots…the best and coolest candy in the world!
Has anyone but me ever noticed that if you did it, ate it, or experienced it when you were a kid, it was the best? And that if we have an opportunity to ‘do it again,’ it never seems to live up to our memories of it?
This song never fails to bring tears to my eyes.
Are there any buildings or businesses that are gone now, but when you drive past the place where they used to be, they bring to mind special memories?