Last week I had occasion to visit the neighborhood where I grew up in Santa Venetia, also derogatorily known as Scabo. I’m not sure what that stands for but since it’s an ugly word, I’m guessing it wasn’t known as the most desirable place to live. But I beg to differ.
Kids don’t know they don’t live in a mansion. I certainly didn’t. We had 4 bedrooms that weren’t much bigger than some large walk-in closets and closets not much wider than a refrigerator. Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t care one bit. I had what I needed and that was enough.
Our little house
To me, our Doughboy Pool was the bomb (better known as groovy back then). Other neighborhood dads helped my dad install it. That’s how it was; neighbors helping neighbors. On summer afternoons, being in that pool or playing ping pong on the patio were my favorite places to be.
You know, time clicks by at a pace way too fast for those of us with skin more closely resembling a Shar-Pei rather than the supple, collagen-filled flesh of our youth. As we of this age know, when we’re young, time seems to move slower than molasses in January.
Well, I’ve learned a few things about that subject, like how youth is totally wasted on the young. I think we should be born old and live our lives in reverse, age-wise, like Brad Pitt in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Imagine being able to snowboard at age 90 without a single thought of potentially breaking every bone in our body. And wouldn’t it be nice to believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny late in life instead of them only being a memory from the magical world in which we once lived?
And speaking of memory, it’s such a shame to lose it as we age because it’s an essential prerequisite to reminiscing. And what are we without our memories? When we can no longer take a 50 mile bike ride or go on a camping safari in Tanzania because we’re ancient, our memories are what we rely on to remind us we actually had a pretty great life.
Here’s one of the first blog posts I wrote back in 2012…
I went on an adventure this past weekend without ever leaving the house. Well, actually, it was the garage. I finally decided to delve into the stacks of old boxes filled with long-forgotten papers, dig into shelves of stored-away treasures and clean out musty cupboards…you get the idea.
I guess you could say I’m a bit of a pack rat, although I save memories, not junk (as some would say). So, with the exclusive goal of one day being able to squeeze something other than one car into a two-car garage, I threw on my sweats, some gloves, and armed myself with large green garbage bags. Then I dug in. Continue reading →
As always on Father’s Day, I repost an article about my dad I wrote in 1997 for the San Francisco Chronicle. Dad died 7 years later. Although not a man of many words, he always made an impression. I’d say my family was like a modern day Walton’s. No John Boy or Mary Ellen, but still a close knit bunch. Yep, I was one of the lucky ones. So today I pay tribute to the funny and easy going man I had the great fortune to call Dad. Here’s Remembering Dad.