Saturday, January 13, 2007

The AELEOPE Google Earth Meme-- The Tailbone Travails Of A Charlie Horse...

There have been AELEOPE Google Earth Meme sightings across the Internet. Here is the list of blogs that have done their own form of childhood recollections. If you have time, check them out and think about doing your own. I was amazed at how much memory floods back by simply looking at my old house from the heavens. It is almost as if I died, and returned to earth to tell my child-self what happens when you die-- they call it ADULTHOOD. Ewww.


My Two Cents (Jeannie)--



The Gouda--


I started this meme thing on a lark, even though I hate memes and hope and pray often that people don’t come ‘round here and tag me. I’ve done one, only because the guy who tagged me had swollen testicles, but traditional memes just leave me feeling like I found an old shopping list in the bottom of a supermarket basket. I read it out of curiosity, then I question my sanity for having wasted my time. Why dried prunes? Why unsalted nuts?

Is it me me, or does it almost rhyme with mean? I have no clue.

All I know is that looking at my childhood from space has been a wonderful experience, and the memories that have flooded my mind have made me realize just how rich my childhood was, and how much mischief and mayhem I was part of without ever actually getting into any trouble.

It also made me realize just how lucky I was. I lived in the suburbs, and they were clean and tidy suburbs with a great school and all, but right behind my back fence were “THE HILLS”-- a magical place that beckoned me daily and provided an enormous opportunity for learning and growth and fitness, and a wonderful backdrop for childhood adventures and misadventures, as well as being simply a really cool place to play.

I have fifty stories, at least, of my time spent on Yerba Buena. Those hills were like an adventure story waiting for us kids to fill the pages with our laughter and our innovation. There is so much in my mind right now I have trouble channeling it into something sensible. Let’s just say that what I feel when I think about growing up on Yerba Buena hill, is the tingle of the wild ride all over.

I wrote about how we ran from the cops. I labeled the gravel road in that story “1” with a red dot. That was the neighborhood we used to go harass. That gravel road was our escape-- or the first half, anyway. Shooting down the steep part of the hill beneath the water tank (labeled “2“) back into our home territory was what usually kept the cops at bay.

Oh my god, was that a laugh a minute for a ten year old...

I labeled my house “4“. All my adventures started there, and most passed through my back gate, which was the wardrobe in “The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe” as far as I was concerned. Through that gate, snakes were found and hills were conquered. Through that gate, magic happened and the body ran free.

The line labeled 5 shows where “THE HILLS” were when I was growing up. That last cul-de-sac was “in-the-works” and not peopled until I was leaving for our year in Miami. There was nothing behind our house but a creek and two small hills, one to each side of the creek like two big butt cheeks, and my brother and I used to stand opposite each other on separate cheeks and shoot arrows in the air hoping to land them on each other’s heads. I learned to keep an eye out for things falling fast, up in those hills.

The hill labeled 3 with the cross was where we hiked whenever we got snow, which was once or twice a winter and only lasted for a few days, at best. We hiked up there with hard plastic sheets designed as sleds for one wild ride down rock strewn steep grades that threatened the tail bone and heightened the senses.


Seems like I’ve been sliding down stuff ever since.

We would also hike up there other times of the year, just to roll rocks down. The game was simple. Unearth the largest, roundest rock you could and send it tumbling. Woohoohoo! Scorpions and rattlesnakes added an interesting twist to rock rolling, to be sure.

That cross was not there when we were there. Not like it is now, anyway. Back then, it was a cross made out of rocks that were gathered and placed by someone pious. As kids, these rocks were some of the easiest to roll. Woohoohoo!

Several times we ventured far beyond this cross and over the mountain ridge and into the valleys beyond. These were usually reserved for Saturday morning trips, and ended late Saturday evening in the summertime...

This back country was owned by a doctor, and many times we were forced to hide from men on horsebacks, fearing our trespassing would not be pleasantly greeted.

I could reminisce and babble for days without shape or form to my thoughts. Such is the nature of remembering and stories. But what I own in my head that belongs to me and brings me such great peace and pleasure, is a treasure hard to share. I realize it is a lot like watching someone eating a chocolate bar. You sort of understand the pleasure being experienced, but you still want a bite, don’t you?

I’ll tell you this little tale and hope you forgive my excesses, and I hope (for those of you who haven’t) you’ll take up this challenge and go back from space and visit your old stomping grounds as well and let me know what happened...

Steve and I shared a single Motorcycle between us. We each owned our own helmets, but the motorcycle was only mine every other day. Some days we both rode it, but the deal was, permission had to be granted by the guy who possessed the day, and this rarely happened the first year we had it, but the second year it happened more and more. Some days we even both took it out for an hour and spun it around before coming home dirty and tired and sweaty and happy.

And on one of these days, my brother came back all upset and traumatized and full of tear streaks on his dusty cheeks, because some guy beat him up a bit. The guy was absolutely convinced, and positively certain, that Steve was me.

The last year we lived on Yerba Buena, builders had moved in and were constructing that cul-de-sac I’ve marked out. And as builders tend to do, they started early and quit around four, which is about the time Steve and I had gotten through with our schooling and our afternoon snacking and milk chugging, meaning we had the hills to ourselves and their houses to run through unimpeded by workmen and contractors and all those other would be kid chasers.

The street they paved was ideal for running the motorcycle up and down at full speed. The piles their machines left when they were excavating were ideal for jumping. The wet cement on recently poured driveways was ideal for turning around on... and... ooops!

Did I say WET concrete?

I didn’t know it was wet. I swear!

I pulled into this nice new looking driveway and went to spin around and head back out, when I noticed that my tires were leaving serious and permanent tracks.

So I left.

I went home in a hurry, washed the concrete off the tires and sort of told no one what had happened. That was a Saturday, and on Monday I was back out on that cul-de-sac, running up and down until I saw a guy standing near that driveway and he was waving at me like he wanted me to come over there. I had sort of forgotten about the marks and headed over, thinking the guy wanted to check out the hot little bike I was riding and ask me all sorts of questions, which I loved answering.

When I pulled up I realized two things. The guy was a big-armed monster and had grabbed the bar behind my seat. The guy was really really really mad.

He looked at my back tire and he looked at his slab. He looked at the tire and then the slab. Back and forth he looked, and he was putting two and two together and getting a four, and that four was me and my guilt and how the heck did I allow myself to get so busted?

“Did you do that?” the angry redheaded concrete guy asked.


“Yeah! Did you spin that mark on my slab?”

“It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it.”

“That mark matches your tire!”

“I share this motorcycle with my brother. It could have been him!”

“You did this! Don’t lie to me!”

“I am not lying! My brother rides this motorcycle all the time. Maybe he did it?”

“Your brother huh?”

“Yeah! My brother!”

“Well you tell that brother of yours that if I ever catch either one of you around here again, I am gonna beat your asses.”

“OK. I’ll tell him. Sorry about your slab, mister. I’ll see you later.”

He was furious, but he let me go. How could he punish me for something my brother did?

I forgot to tell my brother.

And my brother only wanted to take a short spin, so he put my helmet on and took off, while I went into the house and ate something to counteract the extra adrenaline I had running around in my system.

And the first place he chose to go was that new cul-de-sac, where he ran up it and down it and then pulled over to look at some funny marks made on new concrete by somebody’s motorcycle...

The red-headed big-armed guy grabbed his handlebars and looked right at him.

“I thought I told you to stay the fuck away from here? What? Are you stupid? You have trouble understanding simple things? What?”

“What? You didn’t tell me nothing.”

“I told you to never come around here or I’d kick your ass!”

“No you didn’t. It must have been my brother.”


Hammer said...

Kids will squeal when caught that's for damn sure. There were some accidental occurances that made me steer clear of a certain street for months at a time.

CapricornCringe said...

What a pleasant way to spend Sunday morning - giggling at your antics. Thanks for the grins ... and thanks for sticking up for me with ADD Girl. :)

Shirley said...

It's wonderful to read these snapshots of childhood. Sadly, I can't Google my childhood homes because they are all gone. The one I liked best, on La Subida Drive in La Puente, was torn down in the 50's. My Grandma's house, which was just a half a mile up the road, is gone too. They took the orange groves as well, along with Grandma's lemon grove.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

LMAO! Another great story! You and your brother are quite the pair.

Stucco said...

Okay- I've taken a whack at it.

ammogirl said...

Right. Does the story I told the other day count, even though it isn't accompanied by a google earth map? Please?

amusing said...

Now, if you had only gone to get the milk like you were supposed to....