I visited my home town again recently. It was a sad occasion, a funeral. I came back with a different mind set of my home town this time. I have always mocked my home town, but I realize now that it wasn’t too bad of a town to grow up in. What is sad though, is that the downtown I knew is gone. And, tell me, why is it when you go back everything seems so small like you are a giant now. Why do we seem to remember everything through the eyes of a 9-year-old (if you have read my blog frequently then you know I have said this before I still don’t get it.) I will write more about the town in future posts, but for now, main street is the topic–not cruising it though — still another story.
The street that really seemed small was main street. I remember when I was little that my mom would not allow me to cross that street by myself. It was the big street where everyone drove fast (30 miles an hour). I didn’t need to cross the street most of the time anyway. If I needed some gum or pop rocks I would go to the corner store (it had another name, but it was on the corner so that is what we named it), if I needed a Betty and Veronica comic book then I went to Henry’s bookstore (oh man, I just found out they started publishing those again. I must find a comic store) and, if I needed a maple bar or an eclair then the bakery was on the right side of the street so I didn’t need to worry.
I said all of that to say that I really didn’t cross the street too often…until I got to the age where I needed 78 vinyl records and the record store was across main street. Once again the store did have a name (Radio Shack?) but we called it the record store because it had records.
One day my brothers wanted to go to the record store to buy — yes, records. For some reason my brother wanted to cross the street alone first and look at something and he told me to stay on the other side of the street. I didn’t want to stay on the other side of the street all by myself — it was scary. I wanted to follow my brother. So I did follow my brother and didn’t bother to look for cars. I can still hear the brakes on that Datsun pickup (I’m guessing on the Datsun, but details make for a better story.) I don’t know who was more horrified, the driver of the pick-up truck or my brother. So, it is surprising why main street looks so small because it seemed HUGE back then.