When Past and Present Collide | Photo Story Friday

When I was 10 years old my mother sent me, on my own, from South Dakota to California to visit my paternal grandmother for a month.  I often joke about my experiences during that time, comparing them to the Griswold’s adventures from National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation.  We visited several Southern California landmarks without ever going IN them – including Knott’s Berry Farm. 

However, there were several places we did visit , some of which no longer exist, like Lion Country Safari and Marineland of the Pacific. One of our excursions that held a fond place in my memories over the years is the Los Angeles Arboretum. I never forgot the gorgeous house that I wanted to go inside of or the placards along different paths depicting where the first Tarzan movie was made as well as other classic movies, I was fascinated with the history of it all.

Within a year after visiting the Aboretum a new TV show aired featuring the Queen Anne house in it’s opening sequence – the show was Fantasy Island.  I loved that show, and more so, I was THRILLED that I had been to that very house!

Yup, that’s me, the skinny kid in the lime-green shirt and pigtails.   Queen Anne House077And the little tiny thing I’m looking down at in the picture? {who was quite cute}… the bane of my existence for four weeks.  She was five years old and got into all kinds of mischief, I was 10 years old and was constantly being blamed for said mischief.

Crazy, to this day I clearly remember getting in trouble for squashing berry-type pods that had fallen from the trees and lay on the path where we walked. She stomped on them over and over and somehow I took the fall for it.  I was impassioned with the injustice of it all, “she’s only five - she isn’t stomping on all those berries, let alone on purpose”. WHAT!?!      Oh, she was good…

And so. 37 years after my first visit, 26 years of living in Los Angeles, I finally returned – with The Boy willingly in tow.  All I kept asking myself was, “Why did I wait so long to return?”  It is truly a beautiful, peaceful place to wander through; and although place-markers denoting where various classic movie moments were filmed are all but gone now, it still felt like stepping back in time - for me – if only briefly. 


As we walked through the welcome building and into the gardens, I felt that little girl in me twitch as a wave a familiarity washed over me, a taste of the past welled up in my mouth. Like a tide that suddenly rushes in, then receding as fast as it had appeared; 1976 and 2013 intertwined. 


I am always amazed when my past memories bubble to the surface and collide with my present, I can feel it – like a Sci-fi movie, all I have to do is take a step to the left and I would find myself staring the 10-year-old me in the face, surrounded by family members long since gone. 


However, that wave passes quickly and I am here standing with my eight-year-old boy who taking in the whole experience with a calm joy. He comments, “It’s so quiet and peaceful here, I’m jealous of the people who live here!” As we listened to the birds singing and crickets chirping; the two of us were in heaven.


Toward the end of our stay, as Harrison ran ahead of me on the paved path, I briefly glanced down and noticed a couple berry-type pods laying on the road; I smiled… and STOMPED on them!

On Purpose!

Life is good.


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1 comment:

Lisa said...

LOL! I was hoping you would say you stomped on those berry-type pods. LOL! I think we are about the same age. It's amazing to me to think what our parents were comfortable with back then. Things are so different now.

Your photos are wonderful by the way.

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