Sunday, October 23, 2005

Evidently you can go home again...

childhood home
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

So here we go. When S'mee was five years old, one of the houses we lived in was on the corner of Upas and Texas in San Diego. According to the signs, the: "Historic North Park, with Distinctive Craftsman Style Neighborhoods"- which sounds pretty hoity toity, especially when I look back on our circumstances. At the time dear ol' ma was divorced, with four kids- 4,6,8,&10 or there-abouts. Dear ol'dad was no where to be seen and if he did show up it was a bad day. So what's a girl to do? Ask one of your buddies to help you out by moving in together and share expenses. The "Brady Bunch" scenario= said girl friend is also divorced - with 6 kids! 2 moms, 10 kids, and a beautiful house. Add one more "mom", a college gal who helped out with child wrangling (after the kids ganged up and killed the other baby sitters) and there you have it. We lived there the year I went to kindergarten. (a big shout out to Miss Whistler and "Chocolate Chip", my first boy friend)

We lived across the street (directly) from Morley Field. A community park that afforded those who could pay, a pool, tennis courts, and other hoity toity stuff. For us it didn't matter. There was free grass, trees galore, and plenty of people-watching to amuse 10 (probably annoying) kids, none of whom were over age 12. The zoo was down the street and across the highway; and in those days free for anyone under 16 - we all qualified for free "baby-sitting" during the summer. And we took full advantage.

Big brother, along with the oldest brother from the other family would lead the 10 of us across the street and through Morley Field a total of .6 miles one way to the zoo. Occasionally we would stop to watch the swimmers, but mostly we would just walk by and down into the gully we named, "Paul Bunyon's Canyon". He had walked through there with Babe and made the "canyon" with his big ol' feet. There was a small stream in the base caused by Paul as well, but I will let your imagination figure out just exactly how. After hiking down into that gully and we hiked up the hill across the highway. At the top was the highway where the San Diego Zoo sits today. We would run screaming at the top of our lungs across all the lanes in between the cars whizzing by...even way back then.

There was and still is a Naval Hospital, a Golf Course, and Balboa Park full of museums that were also free to any and all under 16. The Natural History Museum was one of my favorites (although you must never EVER look the mummy boy in the eye or you will die. This is true. My brother knew a kid in the sixth grade who did and he died!) We walked all over the park; day after day, every day all summer long.

Attending the zoo so often afforded us many "priveledges". Big brother taught the Myna Bird in the avery to say, "Kill the Keeper", and he also became adapt at getting "freebies".

Carosel at Balboa Park, S.D., CA
Originally uploaded by S'mee.
One of the freebies was the Carosel. Thor and I went to see if it was still true... yup, if you grab the brass ring while on the ride, you get a free ride. I can't remember the price of a ride back then, but it was way too much for us. (current price:$1.75) So we would search out pop bottles, take them in for the refund and save enough every day for Big Brother to get a ride. He was ten, considerably smaller than the fellow in this photo, plus the ride was full of competitors. Only one brass ring in the mix of nickle rings. Luck and skill was necessary to win a ride for your siblings. But ride we did. For free.

add to sk*rt


chronicler said...

The old house still looks good! I love the memories of that place. Every, and we mean every day at the zoo. And i still love going there. (By the way it was Texas and Upas not Ubas.) Hate to correct you and all but if we're going to lead people to one of the many childhood homes we may as well get them to the right place. You didn't happen to go to the door did you?

s'mee said...

grrrr. You know me, I forgot to look at the street correctly, of course you are correct!

No, I FOUGHT! the urge to go up to the door and chat with whomever lives there now. It is a beautiful place, so well cared for; as is the entire neighborhood and surrounding area.

So many memories, I could blog for days and days about that house alone.