Sunday, May 22, 2011

My roots are calling!

My high school's alumni association has been busy this weekend. It's Play Days, the annual birthday celebration of my hometown, Monterey Park, CA. A carnival with rides, game and food booths goes into full swing from Thursday to Sunday this time every May.

The alumni are selling "strips." Tortilla strips with sauce and grated cheese. If you ever hung out at Barnes Park you bought strips from Betty in the snack booth. They're playing on our nostalgia to get us over there.

I grew up down the street from the park. My dad would take us there to play in the playground. My brother, sister and I spent summer days at the pool.This was my other "home." When we got older, my brother was on swim team and later, I was too. I swear my brother had webbed feet... I became a Jr. lifeguard and then a lifeguard. From nine in the morning with swim lessons to nine at night when we opened for night swimming, I could be found here. I joke around that I have a fin on back. Maybe I do, maybe I don't...

Standing on the pool deck I could look down the street and look for my parent's cars to see if they were home from work. Or if we were home and my dad seemed to be missing we knew he went down to the park to watch a baseball game being played.

At Play Days Dad always preferred the softball throw booth. The goal was to knock the stacked bottles over. He never failed to win stuffed animals for all of us. We had a lot of stuffed animals over the years.

That time has past. Mom and my Tia Mary died, Dad sold both houses and he moved. The Chicklet and I did an actual drive down memory lane that summer and I took a lot of pictures of the neighborhood, etc. We haven't been to Monterey Park since. I'm not sure I could go back. I'm much better going forward.

I sure miss that pool, though. It was an Olympic size pool in my backyard!

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