On Friday 10/15/10, Daryl and I traveled to Tucson. I was hoping to revive some memories of my youth and maybe bring back some of the feelings I had while growing up in Flowing Wells. It would be interesting to see what I recognized from over 40 years of absence. It seemed like such a long time ago, and amazingly still only just yesterday.
Most of the buildings I remember as a boy had been torn down and replaced with something else. Our house was no longer there, instead an apartment building with paved driveways. Daryl and I drove around the parking lot and tried to imagine where the shop and pool once were. Many hours were spent shooting at the basketball rim on the shop, and grass out front of the house would never grow because of our play. I thought about all the circles we made on motorcycles around the driveway before we had licensees.
Even Kilburn road seemed different – more rundown and strange. I thought I remembered more grass in front of houses and less trash scattered about. Maybe I just wanted to think that.
Some of the classrooms at Flowing Wells High School were as I remember them but that was about all. The football field was in the same place and I found the old cafeteria, understandably now used for something else. The parking lot was different and there were new buildings jutting from all sides. I had a desire to look inside some of the buildings and browse through the trophy cases, but in this day and age it is not a good idea for strangers to wander around a school. Donna later told us that school was probably closed because of a winter break and it might have been OK to ask if we could look around.
One thing that seems to stay the same is the names of roads. It was reassuring to know that most of the roads still went where they used to, or you still took this road to get here, or we could find something by going down this road. Oracle Road Rent All was still a business although the building is much larger. We drove out to see the area where Shamrock Dairy was and still is in business – an area where I loved to play, collecting wax to make melted hands and riding bicycles with my friend Wayne.
Before we left, Daryl drove across town to Davis Monthan AFB. One of my favorite things to do in Tucson was drive along the fence by the base and look at all the stored aircraft. You used to be able to drive for miles and view row upon row of obsolete airplanes abandoned to the ‘bone-yard’ of the dry Arizona desert. There were a few places where we saw planes but mostly now they keep you back and away from them. We did however find one spot by the fence, along an off road, maintenance path, and Daryl tried out his 4WD SUV.
It was a good nostalgic trip. Daryl and I did a lot of reminiscing and I want to thank him very much for taking me there. Maybe someday I’ll go back, but for now I’ll leave the past behind and try something new.