I went home again to see my beloved youth, but with adult eyes. I grew up in Bellaire, Texas a city within a city of Houston a place that had well manicured yards, tree line streets, cozy homes built in after Word War II. It was a magical place where everyone knew their neighbor; we rode bikes all around the neighborhood and most of us went to the same schools from elementary to high school. It was the perfect Ozzy and Harriett life we grew up in the early 70’s with the bicentennial vibe painting the fire plugs to look like the American flag, with parades through the city main street.
Yesterday, I spent time with some of those people who had a great impact on the person I became later in life. I learned I had a voice in the sixth grade it was the one grade that my memories are the most vivid; when I look at that time it is like I am there again. It the first time I heard the B-52’s, Ramones, and other alternative music all in the room of Greg, his influence on my musical taste has lasted until know. He showed me a world of creativity that I was to afraid to see until that moment. He had a sharp sense of humor, an intellect that was above most of us in that time, but it seemed that he knew who he was at that age which amazed me. In this class we where the reject the trouble makers of the school we where free thinking kids who where creative and truly smart asses, but we all clicked. We gave each other a voice to speak out on things we thought where wrong. I was a shy girl until than a book worm who lived in her own little world. My friend Shawn who I meet that year was the one I wanted to beat up a lot, but we became stead fast friends, he influenced my movie taste with Tin Drum, A Clockwork Orange and Foxes. With him I had a creative playmate we would play in my room like Prison Warden and Prisoner based on Chain Heat, he was the only boy my mother allowed to spend the night. My mother loved him as her own and would make sure he always had a place at our table if he ever needs it. This class was full of rebels like Rose who started a protest because the janitor was killing the baby birds in front of our class early in the morning. It was through her I found my own voice to stand up and be counted when there is an injustice, that you can’t be a passive observer. Vanessa was a combination of all that is generous in this world she taught me that kindness is just as important as air her earth mother spirit was just shining beacon then as it is know. Others in that class brought humor, friendship and understanding showing me that each individual person that walks through your life has a lesson to teach if you are open to learn. My friends all my life have been as different as day and night from each person, but they are an extension of who I am.
I meet up with these remarkable individuals yesterday at a 6th grade reunion that happened due to us finding each other on Facebook. Some of these people I have not seen in over 28 years, but it was like walking into a time warp. Though some of us are a little grayer than others we are still in some aspect the rebels we where than. We are parents, husbands and wives, pillars of our community and proud of our up brining. It was great to be able to tell them thanks for the lessons that they taught me, for giving me a voice. I drove through my old neighborhood to see the World War II house are almost all gone and in there place is McMansion with no yards, no climbing trees, no children riding their bikes through the neighborhood. Gone was the tree line streets, neighbors knowing neighbors a since of community; my childhood was changed in a blink of an eye. Then I walked into a bowling alley opened the door to the bar and it came rushing back for a moment I could go home again. Cardinals through and through.