Monday, May 08, 2006

On the Street Where I (used to) Live

What a wonderful development that popped up this morning!

I've gotten in touch with a Greg Bowman from the City of Burbank who is helping me dig up some information about a school I attended in the early sixties called Abraham Lincoln High School.

To back up, with the exception of a school I attended briefly at Fort Ord, this one school was the only school I attended while living in Burbank. Such memories that school brings to mind! I remember walking to and from school each and every morning. And at lunchtime for an hour. Man, they can't even do that anymore! Walks are spiritual in themselves as you're always thinking and pondering over life's problems, so you can imagine why this particular walk was so important to me. And what is more important, I feel the need to take that same walk. If I can retrace my steps, I can find the location of my two homes I lived while attending Abraham Lincoln School.

I am just so psyched about all of this and want to remember all the vital information, so I'm going to blog about my findings this morning.

So, Greg Bowman from the City of Burbank emails me with somewhat bad news (so he thinks) that the school was demolished and in its place is a library - the Buena Vista Library. Well, hell, I'M AN AUTHOR! Oh man, this is just so freaking ironic! Anyway, here's what Greg had to tell me about it...

Dear Ms. Thompson,

First, let me thank you for your inquiry and for noting that you were
impacted in a profound way by your attendance at Lincoln Elementary
School. It is often difficult to revisit a previous place and experience
the same impressions as in the past. Having said this, the Abraham Lincoln
school was closed in the late 1980's due to a significant decline in enrollment,
and then became the administration center for the Burbank schools. The
school facilities were transformed into offices and the playgrounds were
converted into parking lots. The former school site served the district
until 2001, when the property was sold to the City of Burbank.

Now, on the former school site sits the elegant new Buena Vista Library
surrounded by the Lincoln Park. Yes, the school is no longer, but has been
replaced with a much needed branch library. You will no doubt find other
such surprises in Burbank. For example, the aged Burbank High School was
completely replaced with a stunning new structure, and John Burroughs High
School underwent a complete renovation. I'm sure that the spirit of the
Burbank community has survived all of these changes. I occasionally hear
some nostalgic comments about the past, but for the most part, the community is
pleased with the changes which I believe are commonly viewed as necessary
improvements to the quality of life. Again, thank you for contacting
us.

Warmest regards,Greg Bowman, Ed.D.Superintendent

Is that the most coolest information? So, I check out the library's site and oh man it's beautiful. Then I got to thinking about something. I'm an author with a book...hmmm...so I emailed them, telling them briefly why I need to come to California and would they be interested in a donation of one of my books. I haven't heard back from them, but I'll keep you posted.

Now, here's the interesting part. There was a map on the library's website. I clicked on it and omg...a few streets away, I saw it. Elm Street. The street where I last lived! I had lived on another street, across some highway from St. Joseph's Hospital (anyone been there?) and I'm presuming it's Buena Vista Street as it leads right into the library and on my walks back and forth from school, I didn't take any turns. I remember I had to cross a big highway and then continue on, but that's about all I remember. Omg...that was the same street I walked when I heard about John F. Kennedy's assassination. My girlfriend, Marge?, and I walked in silence. They had let school out early for the day. What a terrible time and it's as if I'm reliving it right now. But, here's something else that just jolted my memory...the day JFK got shot, I didn't walk to either of these houses, but instead, an apartment complex...so that makes 3 places I lived while in Burbank. We're getting there...the memory clicks in every now and then.

This is simply amazing. If I could get to that library, and walk the same steps, being as the streets are still named the same, I can visit where I used to live. Isn't that freaking incredible? I know the houses or the apartment complex won't probably still be there, but the land will and that's good enough for me. I want to become that child of seven again. I want to find my home again. I want to feel the emotions as I stand there and remember a time when my childhood was taken away from me and I had to move to Virginia to live with a grandmother.

It's sad really. But I need closures.

I'm thinking about just flying to Burbank instead of Vegas and then just driving a rental to Vegas to see the casinos and all that, but make Burbank my main stop. Still thinking.

BF isn't going to like it, but this is my journey. He can make his journey some other time, but this is all about me this time. I need this. Before I die, I need to go back and find out what it is I'm looking for. I'll keep you informed..isn't this fun?

4 comments:

  1. See how well things can work out! Did you talk with your Aunt yet? Be careful when driving I-15 between So Cal and LV. It is a dangerous road, mostly because of the way people drive on it, but there are strong winds at times especially through Cajon Pass. The freeway itself is good.

    You have a lot of people here in Blogville who are rooting for you and this trip.

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  2. No, I haven't gotten my nerve up to yet. Believe me, when I do, I'll shout about it all over the place. I think I will be calling her Tuesday night when I can call at work (don't tell my boss...tee hee)!

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  3. That's a great letter. How nice that he could take the time and give you those details.

    I would look at flights and see whats cheaper. It might be cheaper to fly into Vegas. You could get from Vegas to Burbank in about, hmmm, 4 1/2 hours.

    I disagree about the I-15. Drive it all the time and don't think it is any worse than any other highway and a lot better than some. But then again, I love driving freeways.

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  4. How cool, Dorothy! And to think you were there in Burbank when you got the news about JFK and I was over in Garden Grove at the same time - about 30 miles away. Love that the school was replaced by a library - how clever of you to offer them a copy of your book. And I would not worry about I-15 either. Yes, people do drive fast and you want to drive a car in excellent condition with a full tank of gas. So fly to Vegas but drive to Burbank.

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