Monday, June 19, 2006

California Dreamin' - Pt. 5 - California, Here We Come!

I don't remember too much about the trip to California as I was only seven, but things come to me in spurts so I might remember them later. I do remember that feeling when we crossed the California state line!

I remember the clouds and the mountains more than anything. And, I remember all of us breaking out in a chorus of "California, Here We Come!" I'll never forget that!

We were all weary but when we hit that border, it was as if something inside of me came alive. My mother was beaming, my aunt was acting crazier than usual and even my baby sister took on the good vibes.

Someone, probably Mother, yelled for to stop the car, that they wanted to take a picture. My mother grabbed the baby and I joined her in front of the sign that said, "Welcome to California." Oh, just remembering it, gives me chills. If you could have been there, it was WONDERFUL. We had made it!!!!

My step-father took the picture and we jumped back in the car.

It was a long trip from the border to our destination, Fort Ord. I don't even know if we stopped over, but I do remember arriving at the base in the daytime, so perhaps we did stay over somewhere. I really doubt it, though, because by the time we hit that "Welcome to California" sign, we were psyched and I'm sure my step-father floored it.

Oh, the mountains!!! They were soooo beautiful!!!!

Anyway, we arrived at Fort Ord and Bob...damn keep out to sign in. They gave us a key to our new home and we couldn't wait to see what our new house looked like!

To the right is an aerial picture of Fort Ord. I'm not sure if this picture was taken then or now, but it will give you an idea. At one time, Fort Ord was the largest military base in California!

Despite the little bickerings that went on with him and my mother, I really was proud of my new dad, even though I didn't take a liking to him making me drink milk, and a few other odd things he made me do. Oh, nothing perverted. Well, one wasn't so kosher which I'll talk about later, but all in all, life was super!

Our new house was so cool! bought a German Shephard we called "King" and we were now the perfect family. My sister and I shared a bedroom, but it was cool as I was having recurring nightmares about being taken away in a spaceship. Other than that, life was fantastic.

School was about to start, but I took advantage of the last lazy hazy days of summer by checking out my new digs. There were houses right beside us and across the street...I had never seen so many houses so close together before. But, it was cool because that would mean I'd have plenty of kids to play with! All of the kids were army brats like me, so generally, we all got along. Life was super. A new beginning for me and my family...a picture perfect life!


  1. That sounds good. You may be surprised at what all you will remember as you write these down. Be sure to keep a set of them for yourself in addition to your blog posts. Keep them coming! I still think you should check with your Aunt to see if she knows more details or maybe even has letters from your Mom from that time.

  2. Oh yeah, I keep forgetting about checking with my aunt! Dang, she's 64 now...good god where did the time go.

  3. Fort Ord! Wow. I went to school up the coast from Fort Ord and passed it many a time going to Carmel. Now its a university.

  4. Omg...are you kidding??? I need to email you! Did you know I'm coming your way in October on a sort of spiritual quest of finding my roots sort of thing? Yeah! I'll be in Burbank, actually, and I would so love to head northward and see Ft. Ord. They say the place looks like a ghost town, but I love ghosts!

  5. Dorothy, I haven't lived there for about 15 years. I went to college in Santa Cruz. I live in Southern California now.

    Cal State Monterey is there now. Here is there website:

  6. Why do I get the feeling there's a big "but" coming in the next installment or so? LOL I love the way you write!

  7. Nice post and blog! FTS sent me. Congrats!!

  8. Ft. Ord has changed a LOT since you were there, I'm sure! I used to spend weekends in that area (we would hitch-hike over from the San Joaquin Valley) ... many happy and fun memories!

    Congrats on being FTS' spotlight! I'll be back to read more here (very impressive ... and I'll have to check out your books, also).


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