By Guy Sharwood, Groovy Reflections Team Member
Easter of 1959 we had a family gathering at my uncle's. As I did pretty much anywhere we went, I decided to go for a walk. I loved to just walk, but as I discovered, the neighborhood my uncle and aunt lived in was on the tricky side. It was all curves, squiggles and turns. There were no actual streets or avenues, just "drives." Most anywhere else I'd been the streets were sliced straight and easy to maneuver when walking around the block.
Not so with my uncle's neighborhood. In no time I was lost without even realizing it. A man at this one house inquired if I was "lost." I wasn't sure exactly what to say..."No I'm not, I'm right here." I might have said that but I don't remember.
It was then and there that a familiar car pulled up with the whole family in it. When we got back home, Mom whacked me good. Then we joined the others to dye eggs.
I was five at the time.
But I never got lost after that. Ever.
As I slowly gained more independence over the years, I got increasingly familiar with Fresno. By age eight I was allowed to walk to the supermarket to get gum or a comic book, and return home.
It was a couple of years later that I thought it would be cool to just hop on my bicycle and just travel anywhere in town.
|Where I'm writing this from.|
Looking back, I am convinced that a chief reason my Mom approved so much of this activity was it got me out of her hair. Mom was an obsessive housekeeper. While gardening was her favorite hobby, she felt obligated to always have a neat, clean house. She wouldn't even have time to look at my drawings or stories, as linens and vacuuming took on a greater priority. Plus it didn't cost her anything if I was out riding.
So if I wasn't around to create additional messes, so much the better. I could make like Lewis and Clark, conquering "uncharted territory." And Mom could enjoy relative peace and quiet while scrubbing the floor or doing laundry.
Another reason I'm glad I grew up when I did. Such an innocent period back then. Mom didn't have to worry about assorted crazies lurking about, the way it is now. They just weren't around back then. They certainly weren't that day I had wandered off from my uncle's house back in 1959.