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Returning Home

Tuesday night we drove from downtown LA to Covina, a suburb east of LA where I lived as a kid. After some initial difficulties (it turns out my parents’ directions weren’t as good as we thought they were), I managed to locate the house and the neighborhood in which I had lived for most of my childhood. It was amazing to see how much the neighborhood had changed over the last (almost) 30 years, and yet how much it was still the same. I had expected that the neighborhood would have changed so drastically that I wouldn’t recognize areas, but that was not the case. Unfortunately, due to traffic on the freeway headed east out of LA, it was dark by the time we arrived in Covina, and so I wasn’t able to get any good pictures of the old house or the old neighborhood.

We did, though, get a chance to eat dinner at the North Woods Inn of Covina, a place where I had eaten numerous times as a kid. It also turns out that the waiter that served us at dinner had worked there many years and remembered some of the same things that I remembered, like the stuffed black bear that used to be positioned behind the entrance to the restaurant. (I remember being startled by that bear when we visited the restaurant.) It was pretty cool.

The next day my wife drove out to find her old home in Corona, which is farther to the east and the south of Los Angeles than Covina. Again, amazingly enough, she was able to locate her old home and found that the house and the neighborhood looked much the same as it had when she left. I wasn’t able to go with her (I was at VMworld), which really stunk, but I’m glad she was able to go. Two down, one to go.

As it would work out, we were unable to find the third home we were looking for, and it was the one that my wife had really wanted to find. She’d lived for a time in Colton, but when we arrived in Colton on Thursday we couldn’t locate the area where her house had been. We’re not sure if the roads had been renamed or renumbered, but the area where her old house should have been was now a Catholic church and cemetery. We did manage to find a couple of landmarks that she recognized, but no luck finding the home itself. After a while driving around Colton, we returned to Los Angeles and went back to the hotel.

All in all, we’re glad we took the time to go back home again. It’s not every day that you get the chance to go back to someplace you lived 20 or 25 years later and see how things have changed (or haven’t changed).

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