Friday, July 9, 2010
Missing Boblo Island
I used to go to Boblo Island every year. It was the highlight of my summer. The place was teeming with fanny packs and wagons, people in track shorts and friendship bracelets. It was cheap to go to, so it made it easy for us. When I was a kid, I remember wishing that Boblo Island would never be destroyed by a nuclear attack. Anywhere but here. One year I woke up to the bad news. Like a traveling carnival packed up in the night, Boblo was gone. At least it was gonna be, and a multi-million dollar housing establishment was going to take the place. A fountain where the Falling Star used to be. A pool where the Rotor once stuck me to the wall on it's spinning axis. Where I bought cotton candy, I could now buy trade options and IRAs. It was sad. I kept imagining abandonment. Walking through the large gates that surrounded it, in the parks last closed winter. The ice formed off the seats of the Ferris wheel. The carousel horses broken by vandals. I would sit down on the cold bench and enjoy it one last time before it was rubble.
It always hurts when the places of our childhood are destroyed. We hold such memories and they are renewed every time we go back. But when we go back and they are gone, we grieve a little. We can never go back. They are locked away inside of us with no hope of seeing them again. It feels a little like losing someone you love very much.
I am notorious for going back to these places. I will drive the long route just to drive by and look. If I had millions, I would buy them all, just so no one could tear them down. But I can't and I know that one day all of these places will be something else and people will make memories in their new tenants.
Please tell me about someplace dear to you that has gone away.
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I'm a simple person to figure out. I usually write it all down here. I try not to pretend to be anything. I am what I am and that's good enough until it's not anymore. I want my kids to remember me smiling when I'm gone. Integrity is the very basis of a good life. I love my God, my wife, my kids, my friends, and I try to love all of the rest of you.