Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Overtown Adventures - part 2

Even though I had passed on attending my high school's Homecoming event the weekend before, I was still very curious to see what the place looked like these days, the school and the town in general. But I was really looking forward to checking out the local yarn shop, so after the exam I cruised over to El Segundo. I had lunch and then went here:

It was absolutely marvelous and everything you could ask for. Just a very small space but the minute you walk in the door you see the yarn stacked to ceiling and all the way to the very back.

Also down the middle of the store:

And all the way back up the other side:

What you can't see (half because I'm an idiot and half because I'm still a bit shy about taking photos like this) is that on either side of the register in the back is a goodly supply of needles, notions, books, magazines, and all the other odds and ends that knitters desire. Just inside the front door is a decent sized table with chairs and while I was in the shop sniffing snorting fondling petting selecting yarn a couple ladies were seated there with projects in various stages of completion, receiving assistance from the proprietor. Who was totally friendly, welcoming, and patient to her regulars at the table, customers passing through, and me - the geek with camera. I promised her that I would be back and I most definitely will, along with sending others her way if I can. So if you are passing by El Segundo, even if you are just in the neighborhood of LAX (hello! can you think of a better way to spend a one-day layover?), this is the place for knitters to go. I wish this was my LYS! *sigh*

After finally emerging from my new favorite yarn shop, I drove around town, looking for familiar landmarks. I found my old house:

No-that is not my truck, mine is dirty gray!

The local teen center facility, one of my frequent haunts back in the day:

Don't let the fences scare you, it's really more to keep basketballs in, than people out!

And of course, what you were really waiting for (with that bated breath I mentioned before), my high school:

Isn't it pretty? And HUGE!

If you're thinking it looks like something that could be in a movie - it is. And if you are thinking you already saw it in a movie - you did. Or a television commercial, print ad, or some other such thinge. That place is totally photogenic and verrrryyy popular. It never occurred to me to ask when I was a teenager - but do you suppose the revenue from those all those movie and photo shoots goes to the school? Or the city?

I know that as an adult, usually when you visit a place from your childhood, it seems smaller than you remember. And that was true for the town. But the high school seemed so much larger than I remembered it being. Does it make a difference that I was a teenager for the majority of the time I lived there and spent so much of my time on that campus. (Although, perhaps...errr...not as much time each day as would have been preferred by school staff. Sorry Mom - but it all worked out okay in the end, didn't it?)

I drove around for a bit longer, and no matter how much they may have been updated (Back patio added to Charburger? Cool!), I appreciated those familiar places in relation to all the new businesses that have sprouted and helped revitalize the town that could have died along with the 80's areospace industry. Yes, I did see the Curves a few doors down from the yarn shop, and I felt a little wobbly. But hey - the Rite Aid isn't new, and we had Domino's pizza too. But then when I saw the Starbucks across the street from the Teen Center I knew it was time for me to go.

It was an odd experience altogether - feeling such a strong connection to a place, but simultaneously so disconnected. And it brought up all sorts of memories, some I'd prefer not revisit, along with opening the door to more introspective ramblings in the future - on the places we live and why, what makes us feel like we belong or even need to, and could changing your address really change your life?

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