I was raised in Los Angeles near Malibu. When I was beginning grade school, my friends and I were free to roam the town of Pacific Palisades, CA without adult supervision. AND… there was no fear of abduction. I know, I know, you now realize that I am no young spring chicken. I was born in 1964, the Chinese Year of the Dragon – but I am not Chinese. In those simple days, most everyone in the Palisades knew everyone else. The homes were fairly modest, but loaded with charm. In second grade my friends and I would go surfing in the mornings before school and show up to class wet. That is not something parents let their kids do these days.
After high school, I worked for the family business for a while, then I joined the Navy. I did very well in the Navy schools and got my choice of orders, of which one was a brand new ship in Long Beach, CA. My family joked that I now was home more often than before I joined. Funny what you miss once you don’t have it.
After discharge, I moved to the midwest for about 10 or 15 years and when I returned home to Los Angeles everything had changed. I felt like I was in an episode of “Back to the Future II”. The population had exploded to what seemed like 100 times the population I remembered. So much new construction and remodeled homes and strip malls.
Pacific Palisades is not even close to the small quaint town on the coast that is so dear in my memories. Single story homes that were not meant to be 2 story homes now were just that. It looks absolutely ridiculous and I would never live in that town again, as a result.
When we follow the path that life lays out for us, and then look back, don’t be surprised if the view has changed to the point of no recognition. The world is in a great big hurry to live the life of “The Jetsons”.