“Sometimes you have to grow up before you appreciate how you grew up.”

Today is a beautiful winter’s day. It is sunny and warm. Given how much it rained yesterday, I’m thinking today is a bit of a reward. Gracie and I are going out later. Today is not a day to waste.

Yesterday I actually vacuumed and then washed the kitchen floor. I can only think an alien had taken over my body.

I remember so much from when I was growing up. Without realizing it, I had filed away small things into my memory drawers. On the way to school, we crossed the railroad tracks. Sometimes we were even lucky enough to see a train. The bathroom at school always had a cleaning smell. The stalls and the overhead pipes were painted white. I remember the pipes sometimes had peeling paint.

The bowling alley was never quiet. The air was filled with the sounds of pins hitting the wooden floors. I remember the size of the shoes was on the backs of each rented pair. I never gave a thought about wearing shoes lots of people had worn.

Santoro’s Sub Shop was a block away from school. It was a small shop with a few stools at a counter attached to the wall. Mr. Santoro worked there with two of his sons. I remember Mr. Santoro was short. The bread, two different sizes, was in baskets and the toppings were in a case. The hot stuff like meatballs and sausages were on a stove top in big silver pots. I never got a hot sub. Mostly I got chicken salad or an Italian. I always added pickles and hot peppers.

There were four drug stores. I never thought that was strange. Now I wonder how a small town could support so many.

When it was hot, the firemen sat on big wooden chairs in front of the bays at the fire station. I always stopped to say hello.

The post office felt cool even on hot days, but the church sweltered in the summer.

I have the best memories, mostly simple memories etched forever in my memory drawers

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10 Comments on ““Sometimes you have to grow up before you appreciate how you grew up.””

  1. sprite Says:

    Your memories are a nice respite from D.C., where sirens wail outside my office window and helicopters hover overhead (an odd noise here, since we’re usually in a no-fly zone). It helps to make me believe we’ve entered the dystopian future, although probably the scene would have been the same if the election had gone the way I’d hoped and Hillary were preparing to be sworn in tomorrow.

    I may not get out of bed tomorrow (which is supposed to be rainy, cementing the pathetic fallacy of our new lives), but I’ll be marching on Saturday on the Mall.

    • katry Says:


      I think I probably drifted back to my childhood to avoid the present. It is so much more pleasant to think about roaming through the town of my memories.

      You’re right that it would be the same if it were Hillary, but I suspect no one would mind.

      I’m going to the 11:45 movie tomorrow.

      “It always rains on the unloved.” Quote by Charlie Brown

  2. Bob Says:

    You can never go home again nor go back in time except in your memories. The innocence of youth is fleeting. Tomorrow the reality of President Trump begins and I have no idea the consequences. Luckily I am working all day so I can ignore the inauguration and watch reruns all weekend of Seinfeld to take my mind off of the future. Here’s an article that sums up my feelings.


  3. olof1 Says:

    It is strange what get stuch in ones memory sometimes. We had two drugstores where I grew up, one had toys and perfume as their speciality and the other one had perfume and foot care articles.

    We hadon the other hand five grocery stores within yards and one vegetable store (who also sold eggs and some candy 🙂 ).

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      I agree about the strange memories which stick to us. My favorite drug store had a long, granite counter top and lots of stool at the soda fountain.

      We had only one grocery stores but several mom and pop stores on neighborhood corners.

      Enjoy your Saturday!

  4. BG Says:

    I always enjoy your nostalgic pieces, especially those that include memories (and pictures) of the area you grew up in. I thought of that when I ran across this article today — it’s a photo essay of Provincetown C.1940.

    • katry Says:

      These are the best pictures. The buildings on the Main Street of P-Town are basically unchanged. I recognized many of them in these pictures. Now, though, the crowds are huge every summer, and most of the Portuguese no longer live there. The cost of living is so high that families can’t afford to live there. They closed the high school for lack of enrollment.

      I’m glad you enjoy my trips back into time. It is always a pleasure for me to visit my younger, much younger self.

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