Just As I Thought

Do you know the way to San Jose?

Here’s an odd desire of mine. I mean, odd.
Back in 1981, I lived for a year with my grandparents in San Jose, California. I was, oh, 15 or so. California was very different from Northern Virginia, where I had spent my entire life (before and since). The streets had no pot holes, the weather was always nice, and everything seemed so shiny, clean, and new.
I’m sure this is not the case today on Lynfield Lane; but I would like to see it again. The odd part of my fantasy is this: I want to drive around there. You see, I couldn’t drive when I was a 15 year old, and spend my entire year there being driven to and fro by my grandfather in his huge gold (but luxurious) Cadillac or my grandmother in her thrifty Dodge Colt. I still long for the ability to drive around San Jose myself, taking a left onto Branham Lane, another left down at the Alpha Beta then pull into the public library; or head right to the Almaden Expressway (stopping at Taco Bell on the corner) and down to Almaden Plaza to shop at Emporium Capwell… or in the other direction to school at Lincoln High one block over from the Rosicrucian Museum… The Capitol Expressway, Blossom Hill, Camden Avenue… all these street names are flooding back.
All these places stick in my head. I think having been there only a year without growing up there or having the freedom to explore it makes me yearn to go back. Maybe someday I’ll make a pilgrimage to Lynfield Lane, say hello to Bud Brazil next door, and see if my secret clubhouse in the corner of the garage is still in service.
lynfieldlane.jpgThis all lived hazily in my mind’s eye until tonight, when thinking about this post I called up Mapquest and there it was — Lynfield Lane is still there; the streets still as I remember them, and a grainy satellite photograph reveals the house. You can even see the lighter addition that my grandparents built on the back for my great-grandparents. It used to back up to an orchard, which was replaced by another housing development, but the ditch they call the Guadalupe River is still there, as is Bud Brazil’s “L” shaped house next door. It’s reassuring, somehow.

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