Nostalgia

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Deacon
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Nostalgia

Post by Deacon » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:03 am

This was all brought on by a mention of Grand Prairie in the IRC channel. For those of you who don't know, Grand Prairie is one of the many areas that fall under the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan area. I spent most of my childhood that I can remember in the DFW area, first in Irving (that was ghetto, even at the time, right behind some mall) and then in Grand Prairie (much nicer area). We left at the end of my 4th grade year.

Anyway, so there was a mention of Grand Prairie because Flight of the Conchords is doing a show there, and Jez was all "ugh GP is so ghetto" and I was leik wut an ten... Ahem. So I looked up my old address (I almost remembered it exactly but not quite), used Google Street View, and was absolutely flooded with old memories. Here are a very few.

That house to the right of it (going up the hill) didn't exist. It was just a vacant lot. Then the house one further up was lived in by a kind of odd couple with two kids, and the girls had thick hair that was hard to braid. I remember because my mom said so.

The kid across the street from us was the luckiest kid in the whole world because he had an arcade game in his garage. I don't remember the name of the game, but it was mind-blowing because you didn't have to put any quarters in it. You could open the door to the coin area and just hit the little wire lever over and over to make it think quarters were rushing past it.

He could also chug a whole can of sprite without stopping to breathe.

I lost a Nolan Ryan signed baseball in the field in what used to be that vacant lot.

Those steps in front of the house? I rode down them on my pawn-shop Mongoose freestyle and was dismayed when the handle bars were stripped and flipped forward over the front wheel, carrying me off the seat and down onto the cross bar. Hard. My bitch of a sister was squealing with laughter, uncontrollable, while I writhed on the ground, barely breathing, inconsolable and bruised.

My mom bought an old 3-speed bike from a garage sale one time, and I insisted on riding it down the massive freaking hill even though I'd never ridden a bike with speeds and had no idea how gears worked. I ended up hitting a parked car, flipping over it, and regretting my decision.

Up there where the glass is up to the point of the A-frame roof, there's just a big ledge. My dad built some speaker cabinets and put some massive freaking Klipsch PA speakers up there with a 15" subwoofer, and we marveled at the sound from the VCR. We watched a tape of Indiana Jones, that part where they drop into the tomb with the snakes in it, and Marian throws her shoe off to the side, AND WE COULD HEAR IT OVER OFF TO THE SIDE!! IT WAS MIND-BLOWING!

We watched the TV in that living room as the Challenger exploded.

We watched the TV in that living room as the Berlin Wall was torn down.

I watched Jacques Cousteau, Marty Stouffer's Wild America, Wild Wild World of Animals, Nature, Wild Kingdom, all of it in that living room. I'd turn up the ABC Nightly News for my mom when she was in the kitchen making us dinner. I remember taking what spare dollars we had (there were very few) and deciding to splurge on cable, which lasted until some show or another one night when flipping through the channels that involved a man and a woman wearing top-hats and spats and nothing else dancing with a cane across a stage, and my mom was abhorred, and cable was canceled. That's part of the reason I don't get some of the old cable TV show references.

I remember there was one time when my dad somehow wasn't working, and my mom and sister were gone, so my dad rented Back to the Future series (I think the third one had just come out), and we watched it together with Dr. Pepper and Blue Bell's Homemade Vanilla. One of the few times like that, at least that I can remember.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Sophira
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Re: Nostalgia

Post by Sophira » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:49 am

One time I casually dated a guy in Grand Prairie.

The end.
<Arc_Orion> And I give rides to dudes!
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<Hirschof>Long from now, when the Earth is charred and barren, the only things left on the surface will be cockroaches and the continuous bickering between Fuggle and Deacon. :)
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Hirschof
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Re: Nostalgia

Post by Hirschof » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:30 pm

Its nice that you can remember all of that. My favorite memory from my childhood was the area I grew up in (Converse, TX). Unfortunately, over the last eight years the town and the surrounding area has morphed into one giant fucking outlet mall. I noticed everything started turning to crap when they built the Wal-Mart right next to my neighborhood.
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Sophira
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Re: Nostalgia

Post by Sophira » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:41 pm

I grew up in DeSoto, in the southern part of the DFW area. DeSoto when I was growing up was upper middle class, clean, fiscally strong, etc. At some point, businesses started becoming run down, it stopped being clean, and because the upper middle class left and headed further south, it now is no longer fiscally strong. And it's still *run* by upper middle class folk who've been there since before it changed, so they don't effectively run it well because they haven't really changed their way of running things to compensate. It's sad to watch the place I grew up fall apart and become nothing more than an extension of Oak Cliff.
<Arc_Orion> And I give rides to dudes!
<kaiju01> Yeah, I'm kind of a dick.
<Hirschof>Long from now, when the Earth is charred and barren, the only things left on the surface will be cockroaches and the continuous bickering between Fuggle and Deacon. :)
<Deacon> I'm not, however, played by a homosexual child star.

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collegestudent22
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Re: Nostalgia

Post by collegestudent22 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:03 pm

One time I drove through Grand Prairie while driving cross-country.

The end.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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sneaky ninja
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Re: Nostalgia

Post by sneaky ninja » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:21 am

There's a Grand Prairie in Alberta. I haven't been there, though.

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gravity
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Re: Nostalgia

Post by gravity » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:27 am

My grandparents bought a large track of farmland when my cousins and I were younger and built a very nice two story house there. I helped pour the cement for the front steps and carved my name into them. There was a cottonwood tree that seemed as tall as life itself down a small path from the kitchen entrance (the only one anyone ever used, the front door was far too formal) and I fell out of it when I was nine or ten.

My grandfather built a barn on that land. And two two sheds, one big enough for the tractor the other just for small projects, and a car port for three vehicles and another small tool shed the size of a house. A small house, though. There was an old milking hut that had been converted, poorly, to a house. It was the 'old house' and it's where older cousins slept. The 'new house', the house that my grandfather built was for the younger cousins and adults. Tip the dog, a lovely breed of border collie who spent her days herding us children around instead of animals, used to sleep near the front door or under the back porch. Or in front of the old house, depending on who was staying at the farm at the time.

There were three cherry trees on the farm, a smattering of apple trees, a sour cherry tree, pear trees, a walnut tree, a peach tree, grape vines, gooseberry vines, an entire garden full of produce, chickens, and all sort of places to hide, run, shout, play, and scream. And no neighbors to complain about the noise, and no risk of taking out a window with a stray baseball.

One summer my grandparents decided to plant evergreen trees. Lots and lots of tiny little evergreen trees, as sort of a natural wind barricade. And, with an entire dozen grandchildren at their disposal, we were quickly turned into a little army of tree planters. That were easily bribed with cookies, ice cream, lemonade, and crisps.

I spent my childhood on that farm, and loved nearly every second of it. Laughing with cousins, playing practical jokes, getting into fights. My world revolved around it, and I wish it could have gone on forever. It was my cool glass of dandelion wine.

But the dog got old and passed away in her sleep at a ripe old age of sixteen, and my grandparents couldn't maintain the land anymore. They were old, and it was just getting harder and harder on them. So they sold the farm, and moved away. I was looking at their place on Google Maps a while back, I actually remember all of the back roads to their place from the nearest town, and just tracked it down from there, and nearly wept with what I saw.

The new owners had divided up the land and started building houses there. It's turning into a little development. The trees my cousins and I spent a summer planting are gone. The pear trees are gone. The cottonwood has been cut down. The walnut trees, the sour cherry tree, the peach tree, the old house. They're all just... gone.

It's like my entire childhood was nothing more than a disposable paper cup. Just used, crumpled up, and tossed in the nearest garbage can to be forgotten.
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