Thursday, July 14, 2005

back home

cut through my old neighborhood on the way to my brother's house today. it's been a while since i've been there. a lot has changed. some hasn't. here's a brief tour for your next sight-seeing pleasure.


take the 123rd south exit on i-15 and head east.

right off the freeway, to your left, is a goodyear tire. it wasn't there until after my mission, so it really shouldn't belong on this post. however, i just have to throw it in. it's run by a guy named gary. if there is anywhere along the wasatch front to take your car, this is the place. great deals and even greater service. my old honda prelude, before it's demise, lived only as long as it did because of them. even though i'm in happy valley now, i still take my car there if i have the time and my car is able to make the trip.

just past the goodyear, on both sides of the road, are plenty of new buildings. a smith's to the right along with plenty of smaller shops. to the left is a new shopping center complete with a bajio. new banks, offices, and stores line both sides of the road. none of that was there growing up. instead, acres of farmland stretched out in both directions with the stench of piled animal shit filling the air. the challenge of holding your breath to avoid the noxious air has been replaced with the challenge of holding your temper to avoid road rage on the busy street.

the iceburg is still there. just as it has been for the last sixteen years. it's the first older building you'll find on the left of the road. family home evening often ended with a trip for shakes. butterfinger, cookie dough, blueberry, strawberry, oreo, m&m, pistachio, you name it. usually butterfinger or cookie dough for me. my friends and i seemed to hit it at least weekly. after the priesthood session of general conference, a line of white shirts and ties would wrap inside and outside the building.

just past iceburg and to the right is amelia's florist. this is where we got flowers for mother's day and corsages for school dances. draper city is now trying to run this quaint little shop out of business by supporting a fancier florist they had put kitty-corner to it. now that draper is no longer the farming town it used to be, but now home to starter-castles along the mountain, they want these older business and buildings gone.

up the hill and to the left is where frank's drugstore used to be. it's a dental office now. i don't remember if i ever met frank, but we used to swing by here for candy and football cards all the time when we were really young. this is where jr, adam, and i went after skiping school for the first time in sixth grade. we were freaking out that some cops would notice we weren't in school and would arrest us. we made it safely, beginning a long history of skipping classes - something i'm still trying to recover from. frank's closed after an albertson's was built up the street.

a few hundred more feet and the road used to end. this is the spot where jr and i were eventually caught by the police. it wasn't for skipping school though. curfew violation. long story, but it ends with my mom crying because she thought i was a criminal and my dad laughing because he thought it was pretty funny.

where the road used to end, our old playground began. we simply called it the field. crazy bike trails, underground forts, jack-rabbit hunting, satan worshippers, drugs, homeless people, the gulley, the canal, abandoned/stolen cars. it was a young boy's dream world and we had it all to ourselves. when i was 15 we lost it all to kmart, albertsons, payless drugs, and dozen other shops.

drive up the paved road. eventually you'll see a church to your left. this is where i spent my sundays as a ctr-b until my mission-farewell. we used to pick the lock of the kitchen door with a credit card and sneak in to play basketball. they eventually figured us out and put in a dead bolt.

on the road just south of the church, i used to watch drug deals on monday morning. two cars would drive up and meet on the dirt road. one from the east, the other to the south. they'd stop side-by-side, exchange, and then drive off in opposite directions. i'd be taking my dog for a walk, hiding in the bushes, waiting for them to leave.

just north and east of the church is a house with white siding and black trimming. that's where i grew up. that's where i'm from. that was the last house i called home. i lived there from my 9th birthday until my mission. while i was out, my parents sold it and moved into a new house alongside the point of the mountain. the new place was never home for me.

when the albertson's to your right was built, they put up a brick wall next to my house. a girl was raped there one night. vandalism was constantly sprayed, painted over, and then sprayed again. eventually it ended up on our siding. one night i found some middle-aged man and woman in my backyard. people seemed to enjoy throwing their used condoms on our sidewalk. bikes and other things started disappearing from our property. eventually, they put up a light post, but it didn't do much to help. i liked the field a lot better.

turn left at the taco bell onto 13th east. that's where i worked for two months my senior year. it was wrestling season and i needed a job where i could request plenty of days off for meets and tournaments. they hired me. i hated it and left as soon as the seaon was over. i still remember how to make a seven layer burrito though. beans, rice, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sourcream, and guacomole.

jr lived in the red house at the top of the hill. in the seventh grade, we were running in the 5k fun run and didn't realize until we were halfway through that our huge group began on a false start. we waited in his house for the race to catch up with us and quietly joined them. somehow i ended up getting first place for my grade and got some stupid medal in an assembly. who said cheaters never prosper?

head up 13th east and you'll see indian hills middle school. this is where the fun run began and ended. this is where i had a crush on jenalyn morden, where i first heard nine inch nails, where i seemed to always end up in detention, and where i learned how to swear.

from here on, most everything looks as it did a dozen years ago. just a little more run down. continue up 13th east to 106th and there is an empty shopping center. before my mission, i helped sell computer training videos in a warehouse there. those videos were over-priced pieces of crap. after selling them, i helped illegally annoy and harass customers who hadn't returned their 30-day trial videos in time. the owners of the company were all creepy and loved to sexually harass their secretaries.

further on is the sandy library. i used to bike to here all the time. it's a lot further than i remember it. at the time, it was one of the largest public libraries in utah.

just past the library, to the right, is alta view hospital. when i was 12 or so, some guy went in, shot a nurse, and took several people hostage. they later made a tv-movie about it. seige at alta view or some other crappy title like that. if i remember correctly, he was mad because a doctor tied his wife's tubes without his permission. i think he later hung himself in prison.

that's about where my childhood ended. or rather, that's about as far as i frequently traveled growing up. beyong that was another world. a different place for someone else's memories.


  1. civilian deaths resulting from
    american forces in iraq

    are you sure that NONE of these people would have died if American forces weren't there? To say that they died as a result of ... pretty hefty claim don't you think?

  2. are you sure that NONE of these people would have died if American forces weren't there? To say that they died as a result of ... pretty hefty claim don't you think?

    well this has nothing to do with the tour of my hometown. however, you have a good point. most likely some of these people would have died if american troops had not attacked iraq. i'm sure there would have been deaths due to car accidents, spousal abuse, cancer, suicide, and possibly lion attacks.

    why did we even bother blaming the 9/11 deaths on terrorists. a few of them may have already died of a heart attack before they had any knowledge an attack was coming.

    believe it or not, people bombs weren't going off daily in iraq before america attacked. for the last dozen years, it had actually been a rather peaceful place. sure, saddam was a dick and was doing some pretty wretched things. however, nothing of the sort that is occuring now was going on then.

  3. Okay, point taken. I'll consede the point on this one. I do see where your coming from. However, I do think you downplayed the severity of Iraq's situation under Sadam's rule.

  4. Ahhhh, memories. Thanks Loyd!

  5. I was a very blind mom. But I am glad, because that you have a lot of fun memories. Mom


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