I’ve been wandering around Palo Alto the past few days, seeking out my old haunts. And, seeking out my former residences.
I had tallied 27 unique addresses that I had lived in for a minimum of 3 months, by the time I left home for college at the age of 17. That statistic wasn’t a particularly happy one for me, as it equated with a sense of never having a home. The closest I’d had to feeling “home” was this house, which is much beautified, but is clearly essentially the same small home that I lived in from the time I was 11 until I was about 15 or so.
I first landed in Palo Alto in 1971, I’m guessing, the year I was 8 years old, and, in retrospect, was the year that my parents first had a falling out. I admit I don’t really remember the particulars, and I have no idea why I ended up coming up to Palo Alto to stay with my grandparents alone. What happened to my little sister?? I guess she stayed with my parents… She would have been about 2 years old, and maybe the thinking was that she was too little to be worried about the conflict between my parents, but I was old enough, and that was why I was shipped off to the grandparents?
I remember spending time with my grandmother in the garden…she was growing a ton of zucchini (not sure that was purposeful, or accidental).But she loved to walk, and we walked, many mornings, up Lytton Ave to the bakery where she bought me eclairs, and other yummy baked treats. I walked up the street, following the path that we took, taking photos along the way. It seemed that most of the houses were unchanged from 50 years ago, give or take.
But, the bakery is gone. And, I realize my memories have faded.