Friday, June 02, 2006

Family Reunion

Went to our family reunion this past weekend and found out that the Cousins’ old family home in Blanco had just been sold to settle out part of the estate. This was probably the last concrete tie to my childhood. A place where I learned to hunt and to eat rabbit, squirrel, doves and deer; drive a tractor and generally prank around as kids were wont to do when they had too much time on their hands.

We bowled at the Blanco Bowling Club (with pinboys setting the pins), drank Cherry Limeades from a real Soda Fountain at the Drugstore, watched movies in the balcony of the Movie Theatre, swam up and down the Blanco River and rode through “The Big Round Hole;” all in the middle of the Texas Hill Country, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

If you’ve watched “The Last Picture Show” you’ve seen a town and time much like I experienced in Blanco. It was a property my Uncle bought and improved when he retired from development in Houston in the early 40’s and married my Aunt. They raised their 6 kids on that land and I spent untold time there throughout my youth and teen years. It’s been 12-15 years since I was last in the house; but I still knew, until Saturday, that I could stop in and re-visit those times if the mood struck me. I no longer can.

As a child I was raised up between my parent’s house and Grandma & Grandpa’s home and both of them have since been “razed”. Grandaddy also had lakefront property (where I spent untold time) that was lost to the Corps of Engineers in my teens when they built the new lake. That property is now mostly under water. Grandaddy’s business’s building (where I spent many more hours of my childhood) was taken by Urban Renewal 35 years back. His business was moved to a new building. The parents and Grandparents had long since moved from their old homes to new houses before they died, so all that’s left from that time are my memories and a few pictures, and that’s sad. It’s true, you know, “You can’t go home again.”

Therefore, with apologies to Robert Frost:

Whose grounds these were, I used to know.
Their homes exist no longer, though.
Nor will they see me stop again
To pause and ponder what was then.

A stranger might consider queer
My contemplating days held dear.
That empty lot or flooded ground
Wherein I’d spent such time profound.

A child no more, I’ve older grown
With adult children of my own.
And memories of that carefree way
Will they too mourn some future day?

Those times were wondrous, dark and deep.
Yet I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
Yes, miles to go before I sleep.


At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waxing nostalgic of times past I believe is important, not only because of remembering where we come from, but also because I firmly believe we cannot know where we are going without knowing where we have been. Memories, are after all, are the most cherished mementos, and truly the only thing people cannot take away from us. However, I sense profound sadness in your tone, which i can understand, but what of the future? It seems that Mr Frost speaks of having many more miles to walk, without expressing the same fervent affection for the future as he does the past. What of you? Do you echo his sentiments? Or is the remainder of your life more than just X number of miles before you get to your eternal slumber?


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