Wasn\’t it Thomas Wolfe who penned \”You Can\’t Go Home Again\”? I think so. That point was made clear this past weekend. We\’d been out to my sister\’s house for Easter, and rather than take a direct route (moi?) home, I decided to drive through my old home town. While much of it has retained its forlorn, dog-eared early-60\’s patina, there have been notable changes.

For one thing, two of the schools I attended are no longer there! That\’s rather shattering, even though they were old, old buildings when I attended fifth and seventh grades, respectively. One was a four-room school, the other eight. As time passed, these buildings, with their high ceilings and huge, light-inviting windows, became dinosaurs to heat in the winter, and there was (believe me!) no air conditioning. So I see why they went away. The four-room building where I attended fifth grade was replaced by two homes. In the early 70\’s it had been converted into a youth center, where the miscreants of my day went to play a little pool, sneak a little beer (or pot), and wedge my mother\’s Volkswagen Beetle between a couple of telephone poles conveniently spaced about a Volkswagen and three inches apart. (I had to execute a 27-point turn to get out of that bailiwick!).

One of the homes in which I grew up, just over hill from this school, was still there (I didn\’t even look at the other this trip), but has been modified to no longer fit my recollection. In the forty-some years since we moved out of there, it\’s no wonder. My parents had converted it from a two-family to a single prior to my memories – that\’s why my brother had kitchen cabinets in his bedroom, and my sisters\’ room had French doors…
The other school was gone altogether. I had just been reminiscing about that school with a reconnected friend of the era a few weeks earlier. She lived close enough to that school where she could, and did, walk home for lunch.

As we drove out of town, I took an even further indirect route through the south side of town into another adjacent village, and saw a lot of roads that I recognized, but a number that, for some reason, I\’d never been on, or could recall. Thirty five or so years is a long distance to bridge.

You can\’t go home again.