Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where did you grow up?

"Where did you grow up?"  I use this question as a conversation starter when I want to get to know someone better.  Almost everyone will answer and talk about their youth and the town or area they grew up in.  Everyone wants to talk about themselves unless they are trying to hide something.

Kate was a little bit leery of this line of questioning when I first met her. She accused me of "handling her."  I call it interviewing.  We laugh about it now. 

I love to hear where people hail from.  Here in Humboldt County, a lot of people are not originally from here. Not in an Ernie Branscomb sense, that is.  People have moved here in the last few decades for one reason or another.  I love to hear their stories.  I love to hear about the orange groves of Southern California, the distinct neighborhoods of towns in the East Bay or the windy streets of Chicago.
It's a far cry from the fishing and logging communities I grew up in around Eastern Humboldt County.

Where did you grow up?


samoasoftball said...

Myrtletown. Best place on earth when I was growing up. Lots of kids hanging together. We created neighborhood sandlot baseball and football teams without adult intervention. Rode motorcycles in what is now Coast Guard housing. (I had my first bike when I was about 12. Honda 50.) Fished the slough behind KINS, duck hunted at the end of Park Street. One of the families on John Hill road had a swimming pool and they would display a white flag for kids in the neighborhood to come use. That is where I learned to swim. I still have many friends I hang out with to this day from there.

The Editors said...

Chris's Myrtletowne Cleaners and Stu's Shoes! And, Norris Market.

Don't forget Cottage Garden(?) Nursery.

Ernie Branscomb said...

"Where did you grow up" would have been a dumb question when I was a kid in laytonville. We were all cousins. We used to ask people what they did for a living. You can't ask that now...

Fred Mangels said...

I was just thinking about this the other day: Where did I grow up? We moved around a bit but I guess I grew up on Orange County, CA. We moved there after my father suddenly died while we were living in Mexico.

First we stayed with my mother's family for a few months in Pasadena or Anaheim. Hated that, except my uncle's house in Anaheim was right near Disneyland. Then we ended up buying a house in Tustin. Attended elementary and jr. high school in Tustin.

You mentioned orange groves. Back then there was lots of orange groves in Orange County, including a few private orchards in and around Tustin. We used to go into the orange groves and have orange fights. Lots of fun and I'm surprised we didn't get into lots of trouble for all the fruit we destroyed.

We bought a house in Irvine after living in Tustin for around 5 years. Back then Irvine was just a 3 small housing developments amongst rolling hills with large orange groves and other agricultural land to the east (all houses now). It was an unincorporated area without a police force or city council. I loved it.

Attended half- session at Mission Viejo High School the beginning of my high school year as University High School hadn't been built yet and we all switched to UHS once it was useable. Weasled my way out of UHS my senior year and finished high school at continuation school, Hillview High School in Tustin the last 6 months or so.

I really enjoyed Irvine as it was out in the hills, so to speak, yet relatively close to the beach so it was an easy hitchhike to my favorite ocean spots.

Now Irvine extends all the way to Laguna Beach and about 20 years ago I was told that the housing units increased from over 3 when I lived there, to something like 36 or more.

Moved in with some friends in Costa Mesa before I even turned 18 and decided I didn't like living in "the city". I decided to move north "to the mountains" and started looking for a junior college to attend. The choice came to the College of the Siskiyous in Weed(?) or College of the Redwoods.

I'd actually planned on moving by myself but when I told my roommate what I was planning, he said he'd be interested in coming along. I mentioned my two choices and he said he wanted to live near the beach so Eureka it was.

We drove up here via the Pacific Coast Highway, turning east as we got to the Bay Area and headed up I-5. Turned left at Redding, up 299 and on down into Eureka. I

I forget the exact date we drove into town but it would have been around the beginning of August 1973. It was cool with patches of ground fog as we drove in. Our first stop was Sun Harvest Natural Foods which was down on 4th and V(?) Streets at the time. Our first night's meal was pizza at Angelo's Pizza Parlor in Eureka.

I believe we found a rental the second day up here: The Squires Apartments up on Pigeon Point Road. Been in Eureka ever since except for a year I spent as a caretaker on a ranch up in Maple Creek around '76- '77.

The Editors said...

Thanks Fred! Orange groves have been mentioned to me so many times from folks originally from Southern California. Now, they see their "hometowns" as block after block of suburbia. Perhaps, that is why there is great fear of development in Humboldt County. Whereas, someone from Humboldt County perhaps would like to see the towns progress along like other parts of the state. There is no way Eureka is going to turn into West Covina or Thousand Oaks or Santa Rosa, for that matter. In my eyes, Santa Rosa ain't so bad. But then, I grew up here.


Fred Mangels said...

I haven't been back to Irvine since I moved up here except for Xmas the first year and a few years later when I drove through there late at night. I'd probably hate to see what's happened to it now.

I get a kick out of seeing the Orange tree in the yard of the house on the north or east side of 101 just south of the Hopland bridge. Brings back memories and I rarely see them anymore, except for that one.

As far as up here goes, I don't want to see it but I think it's inevitable that we'll eventually see housing tracts all the way from Eureka to Kneeland. I'm not really happy about the proposed Ridgewood development in Cutten, either, but I think it's an inevitable housing creep that's going to take place.

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised on the planet earth. It's time to leave ol' glory (the american flag) behind. We need an earth flag now. Then, it will be that we're all from the same place. A good place to start.

The Editors said...

Anonymous, Nah....Humans are too tribal. You can't have just one tribe of people all falling under one belief. Can you imagine???? Earthbook instead of Facebook, I guess. Our differences are what make us wonderful.

Bolithio said...

There used to be fishing communities in eastern Humboldt county? Global warming has really changed things!!

Anonymous said...

never did

The Editors said...

Why Yes, Bolithio, there were fishing communities in Eastern Humboldt County. Then, the Europeans showed up. Actually, I meant to say in Humboldt County as a whole and should have left the Eastern part out.


Tapperass said...

The one thing I like to share about my Ventura County roots is the fact that so many homes came with "built in " fruit trees. The last house we lived in before I moved up here had a yard with a lemon, an orange, a grapefruit, and avocado trees.

Living proof that the land was once large ranches producing the worlds fruit.

Anonymous said...

Freakin' Europeonzzz