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Thread: Well-loved places you can never go back to

  1. #1
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    Well-loved places you can never go back to

    Not because of some new limitation on your mobility or travel options, but because these places have changed or vanished - I think everyone gradually accretes these fond memories with increasing age. I find the "changed" more saddening than the "vanished".

    We've just returned a day early from a hotel on the west coast that the Boon Companion and I have been visiting for thirty years. Family owned, managing to combine an informal and relaxed atmosphere with attention to detail and very attentive service. The sort of place in which no-one bothers you, but if you turn around looking for something, there always seems to be someone there to help. Long-serving staff with encyclopaedic knowledge of the surrounding area. Great food. An interesting wine list with a negligible house mark-up. And ideally situated for our various outdoor pursuits.

    So, you guessed it, it's been taken over by some faceless megacorporation. All the old staff are gone, and the place is now run by anxious looking trainees, under the direction of smoothly unctuous but ineffective managers. The service is slow, clumsy and forgetful. The food's uninteresting, the wine list looks like everyone else's wine list, except more expensive. After a day, we found we couldn't bear to stay there any longer, and we sacrificed a room deposit (no small matter for a pair of Scots) so we could just get out and come home. Not because it was bad, but because they had killed something we loved.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Springlake Amusement Park, Oklahoma City. A lake to swim in, a picnic area, rides, a midway, a funhouse.

    I spent many a day there when I was a preteen. Now, it's gone. It's either a subdivision or golf course now. I can't tell 'cause the lake is either gone or renamed.
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  3. #3
    There are things the BIL do around that I do not like but it is between him and my mother right now. For one he built a tree stand for hunting deer last fall, no deer showed up he actually had to go to an island to get one.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    There are things the BIL do around that I do not like but it is between him and my mother right now. For one he built a tree stand for hunting deer last fall, no deer showed up he actually had to go to an island to get one.
    Let me guess.
    The well-loved place you can never return to is the "things that bug me" thread?

    Grant Hutchison
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    I have a long list. The first that comes to mind is a house where I grew up, which is now a parking lot. I'm especially appalled that they seem to neglect to consult me before making these sorts of changes.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    I have a long list. The first that comes to mind is a house where I grew up, which is now a parking lot. I'm especially appalled that they seem to neglect to consult me before making these sorts of changes.
    The house I grew up in is now under the goal posts of a rugby pitch, bizarrely.
    I don't have particularly fond memories of it, however.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

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    The Kalalau Trail on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. I hiked this trail twice in the 1970's. I cannot return to that experience for two reasons. First, my knees will not allow it. Indeed, that trail is where I permanently damaged them. Second, in the decades since I was there, the nature of the trail has apparently changed quite a bit. In 1977, it was a relatively unknown trail that drew a few hikers wanting to experience the remote and incredibly beautiful Kalalau Beach. Back then, you could only reach Kalalau Beach by hiking eleven miles one way, so the people you shared the beach with were of a certain character. Since then, I believe it is now a major attraction, and you can access the beach by boat. No thanks.

  8. #8
    My two great grandmothers houses. On my grand fathers side got sold after his brother passed away and no one in hos family wanted it. On grand mothers side it got sold to put her in a home, It got rented out and the renters ruined it and had to be torn down.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    My two great grandmothers houses. On my grand fathers side got sold after his brother passed away and no one in hos family wanted it. On grand mothers side it got sold to put her in a home, It got rented out and the renters ruined it and had to be torn down.
    They tore down the renters? Firm but fair, I suppose.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  10. #10
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    Various parts of Volcano National Park in Hawaii. I've been three times and I'm not sure if I'll be able to go back or what I'll find. In the Kilauea eruption thread I posted a story where staff from the park say they are not sure when or even if parts of the park will ever reopen. Parts of the roadway around the caldera have collapsed into it and apparently the Jagger museum has suffered considerable damage from the earthquakes (they have been removing artifacts from it). I seen some comments about Thurston Lava tube and questions about what kind of condition it might be in.

    Years ago there was a great trail across the floor of the caldera, but that was closed years ago (when the lava pool formed) and now the floor of the caldera has collapsed.
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  11. #11
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    There are places I remember
    All my life though some have changed
    Some forever, not for better
    Some have gone and some remain

    All these places have their moments
    With lovers and friends I still can recall
    Some are dead and some are living
    In my life I've loved them all

    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  12. #12
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    The Library bar in Houghton, Michigan. I spent some wonderful Saturday nights there with friends after a day of D&D followed by the SF club meeting. It burned out about 10 years after I graduated. The rebuilt place had none of the cozy firetrap charm of the original: Open airy, and a huge picture window.

    Some of the best bar pizza I ever had could be gotten there.

    Fred
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  13. #13
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    I’m not sure these qualify as well-loved but they are places/things from my past that I’d revisit if I could.

    Lowry Technical Training Center, Lowry AFB, Colorado: where I attended electronics fundamentals, my career field training, and various other courses. It is now shuttered and converted to civilian use.

    England AFB, Louisiana: Then-home of the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing “Flying Tigers” equipped with the A-7D Corsair II. That jet was mothballed long ago and the base was closed and turned into an air park and “international” airport, as unlikely as that sounds for such a small town.

    The F-4D/E Phantom II: the aircraft I worked the longest during the maintenance era of my career. Many of our Phantoms at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina went to various Guard units before they too were retired. Quite a few are in the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona and I’ve found several online photos of tail numbers there that I worked on. The last airworthy specimen in the US inventory, a target drone, was shot down in a training exercise not long ago. To see one, I’ll probably have to find it in the museum at Wright Patterson AFB or at the Udvar-Hazy Annex. I’d really like to touch one again.
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  14. #14
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    Crystal Beach, an amusement park in Ontario. Lots of good times there.
    Solfe

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    For me it is two houses.

    Firstly my parents one where I grew up. It was a big rambling wooden house with large verandas on a 1500 m2 block (between 1/3 and 1/2 acre) about 8 km from the centre of Perth. It had been built as a "Maternity Hospital" early in the 20th C. It wasn't really a hospital but a private establishment run by a "Matron" with a few midwifes. It was eventually turned into "Nurses Quarters" when a more modern one was built next door. Eventually it was converted into a private house in the late 1920's. By the time my parents died it was very dilapidated and full of termite damage. A 3 story apartment block of 18 units now sit on the site - and the upper units have sweeping views over Perth and the Swan River. I will always have good memories of my life there - especially of climbing the giant mulberry tree.

    The other one is my paternal aunts house in a small town about 250 km south of Perth. It was a tiny house with only four rooms when built - a bedroom, kitchen, lounge room and bathroom. It was mostly built of Jarrah, with some superb ship-lap timber in the lounge room. The ceilings were made of pressed, ornamented tin. When built, probably late 19th/early 20th C it had no running water just a rainwater tank outside. My father had built an enclosed "bedroom" on the front veranda.

    All cooking was done on a wood fired oven and all other heating was from a big fireplace in the lounge room. Up until it was demolished, around 1990, the only inside water was a single tap my father had run from the backyard through a hole in the kitchen wall. There was no kitchen sink, you used an enamel basin to wash dishes up. The dish water was then used to water the plants.And the food scraps thrown to the chickens.To have a bath in the old cast iron tub you had to heat up water on the wood stove and take buckets into the bathroom. Up until about 1970, when deep sewerage arrived, the toilet was a "thunder box" type one on the back fence and the night-cart men would come around a couple of times to remove and replace the tin.

    My aunt had worked all her life as cook at country hotels and boarding houses so her food was fabulous "home cooking". Great roasts, fried steak and sausages etc, amazing cakes (especially fruit) and desserts, and preserved fruits and jams. We used to adore staying with her and being free to wander all round the town and surrounds. I am glad my children did get to visit her a couple of times before she died.

    The town itself had started off as tin mining centre so you only had to walk a hundred metres into the bush to run across hundreds of abandoned mine shafts and panning gulleys. Plus in the town itself there were old derelict offices and miners dormitories left over from the mining days. When I went there the mining was almost finished but it was in the centre of a thriving fruit growing area - mainly apples and pears and there was free or very cheap everywhere. It was "big timber" country so you always had the feeling of being surrounded by trees.

    Now the tin mining is still going in a minor way but the town is surrounded by a huge open cut lithium mine - actually the largest in the world. The fruit growing is very minor - mostly destroyed when the UK entered the E.U. and that market was closed off. All the old derelict buildings in town have been demolished and it is very neat but a bit sad with huge open areas and a very small population.

    Oops - I have rambled on a bit but writing this has bought back some very pleasant memories for me.
    Last edited by ozduck; 2018-Jul-11 at 04:16 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The house I grew up in is now under the goal posts of a rugby pitch, bizarrely.
    I don't have particularly fond memories of it, however.

    Grant Hutchison
    The houses for both sets of grandparents are long gone (so are the grandparents). One house was razed for an industrial park; the other razed and replaced by a bank.

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    The beach.

    I've developed an acquired deadly allergy to all things Cnidarian. Corals, jellies and sea anemones. Even professional allergists are amazed at the cross reactivity when one develops a cnidarian allergy.

    I even have to avoid contact with fresh water environments. (hydras!)

    I can't tell you how gutting this is to me.
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  18. #18
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    Oh, here's another one.

    My sister stopped by my parent's house on the way to my place.

    Sis dropped off a letter she found from my mother, written in 1980, when I was in the Navy. 37 years ago, wow.

    (My brother felt she was a bit unthinking, hitting a man with something like that out of the blue.)

    Had to wait for my face to dry up before I could leave my room.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  19. #19
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    There was a very old forest about 500 m from my childhood home where we used to pick berries and build forts. I have very fond memories of playing there. But it's a subdivision now.

    At the opposite extreme, there are many places where my father and I would go hunting or camping that are no longer readily accessible because the rough roads were not maintained have been recolonized by brush and trees.

  20. #20
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    Not specifically a place, but more a time/place back to 1963 and all the places I visited previously.

    Yellowstone National Park
    Mount Rushmore
    French Creek, for some fishing(needed to hike in the last couple of miles.
    Airforce Academy
    Independence Rock, with all the signature of the people visiting the rock along the Oregon Trail https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indepe...Rock_(Wyoming)

  21. #21
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    The neighborhood of my preteen years is now a nearly empty parking lot. Hide-n-seek just wouldn't be the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    The neighborhood of my preteen years is now a nearly empty parking lot. Hide-n-seek just wouldn't be the same.
    Mine is too dangerous for me to go into.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Mine is too dangerous for me to go into.
    Mine has gone the other way. A little haven of gentility today, right on the same street where I was once chased by a guy wielding a machete, and his two buddies with flick knifes. I must have been under 12 years old at the time. Ah, happy days of childhood.

    There's absolutely nothing recognizable about the neighbourhood except the names of the streets.

    Grant Hutchison
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  24. #24
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    1. My grandparents' house on the shore of the Lake of the Ozarks... even if the house hadn't been demolished and replaced, there would still be the fact that it was sold outside the family.

    2. A certain spot along a creek I can't name in the middle of the Ozarks... it's probably still physically the same and I probably could still find it again with enough effort, but the circumstances just wouldn't be the same anymore. I was one of a few dozen people collecting ecological research data for the Missouri Department of Conservation, housed for the spring & summer by MDC in the middle of the woods, which gave us not only easier access to our work sites but also practically free run of the forest in our off-time. This creek had one particular gravel/sand bar you could get to at the end of a little-known-to-outsiders gravel trail, across from a cliff face a few dozen feet tall with at least one eagle nest on it, where we'd go alone or in small groups in the afternoon to cool off or late at night just to see it in starlight & moonlight and listen to the water, and a few times even gathered the whole gang for special occasions like one botanist's birthday party. But that was years ago, and we all scattered our different ways at the end of the summer.

    3. Oak Knob in Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, just a few miles from the Tennessee border... the easiest one to find again if I chose to, but the one where there'd be the least point. It's what they call a "bald" around there: a hilltop/mountaintop with no trees on it, allowing a clear view of the surrounding hills/mountains & valleys and the sky. This bald's surrounding scenery was not bad most of the time, but not really unique either. What made it unique in my experience was the eclipse and the weekend leading up to it, during which I and a couple hundred of my closest eclipse buddies had camped out waiting for it, fairly well cut off from the outside world, in a community festival atmosphere. Even if every tree, patch of grass, and bump or dip in the ground is still the same, it wouldn't be the same now; it would just be another empty Appalachian bald.

    What connects all of these is not just that they're all naturey and I'm a nature-guy, but the feeling we had that they were "ours", even if just for a little while.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Mine has gone the other way. A little haven of gentility today, right on the same street where I was once chased by a guy wielding a machete, and his two buddies with flick knifes. I must have been under 12 years old at the time. Ah, happy days of childhood.

    There's absolutely nothing recognizable about the neighbourhood except the names of the streets.

    Grant Hutchison
    That sounds like what I always imagined life was like in the Gorbals.(I don't know where you were raised but that is what I pictured life was like in parts of Glasgow in the 1930's to 1980's)

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    That sounds like what I always imagined life was like in the Gorbals.(I don't know where you were raised but that is what I pictured life was like in parts of Glasgow in the 1930's to 1980's)
    Some places and times become notorious, I guess.
    But this stuff is going on at the margins of cities everywhere, all the time, and there are kids today having exactly the same experiences that I did in the 60s and 70s - except now they're getting their mobile phone stolen, too.

    When I was a kid I lived in one of these - an Arcon Mark V prefab. Arcon was the trade-name for the asbestos-containing concrete the corrugated wall sections were made from - the rest of it was metal. Sweltering hot in summer, so cold in winter the water in the toilet cistern froze overnight, and you could lie in your bed and listen to large birds walking around on the roof - clonk, clonk, clonk. (When I mentioned this last to my teacher at primary school, she told me not to tell lies.)

    Anyway ... you can see why my childhood neighbourhood is not a source of fond nostalgia for me.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Some places and times become notorious, I guess.
    But this stuff is going on at the margins of cities everywhere, all the time, and there are kids today having exactly the same experiences that I did in the 60s and 70s - except now they're getting their mobile phone stolen, too.

    When I was a kid I lived in one of these - an Arcon Mark V prefab. Arcon was the trade-name for the asbestos-containing concrete the corrugated wall sections were made from - the rest of it was metal. Sweltering hot in summer, so cold in winter the water in the toilet cistern froze overnight, and you could lie in your bed and listen to large birds walking around on the roof - clonk, clonk, clonk. (When I mentioned this last to my teacher at primary school, she told me not to tell lies.)

    Anyway ... you can see why my childhood neighbourhood is not a source of fond nostalgia for me.

    Grant Hutchison
    Thanks for the expanded info. I can see why you would not look back too fondly to that part of your early life.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Thanks for the expanded info. I can see why you would not look back too fondly to that part of your early life.
    Better than what I was going to say. I'll go with what he said.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    The neighborhood of my preteen years is now a nearly empty parking lot. ...
    When I was in grades 4-5 we lived about 4 blocks from my school. I played on several sports teams affiliated with the school. Go across the street from the school and the subdivision ended and became woods, fields, and a stream. My friends and I would play there a lot, catching crawfish, playing games, picking wild blackberries. Across the fields lived a friend whose family raised homing pigeons.

    The subdivision expanded. The school building (may be new) is now a private learning center.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    1. My grandparents' house ...
    My father's parents had a small farm, maybe 3-4 acres. It started out about a mile north of the city limits and is now at least three miles inside them. They grew vegetables, had a peach orchard, raised chickens and fox terriers. The folks across the street had cows and peacocks. The house and land are now a preschool/day care/private school. Which is kinda nice but also planned.

    My grandmother taught first grade for 40+ years, also tutoring privately. She taught not just the children but the grandchildren of former students. When she finally decided (was forced) to retire, she purposely sold the home to that school.
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  30. #30
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    I'm somewhat bemused to realize that every school I ever attended is still standing and all but one are in operation as schools. The exception is now some sort of community center.
    Workplaces, not so much. Not that they were all that well-loved anyhow.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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