Tuesday, December 25, 2012

8 a.m., Christmas morning

In the 1940s after the war, and through the 1950s, if you ventured out on Estado Street in Pasadena at 8 a.m. on Christmas morning, you'd find a street full of kids showing off their Christmas presents, riding bikes, throwing footballs, tossing up batons, a neighborhood alive with kids in the celebration of Santa's delivery, right on schedule.

This image returned to me as I drove through my own neighborhood at 8 this morning, out on an errand (unsuccessful because nothing was open). Houses were dark. The few kids in the neighborhood were nowhere to be found.

Of course, this is one of those new fangled suburban neighborhoods with large lots and without sidewalks, where no one knows anyone. So I drove into more traditional areas, looking for kids out with their presents. I couldn't find a kid anywhere. Man, we woke up our parents at 6 to start opening presents! 8 was plenty of time to get outside. It was wet, of course, this being Oregon, but only a drizzle, and what Oregon kid lets rain stop him? You'd never get outside. Where were the kids with their new bikes? Where were the girls twirling batons?

Made me feel a little old. Made me feel like a visitor on my own planet. Stranger In A Strange Land.

Merry Christmas.

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