(Me - age unknown. Guessing 7ish? Next to our trailer. Whatever lied beneath the skirting always scared me)
I've made no attempts to hide the fact that I grew up in a trailer park. Yep! Right there in the heart of upscale Sandy, UT - there was a little mobile home community. We moved in when I was 5 and moved out when I was 12 (maybe 11). Why there? We had just come back from Las Vegas where my Dad was doing school at UNLV. He transferred to the U of U, was a poor college father, my mom worked, and we scraped by. A trailer was the most financially viable option at the time. At least they owned something instead of throwing money down the renting drain. When Dad graduated from the U's Law School, we packed up, and moved to a home a few streets away. In the same ward boundaries, but it seemed like worlds away from the trailer park.
Next to our section of the park was a man who raised, bred and raced quarterhorses. I grew up LOVING to go to his horse pasture, petting them, playing in the barn, and whenever possible, he let me help feed them. One night, a mare gave birth to a stillborn foal. I watched the whole thing. My BFC was into horses MUCH more than I was, so she loved to come visit and spend every waking minute there. We had secretly named all of them and had our favorites.
At Halloween, we could go to SO MANY places in one single night for candy that lasted months! Our dog could run free without being confined to a fence. I'm sure there were some people who weren't fond of that, but that's just kind of how things were in the park.
W slept out right in the yard. No tramp. Just sleeping bags on the ground. No one worried about it.
Kick the can, riding our bikes, climbing the trees, scaling the fence to the pasture, playing at the playground. Telling all kinds of stories to the new kids who moved in. My brother and I had completely convinced some of them that Elmer Fudd was indeed, our uncle. They were just young enough to not get the fact that he was a cartoon character, but they REALLY believed he was our uncle. We would tell tall tales about how he would take us hunting. Ridiculous now that I think about it. But, it's true. We did stuff like that.
Running through the sprinklers. Just aimlessly walking around. Playing at different trailers on any given day.
There was a pool several blocks away. Each year, my brother and I would get our pass and then spend most days just hanging out there. Latch key kids? We were the epitome. And, for the record, we turned out JUST FINE!
Neighbors came and neighors left, I think we were probably the most stable family there. I have MANY memories of that trailer, the neighborhood, and life growing up there.
Last Saturday, our youth group went to clean ditches in that area of the valley, in fact, right where I grew up playing in the ditch! I could even see the spot where I peed my pants one day. But that's another story.
It took me right back to when I was a kid. I remembered the houses, the ferocious dogs that scared me, walking down Caballero lane to go home. The mean boy that took my spider cookie I got from Primary. The horse pasture.
But wait! There was no more horse pasture. Instead, there were brand spanking new million dollar homes! I drove down the street towards my old stomping grounds and there was NOTHING.
It was like my entire childhood was erased with a few strokes of a backhoe. No circle. No trees. No trailers. No dogs running around. No horses. No playground. Nothing. All gone. I don't even think the pool is still there. Some of the streets didn't even exist anymore for me to drive around and check it out. Amazing how it can all be just obliterated. Not even some stray power poles left. Nothing. Like it never existed.
Good thing I had a car full of other adults and work to do, otherwise I might have wandered around looking for anything to prove it had existed. That I had existed there. Instead, we got to work cleaning the leaves and debris out of the ditch, chatting about upcoming Trek, and basically shooting the bull.
However, when our work was done and I pulled out of the area to head for our meeting point, I couldn't help but take a quick look in my rear view mirror just one last time. My childhood home. Gone. My childhood neighborhood. Obliterated. And yet, knowing that no one can take my memories from me. The good ones and the bad ones. They are MINE. They belong to ME and no backhoe, tractor or razing machine can erase them from me. Instead of being able to take my grandchildren and showing them one day, I'll have to suffice with the few pictures we have and all the stories me and my brother can remember to tell them.
Yeah, I can crack all the trailer trash jokes I want. Because believe it or not, we lived it for a period of time. And, we are all the better because of it.
(brother's bd party. Notice the bookshelf in the back? Dad built that)
(Again lots of books in the background. We were all a bunch of hardcore readers)
(Behind the kid with flour on his face is our kitchen. I think the picture makes it look bigger than it really was. We were a single wide after all)
(I think my 8th or 9th birthday. My favorite Aunt and Uncle with a bd present for me. Love the furniture and Auntie's hair? Out the window you can see a neighbors trailer)
(This had to have been shortly before we moved. My little sister wasn't very old. Maybe I was even 13 when we moved....? Love the decorations? And the paneling on the walls? So 70's motif! It was awesome!)
**A huge shout out to my Mom who was able to come across a few pictures and send them my way!**