Thursday, April 15, 2010

7905 Thornton Circle - no more.........

(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. 

A field to my right and a field straight in front of me.  There were some homes under construction, but nothing that left any mark as to what used to be there.

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!**


Mae Rae said...

OMW, I am trailer trash too! No lie! I swear. Only not when i was little but Me and Me honey lived in a single wide with that same paneling for a two years after we first got married. I joke around all the time about being trailer trash, and wow, so are you.

PS I love the aunts hair.

Scrappy Girl said...

Dr. Hubby and I lived in a HUGE trailer park for 2 years in a single wide trailer my parents bought...then we moved to a double wide that my parents bought...then we moved back to the same single wide but we moved it next to his parents. We bought the single wide and it now sits on the farm at the bottom of the hill. My BIL&SIL lived in it. We are getting ready to rent it. That trailer has seen alot of miles being moved around!

tammy said...

It's funny to think that we grew up so relatively close to each other. I drove past your neighborhood probably a hundred times on my way to my cousin's house.

Holy big hair on your auntie. She could've done ads for Aquanet.

kado! said...

Your Aunts hair! Awesome!

how sad to see it all wiped away...that had to be a strange mix of emotions!

Cherie said...

I love your memories. I grew up in kind of a crazy way and have been back to see places I lived and they look very different.
I cannot imagine them being totally gone - that would be kind of weird but GREAT pictures here and they are definately SOOOO 70's!!!!

CountessLaurie said...

How sad that it's gone...

I think your Aunt is where bumpits got their start :-)

Awesome pics!!

Mrs. Organic said...

I can only aspire to that magnitude of hair. It seems that the trailer parks are slowly disappearing along with all the fields. Childhood pictures are so much fun.

dubb and dawni said...

I was trailer TRASH for 2 days when I got married! We have something in common! heheheh

Suzie said...

Does this put you in the Hillcrest High (or Alta maybe)boundaries?

I know exactly where that is.
Some of my own stomping grounds.
and we are the same age....

I'll be waiting to hear from you!

M-Cat said...

Suzie! Dude - you gotta have email on your profile baby!

Actually went to Brighton high if you can imagine. The house we moved into was at the end of Cottonwood Cove lane. Right by the old gravel pits. We prolly went to school together. Oakdale elementary. Butler Middle and then Brighton High for a year.

Suzie said...

You're a BENGAL!
I was a HUSKIE!
class of '85 and know right where your neighborhood is.
I had several friends who lived nearby.
Let's see.
My good friend Kristin Long, the Heugly fam, Scott Alexander, Tyler Page..oh, I could go on and on.
I love this small world.

Loralee and the gang... said...

I know the feeling... my childhood home that I spent ages 4-11 in, all gone. Apartments.


You havn't lived if you have not spent some quality time in awood paneled 70's trailer. Ours was on a spud farm in washington. AHHH those were the days.

Sher said...

Weren't you scared of your aunt with her giant hair?


Just ME the MOM said...

It's a different world our kids are growing up in today no matter where you come from. I have the hardest time convincing mine they don't need every new tech gadget that comes along - we got along with out any of that stuff - just go out and play I tell them, but they don't seem to get it:)


tiburon said...

First - your aunt has ROCKIN hair.

Second - I love that you own this.

You are awesome :)

Martha H. said...

Don't you just love old pics? Your aunt's hair made me laugh. Loved it!