Sunday, September 26, 2010


I don't know what inspired me to drive past the Orinda house. It's the house I lived in from ages 8-15. It's still there. The mailbox my father built is not. The road to it is still dangerously windy, with a steep drop off into Lake Cascade to the left and homes up steep driveways with blind entries to the right.

A few of the homes have been replaced by mega mansions. Most have been updated with new facades and landscaping. A few are eyesores, exactly the way I remember them. There was a man wearing khakis and a red polo shirt walking his Golden Retriever. Very Orinda.

During my tenth year my father built my brother and I a two-story treehouse in the ginormous Oak tree in the front yard. The tree is still impressive. And the treehouse is still there, although it's just a few moss-covered boards now barely visible from the street.

Around the corner is a multi-acre gated estate, the former home of Ed Daly. Daly is best known for his time as president of World Airways and the company's subsequent rescue of Vietnamese orphans after the war. It's not clear if it's being torn down or remodeled right now.

I spent a fair amount of time in St. Louis before my grandfather passed away. My father always insisted on driving through The Old Country when we were there. Ditto the house my mother grew up in in Memphis. I've been there, too.

What is it that ties us to our childhood homes?

1 comment:

Sara said...

I do the same thing when I'm (rarely) in SJ. It's where it all began, good or bad, and I'm always curious to see what the new owners have done with the place.