Friday, June 27, 2008

Mysterious Places to Go When You're a Kid

When I was a kid  - nine or ten years old - the world was still small.  While the world at large is full of mystery, as a kid, the very street on which you live holds mysterious as thrilling as the pyramids:

Exploring some else's basement was exciting.   My friend across the street a basement lined with cabinets along one wall and no dividers. I could climb in the cabinet door at one end and crawl all the way through to the opposite wall and emerge eight cabinet doors later.  I never questioned why the entire length of the cabinets was empty.  His dad's World War 2 uniform was down there as well.

Exploring your OWN basement was the best!  Our basement never ceased to be fascinating to me.  It held the remnants of past decades of family history - objects that were ancient to me even then!  Half of our basement was of normal height - but the rest was half-height, under which much of the older artifacts were shoved.  It was a dark, mysterious place into which I rarely ventured - even as I spent endless hours with my train layout in the other side of the basement.

When we moved to California, we had no basement - but we did have a garage crammed  to the rafters with boxes of mystery.  Just ask my niece and nephew. As they grew up, they eargerly accompanied me on expeditions into the increasingly shuttered garage to see what we could find from the dark recesses of family history.

Today, much of what was in that basement in New York, and then the garage and house in Tarzana is now crammed into a rarely-visited space at a storage facility in Valencia - just about the side of a small garage.  In a way, that storage facility is an entire complex of mystery garages...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

As you mention, out here in California we have no basements. For some reason we don't have attics either, at least not the kind you see in movies that people store things in. I always felt that I might be missing out on something living in a "flat" one story house like that. Perhaps that's why my friends and I went exploring through storm drains.
-SR

greg said...

Oh yes, the Tarzana garage. Always a fascinating journey each time, every time. To fully explore that Valencia storage unit, you'll need a team, excavation equipment, camping gear, and a map just to help show you the way out.

larry gold said...

My dad did build a cool basement amde just for kids to explore...
Thanks for the memories :-)