Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Memory Lane

I was driving along Central Ave. the other day and remembering how it used to be there - Bradlees, Bonanza, Clark Lanes, Howard Johnsons and Roy Rogers. Now these places where they were - Target, McDonalds, Bally's Fitness Club and Rite Aid, Shop Rite(which used to be down the road a bit but now is Barnes and Noble) and Wendys.

My mother worked at Bradlees in the late 70s - late 80's. My brother worked there for 7 years starting in 1988, I think. I even worked there a couple of times for 5 months in 87 and I forget how long a couple of years later- less than 6 months.

Dad would take us to Bonanza and Roy Rogers sometimes. My brother left his King Kong figure at the former in the late 70s but when we went back for this it was no longer there. He was upset about that. I felt bad for him. I still have my membership card for the Roy Rogers Buckaroo Club from back then. I'm pretty sure that my mom told me that she saw Roy Rogers in person once.

Part of my birthday party in the late 70s was at Clark Lanes. I was never really that good at bowling. We didn't go that much. We did watch the professional bowlers on TV with our parents sometimes. I think that there was a show called Bowling For Dollars that they watched too.

When I took my dog to the groomers yesterday on Raritan Road I thought about the Carvel and Stewarts that used to be nearby. Now a Portugese and Japanese restraunts are there. We loved Carvel ice cream. My favourite flavor was maple walnut and my brother's mint chocolate chip. We'd get their cakes for birthdays, graduations and our First Holy Communions. I loved the root beer in the frosty mugs at Stewarts.

Route 1 and Route 130 changed so much over the years. We'd travel that way to get to my Aunt's house in South Jersey. Many shopping centers, businesses and homes are now there. No more Ford and General Motors plants on Rt. 1 though which is sad and also makes me angry that our country is outsourcing alot of jobs esp. in manufacturing. My Dad used to work in GM for 23 years up until he took the buyout in 1987.

Sometimes I get that silly sci-fi fantasy of my spirit traveling through time and being in my body in my childhood. I'm in the car with my family seeing how things used to be and going to those places again. I'm only there to observe. I can't change anything that my younger self does or says. That would be okay. My trip down memory lane is over for today.

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