Where Time Began

Yesterday, we paid a visit to the town where we both lived for a good part of our youth, Vista, California. It's probably not the place where actual time began, but it's where Mike and I began as a couple. Mike grew up there. My military family didn't arrive until I was 11. My dad deployed to Vietnam three times while we lived in Vista, and so we managed to stay put for the remainder of my teen years. Mike and I married in 1975 and moved away, returning only occasionally for visits. We were there to have lunch with some friends, but took a drive around the place afterward just to see if we could find old landmarks. We found a few, but mainly, we saw lots of changes.

When we left the kitties, they were in their usual morning napping positions. It's never very hard to leave them in the morning, and we think they are just as happy for us to clear out and let them sleep.

Don't let all that cuteness make you nauseous.

Okay, so I'm about to show you a series of really terrible pictures, but they'll help me tell the associated stories. Please bear with me.

This first one is a streetlight that was at the former intersection of Valley Road with Monte Vista Drive. The intersection has been realigned now for reasons I'm about to explain. Prior to that, Mike turned off here to go home. Monte Vista Drive was the main thoroughfare through this formerly sparsely-populated area, and because of the way it followed the contours of the hillside, it was impossible to see oncoming traffic when he made his left turn there. He especially depended on the dark of night to be able to see oncoming headlights. At some point, the city, in its wisdom, decided to put up a streetlight here, and it lit up the intersection so that Mike could no longer see oncoming headlights. And this caused him no end of internal grief.

Now this may be the beginning of our love story because one night, he decided to take a pellet gun and shoot out the light. He and two of his friends and me (dating one of the friends at the time), headed down there and Mike took about three shots with his pellet gun to shoot out the streetlight. I was never a girl to date the bad boys. I was looking for someone with more ambition and drive, and Mike has always been a straight arrow. Something about seeing him standing there, tall and lean, pointing a gun at the streetlight and looking all badass caused the first stirrings of affection in me. Funny, huh? We didn't actually start dating for at least another two years, but I'm telling this story because this is where I mark the moment I fell in love with Mike. He had no idea.

Okay, now Vista was a town of about 20,000 back then. It was small in population and even smaller in attitude. I was in the high school band, and we actually put on our uniforms in the middle of summer and marched through the one big intersection in town to celebrate the installation of the 1,000th fire plug. Truly, this sort of thing only happens in a small town. This next photo shows the first McDonald's to come to town. We already had Jack in the Box, and McDonald's came shortly thereafter. When the McDonald's opened up, we band members all dressed up in our pep band uniforms and had a little dedication ceremony there too.

Here's the intersection where the old high school is. It used to be the intersection of Escondido Avenue and Eucalyptus. Now, the name of Escondido Avenue has been changed to Civic Center Drive. My class of 1972 was the last class to graduate from the old high school when a new one opened up across town. I think there might be three high schools in Vista now...I know for sure there are two.

As for the old high school, it's now the Vista Magnet Middle School. And what is a "magnet" school anyway?

Okay, now below is the first house we lived in after we were married. It was a small house built, essentially, in the landlord's back yard. It had one bedroom and one bathroom, and tiny living room, and laundry room, and a combination kitchen/dining area. There was no dishwasher, and certainly we didn't have a washer and dryer. We parked our bicycles in the laundry room, and we washed and dried many a dish in that kitchen. When we moved to Phoenix after just three months, our apartment had a dishwasher, and I actually missed that time when we stood washing and drying dishes together.

Below is Crozier's Flowers. We were so happy to see it still there. Crozier's was a family-owned business and Mike worked there in the years before we were married and for the short time before we left for Phoenix. Bob Crozier was a wonderful boss and a kind man. He was old enough to be Mike's father, but we were both happy to have him as the Best Man at our wedding. They also did the flowers for our wedding, which were beautiful. Mike worked his way up to a flower designer from delivery driver. We used to refer to him as a "petal pusher." Bob Crozier passed away many years ago, and we believe the business was purchased by someone outside the family.

Okay, this next image...this Lowe's store is standing where the United Methodist Church used to be. It was the church where we got married. We aren't Methodists, but the church had a pipe organ, and I wanted classical pipe organ music at our wedding. My dad walked me down the aisle to Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," and we walked out to another Bach Prelude. It was all very grand. The church eventually became some sort of Asian religion. I only say that because the name of the church was written in symbols sort of like Sanskrit. Now it's completely gone...replaced by a Lowe's with a very large parking lot.

In this next image is the Palomar "P". Both Mike and I attended Palomar College, a community college at the time. There was originally just this one campus in San Marcos, California, but now, there are six campuses (campi?) scattered throughout San Diego County. The "P" is now the landmark that marks its location. There is a small airport nearby, and I'm told that pilots often navigated according to their visualization of the Palomar "P".

The area has built up significantly, of course, but the campus used to be distinctive for the Palomar Dome. Here's an image I swiped off the internet:

It covered the gymnasium there at the college, and the architecture was unique for its day. Here's a little blurb about it from a local newspaper. Behind the dome was the swimming pool, and I spent two summers as a lifeguard and swim instructor there. Those were heady days.

Okay, so if I haven't bored you to death with this trip back through the ages, I have some more pictures from the Fiber Arts Show in Hemet. As before, I'll show you the name of the artist first.

I think this barn was one of my favorite little quilts at the show. This being identified as "mixed media," I'm thinking that there is some paint involved in the colors of this barn.

I just love the details. I'm gearing up to make my own barn quilt, and so I'm paying close attention to what others have done.

Here are the remaining two panels.

This one makes me think of my dear mother-in-law who loved agapanthus. They grew in abundance in her garden.

It took me a bit to figure out this next one. I'm interpreting this as a zipper.

This next one was behind glass, and so it was a little difficult to photograph without a lot of reflections.

So, I'll have more of these to show you tomorrow.

As for my own sewing, I finished the fourth dress for the Sundress quilt. It was all stitched up in one day. Sometimes I surprise myself. There wasn't as much fancy stitching in those flowers as I thought there would be.

Today I'll trace out and get a start on the next of the Snow Globe blocks. Also, my hip has quit hurting, and so I'll get back to my walking. The sun is shining, and it looks as if it's going to be a nice day.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

QuiltShopGal said...

What beautiful memories all based around Vista. I spent much time in Oceanside & Vista, during the same time. I had forgotten street names and buildings, as things have certainly grown. Still glad you both were able to check out your first "hood" together. You've built an amazing life together.

Debbie said...

I enjoyed your view of finding and looking for some memories. It is bitter sweet to return to "home" or where you grew up and discover those places that were so much a part of your life are gone, moved, replaced or forsaken. I have decided that keeping them in my heart is much better than the new reality:)
Love that barn quilt.....could be a good inspiration.

Sarah said...

You're so funny - a small town of 20,000!!! That's a city compared to my small town of 3,000. As with your entire trip - it's been fantastic following along with all the places you have visited, both old and new.

Brown Family said...

It is fun to go back to your roots. I grew up in a tiny town ow 3,000. One high school, THree stories, no elevator, no restrooms except on the ground floor and no air conditioners! This year they are adding an extension on one end that will have an elevator and restrooms on all floors!

WoolenSails said...

What a fun story and post about your lives. I met Bill in a similar manner, I was dating someone else and once I met him, there was something that attracted me to him, guess it was fate;)


Kate said...

How fun that you and Mike got to run around where you first met and went to high school. Beautiful quilts from the show. Hope you got in lots of walking and stitching time yesterday.

piecefulwendy said...

Wikipedia has info on magnet schools (of course it does), we have had them in MN. Thanks for sharing your story of how the two of you came to be. I enjoyed reading it. I now live in a town of about 20,000. I grew up in a village of about 123 people. Seriously. We had one paved road in town, still do. There weren't street signs until after I was gone and married. Glad to hear your hip is doing better, and you know I love the pics of the kitties.

gpc said...

I love "beginning" stories, the first stirrings of love. I think they are an important cement in a relationship, touchstones we can reach for in difficult times. What a fun place and way to end your travels as you return to Real Life together.

Sandra W said...

I always enjoy your quilt shows. Thank you.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I'm lucky to get to go back to our home town a couple times a year. I just got back from there on Monday. We still have our families there, and lots of other people that are special to us. Nice to have your memories, and get to visit again.

quiltzyx said...

What a neat trip in time! Even though I live close to where I grew up, I am still amazed at what has changed since the last time I drove down "that street"!
Wow! The architecture quilt is amazing - especially the barn section! Thanks for sharing them with us.