Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November Autumn, More Memories


Did I say Autumn or was it Spring?  Yes, it is early November, and there are Roses blooming all over the place.  This house, just around the corner from my sister’s house, is a prime example.  What is going on here????

1b     1c

Ok, that’s a bit better.  With some of the trees starting to really show their colors in the Greater Sacramento area, I think it is time to head to my favorite Sacramento Park….William Land Park.


William Land Park is on 165 acres and includes the Zoo, Fairytale Town (above), Funderland, lots of Picnic Areas, Wading Pool, Basketball Court, Softball Fields, Soccer Fields, Adventure Play Area, Lakes, an Amphitheatre, a Rock Garden, Jogging Paths, Village Green, and a Golf Course.  I have gone to this park since I was very, very small, and to the zoo many times.  But one of those memories will be told after a few more Autumn pictures…

2b    2c

Well, it still seems like early Autumn….not early November.  What I am afraid of is that a quick cold will come in, everything will turn, a storm will come through, and it will all be gone except for the mess of leaves all over the lawns.

3a      3b 

3c     3d

I had an aunt and uncle who lived close to the park, they have both passed on.  It was really my grandmother’s brother and his wife, they both lived good, long lives.  Driving the few blocks over to where they lived and we found many trees which were showing their colors.  It is a nice neighborhood back in there, that is for sure…and it brought back memories of visiting them, the many Christmas Eve parties they threw when all of the family gathered together for fun and food.


If I may, let me share a touching but funny story.  It was Spring 1978 if I have my years right.  I was working at the Madison Avenue Mr. Steak Restaurant as Co-Manager with my good friend Brad.  We had lost the manager of the south area store a few months earlier due to Leukemia.  I was his Assistant Manager for over a year.  Dennis was a big, strong man.  Brad him and I golfed one day…he told us he was a bit tired.  He was diagnosed about a week later.  He was dead just a few weeks after that.  He was going to marry one of the waitresses named Tammie, but they did not have enough time for that.  It was a sad time.  Months later I talked to Tammie and told her that she needed to get out.  I suggested a day at the zoo…with my two nieces and nephew.  Jennifer and Jared are my brother Bob’s kids, ages 6 and 2 way back then.  Katherine (the one who just came out to visit mom and dad a few weeks ago from Missouri) was age 3 1/2. 


We had a nice time at the zoo.  Tammie put on a few smiles…but you could see that she was still  a long way off from ever finding happiness again.  I had just hoped that getting out, being around kids, seeing animals, would at least bring her back to near normal for even just a bit…


After the zoo we walked across the street to where ducks and geese were playing in the water, and along the grass.  There were benches where we could sit as the kids chased the ducks, and played for a bit.


So the scene is set….here is the pond.  The bench is a newer bench, but above it is in the same general area as it was back in ‘78.  I am sitting facing left, Tammie is sitting facing me, and as we talk, all the sudden there is a SPLASH!  Terror comes over her face, I turn….it is Jared, his head just barely bobbing above the water.  I run over, jump in, lift him up and turn towards the shoreline.  I look up….and Katherine is peeing her panties which is running down from her skirt onto her sox and shoes.  Jennifer looks like she just took a big bite of a large cookie that her mother would have told her not to touch…I knew instantly that she had something to do with her little brother ending up in the pond.  All of this and less than ten seconds have passed by from when I was sitting on that concrete bench.  I look over at Tammie….and she is dying with laughter.  What can I say?  Goal achieved, a family legend had been made (this story has been told and told so many times….Jennifer still denies any involvement in Jared’s demise…Uncle Dave was still allowed to take the youngsters on outings but always with the “let’s keep everyone dry this time” message…)   As for Tammie, she did get over her loss as much as anyone could.  But the warmth I felt when she told me later that this incident was the first time she had laughed in many months is still a warm feeling to this day.


Sometimes you have look '”through the trees”, in order to see the wonders that lay beyond.  No matter how hard it might be…no matter how rough the road might be.

Note:  We drove through my old neighborhood, and I decided to stop at a neighbor’s house.  My good friend David was my next door neighbor…we have not seen each other for 25 years or so.  What are the chances that any of the family still live there?  Well, his mother still does, along with his younger sister.  I now have a phone number and hope to catch up with another old friend.  Would not have happened had we not broken down, which, by-the-way, will be fixed by next Monday.  More of both of these to come….


  1. What a sweet story. Thanks for sharing Dave. We have been enjoying time in my hometown this past month. What fun and the memories conjured up by just riding around town.
    Beautiful pictures...I can tell you are really having fun with your camera. Your comment about the roses reminds me we have seen things blooming here that were also put of season...go figure!

    1. Yep, we both love the camera....good buy for us. And being "home" sure does bring back memories.

  2. Hi Dave:
    I just love this post and the great photos of Sacramento. Yes, we do have Seasons; they're just either a little long, like Summer or a little short, like Spring and Fall. Here I am searching the Fall colors all over the country and there they are in Sacramento. I love your story from the past and your experience visiting your old neighborhood. I did that years ago at one of my childhood homes, about 25 years after my brother and I sold the house at the time of my mom's death. I actually didn't even knock on the door. I sat in my car across the street and a young man came out to ask if he could help me find anybody. I explained why I was there and he turned out to be the grown son of the people who'd bought the house. He invited me in and introduced me to his folks. It was a fantastic experience - so nostalgic. We just have to put ourselves out a little and we get so much in return.

    1. After being gone for so very long, I just could not remember that the season is so late compared to other locations I have lived since being here (well, with the exception of Florida which is a whole another thing)

  3. Beautiful park and cute story. You're a hero!

    1. Don't know if I fit the hero title, those are too big of shoes to fill. Just glad I was able to help a friend in time of need...and, of course, be a good uncle and save Jared from the chilly 20" depth of pond water. Today Jared is fine, successful, young father of two.


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