This past week I finally visited Kansas City, MO., my home town. I stayed with Big John on the Plaza first them moved to Pam’s condo (my BFF) in Prairie Village, Kansas. Lamenting staying in Prairie Village, I thought it was so far away from every place I wanted to go. Much to my chagrin, it took 10 minutes to get everywhere. I was never allowed to drive that far as a kid so every place out of my 4 mile radius seems very far away.
I gave my Bone Health lecture at Woodside Racquet and Fitness Club where I had been a tennis pro 30 years ago. Thirty years ago half the staff there was either not born or maybe 3 or 4 years old.
I organized a dinner for me and three of my grade school friends, Fran, Marlene and Pam at Houlihan’s Old Place named for a clothing store owner on the Country Club Plaza in the 50’s through the 80’s. Marlene brought her diary from 1956-57 and proceeded to read passages from our lives during that time we were together. Life was so easy then watching American Bandstand. Marlene posed a question, “What was our phone number back then?” Valentine 0267 I said from somewhere in the back of my brain. Both Marlene and Pam remembered their’s also. One was a Logan number and one was a Jefferson number. We cannot remember what we did or ate yesterday but ask us about 55 years ago, no problem. We agreed that our prefixes denoted a lower caliber area to live in and all of us wanted to have lived in the Highland or Endicott phone listing areas. All of us came from modest means but we had great teachers and education. We could name all our teachers. We were together so many hours that we were pooped from laughing.
Joel took me to the Nelson Art Gallery for lunch and a walk through history old and new. Our teachers took us as kids on field trips there.
Several times I walked the streets where I grew up naming the people and stores that existed there then. I was truly a kid again. Nothing else mattered. Could I move back? Part of me would love to live in KC despite the winter snows, scraping ice off windshields and emergency snow routes. I am not sure Palm Desert is my final stomping ground. There is no real connection here yet. Many Boomers feel no real connection where they are, disenfranchised because of life changes. Where will I go and when? Guess the answer is here somewhere. Now, I have to catch a plane back to the real world leaving my childhood behind.