Friday, March 28, 2014

Saying goodbye to my Great Grandparents in Oceanside

Lots of cities reuse the same street names, like Market St. or Walnut St. For me the real El Camino Real is in Oceanside, where my great grandparents lived. My family would regularly drive to So Cal and visit both sets of grandparents to play cards, dominoes, create plastic canvas art, sew clothes and bake pies.

In 10th grade, when I started taking classes at the local public school to supplement my home school education, three of my four great grandparents passed away. The last living grandparent was Carol, my great grandpa who's pictured below holding a bottle of ketchup. The story behind the photo was that we were sitting around the dining room table and he told me that worms used to be processed into the ketchup, because they'd be in the tomatoes. I was so grossed out having just eaten dinner with ketchup- that just cracked up my grandpa. 

I'd write letters to Carol and he'd reply with a typewriter written letter. Then one day when I was in college he didnt write back. Nor did he respond back to my mother's letters. Given that he was born around 1907, I'm sure that he's passed away, but I wanted to visit The Lamplighter, his old trailer park home in Oceanside. 

It's a gated community, but lucky me, my motorcycle is skinny enough to slip between the tire spikes. I waited for someone to leave the park, and I went in the out exit. 

I hadnt been there in 15 years, but everything looked the same and I easily navigated back to Ruby and Carol's old spot. I talked to one of the senior neighbors to see if he knew my grandparents. This gentleman said he didnt recognize me with my helmet on. We actually have never met, but I didnt want to tell him that. I played along and asked if he knew Carol, but unfortunately he moved in 11 years ago and by the sounds of it, Carol had passed away by then. 

I was pressed for time to make it to Escondido to check-in at the Deer Park Monastery so I couldnt stay as long as I'd like. I teared up on the ride out of the park. That place is so full of so many wonderful memories. 

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