Monday, December 19, 2011

Of Imagining

Never let your imagination grow rusty. Or discouraged.

A couple weeks ago I walked to our local Rite Aid for some vitamin C. It's located on the street at the end of ours which, when we mention the street name to friends, they wrinkle their noses and shudder. In places, it's downright sad and rundown, you know, with visual reminders that moan, "Our-glory-days-are-so-far-gone-it's-hard-to-recall-them."

But still, I like that street, even with its abandoned shops, torn awnings and graffiti.

Anyway, back to my walk to Rite Aid. I walked past a place with the word, fifties, in its title and I smiled because--when we first moved here--always I'd picture the inside of that building full of couples dancing 50's style. You know, people perpetually inside a room decorated somewhere between an old-fashioned nightclub and a malt shoppe for teens after school.

Tom and I would drive by and some days I'd picture it full of teenagers in poodle skirts and pony tails and other times I'd see (in my mind) glamorous couples sitting at small round tables with drinks and cigarettes, listening to a three-piece band on stage with the lights down low. Truth be told, all in black and white. :)

Always, I've been like this, even as a child. No wonder my parents tried to guess from which family kook I'd inherited my nostalgic genes.

Well, between that fifties place and Rite Aid, there's a huge, beautiful old school and oh, no way could I walk past there without picturing more girls in poodle skirts and pony tails clutching school books while talking with boys in jeans and crew cuts. Even the most non-nostalgic amongst you would have difficulty not picturing all that at this school. I really should go there and take pictures of my own, but it's only 28 windy degrees so here's a photo I found online:

There. Can't you just see the 1950's kids out front?

It was one cool, vintage, time travel walk that day. I've loved this Buffalo, NY area all these 18 years because it's a cinch to allow your imagination to whisk you backward a few decades and stay there, if that's what you choose.

Well, I came home that day and looked-up that fifties place online and discovered you can rent it for any type of gathering you'd like. Parties, weddings, etc., which is nice, of course, but it changed my head picture of how it must look inside. Suddenly I could picture only a sort of a community hall-type place with long tables and hospital-green walls. And suddenly it became more difficult to picture the malt-shoppe-nightclub 24/7 dwellers as I had before.

Tsk, tsk for letting something go so easily like that.

But now, oh! All those 24/7 dwellers in that fifties place are back, for this morning I discovered a photo online which someone took from inside:

Oh. My. Goodness. That's almost exactly what I'd seen inside my head.

Well, that will certainly teach me not to so easily let go of what my imagination created. And as I've known for many years, our imaginations can help get us through some hard times, some waiting times for something better. It's amazing how we can have that 'something better' even now, even today inside our heads--and how it can be just as satisfying as the real thing you can touch with your hands. If only we believe, even on a street others dismiss as having any value.



Tracy said...

Grease is the word.... Sorry, I just couldn't resist! :)

I think it's wonderful that you have fallen in love with Hobbit Neighborhood with all of its 50s nostalgia. :)

Anonymous said...

I miss walking around my area pondering things as I went. I loved it so. Now where I can walk are too many unleashed dogs and other problems. I have been bitten more than once. Driving gives you no time to look around and dream. Walking you can pause and dream and feel a sense of wonder. I will be of my dreams would be to be walking. I do Really want to make that happen again. I wander who the people are behind those windows? Each one has a story..what is theirs? As I have said I have always loved your walks around your neighborhoods and towns. I vicariously 'walk' with you and dream. Thank you so much for sharing your world. Sarah

Blu-I'd-Blonde said...

This "imagining" sometimes happens in my night dreams. I had numerous dreams over the years of being in an older house, looking up a stairway opposite the front door, and seeing my sisters there. One summer I went with my brother (now deceased almost 20 years)and sister to the house, which had been abandoned for quite some time. When we walked in the house I recognized the stairs in my dreams, and the kitchen to the right of those stairs. I was barely a year or so when our family moved from that house to the one I grew up in till my parents sold that last farm and moved to town the same Spring I graduated from high school.

I guess we shouldn't underestimate the impressions of our "visions" and "dreams."

My sis remembered playing weddings as our sister and her came down those stairs with old sheer curtains draped over their shoulders as a bridal gown.

Thanks for the memories.