Sunday, June 28, 2009

To Oakland High School (and Farewell to Childhood)


Even writing about the year in Brookfield Village, I was constrained to omit a lot that I do in fact remember. The other three children were growing up, and I saw things more and more as adults see them. Also, too much was going on all the time, and I am not such a writer that I know how to make it work, especially without fabricating a scenario, which would defeat the whole purpose.
We moved, early in 1949, as I said, back into Oakland 'proper', in the vicinity of Park Boulevard and MacArthur Boulevard, to, as well as we can recall, 2038 East 25th. We lived there until the middle of 1950, when my father died; shortly thereafter we moved to 1736 Hearst Ave. in Berkleley and thence, closer to the Bay, to 1623 Kains Avenue, the address from which I moved, on my own, to a rooming house at 2622 College (though I was still in Art School, not yet at UC Berkeley), having by then gotten employment at the San Pablo Poultry Company.
If ever I can manage to write up everything that matters or was interesting in that period, ending with my enrollment on the Berkeley campus in the Fall of 1953, it will take much more careful consideration than I can muster right now.
I regard my addiction to this blog, however, as useful not only to me but possibly, though I really don't know how or to whom, to some others: provided I can keep it honest. Therefore, after perhaps one more entry, possibly two, to take me to the watershed of my father's death, I shall shift to writing isolated essays.
For now, however, I close with a picture of me and my sister's dog Viffy II taken with someone's Brownie Hawkeye on the sidewalk in front of 1623 Kains Avenue, which runs parallel to San Pablo Avenue in West Berkeley.
[Even our old address, just one block east of San Pablo Avenue, evidences the upscale development of the Berkeley 'flatlands'. The house we lived in reportedly had been built by an artist and had bedrooms in the attic. It was quite livable but very idiosyncratic. It has been replaced by one with three bedrooms and three baths (!) that is listed for sale for a quarter of a million dollars.]