The Past is Our True Home Town

Anytown High School here – sigh. Immediately after I wrote yesterday’s piece about an old Atlantic City-style beach town I was  invited to join a Facebook page called “I Remember Revere When…”  I don’t in fact “remember Revere when” but I’m glad for all the people who do, as I see them happily writing about their bikes and their hangouts and the brightly striped tube socks of the era.

Last Sunday I spent the better part of an hour on a page called “You Know Your from Lowell when…” and yeah sure it bothers me that whoever put up this page misspelled the short form for “you are” but it seems mean to point that out, the site being full of so many tender memories.

Turns out I’m very nostalgic about the place where I came of age and have been since long before Mark Wahlberg made The Fighter there. Before Ricky Gervais and the dimpled Jennifer Garner filmed The Invention of Lying on its streets too. I wrote about both films, one at the end of December of 2010 and one nearer to that month’s start.  

Lowell became my home when I was 9 and I lived there until the summer after freshman year in college when a prescription for diet pills so altered my judgment that I was walking eight miles to my job every day, madly cleaning the house when I got home at night, and generally living like a combination over-achieving social worker/nun and a speed freak. (I swear all the doctors who gave those pills out to people should have been barred from practicing medicine.)

In early adulthood I probably thought the place hadn’t affected me much but it did. Of course it did, though in a graduating class of 988 kids I really knew my neighborhood pals and the other drama-and-chorus nerds like myself.  

We sigh looking back at the fashions of our young years.Whether it was the Princess Grace-style French twist or feathered-back Farrah-style bangs or that signature 80s  look like Jennifer Beals had in Flashdance when her hair rose like a living Burger King crown from the top of the head.

Poodle skirts, saddle shoes, minis, maxis, the images of a hundred styles and ways to be all live in our minds. All are waiting for us, held and kept safe for us in the memories of the ones we are moving through time with. It’s wonderful isn’t it?

4 thoughts on “The Past is Our True Home Town

  1. Terry,
    As always you hit on something straight out of my memories that I have totally forgotten! I had a Maxi/Midi/Mini bright green winter coat that zipped off in sections! Too funny; I am sure I have a picture or two from back in the day somewhere!

    And Farrah(RIP)was also a big part of those growing up years and when you hear the theme song from “Flashdance” don’t you feel like it is you during that “tryout”???

    Just “thanks” for the memories! (now that is Bob Hope-ish)…I enjoy reading whatever you write!
    Best to you,

    1. It’s always nice to hear from you “Bob” 🙂
      I had that same coat I think.! or anyway I loved wearing my floor-length maxi coat over the wold’s shortest mini-dress. I have long thin legs and how I showed them off then. The legs saty with you but something weird happens above them. sometimes i look in the mirror and think I look just like a big orange popsicle !

  2. I don’t know how many times I have to say this but ” You can take the girl out of Lowell , but you can’t take Lowell out of the girl” How many of us couldn’t wait to get out of that depressing mill city when we graduated high school and how many of us have been drawn back to its revitalized charm.

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