Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day Four, New Mexico - Los Alamos

Day Four we slept in, then spent time catching up with one family that I loved from my childhood. Mike & I also toured around Los Alamos, with me pointing out changes since the last time I was here (10 years ago) and also from the last time I lived here (in 1985).

The church where we probably attended the most (now called "Crossroads Bible Church") looks the same, except they are building an "auditorium" on the side/back (note: NOT a sanctuary).

Mike was shocked to see "Apogen Technologies" (his new employer) not only has an office in Los Alamos, but appears to occupy the entire top floor of this building. Mike turned to me and asked, "Do you want to move back to Los Alamos?"
The Los Alamos National Laboratory has become a little privatized (commercially) and has also sealed up access to their grounds. The back road (Pajarito Road) from Los Alamos to White Rock is now accessible only to people with badges. Here is a photo of the checkpoint in White Rock. When you come down out of the Jemez Mountains on state road 4 you must go through a similar checkpoint, but they are working on a bypass road so that you can go directly into town instead onto Lab property.

The Los Alamos post office hasn't changed a bit.

But the beloved Mesa Library has an entirely new building. Interestingly, Mesa Library still has on their shelves some of the same actual books I read 25+ years ago. For example, I stroked the spines of "Go To The Room Of The Eyes" by Betty Erwin, and the 'twin' series by Lucy Perkins Fitch.

But the mountains around Los Alamos burned quite badly and are still mostly denuded instead of covered with a rich blanket of Aspen and Ponderosa Pine.

We toured the parks us kids used to love. They are all changed. Here is "Rocketship Park", and the only rocket left is this icon out front. The rest of the park is now a skateboarding park with ramps, and some swings.
"Overlook Park" is pretty much the same (cuz its natural, not with play equipment), but they do have these neato custom park benches that have the name of the park on the back rest.
Here are views from Overlook Park.

The Rio Grande River is the brown water down there.

The Walnut Street Park is just down from where I grew up, and it has custom benches too.

Not sure why I took this picture at the end of Walnut St Park, but here it is, looking up towards the mountains above town.

In the foreground of Walnut St Park is the basketball court which has not been updated since as long as I can remember. However, the play equipment in the background is all new and different. There used to be metal saguaro cactuses to climb on, plus some castle structures.

This is the half-duplex I grew up in. The original wood shingle look and paint job can be seen on the left (the other half of the duplex), but the new owner of our home has completely changed the outside to be adobe. The front yard is gone, and a heavily gardened area has been created. Its pretty, but is a bizarre contrast to the other side of the building. And it just simply is not my childhood home anymore.

Here's the back yard.

The back yard is heavily gardened too, although it looks like they tore out the cherry tree and all the fruit trees we had nurtured. It looks like one pine may be down too. Our play house is gone as is the swing set and the swinging bar, and new play equipment has been installed.

1 comment:

GarthTrekker said...

Back yard looks familiar though. Wow, great memories. But you're right, the house is completely different. Thanks for taking all the pics. lgp