A funny thing happend on the way to Facebook.
I’d been invited to a new group called ‘You Know You’re a Grover When. . .’ which was a group created for all of us who grew up in Cottage Grove, Oregon. It was fun, fascinating and a little addictive to remember those things that were uniquely ‘The Grove’ as well as what memories I shared with others who grew up in that wonderful little hamlet. And as it turns out, there were quite a few responses from folks. Like over 500 in the first day, really in the first few hours.
I was astonished by the response, as well as by things I thought I only remembered but was tickled to realize made an indelible impression on others as well. Something was resonating with all of us.
There are obviously commonalities in childhood but it’s a wonderful psychic hug to share a memory with a finite amount of people. You’re connected on a level as with no else on the planet. Whether it’s being snuck into the Corral Drive-In via a car trunk or reliving the exhiliration of jumping off the train tracks into Dorena Lake right before the Blue Goose steam engine flattens you, to vaulting back in time to remember specific candies you bought at the Little Red Store, to recalling the smile of a certain, gentle janitor that occupied your high school years…all of the impressions and memories that make up that elusive, yet oh-so-concrete place we all know as home.
My friend Mike and I recently completed a short film called ‘Echoes’ that tried to explore the meaning of home in some small way. Enjoying the Facebook group as memories flooded and my face hurt from smiling made me recall some dialogue from the main character of the film as he tries to describe what makes home both unique and universal:
Funny how a place calls to you. Just a
geographic dot made up of hills and people.
But it was also a psychic map made up of
memories of the house I grew up in and
friends who carved their histories into
the fabric of my life…
The Grove always created a sweet and longing ache
for me. Why do hometowns seem to do that?
When I’d visit there was a figment of something
always just out of reach…not as satisfying when
you’re there, but always calling to you when you’re not.
Home’s like that isn’t it?