After 10 years in Los Angeles, I moved back to Pittsburgh, specifically right back into my childhood home in Scott Township. Thomas Wolfe once said, “You can never go home again.” I guess he never lived on Lindsay Road.
Nothing much has changed here since I left. My mom still calls the people who live across the street “the new people” and they moved into their home in 1981. Everyone’s still here, just older.
I’m shopping at the Heidelberg Shop 'n Save again. It hasn’t changed much since I worked there during college (eons ago). Some of the same people are working there. In my past life, my Los Angeles life, I would have made fun of them for sticking with their high school job now that they’re in their 40s, but in this economy, at least they’re working! That’s a good thing. I even saw my old boss Bill, the front end manager, in there the other day, still smiling at customers.
I went to Scott Pool and Ron Ellis is ordering “water breaks.” I don’t think anyone in Pittsburgh outside of Scott Township has any idea what a water break is. They don’t even do it at the Dormont Pool and that’s a hop, skip and a jump from here. I love the water break, ever since I turned 18, and I wish my pool at my apartment complex in Hollywood had them, or, better yet, the Pacific Ocean had water breaks. Trust me, go out to the Settlers Cabin Wave Pool and you will be kicked in the head repeatedly by children lolling about in the artificial waves. You will pray for the sanctuary of Scott Pool.
Ron, or rather Mister Ellis for those of us who had him for gym class at Nixon school, is also making snow cones. His hair has gone white, but he is still a beloved fixture in the township. I’m still a little bit afraid of him. As a boy, I got called into a ‘time out’ several times for being disruptive. My friend John Jackson and I had to sit under the life guard chair at least once a week, mostly for splashing ‘old people.’ You know, those ancient mariners in their 30s!
The ice cream truck just went by, and I believe it was playing the same tune, “The Sting,” from when I used to grab some quarters and run after it. “The Sting" reminds me of how the city of Pittsburgh has changed for the better. We have the iconic composer, Marvin Hamlisch, leading our orchestra. There are better restaurants, more theaters and art galleries downtown. The beauty of living in Scott Township is that it has a homey suburban feel, yet it’s only 15 minutes from the city.
Speaking of restaurants, if you told me when I moved, “Someday Scott Township will have its very own Mad Mex, and you won’t have to drive all the way to Oakland,” I would have never believed you. Imagine a Tofu Thai Burrito right in Scott Township the Land that Time Forgot! It still boggles my mind.
I love being back, especially right back on Lindsay Road, where my childhood is preserved like jar of strawberry jam. It’s sweet, but I’m trying not to get stuck to it.