Sunday, April 10, 2016
In the waning moments of World War Two, I was in my first year of kindergarten in Salinas, CA. That’s a turn of phrase I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard. But rather than a case of sluggardly scholarship it was just that my single mom was a second grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary and they let me attend kindergarten as a four year-old. Those two rigorous years no doubt account for my stellar college career and numerous advanced degrees.
These photographs of downtown Salinas depict a withering city little changed from 70 years ago. They include the scene of my first movie at the Fox Theater, my first fresh strawberry pie from a café in nearby Alisal and is the place I learned how to hang a sweater from some high school kid in the neighborhood, the way I do it to this day. Some lessons really stick.
More importantly it was the place I had my first homemade flour tortilla rolled around melting butter, though I’m guessing it actually was margarine, wartime rationing considered.