It’s strange how innocuous things can trigger memories. That happened to me yesterday as I drove south on Interstate 5, then onto the connection to CA 110 (which turns into Interstate 110 and takes me to the crib). The southbound 5-110 connection is a little stretch of two lane highway which looks like it was carved into the hill next to it. It also looks rickety enough to crumble with a good, trademark Southern California shake and quake.
But there it hangs, for at least as far back as I can recall. Big trucks, buses, etc. have sat on it in traffic jams headed toward downtown LA for decades and probably are doing so as I type these words. Many years ago another vehicle had occasion to take this tiny stretch of highway: my great uncle, great aunt and I would be on our way home from Lake Isabella and, when we hit that part, I knew we were close to home. My uncle had one of those pick-up trucks with a camper on the back; a nice one, big enough for three. (Do they still make those things?) We’d go over that road and, I, with a six-year-old’s a vivid imagination, would get the feeling that our truck was too big for the road and that we were going to fall off down to some unknown abyss that waited for us. Fortunately it takes about fifteen seconds--traffic willing—to run over this part of the freeway, so my morbid imaginings never had time to bloom into full-blown panic. I had a small inkling of the panic last night as I drove over the stretch in my little car, but it was quickly overwhelmed by that bit of nostalgia and I, yet again, missed my uncle.