Down on Kinglet Road (ABC Wednesday, 3/26/14)


I was seven or so when we moved to Kinglet Road.

Our new house was a single story brick suburban box, one of many such in the new development named “Bonanza” because, apparently, of how much it didn’t resemble the Cartwright ranch on TV. The whole development was built on top of a landfill, and when I dug in the back yard for dinosaur bones I would find rotting trash instead.

This was sort of a workable metaphor for Bonanza in general, and for Kinglet Road especially.

Though it is now a loathed place of painful memories and anti-nostalgia, Kinglet Road had potential. When we arrived there, our backyard ended on deep pine forest, and that forest became a refuge for me through my childhood. I spent many days exploring alone, getting away from my various cruel stepmothers and my vicious drunk of an old man. I developed my woods sense there, a sensibility that made me very comfortable leading wilderness trips as an adult. I remember streaking nude along the paths like some pint-sized Tarzan, clambering into the trees to spy on people, howling like a wolf when I was the only one around.

My memories of the old homestead are dank and sharp-edged. All the dark struggles I fight still were launched there in abuse and neurosis and simmering parental rage. Childhood at Kinglet Road was no gilded dream.

As Thomas Wolfe has been quoted so often it’s a terrible cliche, you can’t go home again. Not that I would want to. Home may be where the heart is, but my heart is not in that suburban box on Kinglet Road. For me, home isn’t a place you come from, it’s a place you’re going to, a place you build yourself. Just like family.

Now, Kinglet Road is surrounded by development, and to live there is to know stripmall paradise intimately. All the wild beauty I enjoyed and escaped to is gone.

And, thank the gods, so am I.


I’ll return next Wednesday with the letter L. I hope you’ll stop by. I’m a writer and I post about a wide variety of non-alphabet-specific topics. Feel free to comment under my posts. If you want to subscribe to the blog, there’s a button in the sidebar.

Also, feel free try to check out my adventure novel Doc Wilde and The Frogs of DoomIt’s been very well reviewed (KIRKUS REVIEWS: “Written in fast-paced, intelligent prose laced with humor and literary allusions ranging from Dante to Dr. Seuss, the story has all of the fun of old-fashioned pulp adventures.”) and is great for action-adventure lovers of all ages.


For another fun ABC Wednesday post, visit the Carioca Witch here: Bringing Up Salamanders.

Find many more posts by others, and more info on ABC Wednesday, here: ABC Wednesday

3 comments on “Down on Kinglet Road (ABC Wednesday, 3/26/14)

  1. Roger Green says:

    That commercial development over that part that WAS your paradise is sad, though, and all too common in America.

  2. lesliebc says:

    I know of what you write. We didn’t have a forest but we did have 1/4 acre fields all around the childhood home. My sisters and I would trample the hay-like grass down so we could “build” our own home in there, complete with hallways to various rooms. We’d “play house” there for hours and hours until the whistle blew – yes “he” used his soccer referee whistle to beckon us home and Lord love us if we didn’t respond immediately. I got married to someone I really wasn’t in love with just to lose my last name – it was a horror that ended in his suicide leaving me with 2 young girls to raise on my own. Thankfully, life has turned around and I am finally getting married to a man I truly do love – someone the old man scared away all those years ago…we have a second chance this time, albeit not knowing how much time since he’s already had 2 bouts of cancer since our reconciliation. But, we take what we get and we try to make the best of it. Right now I’m happy and try to live in the moment. Love your writing and look forward to your L post.

    abc team

  3. We moved to the Ponderosa Estates when I was four. We had a single wide trailer on half an acre and you could walk through the woods for two miles until you came to another white trash trailer park neighborhood. Those woods were my home as much as that trailer and the bigger one we got when I was ten. We climbed the twenty foot tall old growth stumps left from the last harvest, we built forts and walked aimlessly about. I drive through there now and the place I grew up is gone, all the woods covered with mile after mile of barren suburban wasteland. It doesn’t matter if you want to or not, you can’t go home again. It’s been developed.

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