22 June 2008

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo, originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

When I turned seven we went on a great birthday trip. We were living on Meyers street in Oceanside. In a little duplex apartment. We had wonderful neighbors that I got to know well. I always gravitated toward older people. Mr. Peachy lived a couple of houses down the street and he grew the most wonderful sweet peas.

On my birthday Mr. Peachy gave me 700 pennies! I was in heaven. I couldn't believe someone would give me such an extravagant gift. The next Saturday, my mom took us to the San Diego Zoo. We got all dressed up and made the long drive to the Zoo. It was our first time being there. The day was magic. The purse on my arm was purchased with a portion of my 700 pennies. It had a San Diego Zoo logo on it and was made of 100% fine grade plastic. It was the perfect representation of the day. I bought everyone a treat also, as shown in the picture. This picture was taken at the base of the moving ramps leading up to the gigantic birdhouse aviary. I don't think it is there any longer, but maybe it is.

My brother on my right arm as always. He was my hero. This trip to the zoo began a journey we would take for a long time. The San Diego Zoo, in those days, was free to anyone under the age of 16. It was a paradise for us. My mom could drop us off for the day and we would spend it wandering and learning. I don't think any of us regret a moment spent there. Eventually in our travels, we lived within a mile of the zoo and the summer between my third and forth grades we spent every day there. My brother and I and sometimes my sisters.

Today is my brothers' birthday. I wish he was here to celebrate the day. He will be in a lot of peoples thought today. I am glad I have such great memories to draw from and make days like this better. I'd love to have one more day to go to the zoo with him. The day he died, he was on his way to share the wonder that is Balboa park with his oldest son. He would take him to the aerospace museum, one of the places we spent so many hours. It was a beginning that never began.

Happy Birthday bro, we remember, and always will.