This well-known Thomas Wolfe title, “You Can’t Go House Once more,” has change into a well-liked proverb, that means what’s previous stays prior to now.
As somebody who grew up in Orlando, my most treasured childhood reminiscences middle on the vacation season. For instance:
- I can nonetheless really feel the chilly curb on my tush as I sat on Orange Ave. within the Nineteen Sixties watching the Christmas parade. Dad all the time needed to go away earlier than occasions had been over “to keep away from the loopy visitors.” He made this one exception so his youngsters wouldn’t miss seeing Santa Claus on the finish of the parade.
- I keep in mind the enjoyment of marching in that very same parade years later, as a young person after I joined Stonewall Jackson Junior Excessive Faculty’s marching band with our beloved chief and band director, Mr. J. J. Walden.
- I’ve treasured reminiscences of attending Christmas eve companies at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. We might go to the early service as a household, however the midnight mass was a father-daughter occasion, as we sang within the choir. Yearly in between companies, Dad and I sat collectively on the Dunkin’ Donuts counter whereas we every had a donut, and pa chugged his espresso.
- Each season, our household would pile in our blue Ford and drive round Central Florida to benefit from the superbly adorned houses. The season wasn’t official till we took that drive.
Many issues have modified since 1966. The Orlando parade nonetheless occurs yearly, and it’s higher than ever. Stonewall Jackson Junior Excessive Faculty is now Roberto Clemente Center Faculty, and our cherished band director handed away years earlier than his time. Prince of Peace nonetheless stands on the nook of Semoran Blvd. and Curry Ford Street, and even the Dunkin’ Donuts remains to be there, albeit transformed. And final yr, my household continued the custom and drove round Orlando and Winter Park to marvel on the lights. What a spectacle!
I hear the identical quotes on a regular basis: “Orlando is simply too huge; an excessive amount of change.” “I miss previous Orlando.”
I perceive, however I additionally understand that the previous all the time appears higher to us via our rose-colored glasses. It’s necessary to honor the previous and maintain it close to to our hearts. That doesn’t imply that I don’t love Orlando as we speak; how far Orlando has come, the way it’s held on to what makes it distinctive, however the factor I like most is the way it has change into a metropolis for all individuals.
It’s Orlando journal’s December version, which suggests it’s time for our ever-popular Docs problem. The standard of medical care in our group is astounding. After I was rising up, if one needed top-notch medical care, one must journey to Tampa, New York, or Baltimore. Now individuals flock to Central Florida to get the perfect care.
We simply held our mid-term elections final month and have chosen our leaders. Whether or not you determine as crimson, blue, or purple, we’re all Orlandoans. As we navigate via precarious occasions, irrespective of your get together affiliation, it’s as much as us to try to be the peaceable nation our founding fathers and moms supposed. Within the phrases of Martin Luther King Jr., “The arc of the ethical universe is lengthy, however it bends in the direction of justice.”
T. Michele Walker