When I was very young, Saturday evenings usually consisted of a road trip down Bonita Avenue, if you can call that a road trip. The destination? The good old Claremont Village. Mom, Dad and I would pile into the front seat of Dad’s single-cab Toyota pick-up and travel a good 10 miles from Glendora to Dad’s favorite hot spot: Rhino Records. What today seems like a short distance was to a 7-year-old back then a long and boring car ride. Dad would always tell mom the same thing as we drove through La Verne and into Claremont, “Wouldn’t you love to live here, Linda?” He had a thing for all the old houses surrounded by huge trees. Back then, I didn’t even notice the University of La Verne.
As we would approach the corner of Indian Hill and Bonita, Dad vanished inside Rhino Records, and later to Video Paradiso while Mom and I strolled around the village. It was usually a pretty quiet area with gleaming street lights casting great big shadows on the sidewalks. Most of the shops were closed except the popcorn stand inside the mini mall. That delicious, freshly popped popcorn was all I looked forward to whenever we took that drive down Bonita. Memories.
As an only child, most of my early childhood memories involve my two parents, since, after all, it was only us three living at home. I used to hate being the only child because I felt like our family was incomplete since everyone else my age seemed to have a brother or sister. But looking back now, being an only child has its perks.
There is no sibling rivalry, no toy sharing, no bedroom sharing and no competition. For me, my home was basically tailored to meet my needs and wants specifically. I can remember racing my Hot Wheels all over the house and parking them either on top of the coffee table or between the cushions on the couch before leaving for school. When I returned, every car was precisely where I left it. When I would build Lincoln Log cities in the middle of the living room, I never had to worry about someone messing with or destroying my amazing creations.
But probably the best perk of all was having the full-undivided attention of my parents. We really did everything together. From playing UNO with mom outside in the summer, to playing Mario Bros. with Dad on a rainy day, I was fortunate to have hybrid parents who were both my guardians and my playmates.
Now, as the end of my stay at the University of La Verne looms over the horizon, I can’t help but think of how blessed I have been all these years. Throughout my entire journey of growing up and getting through college, I have had my own personal support team always rooting for me and making sure I had everything I needed to get from point A to point B, even when I complained a little along the way. So thanks Mom and Dad for your love, support and all the great, simple memories.
Mark Vidal, Editor-in-Chief