While I am partial to airplanes, presidents named Roosevelt and big hats of all kinds, I’m not sure that I’d want to be called a fuddy-duddy. But I fear that it’s really too late for that now.
A few months ago, I turned 30. Leaving my 20s behind in a cloud of “Friends” TV reruns, unused George W. Bush jokes and worn-out Backstreet Boys CDs, I find myself sounding considerably older every day.
I’m starting to blurt out things like “When I was young…” and “Why does the music have to be so loud?”
I am even tempted to roll my eyes when I see teenagers wearing baggy pants that fall past their kneecaps.
It really is rather distressing. But turning 30 has also brought on a sense of nostalgia, which perhaps is not a bad thing.
I remember a time when people wrote letters with pens and not with their thumbs on a teeny-tiny keyboard; an era when you could drive a mile without a fast-food restaurant on every corner.
Patterson used to be like that. While it might seem bizarre to some, there was a time, not so long ago, when Patterson didn’t have stoplights, fast-food restaurants or banks that got robbed every couple of weeks. While I do love progress and the conveniences it brings, I’m not ashamed to admit that I miss the way Patterson used to be.
When I drive by the construction location where the new Walmart is being built, I actually feel a little sad inside.
I know that many folks are excited about the coming Walmart and look forward to the convenience of it. I completely understand why some people would feel that way; I really do. With economic times being difficult, many feel that Walmart will make their lives easier.
But when I see that daunting fence on that massive construction lot and watch the colossal earth-moving equipment trek back and forth, in my memory, I can still see the beautiful orchards that used to grow on that very spot. Trees with strong roots that clung to the soil and yielded a harvest that fed many around the world. It makes me sad when I realize that fertile earth will probably never be farmed again.
Despite my nostalgic misgivings, the change is coming anyway. I accept that. Yet, I can’t help but think: In another 30 years, what will Patterson look like?
I’ll leave that for the next generation of fuddy-duddies to determine.
• Elizabette Guecamburu, a volunteer columnist for the Irrigator, is a writer and a native Patterson resident. She can be reached at email@example.com.