Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Sense of Place

       Everyone knows that the sense of smell is the strongest one tied to memory. I know that and am reminded with every visit to my Dad's garage. Or should I call it a workshop since for as long as I can remember he's always been working on one project or another.

      The house, a small white bungalow at the top of a hill, the HUGE yard in front filled with so much greenery the City of L.A. should be paying him for the oxygen he provides, and even the outside of the garage have all changed in appearance over the years but one place has remained the same. Dad's workshop.

      Hanging out with him in the garage, his neighbors walk up the street, on the return trip home, arms weighed down with grocery bags, or walking down the street toward Sunset Blvd. with hands that won't stay empty for long. He'a known most of his neighbors for years. Decades even. Some stop to chat. Others walk by taking a quick glance into the garage satisfying their curiosity. He introduces me to new neighbors or old ones I haven't already met. "This is my son." always brings a smile to my face.

I have my own key to the garage so once in a while I stop by to pick up or drop something off. Usually something that he worked on for me. I flip the light switch up, enjoy the cool air inside and inhale deeply. The smell of wood, metal and years of elbow grease make me feel right at home every time.

During my last visit though I make sure to take a look around. Studying objects that stick out to me reminding me instantly of pieces of my childhood. I smile at everything that has been in the same place in the garage as far back as I can remember and notice those that seem out of place.

I myself never feel out of place when I'm in here. I'm always at home.