Yesterday I spent the day bussing, and biking, around my old stomping grounds of the Inland Empire, far to the east of Los Angeles.
It was a chance to pay my respects to friends no longer with us, and a friend still alive and well. :-D
It was a trip down memory lane, and a trip along a bike trail that didn't exist when I moved away in 2001.
It was a chance for photos, both serious, and amusing.
It was a chance to give my still recovering ankle a bit of a workout more strenous than the physical therapy I'm currently putting it through.
I began the day with a visit to Oak Park Cemetery, in Claremont, hallowed ground that is over 100 years old.
My Godfather, Nicholai Dieduch, was buried there in 1972, and I recently learned from the oldest daughter, Nina, that my Godmother, Frances, had passed away in 2006.
I arrived to find that someone had recently left some flowers, and I sat on a nearby stone bench, eating a packed breakfast, and remembering the wondeful voice, filled with laughter, and a joyous sense of humor, that was my Godmother.
The couple had been close friends of my parents since the mid-50's, and helped at my baptism, the year I was born, in 1960.
I grew up playing with their youngest daughter, Natalia, who was my age. :-D
Oak Park is on ten acres of shady tree groves and beautiful, grounds that offer an old-fashioned vibe, and peaceful environment rarely found among modern cemeteries.
Oh, and the place is home to more squirrels than you would ever be able to count! :-D
After leaving the park I rode up Mills ave., past a collection of very old homes, many made of stones, and rocks, and stopped to chat with a man working on one of the homes.
It turned out that we both attended Sycamore Elementary, with him being 2 grades ahead.
We shared memories of old teachers, and playing games such as the ball game called Danish.
I HAD planned on visiting the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens, but as I pedaled on my way, crossing the railroad tracks, I discovered that a planned multi-use trail had at last been completed, and changed plans.
To be Continued...