Note: A memoir essay is just a story from your life that isn’t book length. There’s no rules about how many pages — 1, 2, 10, 100 — just not enough to make a book. Below is a memoir essay; a short one so you get the idea. I hope you enjoy it!
It’s the same feeling I used to get; staring down the main drag of town. The buildings are still standing at attention on either side of the street, their windows decked out invitingly to passersby in attempt to persuade you to patronize their establishment. The aromas from the eateries dancing on the wind, enticing a hunger you might not even know you posses. And, behind these quaint stores and businesses, seemingly rising from their roofs like an ever watchful mother over her children, are the snow crowned Cascade Mountains. Yes, in my mind, this is the perfect hometown — too bad it’s not mine.
The Mode-O-Day store where my mom bought me my first “pretty” bra has been replaced. Closing my eyes, I still see the headless mannequins wearing trendy fashions, tempting would be shoppers inside for a closer look. In reality, there is a window filled with pictures of exotic people and places and a globe encircled with planes. A slogan proudly perched on top declares to the public “Let us help you get away!”
Farther down the strip on the right, is the marquee of the Olympic Theater jutting out from above. But I don’t see the name of the popular movie in stencil letters that others must see. My mind’s eye shows me the lights glimmering in the twilight as I look up to read the title “Star Wars” while waiting in line for tickets with my brother and sister. I’m pretty sure we spent the better part of our two years in Arlington visiting the theatre once a week. We saw movies like: Grease, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Heaven Can Wait, The Goodbye Girl , and Ice Castles. Mom would give us each enough money for a ticket and then slip a few candy bars in my purse for a snack. “After all, what they charge at that theatre snack bar is highway robbery” she always said.
I looked for my favorite of all landmarks. It used to be situated at the beginning of “downtown”, marking the business district. Now, all that stood there was a McDonalds with its bright yellow arches beckoning travelers from the nearby highway. I can’t believe “Rotten Ralphs” is gone. It was an institution in this community. Its quirky sign and suggestion of an old, cranky codger always made me wonder who was in charge of their advertising budget. Another small business sallowed up by this franchise crazy world. I can still taste the first lick of the homemade blackberry ice cream cone. Its creamy smooth texture hitting my taste buds and the bits of real fruit exploding as I chewed. This was the place to find most teenagers on Friday or Saturday night, back in the day. I wonder where they hang out now. I doubt it’s under the golden arches. I miss you Rotten Ralphs.
These are my memories mixed with reality — a fine line. You can’t go home again — at least to home the way you remember it. I only lived here two years, but when we moved to the island of Guam my freshman year of high school, I left a piece of my heart in Washington state.