Last night, wife and I were noodling around online, checking out routes from SF to LA. South, it passes right by where I used to live, Edwards AFB. Zoom in on the Google Earth to check it out, try to find where I was living 3 decades ago...
Not there. Just desert and a series of dirt roads outlining what used to be neighborhoods. Bulldozed between the mid-70s and now.
I had to find the schools and retrace my walking route back home to figure it out.
Not that there was anything special about the house where we lived. 3 bedroom ranch, cinderblock construction, typically industrial military on-base housing.
I remember when test planes flew overhead at Mach 1+ -- we'd see a plane go by overhead, silently, and then a few seconds later the sound would catch up with an initial sonic boom which nearly shook the sliding glass patio doors to pieces every time it happened. You could see the glass ripple and flex. Gone. House up the street, family with 5 kids, some of whom were neighborhood friends or classmates in elementary school, their dad was a test pilot who crashed and died, which meant they moved out suddenly. Gone. Other friend's yard, where we turned nearly half of it into a hotwheels/matchbox car complex complete with water hazards. Gone.
Desert where we blasted around in dad's dune buggy? Still there...
The outlines of the stone walls between houses are still there; ghosts of the paved roads still exist; other neighborhoods are still extant.
I expected things would have changed. Seeing where I used to live -- a whole neighborhood -- wiped out is a bit disconcerting. Especially since they haven't rebuilt. Like... what was there that they had to tear housing down without replacement...? On an air force base used for experimental purposes...?