It’s something I usually do not have time for – it’s all I can do to get a couple of posts up per month – but today’s daily word prompt from WordPress was irresistible: Fork.
First thought: Pasadena’s 18-foot wood fork in the road, erected on a traffic island in the dead of one night in 2009 as a gag birthday gift between two friends. It was subsequently taken down and then approved by all the proper authorities including the state transportation department whose land it sits on. (When that happened, the Los Angeles Times headline read “A Fork Whose Tine Has Come.” No end to the puns here.) Today Pasadena’s fork warrants mention and directions on travel sites such as roadsideamerica.com and atlasobscura.com, and provides the setting for food and toy drives, as well as special events like a visit from a touring 6-ton potato belonging to the Idaho Potato Commission.
Since my husband Ed and I are at the stage of life where visits to medical facilities tend to overwhelm our social calendar and since many of those facilities are in Pasadena, we pass the fork frequently. It always makes me smile.
It also reminds me of another fork in the road, this one up the street from the home we moved away from in Montclair, New Jersey 11 years ago. That home was up the street from the now late, always great Yogi Berra whose malapropisms delighted baseball fans and everyone else throughout his life. Hearing him say, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” they’d smile and say, “Oh that Yogi,” but what many didn’t realize is that a lot of Yogi’s supposed malapropisms contained much truth. That was certainly true of the fork-in-the-road comment, made while giving someone directions to his home on our street. It was reached by traveling up a hill on a road that divided – a fork – that led either way to Yogi’s (and our) street.
(Our younger daughter trudged up that street every day after fourth grade, muttering curses under her breath toward her parents and their penchant for living on hills. It was just that year, after which came middle school and buses, followed by high school and cars. After college and graduate school where presumably some walking was involved, she moved to Los Angeles and never had to walk again unless she really wanted to.)
Loved that house on the hill. Many a summer afternoon when we simply needed to do something to relieve the heat, humidity and tedium you let us swim.
Glad to have been of help. And here we are in Southern California without a pool, but in light of the ongoing drought, it’s probably just as well. It probably would have led to much guilt and frustration.
I, too, have great memories of that place. I wish we had visited more often. Love the fork picture, too. Some folks are so clever. Keep on punning.
Remember the family reunion when we were able to sleep 13 people in beds? People here in the land of tiny houses can’t imagine living in a house that big, and yet, you know it was not that unusual. “What did you do with all those rooms?” they ask. “Oh,” I tell them, “you’d be surprised how easily you could find uses for them.” Not the least of it sleeping 13 people in beds for a family reunion.
Enjoyed the column (I know, it’s a “social media post” but I’m so old fashioned, it’s still a column to me, and a good one. Could add life to any of LA’s op-ed pages. Cheers.
Thanks, Ford. Would have been my dream job: writing frivolous little pieces in a daily newspaper. But your appreciation is appreciated.