My Hometown

This is a recent picture of my hometown, Odessa, Washington. About 3/4 of it is pictured. It really doesn't look much different than it did when I lived there. The highest population was probably about 1200, but now is under 1000. My graduation class had 42, this past year, maybe 10-15.

If I could see the football field on the left I could be pretty certain where my house was, but I can only guess that it lies very close to the left border of the picture. It was a nice place to grow up although boring at times. One drive-in burger place, no movie house. A couple of taverns and gas stations, a park and swimming pool, no traffic light, one sit down restaurant. One motel and grocery store. There used to be a bowling alley but I'm not sure if it's still there. We could walk anywhere we needed to be and getting a ride from the parents was pretty much out of the question. If you wanted to go somewhere, you walked.

The vantage point from where this shot is taken is a big sledding hill in the winter. It's called Suicide Hill; and for a reason. Kids make a big jump with snow about halfway down and when you hit that, fly up into the air. Then at the bottom is the hill is a ditch. And if you've lived to make it that far, broken limbs have been known to happen when hitting it.

It's been a few years since I've been through Odessa and since my Mom doesn't live there anymore there is really no reason to go back. It looks old and tired and depressing. Even the annual German festival is contemplating shutting down due the downturn in attendance.

Sometimes I think it would have been a good place to raise a family but it's not without its problems, just like the big cities. Recently a young man from Iowa came through the area burglarizing businesses in small towns. Farms are robbed of equipment and a drug store was burglarized a few times by the same people trying to get drugs.

It will always be home I guess and I do get nostalgic when I visit but it just kind of makes me feel old, tired, and depressed too.



Grumpy said…
It's more about how you remember it than what it has become.

I'm surprised the school system hasn't consolidated with another one.
kden said…
I should have mentioned that they have Grumpy, for sports anyway. Kind of sad, we used to be the Odessa Tigers and now I'm not sure what they are.
Claire MC King said…
Nice pics, especially the black and white one. I know what you mean about seeing an old stomping ground. Not the same, but neither are you. You are such a better person for spreading your wings. Getting a birds eye view doesn't hurt, once in a while. I feel the same about Belfair and Shelton, of which I lived for 34 years and worked for 14. Blah.

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