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Reminder [Oct. 5th, 2005|08:10 pm]
October nostalgia is toying with me again. In school, we sometimes used to get field trips this time of year. Something about the air today made me remember this, but I can't connect October with any particular field trip, and I've just realized that (worse yet) I can no longer even connect any particular field trip to any particular school year. This is stuff I used to know. Memory can be weird. You think you've got something stored away forever, because you've recalled it so many times, and then you just sort of forget about it. One day, it just isn't there any more.

No, wait. I do remember that we went to the Griffith Observatory in 6th grade, when we had our first science classes, and I think that the trip to the Southwest Museum was in 4th grade, when we studied California history. But I don't remember what year we visited the Helms Bakery, or when we were carted off to the Warner Hollywood Theatre to see the first Cinerama movie (and I'm not sure why there was a field trip to see a movie, anyway, even though it was sort of a travelogue and thus might be construed as somehow educational.)

I know that we also went to both of the County museums in Exposition Park-- the old main museum which housed both art and natural history exhibits (including the dinosaur skeletons) and the Museum of Science and Industry just down the road from it, where there were primitive versions of the sort of "hands-on" exhibits which have since become standard fare in museums of that sort. But I don't recall if we visited both museums on one trip, or if there were two different trips. I know that I was there at least once in the fall, because I remember the masses of colored leaves which were strewn along the walkways leading to the building.

There was also supposed to have been a trip to a dairy (actually a milk bottling plant in El Monte), but I missed that one because of an illness. I hadn't been looking forward to that trip anyway, as I was allergic to milk. When we visited the bakery, we were given small bags of chocolate chip cookies, and I feared that at the dairy we would be given small cartons of milk, which I would have to refuse, an act which I've always found embarrassing for some reason I've never quite fathomed (I mean refusing just about anything, not just milk.) I would rather have gone back to the bakery, for more cookies.

Was that it? Six or seven field trips? It seems to me that there were more, but I have no memory of any others. A few years ago, I'd have been content with whatever count my memory gave me, but I'm no longer sure that something hasn't quietly slipped away, in the manner of an ignored guest at an increasingly dull party, without saying goodbye. As it is, I have trouble placing those who are there. I begin to wonder if there will be a day when I recognize none of them, or when they have all departed, unnoticed. Then, I suppose, October nostalgia would no longer toy with me. I would sit in a perpetually unfamiliar room, watching the leaves fall past a window that revealed eternal strangeness.