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Magic in Middletown

Growing up on Mission Bay in the 50’s was fun for a child my age. There were lots of other kids to play with, and all sorts of things to do. Put a boy on the beach, and he’ll never get bored.

Then we moved around the Old Town area and rented an apartment on Reynard Way. Now at 4 years of age, I had nothing to do and no friends. There was an outdoor rug and carpet washing place next door, but watching the crew work got old fast. It was a good thing I was born a boy or I wouldn’t have had nothing to play with. Then I made an interesting discovery that changed my life forever.

One day I was looking up the cliff behind our building, checking out the property above. There were all sorts of neat little enclosures up there made of lattice work. I remember the jade green colored roofs and the pretty flowers and bushes, their colors brightening up the otherwise dull and brown cliff sides. I always wanted to go up there and play, but the cliffs were too dangerous, and I would have gotten in big trouble for even thinking about attempting an adventure such as that.

Then I saw what looked like a wisp of smoke…. and then I saw them!

He looked like a Garden Gnome, only wearing a green hat instead of a red one. He was about a foot tall, sitting in a tree, smoking a white clay pipe. She was sitting up on the edge of a roof, with long black hair and little horns sticking out of her head. I called her the “Devil Lady” although there was nothing evil or scary about her. She was just a touch shorter then he was, and I could see that they were talking. The other one was some kind of animal with big yellow eyes and a long tail. He was a funny little critter and moved around like a monkey in the jungle, all over everything. They seemed oblivious that I was watching them, and went about their business probably thinking they were being very discreet and clever. I didn’t know that these little people existed outside of story books, but there they were!

I watched them every day. One time I called up to them. They couldn’t hear me I guess, but that was okay, I was making plans to get up that cliff, one way or another no matter what, for an up close and personal visit. It never happened. Shortly afterwards, we moved away. I never saw them again.

A few weeks ago and a half a century later, I went back to look them up. Nothing was up on that cliff except for a few remnants of what once was a beautiful garden with a few outbuildings.

Everyone and everything had moved on, except the magic.

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Growing up on Mission Bay in the 50’s was fun for a child my age. There were lots of other kids to play with, and all sorts of things to do. Put a boy on the beach, and he’ll never get bored.

Then we moved around the Old Town area and rented an apartment on Reynard Way. Now at 4 years of age, I had nothing to do and no friends. There was an outdoor rug and carpet washing place next door, but watching the crew work got old fast. It was a good thing I was born a boy or I wouldn’t have had nothing to play with. Then I made an interesting discovery that changed my life forever.

One day I was looking up the cliff behind our building, checking out the property above. There were all sorts of neat little enclosures up there made of lattice work. I remember the jade green colored roofs and the pretty flowers and bushes, their colors brightening up the otherwise dull and brown cliff sides. I always wanted to go up there and play, but the cliffs were too dangerous, and I would have gotten in big trouble for even thinking about attempting an adventure such as that.

Then I saw what looked like a wisp of smoke…. and then I saw them!

He looked like a Garden Gnome, only wearing a green hat instead of a red one. He was about a foot tall, sitting in a tree, smoking a white clay pipe. She was sitting up on the edge of a roof, with long black hair and little horns sticking out of her head. I called her the “Devil Lady” although there was nothing evil or scary about her. She was just a touch shorter then he was, and I could see that they were talking. The other one was some kind of animal with big yellow eyes and a long tail. He was a funny little critter and moved around like a monkey in the jungle, all over everything. They seemed oblivious that I was watching them, and went about their business probably thinking they were being very discreet and clever. I didn’t know that these little people existed outside of story books, but there they were!

I watched them every day. One time I called up to them. They couldn’t hear me I guess, but that was okay, I was making plans to get up that cliff, one way or another no matter what, for an up close and personal visit. It never happened. Shortly afterwards, we moved away. I never saw them again.

A few weeks ago and a half a century later, I went back to look them up. Nothing was up on that cliff except for a few remnants of what once was a beautiful garden with a few outbuildings.

Everyone and everything had moved on, except the magic.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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