When people ask where I’m from, I generally tell them I’m from Vegas. Which is sort of true. I lived in Las Vegas for several years before I left Nevada. On the other hand, I didn’t actually grow up in Las Vegas. I grew up in a small suburb just outside of Vegas called Boulder City.
It’s this little town where everyone knows everyone, and your parents let you run around outside on your own at a pretty young age. I didn’t realize it at the time (as my whole purpose in life from about the age of 10 was to leave), but I was pretty lucky to have grown up there. The same things that I hated about it were the same things that were great about it.
Like the part where everyone knows everyone. I hated that. Everyone knew me. Everyone knew my brother. Everyone knew my parents. And there was a good chance everyone knew our business, too. I longed to reinvent myself as anything other than ‘Trevor’s little sister’ or ‘the smart, shy girl’. But that’s how it was. They knew all about you, and that was that. What I didn’t realize was that because everyone knew me, everyone pretty much watched out for me, too. I had a lot of freedom to run around that little town without my parents worrying too much about where I was at or who I was with. I lived my life without much fear of the dreaded ‘stranger danger’. I walked everywhere. I rode my bike everywhere. I lived on the same street for the first 18 years of my life, and literally knew everyone there.
After I graduated high school, I moved to Vegas and pretty much left Boulder City behind. At first, I would go back to visit my parents. But once they moved, I stopped going altogether. So, last week, when I was in Vegas visiting family, I made a point to go back. I met up with Carrie, one of my best friends from high school, and we drove to Boulder City to check out the sites.
Of course, it took us all of 15 minutes to see the sites. The city hasn’t much changed. It’s still tiny. The biggest difference? It would seem the library moved locations, and the old library building is now the senior center. (I know. Pretty Earth-shattering, isn’t it?) We drove down my old street and stopped to check out the tiny house I grew up in. The new owner’s haven’t changed much. Same yellow siding with white trim. And then we stopped for dinner at the Pit Stop. We reminisced over our favorite burgers and fry sauce.
Yep. It was a lovely afternoon. Good friends. Good conversation. Topped off with a trip down memory lane. All in all — good stuff.