Today I dug through boxes of photographs that are kept down in my wife's basement studio - decades of memories archived in pretty good order. Jan has labeled many of the envelopes, so it was first a matter of getting some sort of bearings about the scope of the effort, and then
5275 Nottingham Drive, c. 1995
going back through each of the boxes filled with the photo envelopes trying to as rapidly as possible locate batches that may turn up the one(s) I am looking for. Vacation coastal scenes were a sure give-away that I was in the right ballpark - good times at San Simeon Beach building sand castles and watching the kids boogey board; climbing on the cliffs and rocks along the shore near my folks' house; looking at tidal pools; an occasional seascape snapshot; and even one photograph of me - skinny with a beard drawing on my sketch pad, with the photograph dated January 1985 - verifying the period of the earlier sketch. Lots of looking, but nothing like what I hoped to find - close-up details of the gate and garden planting in front of the fence - the house was more memories than Kodak moments, and nothing more.
Park Hill neighborhood
Finally a packet from 1995, and there it was - one picture of Ellie's house. I have sent copies off to France and California - commitments fulfilled. The house is now gone, sold in December 2003 and replaced by a new version that sits on the foot print of the original - real estate changes hands. My brother and sister-in-law gave my folks a framed copy of a postcard showing the seascape from Lancaster Drive looking down the hill towards Nottingham Drive and the state park in front of the cliff
Gill, another artist
below. The image from the postcard looked showed the area looking like a rural delivery area and not at all what the built up development on Park Hill is today. The houses and the neighbors we have known over the past 30 years have changed, different than those early sketches and few old photographs. In that postcard, the house back then across the street from my folks' was different than the cottage that was first there when we began to visit each year - it now replaced by a modern home. We said goodbye to that owner this past July when we visited, Gill (also an artist) is moving on, as well.