About a year ago I did the unthinkable. After living in Boston, Massachusetts for 27 years, I decided to move back home to California. My friends in Beantown were stunned. "You are leaving us?" they cried in unison.
I never thought it would happen. As soon as I graduated from in 1970, I hopped a plane to Southern Methodist University in Dallas to be a drama major. Their department was good, and a few of my pals at SMHS were going there too. As soon as I realized that I would never move past my small but winning role as Pepperment Patty in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, I gave up dreams of Broadway and transferred to UCLA to study television and film. My instincts were right. UCLA was the perfect fit and it helped to launch my 35 year television career. I was hired in Las Vegas at KLAS TV in 1975 to be their first "female" reporter. My career went from there and I never looked back. Soon Boston came calling.
I always thought I would live on the East coast the rest of my life. Boston is a vital city brimming with history, culture, college students and character. I loved every minute of living there and tolerated the weather knowing that summer and fall would make up for the long gray winter.
During my television tenure, I was recognized everywhere and Bostonians treated me like family. "How ya doin Sar? Loved that interview with Robin Williams. He is wicked funny that one!"
My last job from 2003-2009 was as executive producer and co-host of a nightly entertainment show on Comcast Cable in Boston. But as the economy tanked, Comcast laid off 300 employees and pulled the plug on their regional channel. Then, a serious relationship ended and I was feeling adrift personally and professionally for the first time in decades.
I was home with my mother for Thanksgiving in 2009 and my Boston neighbors called to tell me my condo had been burglarized. Without missing a beat I turned to Mom and said, "I think I'm moving back home." The plan really materialized like a bolt out of the blue.
So here I am! Last summer I went to my forty year high school reunion and was amazed at how we fell back into some of our old cliques. When the class "hunk" walked by us we burst into giggles, exactly the way we did in the school corridors. I recently had lunch with a friend who was always the smartest and most popular girl at , , and . I was stunned to hear what life was really like for her when we were growing up. It was an eye opener and made me realize how quick we are to assume everyone else has it more together than we do.
Of course the whole make-up of San Marino has changed since I grew up here. The little "white bread" community we always made fun of later in life, is now predominatly Asian. My mother's generation is slowly disappearing, San Marino High School has had a beautiful face lift, and Huntington Drive mixes the old with the new. Bank of America has replaced the Shopping Bag market where I bought all of my comics and ice cream cones. Also gone is Copa d Oro where we'd buy candy and wax red lips, along with the little record shop where we'd huddle for hours in a tiny sound proof booth and listen to the latest Beatles albums. But how comforting it is to see the is still alive and well, churning out those great BLTs.
I'm a huge fan of , , , and . I also think San Marino is more beautiful than Beverly Hills and Brentwood combined. The 's new is breathtaking. But I'm glad to see that the gong in the has been blocked off. I broke my nose ringing it when I was twelve. I should have sent them the bill for my resulting plastic surgery.
When I left San Marino 40 years ago to begin my own journey in life, I had mixed feelings about growing up here. I felt that we lived in a priveleged "bubble" protected from the real world. I became more liberal, had friends from diverse backgrounds, and loved living in a thriving city on the East Coast.
Now that I've come full circle, I realized how fortunate I am to have grown up in San Marino. There is still a great sense of community, and ties to the past play out in my future.
I'm happy to be home!