Feels Like Home

Thursday, July 28, 2011 / 2:29 AM

The pastel parlor of Leatherby's is a timeless Sacramento classic. It's an old establishment, though not as historic as Vic's (est. 1947), but Vic's was a place for childhood memories--crisp chips, sandwich-like hot dogs and afternoon sundaes at the counter or in a cozy booth. Leatherby's was a sign of something different. It was bigger and brighter, the Rydell High carnival of my grade school and teenage days. Leatherby's was where we went for cast parties and where we went after choir performances. In high school, it was where we went before or after dances and dates. The best part about Frosh/Soph in '06 was watching Steph guzzle down the remains of a Black and Tan as we rushed to catch our ride to the dance. Anytime you went to Leatherby's, someone from school would be working there or you'd run into someone you knew because--hell, everyone ended up at Leatherby's.

And it was fun. It didn't matter if you were in the mood for ice cream or not. It didn't matter if you didn't even like ice cream. You could get fries or sorbet or milkshakes (oh, Swiss Milk Chocolate...) or you could just sit there and laugh with your friends because nobody goes to Leatherby's to be serious or "grown up." Even in our twenties, we always end up at Leatherby's to laugh and to hold hands and to hug and to exist in a place frozen in time.

But it doesn't feel frozen in the sense that it's stuck. It feels like a place that preserves a part of us that lays dormant in us wherever we go: that sense of adventure and fun that gets buried over time as we learn to be practical and serious. That's the beauty of a taste of familiarity--but it's only a taste I want or really need, I think. I need just enough to truly miss it when I'm gone again.

I think this is what being back in Sacramento this past month and a half has been for me: a place to remember how it felt before so much of life happened. I don't wish to go back to those ignorant days, but there's a feeling that accompanied that time that I do miss, though I know I'll never truly be without the soulmates who created that world with me. Like my philosophy notes told me: "We grow in the bad shit. But you need to know your own roots. People should shift mountains if they need to, but know where you come from."

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  2. SHEEEEEEEEEP! The video was a nice addition.
    Also, long live Leatherby's. Places can become powerful without you even realizing it. Sometimes a striking and powerful single event happens that makes a place significant, but a lot of the times it's the mundane and the familiar that, over time and accumulated experience, create such a strong feeling of connection to a place. We will end up at Leatherby's again soon enough :-)