If you guessed that the Circus Liquor Sign that we passed on our drive -- was in the movie "Clueless" -- you win!
Circus Liquor, and its famous neon sign, have been in that location since Robert and I were in grade school together at St. Patrick's. In fact, at that time, it was owned by the father of a classmate of ours, Randy Syracuse! I always wondered if they called it Circus Liquor because it sounded a little like Syracuse!
Syracuse is an Italian name, a city in Sicily. In our parish, many of the families were Italian, and all the families on the block where I grew up were Italian. And dinner invitations were coveted because the food was always home-made and so delicious.
It was a much simpler time. We played kick the can in the street until dark. We came inside when the street lights came on. In the evening, when the wind was blowing our direction, you could smell the cows from the dairy a couple blocks over.
My parents would never let me ride my bike to the end of the block where the street signal was located. (The one time that I did, I was grounded, and couldn't go to see the Peter Pan movie with my friend, Donna) But I was allowed to walk up the block to the horse corral, where there was a stable, and horses grazing most days.
Robert used to ride his bike to my house, a Stingray, with tall handle bars. We would sit in my living room on Kittridge Street, play Scrabble, and listen to the Beatles with our other grade school friends. I know for certain that we never knew how lucky we were at the time.
But I know now how lucky we were. For the cows and horses. For Kittridge Street and Scrabble. And the Beatles. And Circus Liquor.