I was going to write about Wisconsin tonight, but that’s not what’s on my mind. On Friday, someone started a Facebook group called “You Know You’re from Eagle Rock if…” Now, regular readers know that I’m from Eagle Rock. It’s a small town in the big city. Nestled between Glendale and Pasadena, it’s one of those places in L.A. that feels both a part of and removed from the vast metropolis that is Los Angeles.
Well, I’m nothing if not a sentimentalist (and proud of it!), so I joined and started commenting.
It is the only thing that has been happening in terms of Facebook activity for me. Eagle Rock is not a large community, but the group, as I write, stands at 1499 members and boasts well over 3000 posts. I had to change my settings because my email inbox received a couple of thousand messages from people posting. Messages, in batches of 15 and 30, would come in while I was clearing out the previous messages.
I would not presume that this does not happen with such groups for other communities, but it’s nice to sit back and revel in the reminiscence.
The thing that has really struck me about this is the wide cross section of people participating in the discussion. Whatever your measure of diversity: gender, race, ethnicity, clique, age, political views, people are coming together and remembering. It’s like a giant, online community reunion. I’m learning all sorts of things that I did not know, like what the deal was with the male teacher that I knew by one name in seventh grade and by another in eleventh. But more often than not, the posts bring to mind memories and images that I share with all these people of such diverse background.
We had the same teachers. We ate at the same restaurants, drove the same streets, shopped the same stores. We saw the same history and in that, we have a shared baseline of values. We share a hometown.
Eventually, the novelty will pass. Eventually, the reunion will end as it should. We have our own lives now, in our own communities. But we also will always, always have Eagle Rock.
And that’s a good thing, because we all need a hometown.