You could miss it. Ridge Road is high ground, and the Blossom Road entrance to Pine Ridge is not through across Ridge. I can’t say how many times I drove past myself, and I lived in that town for half my life, more or less. Blossom terminates at Ridge on a little down slope just half a block past the high school.
Everybody was somebody in Pine Ridge, but then again that could be said for most of the people in that well lit town. Funny how powerful stories are. Loose lips sunk ships, our parents believed until it was too late.
The county was run by the party, and the party was run by the same people who owned the MIC. What is martial law? We were kids, not heard, and only seen when we screwed up. We learned to be invisible before learning to ride a bike. We learned to swim before anything, except perhaps toilet training.
We were not somebody. We lived on Ridge about hundred yards past the easily missed unmarked entrance to Pine Ridge. We had no story. The stories were all on the other side of our back fence in Pine Ridge. We snuck in through a hole in our back fence too small for adults. The high school kids had to struggle to cut through but few did, as it was not really a short cut to school...Blossom Road was quicker.
We were not somebody and we were not there long after Kennedy got shot, but Pine Ridge stayed put. The Cold War raged on. The thing was that winters were half as bad in Pine Ridge as they were at the south end of Waterman, only two miles east, where we moved in 1964.
We all could swim then, and we had to because the water was swift and deadly cold. I had barely turned seven, when the seven of us left the two bedroom one bath on Ridge for the early spring on the estuary for the four bedroom three and a half bath wreck on the river. We were out of place on Ridge, and Marines were out of fashion. Oswald didn’t get to say much at all. What the MIC knew and when the MIC knew it is still up for grabs. We just lived in the belly of that beast.
Pine Ridge stayed put, but all the pieces that had been assembled shifted, and continued to shift, almost imperceptibly, as the invisible hand worked its Cold War magic to the MiC’s cadence.
The other entrance to Pine Ridge was just as easy to miss on Avenue Of Two Rivers, and was how I entered and exited after we moved. Because everyone I knew was in Pine Ridge, I was there a lot, especially in the winter. I hated winter on the water. The house was freezing, and the wind blew right through...my friends in Pine Ridge were warmer and better fed. I would have stayed there all winter if I could have. But we were not them, and never were. We had no story.
Pine Ridge will not wash away in a storm, but the MIC is gone...and so are we. The people who live in Pine Ridge now mostly know nothing about what was what and who was who. Our part of Cold War history remains unwritten, but evidence of what was then exists strongly in our present.
Bury my heart there, if you can find it.