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I consider Olney, MD to be my home town, having lived there from 1977 to 1989, and then in nearby Brookeville, MD until 1993. This spans the middle of 4th grade through the start of my professional life after graduation from the University of Maryland (Go Terps!!!). For no particular reason, I found myself looking at it via Google Maps.
Other than a handful of businesses I could count on one hand — e.g., Safeway, the public library, a gas station, and the Olney Theatre — little from childhood remains. If I went back with the intent of visiting my old “stomping grounds,” there’d be nothing there of interest (other than Olney Theatre). My house and elementary school look largely the same, but my frequent eateries Jerry’s Subs & Pizza, Cuckoo’s Nest, Delly Nelly, Highs, Pizza Oven, and Pizza Hut are all long gone. Even the banks are different (one exception), and my middle school burned down. So, I scanned over Ashton, which is eight miles away but a place I frequented after the move to Brookeville. I don’t recognize most of what’s there either.
This is not, of course, a shock. I’ve visited in the last five years or so and noticed many of these changes, and I moved out of there almost 30 years ago. It’s just jarring that it’s so different. Considering how unrecognizable it is, I may as well not even have lived there.
Getting old sucks.
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