Real History Not There and Yet Still Made

Nearly every day, on an interstate highway, I drive by a pond dug when they constructed the four (now six) lane road that I travel on. It’s in a fairly dense retail area. Back in the late 1970s, when I was in high school, there was a well-known restaurant that sat on the bank of the pond. It was called The Wharf.

I always wanted to take a date there, to the Wharf. It struck me as the kind of place where a high school guy could go and impress his girl friend. As things turned out, I never made it to the Wharf. Took dates elsewhere but not there. Not sure why.

Now, as I drive by in my late 40s, I notice that the Wharf is long gone. Abandoned and torn down. Nothing is there along that bank of the interstate pond. Unless you remember what was there 35 years ago, you’d never realize that anything had ever stood there, let alone that this one high school kid used to look at it and think about taking a girl there for a memorable dinner.

As a historical place, it’s gone. As a historical event for me, it never happened. And yet, it’s completely tangible, with substance, an important part of a real past.