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Creating a legacy for tomorrow by cherishing our past and
connecting with our present

Creative Engagement Team Programs

Remembering Fremont is a free verse poem, written by members of Niles Rotary during a poetry session held by local teacher and poet, Mara Sheade.  There will be a poetry wall at the September event where attendees can write and share their own "I Remember" memories, "I See/Smell/Taste/Touch/Hear" experiences and "I Wonder" hopes for Fremont's future.
 

Remembering Fremont

by Niles Rotary

I remember that springtime drive through Niles Canyon, filtered sunlight casting eerie shadows through the eucalyptus cathedral; the creek boiling, swollen from winter runoff… We played with the sunlight, then shadows, mysteries at every turn… Welcome Home!

I remember my neighbor John. He grew yellow narcissus on a street named Palm. Years have passed and so has John. Narcissus still grows on a street named Palm. They found a place where they belong.

I remember waking in the grey dawn, hearing the lonesome cry of the train crossing Washington Blvd.

Spring always returns me to the Fremont of my youth. White and pink flowers cloak the bare brown skeletons of apricot and cherry trees. Bright yellow mustard flowers cling to plants and lift softly in the bright blue sky while tri-colored black birds fill the air and I breathe in the earthy smell of fresh turned earth.

I remember the patata-patata-patata sound coming from my best friend’s purple Harley as we sailed unencumbered up the now browning Niles Canyon. I remember the soft intoxicating feel of the warm summer evening on my sunburned legs and face. I remember the cold beer we drank laughingly together as we celebrated our ride and our friendship.

I remember the rushing brown waters of Alameda Creek in spring after a heavy rain.

I remember the brainwashed Moonie testing for human kindness approach our lunch at Panera Bread and solicit a donation. Big Mistake.

I remember Fremont Dragstrip with the thunderous claps of flame spewing metal monsters disappearing into evening blackness like a shooting star.

I remember walking early in the morning around my neighborhood near Rancho Arroyo Park seeing the beautiful green manicured lawns and lovely homes. I remember the feeling of contentment and joy this gave me as I walked down Barcelona Posada and Montecito and circled back to Rancho Arroyo Parkway.

I remember the golden glow of grass and the red sunset on long lazy summer days as I traveled through my mind on the windy trails of Mission Peak. Motion was not present.

I remember the cauliflower harvest when the Fudenna Family helped fill the air with the delicious aroma of that white vegetable we loved to adore.

I remember the verdant green hills that crowned the cobalt blue lake, the first sight, the first day, my first visit to this transitioning city which would surround my family in love.

I remember when I was young, I remember playing with my brown dog, I remember being in my backyard, I remember having no cares.

I remember many years ago an early morning ride on a horse back through the vibrant green dewy Mission Hills on our way to ride in the Pathfinder Days Parade dressed in our equestrian best.

I remember it was a dark and stormy night when the full moon broke out over the dig that had started in Glenmoor Garden and linked Washington High School to the internet.

I remember the 4th of July at Lake Elizabeth when fireworks exploded in the air over the dark water. I remember my whole neighborhood walking home together after the fireworks when spontaneously we broke into song, God Bless America.

I remember driving through the Sunol Grade at sundown just as the sun touched the horizon and the golden rays of light lit up the fields of yellow mustard turning them to California gold.

I remember seeing the cauliflower fields, taking in their horrible smell, but their taste was delicious their touch smooth and the sounds of the field soothing.

I remember fragrances… they take me back black light posters, felt-tip pens, 45 records, colored plastic jewels given by my dad treasures of memory in a precious chest of time unlocked by recall.

I remember when about 20 years ago, one summer afternoon at the office party while playing baseball I ruptured a tendon in my right arm.

I remember the good old days when Fremont was a vast green land filled with green orchards, green hillsides.

I remember the sing-song sounds of kids in the park laughing and squealing with joy as they splashed in our swim lagoon one hot summer several years ago.

I remember that evening at Ardenwood vividly. It was so quiet even the insects made their presence known.

I remember snow in Fremont – white, thin blanket fallen on the nearly new campus of Ohlone – 1976 – and classes missed to chase a girl nearly as fair as that powdery day.

I remember the warmth of the sun on my face as I strolled through Niles, a late summer day, taking in all the sights and smells of the vendors selling their wares with their glass of all colors, their worn antiques and their brightly colored fabrics.

I remember the red shouldered hawks soaring in the cool breeze above Mission Peak in the crisp autumn morning.

I remember riding my bicycle on Peralta Blvd. in the summertime and the fields would be orange from apricots drying in the sun.

I remember the chug, chug, chug, whistle, wind, cold, smoke gliding the rails in Niles Canyon at Christmastime with the train lights reflecting off the full white moon.

I remember springtime fields of rainbow glads, radiant nature in our downtown.

I remember that January morning more than a quarter of a century ago walking with my dogs through Kimber Woods in Fremont when the sky was blue, the air crisp and cold and all around was silence.

I remember the white-capped hills around the eastern Fremont skyline. It was beautiful, but give me a warm sunny day.

I remember our first drive down Mission Ave. in 1959 with a fiery red moon bursting between the hills and filling the evening sky with a beautiful glow.

I remember my backyard at 4pm each day its flowers – brilliant reds and yellows – the squirrels chasing each other around the sequoias – now and then stopping to sip the pool water – the ferns swaying gently in the light breeze and the birds chirping lustily – this is paradise.

I remember each spring evening with the golden sun shining down on the hills of Fremont setting them aflame – the glow of them warms my heart.

I remember the vibrant green Fremont hills at sunset with white and brown horses shimmering in the breeze.

Looking upwards, I remember the glory of the changing Mission Peak’s season from brown to green to gold as I, too, changed.


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Celebrate Fremont
43575 Mission Blvd., #210    Fremont, CA 94539
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