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