Can You Go Home?

The question, “Can You Go Home?,” has been on my mind for the last year. I moved from Williamsburg in 1990 and have been back a couple of times a year since then. I think about growing up there with a much different perspective than I had when I lived there. Who knew I would miss the old Second Street or hanging out at Jamestown Beach? But can you really ever go home?

So many of the people that I used to hang out with have moved on. They live in far away places like Tennessee, North Carolina, California, and way out in New Kent County. My old friends went off to college or jobs and we all kind of went different directions. I often feel like I lost connection with the folks I used to see every day during high school. It’s certainly no fault of anybody’s that we lost touch with each other, it’s just the way of things.

When I go back to Williamsburg, I’m a tourist. I have a hard time understanding 199 and Old Town Road just isn’t the same without the Corvette parked outside that trailer on the curve. The first outlet mall is gone and the Pottery Factory may as well be extinct. There is also a Wawa which is the 7-11 of my haunts up here in Pennsylvania and I think, “Maybe I could come back.”

Moving back to Williamsburg probably won’t ever happen for me. I’ve established roots outside of Philly and no matter what the sports announcers say, Philly is a cool town. The same stuff that happens here goes on in the ‘Burg. Occasionally, I read Google News and see that someone got shot at a Farm Fresh or people are running real estate scams. Stuff happens everywhere and in Philly there is an honesty that I appreciate. There’s a “with us or against us attitude” that doesn’t always serve the area well, but it sure does keep things interesting. I don’t think I would ever want to lose the Philly attitude.

Over the past year, I’ve written weekly stories and many poems about my time in Williamsburg and I have enjoyed the memories. To my Williamsburg friends and family, you will never know how much my time there meant. Really, it was everything. I have laughed and cried (yeah, sometimes I cry about stuff) over the course of the year as I delved into stuff I thought was forgotten. It all started with a last minute decision to go to the LHS homecoming in 2015 and the chance to hang out with great people. Reconnecting in person was so much better than through the “social medias” and it made me feel glad that I got guilted into braving the I-95 corridor and its hellacious traffic.

So Williamsburger’s and LHS-ers, I hope you will continue to check out the blog, but the time has come for me to change patterns in my writing. This is the last “Williamsburg Memories” that I’m posting. I appreciate the comments and support you’ve offered over the year. Most of all I appreciate, no that’s not a strong enough word… I love that you made Williamsburg a happy place for me. You guys are great!

Of course, I say that this is it, but then again, you never know…


  1. It was interesting to read this. I grew up in Gloucester County and worked in Williamsburg for years. I left the area in 1999, but my mom still lives in Hampton (which is where I was born). Williamsburg is kind of like home, but when I go there, I am a tourist.

  2. “When I go back to Williamsburg, I’m a tourist.” I feel the same way when i go back to Johnstown. Yes, I still call it home, even though I’ve moved from the area. Even in the 15 short years from moving out here, so much has changed there. I’m sure people who have moved from this area would say the same thing when coming back for a visit. No matter how long it has been though, i can still look back and cling to those memories, as they have helped shape who I was and to a part, who I am, as I continue to evolve as a person.

  3. A friend from my home city where I lived for 45 years rang me this afternoon. She is still there and rings me from time to time. It has changed hugely, full of busy traffic, population multiplying etc. it is ten years since I went back, and it was difficult to recognise then. I would get lost straight away if I went back now. My home town as I used to know it no longer exists. Enjoy your memories and your present life these days.

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