This is a picture of the back yard of the house located at 10194 Ramona Dr in Spring Valley, California.
Welcome to suburbia. Actually I don’t think we lived in suburbia with neat tract homes all in a row. All of the homes on Romana Drive—or most of them at least—had been built independently as it were by its individual owner. None of them looked alike though they were all one story and sort of boxy and cheap looking. And most people had more land tacked onto their property than is usually the case in suburbia. Nor did people on Romana Drive have lawns out front. Nor did we have sidewalks.
People sometimes kept animals out back. One time our neighbor grew a cow out back. One guy parked his collection of Hudson Hornets in his backyard. People kept gardens out back too. Usually some sort of dog was running around in the yard.
We had a slop bucket. Who the hell has a slop bucket? What the hell is a slop bucket? I think it was a left over from a rural way of life. You kept a pig and you fed it slops. You kept your slops in a slop bucket. Any sort of organic matter could serve as slop: coffee grounds, egg shells, moldy bread, chicken bones, orange peelings, apple cores, corn cobs, pork chop bones, potato shavings, squishy tomatoes, and rotting meat. Your slop bucket could get damn stinky in the heat; that’s why it had a special lock down sort of top to keep in the stink.
The slop bucket was sort of a vestigial organ, like the human appendix, left over from a previous evolutionary stage. After a while, we stopped keeping a slop bucket. We didn’t have a pig out back. We would take the slop and dump it on the compost heap. Seems as if we were always heaping compost. After a while all our decaying organic matter ended up in garbage cans out by the road.
So we didn’t live in suburbia—but in some sort of half way place between that and a rural way of life. I call it “urbia.”