Going home again
by Dave Siemienski
“You Can’t Go Home Again” was a novel published in 1940 by Thomas Wolfe. The expression has since transformed into a common cultural idiom. It is most commonly associated with wistful yearning for the past and the times, events, and childhood experiences that evoke the warmest of feelings. It is a brand of sentimentality that seldom matches up to biases in memory when taken to its most literal application.
This emotional longing is also generally interpreted as nostalgia. That word derives from a Greek compound, consisting of “nostos,” or a Homeric word for “homecoming” and “algos” for pain or ache. These kinds of recollections of the past can represent important events with people and places that were the most pleasant in memory. As a lifetime unfolds it often leads to desires to literally “go home” once again.
I was passing through the South Bay recently with some time to kill when I decided to drive to Inglewood to see the places of my youth. As I approached the city, I began thinking of an old “Twilight Zone” episode called “Walking Distance,” written by Rod Serling and starring Gig Young. It was about a world-weary advertising executive who leaves his car at a gas station (when you could do that sort of thing) and sets off on foot to his hometown, which coincidentally is just down…
click here to read more.