The Partridge Family

We’re moving. We’re out of Recoleta, out of a building that doesn’t want our dog. Out of a building of angry faces – and into something better.

We hope.

We’d anticipated the expulsion from our apartment in Recoleta. The building’s bylaws say no dogs. We rented on the understanding that our dog, an obedient yet large and lovable mass of fur, was accepted.

Handshakes were made, money paid. And then the neighbors gave our canine the thumbs down and banded together to orchestrate our ouster. We thought of fighting. But in the end we decided that living with rich old fogies is like having your teeth drilled. Not fun. Not amusing. And not our game.

So months ago we started to search for a new pad. And luck would have it we found and settled on a promising place only days ago – a house in Colegiales. It is quieter and less snooty than Recoleta. It’s mostly houses. And ours has a garage to boot.

I love garages. My parents’ house in West Los Angeles has a big garage chockablock with stuff from decades of my parents’ travels and from their homelands in Argentina and England. When we were kids it was a den for many of the major changes in the lives of us five children, helped in a way by its nature. Garages are neither clean nor organized. You need space to build your own skateboard? Shift that chest over, line the bikes up over there and presto, you’ve got space. I built a skateboard so big it was like a moveable sidewalk. Oh the looks from the neighbors!

The garage became headquarters for my eldest brother’s ice cream business (and me and my other brother’s gluttonous raids of the freezer when he was out on his rounds) and later it was for his independent music label that produced Southern California punk bands. My dad at one point turned it into his architecture studio, and I played music in it. We all did in our attempts at punk rock. I tried my hand as a DIY bike and car mechanic. I moved a desk into the garage to write my university final on Shakespeare and then to take my first stab at journalism and fiction writing within its four unheated walls full of old furniture and boxes in the rafters packed with papers and photos from years before, my mother as a stage actress and my sisters living in southern England.

And now we have our very own garage. Yippee!

I’ll put my office in it at one end and leave the rest for the kids to play in, to roam and to dream. They’re already plotting to form their own band – the eldest girl on guitar and the middle boy on drums. The youngest girl wants to play the drums, too. Maybe she’ll go for the tambourine, what with her still only being two years old and all. Maybe they’ll make something of their band. Maybe they’ll become the new Partridge family? Well, not quite. We’re shy by two to make up a five-some and my wife is too shy to take on the part of the singer-keyboards-tambourine-percussionist mother Shirley Partridge. But that big multi-colored bus would sure be ace for traveling around Argentina. Maybe from concert hall to outdoor venue to Luna Park. Together and having a ball!

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Psyart August 11, 2010, 3:27 pm

    Well done on finding a place away from the frumps and with your own garage. Wish we had a garage – I'd put up a huge printing table and throw paint around on fabric. Have fun in your garage – and your new home.
    love Lister and bee

  • Charles Newbery August 12, 2010, 6:17 pm

    That's a grand idea. The kids would love to throw paint around on fabric. I'll try to keep my office in a protected corner of the garage. Love, Charles

  • LittleMissCupcakes August 16, 2010, 7:00 pm

    Your kids are amazing little artists!
    It's nice to discover that life can be interesting and dynamic, thanks for sharing!

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