As we approach my Ten-Year Reunion, the one which I will be unable to attend, I thought I would find something from my blog of topics to write about when otherwise unable to think of something to write about. So I decided to write about the place where spent most of my formative years: West Valley City, UT.
My family moved to the fledgling city in April 1983 after spending some time in Orem, UT. On our humble cul-de-sac off of Higate Avenue, the Eberhard family began to flourish, and expand. It was while living here that the youngsters of our family came along (Bill and Jen), and where I met some lifelong friends (Jeff, Brandon, Tyson, Travis, and Stephen, among others). I started my schooling at Whittier Elementary, which no longer stands as it did when I went. From Ms. Connelly in Kindergarten to Mrs. Gehmlich in 6th Grade, my seven years at Whittier built a nice foundation for whatever else was going to come in my life. Then onto Hunter Junior High School for three more years, and Hunter High School for another three years.
But what does this all have to do with the ol’ WVC? What made “Tha Westside” have that other places didn’t? I don’t really know. However, according to the 2000 census, West Valley City is the second largest city in Utah. A suburb of Salt Lake City, it has hosted all sorts of fancy things over the years, like my high school graduation at the
E Center Maverick Center, which also hosted some Olympic ice hockey.
Growing up in West Valley, there were plenty of things to do. Many summer nights as a kid were spent playing baseball in the street with the neighborhood kids, at least until Jackie called Jeff in for a bath every night. We flew kites at Hunter Park and Hunter Junior High, we rode the UTA bus down to Valley Fair Mall to hang out and eat some food court food or play Magic for hours upon hours, trading a Fork for a lot of Chronicles cards for some reason. Or we would walk down to the Reel Theatre in Magna because we were five minutes late for the bus. Or we’d just walk down to the Card Shop and spend even more time just hanging out and doing nothing. Also, many summer nights were spent watching my sisters kick some booty at softball, making up for my athletic difficiencies and then some. It was a different time back then; my parents never locked the door or worried when we were out late walking around.
The WVC has changed a lot since I was a kid. There are now about 17 Walmarts within three miles of my parents house. And you can find every single fast food chain restaurant, sometimes in duplicate within blocks of each other. Plus, along 3500 South, east of Bangerter Highway, it seems that the city has become a little more rundown than some of the other cities of the Valley.
Regardless of what becomes of my hometown, it will always be just that: my hometown. I enjoy visiting when I can, and checking out all of changes that seem to spring up every single time I am there. So for all the residents of the WVC, past, present, and future, it is, and was, a great place to grow up.