Friday, March 18, 2011

A Different Casselberry. Or Was That Always Casselberry?

Living in Casselberry, Florida from the late '80s to the early '90s, when I was beginning to develop the soft, creamy center that is now me (Translation: I was 5 in 1989), the neighborhood you lived in was generally the only neighborhood you really knew. Passing signs for different streets, you'd notice the names, but you'd be thinking more about what there was to do when you got home.

I remember our house (235 Warbler Lane), the big tree in our front yard that I fell out of once, the basketball hoop next to the driveway, the tangerine tree at the left side of our house that died during a bitterly cold winter, the salamanders in the patio, the large backyard that led to a small lake, and the space shuttle launches we'd see while standing in the backyard.

I received a Media Mail package today from Onestopmediashop, a seller on Amazon, located where? Casselberry, Florida. 1783 Laurel Brook Loop. Fast service, and the "Angels in America" 2-disc set arrived tightly sealed and exactly as advertised. But Laurel Brook Loop? When did this happen? We lived in the Deer Run development, and surely there were other developments around us, but what would compel someone to name an area Laurel Brook Loop? How much has the area expanded since we last visited in 2003? I'm not shocked. I never expected the place to remain as it was when I lived there, just as I don't expect Walt Disney World to remain the same (and it hasn't, though I am disappointed at the useless soundtrack they have now for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, which needlessly advertises the attractions in Tomorrowland, because not only can we see them, but I'm sure those in Tomorrowland probably walked around and saw everything before getting on the TTA, because you go on there for a break. Of course there are the exceptions like me, with it being one of my favorite attractions, who could have ridden it all day), but who comes up with that name? Are there laurels? Is there a brook?

I know the names shouldn't be taken literally. In fact, I don't remember seeing warblers around when we lived there. But even if an area expands, as I'm sure my old neighborhood has, there should be a name that can bind closely with what it represents, not something as disparate as "Laurel Brook Loop." I've no doubt it is a loop, and it's creative on the end, instead of "Laurel Brook Cul-de-Sac." But there are very few names in Florida anymore that retain a spirit of the state. Lake Okeechobee thankfully still has its name (though it wasn't the original name, as it was also called Macaco and Mayaimi, the latter of which became Miami, and more suitable for another part of the state), but that's not enough. I admit that there may not be many pleasing features around the land being built upon to merit a poetic name. But just try something. I know that these builders probably don't care much about what name is attached to these areas, so long as the houses are built and people buy. I get that. But in the hopefully ever-present desire to appeal to people in order to turn a profit, why not see if there's any poets that need a job? Riffle through literary journals. Comb college campuses and see what teachers there have had works published.

Warbler Lane was nice. For me, it was a happy home, and I'm always reminded also of going to Walt Disney World every weekend, and sometimes during the week just for dinner. In fact, I think that may be why I eventually became a writer, because I had so much imagination all around me. But these companies, whoever they are, should strive for names that connect, names that could mean more than just "That way home."

Hell, hire me. I'll think of something.

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