Thursday, January 3, 2008

Oxnard Boulevard at 4th Street

My wife Yoshiko's parents live in Oxnard, California, an hour outside of Los Angeles. They own a market in neighboring Saticoy where the freeway used to go. Oxnard used to be a small farming town. Yoshiko has often said her fellow high school graduates were bound for the military. The city barely has a skyline, one medium tall office building visible from the freeway. Over the years that we have driven up to visit though, it has become overdeveloped; where used to be farmlands ten years ago are now long stretches of strip malls and factory outlets.
Oxnard is also where the Hernandez brothers grew up, and I've often been struck by how the town appears to have seeped ineffably into their kinesthetic backdrop vocabulary. The ranch style houses found in Jaime's and Gilbert's panels can still be found on blocks where they haven't been replaced by new condos. On our most recent visit though, I would not have known that we had driven by where Rolly's Restaurant, pictured below, used to be if Yoshiko had not told me.