Where’s San Bernardino?”
If I had a dollar for everytime I said that, I’d buy my mom the Mercedes she always keeps singing about.
Where is it? Take the 405 south to the 10 East and drive 90 miles.
Take the 10 to the 215 and exit Waterman, turn left and drive to my place. Don’t hit the chick with the bruises and stroller and another baby on the way – she’s an old friend.
Don’t drive too fast going by the country club – there’s an elementary school there, and it’s the closest some of those kids will ever get to comfort.
You’ll know you’re there when you see the painted bridges saying “A City on the Move” in the middle of sprawling chaparral and sand. Oh, it’s on the move all right – you leave it or it leaves you, as it moves on to gated communities, Starbucks, and “historic districts.” Sound familiar?
Don’t linger too long in Redlands – cops’ll run you off the street if you’re too young, too dark, or too anything.
If you drive through late at night on weekends on the way to Vegas, tune into 99.1 and listen to the baby mamas dedicating songs to their guys who are “far away” in Chino or San Quentin.
I used to hate home. I got roughed up by the cops in high school because I looked shady. I got clowned on by teachers because I wasn’t so hot at math. To this day, I still don’t get how I got into UCLA. I guess I got lucky
I was just a small-town boy coming out here – a kid from a town nobody knew, who went to a church nobody knew, from a country nobody knew. Then I met y’all – children of nurses and postal workers and engineers and teachers, believers and doubters, charmers, beauties, and decievers, and I realized that you’re from San Bernardino, too.
You see, San Bernardino is everywhere. Anywhere kids grow up with big dreams and slim chances. Anywhere parents stay up sweating over bills in a haze of cigarette smoke and worry and try to hide it from their kids. Anywhere people say things are “fucked up” because they don’t know any other way to say it yet. Anywhere wealth lives cheek by jowl with hunger. No matter if you live by the country club or by the train station, everybody’s just one missed payment away from the soup kitchen – San B is where everybody prays, and doubts, and hopes.
Everybody’s from the same place – maybe it’s Carson, or Oakland, or San Diego – but we’re one people, riffing different variations of the same blues, of the same struggle, of the same hope.
So, where’re you from?