Momote Village

The houses are like Monopoly board hotels. There are three per side around each block with very large yards around each one and forming a small park in the center of the block. Our block had one of the better playgrounds with equipment spread around with most of it closest to our house. It sucked altogether because the implements were spread out, each one was great, but come on. They were fantastic areas for kids to organize games. Two families per abode, they do not look like much and they remind me of urban project developments and I find them a bit depressing, but these are more spread out than that, much better appointed inside, and they are huge, designed for unusually large families of at least four kids. Lots of kids.

The school bus delivered us from Camp Drake and we fanned out from there. Oddly that day I found myself alone in the very center of the whole block on my way to my house on the other side when a dragonfly whizzed right by my face, then another and another then more and suddenly a swarm of dragonflies, all colors and sizes all at once flying in the same direction. I stopped and stood there awestruck. Dumbstruck. I was a dumb little kid. Where did they come from? Where are they going? What is the hurry? Why all at once? I knew then this is a once in a life-time deal so I stood there and took the pings until it subsided. 

Back home. "What's going on, Honey?"

"I'm trippin', that's what." 

I had it all wrong all along. I thought nearby Grant Heights was the main thing and Camp Drake a little appendage to Momote Village, but not so. Camp Drake was the main thing, its history a bit awesome, and Momote Village came later an appendage to that. 

Islands of American military activities at the Northwest corner of Tokyo, way out there, the houses all have unusually wide space all around them and with greater Tokyo encroaching growing around the bases the compression of the city in stark contrast to the open spaces of the bases and housing areas. 

They are gone now and that is not a bad thing, what came after is frankly improvement.

Incidentally, on one of the message boards a Japanese national writes he was a boy at the time living outside the fences at the edge looking in. He used to observe what he could of us and imagine Momote Village is what California is like. 

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