My girlfriend and I have been more than casual ‘royal watchers’ over the years 😊. We are paying close attention to the rituals and reactions to the Queen’s passing. While many people are mourning, others see the monarchy as costly to the taxpayers and associate it with colonialism and white supremacy.
For me, the Queen’s death represents the end of yet another era. I was born the year she became Queen Elizabeth II.
I am mourning (or have mourned) a few other ‘era endings’. This is my personal list. It could be quite long, so I am sticking to:
Downtown Seattle – I remember loving to go to downtown Seattle and shop at Frederick and Nelson, Nordstrom, Westlake Center, Pacific Place, etc. Most are now gone or a shadow of their former selves (Nordstrom). We loved eating at Etta’s (now gone) and no December was complete without a holiday visit to Seattle. And, unlike today, we had no real concern about our personal safety.
Central Avenue – Central Avenue in my hometown was the ‘main drag’. When I was growing up there were 3 movie theaters along 9 blocks, plus some favorite department stores (Paris of Montana, Buttrey’s) and shops (Spencer’s, Dale Stapp, the Petite Shoppe). We had restaurants to choose from, the Parisienne Room being a favorite. While there are still some shops and places to eat on Central, all of those I fondly remember growing up have been history for decades (except for the City Bar 😊).
Shopping – Remember when you could go to a department store or a mall and find pretty much everything you needed or wanted in one trip? Now our needs and necessities come to our doorstep via a blue Amazon delivery truck (or UPS, or FED EX – take your pick).
Salmon – my husband remembers salmon fishing in Commencement Bay during the 1980’s. He fished most weekends and almost always caught his limit. While he still fishes, the salmon aren’t nearly as plentiful as they used to be. The orcas know this firsthand ☹!
It makes me sad that many of these things I took for granted over the years will be distant memories, at best, for our children. And our grandchildren will likely never experience them.
I don’t think of myself as someone who is stuck in the past. But I do think it is OK to mourn the end of eras (even briefly).
That being said, we now have King Charles and who knows what’s next for the monarchy? Downtown Seattle will continue to reinvent itself in some way, shape, or form. Central Avenue is still on the map. Amazon is here to stay (I think), but brick and mortar stores are still standing. And there are still salmon in the bay for now.
“Everything has to come to an end, sometime.”L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz