Stay healthy, Claire

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Claire McDonald

Claire McDonald ’21 takes a walk with her mother and finds herself connecting with both her neighborhood and her family’s past in new ways.

Dear Tologs,

I hope everyone is doing okay in this crazy time. If you were wondering what I have been doing this break, I have been walking A LOT. This may sound cliche, given that everyone in the entire world is talking about her newfound love of walking, but I assure you that my walking adventures are far more interesting than the typical ones.

Despite the sidewalks of San Gabriel and Alhambra being quite cracked, covered with black asphalt on corners that have been brought up by overgrown oak trees, I have started to notice, every so often, that a faint date that was stamped into the sidewalk by an ancient cement company can be seen. I stopped believing in my grandpa’s stories of his arduous, miles-long-in-the-snow, uphill (both ways) hike to school a long time ago when I realized that he went to Alhambra High School, but it wasn’t until social distancing boredom pushed me to join my mom on her daily walks that I truly began to understand my family’s past. On the sidewalks of the quiet San Gabriel streets, I can see my grandpa sprinting down the sidewalk, cutting across the grass and jumping onto the asphalt to catch a football. I can see my mom roller skating, making a sharp turn around that corner by St. Therese. I see myself, in my Brooks running shoes, walking on sidewalks my family has run on, skated on and walked on for four generations, during what I imagine will become the most memorable time of my young life, and I know, just like my grandpa and mom, I will remember these sidewalks forever.

For the first time in a long time, life is slowing down and giving us the chance to understand ourselves more. So lace up your tennis shoes, head outside and please remember to share your revelations with the Veritas Shield.

Stay healthy,

Claire