In Davis, the more things change …

By Stephen C. Jett

Davis has assets.

Among many facets
Are the DNA model,
The mallards that waddle,
The dorms — and the Foam Domes,
Away-from-home gnome homes.

The Mondavi Center;
The “neat” student renter.
The fine Farmers Market;
The park where dogs park it.
The Mustangs, Blue Devils;
Miscellaneous revels.

Bicycle lanes,
And brilliance of brains;
The hall they named Mrak,
And the Station Amtrak;
The writer Lescroart;
Social avoirdupoids.

A tunnel for toads,
’Neath some extra-wide roads;
The Konditorei,
And some great pizza pie;
Oenology‘s gift,
For a palate uplift.

To political correctness,
Did the goddess direct us;
Why, no wonder at all
Davis towers so tall:
Like a bug in some rug,
It can be a bit smug!

But only us seniors
Recall those real keen years
With Quessie’s long fountain
And sodas past countin’,
Debo’s burger and fries
Marie Callender’s pies.

And for way after dark,
There was McArthur Park;
Or the Antique Bizarre —
The favorite, by far —
Plus out at the mall,
The Grad’s siren call.

These dives, with Blake’s Cellar,
So fine for a heller,
And Greeks bearing gifts,
And relational rifts,
And brew not un poco
Drove parentes quite loco.

Though the law about liquor,
Made most people snicker;
Three miles away
Was the rule of the day!
To buy bottle or case
Meant a drive out to Mace.

Old Davis traditions
Have had their additions;
After bleachers and sun
And Picnic Day fun
Came the Whole Earth Festivity
And Rec Hall activity.

Things don’t stay the same —
That’s the name of the game —
Davis means change:
From home on the range —
From Bossy Cow-Cow —
To high-tech know-how.

And after making a tally,
The cheap-real-estate Valley,
With prices more mellow,
Drew the Silicon fellow
From the Bay to the Putah
As a Menlo commutah.

From beat-up Volkswagen
With all its springs draggin’,
Through Volvo sedans —
More upscale than vans —
To the wheels for the dreamer:
Today’s gleaming Beemer.

From farm-town to city,
From rustic to witty,
Dairy Barn stanchion
To Wildhorse McMansion:
All Davis in flux,
From low-rent to big bucks.

— Stephen C. Jett is a UC Davis professor emeritus of geography and of textiles and clothing. He retired to Virginia more than a decade ago but says he retains fond memories of Davis.

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • Special Publications »

    Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
    Copyright (c) 2016 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life and other community-driven publications.