Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What a Difference 26 Years Makes

I spend a lot of time in the past. Or, at least thinking about the past--I’ve not yet perfected time travel. I keep getting stuck in that whole time-space continuum thing.

My memories of growing up in Palm Beach County are often in my thoughts. Since I've started writing about my memories and the history of this area, I'm finding two things are happening. One is that my friends have started sharing their memories with me, which I absolutely love.

The second is that my friends are sending me some links and pictures. The YouTube link above is one of the neatest things I've seen. Uploaded to YouTube by MeMeVid, it can help those of you who didn't grow up here understand my fascination with the state and its history.

The first time I watched this video, I was spellbound. I knew Jupiter twenty-six years ago. Having grown up about ten minutes south of Jupiter in North Palm Beach, I knew it before then. A simple trip through Jupiter to Girl Scout Camp Welaka near the county line in Tequesta was a trip through wilderness.

By 1986, I was living in Broward County, but still came home to North Palm Beach from time to time. The part of  Palm Beach County I temporarily left seemed quite modern and built up to me. Looking at this video, I can see I was mistaken. The two lane roads! All those trees! It was still a wilderness in 1986.

I hope you enjoy this look at the rural area that was Jupiter Farms Road, alongside the developed area that now exists. If nothing else, this video should serve to remind all of us that we only have one chance to protect the close to pristine beauty of the place we call home - no matter where it may be.

Copyright 2012 Ruth Hartman Berge


  1. I was born and raised in royal palm. I love everything about the area, but things have changed drastically over the years. I can no longer take walks in the woods near my home. There are no woods left.

    1. Miranda: When I moved to my little house in 1995, the road in front was dirt. It's paved now. Royal Palm was definitely the woods back then. I'm not so sure progress is such a great thing sometimes.

  2. This is SO cool, Ruth. I moved into my house on SJ in 1984 and this was how it was! Wow...I miss those days. It looks so strange now being away 7 months now - funny how your eyes gravitate upwards when you first come to an area, and then slowly as you are around for a while, your sight line is lower. I find this going into familiar stores, like Wal-mart or Home Depot: exact same layout as the ones I know, but I tend to notice things much higher and therefore, it seems strange. I caught myself doing this when I viewed this video - "where did all those really tall palm tree's come from? I don't remember those..." I found myself thinking. Dummy....they've been there all along!

    I find the feeling of the 'old Jupiter' here in Virginia. No 'rat race' feeling here. No "lost in the crowd' feeling. Yet we can drive a mere 40 minutes and get our share of "mega shopping areas" complete with tons of irritating drivers! But, at the end of the day, we come back to the feeling expressed in your column and that amazing video.

    Hope you can get up here one of these days! Let me know!! Miss you lots!

    1. Hey Kelly :) Sure wish I'd thought to video it! Great idea! It's like that old saw about a frog in boiling water, you never really notice the heat's going up until it's too late. Glad you're enjoying your new wilderness and hope to see you again, soon!