(Pg. 61, # 116)
“I cannot tell you what I care for, I can only tell you what I fear to lose.”
This quote embodies what Lakewood is all about, and how the people there lived their lives, and why they would even
want to go there in the first place. Touches on the idea of “enough”.
The feeling of this book is dark. One is left with the idea that Waldie feels that the suburbs, Lakewood specifically, was
not a good place. A place that intended to be perfect, but was far from it, as many other suburban areas we might be
familiar with. I don’t understand why he still lives there…
The book brings up the topic of “contradiction” once again, in how on the surface the city was or had hoped to be one
thing, yet it was something quite opposite on the inside.
Examples of this were:
-How this city was designed to be safe, to protect people from the natural environment’s potential threats and create a
community of stability. Everything seemed very controlled. At the same time, Waldie discusses religion in regards to his
father, and in not these exact words, says that life is out of one’s control and you can only make so many choices and the
rest is up to God. He says, “Every choice limited God’s choices, and cut you off from other graces”(Pg. 61, # 117). Many
people’s faith allowed them to give up control, yet they remained and believed in an environment that would do just the
-When one would have an emergency the fire department would come, who were actually trained for emergencies, as
there was rarely ever a fire in the area. (Pg. 30 # 59) “The fire fighters were dressed in the stiff canvas jackets that protect
them from the flames that they rarely have to put out.” Another ironic idea of protection.
-He describes how certain trees were planted on certain streets in certain areas, in a certain way, and none of them were
native to the area. Lakewood was actually called a “tree city”, yet the trees there were not natural to the land, and people
would actually kill them because of their inconveniences.
-The salesmen for the homes would show a model home, not a real home, to the potential buyers. One could then create
a combination of elements to make their home “original”. Yet really everyone’s home was the exact same thing, planned
out, up to the doorknobs. This reminds me of Park La Brea, in relation to the lack of originality.
Throughout the book I felt emphasis placed on two things, perfection and efficiency. Waldie describes the measurements
of his home quite frequently, in order to remind one of the planned, basic, simple walls he lived in. He also describes
how easy it was to take things apart, like the doorknobs or the locks, there is a sense of simplicity, but not in a good way.
Metaphorically, the home represents the city, and its lack of stability on the inside. Ironically, that is what both were