To be fair, Kamloops has changed dramatically in much the same way as Nanaimo has, and it even seems to be on the tourist trail these days. It has gone from a hardened outpost for pulp mill workers and ranch hands in the middle of the Swushwap desert area to a relatively vibrant family town
. It's still a little rough with tattoo parlours, liquor stores, and street people taking up more than their fair share of space but even the 'brawling' bar I thought I remembered, the Canadian Inn, was closed for renovations (where are all those lost souls going to go to drink and fight now?). We walked through some nice parks along the river- did they even have parks when I was here, saw the new arena for the Blazers hockey team, was there an old arena or even a team, and marveled at the historic Red Bridge that crosses the Thompson River- don't remember the bridge but I do remember the river...or am I thinking about the Amazon.
We burned up the better part of a day trying to find my old apartment but after a couple of wrong turns, I think we found it on the edge of the hill with sweeping views of the valley and rivers as well as the downtown area. The apartment block certainly spoke to my early days of poverty in the workforce as I repaid student loans but what a great location. I'm now absolutely certain that I lived and worked in Kamloops (probably just after my NFL career wrapped up), and it was great to do this little trip down memory lane (albeit a somewhat dark and blurry lane).
One of my earliest job postings had me living in Kamloops for a year and I was absolutely certain of that until we started exploring the area around our hotel. My memory seems to be razor sharp for all events that have taken place within the last hour or two, gets progressively fuzzier until I hit about a twenty year horizon, and then drops off dramatically to the point of false memories ("you mean I wasn't a star quarterback in the NFL??"). But as we wandered the streets of Kamloops, I didn't recognize a thing. Did I really live here for a year? Did I work here? Did I drink copious amounts of beer and chase women here (being prone to false memories has made me remarkably successful with women back in the day)?