Grove Street OG

I was looking for an address in Oakland recently, and I realized it was fairly close to where I remember my parents said they lived when they were students in college. So I looked on Google maps and Yahoo maps, trying to find “Grove street,” where I know they lived.

What’s weird is in Palo Alto, we also lived on Grove Avenue. And in GTA: San Andreas, the gang you start out in is called the Grove Street Families. I guess I’m part of the Family.

But what’s weirder- I couldn’t find Grove Street on a map. I found a bunch of businesses though… then I realized that when my parents lived there, it was the late 1960s. Grove Street is now called Martin Luther King Jr Way. The Grove Street Market and the Grove Street Body Shop are both on MLK.

DOC BROWN: You’re not thinking fourth dimensionally Marty!

MARTY MCFLY: Yeah I know, I have a real problem with that.

Our cat Snorkel was from there; she was an older streetwise cat who grew up in the ghetto. She was a bossy mama cat; she actually belonged to a neighbor there who gave her her horrible name (she was a black cat). He got a Dalmatian puppy, and shortly thereafter during a rainstorm Snorkel adopted my parents, scratching at the door and carrying in her new litter of kittens one by one.

They named them Spanky, Sparky, and Spud, and for a long time Spanky lived with my aunt, the remaining cats being given away. Snorkel was definitely the mother type; she was the first cat I knew and she was extremely bossy. If we cried as children, she would meow at us until we stopped, and she would fetch my mom to address whatever it was we were complaining about.

Now when she is long gone and we are grown adults, when we do impressions of her (“you take care of your kids!”) we give her a older, bossy African American accent- she’s a mother from Oakland, the kind of mom you don’t mess around with; if she was a human she’d grab you by your ear while she yells at you. “Yes ma’am.”