Light at the End of the Tunnel: Main Street and Summit Ridge by Pearson Juntila

Path Down Summit Ridge Dr.
Houston, Texas 77035

January 2004–As you cross the median, it looks as if there is a tunnel with a light at the end because it is so dark, but there really is not a tunnel. When entering the street, one has to drive slowly because of all the gravel on the road due to construction on Main Street. On the left side is a school for “special people” coming soon. It used to be an auto-shop with a fence surrounding the building. You could always hear some dogs barking from inside the shop to prevent any burglary. As you go along the road, grass consumes the entire land on both sides that has not been cut for weeks, maybe even months. When this grass is cut, some parents like to take their children here and fly kites. The children seem to enjoy it and their parents are happy because their kids are happy. Dead animals sometimes lay on either side of the road. A feeling of melancholy engulfs your entire body as you see the animal lying down on its side with its tongue hanging out of the mouth. The innocent canine did not know that a wreck less driver would crash their worthless car over their lively body. If you do not see the dead carcass at night, one might have to swerve in order not to run over it. Animal control usually picks up the mangled body the next day for safety reasons.

Some people like to run or go biking on this street since the street is so long. The road takes up approximately a third of a mile. A newly constructed Science Center resides on the right side of the road. A greenhouse accompanies the Science Center building. A massive array of various plants consumes the inside of this greenhouse, almost like you are in an enclosed jungle. The temperature resembles that of a rain forest, which is very hot and humid.

If you look at the Science Center from the front, you can see Butler Stadium in the background and its parking lot. Countless high school football games have been played at Butler Stadium. I remember going to a Bellaire High School homecoming football game. I never realized how much fun you could have when you are watching a football team that never really played well from the beginning until I went to that game. My friends and I were just messing around in the stands, cheering for the mighty Cardinals. Everybody was wearing the colors of Bellaire High School: red and white. The cheerleaders would give out free stuff by throwing it out in to the crowd. People get rough when they want free stuff. The game was relatively close, but they lost by the end of the game. I do not remember who they lost to but afterwards, there was a fight after an exchange of words seconds after the game ended.

The parking lot of this stadium is very old. There are some potholes here and there, so if you drive onto the parking lot, you have to drive slowly. Those potholes are only in one area of the parking lot. The rest of the parking lot would be a street drag racer’s dream. Most street drag racers race for about a quarter of a mile. One side of the parking lot is just above a quarter mile. So you could see why it would make street racers salivate over it: other non-participating cars would not get in their way and it is the perfect length for a race. But unfortunately for the racers, it is illegal to enter the parking lot if there is no event going on. Every season there is a massive garage sale on the poor side of the parking lot. Selling your items at this garage sale is actually easier than setting up your own because there is guaranteed to be many people looking at your items for sale. Also, you do not have to put up signs on the street to say that there is a garage sale going on at your house. It is on the poor side because this side is smaller and the rest of the parking lot is used for, well, parking. Many people flock to this huge garage sale coming to find a great deal on certain items. I remember always coming here for all the things they have for sale. You would be surprised at how many things you could find. I always tried to find somebody that sold sports cards or some other things that might have value in the future. This garage sale has been done for as long as I can remember.

More along the road is a little side street on the left. If you stay idle here at night, there is a somewhat peaceful sound of crickets communicating with each other: nature at its fullest, stars shining down at the earth. At the base of this street is a sign for “Paintball Bonanza” and at the end a lonely rusty gray gate leads to the paintball area. If you enter this area, you can see countless trees spread out randomly. It kind of gives you the feeling of how the area was like before they turned the whole land into a community. Heading straight through the trees, when you reach the end, you can see the next neighborhood, like finding civilization at the edge of the forest. That neighborhood is brand new and is selling houses starting at $90,000. Not bad a price for a house these days.

Going further down the street, there is a large sign for a Baptist Church that is coming soon. About 200 more feet you can see a larger sign that says, “Future SWC Recreation Center Site.” SWC stands for SouthWest Crossing, which is the name of the nearby neighborhood. You can almost imagine this entire grassland turning into nothing but buildings. Across from those two signs, you can see nothing but yellow buses. These buses are HISD’s buses. This parking lot is the bus’s resting place until they will used the next morning to pick up thousands of children to take them to school and back to their homes. It seems lucky for the children in the nearby neighborhood, right? Wrong. They get to be the first children to be picked up and the last ones to be dropped off each day. Luckily, I never had to go through that. Actually, I went to a private school, so my parents would take me to school everyday.

On the left after the school bus parking lot is another side street with a red and white striped gate that takes up the width of the street to ensure that nobody enters. If you turn around, this would be a perfect place to test your car’s 0-60 mph time. As you turn the corner, there are all these wires suspended in the sky that are dangerous power lines. These power lines supply the electricity for the whole neighborhood and more. Tall light poles can be seen, while some light do not even turn on. All the houses can be seen when you are in the light. When you see the first house on the left, you can see that the house is not like all other houses. The fence to the backyard has many holes and you can see that the backyard grass is very high. The house says “you cannot enter” as you see part of the gutter is broken as it touches the cement on the driveway, blocking the path to the garage. The gray color is absorbed by the sidings and the roof needs repair as some shingles are missing. All the front lawns of every house look clean and organized. Each lawn has a different shade of green, which seems like you cannot have the perfect shade of green. In the darkest of night, virtually every house has its porch light turned on. When I arrive at my residence, the house appears to have a certain glow coming from inside, projecting light out onto the darkness of the street destroying the darkness that consumes the rough cement. My home can be described at night to be very bright, the light at the end of the tunnel.


Paintball Bonanza

Bellaire High School

Street Drag Racer




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