I moved to Chino Hills in the Los Serranos community not too far away from the Los Serranos Country Club in December 1989 before the houses in Butterfield Ranch were constructed.
I previously lived in Rosemead.
Chino Hills was not yet a city until it became incorporated in 1991. The market Alpha Beta was located where the 99 Cents Store is now. When we moved here the area code was 714 and our zip code was 91710. The nearest video store was known as Rusty’s Country Video, and we had Blockbuster Video and The Wherehouse as well. Now, people can rent DVDs in front of 7-Eleven.
The construction boom of houses and shopping centers did not begin until a few years after I moved here. The air smelled more like cows and fertilizer from the farms, especially in the morning.
When my family and I moved to Chino Hills I guess the elementary schools were not handicap accessible. For elementary school I moved around a few times.
I went to Moreno Elementary School, because they had a physical therapy unit that would help me out when I used to walk.
I went there for one school year, and after that I transferred over to Oak Ridge and Glenmeade elementary schools. I went to Townsend Junior High School, and I graduated from Ayala High School in 2001.
I am still in school today; I go to Chaffey College in Chino. Before I started attending Chaffey, I went to Mt. SAC which was a complete waste of time, because I never went to class.
One thing I have learned in being in college for so long is that you have to want to go to school and now that I am older, I definitely want to be in school.
When I graduate from Chaffey College at the end of the year, I am going to transfer to Cal State Fullerton to major in communications with a minor in journalism.
I mentioned that I attended Mt. SAC when I first started going to college. My dad would drop me off there almost every day before he went to work. He was understandably upset to find out that I was not going to class.
I had a truck modified for me to drive, but I never learned how to drive. I was too scared. God forbid I hurt someone or myself. It is safer for everyone if I just wheel everywhere or take the bus. I am content with doing that as long as I keep up my strength.
When I was in grade school, all the kids would talk about going to Skate Express in Chino or Jer’s Board Shop in the shopping center where Chino Hills Pizza Company and KYR Music are today. I never went to any of those places for obvious reasons if you know me.
Now that I am older there is not much to do besides go to a bar or eat at a restaurant. That got boring, because now I do not drink. But, I definitely know how to have fun.
Chino Hills has grown so much over the last 30 years that it is hard to even go out and meet someone. Now that I am older, I want different things like a friend that will hopefully lead to something more than that, and I feel that is what is missing.
As much as I have wheeled around in this city, I am really surprised that I have not met that special someone yet. I am single and have been for the last seven years. Yes, I do date. Just because I am in a wheelchair does not mean that I cannot have a girlfriend. I feel that is missing in my life.
I mean right now I cannot, because of the pandemic. After we get through this pandemic; that is my mission. She is out there for me. I just have not met her yet.
Or maybe she has not met me yet.
Thomas Davila is a contributing columnist for the Champion.