Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Memory Lane

I don't get down to Southern California very often. I've been living in the North permanently for the past 16 years. When I went down to L.A. to see Jasmyne get her award I also spent some time at my Mom's house. I'm having it renovated starting this week. It gave me a chance to walk the old neighborhood and say hello to some of the old neighbors and meet a few of the new ones.

I also got to spend some time in Hermosa Beach. I lived there for a long, long time and my two youngest kids were born there. Surprisingly, our old house on the Pacific Coast Highway was still there unchanged. And it looked as if it could use a bit of change. It had the same paint and the same stone steps as when we left 22 years ago. It used to look great but I thought it was a bit run down. See for yourself though:

When we got the house in '79, we had an unobstructed view of the ocean as we were sitting atop a wave table overlooking the beach. About 5 years in, the land directly across the street was purchased and a building put up blocking the view and lowering property values. The new owners intended to put a drug rehab center there. There was a pretty big fight to keep that from happening. With 3 daughters under the age of 8, I wasn't a huge fan of the project either. The project was killed but the building just sat there empty and we never got our view back. Today, the building is finally occupied. It's an assisted living center:

I wandered down Pier Avenue to downtown Hermosa. The beach is blocked off to traffic now and the palm trees and the buildings (including hotels! We had a moratorium against them for about 20 years)make it look more like a set than the laid back beach community I spent my teens and 20s living in. Yeah, I guess you can't go home again.

On the positive side, my favorite restaurant of all time, The Spot, is still thriving in Hermosa. It's one of the few things I miss. I had a lot of great meals and great conversations with my buddies there. Particularly, my pals Jobie and T.T. Jobie, I hope there's as cool a place to break bread in San Diego and good company, too!

It's taken me 16 years but I finally got a little nostalgic. I miss the people more than the place. I'm far enough away to remember how special those times and those people were. Plus I was raising my daughters there. I think I have some rolls of film (honest to god movie film) in storage with the kids rolling around the living room when they were tots and some of my crew hanging out when we were shooting. That footage may make it up here someday, too.

Well, as Tony Soprano said "The lowest form of conversation is 'Remember When'" and he was probably correct in that. Mostly wanted to share these pics with some of the people who were there then and, amazingly, still talk to me.

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