April 11, 2011

If You’re Interrupting Me, It Better Be Davenportant

Good morning and greetings, west coast fans. There’s an old idiom, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Or was that “elect Bush once, shame on him. Elect Bush twice, shame on America?” Anyway, welcome to my world of unseized moments that comes surrounded with mounds of chocolate remorse and a soft, chewy caramel center.

Last week I wrote of a missed beautiful March sunrise due to technical difficulties somewhere inside my cranial sac. Well, much like the spring tornadoes and hail stones the size of baseballs raining down in the midwest, these things happen. So in keeping with present form and in the tradition of the Masters, this week I went to the sunset card, which teed off Tuesday night in the western sky.

After walking out of the gymnasium following my son’s volleyball game, I observed what had once been a cloudless sky now featured a cloud front coming in from the north. But due to circumstances that were not beyond my control, I ignored this oncoming mass of cumulus configuration and instead opted to make dinner and watch a rerun of “The Office” that I had seen sixteen times.

When I popped my head outside to take a look, I saw the sky was in full living color, so I grabbed my camera and headed west. When I arrived at the overlook, I knew at that moment that I should have been situated atop the bluffs in Davenport taking in this April treat, as it was a full-on spring show over the Pacific. I did take some shots, but they did not do truth, justice or the American way to the moment.

So what to do. I knew there was but one solution, as a do over wasn’t possible and my time machine was in the shop. It was my forever safety valve, a place for me to go for missed moments and traces of love, long ago, that didn’t work out right. That would be my archives, deep inside the fallout shelter of my mind.

When the sun moves across the sky in March, I head up the coast to the cliffs above Davenport for the sunset cruise. The Monterey cypress trees (photo #1) that line the cliffs (photo #2) are just exquisite, and in early evening cormorants gather in these trees to squawk and take in the epic sights. It’s an awesome location to shoot from, so to make up for my latest faux pas, I’ve featured two April nights from the past to give you a little taste of the Davenport experience.

Now here’s a little history of the community that sits nine miles up the coast from Santa Cruz. After the Civil War, Captain John Davenport, a whaler from Tiverton, Rhode Island, decided that he needed to move to a state bigger than Gary Coleman, so he set sail for the west coast and landed in Monterey. Among his claims to fame was that he lived in the first brick house in California. It later housed the funk/soul band, the Commodores, which inspired “Brick House”, “Easy” like Sunday morning and my personal favorite, “Once, Twice, Three Times A Laker.”

When the good captain sailed into the San Francisco Bay in 1851, he passed by a school of whales and triathletes swimming not far from shore. Believing that they would be easy to capture, process for oil and look good in Speedos, he dreamed of creating a whaling business.

He started the first coastal whaling business in California in Monterey, but decided to move it closer to San Francisco because he loved Willie Mays and the Giants. In the late 1860′s, Captain Davenport built a pier in the town of Davenport as travelers along the north coast discovered this scenic coastal oasis with its beautiful shoreline, magnificent weather and fantastic carne asada burritos.

Captain Davenport built a 450 foot long wharf along with a gas station and car wash. This was not a fun time for the hundreds of whales cruising up the coast, who were savagely harpooned for their meat, oil, and whalebone. But despite the blubber melting pots, whale watching tours and a free super wash with a gas fill-up, the whaling business was not a profitable venture and lasted only a decade. The Davenport Landing wharf was abandoned in 1880 and Captain Davenport moved to Santa Cruz where he opened up a massage and meditation Center before he died at the age of 74 while boogie boarding at the Boardwalk.

For almost 50 years, the town of Davenport prospered with hotels, surf shops and the first In-N-Out Burger joint. Then in 1915, a fire destroyed nearly everything except for Blockbuster Video and a Little Caesar’s Pizza. At the time, some believed it was the spirit of the whales seeking revenge that brought on this disaster. Sometimes karma can really be a bitch.

On to the late night. “The rebel army in Libya is just like 1,000 guys in Toyota trucks. The world is asking the question; can 1000 anti-government guys in pick-up trucks with small arms, take over a country of millions? To which I say, ask the Teabaggers.” –Bill Maher “Republican Congressman Tom Marino, who is on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said: ‘If we go into Libya, where does it stop? Do we go into Africa next?’ So, you see why he’s not on the Intelligence Committee. Authorities in Mali arrested four people after an aircraft loaded with 10 tons of cocaine crashed. Charlie Sheen called it “the worst air disaster in history.”–Jay Leno

“Fox is adding several new Spanish-language shows to its programming schedule to appeal to the growing Latino population. My favorite one is about that doctor with a cane who plays by his own rules — you know, “Casa.” Many gamers are asking for refunds on the new Nintendo 3DS because it causes headaches and dizziness. It was pretty scary — some gamers became so disoriented, they accidentally wandered outside. Southwest Airlines canceled 600 flights because of a plane that suddenly got a 5-foot hole in the roof. You know American wouldn’t have canceled all those flights. They’d have just started charging a $50 sunroof fee.” –Jimmy Fallon

“There’s a $376 million semi-secret construction project happening at the White House, and it’s rumored that a tunnel is being built underneath. That’s a lot of work for President Obama to get away from his mother-in-law. Let the man have a cigarette. I think he Obama is building an underground Kenya. A new subterranean land so he can Africanize us from below. I heard that on Fox News.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“President Obama said he plans on running for re-election against the Republicans. After the tax cuts for the rich, the bailouts for Wall Street, and the bombing in Libya, I already thought he was the Republican candidate. President Obama said today that Americans are just going to have to get used to higher gas prices. To which Dick Cheney said, “That’s change I can believe in. I like this Obama guy.”–Jay Leno “President Obama revealed that up until a few years ago, he was still paying off his student loans. In response, China was like, “Oh, so you do know how to repay loans.”–Jimmy Fallon

“President Obama announced his re-election campaign. As far as I’m concerned, the election starts with the first attack ad, which should appear in about 20 minutes. I think elections should be quick. If I have an election that lasts longer than four hours, I call the doctor. Experts say this Presidential campaign will be the most expensive in history. A far cry from the very first re-election campaign back in 1792. When George Washington ran against a young Senator named John McCain.” –Craig Ferguson

“Donald Trump is doing well in the polls. He’s in second place among Republican voters. Among tea partyers, he’s in first place. Although to be fair, in the tea party poll, Chuck Norris is in second place and third place is an AK-47.”–Jimmy Kimmel “If Donald Trump loves America so much, why does he keep outsourcing the job of his wife?” –Seth Meyers “Southwest Airlines has a new slogan: “We love the sky — and it shows.”–Jay Leno

“Former first lady Laura Bush said in an interview that she and George W. Bush do everything together. Then she said she had to go because “SpongeBob” was on. Officials at BP have filed for permits to drill for oil again in the Gulf of Mexico. They say the oil is easier to find than ever because it’s mostly on top of the water.”–Conan O’Brien “A man in Ohio received a cable bill for $16 million. When he called customer service, they told him that for another $8, he could get the NFL package.”–Jay Leno

Special birthday wishes go out to my father, Daniel Gilbert, who turns 94 years old tomorrow. Yes, you might say we’ve got some strong genes and cargo shorts that run in our family. My Dad, who lives here in Santa Cruz, spends a good part of his day sleeping, but while awake is working on writing the pilot episode for a new sitcom, “Father Knows Rest,” where he plays the starring role. To have both my parents alive and questioning every move I make at age 58 is a true blessing, and as my mother always says to me, “if we can’t live Hawaii, lucky we live Santa Cruz.” And “could you check and see if there’s any mail?”

So that’s a wrap. I’m just glad that we’re done with Libya, things are going well with the nuclear reactors in Japan and the Pentagon says we’ve had enough time in Afghanistan. It seems worldwide that everything is just peachy and that Donald Trump really isn’t the moron he is pretending to be. And God bless the Republicans and Planned Parenthood.

So enjoy our wild weather we’ll catch you at the start of the NBA playoffs. Aloha, mahalo and later, Derrick Rose fans.

2 Comments »

  1. I driven passed Davenport many a time but had no idea of its storied history. Thanks for sharing…

    Comment by Danilo Gallinari — April 11, 2011 @ 9:45 am

  2. Enjoyed reading about Davenport. I can’t make out the bird in this week’s gallery. Any thoughts?

    Comment by Babs — April 12, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

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