As I’ve gotten older one thing I’ve come to value in life is the view. This could be the view from inside your head (you know, the perspective of half-empty or half-full) or the view that you see thru your eyes. I lived with the direct view of the Pacific Ocean from 1975 thru 1989 on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. Living across the street from this body of water was like a good dream that I never wanted to end. There were incredible sunrises and sunsets, whales and dolphins, roller skaters and joggers. Birds of all kinds flying by day and night. The sound of waves crashing along the coastline, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This spot had it all. To wake up every day and walk outside gave me a feeling of power, that this was the place I was supposed to be. The view was outstanding.
It was along this street that today’s photo journey begins. For an appetizer we’ll check out some clouds over Cowell’s Beach, and then for the main course head over to my favorite arch at Its Beach. The water reflecting third shot was taken mid-morning while the next shot was taken on an almost empty beach just after sunrise. The glowing red cliffs were photographed just as the sun hit the horizon at the beginning of a glorious day . The last shot is a Lighthouse Point tribute to Old Glory. Right after I took this picture I headed up the coast to Four Mile Beach to see how the gulls would look with these clouds as a backdrop. They looked simply marvelous.
The look of the coastline is always changing because of the constant pounding of the waves along the cliffs. It’s called erosion and it’s nature’s longest running show. Fortunately, good seats are still available. I’m taking as many shots of the arch at Its Beach as possible because this structure will collapse one of the days. You can be sure of that. All along West Cliff Drive are sea stacks which are rock formations that used to be connected to the the land. There’s one right next to the arch and I’ll show it to you in a future blog. Anyway, I’m not crazy about change but it is part of life. So if we were to go back 100 years in time, things would be quite different. Here’s some amazing statistics and facts about the United States from the year 1907.
Only 14 percent of homes had bathtubs. Only 8 per cent of these homes had a telephone. There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph. The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour. More than 95 percent of all births took place at home. And 90 percent of all U.S. doctors had no college education.
Most women only washed their hair once a month and used Borax or egg yolks as shampoo. The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30 including Wayne Newton. Crossword puzzles, canned beer and ice tea hadn’t been invented yet. There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn’t read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school. And there were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.A.!
Now here come my favorite facts. Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyance to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.” And all the time I thought that was the role of chocolate. Them changes.
On a sadder note, tomorrow is the anniversary of the killer hurricane that hit the city of Galveston, Texas in 1900. This Category 4 hurricane had estimated winds of 135 mph and lasted 18 hours as tidal waves wiped away 12 city blocks and destroyed 3,600 homes. The death toll has been estimated between 6,000 and 12,000, with most official counts settling on 8,000, making it the deadliest natural disaster ever to strike the U.S. besides the election of George W. Bush.)
Horror stories like this make me appreciate every hour of every day. Life can be stressful dealing with children, pets, parents and partners along with financial and health issues. Throw in the war, the homeless problem and world hunger and our plates are full. What these photo blogs are all about is that while all this stuff is going on there are still sunrises and sunsets and moments of intense color and wonder. Nature is still going full bore and these are the moments I’m trying to capture and bring to the table. That along with a few laughs and some information that you may have forgotten along the way. I guess what I’m trying to say is savor the moment and if you can’t, tape or Tivo it. Every day is precious.
That’s it for Philosophy of Life 101 . Enjoy the sights and have a great first weekend of NFL football. Unless, of course, you’re a New York Giant or Oakland Raider fan. Then make sure you have your seatbelt on because your ride might be a little bumpy.