Thirty-one years ago, bearded, long hair, patched blue jeans, I hitched a ride into Santa Cruz, California for my first visit to what was then in 1971, a sanctuary for that dying species known as the hippies. The most vivid of the memories from that visit was the lushness of the greenery and the bright windswept beaches, a town where the trees meet the sea.
Another memory was exploring a labyrinth of shops adjoining a club called the Catalyst on Pacific Avenue, the town’s main drag, before it moved up the street and before the earthquake that changed Pacific Avenue and even before Pacific Avenue was called the Pacific Avenue mall.
A couple of days ago, I drove back into town in a rented bright red Ford Fiesta, for an 11 day visit. Today, a friend of mine from Long Beach texted me about a heat wave that is so bad that even Long Beach is unbearably hot.
She said, ” . . . its so hot, I’m going to tear my hear out.”