Newport Beach, CA — memories of:

Newport Beach, CA


A foggy morning off the coast of Newport Beach, CA is captured in this photograph by Qita Woolley, posted on I love Newport Beach!  If I were still a sixteen year old setting on the pier that stretches out over the sea of Southern California, this beautifully peaceful surround would be a good place to set and ponder my navel — to reflect on the meaning of life as it pertains to my existence in it. This picture draws me back in time to the year 1959.

For the most part, I grew up in Northern California, in the town of Mountain View. And, for the most part, this is where I attended grade school and Junior High School. When I was mid way between my fifteenth and sixteenth year I relocated to Southern California. That summer of 1958 was grueling in every sense of the word.  In September I registered at Bolsa Grande High School, made a few friends, and tried hard to settle into my new life. The next summer — in my sixteenth year — I discovered the deep berth of coastal sands along the Pacific ocean. I felt the mistiness of the sea on my skin and drank in the June/July afternoon heat through my pores. I had found a refuge from all disturbances that existed. The sea had always been a source of soothing calm to me, so much so I have often wondered if I were a sea captain in a previous life.

The summer of 1959 is when the film Gidget came out! I must have watched it half a dozen times, why wouldn’t I? I identified with the female lead. Good parents who were a might-bit too trusting, leaving the door open to summer adventures for their only daughter. The pull of the surf & sea (waves in the ocean) and the need to be accepted within a group of peers. The movie was a perfect fit for me! I even had the pony-tail and the — in 1959 — non-modest two piece bathing suit that showed more middle skin than my mother allowed.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Gidget is a 1959 Columbia Pictures CinemaScope feature film.[3][4] It stars Sandra DeeCliff Robertson, and James Darren in a story about a teenager’s initiation into the California surf culture and her affiliated romance with a young surfer. — go to Wikipedia for more details on this film, if you so wish.
During my teen years, Newport Beach was the preferred destination for folks living inland. The narrow streets leading to the beach area were lined with cars, sometimes earlier than nine in the morning, so my friends and I would usually leave early enough to find a parking space closer to the beach. Otherwise we’d have to park on the main drag and walk a long distance, dragging/carrying all our ‘stuff’ which was, a drag.  Once at the beach we’d pick a spot, lay down large blankets and/or beach towels and begin to slather on baby oil with iodine in it. Not today’s choice of sun protection but in those days we were after a deep tan and not in the least concerned with protection from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation issues. We might venture into the ocean but usually we’d sunbath. I always went in! After all, my alter-ego (i.e. Another side of oneself; a second self. 2. An intimate friend or a constant companion) was akin to Gidget, don’t ya know.
Woody! (photo from city of Newport Beach’s photo gallery)
Skimboarding near the Newport Pier, Newport Beach,CA

Newport Beach was incorporated in 1906. And is located in Orange County, California ruffly 10-15 miles from the inland towns of Santa Ana and Garden Grove, where myself and my friends lived. The population was smaller in 1959, of course, in 2011 the town grew to 86,484 inhabitants, which makes it a large city in my book.  I remember this town (1959-1963) as being small and quaint.  For more information go to:

 I look back on those days with the fondest of memories. I had it good then, actually, this reality makes me smile.


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