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Front Page » May 18, 2004 » Opinion » Harriet's World
Published 3,621 days ago

Harriet's World


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By HARRIET BISHOP

When I was growing up one of the favorite things we used to like to do as a family was go to the beach. Now living in Southern California we were about an hour from a place called Zuma Beach. Zuma was just a quiet strip along the coastal part of highway 101. About 10 minutes from the famous Malibu Beach where all the Hollywood stars live.

A person cannot easily get into or on the Malibu scene unless you are someone who owns a piece of beach front property. Its all very, very quiet. So we peons didn't even try. We were content to chase waves and build sand castles on Zuma.

I don't know about others, but when our family went to the beach in late l940s it was an all day affair. At that time it took about two and a half hours to drive there. ( It was only later when they got the freeways in that it took a hour.)

I remember one time in particular when we started out for one of those family days and we never did arrive at the beach because we had so much car trouble. Here is what happened.

Somebody got up one hot, summer day and it was suggested that we spend the day at the beach. So we all got busy getting packed.Have you ever noticed when you go with a friend in their car, all you have to do is grab your beach towel, a pair of sunglasses, your flippy flops and you are good to go.

Now for some reason when you go to the beach with your mom and dad, you end up taking everything but the kitchen sink. At least our family did. We had to take beach chairs, and beach balls, and floating things, food and drinks , blankets to sit on, umbrellas, sun tan lotion an extra change of clothes and then Noxzema to put on your nose. Plus don't forget your sun glasses and on and on.

By the time we had everything gathered, there would hardly be room for us in the car. We looked like the exodus of Moses from the Egyptians.

Then we had friends who heard that we were going and ask to go along.("They won't take up much room, she can sit on my lap.")

We had to pack everybody and everything into our little old Ford and skidaddle before we ended up taking the whole town with us. Well, this particular time we were not two miles from home when we had a flat tire.

Now we all have to pile out and unpack to get to the spare to change the tire. There was a lot of groans and carrying on when that happened. But we got the job done and started out again.

Now we are automobiling up and around the canyon laughing and having a great time. Telling ourselves the whole morning is shot but that is alright because we still have the rest of the day when whammy! We have some kind of car trouble.

Now things are getting a little serious as we all pile out again and play with the beach ball by the side of the road and Dad yells and says some choice words and of course we get hungry as the noon hour comes and goes. It is hot and we spread out the blanket and say "Aren't we glad we brought along some sandwiches and drinks. Oh well, we might as well eat."

We wait for Dad and some guy who has stopped to help to repair the car. After a couple of hours of repair work, we wonder if we should just turn around and go home. Then someone saves the day by reminding Dad and Mom that we are over half way there and it would be a crime to waste the afternoon. SO we all do the same procedure all over again. Climb into the car and proceed over the canyon and through the woods to our destination.

We haven't gone very far when you guessed it! We have another flat tire! Now that is the straw that broke the camels back. Dad has to hitch a ride to get the tire fixed. Cousin Bob stays with the family to make sure we are protected and we ended up having our beach party by the side of the road.

Needless to say we were all pretty glad to get home safe and sound that night. One good thing about it was that Dad didn't have to clean the car out from all the sand we were told not to drag into the car and we children had a backyard slumber party instead of a bath to get all the sand and salt out of our hair.

Well, that is my world or was my world. Until next time remember those infamous words of Herbert Henry Asquith "Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life."


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May 18, 2004
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