Monday, October 28, 2013

An Old Port for Me


Newport Beach, California. 

I was born about 700 feet from here. Obviously, I don't remember that moment of my life, but I have so many other memories from this area. My Nonny and Poppy lived here. My Grandma and Grandpa and my parent's boat still do. Some friends, too. 

The first time I ever remember noticing the moon was on my Poppy's shoulders in his backyard here. Every time I look at it now I still think of that night when I first saw the man in the moon; now I think the man in the moon is my Poppy. I love the moon. 

I worked here for three summers during college, teaching little kids to surf. My boss was crazy. One time he screamed in my face and told me I wasn't worth the money he was paying me because one of the camp counselor kids I was in charge of lost a surfboard. Then, I had to drive this 11 year old camper home. She was so sweet and told me she thought I didn't deserve to be yelled at. I remember thinking she was so empathetic and mature for her age. Another time, on the last day of camp, my boss took us to a fancy Mexican restaurant and bought us shots of top shelf tequila to celebrate the end of camp. Then he left me with the bill. 

It's funny though, because when Scott and I came to surf at the same beach where the surf camp used to be, I could only think of this time fondly. I remember there were some kids from Las Vegas who were given the gift of surf camp for Christmas. They were some of the most stoked people I'd ever seen. They really appreciated the ocean because it was the first time they'd ever seen it. I remember carrying several foam surf boards on my head across 300 yards of sand just so I could prove I was as strong as the boy counselors. I remember driving my dad's 1972 GMC Jimmy through Laguna at 5 a.m. so I could surf the river jetties in the dark before camp started. I remember surfing the foamies during the lunch break and bonding with my fellow counselors at The Big Belly Deli after work. 

I have hundreds of memories from camp, and taking the boat out with my family, and pulling pranks with my sisters and cousins, and being at Nonny and Poppy's house which felt like another home, and going to my Grandparent's wedding, and to Nonny and Poppy's funerals. All of these memories came from this area and they all came back to me this weekend when I paddled out at tower 68. 

You can practically get hepatitis a, b, c, d and e, from surfing this close to the Santa Ana river mouth and the dog beach, but the waves were crappy and the weather was foggy, so it was, of course, worth the risk. Or at least, it was worth the memories. 

26 comments:

  1. Awesome post:) I love how you described everything. I really got how much this place means to you. I especially love the part of you liking to think your Poppy is now the man in the moon. So sweet:) I can totally sympathize with your experiences as a camp counselor. I was a counselor at a camp up in Maine and had to be there for 9 weeks. I hated it at the time, but find myself dreaming of it often and looking back fondly at those moments that made me stronger. What a jerk your boss was for yelling at you in front of campers and sticking you with the bill.

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    1. Thanks Kari. It was really more obvious to me how much this place means once I came back to it over the weekend. You'll have to do a camp counselor post on your blog. Going over the memories from my time doing that was pretty funny.

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  2. Such a wonderful post Devon, I loved hearing your memories of this place. Your camp boss sounds horrid, poor you. But it is a testament to your strength as a good kind person that you can look back fondly. The photos are brilliant.

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    1. Thanks CJ. He was definitely a challenging person to work with, but I am thankful for the funny memories!

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  3. Memories are crazy. Sometimes I think about all the memories I have, then I'll think of the ones I don't even remember....it's weird to think we have tons we can't even recall.

    I never get sick of your surf pics. They're so great.

    xo

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    1. memories are crazy! and so, so nice to have.

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  4. I love that memory of you and your Grandpa and the moon. So sweet Devon!!!

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  5. i love the feeling when a place brings us such memories. and today when i think about the bad, hard or awful thing that happen in the past, i think of "dang it! i did it". we survived!

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    1. In the moment, you never think you'll get over it. Fast forward a few years, and I'm laughing about things in the past that tormented me at the time.

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  6. I really like your style of writing Devon! Very nice post and your pictures are great!

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  7. Devon-- I used to surf 68th practically every day way back when. Small world :)

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    1. I kinda love that spot and wish it was closer to my house now.

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  8. Your boss sounds nuts! But isn't it funny how even those crazy bosses and situations can leave us with such fond memories? I kind of love going back to a place that's familiar like how you describe this spot and how the flood of memories comes.

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  9. I love it when you can visit the places of your childhood and how the memories come rushing back! When I go back home each year to visit my summer cottage out on the west coast I'm filled with those same types of great memories.

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  10. I love it when you can visit the places of your childhood and how the memories come rushing back! When I go back home each year to visit my summer cottage out on the west coast I'm filled with those same types of great memories.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love it when you can visit the places of your childhood and how the memories come rushing back! When I go back home each year to visit my summer cottage out on the west coast I'm filled with those same types of great memories.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love it when you can visit the places of your childhood and how the memories come rushing back! When I go back home each year to visit my summer cottage out on the west coast I'm filled with those same types of great memories.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love it when you can visit the places of your childhood and how the memories come rushing back! When I go back home each year to visit my summer cottage out on the west coast I'm filled with those same types of great memories.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love it when you can visit the places of your childhood and how the memories come rushing back! When I go back home each year to visit my summer cottage out on the west coast I'm filled with those same types of great memories.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love it when you can visit the places of your childhood and how the memories come rushing back! When I go back home each year to visit my summer cottage out on the west coast I'm filled with those same types of great memories.

    ReplyDelete
  16. what beautiful memories. I have had my fair share of crazy bosses, but one that leaves you with the bill!?! That takes the biscuit!
    http://myfroley.blogspot.com

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  17. just so turns out... I'm immune to Hep B. The nurse in the employee health center at the hospital I work at told me so.
    my brother can surf.
    i can't.
    the ocean still kinda intimidates me.
    a lot.
    but I still think it's beautiful.

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