Ventura was a snow bird's fantasy. The days were warm
for the most part and the hotel venue literally the front
row seat to some of the best surfing around. The town
was touristy with all manner of shops of the first rank.
Even one of the thrift shops was so up to the moment on
trend and presentation to be delightful. It was all a few
blocks away and there was a free shuttle to expand your
tracks, if you so wanted.
This writer had a rental car and braved the daunting
freeways source out a few Presidential Museums, spend
a day with a few icons and an afternoon in paradise in
Malibu becoming lost in a meditation on surfing.
Ventura was the hometown of Perry Mason, the television detective of my
youth. Who knew? It is also a city of decent age as most host cities for
the World's have been.
Presidential Libraries are a post war institution. I visited the Roosevelt's Hyde Park on the 100th
anniversary of Eleanor Roosevelt's birth years ago and seek them when possible. Many serve as
the final resting place. California is blessed with two of them, each of some significance. The Reagan
Library is notable for displaying the mobility of the presidency with his first car, first chopper and well,
Air Force One which carried 8 presidents in its day. I have Reagan's signature and looked forward to
viewing a contemporary library. There's history and then there's living history one has experienced.
The libraries serve as both a museum and a living archive of the President they serve. All the official
papers are stored. Events connected to the administration are held. School tours are constant. It
was fascinating to tour items known to you through media from your times. Nancy's red outfit at the
Inauguration, the red china that caused all the fuss, her protest outfit in response and the Jelly
Belly's to sooth presidential craving for something to chew. You learn new details of the work that
was put into tearing down that wall and ending the cold war. The Reagan's had known nothing but
the good life in the movie industry, the governorship of California and the Presidency. They were full
of optimism and relating well with everyone they met. An uncertain beginning lead to what is
recognized glorious ending with them.
Therefore the weight of concern for the presidency, for the country and for all of we foreigners so
dependent upon the greatness of America seems heavy at this time. It was deeply moving.
In one respect, the Nixon Library
was a nod to hoarding. An aunt
had put away all the contents of
his birth home in storage and
maintained it as he became
famous. Thanks to her and like
Lincoln you can now tour that
home and see his birth bed and
the quilts given as gifts from that
time. With Watergate you forget
the many initiatives Nixon launched
including ending the war, China,
EPA and fighting cancer. A
Chinese delegation was being
hosted by the library celebrating
the changes in the country since
Nixon's break through visit. They
were hosted to a luncheon in the
replica of the East Room which
was a surprise. Nixon used legal
pads to help him think, draft and
finalize planning and speeches
supporting those plans. Perhaps,
the last word should be that of his
wife Pat, who as the helicopter
lifted off for the last time stated: It's
so sad, it's so sad.
|All rights reserved Garth Goodwin 1995-2018
Over 40 years ago my first big trip was to drive to Disneyland. A reprise was
called for. Well, its larger, probably double or more in size between Disneyland,
California and Downtown Disney. The few hotels of the past have been replaced
by a literal suburbia of hotels, every brand going. The trees and plantings of the
time have grown to maturity and the park is fabulous to sit in. However, it is also
crowded and there is stroller gridlock. It is one of life's curiosities that a
significant number of guests cannot truly contemplate their experience there
being infants or toddlers who just view things. Now children do get and for them,
its very real especially the characters upon which the empire was built. A cult
following of sorts has also built up with many people sporting their princess
outfits - all ages and pin collectors, some smothered in pins. And the ears. Once
a generic black, there is now a set of ears for almost anything Disney does and
yes, a significant number of female guests sport them.
It is expensive, especially for a walk in a park. Still, culturally and as an
experience doing a few days at Disney, wherever it may be is recommended for
those with the means. The place is always under development and several
attractions were down pending refurbishment or redesign. Many of these can
only be experienced as Disney creations. Technologically, they are up to the
moment and often well ahead of the curve. A film presentation where you literally
hang glide the world with motion, smell and temperature variations still begs
description. It cannot be put into words.
Imagine, 1929 and this family just happens to own all of what is now Malibu. They build themselves a southwestern casa and even manufacture the tiles that decorate the place.
There is an outdoor space for every side of the place and it all overlooks Surfrider Beach. Following a drive through the dramatic Santa Monica mountains I returned to Malibu
and just lucked out coming to rest here. More than lucked out as the parking machine was down so this young lady gave me her day pass as she was leaving. It was like walking
into paradise. The light, the vegetation, the ocean and finally the surfers all came together to provide an afternoon which became a meditation on surfing. Travel is like that.
Much of it planned, somewhat predictable but every now and then there is a day where everything works and delights and Adamson House on Malibu Lagoon was just that.