Not Finished Yet - but I had to save this dribble - BA -
Small Talk by Jean Gillette
"Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who wants public beaches to be public."
"You can contact her at gillette@thecoastnews"
"OK, listen up. I want any surfer who has ever even whispered the phrases "Locals only" or "No wannabes" to line up over there."
Aye Aye Ma'am - I am all lined up - and my ears are wide open - Now what?
"I have contacted your parents and they are coming to pick you up, take you home and ground you for a month. I donít care if you are 14 or over 50. Youíre still grounded until you promise to behave."
What about my behavior has resulted in this particular grounding?
If I don't promise to behave, will I get a spanking?
- err - but maybe I would enjoy one (a spanking) -
"No, I am not a surfer, and worse, I am a suburban-dwelling matron."
Personally, I don't care if you surf or if you don't.
If you don't, then that's one less person in the water.
By the way, what's so bad about being a "suburban-dwelling matron?"
Some of the hottest matrons I've ever met, lived in the suburbs.
"What can I possibly understand about the angst of having to share the ocean?"
I don't know what you understand, or don't understand about angst of sharing.
Angst? - I had to consult the dictionary to understand the meaning.
Sharing? - I'm married and have three grown children. I do understand that concept.
I guess the reason that I'm going to the trouble of analyzing your column is that maybe I can share a bit of angst with you, and it has nothing to do with "sharing the ocean."
"Darlin,í every time I get on the freeway, I feel your pain."
I assume that you're still talking to me - the old guy in line - awaiting parental grounding?
You feel my pain, every time you get on the freeway?
Ouch - that's gotta hurt!
"I realize that having to get from point A to point B is hardly the sport and religion that surfing is to you."
How correct you are ma'am!
I rarely find religion, and I certainly don't get any exercise (well, maybe my middle finger gets a little exercise) when I use any of San Diego's roads to get from point A to point B.
I look at driving as a necessity because I live about 35 miles from my office.
I look at the traffic snarls as the result of overcrowding and poor planning (on my part - why haven't I retired and left San Diego)
"Sadly, you can choose when to go surfing."
I don't know why you think it's sad, if one has the ability to "choose when to go surfing."
I think it's sad when one chooses not to go surfing (they might enjoy it).
Surfing in San Diego County, is highly dependent upon tide and wind conditions, as well as wave size and shape.
If one cannot choose when to go surfing, and one's surfing time is dictated by others, then there might be a bit of angst to examine.
"I have to fight the crowds just to get daily maintenance accomplished."
Hey, I'm still waiting in the grounding line, and so far, all I know is that I've been charged with uttering a few words.
Welcome to my in the crowd club.
I don't know about you, but I try to avoid crowds when I get my "daily maintenance accomplished," (preferably in the privacy of my own home).
I, along with millions of others in San Diego County, have to fight the crowds - they are everywhere we go!
"And whether it is in the next lane or on the next wave, selfish, violent bullies and vigilante justice is nothing but counter-productive."
Selfishness, violence and vigilante justice is very counter-productive to something - maybe you could enlighten me as to what behavior you would find productive?
Wait a second!
I'm still in the grounding line - maybe you're bullying me?
I'm getting a little nervous.
Are you one of them vigilantes?
Are you (and my mom) gonna demonstrate vigilante justice to me?
Jeeze, all I did was whisper "locals only!"
"The current rationalization is that the waters have just become too crowded, thanks to surf reports on TV and the Internet."
I'm trying to connect your dots, as I await my punishment.
I guess by "current rationalization" you think the reason for localism at the beaches is because "the waters have just become too crowded thanks to surf reports on TV and the Internet."
It has become more crowded at the beaches, but I don't know it that's because of surf reports on TV and online.
I've been hangin' around San Diego's beaches since 1954, and they (the beaches) have become very crowded; but so have the freeways, and the stores, and the zoo, and the museums, and the airport, and, and, and...
I think that San Diego is now one of the ten largest cities in the US.
That just might explain the crowds - everywhere - not just at the beaches.
"I donít doubt that is true but I have been hearing the same whining and tales of the you-canít-play-here behavior since the late Ď60s in La Jolla and Hawaii."
I don't whose whining you've been listening to, nor do I know which tales of "you-can't-play-here-behavior" you've heard, but I can give you some concrete "you-can't-play-here" stuff.
How 'bout the fact that when I bought my first house - University City, $24,000 - in 1970 or so, I could have purchased a home in La Jolla, for just a little bit more.
The La Jolla Shores house I grew-up in, cost my grandparents about $25,000, in 1954 - I think -
Twenty years later, it was probably worth about $150,000 - maybe?
Now, the lot alone, is probably worth well over $1.5 million?
Too bad my mom doesn't own it any more - she sold it (the house) and moved to Maui.
Now that's what I call "you-can't-play-here."
What behavior caused the housing prices to rise so rapidly?
It certainly wasn't by whispering "Locals Only."
"It disturbed me then, but I hoped somehow we had become more civilized, more enlightened as we hit the 21st century."
Jeeze - I'm the one who should be getting disturbed!
Please, hurry up and get to your point, if you have a point, please.
I'm old and I'm tired, and my feet are starting to hurt from standing in this waiting line.
If you're referring, in some obtuse manner to "we" as in we the people of this planet, regarding our enlightenment and civility, with some sort of disappointment -
Maybe you and I live on a different planet.
Crime rate is up in our cities, I think.
Gang - non surf turf related - wars, racism, murders, illegal drug sales, etc. are still on display in San Diego County, and I think that there's a bit of a conflict going on in the Middle East.
"Sound the buzzer. Wrong answer."
"Wrong answer" to what question?
The last question you asked, an hour ago, was:
"What can I possibly understand about the angst of having to share the ocean?"
Is "Sound the buzzer. Wrong answer," your final answer?
If it is, I guess I just don't get the question.
"From what I have read lately, little has changed."
Hey, maybe we do have something in common after all!
You've been reading the same papers I have.
You're right, "little has changed" in this world.
"From broken boards and vandalized cars to serious beatings, bullying is too often the greeting for unwanted visitors by homesteading surfers."
Whew - I guess you're finally getting around to making a point - I still don't know what it is, but I can certainly say that I have had my cars and other personal property stolen and vandalized at the Sports Arena, Balboa Park, at Padres Games, at Chargers Games, at shopping centers.
Gosh, you mean that surfers are responsible for all of this activity - so far away from the coast?
"It is downright scary and sure as heck isnít the behavior their mommy must have tried to teach them. Where were these guys the day that preschool taught them about sharing?"
I'm going way out on the limb now, but I think you're scared about having your surfboards broken, or maybe you or your car will be pounded?
Ms. Gillette, you don't surf, so your boards won't ever be broken.
It's been years since I've seen a "matron" get beaten because of a surfing related beef.
I can guarantee you, also, that your car is more at risk of being vandalized in front of your house - even if you live in a Rancho Santa Fe gated community - than it is at most beaches.
Don't be afraid - I'm probably older than you are, I go the beach every day and I'm proud to say that I ain't afraid of nuttin (at the beach anyway)!
"You can certainly argue that life just isnít worth living for a true surfer when someone at a beginning skill level or from outside the Ďhood dares to enter the favorite surf spot."
Who in the heck is "you?"
What's a "true surfer?"
I'm probably pretty close to being a "true surfer" and since I grew-up at La Jolla Shores, and have been surfing there since the late fifties, I've seen plenty of beginning surfers entering my favorite surf spot.
Believe it or not, Ms. Gillette, I've NEVER even contemplated not living any longer - suicidal tendencies perhaps - because of beginning surfers invading my "turf."
"Sadly, I can spot the behavior of a spoiled brat from 100 yards away."
What's so sad about being a "suburban-dwelling matron" who can "spot the behavior of a spoiled brat from 100 yards away?"
I'm a suburban-dwelling, rapidly aging male.
I wish my eyes were good enough (still) to spot ANY type of behavior "from 100 yards away."
"Do I really have to state the obvious?"
Apparently you really do.
So far, nothing you've stated is obvious, at least not to me.
"You cannot own the ocean."
Now that's obvious
"You canít even lease it."
Duh - even I know that, and I went to public schools in San Diego.
"If you could, some developer would have sunk stilts by now and built high-end homes from here to Tahiti."
That would certainly be an engineering feat - lots of surf stops along the way, too!
Now, I think, we're finally getting to the nitty gritty of her column. Whew, I'm exhausted - how much more can I take?
"I donít care if you surf in it every single day."
Why should you care if I surf every day?
- you don't surf -
"Squatterís rights are just irrelevant."
Is "Squatter's rights" another irrelevant surf spot?
"Squatter's Lefts" are pretty good, I've logged lots of tube time there!
Maybe Ms. Gillette can show us where Squatters Rights are - Surfing Guide to Surfing - USA?
"My preferred use of the waves is every bit as legitimate a demand as yours. Your choice to surf does not outweigh anyone elseís chosen use of the ocean, whether it is a motherís choice to have her kids build sand castles or a 10-year-old learn to kayak."
Well said, and I don't think that anyone I know would argue that (point).
By the way, is this the point you've been trying to make for the last 5 hours?
The local lifeguards, a few other surfers in the lineup (ocean, not police), and I might argue the point that a 10-year-old learning to kayak in the surf may not be a very good idea - a little unsafe both to the kid, and to others in her general vicinity.
Speaking of unsafe choices - I've had to drag little kids out of the shorebreak at WindanSea because the kid and the parents, thought that the water's edge at WindanSea is a good place to build sand castles.
I've had to pull plenty of swimmers out of rip tides - I even have a Letter of Appreciation from the City of San Diego for some rescues I've made.
I think the point to make here, is that some places are better than others for beach related activities it's as simple as that.
This is called common sense - NOT localism!
Now it's time to make my point, but I'm losing interest - RAPIDLY - in this novel!
I'll expand on this another time.
"Aqua-centric surfers need to keep in mind what the alternative to open ocean access would be."
I guess I fit the "Aqua-centric" profile, my mush filled mind is open and eagerly awaiting some enlightenment regarding "the alternative to open ocean access..."
"Just take a look at the local golf courses."
Why would I do that?
I don't golf and I'm allergic to grass.
What's a local golf course have to do with open ocean access?
"They keep out the riff-raff and wannabes by charging stunningly large greens fees."
I don't know what you mean by "riff-raff."
"Would you have them rope off the entire coastline and charge by the wave?"
Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, defines riff-raff as: "those people or that segment of society regarded as worthless, disreputable, etc; rabble"
I think if I owned a golf course, I wouldn't want riff-raff hanging around either.
I certainly don't want them hanging the beach with me.
Most of my friends are professionals - like attorneys, engineers, etc - in fact, I guess I'm almost a professional - I'm an Engineering Intern at a way High Tech San Diego based company.
Maybe you have a different definition of "riff-raff" than Webster's?
If so, all the riff-raff that ain't allowed to hang around the local golf courses, could hang around your neighborhood.
I'll also make this leap - If one wanted to be (a wannabe) a golfer, I would guess that the appropriate place to hang out would be the golf course.
I think that most kids who wannabe a surfer, would hang out at the beach - sounds logical to me, but I'm just an Intern.
Who is "them?"
Sounds kinda Pogo-esqe to me - Is the enemy us?
Or, maybe the enemy is the local golf course owners?
If there is gonna be a concession for wave charging, I sure would like a piece of that pie.
"I have come to learn that there is a very effective surf etiquette, so perhaps education may be the answer."
Perhaps you should have mentioned this point about surf etiquette a few hours ago, maybe I wouldn't still be in the bad boy line.
"It wonít solve the crowding but at the very least, it will give everyone less to whine about."
Now, not only am I tired and hungry from standing in this stupid line, but I'm really confused.
You want to educate the beginning surfers - what a concept!
So do I - and my courses aimed at beginning surfers and idiots in the water is probably much more effective than yours.
"Everybody who paddles out should know the rules."
"Iíd like to suggest that knowing them be required, like applying for a driverís permit, whenever anyone buys or rents themselves a surfboard, body board or kayak."
"Yeah, I know. We donít need more red tape, but the crowds aren't going to get any smaller and it seems a vast improvement over blood on the sand."
Yeah baby! Spoken like a real local! We agree with you!
The link to more of my surf reports is:
Surfing With BA
The link to more of my boring dribble is: BA's BS Page