Hometown Thoughts

Manhattan Beach is an interesting town, in many ways it looks the same as when I was growing up here – At least the streets are configured the same with a few original houses.  The climate here destroys houses, the salt air with the termite invasions just eat everything.  I can understand why the new owners just tear down a house, the lifespan of a house here is maybe 50 years before they disintegrate.

My mom’s house is off the beach, she gets a little relief from that.  Still, this house is a tear down.  My mom is in denial, her reason for not tenting her house has always been, “The termites are holding hands.”

This is not a place for the jealous, because everyone’s rich & gorgeous and if you can’t be happy for them you are eternally screwed by trying to keep up.  In that regard, my mom has really been a good example.  Somehow she stayed here on a school teacher salary?  We had some help from my grandparents, still…

That generation is almost gone, us kids who grew up here along with it.  That’s because unless you’re an only child, you’re forced to sell the childhood home unless you can come up with over a million to buy out a sibling.  In the case of several siblings, like this house on the strand my friend grew up in, it’s possibly $10 mil  to buy out your other siblings.  This house is soon to be demo’d for a gross display of wealth.

That’s the other thing about SoCal, it’s overt in the money department.  There’s not a humble bone down here with the new residents.  I can never pinpoint the feeling I have here after a few days, if I’m finally getting jealous or if I just want to puke??  Then I get over it after awhile and just enjoy the day and the fact I got to grow up here with just kids on the beach and no traffic.  No one was famous, the wealthier families gave their kids VW square backs (I was just before kids got BMW’s in high school, I still will never buy a Beemer because of that).

The other day I ran into 2 of the 8 kids in a big family from here.  They sold their house in the 90’s and someone built a massive house there.  A few years ago, that same address sold for $22 million!!  The brothers were talking about how they’d go with a Hobie Cat to this lake in Mexico in their dad’s trailer, reminiscing about when their dad was still alive.  I finally said, “Your family had the most fun of any family here!”  They were always on adventures, always humble.  Their house was an open house, they had all the parties after our HS dances.

At one of the parties I was in charge of collection for the keg and ended up just getting hammered.  Kind of a one for you, one for me, two for you, two for me where they finally found me slumped over the keg and I got fired from my position.  Another Halloween party my friend was a banana & fell down the stairs – it was hysterical!  This giant, foam banana rolling down the stairs.  She didn’t get hurt, she was well insulated.  Pretty sure she was the only one who ever got kicked out of those parties?

One of the brothers I saw the other day told me something back then I will never forget…I was bitching about my brother going to Germany to play soccer in HS, totally jealous.  He said, “I don’t see you playing soccer!”  That quote has stayed with me ever since, it was pretty life altering.  No, I would be the one slumped over the keg while my banana friend is tumbling down the stairs.

My brother never went to Europe again after that trip, it was his trip of a lifetime.

So I guess it comes down to how bad do you want something and what would you do to get it?  I’d never want to live on the strand, your house is a fish bowl and after a good rain it smells like dog pee from the dog walkers.  There’s no parking, this town was built for residences and not a resort that it’s trying to be now.

There was a post on FB about the wealthiest towns and Manhattan Beach wasn’t on it.  The comments on it were up in arms, how could that be??  Most of them were NorCal, Silicone Valley cities.  One woman thought they were being biased towards the East Coast, meaning that she didn’t know those cities were NorCal.  She must not know that a lot of these houses in MB are now Silicone Valley vacation homes?

It’s all relative, as much as I love it down here for the childhood memories it’s hard for me to be looked down on (or not get a word in edgewise mostly).  We saw “Parasite” the other day…whoa!  I’ve been told a few times it must be hard to not be able to afford to live where you grew up.  When my BIL bought their childhood home, there was a house across the street my IL’s carried the loan to that sold before we knew they were selling.  I made a comment that I wish we would have known, we could have bought that house.  My SIL said, “You couldn’t afford, I mean, you wouldn’t have wanted that house.”

It’s just as well, my boys loved growing up in Walnut Creek.  Both of them have done some SoCal time in college and neither of them liked it down here.

My mom’s doing great, we’re nowhere near having to sell the family home or even think about it quite yet.

I’ll say a few things I love about it, there’s a new pool down the street in El Segundo I’ve been swimming in and of course the beach.  Pros & Cons, the beaches here are some of the best in the world.  It would be nice to live in a place where people are nice and SHOW UP, not one upping you.  That’s a big con.

I’ve got time, for now I’ll just enjoy that pool and the lengthy strand walks.


Then this popped up on my FB page, Sand Dune park around ’78 & I remember what I love about it before Skechers & the Kardashians took over.  Taken w/ my Pentax K1000 on a timer.


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