I was born and raised in California and lived most of my adult life there. There are very specific things that evoke a yearning to be back there, but Oceanside Harbor is one. Tom kept his sailboat in the marina there and we'd sail out for a couple of hours on a afternoon. Sometimes we'd spend the night on the boat. It was like a mini-vacation. We frequented the restaurants around the harbor and looked forward every fall to Harbor Days, a huge arts and crafts event not rivaled by anything here in Arkansas.
San Diego harbor is another. We'd drive down from Carlsbad for the day, a wander through Seaport Village, take a boat excursion, eat Crab Louie for lunch at Anthony's overlooking San Diego bay.
Of course, the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles is very special to me. I can't count the number of musicals and plays Tom and I enjoyed there, including Phantom of the Opera with none other than the incomparable Michael Crawford. We've seen Phantom a number of times, but every other performance never quite measures up to Mr. Crawford.
This morning I read a new blog post by my friend, Karin, at Altadena Hiker, one of my favorite writers. It made me miss something about California that isn't entertainment or distraction. I miss the diversity.
Photo Source Northwesternflipside.com
It's weird living somewhere so one-dimensional. I grew up hearing many accents and languages everywhere around me and even more so as the influx of immigrants grew after I became an adult. It's an odd feeling to hear only a southern accent. It's feels peculiar to look out over a crowd and see almost exclusively light faces. The occasional brown face is a stark contrast and I often wonder how that person feels, or if they even notice.
When I went to work at Philander Smith College, an historically black college, my colleagues thought I was nuts. But, working at PSC was a multi-dimensional sensory experience. I think one of the reasons I felt so comfortable working there surrounded by so many people of color was because, visually, it felt familiar. I felt like I was back in California. It felt like home.