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Going Back to California

Point Fermin Park, Long Beach

They say you can never go back.

There is a lot of truth to that.  You can physically go back but change is inevitable.  The physical space changes.  People change and move on.  So in that sense, you can’t go back.

Last week I went back to the place where I grew up, Los Angeles.

A lot has changed and a lot is still the same.

The people I grew up with have moved on, either moved out of state or passed away, dearest Eddie.

I’ve lost contact with most of them.  Even so, it was a bit cathartic to go back to that culture and see how much I have changed.

Los Angeles is still incredibly crowded.  People are packed in like sardines.  There are now mini houses in the backyard of real houses.

A lot of these mini houses are rentals. Some are likely for family.  The state of California is an expensive place to live.  It is interesting to see how normal people cope with the cost of living.  Also, good luck finding a parking space.


“All day


served here”

     – Unknown


What makes California unique?

California has it’s own culture, language and vibe.

Conversations may be peppered with “like” and “totally”.

The weather is amazing.  After living on the east coast, Texas and Utah, I have a new appreciation for California weather.

The coast is unforgettable, from North to South.

The cuisine spans over 100 countries.  California is a melting pot, an international microcosm.

Hippies in the north and GQ in the south.

Some of the best wine in the World is born here.


China Town.


U.S. Navy.

California has a little bit of everything.


“The Earth has music

for those that listen.”

    – Shakespeare


The Pacific Ocean

My goal on this trip was to photograph the sun setting over the pacific.

When I was in High School, if we had nothing to do, we would hop in somebody’s car and drive to La Jolla, a whopping 10 minute drive to watch the sunset.

I had one of those 110 cameras.  The kind where you put a film cartridge in and only when it was full you took it to the drugstore to have it sent away to get developed.  The process could take a week or more, depending on how fast you filled up your film cartridge.

$8.  I can’t even imagine that now.

And yet, I never took a picture of that magnificent sunset that I remember.  More clouds equaled more purple.  No clouds meant more red.  If you have both, well who knows!


One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the U.S.S. Iowa, a World War II battleship with a rich history, ‘The World’s Greatest Naval Ship’.

‘On 12 November 1943, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt boarded the USS Iowa from the Presidential yacht (USS Potomac) at the mouth of the Potomac River. The President’s party included Presidential Advisor Harry Hopkins and the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a secret meeting with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference.’  – Battleship Iowa Museum

If you want to know how torpedo #3 almost changed the outcome of the war, click here.

“Don’t SHOOT!  We’re republicans!”  –  U.S. Navy via semaphore transmission

Did I mention I was semaphore captain in the U.S.N.S.C.C at Miramar Naval Air Station?

You can take the nerd out of California…

Of course, my favorite part was the galley.


Captains Corner

President Roosevelt was here.


“I knew who I was this morning,

but I’ve changed several times since then”.

      – Alice in Wonderland

Santa Barbara



“We were together.

I forget the rest.”

     –  Walt Whitman

The Human Puppy

The highest point of this trip was visiting my sweet niece, her husband and their first, new human puppy.   My amazing sister and her husband flew in from Texas.  The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  My heart is full.

To see our spunky, adventurous Kimmi transform into a devoted wife, mother and professional photographer has been a beautiful dream that I am truly blessed to witness.

I remember camping trips, fishing, Girl Scouts, HOBART!

Teen angst.

Camp Texlake.

Kayaking on Town Lake.

Cousin time with Bonka & William.

Congratulations Matthew and Kimmi!


“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”

     –  Psalm 139:14