I’m walking out the door and heading for a jet plane to our new home in Fort Collins, Colorado. It’s hard to articulate how important Long Beach is to me. At 17 years, I’ve lived as long here as I did my childhood home, and did as much — if not more — growing here than those super early years.
I’ll let photos do the talking, one for each year.
Might as well share a poem I wrote about Long Beach the year I moved to town.
The cracks in her sidewalks run miles deep and stretch as wide as the smile of the elderly woman who sells lavender and knock-off Channel at the corner of East 2nd and St. Joseph.
I have trampled over her dimples countless times, whether in sturdy steps with the heels of leather boots or the clickity-clack slaps of flip flops under my feet.
If she could stand I’d bet she would dance up and down her waveless beaches or hop the bus to Pine Ave. only to sit in the furthermost seat next to a man whose eyes met hers when
she batted her fronds provocatively in his direction.
Between the big oil billionaires and plastic surgeons that litter the streets of Beverly Hills are the many Dons to toss money at her feet.
She was the pinup girl in the downtown auto garage, laminated in a yesteryear calendar sprawled across the sand in a square cut suit, glancing toward the lens with a dare to come in
for a closer look past the glamour that was to be but never was the sticking point for a charming ad campaign to coo attention from her angelic northern sister or the bleached blond locks of the southern belle beside her.
If she could stand I’d bet she would be the first one to open her arms, offer a seat, and ask everything there is to know about you, before the other two girls are even awake. It’s her charm that I have called home.
You can take the dude out of the LBC, but you can’t take the LBC out of the dude.