Posts Tagged ‘pacific’

The tunnel at Riviera Beach in San Clemente.Freedom is waiting at the end of this tunnel.  Soon it will be June and a lot of people will pass through here on their way to summer; it begins just past the concrete where the sand is hottest.  Sandals will be flicked off and put in a bag or a back pocket.  The biggest decision will be whether to sit to the right or the left.  Lips are licked for the salt that is already there and at the berm, most likely, a wave from family and friends will decide if the day is spent closer to tower four or to lost winds.

 The right or left at the beach today replaces the right or left at the stoplight yesterday.  There are no laptops or schedules other than when the legs and back are too hot to stand it any


                     “…no laptops or schedules…”


 longer.  Then it’s just over the feet, up to the waist or all the way in.  All the way in, arms out, floating down to the coldest water at the bottom and then rising up to the warm top layer.   More salt on the lips, on the teeth, in the eyes, and in the nose as well.  No one really seems to mind and everything is almost dry before sitting back down on a warm towel.


Cranky, worried and upset going into the tunnel and whistling a tune, coming out the other side.  A nap, a good read and a swim or two.  If it’s done right and you think about it, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be light at each end of the tunnel.

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 Bring up “Beach Glass’ in a conversation and you need to be ready.  The husbands’ “hrmphhhhh” and the wives’ “whoaaaaaa” will un-doubtedly  bring out the home collection in jars, boxes and maybe the latest cull from a jeans pocket.  Any novice that lives within 5 miles of the beach will tell you that whites and greens abound, all shades of blue are difficult to find and more likely you’ll find a mermaid than the “holy red”. 


There can’t be a dashboard, a kitchen sill or a bathroom toothbrush drawer that doesn’t have some kind of beach glass on display.  Most of the time it shines nicely in the sun, reminding us that a walk on the beach is just steps away but then there’s Scott and Elsa Harrison of San Clemente that are working hard to make it more than that.


“We were in Hawaii last year” Harrison says, “at this farmer’s market in Kona and I saw this beach glass bracelet…they wanted a ton for it and as I looked at it I thought I could do way better than that”


For the last year or so Harrison estimates he and Elsa spend about 20 hours a week hunting, drilling and assembling the beach glass into bracelets with pure silver wire.  Friends were naturally the first recipients and it seems that the Harrisons won’t have a shortage of friends to supply their unique, one of a kind bracelets.  Right now he has 3 designs: the “twist”, the “bangle” and the “bead”.    


We took our dog for a walk to Riviera on Memorial Day and spied the Harrisons from our usual spot on the old log next to tower four.  They moved back and fourth up the beach right at the shore line, intent on mining their molten sandy prize.  We watched them for a good 45 minutes before I couldn’t stand it any longer and made my way to ask what was up.


He showed me his technique with a homemade rake and basket tool and we philosophized on the finer points of beach glass hunting.  Elsa came by on a return sweep and showed me the product of their efforts.  At one point in the beginning of my conversation with Harrison I realized I knew him.  I explained to Elsa that we had gone to Concordia Elementary and hadn’t seen each other since we graduated from San Clemente High School in 1982.


Elsa stood back looking at Harrison as if it were the first time she had seen him.


“Wow, you’re old…and you look just like a triton with that rake….well you look like him in every way except for the abs…”she said playfully, smiling and laughing widely.


Harrison looked at her and pretended to jibe her with his beach glass rake, adding a “hardy harr harr” before giving up.  Elsa was already in the sand with one hand, another few morsels of glass for the project and Harrison, a little jealous, was right after her to see the score. 


You can call Harrison at home and talk to him about the “Sea Glass Designs” bracelets he has for sale.  Bracelets are $45= USD each and you might ask about his tye-dye t-shirts and sarongs for summer.


Scott and Elsa Harrison  949-361-9862



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Robert Cray at the 11th Annual Doheny Blues Festival last Saturday.

I was sent by the Orange County Register to shoot snapshots of the crowd at the 11th Annual Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point.  I went last Saturday, the 17th, and was really surprised by how many people attended.  I have my press pass and so after some checking I got in and went to work.


The best part of the whole thing was just seeing everyone getting along and having a good time.  I like all types of music and although I wouldn’t pay to get into any venue just to listen to the music like at Doheny, I could appreciate the fact that there is good reason to do it if you are into it. 


There was the usual parade of drunks and those folks that seem to be always out to over ambitiously dress and call attention to themselves but, all in all it was really laid back.  I had been thinking that I was not going to get assigned the shoot and had applied for an independent press pass which the event company never got back to me about.  After seeing the routine, I could see why; they had their hands full and although it wasn’t poorly organized there were some shaggy parts here and there.  I think trying your best counts for a lot and they really tried to pull it off and I think it was a success and getting better every year.


When ever I go on a shoot I really concentrate and so I was not paying too much attention to the music.  Mostly looking through the crowd from the point of view of the performer, I shot people, couples and kids enjoying the music.  When I was done, I sat checking my images to make sure I had my shots and was able to listen to Robert Cray a little bit.  I had never heard of him and really only remember him now as I had to include his name in a photo caption that I sent in. 


He has a great voice with tremendous emotion, in addition to playing the guitar really well.  I think, as he sang the words to his songs, he really meant it and the crowd was into it as well.  At one point his guitar failed and it seems the audio in general did as well.  He just kept on going, doing his thing; the mark of a true professional.  The roadie brought out a new one; he smiled, acknowledged the crowd with a shy smile and continued on as if he was in his own backyard playing just for himself.


I ended up at his website the other day to see if I could find out anymore about him and after looking at his schedule, decided there was nothing more to see.  He is busy all the time and just goes from one gig to another.  I wondered what that must be like and what he is like when he takes a break.  Just another job I guess.





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