When I was nine my family moved to the small, island town of Alameda, California for one year. Going from the Sacramento suburbs to a condo just a half block from the ocean, actually San Francisco Bay, was wild stuff for us and I loved it. My brother, Jack, could dig for clams faster than any human ever, which thrilled my Mother to pieces. Daddy worked as a tax paying card player in the local card rooms and raised five rambunctious kids, with this non-traditional career, while Mom always stayed home.
Our house was pretty happy and that year by the beach was extraordinary. We walked the half block nearly everyday after school at Donald D. Lum Elementary, just to check out what we could find on the beach any given day, be it weird looking jelly fish or once a giant shark. We also had a huge, pool at the condo and we swam there as well, my baby twin sisters learned to swim in that pool. I helped to teach them. My brother could do hundreds of laps without stopping, he was in kindergarten and once an Olympic coach came to watch his tremendous ability and said Jack could be a distance swimmer for sure. We already knew that, the coach wanted to train him to be an Olympian. The water was the central idea to our families life.
As an adult, I visited beaches as often as I could, loving the ocean, the waves, the rhythm, the colors, the sound, the peace I felt just watching the ocean be, the tides and their almost hypnotic motion, I was so drawn to the water. That year by the beach in Alameda, stuck with me forever and decades later when my pal Steve wanted us to move to Hawaii together, it was a no-brainer, of course I would move to Hawaii. There I became intimately connected to many beaches, first on Oahu, then Maui, actually every major island in the archipelago, beaches of every type. On Oahu my favorite beach remains Kailua Beach and in Maui I still love Kam III, I feel like I know every grain of sand. I never, ever tired of ‘going to da beach’ and I hope I never will,
I stayed and lived happily in Hawaii for 23 years.