Monthly Archives: September 2015

Granny Research


This week I am in full Granny Research mode. On September 14, 2015, I brought you the story titled “Women Saved Aliso“.  The story was the beginning of my investigation after I got a request through the website to assist a woman from out of state to find old newspaper clippings on her grandmother Jessie Haden. She described her grandmother as a large woman with a feisty quality to her personality.  She also said that her grandmother partnered with another old woman to get in the way of a development at Aliso Beach that could have changed the face of this hot spot in unimaginable ways. I am increasingly grateful of their efforts as I dive back into treasured memories at Aliso and wonder how that would have changed my experiences.

From the 14th until last weekend, granny research was a failure to launch. I spent hours searching online, and the investigation really never got off the launch pad.  I felt grounded and a little defeated.  Online searches didn’t yield anything and I was left scratching my head.  How could there be nothing online about a couple of old women that gave developers fits when they tried to privatize Aliso Beach in the mid 1960’s?  With the powerful search engine Google and works like Wikipedia surely I would find what I was looking for.  It just wasn’t working out. There is also an amazing short history of South Laguna Beach from Karen Turnbull that is a great reference that made no mention of this pair of blue hair activists. Karen’s work is tremendous and she is a historical expert on South Laguna.  She details the history of her family of pioneers settling in South Laguna and tells amazing stories on daily life in an area considered part of Aliso Beach. If I had to guess, Karen knows of Jessie Haden and her partner in activism, but I decided I would do the granny research.  It seemed like something fun to do and helping a stranger reconnect to her grandmother’s past in South Laguna Beach was worth the time.

Last Saturday, I intended to visit the Laguna Beach Library on Glenneyre but noticed on the website the instruction to call to make sure it had reopened.  I don’t know what the story with that was, but when I called, I found out it was closed.  The only thing I could think of was to visit the Dana Point Library across from Salt Creek where I spent the morning body boarding with friends.  The two ladies upfront were very knowledgeable but even they had their struggles finding anything. My eyes perked up when the younger of the two ladies said she found something.  It was my first article on these grannies noted above called “Women Saved Aliso”.  We all got a laugh out of that and the two gals kept at it.  All we could really find was census info on Jessie Haden and her husband Frank that proved they were here in Southern California.  I parted with a couple of Laguna Beach websites written down on a small piece of paper knowing that I had much work left to do.

When I got home, I had nothing to do so I kept at it online. I found a newspaper archiving portal that had coverage of the Santa Ana Register in the 1960’s. The portal had a search feature that allowed me to look for keywords and names in the context of the articles.  While it wasn’t easy to find the information, this tool was incredibly helpful.  Everything we archive in preserving our history should have a tool like that. To my surprise, I did find articles detailing the fight that Jessie Haden and her accomplice put up as it related to private development at Aliso Beach.  To be honest, Jessie L Haden was a badass and she had an undeniable impact on the property ending up in the hands of the County of Orange.  Her courage and her belief in the idea that South Laguna Beaches should be available to everyone inspired a fight that probably changed the course of history for Aliso Beach.  That is a good thing!  

Granny Research continues and I hope to elaborate on this political activist and South Laguna Beach hero in a couple of weeks after I  scour the Laguna Beach public library for any information I can find.  I have enough to tell the story right now, but when I release the story, I am hoping and praying that I can do that with a newspaper clipping accompanied by a picture of this granny. I have not confirmed this with the granddaughter but I feel like maybe all the pictures, keepsakes and heirlooms tied to her grandmother may have been lost.  While I can paint a nice picture of what the two women did and how their efforts helped change Aliso Beach for the good, I intend to find additional articles that contain her picture. My next strategy for granny research is the microfiche at the Laguna Library.  Helpful tips from members of this Laguna Beach Facebook Group and a gentleman by the name of Anders of the Laguna Beach firm of Anders Lasater Architects have me pointed the direction of the library.  Anders firm did a nice historical piece on the La Casa Del Camino Hotel in Laguna using clippings from newspapers I believe I need to look through to complete my work.  The company has a portfolio of some amazing upscale architectural projects, and I am sure he has better things to do than to field my questions.  I very much appreciate his willingness to help as this project has become important to me.

So, wish me luck.  I am told by both Laguna beach community folks and Anders that the microfiche will be quite the adventure, which I take to mean it will be a long, drawn out and exhausting process.  So be it!  I want to tell a story I believe is important to South Laguna History and I want to make sure I do it right.  If I do it the way I believe it should be I will do it having found the clipping that Jessie Haden’s granddaughter references with a picture of the large, feisty woman that made her mark on Aliso Beach.




Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach History, Aliso Beach Stories, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, South Laguna Beach Tagged , , |

Selfies Week


If what a New York Daily News Article says is true, selfies have caused more deaths than shark attacks in 2015.  Considering all of the attacks this year in the waters of the East Coast and the tough year Australia has had with deadly shark attacks, it is hard to believe.  Assuming all of this is true. what is being reported leaves the question as to whether or not their should be a selfies week just like there is a shark week.  Surely the world wants to see the ferocious beast that is commonly known in modern culture as the selfie.  The article pegs global deaths related to shark attacks in 2015 somewhere between 5 and 12.  It also pegs selfie deaths at about a dozen, but I am guessing that with deaths in countries with less-sophisticated media and reporting that there were probably more deaths related to selfies than are reported in the New York Daily piece.

So what is it about selfies?  The surfing world has seen Go Pro Cameras mounted to the fronts of boards and attached to helmets for point of view footage.  In big wave venues with series consequences for missteps, we have seen a second skilled surfer drop in behind the lead surfer taking footage from behind as he attempts to make the barrel.  Shaun Smith, a local body boarder from Newport Beach, takes off on some of the nastiest shore break in Orange County taking Go Pro Footage from a pole he extends out in front of him as he pulls in.  There are a lot of people that admire this dude, and I have to admit, this guy is skilled and entertaining.  His enthusiasm for what he does is unmistakable.  Popular in the wave riding community, the exploits of Shaun could contribute to my campaign for a selfies week.  The reality is that kids see guys like Shaun do these amazing things and want to be like him.  That will mean that there are kids with go pros on long pools taking footage of themselves while riding and putting them and others near them at risk.

The good news is that the likelihood of a shark attack and death at Aliso Beach is far less significant than the damage that can happen taking selfies. I know its cool to sky dive, harness free rock climb, hang from building, do home based stunts and pose with dangerous animals in the background while taking selfies but the numbers paint a picture of the danger.  Countries are apparently advertising the dangers of selfies to tourists pushing back against companies that offer extreme adventures that tantalize visitors that love the adrenaline rush and posing for selfies in those perilous experiences.

If this keeps up, I imagine that selfies week will compete with shark week.  Selfies have come on like wild fire with the evolution of social media.  That probably means a rise in deaths attributable to poor selfie decisions while in dangerous spots.  Some say that people get so caught up on capturing themselves that they are unable to process and respond appropriately to the dangers around them.  There is a drone coming that can hold a camera and follow you for a short duration.  God help us!


Posted in Aliso Beach Stories Tagged , , |

Rain Clouds Remember Drought


Rain Clouds Remember Drought

What Rain? Another False Alarm

So we had all this hype related to an expected tropical rain event and somehow rain clouds remember drought. Southern California is priceless isn’t it?  Three to five days ago I was hearing from my professional photographer friend Bryan Pezman about this rain event that would have water falling from the sky Tuesday to Saturday.  Pezman is someone I listen to because I have personally watched him study weather satellite images to determine when the most explosive sunsets would be in Laguna Beach and Hawaii. It is safe to say that the man knows a little something about weather.  Apparently all the studying and analyzing in the world can’t stop a situation where rain clouds remember drought.

I woke up early yesterday and there was a coolness to the air. The winds started blowing a good pace and I thought it would be a lot like the last rain where easterly winds blew monsoon-like storms out toward the coast and then spray us all down with a decent shot of rain.  The cloud presence grew throughout the morning and the heat was kind of sucked out of the coast like a vacuum.  It went from oppressively warm to surprisingly pleasant and cool.  The thought of a light jacket crossed my mind.  After getting a tire plugged, the passenger side tire went flat.  I thought I would be caught in the rain whole getting a portable air compressor to fill the tire and take it back to the tire shop.  I still don’t get how that happens. A plug fails and then i take it back ans submerging the tire in water they find no air leaking.  I am holding my breath today hoping the problem does not repeat.

This morning the air is still cool and feeling a bit more like Fall. The winds that were supposed to carry in this storm have gone away and I am sure temperatures will once again climb. We have near misses in Southern California often and our home was once a desert before the state was developed ,and no golf courses don’t sprout up by themselves and perform their own grooming.  Rain clouds remember drought but let’s hope the expectations for a wetter than normal winter fueled by EL Nino delivers on its potential without bringing damage from flooding and large wave events. This weather pattern could be huge for us this year and we need the water.  I hope we get it.

Posted in Aliso Beach Stories Tagged , , , , |

Ocean Bacteria Levels


urban runoff, aliso creek, pollution, high ocean bacteria levels,

Aliso Beach Urban Runoff Causes High Ocean Bacteria Levels

With the recent rains in September, it is probably a good idea to remind everyone of the 72 hour rule and elevated ocean bacteria levels. That rule is the warning offered by Orange County Health officials related to dangerous bacteria levels and pollutants exceeding state water quality standards with the potential to make those entering the water sick. I was inspired by a Ben Ginsberg post Facebook Image of Google Maps showing all OC Beaches bacteria levels exceeding state health standards. As a professional surf photographer and ocean enthusiast, Ben is disappointed and angered by how little we value the Orange County Coastline. His sentiment is that we trash and pollute the ocean and that to see that every area along the Orange County Coastline had warnings against bacteria levels was very disheartening to him.  Following rain events in Southern California, elevated bacteria levels are not a new occurrence.  As an Orange County Body Boarder for 28 years, I can say that the battle against urban runoff, trash, sewage and intentional toxic dumping has been a losing one.  I have seen bags of medical waste with syringes float by me in the water while body boarding.  I have picked up needles, pregnancy tests, tampons, dolls, tooth brushes, used condoms, beer bottles, birthday balloons and petrified industrial plastic off the beach.  I have stepped into a pile of tar so large that a pair of new Nike running shoes had no chance. I had to throw them out.  By the nature of consumption and our over reliance on plastics, this battle against marine pollution is huge.  Trash is only a part of the elevated ocean bacteria levels and pollution.  When you add in untreated sewage overflows, surface street oils and fuels, pesticides, manure, pet waste and industrial cleaners, you have the recipe for a coastal environment that is highly toxic and risky.

We have made strides with environmental groups that watch over the coast like Surfrider Foundation, Wyland Foundation, Laguna Blue Belt, Reef Check, Coastal Playground and Adopt a Beach organizing armies of volunteers to educate the public, clean up beaches, protect reefs, and go after companies that are endangering our valuable coastal environments.  Despite all of the amazing efforts to protect our coastlines, rain events and the immediate bacteria warnings tell us we need to do more.

Today, another El Nino driven rain event with tropical moisture is expected to hit Southern California. While we need the rain , it is important to understand the increase risks of high ocean bacteria levels following measurable precipitation. I will be the first to tell you I have ignored warnings and I am not in the minority on that.  It seems unfair to wave riders and ocean enthusiasts that with any rain we get our beaches and water quality dip below acceptable levels.  We love to be in the ocean and warnings issued by the state or county following a rain event tell us that we still have not figured out how to be consumers without injuring the environment.  With coastal orange county’s ocean water taking a hit last week with the rain event, this new storm will elevate ocean bacteria levels and pollution even more.  While I can’t guarantee I will stay out of the water after it rains, I will remind everyone that it is a certainty that those levels will exceed state standards and prompt warnings much like Ben Ginsberg posted on Facebook after the last rain.  And yes, I too am angered and disappointed.

Ben Ginsberg is a fraternity brother, friend and photographer who covers the sport of surfing, waves and the coastal landscape.  If you would like to learn more about the work of Ben Ginsberg, click on the link for Driftwood Studios



Posted in Aliso Beach News Tagged , , , , , , , |

Tsunami Damage


With news of a tsunami arriving in the just before sunrise hour, I decided I would head down to Aliso Beach to assess the tsunami damage.  Southern California is geographically blessed in many ways.  We get earthquakes but they haven’t been as bad as they could be.  With hurricanes we experience high surf but don’t get the violent and destructive weather associated with them save for a day and a half well-needed rain event like several days ago.  Thankfully, we rarely experience any tsunami damage when the possibility of one is suggested and warned by NOAA.

Looking for but not expecting to find any tsunami damage, this is what I saw.

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There was a large playground sandbox’s worth of sand in the parking lot with some dried out patches of sea weed but those were all there the week before with high tides and a run of larger than normal waves.  The mouth at Aliso Creek was widened with two large sand walls on each side with disgusting brown urban runoff  and debris full water.  Unfortunately that too is normal with rains that grab fuels, pesticides, trash, pet waste and any other contaminant known to man, and deliver the polluted water to this beautiful Laguna Beach.  The beach once again has eroded on the south end with rocks exposed that took months to disappear under the return of sand last year post hurricane Marie.  Once again, there is a large sand cliff with the water and tides having cut out much of the sand real estate for beach goers and sun bathers. With a nearly 14 day run of south swells beach erosion like this can’t be attributed to tsunami damage.

It was warm on the beach.  There were two skim boarders doing their thing, two hot girls in bikinis, several couples enjoying the view from under an umbrella and a guy trying to grab his girlfriend who was just knocked over by a wave and getting pulled down slope towards the next coming shore-pounder as she screamed. For a warm day at Aliso Beach, there wasn’t many people there so the tsunami damage may have come in a form that people aren’t thinking of. Parking meter revenue was certainly down with the tsunami warning keeping some away from Aliso that would have typically enjoyed a warm summer day at the beach.  While the loss of parking money to the County Of Orange as a result of the tsunami is hardly tragic, it is fair to say that Aliso Beach did suffer tsunami damage.

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach Tagged , , , , |

Tsunami Warning


By now my friends I am sure you have heard there was an earthquake registering between 7.9 and 8.3 on the Richter Scale off the South American Country of Chile with 3 aftershocks above 6.0.  It sounds pretty serious to me and there is a Tsunami Warning for Hawaii and the West Coast from San Onofre to San Luis Obispo. It is being reported on Facebook among members of the community that a tsunami is indeed on the way and due to hit at around 4:45 Am.  I myself will have finished my work for the night, watched a little bit of the debate, and indulged in a couple of hard to obtain micro brew IPA’s from Bob’s Fine Wines and fallen asleep. I feel pretty good well off the coast and in the hills.

In spending a grip of time on Facebook, I am seeing much of the community is either joking about the effects of a tsunami hitting this area or genuinely concerned. I don’t know how it will work out. Some in the community have indicated that their smart phones have lit up with this so-called tsunami warning, and whether or not this is precautionary or coming to fruition, it appears that there is some concern with beaches as far south as San Onofre, through Aliso Beach and the Laguna area all the way up to Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo.  It sounds like to me that there is potential to tear us a new one and the unknown in the science of offshore earthquakes and tidal waves leaves potential for damage and loss of life.  Let’s hope not!  For good measure, here is the Surfline Tsunami Report for review.

Interestingly enough, there was a 4.5 earthquake today in Big Bear which may have produced a small aftershock late afternoon and early evening strong enough to disorientate the newest member of the beer tending staff at a local tasting room I enjoy.  Pure speculation on my part but his behavior or reaction tonight was either wack and something I don’t want to know the root of or there was just enough earth moving to put the  clumsy and butter-fingered dude from the east coast  in a semi-state of alarm.  Ohhhhh he is special, no doubt about it. The small tsunami should arrive between 4:30 and 4:45 Am to Aliso Beach and Orange County producing a wave that pushes to the shore at a size that correlates to a disappointing surf report when compare to the recent run of waves. With yesterday’s tsunami warnings, the wave could produce a push that messes with the currents and rip tides in a way that is significant enough to warrant beach closures into tomorrow afternoon. There is also potential for damage to boats and harbors.

Aliso Beach has already had high tides with big surf recently so I would be surprised if this wave or series of waves did much to outdo the sand and sea weed that has been in the lot for a couple of weeks.  If it is not too much to ask I am pleading for compassion from Sue Nami in the hopes that none of the 7 fire pits are dragged out to sea and the water stays in the ocean!  It may be wise to avoid the water tomorrowallowing nature to take its course. I don’t feel like anyone will be missing anything when it comes to quality surf given the run we had for about 10 days.  Perhaps the remaining men and women competitors of the Hurley Pro feel otherwise so I will pray for their safety.

With the 2004 Indonesian and 2010 Japanese tsunamis, coastal communities understand globally the potential for a series of devastating waves following ocean borne earthquakes.  While this tsunami warning won’t amount to much, it does serve as a wake up call and reminder of what could happen. With visual evidence of the arrival of this wave or waves occurring before sun up, I will assume that some people will venture out into the water tomorrow morning.  Not even the 72 hour rule for pollution ripe with bacteria and carcinogenic urban run-off can keep some of these folks out of the ocean, and especially Aliso Beach with it’s propensity to be mucked up with the flow of the Creek during and after rain events for several days.

I am feeling like we have been lucky and have somehow avoided dangers that lurk in our oceans when the ground shakes beneath the sea floor.  There has been much talk recently about the vulnerabilities of Califonia and the Pacific Northwest to tsunamis.   For those vising the beaches tomorrow with hopes of being in or near the water, please be careful.




Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Events, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Park Tagged , , , , |

Left Coast Brewery Reef Check Event


At the Left Coast Brewery Reef Check Event, I got to learn something about an incredible charity and meet Professional Surfer Courtney Conologue.  She was helping sister Charleen Conologue promote this amazing marine protection group at the tasting room with a $1.00 donation for every pint of Trestles IPA, South Coast IPA, Hop Juice, Wedge, Ale Epesteios, Voodo, Pink Bikini, Assylum, Almond Cream, Del Mar Street Lager and well you get the idea. The house was packed for a Monday Night so I will assume that a nice chunk of money went to the charity.

When young people do these charitable events, it is not uncommon to find them timid, shy and uncertain.  It does not make them any less supportive of the charity.  It just means they are still trying to find their voice and how to become comfortable using it.  I found Charlene to be engaging and intelligent.  She did a great job at the booth and having conversations with Left Coast patrons.  It was a nice touch to bring in her sister Courtney who is atop the Womens Professional World Tour and in town for the Hurley Pro. She was gracious with her time there taking pictures with fans and signing posters she brought in for the event.  I was a fan before but seeing her support a charity that protects marine ecosystems and having the opportunity to chat with her makes it personal.  I hope she wins the thing!

There are so many amazing charities out there doing great work and service to our communities.  I lean toward  those that support and have ties to wave riding, beach cleanups and marine protection because of my deep connection to the ocean.  Think about this.  Our home is 70% water and 98.5% of that volume is salt water.  The oceans brew up storms that deliver the 1.5% of the earth’s fresh water.  Our oceans are a valuable food source for people all over the world. Marine plants and organisms are being used in health supplements and medicines. Why again are we allowing urban runoff, plastics, cigarette butts, intentional toxic dumping and sewage spills to enter the ocean and damage marine ecosystems?  I believe human existence or the quality of human existence on this planet follows the health of our oceans and marine life.  Reef Check is a non-profit organization with offices globally that embraces the need for us to protect these marine environments and empowers volunteers all over the world to monitor and report on the state of reefs.

A distinguished gentleman by the name of DR. Gregor Hodgson founded the non-profit in 1996.  They have two mandates for their work. One is to protect the rocky reefs of California and the other is to protect tropical coral reefs.  The Aliso Beach and Laguna Coastline fit right  into this incredible effort to protect reef systems and marine life  and I know this area needs help too. This is important stuff and I commend Left Coast for aligning themselves with Reef Check.  The charity works with government agencies, corporations, universities and other charities to network that grow partnerships, sponsorship, awareness and education that help support the goals of conserving pristine reefs and rehabilitating reefs that have been damaged with environmentally sustainable solutions.

They have volunteer teams in 90 countries and territories which tells me we have enthusiastic volunteers across the planet who all believe in the need to protect our marine environments.  For that I humbly thank all of them.  I do not envision myself becoming a diver because I just don’t like not being able to breathe through my nose, and truth be told, it panics me.  I wish it were different but what I can do is support Reef Check by promoting their events and working to incorporate my work in the art field with events donating a portion of proceeds to the charity.   When they talk about creating awareness, networking and growing supporters, this is exactly how it works.  People will get involved if they know about the problem with solutions to overcome them.  These are all things Reef Check delivers well which tells us the army of people helping them achieve reef and marine protection is growing.

Education is a huge part of what they do with the goal of helping people become aware of the value of reef ecosystems and of the health challenges they currently face.  If not living on a coastline, it is easy to be removed from the importance of saving our reefs and oceans which makes the education component of their work so vital.  People will help if they understand what the issue is and there are organizations with solutions that they may be a part of. Another part of the education that is fantastic is the certification program for divers and the training in the Reef Check scientific methods which play an integral role in regular monitoring and reporting by volunteers globally. As a natural byproduct of the huge efforts they make to organize and grow a worldwide force of reef eco-warriors, they are winning support and inspiring local community involvement and action.  Our reefs and oceans benefit from this and as a wave rider and advocate for Aliso Beach, I cannot overestimate the importance of preserving and restoring these marine ecosystems.

Thank you Left Coast Brewery, Reef Check, Charlene Conologue and Courtney Conologue for your efforts to promote the preservation of the marine environment I love. I am a huge, huge fan of what you do and will do my part to help you with exposure for they great work that is being done and will need to continue to be done.

For those of you like me who won’t become divers in support of the Reef Check efforts, there is still so much you can do.

Like and share their galleries, pages and blogs on the website and all social media.  Here are some of them.

Reef Check Instagram  or @reefcheck

Reef Check Facebook Fan Page

Reef Check Twitter  @reefcheck

There was a line in a movie called Under The Rainbow years ago.  It went something like this:  “No dream to big and no dreamer to small”! In the context of that I would like to say that every day people can get involved and make a difference.

You may also donate to Reef Check online.

You can become a member of Reef Check.


You can attend charitable events that benefit Reef Check like the one yesterday night at Left Coast and Reef Check Events like the upcoming Save The Reefs Save The Oceans Gala October 1st honoring volunteers and supporters.

Get Involved!  Stay Involved!

Posted in Aliso Beach Events, Aliso Beach News, Laguna Beach, Laguna News Tagged , , , , , |

Funny Cell Phone Case Story


So, I was preparing to represent Aliso Beach artist and photographer Scotty Carter down at an event this weekend when I found out that there was a communication snafu related to beer.  This is the beginning of the funny cell phone case story and you will get it in the end.  I promise!

I was going to provide a couple of kegs for the event and was looking for a contribution sheet from a charity that benefits the ocean and never got one.  This lead to a panicked conversation with the event organizer who told me that he needed me to come through.  Great, so now I was going to have to pay for the kegs which I decided I would just do.  All I asked for was some help related to the tap, ice and a trash can.  Not too much to ask, right?  Apparently it was and I just had to throw the whole responsibility on my back, suck it up, part with the dough and make it happen.  It almost cost me my IPhone 6Plus.

I tried a local liquor store for the tap and they were no help.  Supermarkets in the city needed 3 day advance notice and would only rent based on the purchase of kegs retail at their location. I was hoping that when I delivered the kegs to the location a half an hour before the event was to go live that I would be in the clear and be able to talk to people about art.  Needless to say it didn’t go that way.

BevMo in Laguna Hills came through for me once before and it was time to go back to old reliable.  I picked up the tap and got back on the freeway knowing I still needed a trashcan and ice.  I raced back to San Clemente and stopped off at Denaults Hardware for a trashcan and then tried to conclude the adventure at Rite Aid where I carted 5 large bags of ice up to the counter and found myself buried behind 5 people with one cashier.  Gotta love it!  By the time I got out of Rite Aid with ice and to the car, I was sweating profusely.

In my rush to get the ice to the car, I left my cell phone in its case on top of the vehicle and raced back down El Camino Real to the event.  When I parked the car in the cramped lot, I blocked a lady in and had to make sure she would be there for 15 minutes so I could unload.  When she said it would be okay, I got out of the car and realized my cell phone in its case was perched on top of the car.  Can you hear the relief?  Laying on the side of the case it had not moved even though the journey from Rite Aid back to the event took a downward sloping course on El Camino Real.  Honestly, I think I got a serious break!  Maybe the case played a role in the phone not slipping off the car as I raced back to location.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that in my hurried state, I almost cost myself a pricey phone and the hassle of replacing the phone would have been extremely frustrating.  Being able to tell you the funny cell phone case story is clearly preferable to telling you that this smart guy left his phone on his car and had it slip off and into traffic while driving away.  Trust me it has been done before, and it isn’t just me.

Oh and by the way, I had to go get some cups because there weren’t enough of those either.  I was so dehydrated running around and sweating like a pig, so I went to 7-11 down the street.  I need a water and figured that there weren’t enough cups so rather than be the bad guy who took care of the kegs, the trash can, and the ice, I decided the cups were a protection I might need against the thirsty.  I did not let them down.  After sitting in the car with the air conditioning running full blast to cool down, I changed my shirt and walked across the street and confirmed the cups were in short supply.  Who would have guessed?

That was an interesting day for sure and I am pleased to tell you my phone is doing fine.  I do believe that my cell phone case saved that phone from sliding off the car. As a marketer for art and someone that has organized several art events, one thing has always wrung true no matter who is at fault.  My fraternity brother always used to say this.  So Brian Vitek used to say, ” Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance”! That is absolutely correct.  Nobody wants the stress of running around last minute like that and while I don’t mind telling the funny cell phone case story, it could just have easily been how I left the phone and case on top of my car rolling it into traffic and having smashed by cars behind me.  Even worse yet it could have rolled over the front of my car with my back wheels picking of my own phone.  All is well that end’s well….I guess!


Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Stories, Art Events Tagged , , , |

Women Saved Aliso


I get some pretty interesting requests on this website. Most of the time, it is really easy to answer questions about the beach.  With a recent inquiry and request on this website, I have been notified that there was a pair of women who may have saved Aliso Beach from private interests and development in the 1960’s.  Have women saved Aliso?  According to the website comments of Shandy, her grandmother Jessie Haden, and another woman passionately advocated for keeping Aliso Beach a public access beach.  Given all the time I have spent at Aliso Beach body boarding with friends and creating special memories, and all the people who enjoy Aliso Beach Park yearly, this seems like an investigation that I have to do.

I have read quite a bit about Laguna and Aliso Beach.  I have not come across any mention of Jessie Haden or the mystery woman who teamed up with her to play an alleged role in keeping Aliso Beach public. I have no reason to believe that what I have been told is untrue.  Part of the inquiry informed me that there used to be newspaper clippings on the pair of women in the family and somehow they have been misplaced or lost.  Shandy is looking for our help and says that she can’t find any information on her grandmother anywhere online.  For the moment, that makes two of us, but I am determined to see if we can find those clippings and get copies to her.

I had to think for a moment what we would have missed had Aliso Beach become a private development. Here are 5 things that we may have missed had private development groups wrestled control of this Laguna Beach from the public:

  1. The Aliso Beach pier which was built in the 1970’s may not have ever been built.
  2. Laguna Beach would not have a single beach with metered parking on the coastal side of South Pacific Coast Highway.
  3. There would be no family beach with a shower, restrooms, snack bar and children’s playground.
  4. Skim Boarding as a sport might be radically different and the VIC might not be hosted at Aliso Beach every year.
  5. The housing on the beach on the north side of Aliso Beach may not even exist.

I have been body boarding Aliso Beach since the mid 1980’s.  All of the incredible waves and memories with friends would not have occurred at this beach and the Aliso Beach website would not be what it is today all because those women saved Aliso.  They must have been feisty.  The opportunities for women to voice themselves in the 1960’s pales in comparison to what those opportunities look like in 2015.  If in fact I find info on Jessie Haden and her mystery gal pal had a role in saving Aliso Beach, I will retroactively thank her for the effort to keep the beach accessible to future generations that included me and beyond.  This will be an interesting story and it won’t be easy.  I have a strategy on how to research this and I will get back to everyone on what I find about how women saved Aliso.

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach History, Aliso Beach Park, Laguna, Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach Tagged , , , |

Scotty Carter Art Work At Timmy Patterson Surf Shop


Aliso Beach photographer Scotty Carter Art Work is on display at the Timmy Patterson Surf Shop and The Mint Gallery today from 12-6 pm.  This is their yearly event that ties into the amazing surfing display put on by the world’s best men and women down at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California.  As a photographer and artist, Scotty was first published as a result of his documentation of and work featuring Aliso Beach in Laguna, California.

water sculpture, inspiration, fine art, Scotty Carter

Water Sculpture By Scotty Carter

The show is an Art Show Fundraiser Rider’s Unite Hosted By Timmy Patterson, the Mint Gallery and Red Dress Events.  There is a silent auction benefiting Surfrider Foundation.  I got a chance to see the curated walls a couple of days ago and it is tastefully done with some incredible artists.  I will be down there today at the event between 1;30 and 4:30 pm representing Scotty Carter and happy to answer any questions related to the art, printing styles and framing options.  We have added two new pieces to the gallery that are double frame stacked canvases that are absolutely incredible.  The color and detail in his water sculptures are mesmerizing.  Hope to see you down there for the event and many thanks to Mark Gabriel, The Mint, Timmy Patterson and Red Dress Events for being included in this event.

Beyond this event, I will be available on an appointment basis to come down and discuss Scotty Carter art purchase options, printing styles and framing options.  My contact details are below.




Phone:  714-253-2899


Posted in Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Photography, Art Events Tagged , , , , |