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Laguna Beach


Dennis’ Tidbits 

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

February 4, 2020

Love for the ocean born at age three

Dennis 5Wednesday marks the midpoint of winter with 45 down and 45 to go. We’ve been blessed with fantastic weather the past few days, as it feels like spring instead of winter with shorts and flops conditions with clear sunny skies and clear crisp nights. The bright object in the western skies after sunset is the planet Venus in its crescent phase. That’s when it’s the brightest.

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs who won their first Super Bowl since 1970. Patrick Mahomes is only 24, and he’s the MVP of Super Bowl 54 and at 21, as a rookie, he passed for an incredible 50 touchdowns winning Rookie of the Year. He’s certain to be a Hall of Famer at the rate he’s going. Amazing player and amazing team!

Like I said before, at the tender age of five, I knew my life was going to be all about the ocean and the sky thanks to that dramatic weather at the Grand Canyon. That one event made such an impression, I still remember it like it was yesterday. When my folks and I returned to my birthplace in Hollywood after our three-day stay in the Grand Canyon, I spent a lot of time looking skyward during the day and looking above at the heavens when it got dark. I would ask my Pop questions like why didn’t we get thunderstorms in Hollywood like they get in Arizona during the summer, and he would explain all the dynamics it took to produce such storms.

I’m getting ahead of myself a bit here. My complete love and fascination of the ocean began two summers earlier when I was only three. We lived in Hollywood at the time, but during the summers my folks would rent a little cottage here in Laguna on St. Ann’s Street. One day Mom and Pop and I were down at Main Beach on a calm sunny afternoon with warm water and small surf. They went in the water about waist deep with me hoisted up on my Pop’s shoulders while Mom stood about 20 feet away in the shallows. 

Pop slowly lowered me into the water and showed me how to doggy paddle to Mom while he had both hands on my waist. I wasn’t scared in the least bit and instantly felt comfortable in my surroundings. My Mom held my hand while Pop went back to his spot about 20 feet away. I doggy paddled back to Pop all by myself, no problem! I went back and forth to Mom and Pop a bunch more times. My folks were totally amazed at my immediate connection with the Pacific. “I think we created a monster here!” Pop said to Mom. They couldn’t get me out of the water after that. I was hooked at three years old!

On days when the surf was rougher, my folks would take me up to the Laguna Beach High School pool that was heated at 82 degrees and the water was calm. It was there that I honed my swimming skills, but when the surf got big, we’d go down to the beach, and I would stand at water’s edge totally mesmerized, watching all that energy. I wanted in, but I was only three, mind you, so I was perfectly content to gaze at the pounding breakers. By then my folks knew they had created a monster! Then summer ended and we returned to Hollywood. Trouble is it was over 50 miles inland and away from Laguna, and I couldn’t wait for the next summer, so I had to be content with sloshing around in our big laundry sink, but at least I was in the water in some form! Crazy, eh? 

More on that next time, ALOHA!

 

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