Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why My Friend Judy Wants to Go to Santa Cruz

My friend Judy is exploding out of her former life as a mother, artist and wife. She is creating a new life. She is imagining all sorts of wonderful futures.

Her daughter Julia is going to Mills College in Oakland. Judy is falling in love with California. And especially with the idea of Santa Cruz.

She told me the other day that one of her classmates who comes from California told her that California is always 15 years ahead of the East Coast. She asked him about Santa Cruz. He told her that if California is 15 years ahead of everwhere else, Santa Cruz was 25 years ahead of everywhere else.

I actually agree. I went to high school in Santa Cruz and after wandering and hitch-hiking around the country and Mexico for several years, went to and graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz has come a long way from being the Coney Island of San Francisco, a place for lower middle class summer tourists to come and enjoy the Boardwalk and the French Fries and fried fish and cotton candy and stale popcorn and the smells of Coppertone and wafts of sea salt smells. And drag races down the main street and making out in parked cars along Steamer Lane. And listening to Elvis Presley and Nat King Cole.

I would love to go back to Santa Cruz.