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TIL: Today I Learned

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  • TIL: Today I Learned

    It’s only 8:45, and I learned something. There was a blurb on the news that mentioned Nixon in San Clemente. Hmmm … I says to myself… Joe(SoCal) has mentioned San Clemente, I wonder where it is? Google maps shows me it’s near Doheny Beach. I heard that name in The Beach Boys “Surfin Safari”:

    They're anglin' in Laguna in Cerro Azul
    They're kickin' out in Doheny too
    I tell you surfing's mighty wild, it's gettin' bigger every day
    From Hawaii to the shores of Peru”

    So then, I wonder, is that a Native American word? So I googled it. No, not indigenous, it’s the name of the FREAKIN’ GUY who bribed the Secretary of the Interior with $100,000 in a leather bag. The TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL!

    And now for more coffee.
    “Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles and see the world is moving" - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  • #2
    Re: TIL: Today I Learned

    Actually it’s not in Doherty Beach, that beach is actually in Dana Point. It’s a bit south of the the main area of San Clemente.

    La Casa Pacifica (Spanish: La Casa Pacífica, meaning "The House of Peace") is a classic California beachfront mansion located in the gated community of Cottons Point Estates/Cypress Shores in the South Orange County beach town of San Clemente, California, and overlooks the Pacific Ocean from its blufftop position.

    Fun fact we were friends with the caretakers of the current owner ( an equally right wing republican ) and we got a full tour at a diner party they had there while the owners were away. I actually got to sit at Nixon desk in his home office. The place is stunning and was called the West Coast White House. It’s also been on and off the market a few times since we moved to SoCal.



    • #3
      Re: TIL: Today I Learned

      Back before Dana Point Harbor was created there was a point with good surf which could get big - Surfers called the spot ‘Killer Dana’. “Dana” of course refers to the famous author of “Two Years Before the Mast” . My uncle used to surf there in the 50’s and camping/bonfires on the beach were common. The shore had a rocky section, called ‘The Boneyard’, which in those pre-leash days caused much destruction to surfboards. After the Harbor was created, the surf spot changed and is now called Doheny Beach, but surfers still call the north inside reef ‘The Boneyard’.



      • #4
        Re: TIL: Today I Learned

        No surfing when Nixon was here, the entire beach was closed and patrolled with armed guards.
        Another reason to hate that err, crook


        • #5
          Re: TIL: Today I Learned

          Doheny is mostly a Grom or a beginner surprise spot ( I surf there ) , it’s a far cry from the Killer Dana it once was before the breakwater was built for the marina. You can still see what the pointing surf was like by climbing up to the top of the breakwater and the ponding surf that blasts into the wall. I’ve seen the old photos and videos it was awesome but far beyond my abilities.

          Here is Doheny


          • #6
            Re: TIL: Today I Learned

            There are three point breaks near Nixon’s mansion, ‘Cottons’ and Upper and Lower ‘Trestle’.
            In the photo below Nixon’s digs were at the top right. ‘Uppers’, as it is known today is at the top left, while ‘Lowers’ is in the foreground. The breaks were named for the railroad trestle which crosses the creek (San Mateo, IIRC).

            Trestles (especially Lowers) is a world class surf break and the land was part of Camp Pendleton, a Marine training base. Of course it was surfed during Nixon’s tenure, but the surfers who did so risked arrest (by the MPs) and board confiscation:

            In the early 70s (I think) the Marines gifted the land to the state of CA and a state park was created.


            • #7
              Re: TIL: Today I Learned

              You do know I can’t surf Trestle‘s because I an’t a local brah. But Old Man’s in San Onofre looks about right

              There is also a secrete clothing optional beach at the end, don’t ask me how I know


              • #8
                Re: TIL: Today I Learned

                You don’t have to be a local, you just have to be good. At Lowers you’re competing with some of the best surfers in the state, so it is pretty hard to get a wave.


                • #9
                  Re: TIL: Today I Learned

                  I’m not good


                  • #10
                    Re: TIL: Today I Learned

                    In Oregon, the beaches are public property, from the vegetation to the water. In California, are all beaches public?
                    “Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles and see the world is moving" - Elizabeth Cady Stanton


                    • #11
                      Re: TIL: Today I Learned

                      Yes most are public, yet that has nothing to do with the territorial surf culture. Go watch Point Break


                      • #12
                        Re: TIL: Today I Learned

                        My grandparents moved from San Gabriel, an LA neighborhood, to San Clemente in about sixty-four or five, which meant my brothers and I would take turns visiting them during summers, after we moved to northern California. I got to spend a lot of time, like all day every day during those summers, sometimes with a brother, sometimes with one of my grandmother's friend's granddaughter on the public beach on the south side of the pier. We were fifteen, my grandmother would exclaim how we had become brown as berries roasting in the sun. Tom and I drove down in his Triumph Herald. Then Tom had to go back north for college placement tests and left me alone with fifteen year old bikini-clad Karen for the entire three months of summer. Her grandparents owned the movie house on the north end of the main drag.

                        Besides seeing a real tit, the whole thing all at once for the first time ever, one of my favoritest memories from those vacation beach days was when one afternoon, just lying on the towel after body surfing, a small biplane came putt-putting along, a couple hundred feet above the surf, and flying parallel to the beach, trailing a banner that said 'NEIL ARMSTRONG WALKS ON THE MOON!' Above the ambient roar of the wind and waves and the crowd of summer daytime visitors, cheek by jowl on the sand, came the growing sound of the plane's engine and people started to notice and point at the airplane flying alongside the beach, low and slow. As the plane got closer and you could start to make out the text on the banner, you could hear a wave of beach-goers getting up and cheering and waving and stuff in the wake of the plane. Nineteen-sixty-nine.

                        It just sort of flopped out of the bikini top, all by itself, as she turned on her side on the beach blanket.


                        • #13
                          Re: TIL: Today I Learned

                          All California beaches are public.
                          However, see:



                          • #14
                            Re: TIL: Today I Learned

                            It is my understanding that the beaches are public below the “mean high tide line”. Access is another issue, and is sometimes contested by land owners.


                            • #15
                              Re: TIL: Today I Learned

                              Originally posted by Joe (SoCal)
                              Yes most are public, yet that has nothing to do with the territorial surf culture. Go watch Point Break
                              Read up on southern California's surf culture and its ties to anti-semitism and white supremacy.

                              From the NY Times. [ Click here for unlocked/gifted article. ]

                              The Long, Strange Tale of California’s Surf Nazis
                              When I set out to become a surfer, I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into

                              Sept. 28, 2019

                              "White youths heading to the beach in California to surf, in 1961". Allan Grant/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images

                              By Daniel Duane
                              Mr. Duane is the author of the surfing memoir “Caught Inside: A Surfer’s Year on the California Coast.”

                              San Francisco — The first time I saw a swastika in the wild, I happened to be carrying a surfboard. The year was 1989. I’d just come home from college hungry to claim the California identity that felt like my birthright. I could not have told you what that identity was except that its highest form appeared to be something like a blue-eyed, blond surfer with a golden tan, preternaturally skilled at riding the waves of his native beach.

                              I was a pink-skinned redhead who’d grown up too far inland to learn the way you’re supposed to — as a kid, at the surf spot down the block. My mom and dad were more about left-wing politics than California identity, and my years at Berkeley High School involved more protest marches than beach parties.

                              On the upside, I had a cool surfer uncle who’d ridden all the most famous waves in Hawaii and California. I’d always wanted to be like him, and he’d obliged with a couple of lessons in my teens. My uncle taught me the lingo, too, and gave me confidence that surfing could be mine. Around the time I graduated from college, he bought me a pointy little surfboard with two fins.

                              To get started, I drove from Berkeley to Santa Cruz, the hippie town where locals once sued Huntington Beach over the trademark Surf City U.S.A. I parked near a sea cliff where beautiful youth strolled sunny sidewalks radiating physical well-being and belonging. Looking out over the waves, I watched somebody soar across a blue sparkling wall of water. I wanted all of it, always and forever — freedom in the Pacific, daily contact with infinity. Pulling on my wet suit, I started down concrete steps toward the sea and saw that swastika spray-painted next to the phrase, “Kooks go home.”

                              I remembered that swastika last month when video surfaced of high school water-polo players in affluent Garden Grove, Calif., making the Nazi sieg-heil salute and chanting an obscure Nazi marching song. This kind of idiocy has been on the rise since last year.

                              Anti-Defamation League statistics show anti-Semitic attacks in California up 27 percent between 2017 and 2018. Last March, in the still-wealthier-and-whiter town of Newport Beach, Calif., students arranged plastic red cups in a swastika for a drinking game, then photographed one another gleefully sieg-heiling as if that were just totally hilarious.

                              In April, a young man with an assault rifle marched into a Southern California synagogue, shouted anti-Semitic insanity and proved his heroic masculine bravery by murdering an unarmed 60-year-old woman. In early June, 12 miles from my own childhood home, some creep built a 10-foot-wide concrete swastika in his front yard.

                              Among the many disturbing things about my personal swastika memory is that I recall feeling less horrified and disgusted than intimidated. I knew exactly what a swastika signified. My grandfather flew bombing raids over Nazi Germany, and I grew up across the street from an elderly couple who’d survived the Holocaust.

                              But, perhaps because I was a straight white male from a nominally Christian household, I was more bothered by the word “kook,” surfer parlance for unskilled outsider — as in, me. At the time, the term “surf Nazi” often got applied to any surfer ferociously committed to the sport and territorial about his local waves. Viewed through that lens, I read the combination of swastika and “kook” like a skull-and-crossbones on a clubhouse door upon which I planned to knock loud and hard.

                              Surfing brought a ridiculous amount of joy to my life, still does. For 30 years, I’ve enjoyed the satori-like flow-state that comes with gliding on a pulse of wave energy, watching bottlenose dolphins silhouetted black by the setting sun as it melts red into the blue horizon. I’ve built my work schedule around being free whenever the draining tide and long-period swell line up with easterly wind. I’ve written a book about surfing, lived in the Surfer magazine house in Hawaii, binged on surf movies and chased waves in Iceland, the Galápagos, West Africa and elsewhere.

                              As a passionate student of surf culture and history, though, I’ve also seen a lot more swastikas. The first commercially made surfboards sold in California, in the 1930s, had swastikas burned into their tails and were marketed as the Swastika model by Pacific System Homes of Los Angeles. The 1959 edition of “Search for Surf,” a series of surf movies by Greg Noll, included Californian surfers in Nazi storm trooper uniforms riding Flexi-Flyers in a storm drain while friends held up a Third Reich flag. Ed Roth, the artist and custom-car visionary known as Big Daddy, sold plastic Nazi storm trooper helmets to surfers in the mid-1960s and told Time magazine, “That Hitler really did a helluva public relations job for me.”

                              [ More ]

                              A little counterpoint at

                              You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)