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Solar generator, Andalucia - © Robert Sommers 2019

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day Coastal Reprise

© Shawn Mayes 2019

My bud Shawn is one of my oldest friends. He sent me this picture recently from one of his tropical journeys. He wished I was there. Me too, Shawn. Me too.

He left for Thailand over twenty five years ago for six weeks and never came back. Well maybe once for a visit. Left his Avanti in my back yard. Told me to sell it. I subsequently lost the key and the title. Oops. Now nature has basically reclaimed it.

Shawn is a very productive man and a very talented artist, if I remember correctly, he was schooled at the Art Institute of Chicago. We used to play at the beach a lot with our little tribe, lots of frisbee and good times. Made hanging out and chilling into an art form.

He says that he has become very good with the disc after all these years in the tropics, having myself once been a really good freestyle player, I will reserve judgement until I get the chance to see him play one day. But in any case he is very fit and could run circles around me quite easily at this point.

Lost another forty year friendship recently and very unfortunately. Shouldn't have said anything, shouldn't have been so honest. You learn that some relationships can only exist in certain environments. Really bums me out.

I dreamt about Shawn the other night. I was in Encinitas or Leucadia but not the one that exists today. The great Encinitas of the early seventies. The Daily Bread. Before the money and the Orange County moved in. Before the Lumberyard when we still had the A&W on the cliff and the Hobbit Houses. Before blow and the BMW's.

When the homes on Vulcan and San Elijo were little modest one story bungalows with paisley longboards leaning against the walls and fat iridescent abalone shells lined the front yards and they all had these lovely little succulent gardens in the sandy soil out front.

Before the soulless, lot line hugging, mega monstrosities moved in. When we rarely ventured east of the Interstate 5. Life was mellow and people were friendly and kind.

Country Surfboards and Sattwa and the I Street Cafe. Evelyn and Gail. Danny Dolphin and People's Food in Solana Beach. La Paloma bookstore. The Old Time Cafe. The Leucadia Flea. It was all a little bit of heaven.

I went back to that place on this somnolent journey. It was a balmy early morning and Shawn beckoned me down to the beach on a path between some unrecognizable buildings for a swim.

Being merely a dream, my brain was granted some creative license. Tall spires of earth protruded from the ocean and reflected the apricot hued light of the morning sun. The water was unnaturally warm and it felt like the dawn of the world. Like swimming in birth fluid, our beings flooded with intense joy.

I woke, sad to leave the exquisite sensation of feeling like the world was new. And remembered a real life event that I believe happened in 1977. Maybe March. Shawn, Ricardo and I had been up at Winterland in San Francisco tripping around one week and our bodies and brains were scrubbed clean and full.

Agnes Pelton - Orbits, 1934

And we culminated the return of our journey by walking in formation to the bluff of their house on Neptune, overlooking Stone Steps, the place where Shawn hung mobiles of dried roses and Ronald used to skateboard inside in the living room, and as a final chapter of our cosmic grail quest we looked down at the water, facing the setting sun.

And like a Vegas choreography, or a page scripted at the beginning of time, three dolphins jumped up in the air towards us in perfect symmetry, matching our own psylosibic triad and the cetaceans on either end peeled perfectly left and right in crescendo and we somehow knew that things were exactly as they should be.

I was at coffee the other day and commented to a friend that I felt lucky and blessed about a certain something and he said I had to pick, it couldn't be both. I'm not really so sure, it is a lofty question, definitely out of my pay grade. Have a beautiful week.

17 comments:

Jerry Hall said...

I remember Encinitas during that era. The 70's really were as good as our memories.

Anonymous said...

Just by the way...i don't have the same " photogenic" memory as yours. Mine, of course, works in stranger ways, but that was Sunday, January 7th, 1979!

You were wearing jeans and a black-background Aloha shirt w/ a bright floral design, i was in a green, one piece flight suit with a Guatamalan sash belt and headband, Rico had on jeans and a white Grateful Dead tee shirt w/ a rainbow arching over a pair of 'truckin' boots! The sky was half-filled with mackeral cloud formations. The dolphin in the middle was female and we were smoking "Big Mike" bud!

Now, where did i just put down my coffee?
:)

sm

Anonymous said...

Lovely piece.
Funnily enough I didn’t know you in 77 but I was living on Neptune (inland side). Moved there late 76 early 77.
Can’t remember the address but it’s probably now been replaced by some huge monstrosity.
Perhaps we were neighbours
Px

Anonymous said...

Before the lumber yard was definitely the sweet spot and Neptune street was a ribbon of heaven. I love dreaming about Cardiff and Leucadia back in the day. Definitely not a misspent youth. If I had to do it over again I would have gotten there sooner and stayed a little longer. Escapes to winterland was icing on cake.
BV

shawnintland said...

We were at 246 Neptune, at that time, 9 houses South of Stone Steps (There were still such things as 'empty' bluff-top lots in those days!). That trip to SF was for the New Year's Eve closing party at Bill Graham's Winterland with New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Blues Brothers and then The Dead 'till dawn. Seem to remember it taking us the better part of the week to make our way back down the coast to Encinitas...it was a bit 'foggy' both inside and out of Ricardo's old battleship-blue Volvo.

Blue Heron said...

I am pretty sure it was 77, Shawn. My memory conflates you with the late Kelly Morehead on some of these early lysergic excursions. Ricardo will have to weigh in.

Blue Heron said...

Not sure when I met you Pat but for a time I lived on Lorraine, which was off of Avocado and a block from Neptune. A home known for its licentious and bawdy excess, Ricardo might remember a three or four day long party where we juggled on the roof...Oh what I would give today for some of that youthful stamina.

Anonymous said...

It was 1978, the night they closed old Winterland down -- and the Grateful Dead's all-night show lives on in memories, flashbacks -- and now a DVD - SFGate
https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/It-was-1978-the-night-they-closed-old-Winterland-2581375.php

RN

shawnintland said...

The show was Dec. 31, 1978...the week later was Jan. 7th, 1979. Yep, ol' Kelly Belly and I were bro's. Ricardo took some great pictures of us in the old yellow pick-up truck at 837 Stratford, years later...bed of the truck was piled in hay & horse manure from Del Mar racetrack (the old "6-S" Company (Shawn's Super Silly Shit Shovelin' Service") and we'd transplanted a flat of veggies into it. I do seem to remember you in that house downhill from us and some of those epic parties...and those in your place in Cardiff overlooking the lagoon by Solana Beach. And at your place Fallbrook and come to think of it...everywhere you've ever lived!

shawnintland said...

Rob, I remember the year so clearly because that was the year I left the US...Knew all along it had to be before 1980 hit...woke up in a thatched hut New Year's morning 1980 on an island in Tonga listening to Bob Marley singing "Don't worry, 'bout a ting"!

Blue Heron said...

It is funny, anyone who lived in Encinitas in the seventies knows what a special, special place it was and misses it. I lived with my girlfriend Abby at the Lanikai apartments on third in 1975, my first apartment. Big Mike, Big Dave, Brian and all the rest of you still yearn and have fondest memory for its singularly mellow vibe and chill shores. But something changed when the big money moved in. What a way to ruin a neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I do remember the rooftop juggling at you party. Then and the time we juggled christmas tree ornaments were probably my peak experiences juggling (and we were passing balls, a really concentrating experience mentally. You were my best student, as exemplified by your story of snatching the beer your companion had just slid off the corner of the bar out of midair and handing it back to him......

Anonymous said...


Written like a lysergic John Sinor.. hope you can patch things up with your friend.. forty years is a long time..

North County Film Club said...

I lived in Leucacdia in about 1979, in a condo near the beach. I wish I had known you then. Although I was too old for your bunch!
Barbara

Blue Heron said...

Definitely partied hard back then. Thanks for writing. Who made the John Sinor comment? You made me laugh...

Anonymous said...

I made the John Sinor comment, forgot to use my moniker..

Dave in Japan


looking forward to seeing you soon..

Blue Heron said...

alright! You and me and five other people remember him...look forward to seeing you.