A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Memories

I grew up riding my bike along this boardwalk in Mission Beach, in San Diego. My great-grandparents and grandparents lived about a half mile from where I took this picture.

This picture brings back memories.

Their's was the third house built along this stretch of sand before everyone started building homes. Now, most of the houses have been knocked down, and million dollar condos or apartment buildings have taken their place.

As a kid, our family lived in Spring Valley, and I loved the beach. Some weekends my mom would pack a bag for me, put my bike in the back of the car, and I'd get to go spend the night at my grandparents. I would watch the "Dukes of Hazzard" with them on their giant waterbed. We would eat ice cream, and laugh at Boss Hog. When 9 o' Clock came around I would leave and they would watch "Dallas." I'd go to the spare bedroom, or sometimes sleep on the couch in the living room, and fall asleep listening to the sound of the ocean. It's the best sound in the world.

The next morning I would be up early, and ride my bike down to the PB pier, over to the bay or up Garnet Avenue towards La Jolla. I'd be gone for hours, and nobody would worry about me back then, because it seems like in those days, there was nothing to worry about. I'd come home for breakfast, and my grandfather (ex military), would make the best germ wheat pancakes, eggs and iced orange juice. It was the best. I miss those days and I know my sister does too.

We had all kinds of family celebrations and birthdays and holiday dinners at that house. Years later, when my mom passed away, we put some of her ashes in the water in front of where the house used to be. It's long since gone. When I get back to San Diego to visit, I still walk down this boardwalk, and I sit on the wall in front of Ocean Front Walk. I talk to my grandparents, my mom, all the aunts and uncles that are no longer with us, family friends wholes names I can't remember, but whose faces I still see. I think about renting skates at Hamels, exploring a boarded up Belemont Park, riding the Giant Dipper roller coaster. I remember watching Adam Rich film a scene for "Eight is Enough" where this picture was taken.

Anyway, it's amazing what memories and feelings one picture can bring back. I guess that's why along with all the letters I've kept over the years, I treasure our family photo albums the most. They're the best history books ever.

Dan Mitchinson

Dan Mitchinson

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