June 16, 1964
School’s out! Time to grab the transistor radio and hit Avila Beach. Can’t tell if the bikini has yellow polka dots like the 1960 novelty song. Everybody was grey back then, or at least all the newspapers were.
Cultural anthropologists will note that, like today, the beach population was split. Mostly college students took in the sun south of the pier and families with kids at the playground north of the pier.
I recall having to wipe the tar off my feet with a kerosene soaked rag after playing on the beach in the 1960’s. They told us it was natural tar seeps off the coast. According to the book “1500 California Place Names” the neighboring beach, Pismo, derives it’s name from Obispiño Chumash word for tar or asphalt. However since the Unocal pipes were dug up and the oil tanks were torn down I have not had to clean up as often.
The lawyers have banished all the fun play devices of my youth. Usually they involved movement, like the teeter totter or the merry go round. Often they had the bonus of sharp metal edges or splinters the size of Tennessee. Hey kids, let’s throw a little sand on it and spin it faster.