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Social Media & Hometown Connections


By Catharine Cooper.

My last column, “The Changing Face of a Hometown,” brought full circle the power of social media to connect. Friend sent to friends, who sent to friends, who sent to their alumni lists. Lagunans like to stay connected and want to remember the sweetness of growing up in our small town.

I received a wide variety of responses from friends old and new.   A sampling of their shared memories or thoughts include:

… Remember when we got our driver’s license? At the Legion Hall? We knew everyone and waved at them as we drove by on PCH.

… Sometimes the police would race you from stoplight to stoplight … you lose… it’s a ticket… you win… you got to go home.

… Yep, it’s still all about the beaches… it just may be that there is a little less freedom to enjoy them.

… We did have a great time didn’t we!  … The police gave you a ride home if the movie got out after curfew.

… I was given rides home by the cops many times. I always told them to let me out at the corner so my mom didn’t freak out, ha ha …

… Such beautiful days those were, brings a tear to my eyes just to remember.

… Al’s horse ranch and bareback riding on the beach …

… What a pleasure to grow up in this town, thanks Mom & Dad for making it happen!

… racing coast highway to Corona del Mar and back …

… Jeanine Benton’s dad hired me to help do clean up and pound nails on the construction of the buildings of the former Safeway shopping center – now Pavillions.

… I started as a dishwasher at the Hotel Laguna… I could practice my Spanish with the regular full time washer.

… the second Patriot’s Day Parade when Wesley Lum was Zeus!

… My brother ran the parking lot at the Beach House and before long, with my drivers license hot off the press I was parking Camaros, Corvettes, Mustangs, and Porsches. This was too good to be true!

… the values and friendships I developed as a teenager growing up and working in Laguna have remained with me to this day.

… Thanks for the memories

There is now a Facebook page, “You’re a Laguna Native If …”  Started by a group of devotees, the site is a wondrous collection of vintage photographs, shared experiences, and chatter about growing up in Laguna.  The site is open – you can view all posts, but you can’t join unless you know someone who adds you as a friend (to keep out the non-natives?).

In a time of such nomadic existences, it’s great to know that our hearts stay true to the ‘hallowed’ grounds of our youth.

I think we can all agree, Laguna remains an amazing place to call home.


Catharine Cooper put her roots down in North Laguna, 1956.  She can be reached at [email protected].

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