I read with great interest the recently recommended Downtown Specific Plan. Though I have never lived in Laguna (I was born and raised in Pasadena and currently live 3,000 miles away in Arlington, Virginia), I think of Laguna as my second hometown.
In the 1930s, my mom used to go there from Pomona for weekends. In the 40s, my parents got married there. In the 50s, we spent many weekends and summers there, often at the Coast Inn. In the 60s, my parents bought a weekender on Agate and finally moved into a magnificent cliff house on Victoria (next door to the “castle”). I inherited and still own and rent out the bungalow and two small apartments my dad built on Catalina. And I have fond memories of hot days on the main beach (when there were still charming ramshackle houses along the boardwalk)…bicycling (on my Sting Ray) to the library…day-long explorations of tide-pools and inlets…being terrified as June bugs bumped against our window after seeing Hitchock’s “The Birds” (I was 12) at the movie theatre…the sweet smell of salt air and Eucalyptus…the Greeter in his red coat and unruly beard…breakfast at the Jolly Roger (then over to McHugh’s for buckets, shovels and frisbees)… dinner at the Gaslight…special evenings at the Victor Hugo (where my parents sometimes saw Betty Davis!)…and of course magical evenings at the Pageant (though the puppet show was of more interest at the time).
I left California in the 1970s. But I get back to Laguna as often possible, even if just for a day. And though much has changed, more, thank God, has not. I appreciate the challenge of keeping Laguna viable and vibrant, while still preserving its unique wonderfully distinct flavor. So thank you all—board members and citizens—for working so hard and thoughtfully to keep the soul, spirit and beauty of this rare California jewel thriving and intact.
Lagunan in abstentia,
Greg Munford, Arlington, Virginia