A Tribute to the “old Spirit” of Laguna



Just when you think the “old Spirit” of Laguna is gone… think again. I had the refreshing experience of the old Laguna coming together last Sunday (July 23) and felt compelled to share it with all Lagunanites.

Part of the last remaining large grove of Eucalyptus trees in North Laguna was entrusted to me by my mother, Helen ‘B,’ through inheritance. Her philosophy was “Like the beach, these trees are part of Laguna.” I inherited that way of life from her.

My father Bill Blurock, a prominent worldwide architect from USC, designed and built the house in the ‘50s. He incorporated the house into the landscape, including in the design a tree going through the roof of the house.

Last Sunday around 8:30 while enjoying the beauty of a warm Laguna evening… a knock on the door. “Your tree fell into the street!” exclaimed a neighbor. Sure enough, there it was, but not a tree, a branch. It straddled the two lanes briefly; the combined effort of my neighbors moved it to a single lane. It was a large branch.

Laguna’s finest even drove by to make sure someone was on top of it.

As neighbors drove by they inquired and offered help. Little did I know that the “blessed coconut wire” was starting to buzz. Text and photos flew around the net.

As I brought out the flashlights, my old high school friend from up the street arrived with another high school friend. It was Chris Henderson, “This is the old Laguna! I’ve got a chainsaw!” And as he was cutting branches, my arborist, Craig de Pfyffer, arrived to help as well.

Here is the “old spirit”! Four graduates of Laguna Beach High remembering how neighbors help each other out in these situations. It reminded me of how my mother relied on her neighbors and how everyone loved her and her trees. My hero! Chris, the un-sung hero with a chainsaw. He said this was a tribute and saluting the fond memory of Helen. He told me how she helped him in junior high at Thurston.

It was now 10 in the evening. All the pieces were deposited in the lower driveway, off the street. The clean up was so thorough that when Jim of Modern Tree arrived promptly at 8:30 a.m., he had a hard time finding where the “problem was”.

Thanks to the efforts of spirited and soulful Lagunanites!

It was my wish to pay tribute to the “Local Hero” and share my experience with all.


Dona Blurock

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