lying on my back on the front lawn on hill street, age 5 maybe
summertime sun warm on my face and legs long braids tangled behind a thin cotton shirt
staring up into a cloudless sky listening to the constant drone of planes
taking off from douglas airfield up on ocean park blvd.
the skies were so clear and blue in those days some would say robin’s egg blue
impressionist blue blue the rich color that can only be found in true innocence
i spent a lifetime searching for skies that color again in santa monica’s ocean park
later, a gun-metal gray crept into those very skies when the santa ana’s weren’t blowing
heralding that everything was about to change
normally, some say perfectly! say others privileged to be living there today in 2013
later, this tenuous progress laid ocean park out unprepared and exposed about to be raped
like the rest of the westside beach towns about to be violated by greed
once the unspoken decree came down that only the very wealthy deserved to waken
to the sound and scent of the sea outside their windows or to walk their coffee and their dogs across
speedway, then across ocean front walk and onto the still-warm sands to the water’s edge
on those blue sky or fog-shrouded silent mornings….
soon, the kicked-to-the-curb poor headed further east or out of town
while old timers like me say today that it all changed, progressed and morphed into something
but all those changes came much, much later
that summer’s day in 1957, there was only a kid on a lawn on hill street
dreamin’ five year old dreams and staring at that endless sky…
i wonder: who will believe all the old stories?