Some things never change. There are things in all of our lives that make us feel so alive. And for me nothing does it more than summertime here in Laguna. I remember as a young boy lying down on my parents’ deck just waiting and watching for the sun. Always facing south, I would stare toward downtown, watching the clouds part and the all-important hand of time.
Because I knew at 10 a.m. the lifeguard would soon be strolling down the stairs next to my parents and that was my cue that I was allowed to hit the beach.
I grew up on Pearl Street beach, under the watch of a group of guys who worked hard and played hard. They taught me an awful lot about life. They took me under their wing like an extension of my family and when it came to surfing they encouraged me to go after my dreams.
It was a special time in my life, one that I think of often, as I was just telling my mom the other day. One of my fondest memories of growing up was the beach barbecues the older guys use to have — and they would invite me. That meant the world to me, to be included. Maybe the most classic memory of all was when it was time for me to come home. Mom would ring the cowbell and yell, “Jamie, it’s time to come home.”
Guys still imitate her calling me today.
Then there were the lifeguards — another extension of my family — and boy did I enjoy harassing those guys. I was a little terror when it came to throwing ice plant and water balloons at them. But we were all family on that beach and in some regard we still are, and I think it just may be time for a Pearl Street beach reunion barbecue.
In fact, I know it is.
JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior Surf.com. He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha SchoolofSurfing.com