As the horrific environmental disaster in the Gulf continues to destroy the precious wildlife and threaten the livelihood of generations of seafood fisherman, it is impossible not to empathize with the longtime residents. The fallout will ultimately affect the next generation of fishermen and the legacy they hold so dear.
Huntington Beach is a city rich in legacy and tradition, much like our beachfront neighbors in the Gulf. We should all take a moment to embrace these treasures, count our blessings and not take them for granted.
I am grateful to live in this beautiful city, abundant in history and culture. I graduated from Huntington Beach High School in 1977 and have seen Surf City grow from a small seaside surf town into a thriving metropolis. A place where people from all over the world come to enjoy its beautiful beaches and hospitable people. I'm proud to reside in a city that has the largest Fourth of July parade west of the Mississippi. A small town that has a museum dedicated to the culture that bears its official title. Most important to me are my two children, both of whom graduated from the same high school as their mother – my daughter, 30 years later, even taught by the same Spanish teacher!
Imagine finding that your children's friends share the same last name as your friends from high school. I still see many of my classmates as I stroll down Main Street on a "Surf City Night."
Another "constant" I enjoy is the Independent. Thursday mornings, like clockwork, I religiously stroll to the same corner to pick up our local publication. I rely on it to inform and educate me on what is new (and old) in Huntington Beach.
Lately, I have been quite disappointed to see my longtime friend, Rockin' Fig (a.k.a. Mr. Rick Fignetti) missing from the surfing page. My son is a local surfer, and we love to read his column about our "local color" only Rick Fignetti knows so well. Rockin' Fig's extensive knowledge and expertise have long been a definitive legacy to generations of Huntington Beach surfers, and it feels strange to have him replaced by a Laguna Beach resident. With due respect to Mr. James Pribram, we really want Rockin' Fig back. We share dismay and are puzzled by this recent development with a majority of Huntington Beach locals. After all, Rockin' Fig is the voice of the US Open!
So, to the "powers that be" at the Independent: Please bring back our friend and legacy so we can be grateful, once more, for another beloved Huntington Beach tradition. Rockin' Fig's column is a treasure we deserve to appreciate and enjoy for generations of Huntington Beach surfers, past, present and future.
Animals die for food, too
I wonder how many of the dedicated volunteers who helped save a pelican from the deadly Gulf oil have other birds for dinner or at a local fast-food outlet.
They are not alone. Most people are appalled by the devastation of animal life by the Gulf oil spill, yet subsidize the systematic killing of other animals for their dinner table. They know that meat and dairy harm the environment and their family's health but compartmentalize this knowledge when shopping for food.
And it goes beyond dietary flaws. We tolerate the killing of innocent people when our government and media label them terrorists; we ignore the suffering and starvation of a billion people, except when our government and media tell us to care because an earthquake or tsunami has struck.
Our society would benefit greatly from more original thinkers, and our personal diet is a great place to start.