Expose the Richness of Santa Monica's History!
Santa Monica has a rich and varied history. We are finally coming to grips with the racism of earlier times (the Inkwell, the freeway displacement, the Belmont Triangle), but there are so many aspects of our history that need to be exposed. Whenever I visit another city, I always try to find out what makes a city "tick." We all know about our sand and waves, but visitors and residents need to know, there is much more to Santa Monica.
Jim Harris is the assistant director of the Santa Monica Pier. But he is no mere bureaucrat. Jim arrived in Santa Monica decades ago and worked as a bartender on the Pier and is a premier historian about all things connected to the beach and our Pier. Jim is also a talented author, actor, and playwright. He believes as I do that we must reveal our beach culture with a Santa Monica Museum of the Beach. Surfing, skateboarding, paddle-boarding, lifeguard rescue equipment, and a whole lot more come from our shores. As residents, we are a lot more than the beach, but it is part of all of us. I'll work towards a great museum when I am your councilperson.
When I was a little kid in Santa Monica (this will date me!), I was astounded to see James Arness in the basement level of Sears, Richard Boone at Mayfair, and stars walking around our city. It turns out they lived here! Stan Laurel had his medicine delivered by former Mayor Bob Holbrook when Bob was a teenager. Jimmy Doolittle lived close to Ocean Avenue. We should begin a light pole banner program that celebrates our city's rich and diverse history.
My good friend, Richard Orton, has a monthly newsletter that exposes Santa Monica's rich history. He has twin requests, which I believe in wholeheartedly. We used to have a Pier at the foot of Ocean Park Blvd, Pacific Ocean Park. Before that, there was another Pier with a midway and blocks of cafes and attractions. My mother walked there on her first date with my father. He was in his Marine dress blues and bought her an ice cream cone. Love ensued!
I spent many weekend days at POP as a youngster riding the safari train, fascinated by the marine life shows and riding the roller coaster. Richard is right. Let's honor Ocean Park's heritage and recognize that there was a living community at the foot of Ocean Park Blvd before there were acres of blacktop.
Richard is a devout lover of the Santa Monica History Museum and wants better signage for it and more community support. For those of you who have never visited, it is a gem hidden behind the Santa Monica Library on 7th Street, between Arizona and Santa Monica. I want it moved eventually into a larger, more prominent area. Richard wants more signage on the streets around the museum, for now! Read Richard's words. Richard_Orton_honors_the_OP_Pier and SM_History_Museum.pdf