The Pier That Time Forgot

RedondoBeachPier

As the Unofficial Chronicler of all things Southern California, I recently had the pleasure of spending a day at the Redondo Beach Pier, or the Land That Time Forgot.

Let’s get some business out of the way. The Redondo Beach Pier is conveniently located in Redondo Beach, and by the ocean. Coincidence? I think not.

To enter the pier, you first must pass under a giant flying saucer-like police station building overseeing everything on the pier in a distinctly alien invasion/Big Brother sort of way. Apparently, there might be a small crime factor in the excitement of visiting the pier.

deepfriedfoodOnce past the eye in the sky surveillance, the fun begins. Visitors stroll hand-in-hand past the shirtless, hairy and tan day drinkers who dominate any of the multiple bar patios, delight in safely avoiding the crazy sweaty lady who insists on jumping out at people, warning them to “watch out for my seagulls…SCREEEEECH!” and marvel at the many opportunities to eat deep-fried anything.

The Pier dates back to the 1800’s, and has the distinction of being the largest endless pier on the California Coast. By “endless pier” I think they mean that either you can walk out on one section of pier and come back on another different section, or the pier has been endlessly burned and rebuilt, destroyed by storms and rebuilt, and gone in and out of bankruptcy, since the freakin’ Gold Rush. At some point you’ve got to wonder, “Is this the right location?”

SkeeBallIf you blur your eyes, you can be transported back to another era.  You know, the one with funnel cakes and cotton candy, skee-ball and magic machines that could figure out your weight, and kids in horizontally striped shirts and baseball caps who would run up and down the pier yelling, “Jeepers!” and “Holy cow!” and “Golly gosh, Mr. Erickson that sure is a swell hat!”

A halcyon time, when dogs could rescue kids who had fallen into wells with just a few barks and wags of the tails.  “What’s that Lassie?  Timmy’s caught in a well?  Again?  Okay, what are the coordinates, and what kind of heavy equipment will we need…good girl!”  We had a lot more wells back then.  So many so that kids were falling into them right and left.  Really, it was a tragic situation.

McCarthyIt was an innocent world where smoking was good for you, and drinking martinis – as in more than one – after a hard day’s work, or just to calm down those pregnancy nerves, was socially acceptable.  A time when neighbors were friendly and offered a wave from across the street, unless they thought you were a Communist, in which case they turned you in to the House Un-American Activities Committee, and you were never heard from again.

The good old days, when you could be sitting on the endless pier watching the sunset, making out with your best girl, and suddenly the air raid sirens would sound and you would wonder,  “Is this it?  Is this the nuclear attack we’ve all been waiting for?  Let’s run inside the Mini Chinese Food stand so we can duck and cover.”

Come to think of it, I’ll take the pier today, with it’s rotting timber charm, aggressive seagulls, and that intoxicating smell of the battered shrimp hitting the hot oil. Besides, there’s nothing like that first 10am beer to make you take your shirt off.

SeaGulls

I’ll just steer clear of the screechy, sweaty lady.

 

This article first appeared on HumorOutcasts.com

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4 thoughts on “The Pier That Time Forgot

  1. I must’ve missed this one Forrest! It wouldn’t let me comment on Humor Outcasts (a rather tough crowd I might add), so I logged in through here, which is a new place for me. Where exactly am I? LOL OK, so from an innocent human being’s point of view, and one who loves to wallow in the past, I really enjoyed this. I’m always looking for Lassie in everything. Where is Lassie these days? We could really use her. I would like to have Lassie, and my present life side by side. Is that so wrong? And I’d also love to go to that pier! Sorry to be such a rube, but one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. I wouldn’t want to admit that on Humor Outcasts though,

    • Hi Laura, wanderer of the catacombs of the internet–

      You have found your way to my actual website, which is hosted by wordpress.com. All my work either originates here or ends up here. Now, don’t you be intimidated by HumorOutcasts – mostly the commenters are the other authors just trying to show support for each other. We welcome (or at least I certainly do) outside commenters! If you are having a problem, let me know and I will talk to the . . . Administrator!

  2. Aha! So this is your website? Wow, it’s so green, on the sides…….and you “tweet too”?(say that 3 times really fast! Do it dammit! LOL). Okay, so am I the only one commenting here, or do your other HO pals roam these prairies? I only ask that because you’re right, they do intimidate me. They’re not friendly like you, and I tend to gravitate toward friendly people. I know that’s milquetoast, and very un-Irish of me, but I can’t help it. I like nice people. I’ve commented on a couple of their articles (they are freaking funny, and the notifications hella fill up my inbox), but all I’ve ever gotten is crickets, while they all chat with each other. It leads me to think their comment section is meant only for the other HO writers, which is fine. But hey! You can always count on me to crash your party though!

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