Hello Friends and Family,

1980 - Santa Cruz Beaches

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Back in the days when I was new to California, a group of my friends (at a time when almost none of us were married) loved to gather on the beach to enjoy the scenery and, for some, enjoy a brew or two. The water was (and still is) too cold to go swimming but the comradery made up for it. One of our favorite spots was known locally as Hidden Beach — because access was hidden in an arroyo (a steep-sided gully formed by the action of fast-flowing water) between cliff-side homes.

We weren't the only ones to visit this strip of sandy coastline. Except for the few "polar bears" who (as you can see) did not seem to mind the cold water, most folks caught some rays, walked the beach, or tossed frisbees and footballs to each other.

Here's one such gathering of my friends and co-workers. A few blankets, beach chairs, and a backgammon game was all we needed besides the aforementioned liquid refreshment. The participants may have changed from time to time — but we always seemed to have a great time.

Let me introduce Dave, who has been one of my best friends for many years. We met at HP and worked there together, off and on, for many years. He is now retired and working earnestly on his golf game.

Another of my long-term best friends is Warren. We met at Control Data and later reconnected at HP. He is from the Big Island of Hawai‘i which instantly cemented our close friendship. Like Dave and myself, he is also retired now.

Mike was another of our co-workers and often lead our excursions to the Santa Cruz shoreline. I also remember the fact that he bought and had restored an older classic Porsche. It was a beauty that he loved to drive and I loved to see him drive.

We were missing someone (two someones, actually) — remember I said that it was called "Hidden Beach" — it ain't easy to find. That's Ed and Esther waving when they finally figured out where we were.

Esther is another great long-term friend. She and I worked for Control Data in Minnesota. At one point, we even carpooled to work together. Does anyone else remember carpooling to save money?

Ed and Esther married, Ed got a job at HP Labs, and they moved to California and thus reestablished our good friendship.

Shortly after Ed and Esther arrived, Esther's mom found us as well.

She came with her son, Esther's brother — so we had a nice family portrait opportunity.

Without any planning, I captured a beautiful portrait of Esther looking at the ocean. She was looking away, I called her name, she turned her head, and photographic magic happened. This is one of my favorite portraits that I have ever taken. I am absolutely delighted that the photo came out so well — Esther is one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to have known — Esther, this one's for you.

Surprise! Seal and Bird Rock! I honestly do not recall this being in the vicinity of Hidden Beach. I would bet that this slide was slipped into the wrong box accidentally. Still, it is in California and fun to see the birds and the sea lions basking in the sun.

I hope you enjoyed our little trip to the beach and an introduction to some wonderful long-time friends whose friendship I have been fortunate to cherish for many years — be sure to do the same with your friends.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com