There was at one time a very large salt-water pool in Pacific Grove at Lover's Point. Now it's a volleyball court. There were lots of people who used the plunge, as it was called, probably even on invigoratingly cool days like today. The shore inlet is tranquil and quiet, safe for everyone. Back in the early 1900s, someone examined the natural curve of the shoreline and decided it needed improvement, lit some dynamite and blew the smithereens out of it. That was nearly the only noise ever to affect the sensibilities of the town, other than church bells on Sundays. Even the blast itself was for the good of all, wasn't it? I should think so.
We have had our pranksters, as most towns do, but we have always recovered from them and remain to this day God fearing and law abiding. One gentleman brought in a small herd of buffalo to amuse himself and drove it right through town. It ended up at Lovers Point, and the wooly beasts ran all over, back and forth, trying to elude capture. They even swam out into the water, around and back until they were corralled.
Another fellow years later got himself up onto the highest part of the Holman's Building and decided to sit on the flagpole for as long as he could, trying to set a record. It was a popular thing back in the day to roller skate around flagpoles on tall buildings. The problem for him was, other than a lack of toilet facilities on the pole, Scotch Bakery was down there right across Lighthouse Avenue from him. I'll bet he could smell the fresh doughnuts every morning. He eventually got down, and now even Scotch's is gone.
Gone, too, is the large livery stable that stood between Fountain and Grand Avenues on Pine Avenue, not too far from where I sit here writing. There, a citizen could stable their team of horses or rent one for the day to ride out to the sand dunes. Of course, the little train that ran every day could take you to Asilomar, too, and you could lie about with your picnic and your sweetheart by the lake over there.
That's all gone now, but the town is still just exactly the same. The land and weather shape events here, always have, just like every place shapes its people. They say you could take every last person out of France, repopulate it with new people, and they'd all be the same as they are now. Pacific Grove's seagulls screaming, doves cooing, waves rumbling at the shore and, of course, wind rushing across the point of the bay make us exactly who we are. Top it all off with dripping cold fog in the summer and there's no place quite like it.
Causes Christine Bottaro Supports
The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks, The United Way