View of Monterey Bay from UCSC… on drive home from swimming at UC pool... home since 1985, each day I say a prayer. Thank you. Thank you. I dunno, living here that's the most natural thing to say. Swimming, geography, natural beauty... it's not a place to be taken for granted. Place. Takes one from the mundane to... something else... in some Middle Eastern languages, I understand, the word for "mind" is not separate from the word for "heart." That is, the word for one automatically includes the other. Is it possible that, in fact, mind and heart can operate as one? If so, I understand a little more about the nature of compassion and that in turn leads me to want to learn more about this place, where I’ve lived and worked for the past twenty-five years.
Santa Cruz. The place is known, says Wikipedia, for its alternative community life styles, its liberal political leanings... a haven for many sub-cultures and counter cultures.
Home to California Certified Organic Farmers and the classic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. O’Neil’s Wet Suits, Santa Cruz Surfboards, SC Guitar Company, SC Mountain Bikes... Odwalla Juices and Good Earth Tea, founded here… home of Big Trees and Pacific Railway...
Santa Cruz is the reputed site of the first surfing in California in 1885, when three Hawaiian princes, Prince Edward, Prince David and Prince Jonah Kalaniana’ole, surfed on locally milled redwood boards at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River.
By the turn of the century logging, lime processing, agriculture, and commercial fishing industries prospered in the area. Due to its mild climate and scenic beauty Santa Cruz also became a prominent resort community.
Santa Cruz was incorporated in 1866 as a town under the laws of the State of California and received its first charter as a city in 1876. A walk down Walnut Avenue will show any passer-by the unique architecture from the Victorian period in Santa Cruz.
On October 17, 1989, the city suffered major damage from the Loma Prieta earthquake, which was centered on Loma Prieta, the highest point in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. Many of the historic buildings in the downtown business district were damaged or destroyed, especially along Pacific Avenue. Reconstruction of the district has continued in recent years, and some of the original buildings can be seen in Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" movie Sudden Impact.
See also Earthquake Collage by yours truly in Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History Journal #6, Pathways to the Past, published April, 2009.
Causes Robert Sward Supports
Audubon Society, National Geographic, "Green," the Environment, SPCA...