87 Happy Days: BEACH READ

JUNE 27, 2014

Covering Orange County for NBC, I often find myself at the beach. Extra warm day? Shoot crowds at the beach. Holiday Monday? Videotape the hoards of beach goers. High Surf? Go to the Wedge and photograph people getting splashed as the raging water pounds against the shore. Any day at the beach makes for happy days for me. It’s why I wanted to move to California.

Today’s beach assignment: Rip Tides.

Conveniently, this hit around lunchtime. My first assignment of the day, a change in food truck taxing options, ended up a bit of a bust. The food trucks didn’t show for the Board of Equalization press conference. With nothing more to shoot there, I grabbed a sound bite, and headed to Sunset Beach for the rip tides. Rip tides aren’t really something you can shoot. They’re not particularly obvious. BUT… you can grab shots of people in the water. It was a beautiful day in Sunset Beach, with a nice cool breeze.

After I got what I needed, and fed the shots into the station, they put me on lunch break. I had a banana with me, and instead of heading somewhere to grab real food, decided instead to take the little folding chair from my news van to sit on the sand, and read.

The book is on the history of Wintersburg, a small agricultural enclave once owned by Japanese immigrants, and recently put on America’s 11 Most Endangered Historical sites. I covered this story a couple of days ago, and the woman running the press conference gave me a copy of her book. It’s fascinating to read about Orange County before it became a haven of strip malls.

My little moment of bliss didn’t last too long, though–maybe twenty minutes–before I got called to head to Laguna Beach, twenty-two miles down the very scenic Pacific Coast highway. Doesn’t this just scream California?

The story I was headed to, though, was not a fun one. The parents of a missing firefighter whose body was at last found, live there. Thankfully, one of our managers agreed with me that hovering at their house would be completely inappropriate and insensitive. I parked up on Coast Highway and walked down (they have an ocean front house) just to see if there was any activity, and there was none, so I thankfully got to call it a day.

After tucking the news van away at the bureau, I headed to our workshop, where we had a visit from our friend Barry, along with his daughter, and his father Roger, who we’d really been wanting to meet. Barry shared pictures from his recent adventure, when the three of them drove Roger’s Model A truck from Colorado to California, finding dirt backroads, dressing the same vintage of the car, and camping in a canvas tent. His photographs were truly spectacular. (Of course. He’s a professional photographer.)

While the boys talked, I had a blast as always playing with Valentina. She’s a fun kid. As they were leaving, Barry gave me the greatest compliment. Said I was the prototype for what he wanted his daughter to be, and that he wants to have me around her as a mentor. Considering how much he adores his daughter, I was truly honored.

Okey dokey. The weekend is here! Time to have some fun.

Until next time…

Later gators!





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