...though I know it'll never be the same.
Santa Cruz is not the same as it was when I left more than a quarter-century ago but parts of it are the same. At least in my mind those things that remain will take me back as if I've never left. Like us, our families moved from Santa Cruz years back and few friends remain, giving us little reason to return ..... except for the inevitable draw of the hometown.
When I learned of the death of Lieutenant Tom Marketello, one of my bosses from my short stint at dispatching for Santa Cruz PD and the father of a former classmate, I felt that draw. The thought of seeing co-workers I hadn't seen in more than thirty years was a little unnerving but irresistible. Law enforcement relationships are strong owing to the fact that you hold lives in your hands, those of the callers as well as those of the men and women you ride herd on each shift. It felt good to see those faces again - most of them anyway - and to remember the life of this man who was important to so many.
We spent a little time wandering the old stomps, neighborhoods and hangouts. Grabbed pastries at Gayle's Bakery in Capitola and carried them to Steamer Lane to watch some surf action then played tourists wandering the wharf, laughing at the barking sea lions. I had never, in my years growing up there, seen the "rafting" of the sea lions, together as if bound as they bobbed around the pier.
We headed north on the coast highway and made a stop we'd made many times before and I have a stack of snapshots to show for it but Pigeon Point Lighthouse is such a pretty tower of rusted metal, I had to stop yet again for a couple more shots.
After spending the night in Half Moon Bay, we headed inland, spent a few hours fighting the detours in San Francisco before deciding to save paying fifteen bucks to park so we could wander the ferry marketplace on the Embarcadero for another time. We made a brief stop at Golden Gate National Cemetery to visit with Mark's grandparents and Uncle Bud.
I leave you with this last shot: When we were in Half Moon Bay, I dragged Mark to the edge of the world to watch the sunset. We drove to the end of a road, parked at a barrier close, but not TOO close, to DO NOT PARK HERE signs and ran to the cliff, seemingly alone, to watch the sun drop into the sea. Once down, and my breath released, we hurried back to the car and found six or eight people right behind us. We had not been alone but had been surrounded by others seeking that same peaceful delivery of the sun over the horizon where she would be rising to the joy of those on the other side of the world.