Santa Cruz, I’m sorry I forgot about your bright spots. Siete mares seafood and broth on the wharf. That sea air smell when you step outside in the morning. Your redwood and coastline loops and your early morning swimming pool culture. The strawberries and brussel sprouts, the people who grow them, and the enviably long growing season here. The relojerías that are there when you seek them out, run by the nicest Oaxacans. Taquerías with carnitas and vats of melon juice. Peyton Street and people who took me in when I was adrift.
I never forgot about the friends I came to see here though. The friends that go way back can’t be replaced. I have been lucky enough to see a handful of those folks on this trip. And to walk through their gardens, neighborhoods and offices, learn my way around their kitchens and their firelines, spend time with the little people they are raising. To be an NBA fan among friends, and to sit in the rafters of Oracle Arena while the Warriors walloped the Spurs to secure a #1 seed and home court advantage in the playoffs just up ahead.
Everywhere I go, the news of the formal commitment to remove Klamath dams is ahead of me. Strange to be at the same time seeing this news in the rear view mirror. And that’s how I see it, after more than a decade of pushing and pulling for that outcome. It feels as though we must have made this announcement in slightly different ways nearly a dozen times already. So what will make this one different? What will make this one real? It’s hard to say, but I hope that such public and official declarations by corporate and government officials will at least be so painful and embarrassing to retract or backpedal that the end result will be dams out by 2020, at last. Not needing Congress to move ahead with real solutions gutted out by local people. There’s a bright spot.