Orange Coast Magazine - My Orange County

MY ORANGE COUNTY | Your stories told your way

My Orange County - Personal essays by some of Orange County's finest writers

Jolly Good Vibrations

A couple of weeks after my wife and I returned to England, my brother-in-law suggested a surf session, my first since we’d left Orange County. We made a beeline for the Welsh coast near Cardiff on a rare rain-free day, to a small cove with a decent right break. Arriving at noon, I was stunned by the mass of humanity crammed into such a tiny space. The waves (OK, wave) coming in off the Bristol Channel belonged to all comers, and they all had come: a hundred surfers—ages 10 to near 70—on top of one another, while in the breakers ... Read more

Joyful Regifting

Beach sand spread before me like a shimmering moiré ribbon. It was 9 in the morning, Dec. 30, and I was just starting my weekly 4-mile walk. Weather reports from the East Coast called for freezing rain, but here in Huntington Beach the expected high was 78. Not that I’m gloating. I dipped my toes in the water and waded through a thick, white foam that felt as if I were walking on a head of beer. That’s when I noticed it: a lovely pink rose. A small patch of foam, captured by the long stem, swirled in tight circles, forming ... Read more

The Wisdom of Age

My late father was a screenwriter with a brilliant mind. Growing up, I had a troubled relationship with him, mainly due to his drinking. As he aged, his needs multiplied and I became involved in his care. He was grateful, but could be prickly and stubborn. This became a problem when driving him to doctor appointments became routine, and overseeing his care eventually required me to visit him daily. At 79 and twice divorced, he was living solo in a Newport Beach apartment when he took a bad fall five years ago. Soon after, I helped him move into Las Palmas ... Read more