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#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

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IT WAS A TIME OF TANS, BLONDS AND HOT PANTS, WHEN THE ENDLESS SUMMER WAS JUST A SHORT WALK DOWN A HOT SIDEWALK
Beach Music, an On the Street Where I Livestories is really a tale of two cities; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California. It was originally published in the LA Times Sunday Magazine.


Beach Music We came to California from Canada, with a detour to Puerto Rico that lasted one endless summer of a year. A year in which I turned 15, and my hair turned blond from living in the sun. “Psst,” the boys and men would call after me in the blue-cobbled streets of San Juan. “Psst! Hey, blondie. Psst! Hey, cutie pie.” I was devastated when my parents said we had to go, that it was time to leave the island so that my older brother, Russell, could get a first rate education. The plan was to drive cross country from Miami and settle in San Francisco so that my brother could finish high school before going on to UC Berkeley. But, once we got there in the fall of 1968, we found that …

Baker Street Station—Sherlock Holmes was there

Baker Street Station
The main thing my husband wanted to see in London was London ... as Sherlock Holmes saw it. So our first move, like any fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation was to take a double decker bus to Baker Street. As it turns out I read the map upside down or sideways or maybe it was backwards but we found ourselves in Putney at the bridge. Very much in the wrong direction. Over half an hour by car, which we didn't have. We wound up taking the tube back in the right direction which delivered us to the Baker Street Station. The station is one of the original stations opened when the Metropolitan Railway—the world's first underground railway—was built in 1863.  While we don't immediately think of Sherlock dashing out on the tube, he very well could have and in fact the rail, train etc is alluded to in several dozen Sherlock stories.

The Baker Street station is situated on the very block where Sherlock lived at 221B Baker Street. Or should I say the fictional 221B Baker Street created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the world famous detective. A purist, my husband would do little more than poke his head in the gift shop of the Sherlock Holmes Museum, reminding me yet again that there was no such place as 221 B Baker Street, it was a creation from the mind of Arthur Conan Doyle. It's his opinion that those who put the place together, selling all kinds of trinkets, were simply making a pile of dough and profiting off Holmes legions of fans. Notice the sign above the shop/museum? The first word is Souvenirs.

My husband at the Baker Street station perhaps pondering the presence of Sherlock Holmes' ghost.
"Come Watson, come! The game is afoot!"


Comments

  1. Wonderful! I think it's great (as in 'amusing') that we make visitor attractions out of fictional happenings. ACD got married down the road from me though - I really should do an article about it one day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, he's a bit of the old stick in the mud about it. Yes, Mike, write that article!

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  2. I got a kick out of the Baker Street station, expecting Sherlock Holmes any minute. But, actually, I was there as part of a tour of the Underground and I learned a lot about the early days of the Tube.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh nice! I think it's one of the loveliest looking ones we saw.

      Delete

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