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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 …

Albertopolis: Prince Albert is in the park

The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens

IF there is a heaven, it’s lovely to think that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are happily reunited for all time. Watching the second season of Victoria, Lord Melbourne finally out of the Queen’s head, we see the young Victoria’s absolute devotion to her handsome prince consort. I’d be swooning over Albert too if he looked like Tom Hughes. The real Queen’s devotion to her man—besides bearing him five children—begins with her commissioning of the Albert Memorial in honor of the prince consort who died in 1861.


We ran into the Albert Memorial last year on our trip to London when we were walking in Kensington Gardens. As you can see in the top picture, the memorial is directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Albert Hall

Victoria’s love and devotion is further evidenced—remember, Victoria wore black for all the remaining days of her life after his death—by her naming of the Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences in 1867 when she laid the foundation stone. She was too overcome by emotion to speak. 


Albertopolis

IF there is a heaven, I imagine they both have a giggle that these days, the area surrounding the Royal Albert Hall, full of colleges, educational and cultural sites is affectionately nicknamed Albertopolis! A passionate advocate of education reform, Albert, who was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in 1847, campaigned for a more modern university curriculum, calling for the teaching of modern history and natural sciences in addition to the traditional mathematics and classics.

Celebrating everything British on British Isles Friday with Joy Weese Moll


Comments

  1. That is quite a memorial she had built, I would love to see it in person one day. Bet they would get a kick out of Albertopolis!

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    1. Wouldn't it make a great title for a book?

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  2. We were all around this, but managed to miss it. A little too far south when we were at the Science Museum. A little too far north when we were in Kensington Gardens because we were focused on tracking down the Peter Pan statue and checking out The Orangery.

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    Replies
    1. Funny! We found the Peter Pan statue but missed the Orangery completely!

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