Chuck Berry is not the blond haired, blue eyed, muscle bound, golden skinned, surf board toting hunk I picture when I think of the California coast. Yet I don't think there is a man, woman or child who hasn't sung, hummed or tapped feet along with his most famous jingle.
If everybody had an ocean
Across the USA
Then everybody'd be surfin
You'd see em wearin their baggies
Hurachi sandals too
A bushy bushy blond hair do
Although it was the collaborative effort of Berry, Brian Wilson and Mike Love that brought the sandy white beaches of California to the worlds attention, it was actually another Berry and partner Torrance that started the "Surfer" craze. With hits like "Surf City", "Barbar Ann", "Side Walk Surfin" that made Jan & Dean a California legend while the Beach Boys were just a few brothers singing in their back yard.
But it isn't the collective artistic forces of the surfer craze music of the darling duo Jan & Dean, nor the Beach Boys, the Ventures, the Chantays, that the homeless revere. It's more like the Surfaris with their signature evil little laugh fading into a solitary lyric and an entourage of notorious drumming. Wipeout.
While walking along the famed West Cliff drive in Santa Cruz, we came across a most unusual sight. Someone had taken the time to carry a couch down to the rocky cliffs in order to have a comfortable bed to sleep on. Although we missed the person sleeping there, his or her belongings were still in place neatly stuffed behind the couch.
Further along the Monterey Bay again in the cliffs of the California Coast you will find entire tent cities. Groups of people who risk life and limb to have a secure place to sleep, where hopefully no one will see them, no one will bother them and everyone will let them be.
It's hard to hide along the coast line. The colorful tents stand out like a sore thumb against the white beaches and weather worn boulders of the cliffs but it seems so far, they have not been asked to vacate.
There are shelters in Santa Cruz, Salinas and Santa Barbara, but with views like this to wake up to each summer morning, the shelters are not as overflowing as they could be.
Perhaps these few homeless who enjoy the ocean breeze have learned to Ride, Ride, Ride the Wild Surf.