The words of a popular song haunts me as I summer in Del Mar with my Eileen.
For more years than I care
to remember, the plan was to get out of town in the summer. Las Vegas in July,
August and September is too hot for comfort. Air-conditioned rooms ÂÃ‚Âbecome our
prison as we try to beat the outdoor heat just to keep cool.
At a different time and a
different place (Buffalo, N.Y.) things were just the opposite. Staying indoors
to keep warm and out of the snow was the sensible thing to do. It took years to
get sick and tired of scraping ice off the windshield. Buffalo is such a
friendly city; camaraderie is everywhere. But eventually, the daily sunshine of
Las Vegas was too hard to resist.
Looking back, I now realize
that it took at least 20 years to thaw out. By then, the summer heat was too
There were summer escapes to
La Jolla, but it took a long while to return to Del Mar. The San Diego area is
such a ÂÃ‚Âdelightful place to be weather-wise. It is by the sea. Living in the
east may not be as hot as Vegas, but it’s more humid. Nearly everyone
retreated to Ocean City, N.J.
Summering at the seashore
brings back a lot of youthful memories. Blame it on the sea breeze if necessary,
but whatever it is, living at the ocean in the dead of summer is not a bad way
We began looking for a
summer retreat back in April. The target was anything along the west coast from
San Francisco to San Diego. I gave preference to Northern California; the Bay
area is one of my favorite places to be. But, traveling with three French
bulldogs, even though they’re only 20-25 pounds, makes the search difficult.
Most landlords don’t want one dog, let alone three.
As July rolled by it looked
as if we would be forced to bake in the desert. Along came Debbie Lanni,
bless her heart. She just happens to know a friend in San Diego who could help
us find a summer resort that would allow three dogs. The friend must walk around
carrying a rabbit’s foot and a few four-leaf clovers. Within a few days she
had me in touch with the owners of a beautiful beach house in Del Mar. And, yes,
with an added deposit they would let us bring along Cheech, Johnnie
We were delighted. Eileen,
being much more sensible than me, wanted to view the place before we signed on
the dotted line. There’s still a lot of gamble left in me and I said to hell
with looking. If it’s not what we like we’re going to spend another summer
in Las Vegas. We packed up our three ÂÃ‚Âamigos and some clothes and motored to
the San Diego area.
Were we impressed on what we
had just rented. It was more than could be expected. And, although the Call
to the Post hasn’t the same appeal it once had, our getaway is right
across the way from beautiful Del Mar racetrack.
We were concerned about our
pets, especially Cheech. He’s the old man of the crowd and doesn’t like
change. For whatever reason, Cheech changed. He spent about an hour sniffing the
place out and hasn’t been heard from since. Now, the three pets lay out on the
porch in the sun. I can’t say the sea breeze has increased their appetite.
Nothing could make them eat more than they do, thank goodness.
Eileen and I spent 25 years
building the newspaper. It’s our baby. And, we are a pair of control people
who require a great deal of assurance that everything will go right in our
absence. Our housekeeper keeps daily vigil and Ron, the best sidekick
anyone could have, keeps the home front occupied.
Thanks to the telephone we
are in daily touch with the staff and, like the song says ”” by the beautiful
sea . . . how happy we are!