November 2011 home page


This I Believe 2nd in series 
Art Olson | Avenida Primavera



My wife and I moved to Del Mar 18 years ago – so by local standards we are relative newbies. I had been attracted to Del Mar since moving from Berkeley in 1981 – principally because of its beautiful setting and proximity to my work on the Torrey Pines mesa. The downturn in the housing market in the early ‘90s enabled us to afford our Del Mar home on a social worker’s and academic’s salary.

What I have come to appreciate about Del Mar goes well beyond its scenic charm and to the nature of the community itself. It is a city with a population smaller than that of the Detroit high school I had attended. Perhaps for this reason I can’t help thinking of Del Mar as a grown-up version of that beloved school. Yes, we have our cliques and social climbers, our jocks and cheerleaders, our bohemians, intellectuals and nerds. But, they are now matured versions who have morphed into an amazing community of corporate leaders and fundraisers, community volunteers and gadflys; artists, writers, and musicians; physicians, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs.

Some things change over the years but others do not. Del Mar has its own set of extracurricular activities in the form of clubs, organizations and committees. Sometimes it feels like Del Mar is one large debate society, with the student council, er, I mean City Council acting as jury. One thing is clear however – we are here because we chose to live and continue to learn here and most of us see finishing our senior years here. There is a true sense of involvement and activism that pervades our Del Mar “campus,” and there is a can-do attitude that bespeaks an optimism of youth.

I see the Sandpiper as Del Mar’s “student newspaper”– a reflection of the life, loves and strife of our little community, as well as the source of an occasional bit of fun and satire. The volunteer editorial board may not see eye to eye on every issue, but we are all cheerleaders for the City and its future. And, what is as important for Del Mar as it is in any high school, is that we transmit our sense of involvement, activism and optimism to the incoming class of freshmen and women who have chosen to live here. To me, it smells like teen spirit.


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