September 2012 home page

Del Mar Roots
Sam Borgese | 10th Street


A look back at the year 1969 would reveal a number of current and past residents who were associated with CRM Books, then publishers of the national monthly periodical Psychology Today.

Gene Schwartz, one such past resident, has recently visited Del Mar and is contemplating a return after 20 years. Del Mar’s neighborhood atmosphere, unique environment, and the fact that Gene still has deep personal and professional connections here, makes it the kind of place he would like to live in at this stage of his life.

My conversations with Gene, during his several visits over the past year, revealed that he has learned, as each year rolls by, the importance of place and memory in allowing him to live ”in the moment.” He emphasizes this by quoting Nancy Ewing, a past Del Mar resident, who said “You’ll always return to Del Mar, because that is where the love is.”

Gene has a rich history as a past resident. He worked with Nancy Ewing to produce “Del Mar: Looking Back” and was involved in the formation of Del Mar’s local access TV studio in 1981-82. Working with past mayor Lew Hopkins and the Optimist Club, Gene produced the Del Mar Union School district weekly discussion programs and in the process realized how much civic life is missing when it no longer has schools within its bounds. Gene also penned numerous articles on current topics of the 60’s through the early 90’s, which for me were much-appreciated civics lessons.

While most of the indigenous arts and media community of the seventies and eighties have departed Del Mar, Gene expects to be fully engaged with those that remain and are attempting to redefine the book industry.

After reading Thomas Wolfe’s “You Can’t go Home Again,” it took a lifetime for Gene to shake loose of that admonition. He now believes that we carry the memories and spirit of home within ourselves wherever we go, and in that sense we are always there. “If the place and people are still there, coming home in the moment is always possible,” he says, and he’s now hoping to make it a reality by finding a place to share that is suitable for independent living with the goal of returning to Del Mar this fall.

I for one certainly hope he finds that place and will welcome his return.



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