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A Moving Memoir
Nancy Fisher | Ipswich, Massachusetts

This is the first of three articles on the author’s recent move from Del Mar to Ipswich, MA.

I graduated from San Dieguito High School with the same kids I’d started kindergarten with at Del Mar Elementary. We knew everything about each other, like who was the best speller in the bee, who got picked first or last for Red Rover, and eventually who we dated. Some of us married each other and settled in the area, and some of us blew out of town before the ink dried on our diplomas.

Being one of the latter, I gleefully left to attend Sonoma State at the age of seventeen. I’d had enough of everyone knowing everything, and was happy to see Del Mar in the rear-view mirror of my baby blue Pinto -- which luckily didn’t explode before the recall. Life took me all over the Bay Area, and eventually to Boston, where I met and married Mike Salt. Twenty years later I finally talked him into moving to Del Mar, where my first stepfather had generously left us a sweet little beach house that we’d been using as a second home for ten years.

Convincing Mike wasn’t easy. His impression of California was something like the Saturday Night Live skit (Google “The Californians”), and every time we approached the tarmac at San Diego, he announced “another lunar landing.” I lived in fear that someone would say “bitchen” or “stoked” and he’d hail a cab, but my biggest worry was that everyone, including a bunch of new people, still knew everything about everyone, and that I’d run like the wind again. I would avert this by just walking on the beach and avoiding eye contact.

Almost none of my dire predictions happened. I was delighted to see that Chiquita Abbott, Monte Woolley, and others I’d met at about the age of six through my second stepfather were still in town and remembered me. Most of my friends had also been smart enough to stay in the area, so it was easy to throw together small dinners or large parties, and Mike’s eyes stopped glazing over as he made friends and settled in with all new doctors, grocery stores, and a gym.

My plans to keep a low profile were dashed when I immediately became ensnared in a beach colony dispute and hosted an event that drew roughly seventy neighbors, two City Council Members, and two members of the North County Transportation District board. So much for anonymity. I was about to meet all of you, but we’ll talk about that later.

To be continued in the November Sandpiper.



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