Thursday, March 26, 2009
Erstwhile Noonan's Point
This local landmark has been pivotal to my family going back generations. My great grandparents farmed and ran their boarding house just down the road, and both are buried under what is now an asphalt parking lot, across the street from the house where my dad grew up during the Great Depression. The neighborhood kids had the run of the beach then, clambering over the reefs, fishing, building forts in the cliffs, making their own fun. They liked to kick back and reflect while smoking string or spiderwebs in corn cob pipes.
Back then, it was called Noonan's Point, for the family who owned the land. In the late 1930s, the property was purchased for Paramahansa Yogananda, who built a spiritual retreat there which still stands today. Ever since then, the point has been known as Swamis.
Parts of the cliff have crumbled away and the reefs have changed over the years, but much has stayed the same. It still produces one of the best quality waves in California. Now it's my daughter who spends time there, either surfing or stand up paddling, enjoying the natural world.
Thanks to J.P. St. Pierre for the beautiful photograph.