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A "Creepy" Day at Hendry's Beach

I have a few things I do for my "self." Places I go to relieve stress and find my center. One of these places is a little cove at Hendrey's Beach. A safe haven of peace and tranquility. I am secluded by a "half-cave-wind-shield." Here I can create a mini-vacation for my brain,my body and more importantly my soul. I meditate. Hunt for sea-glass. Lay flat on the sand and do exercises for my heinous back injury. I read,the long-ignored book from the night stand.

I let go and let God and I find...me.

Most days it all works out like a "living-breathing blessing." My heavenly spot is miraculously always available for me. Sometimes there is someone I recognize there. This is a prized spot for locals. There is great wind protection and you can tuck in and have some privacy. I do not mind sharing a bit of my heaven. But I love it when it is all mine. It is like my own private island.

Today the tables viciously and without conscience, turned. Now my sweet-spot of peaceful repose was invaded by a "creepy" energy. First - a guy - fully clothed...a little worse for wear and a little drunk...was wondering a bit too close to me for a bit too long...looking for "rocks." (yeah sure buddy...i got your rocks!) Okay- so I know he may have been harmless...maybe... but it has been my experience that when I feel the "creep" vibe I have been correct. There was no one else around and I got a bit worried. I now had my hand strategically placed on my iphone. Nerves were rattled. Peace was slipping away.

In a flurry of noisy energy,four young guys came bounding down the beach and if memory serves...they were "tripping"...and I don't mean over rocks or their shoe laces...I mean TRIPPING...like on acid. They were loud,dancing,smoking,drinking,climbing up on top of MY cave and then launching with loud howls, like vampires... into the air and then slamming onto the shore...where there were rocks,waves,small children with their mothers and people with dogs. Many of the beach walkers chose to detours around the loose bunch and commented with disdain about the rowdy "boys" as they passed by.

Admittedly- I went into a very insecure "bratty-baby" head frame..ok... But- you have to understand that some days this is all I have between me and total insanity. This is my oasis and when the "not-even-close-to-cool" brat-pack-butt-head boys arrived in their cavalcade of loud obnoxiousness....I was pissed. My back was hurting and my momentary blissed-out state was crushed by these Hessians!

The thing that really irked me was that they knew full well how annoying they were being. Blowing smoke on everybody...little kids and Moms included. It was like a wave of evil doers had invaded our peaceful retreat.Literally! As if the "Lost Boys" had reunited and descended upon us. And like a magnet the group of two became three and three became four and so on. I was getting anxious and my instinct to "fight or flight" kicked in and now I was enveloped in rattled thoughts..."get out of here...this is a bad place today." All the sweet energy had been robbed clean and now there was a cloud made of something rank and obnoxious...a foul energy pervaded the once calm beach. So I left.

As I walked up the beach I noticed more and more young people with this same odd energy heading down the beach. Had the now displaced kids of Floatopia invaded my little cove? I had heard that groups were Facebooking about "alternate locations" to I.V. and groups of drunken "yoots" have been spotted from Carp Beach to Hope Ranch. You know them by their "swagger"...their coolers..boom boxes and 24-packs of beer... and the signature piece for the "Floatopians" ...."floaties."

When I got to the parking lot a man approached me asking me if he could use my phone. Now I know it may sound unkind,but when people I do not know try to "stop" me...I don't. I just keep walking. And so I did. I just said no (this was true in that my iphone batt was now dead)... and I kept walking. He was rambling on about how he needed to call his Dad and get a ride. He was at least 30 years old. I am sorry ...but that is just a little long in the tooth to be pestering people for a phone to call your Dad. (There was in fact a pay phone right in front of him)

Bugging single women for this kind of crap is just that-crap! Again the strange uncomfortable energy fluttered through me. Strange faces were in the parking lot. People who I did not normally see. Something was simply "off" about the whole picture.

I was glad to be in my car and driving away. I have never felt unsafe or unprotected at Hendrey's beach. It is the "locals" beach. The family beach. The dog walkers and sunset watchers beach. Despite the beautiful sunny day...there was now a dank-dark spirit that had fallen over this normally lovely place...it was not safe.

In the evening I got word that there had been a stabbing at Hendrey's beach and I shuddered. I just knew something was going to happen. I felt it. I was a little sick and a little scared until I left the beach. This "disquiet and discomfort" may have been intuition. I think so. Ever since I had my son I have experienced these moments when the universe simply "moves me out of harms way." And man, I am grateful for the instinct and ability to feel and listen and move.

I have no idea how dark energy finds dark energy...but today something was present in the people and the place. And later on... what ever it was... proved itself. I don't know why kids stab kids. My sister works at Cottage Hospital and she see's stab wounds all the time. A lot of young girls stab each other now. It is not just dumb boys. It is now dumb-angry girls. And they are after all... just "boys and girls"...not big scary gangsters...just mini-gangsters. Not even old enough to drive a car. Not old enough to vote.

But clearly old enough to hate. To drink and party and get high...and then to take out their frustrations on each other and for what? To be "right" about something? To somehow be "better" than someone or more powerful. It is war...and like all wars... it makes no sense to me.

What ever happened to a nice day at the beach? What ever happened to kids being kids? When did weapons become a part of the party?

These questions fill my head and haunt my soul. My once peaceful little spot is now jaded. And I wonder will it be the same? Can I meditate it back into it's once lovely simple role as my little "cove?"

Comments

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I hope you will take back your sacred spot. You can't let the dark side win. What happened down there was as dark as it gets. My husband knew the victim, I knew him not so well. I do know no one deserves to die that way.

But I will also say it is weird, how like attracts like. How you felt the vibe getting weirder and more negative and I do think that becomes like fuel to the fire. So I also believe we need to put the good mojo back out there. The victims passing had me promising myself to go out and do more good, try to spread good around. I find comfort in knowing his passing might do that for others, I sure hope it will.

Caro (anonymous profile)
April 16, 2010 at 6:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So sorry that creepy replaced peaceful! I like how street-smart your behavior is, though. Don't give up on your private island but find more than one way to get there. Mine is a daily gratitude journal.

williamsbj_38 (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2010 at 9:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

yes,i feel for you. i am much, much older than you and probably know every grain of sand, below and above water at hendry's.n i now live in alabama, got dragged up here from barra de navidad, jalisco, mexico where i retired on a shoestring, met her and we went into a wonderful spiral.'
i can tell you a story or two about hendry's

richardsinclair (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2010 at 8 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The events you describe are becoming regular at our dear Hendry's Beach. I think the Sheriffs and the PD need to up their presence. I was sad about the events of that day. A man tries to help and is killed and the police have no leads. The innocence of these places is being shredded by rude and rowdy people who do not care about how their behavior impacts other visitors. Thanks for sharing this experience. It will perhaps make people think.

gotosantorini (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2010 at 1:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sad/excellent article. Part of the weakness in Santa Barbara culture is the disconnect between "Locals". There is little sense of community anymore. If the locals who frequent a given beach get to know each other, exchange phone numbers and report to each other what they see as being suspicious, then much more will be accomplished.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2010 at 3:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I forgot to add: If someone who I'm not sure about wants to use my cell phone and there is a pay phone nearby, I politely suggest they use the pay phone and give them the money they need to make the call.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2010 at 3:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Welll...I don't have an iphone but I'd like to add my three cents in here too.

What is going on at the beach is part and parcel of what is going on in society at large. We are at last reaping the results of the lax child-rearing methods of the past 40 years.

Children have grown up carefully trained that they world owes them something simply because they are breathing. They have never heard the word "no" and have zero idea of life beyond instant gratification and nonstop rewards.

No framework, no social skills, no manners, no class. Then they grew up and reared their own children the same way. Ever been in a restaurant and had to suffer through a meal utterly ruined by screeching children running around, jumping on the booths and throwing food while the "parents" sat there happily chatting away as if nothing is going on?

Yup, sure you have...we all have. And if you make the mistake of complaining to the management, they look at you as if you had a horns and a tail, and refuse to do a thing about it.

We now all just accept badly-reared children as the norm. It isn't their fault, though..it IS the parents' fault, because they don't parent. They were taught by their own parents that the world owes them something, and now that they themselves are parents, the world owes them even MORE...because they have children.

So, we're now seeing the dawn of the next generation of carefully-trained selfish monsters, only they are now old enough to terrorize peaceful residents and beachgoers such as the iphone lady who wrote this article.

Minding her own business, enjoying the day, harming no one, her place of sanctuary is now destroyed by selfish, spoiled, bratty college kids and gangsters-in-training who have never EVER heard the word "no"...and probably never will.

There was nothing wrong with these kids when they were born. They were trained and conditioned to be this way by parents who themselves had no clue as to how to rear children.

Now, the rest of society has to put up with the results of this nonsense. Bad enough when a herd of spoiled brats is shrieking and running unfettered around the store, restaurant or other public place...that's just irritating...but when they grow big enough to be drunk (and don't get me started about the pernicious booze culture we live in!) and dangerous, NOW we have a problem.

So, the cops will arrive at the beach to try and run the hooligans off, in the process also hassling all the dog walkers off the beach because this is a truly dog-unfriendly county, and generally creating that dark cloud of oppression that cops generate just walking around.

So now, because people choose not to teach their children well, we all pay the price via unsafe public places, increased noise, aggression, entitlement behavior, police presence and ultimately complete oppression.

The beach will be safe, but the vibe will be gone, too.

How very sad.

Holly (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2010 at 12:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

hmmmm....how easy to lay blame. Another of society's little engines of explanation. It is always someone else's fault. I guess they go hand in hand.

brimo7272 (anonymous profile)
April 23, 2010 at 4:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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