For longtime residents of O.B., their community is representative of many things, from tolerance of alternative lifestyles to richly colored cliffs at sunset.
As for the elements that creep in like crabgrass in a perfectly manicured lawn, those who love O.B. can do without them.
The casual observer may not notice the graffiti vandalism on the walls south of the O.B. Pier or the cigarette butts and beer bottles littering the rocky shores below it, but those who hike O.B.'s paths, surf its breaks, or boat and dive offshore notice the eyesore.
And they've had enough.
Which was why on a recent overcast Saturday morning, an ad hoc group of volunteers scrambled over the slippery rocks, hauling in power generators, air compressors, and painting supplies and hauling out bags of trash. Organized online via OBRag.org and social networking sites, the volunteers from O.B. and surrounding communities, such as Jon Carr, an independent video journalist, and Ed Baier and professional painter Luciano Alexandre, joined together to take a first pass at sprucing things up. "I never realized how unsightly it was, and I walk these cliffs every weekend," says Shawn Conrad, an O.B. resident and volunteer. "It's not representative of O.B.," Carr says. "We're kind of fed up, and so, here we are." The idea now is to keep an eye on things and, like the patient gardener, keep more weeds from taking root in the future.