A few words about my bike. I call him GT, but his real name is GT LTS 3. He is a brute. He was born in 1998 and listed for $4295. My wife Debra bought this macho bicycle for me as a birthday gift four years ago at a garage sale. She paid 60 bucks.
Dr. Bill: GT, some folks are going to join our ride down Historic 101 today. Okay with you?
GT: Bring them on… Hello, I’m GT.
Departure: Oceanside, 12:10 p.m.
Today’s surf down the coast begins at the intersection of Canyon and Mission in Oceanside. Debra, our 20-year-old-daughter, GT, and I moved from Encinitas to Oceanside in 2008, and we figure we saved about $20,000 per mile for the 14-mile distance. Plus, we are close to the beach, the pier, and frozen yogurt.
Next door to our home is the Friendly Church of God in Christ, where James E. Hammond serves as the Elder Pastor. A fashion show takes place each Sunday, when elegantly dressed folks attend services. One morning, Debra and I were sitting on the curb, dressed in dirty gardening clothes and eavesdropping on the beautiful live gospel music coming from inside the church. A man in a purple tux approached us. He invited us into the church and introduced us to Elder Hammond — quite a lovely human being. Elder Hammond led us to his office and cordially invited us to attend his church anytime.
Debra asked, “Are you one of those people my auntie called ‘holy rollers’?”
The pastor chuckled. “Yes, I guess you might call us that…”
Before GT and I roll out, we need air in our tires. We hoof it down Dixie Street to the nearest gas station on Mission. I begin to sing.
Dr. Bill: I wish I were in Dixie. Away, away, away down south in Dixie.
GT: That’s a song about a slave being nostalgic for the south. It was Abe Lincoln’s favorite song, yet it’s now considered “politically incorrect.”
Dr. Bill: How do you figure?
GT: Current culture rules. It’s a now-versus-then thing. In the Athens of Socrates, Greek men enjoyed boys. It was acceptable. Today, someone who indulges in those pleasures ends up in prison.
Now we are ready to roll. I sing GT’s favorite song, “Back in the Saddle,” by Aerosmith.
Ridin’ into town alone by the light of the moon,
I’m lookin’ for ol’ Sukie Jones she crazy horse saloon.
Barkeep gimme a drink, that’s when she caught my eye.
She turned to give me a wink, that’d make a grown man cry.
I’m back in the saddle again.
GT: Yes! It is so good to have you back in my saddle. Aerosmith’s song rages over Gene Autry’s “Back in the Saddle.” Aero talks about love, not all this “where a friend is a friend” stuff.
Dr. Bill: Sorry, but your favorite song is about sex, not love, and it reached number 38 on Billboard’s top 100 in 1974. Gene’s version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1997 and was ranked to be the 98th best song of the 20th Century. Time will prove Gene’s to be the more enduring.
GT (irritated): I like it, just because I like it. Get it, Dr. Bill?
We follow Barnes to Division and traverse the Interstate 5 overpass. There is a deafening roar of traffic below.
Dr. Bill: GT, will my one good ear be damaged by all this noise?
GT (reassuring): This overpass will quickly pass.
It does. Coasting down into the barrio, we are met by brown faces, iron reinforced windows, and barking perros. On the left is a verde community jardín. We pass a food truck, surrounded by señoras y niños. The truck has everything from tomates to dulces that will derriten sus dientes (ruin your teeth) pero provide al instante sugar high to the jóvenes.
Oceanside High School
Imagine having a week like this! On Saturday, October 17, 2010, Tiaina Baul Seau, Jr. was inducted into the Oceanside High School Hall of Fame. He talked about the unconditional love he’d felt at Oceanside High.
Next day, police were called to his house, and he was accused of domestic violence. On Monday, at 12:20 a.m., he was arrested for domestic abuse. Seven hours after being released on $25,000 bail, he air-surfed his 2004 Cadillac Escalade over a 30-foot embankment onto a Carlsbad beach near Solamar Drive. Blood tests showed no alcohol or drugs were involved. Junior had apparently fallen asleep. The district attorney’s office decided not to press charges for physical abuse due to insufficient evidence, though Junior was cited for an illegal left turn.
Junior has since gone from charging quarterbacks to charging for your dinner. He owns Seau’s The Restaurant in Mission Valley, which is filled with football memorabilia.
The sun shined again on Junior on November 27, 2011, when he was inducted into the Chargers’ hall of fame. Before 71,000 fans he declared: “All I can say is I’m honored. My family is honored and we’re happy to be here.”
The Junior Seau Foundation has raised four million big ones to finance programs aimed at inspiring young people. He has done so many good things for the Asian Pacific and Oceanside communities.
Highway 101: 12:17 p.m.
We glide down one of the many Oceanside streets that are named after states. From Michigan, we hang a left onto 101. This is the starting line of our surf down Historic 101. I share my excitement with GT.
Dr. Bill: Gosh, here we are on 101. We are starting our journey.
GT: Cut the chatter. Feel the force.
Dr. Bill: I think I feel it.
GT: Don’t think, feel. There is a presence of a strong force nearby that is being reflected on both sides of the 101.
Dr. Bill: Yes, I feel it. The force is racing through my arms, like an arms race.
GT: Shush. I’m catching a mind-wave that says the force appeared here in 1942.