1887 but became discouraged and moved back to Kirksville, Mo., in
1893 when nobody would buy his $10 lots.
We've all found ourselves in discussions during which someone
said, "I could have bought a house in ___ for $__." Now I can say,
"If I'd been in Laguna earlier, I could have bought the business
district for $310."
Imagine yourself the frustrated ghost of George Rogers, flying
back here from Kirksville, taking a look at present-day downtown real
estate prices -- and unable to kill yourself.
* The area around Broadway and Coast Highway was once the location
of the Pomona College Marine Lab, with a tent city for students
during World War I. In the '30s the lab became a serpentarium to
accommodate local rattlesnakes, which were especially numerous in the
hills where the high school is now.
This is an antidote for the feeling we get that we have missed a
previous perfect golden age. I don't miss the rattlesnakes at the
high school. I don't think I miss the serpentarium either.
* Doc Blacketer, who lived here from 1923 to 2001, recalled that in 1927, the year Laguna was incorporated as a city, the police chief
told him he couldn't tie his horse up on Forest Avenue: "Take it over
to Ocean Avenue and tie it up in front of the playhouse. It doesn't
matter if he makes a mess there."
Everyone has always been a critic.
* Eiler Larsen, the most famous and fabulous of Laguna's Greeters,
was a philosopher who walked all over the world and greeted everyone
who came by his usual corner, Coast Highway and Forest Avenue. He
read many books and gave each one away upon finishing it.
In theory I am happy to see everyone, but in practice I tend to
stay home and screen my calls, and I don't give up books easily. To
me, the Greeter was a character no less marvelous than Batman.
I won't be giving up Roger Jones' book any time soon. There's too
much Laguna in it. It's got Prohibition rumrunners, fire and flood
and Villa Rockledge, and it's beautifully illustrated. So if you've
an interest in who or what stood where you're standing now, track
down a copy. The price at Latitude 33 is equivalent to 7 1/2 of
George Rogers' old lots.