Palm Trees in southern Florida

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day

I like sunsets so I put one here.

It's Earth Day again. I remember the first one in 1970. 

I was in high school at South Torrance High in Torrance, California.  It was the 11th  grade.  Smog was real in those days.  From where I lived you could no longer see the big Union Bank building a mile away.  Brown air.  
Even I could see that it was getting worse.

Anyway, back to the first Earth Day. We all sat on the lawn while people wearing gas masks talked about the air quality, talked about life tomorrow, talked about nothing I remember, sitting here 50 years later. I do remember that the weather was nice....

My family moved up to the SF Bay area that Summer.  I did my final year (graduated in '71) at a high school in Marin county. It was some time before I made it back to SoCal.

Fast forward 10 years. I'm in the Coast Guard doing a water temperature patrol down that way in a 
(HU-16E) airplane.  We're coming back from San Diego, heading for San Fran along the coast. I sat in the radio man's seat to fix a sandwich from the box lunch.  I look up and see this brown wall in the distance.  It's well out to sea, it's the Los Angeles smog. After I fix the sandwich I look up and we are in the brown...

Jump forward another 20 years after that and I'm driving down in the LA area. 
Son of a gun, there are mountains all around Los Angeles!  It really looks good!

This is from the Santa Monica pier a year or so ago.
It's the only picture of mine that I can find
that shows mountains in the distance
in the SoCal area.

I had been in that area from the summer of 1966 until the summer of 1970 and I was not aware that there were mountains!

It took awhile, but the California smog rules did what they were supposed to do. I was (and still am) impressed!

With the world closed down I guess a lot of people all over are getting to see what their world looks like when the pollution has had some time to settle out.