My family moved to Ocean Beach 56 years ago, when I was 6. We lived on Abbot Street when the pier was being built. I remember by the time I was around 10 or so, I would leave the apartment in the morning during the summer and didn't have to report back home until "the street lights came on"! What a great time to be a kid who loved to body surf.
When the pier was completed I was 12 with a 15 year old attitude. My friend and I went to the grand opening celebration. There was a carnival type set up where the parking lot now is. I remember playing the "throw the ping pong ball in the fish bowl" game. If you made it in, the prize was, of course, the goldfish given to you in a plastic bag. Once we tired of that, we took our goldfish and entered the sand castle building contest. We were probably a couple of the oldest participants. We got this great idea! Make a pond in front of the castle, line it with plastic bags, and put the fish in it! Brilliant! We won! Our prize was a gift certificate for a sporting good store (I bought fins for body surfing) and we got to appear on the Johnny Downs Show! Wow, we were legends among our friends. Although the Johnny Downs show was geared toward younger audience, we went and took our entourage with us! I vaguely remember being kicked off the show. But what fun!
- Kathy Morgan (maiden name Bence)
(Photo [of a different sandcastle] by Jim Grant)