MY NAVY FRIEND, CHARLES, on the beach at Venice, California
Chuck and I were stationed at the headquarters of Commander, Naval Air, Pacific, COMNAVAIRPAC, NAS North Island. Chuck was from San Francisco. On more than a few occasions, Chuck and I flew up to NAS Alameda and spent a lot of time in a fog, in and around North Beach, Oakland and interesting areas in Marin County. On other occasions, we headed down beyond the border to Ensenada, a quiet, sleepy fishing village that was just being rediscovered after a heydey of the 30s when Prohibition made it a poplar spot for awhile. During the heydey, numerous plush haciendas were built for the drinking tourist trade. One place we found fantastic was Jack Dempsey's Casino, set back from the beach a few hundred yards, half hidden from the public. Another fun spot was the Plaza Hotel, the only hotel in Ensenada in 1960. When four or five of us navy guys went to Ensenada, we rented the penthouse.