How many bones have you broken? Yours or someone else’s?
When I was 8, I broke my arm–at a nude beach.
When I was a kid, my mom would take me to Bonny Doon Beach, a nude beach approximately 11 miles north of Santa Cruz, CA (incidentally, there are a number of nude beaches north of Santa Cruz along Highway 1). I went to a number of them as a kid, but Bonny Doon was always my mom’s favorite. I bet I could still find it if I tried. It’s not like these things have signs, though.
Just getting to the sand involves crossing railroad tracks and climbing down a cliff. Not terribly hard at that age, However, the best part of this beach involves climbing over and down another rock formation, into an area called “the cove.” This area is by far the best part of the beach as it is relatively sheltered from the ocean breeze. The vast majority of the usual crowd hangs out at this part of the beach and sunbathes completely nude.
(And if you’re wondering, yes, I saw my mom nude. All the time. Same with her long-time boyfriend. And a lot of other people at that beach too. Nothing sexual happened there, at least when I was there.)
Anyway, one day my mom had brought a friend of mine to the beach and I wanted to go play outside of the cove so we had a bit more space. The cove did not have a ton of space and I wanted to play ball with my friend. Unfortunately, I was being stupid and tried to carry this ball in one hand and hold onto the rope to climb out of the cove with the other. And yup, it was a bad idea.
I fell from pretty high. When I was a kid, I’d say the fall was 10 feet. Now I think it was more like 20. Can’t be sure, of course. But anyway, I fell and hit the sand. My right wrist snapped like a twig (6 places, I found out later). My hand and part of my wrist was like an inch above the rest of my arm. It looked bad. Fortunately, one of the people there was a nurse and was able to get me fixed up enough that I might be able to get out of there without doing any more damage. I have no idea how I managed to get out of the cove with only one functional hand, but I did.
Seven weeks and two casts later, my arm was back to normal. Sort of. I did lose part of the function of my wrist, namely the ability to turn my right palm face up without bringing in my elbow significantly. Without moving my elbow, I can only manage to turn my palm to a vertical position. It’s not something I think about all that much since I’ve had a quarter century to get used to it. It did come into play when I had to have my arms poke-tested for allergies last year, and it comes up in randomly from time to time.
I don’t think I ever went back to that beach after that, or at least not too many times that I can remember. Maybe I was getting too old to go, I don’t know. I’d like to go back there someday, if nothing else to go one of the few places that my fellow man hasn’t changed at all since I was last there.
Oh, crap.It’s about to become a State Park and possibly lose the legal ability to be “clothing optional.” Not that I care about that so much. What is a bit concerning is that of the pictures I’ve been able to find online of that beach, almost none of them are how I remember it. Specifically, the cove (at the far right-end of the beach) appears to be no more. The cliff that I had to climb that I broke my arm on appears to be gone.
I better stop before I go too much farther down this rathole. It’s making me sad, and it’s late.