I drove up from the south and got to Virginia Beach around 11:00 a.m. As with the tourist towns on the Outer Banks area, the summer season hasn't started yet.
|Freedom Patiently Waiting|
I found a place for Freedom to wait while I checked out the beach area. It was chilly. The air temp was about 60 degrees with a 10 to 15 mph breeze. Many people were wearing jackets. Of course I came un-prepared and just shivered. Looking at the picture above, the main street at the stop sign is Atlantic Avenue which is the main drag through
Virginia Beach. It is bumper to bumper traffic during the summer with the sidewalks and cross-walks full of people. Bathing suits are everywhere which causes many fender bender accidents. Today it was deserted. I stood in the middle of Atlantic Avenue and took this picture. If I had a chair, I think I could have sat down and read a newspaper without causing a problem. The beach area was
my next stop, so while still shivering, I headed to the beach where I knew the wind would be even stronger. The picture to the left is one of the public entrances to the beach area. I took it for two reasons. The first is to show the beach. The second is to tell a story. Notice in the picture the beach chairs and umbrella storage in the middle right section. The story is about a man's retirement plans. His plan was to rent chairs and umbrellas on the beach because he had heard how much money one had to paid to rent such things. Ultimately his bubble was burst when he found out the Hotel made the money, not a private individual. He was heartbroken when he found out. He passed away several years ago. Rest in peace, Bill.
Before you step down on the beach, you can turn parallel with it and walk on the concrete boardwalk. The boardwalk
|Virginia Beach boardwalk|
The beach here was deserted with the exception of only a few brave people that were properly dressed. One guy was flying a kite. It didn't
take me long to know there wasn't much to be seen here so I snapped a couple pictures, one looking north and one south, then turned and left.
I headed farther north to Little Creek. The place where I was stationed aboard ship. As I got close, I didn't recognize a single thing. You would think some things would stay the same after only 40 years. I drove right past the main gate and didn't even recognize it. Heck I walked through that gate for 60 days one time because the entrance permit for my car was suspended due to me "allegedly" speeding on base
There was nothing to see here except old memories that didn't quite fit the scene anymore so on to the Ocean View and East Beach area. People stationed at Little Creek were lucky because we had an amusement park, nice beach area, good local restaurants and a few bars just to the right as you came out the gate. This was not the typical "red-light" district you see at the edge of military bases that are polluted with strip joints, juke joints and loose women. The Ocean
View and East Beach was a nice place. Families went there for fun in sun on the weekends. As I came to the area where I thought the old "Rocket" roller coaster was located, nothing was there. Just empty land that was being prepared for some kind of building. Looking to where the rest of the Ocean View Amusement park should be, showed nothing but buildings. Big, ugly, not fun for anything, buildings. Why? Dollars, that's why. Disappointed, I drove on up Ocean View Avenue, which of course was deserted. I think I saw the building where Mama's Little Italian Kitchen used to be but I wasn't sure because everything around it was run down. Buildings were
vacant and what looked like a few homeless people wandered the sidewalk. I drove further up the avenue to one of the city parks where you could park your car and go to the beach. After looking at the place, I thought twice about leaving Freedom alone while I went to the beach. But, after thinking
about it some more and remembering the 10 foot tall kid from the 70's, I pulled in. As with the outer bank area, there are sand dunes you have to climb to get to the beach. The city has planted trees that look like full-grown bonsai trees to help hold the sandy soil in place.
They looked great. The beach, of course, was basically deserted, but it looked good. I guess the beach is something that resists becoming run down.
It definitely was a drive down memory lane for me and I know it doesn't mean a thing to ya'll that are reading, but I'm sure you've run across something similar. It reminds me of another quote from a good movie, "The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces". I brushed them away as I drove back to the campground.
It was a good day for remembering the past, but knowing what is in the present.
Tomorrow is a travel day. I'll be heading to Appomattox, Virginia. It is about 200 miles away so it should be a good trip.
Ya'll take care of each other. Cya.