Saturday, January 03, 2015

More Time Traveling: Santa Cruz in the 1930s and 1970s

The coming of the New Year forces us all to reflect on the passage of time. So it seems appropriate to share this clip I found of Santa Cruz, my hometown, from the 1930s.

As with the Nostalgia Train, it provides an intriguing glimpse into that era. The Boardwalk, wharf and beaches don't look drastically different, though. The changes are most evident in the cars that people drove, the clothes they wore and how white they all were. (I'm not sure how diverse the city was in that era, but it was a fairly small town. In the 1930s, Santa Cruz only had about 15,000 residents — a quarter of its current size.)

The water looked like it was still quite bracing, judging by how eager the swimmers are to get out of it.

I didn't expect to see the "Safety First" sign on the Giant Dipper roller coast, since I imagined that people in the 1930s lived in a perpetual death trap (and liked it that way).

Photo courtesy of YouTube.

There's also a longer video on Santa Cruz's history that was produced by the Rotary Club in the mid-1970s.

It shows more of the downtown area, which was heavily damaged in the 1989 earthquake. Pacific Avenue is almost unrecognizable. Skip ahead to the 15-minute mark for that footage.

It's also fun to see the Natural Bridges still intact (pictured below). The main bridge collapsed in the quake.

Photo courtesy of YouTube.

Watching both the 1930s and 1970s clips makes you grateful that someone took the time and effort to assemble the footage.

I feel like I take some ribbing for obsessively filming everything around me (mostly the kids, but also the changing New York landscape).

I hope someone is grateful to me someday too.