Thought for the day

"I just wonder what it would be like to be reincarnated in an animal whose species had been so reduced in numbers than it was in danger of extinction. What would be its feelings toward the human species whose population explosion had denied it somewhere to exist.... I must confess that I am tempted to ask for reincarnation as a particularly deadly virus." -- Prince Philip, in his Forward to "If I Were an Animal" - United Kingdom, Robin Clark Ltd., 1986.



When an earthquake struck Santa Monica on March 10, 1933, the city was already in bad shape. The quiet community on the Pacific Coast prided itself on being socially elite and culturally sophisticated, but that pride didn't stop the Great Depression from sinking its dirty claws and tearing the city down a new one. Schools suffered the most due to the earthquake. Without funds to rebuild, local children were taught outside the tents. The idea for the city to build a park on the beach was from Cate Giroux. She was a playground matron for an elementary school before it was turned into rubble. Until all schools are rebuilt, a faster and cheaper solution would be to build a playground for all. City officials agreed. By 1934, work had begun on the new playground. The project was funded by President Roosevelt's Works Project Administration (WPA), an organization that employs local people to build public developments and stimulate the economy. The site chosen was a stretch of sand south of the famous Santa Monica Pier, known by locals as Mussel Beach for all the shellfish clinging to the pier there. The park soon became a hit with local vaudeville artists and acrobats, who appreciated the soft landings that the sand could give them. Finding work in his field wasn't that easy in Great Depression-era America, and the practice didn't hurt to keep rust away.