The view from my perch on the mountain

On the Beach

Me, on the left (age 4), my sister (2), our dad and our dog, Pete. The other man and child are unidentified.

This photo, taken in 1958 on Chic’s Beach where I grew up, illustrates why I still have sand and salt water in my veins. I’ve been a beach rat most of my life. That large boxer dog, Pete, was my protector from birth and best buddy. According to the pedigree papers that came with him when Dad won him as a pup in a poker game in Port Deposit, Maryland,  his real name was Conawingo’s Royal Flush but I always knew him as Pete.

It’s ironic that this is one of the earliest shots I have with Dad in it. His ashes were spread just offshore from this piece of shoreline after his death on July 4, 2003. That he passed away on the anniversary of our nation’s birth seemed fitting for a man who gave nearly a third of his life in service of his country.

Mom & Dad on their wedding day in Port Deposit, MD

Mom & Dad on their wedding day in Port Deposit, MD 1953

Dad was in the US Navy, as was Mom when they met. Mom was discharged in 1953, after 9 years service, when she became pregnant with me, and put down roots in the laid back beach community of Chesapeake Beach (Chic’s to locals) in the northwest corner of what was to become Virginia Beach to raise me and my siblings while Dad traveled the world, eventually retiring in 1968 after 26 years of service.

Arnold R. Allen CSC United States Navy (Ret) 1 Dec 1923 - 4 July 2003 Fair winds and following seas, Chief

I’ve done my fair share of traveling, as well, in my 50 plus years as a Navy brat, US Air Force enlisted man and as a civilian. No matter how far I’ve roamed over the years I have always returned to this stretch of shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay , at the foot of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, to recharge my soul.

Looking west towards The Rocks from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Looking west towards The Rocks from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

As I type I can almost taste the salt air and hear the gentle hiss of the water kissing the sand.


2 responses

  1. Its really nice to see a piece of your history chip, you live in a beautiful part of the world. 🙂

    November 9, 2010 at 9:13 AM

  2. Oh my goshhhhhh. Chip, I just went back to your email where you’d given me the url to this newest site of yours and clicked it in. I am astounded at every single word you’ve typed, every photo and explanation, and the perfect, PERFECT composition of the entire thing. Heavens to Betsy, heavens to Murgatroid, fella, if there was ever a World Award to be given out, it’s to you.
    I had to laugh when I read the caption of you, Dorothy, and Toto of all names. Didn’t that strike you as the funniest thing in the world? You were all in Oz with that BAR, lol. Seriously, Chip, this is an out and out winner!
    (Now watch, the avatar will just be a little design because it’s wordpress; I’m so smart……not)

    November 11, 2010 at 1:46 AM

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