I’M B-A-A-A-CK! ……… and I brought pictures…..hundreds and hundreds of pictures.
Anyone interested in sorting and editing a few hundred for me….before I go blind as well as nuts?
No? Oh, well……maybe I can get Buddy to help if I tell him I have cookies.
Every time I return home no matter what the weather I have to make at least one trip to the beach I grew up on. The big red balloon with the A on it (below) wasn’t there back then but the building boom that began in the early 70s is still going like gang busters and you never can tell what you’re gonna find when you’ve been away for a while.
Located in the northwest corner of the resort city of Virginia Beach, Virginia the laid back beach community fronting on the Chesapeake Bay is officially known as Chesapeake Beach. Natives refer to it as Chic’s Beach and it’s easy to spot a native. They’re the people telling you that the T-shirt you just purchased from one of the tourist traps on Shore Drive isn’t sanctioned by the Civic League because there is no K in Chic’s. Those same folks will probably be happy to tell you what you can do with that shirt but this is a family oriented blog so………….
When I noticed that the shirt Mom bought for me a couple of summers back had the wrong spelling it immediately became my puttering around the yard shirt. Now it’s so faded, paint, blood and oil stained that the offending misspelling is almost entirely obliterated. Suffice it to say that all of the Chic’s Beach shirts I now own have the official CXB logo prominently displayed.
The name Chic’s goes back to the 1940s and Chic’s Cafe, a cinderblock stand that sold hot dogs, lemonade and boasted a pinball machine. The cafe was named for its owner, Chic Ledington, and the name has been lovingly preserved by residents ever since. By the mid 60s, when I first adopted my beach rat ways, the café had become a snack bar, bath house and float rental stand whose chief attraction among my set were the outdoor loud speakers attached to the juke box.
A special place on that beach is known as The Rocks.
The boulders placed around the boundary fence between the civilian beach and the beach owned by the US Navy were intended to protect the fence from the wave action.
As you can see from the sections of chain link fencing peeled back along the pilings nothing can withstand the force of nature, not even a double row of pilings and fencing. There was only a single fence in the days of my misspent youth. If I had a nickel for every time I paddled a surfboard around the fence because the waves were always better on the restricted Navy side I’d have a whole bunch of nickels. I can’t begin to count how many times I got chased back to the other side of the fence by Base Security personnel.
Just about everyone who ever set foot on this beach spent at least a little time sitting on these rocks, lost in thought while staring out at the Chesapeake Bay. Those of us who lived on this beach spent a lot of time here. My uncle had a house and a cottage just three doors up the street from the fence and I lived on this beach….literally lived on it in the summer.
Sitting on The Rocks you are rarely alone.
My friends in the US Navy refer to this as a GU-11 unmanned aerial vehicle.
Depending on visibility when looking north from The Rocks you can usually make out at least the first island of of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which spans the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay . To give you an idea of scale, the first island is three miles from shore.
A closer view of the first island, one of four man made islands of the bridge tunnel complex reveals the Sea Gull Fishing Pier. The rectangular object in the right of this frame is a fan house which provides ventilation in the first tunnel. The fan house in the background is on the second island and marks the point where the road bed rises to the second set of parallel bridges.