by Maggie Zeibak, photo by Don Kindred
Benches line the small bluff at Parque Del Mar above the Pier. Ample rumps and marshmallow thighs need support! My dogs are barking, you sigh. Take a load off, park it or simply sit and rest. Fortunately our Downtown area provides us with a few buttock supporters in the form of sturdy benches placed on Avenida Del Mar and in the Pier Bowl area. More benches are found in parks around town.
Can you imagine the variety of shapes, sizes and colors of people who gratefully deposit their nether regions on these platforms? Have you feasted your eyes on the fit, young and athletic bodies that take a break from their workouts and cool down on a bench thoughtfully provided by the City of San Clemente? Perhaps we’d find that each person has a different label for that part of their anatomy, some say posteriors, bums or backside while others refer to their tushes or rear end. Regardless, reclining butts are well accommodated in our town.
“The Beaches and Parks Division has a program to accept donated benches in our parks,” says Manager Dennis Reed. “Donors provide funding for the benches and have the option of inscriptions or plaques, or both. This has been a very successful program, so successful that it is almost complete. We have entirely replaced all the benches on the pier and are no longer accepting donations for this area; however, Parque del Mar has one spot left.”
Donations can be made to the City’s Wish Book for a concrete bench and can feature either an inscription on the face of the bench or a brass plaque approved by the San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Department. Benches are installed quarterly and there are varying charges.
How much, you ask? The cost for the bench is $1600, add in installation charges and optional inscriptions, the estimated figure is around $2200. Certainly not an astronomical sum.
Early in the morning on Avenida Del Mar, the seats offer good support for coffee hounds long of leg and body. For those of us who are vertically challenged, we must sip our beverages sitting nearer the edge with feet planted firmly on the muted red and gray jagged-edged brickwork. Transformed into a seat of learning, many treasured books are thumbed here; papers perused; and animated discussions held that lead to new understanding and fresh points of view. Patient dogs sit while their owners vigorously discuss the merits of their brew until another of the canine species arrives with new sniffing sections to inspect.
How easy it is to strike up conversations, particularly when the sun is warm and people watching is on top of the “To Do” list. We can meet the nicest of people while we unpack our lunch from the deli or let rivulets of ice cream run down our chins as we look for moments of happiness in each day.
“Everything In Moderation” and “Mems0ories As Eternal As The Sea” are inscriptions that give us pause to reflect and appreciate a donor’s kindness. Reading the plaques we can appreciate a family’s affectionate humor as they dedicate it to a “…really nice guy, good listener, worry wart, motivator…”
Thank you donors for your gift, and if you or your organization is thinking of doing the same, application forms are available from the City Office.
Meanwhile, locals and visitors can shift from cheek to cheek as they share one of the important amenities of our coastal village. The benches make our life comfortable here in San Clemente where we live it and love it. Happy people. Happy hineys. b
Family - Rest for the Weary
by Maggie Zeibak