Why California

by David J. Billings

The first time I laid eyes on California was at Long Beach airport in 1982. I was eleven years old, and as I stood with my very Catholic grandma watching the baggage carousel go round-and-round, I saw a guy in a surfer T, pegged jeans and checked Vans get mauled by his hot blonde girlfriend who just got off a plane from somewhere that wasn't California. Even when my dad took a wrong turn and we ended up on a dead-end hill overlooking oil derricks and brackish inlets, I had this very true sense this landlocked kid from Phoenix was home. I spent the rest of my adolesence with my body in one place and my soul sitting on the side of the Santa Monica freeway. The dirtiest times of my younger days in Hollywood and the most pristine memories of Point Dume as a father meld into a fantastic collage in my brain; it's all been beautiful. When people ask me why California and especially why Los Angeles, the only answer I can give that they will understand, even if they don't really understand, is that I belong there.

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David J. Billings is an Author, Illustrator and Unconventional Coach. His hat currently hangs in Washington, DC but he's moving the hat and the hook back to California as soon as possible. You can see a book about getting there here.