Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, 1957

Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, 1957
Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, 1957

This man is doing the hood ornament pose. Is he feeling cool ocean breezes in places where we don’t ordinarily feel cool ocean breezes?!

Southern California’s obsession with fitness began in the 1930s on Santa Monica’s sunny seashore. According to the legend, out of work actors began gathering there to lift weights while sun tanning and hoping to be discovered by a Hollywood talent scout.

This slide, and many more just like it, was taken by Mr. Sheffield, the drama teacher at San Pedro High School. While showing a slide of him during a slide show he was recognized. A woman screamed out of the audience and said “That’s the drama teacher at San Pedro high School, and I’m the drama teacher there now!” It was a magic moment. So I said “What can you tell us about Mr. Sheffield?” She hesitated for a moment and said “Well, he lived at home with his mother and he never married!”

Here’s to the man feeling cool ocean breezes, Mr. Sheffield and you!

Charles Phoenix,
Los Angeles

Visit Charles’ site, God Bless Americana, or join his Yahoo Group.

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