Folks ask me this question all the time… “What was your favorite part about growing up in Gearhart? Was it the quiet residential nature? Was it the beautiful scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Necanicum estuary? Was it spending time in the many forested and natural areas near the ridge path and Neacoxie creek?” I tell them the same answer every time: It was the people that I loved most about my hometown and it’s the people that continue to make Gearhart such a special community.
I have many fond memories growing up in the only home I’ve ever known. My parents built our house in 1975 and they still live there to this day on Fourth Street near the Ridge Path. It was a wonderful area of Gearhart to grow up in and I spent many a day exploring the wooded areas between the ridge path and the creek, riding my bike to the grocery store to buy some candy, or meeting friends at the corner gas station before heading to the beach. Maybe if I saved enough of my allowance I could even ride to the bowling alley for one of their famous slices of homemade pie, marionberry and chocolate cream being my two favorites.
A lot of the things that I enjoyed about those days have changed a bit. There is no gas station on the corner any longer, and the grocery store and bowling alley are under new ownership. Some of the wooded areas around my parent’s house have been cleared to build homes. The character of parts of Gearhart has changed.
But then I remember why I loved Gearhart so much back then and I why I love it even more today. It’s “the people” that I remembered the most from my childhood. It was saying hello to John Blisset everyday at the gas station. It was chatting it up with Randy Curs at the grocery store as he was eyeing how much candy I was about to bring home. Or it was passing by our neighbors like Carol Lucas, Bob McEwan, and Bill Berg along the path.
How many times have you as a Gearhart resident had someone ask you on a trip where you are from, and you proudly exclaim “I’m from Gearhart, Oregon” and the person inevitably says, “Oh my gosh I love Gearhart!” “Do you know so and so” and “so and so”? And you say, “Yes, of course, they are my neighbors!” This has happened to me as well many times and it makes you realize that it’s the wonderful people we know that makes this community so special. Celebrating 100 years of the City of Gearhart is really about celebrating the special connections and relationships we have had with the people of Gearhart over these many years … and that is something that will never change.