Not Past It - Tricky Dick Saves the Beach


Surfing the ultimate extreme sport carving through roaring waves and soaring through ripping water.

And for a lot of people, it’s not just a sport, it’s a spiritual experience.

A lot of times, do you had this feeling in the morning?


When there’s no wind and it’s perfect glass, and you would just sit there and these thoughts would go through your mind.

Whether they be religious or just deep peace of mind, this is Bob martien or babo.


And as a Southern California Native he found this piece of mind while surfing and one of the most idyllic beaches in the country lower trestles.

Well Brussels is special like Malibu is special and what makes trestles good is it was shaped in kind of a point.


And just created naturally a perfect way for Surfers.

A better way of faster way.

It was just the perfect Wave by Serendipity with its long rolling.


Waves, teal Waters and Crystal coves lower trestles is crooned about and songs and is featured in full spreads and Surfer magazines.

But back in the 50s and 60s, this Choice Beach was off-limits.


We couldn’t go on the beach.

But back, in those days, we paddle up there and we know we don’t belong there and we know we can’t go on the beach.

We did, we hit the surf, surf surf, don’t lose your surfboard.

Hopefully paddling from a non restricted area to lower trestles Bobbo made the journey often there’s a part of you that’s excited that you know, you’re doing something we’re not.


To be doing but you’re getting away with it like this one time when he was 12 years old Bobbo, and his friend.

Jim were surfing a wave, knocked him over and the surfboard drifted onto the beach.

So they had to get Jim’s mom to help them out.


And then I went with Jim and his mother to go retrieve his surfboard to get it back.

That meant a half hour ride, Inland where the US military held the board in custody, The Marines at Camp Pendleton to be specific, nice clean Green Grass, and buildings with white trim all and you know, they get free labor out of those Marine when they arrived.


Jim’s mom had to sign all these documents saying that her son would never surf at lower trestles.

Again, blah blah, blah stuff. 12 year olds, don’t understand.

Then an officer walked the group to a warehouse opened it up and said your surfboards in here.


Go find it.

Well, we all go in, we’re trying to help them find surfboard, the it was helter-skelter in there, they were, would surfboards phloem surfboards colored surfboards, plane surfboard they’re just a big mixed bag of like popcorn.


In total, Baba thinks there were probably about 50 or 60 confiscated boards at Camp Pendleton during this visit alone.

So it seemed like the military had the upper hand, but the Surfers weren’t going to let the perfect waves crash without a fight, so they kept sneaking onto the beach.


No matter if the Marines took their boards and that’s what life was like at lower trestles for years.

But she blond hair do’s versus jarheads Until this clash between the Surfers and the military escalated to the highest office in the country.


From gimlet media.

This is not passed it a show about the stories.

We can’t quite leave behind.

I’m Simone, palana, and Surfers, and the American Military for years.

This unlikely, pair squabbled, over a delicious slice of SoCal Beach 52 years ago.


This week on August 25th 1978, this hostile standoff got political raising the question.

Jen, who did the beach really belong to?

And what does public land really mean, we’ll get to the point after the break Point Break.


Get it.

Tucked away in San Diego County, California trestles.

That forbidden Beach that the military and Surfers are fighting.

Over is a surf spot.


Like no other located on the northern part of San onofre Beach, really.

It’s a living Paradise.

It literally looks like a Corona beer ad with pillowy sand, surrounded by bamboo and sprinkled with grass Huts.


The Beach Boys, even crooned about the beach and they’re 1963.

Mega hit Surfin u.s.a.

Actually, they shouted out twice once for trestles, and once for San onofre, because it is home to some of the best waves in the world, San onofre is considered The Crucible of modern day surfing, so this lifestyle living on the beach grass.


Shacks, surfing all day playing ukulele had night and Bohemian lifestyle.

Really sprung up there.

That’s Steve long.

Former superintendent of the speech and San onofre has a lot of history.

In fact, for nearly 10,000 years native Californians.


Like the AHA Chemin would camp at the beach every summer to fish and commune with the ocean in the mid-30s surfing landed on this beach soon.

It became the destination for wave writers but all of that changed when the u.s. entered into World War 2, December 7. 1941 a date, which will live in infamy.


United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked during World War 2, the United States established Camp Pendleton.

It’s the largest Marine training facility on the west coast, covering about 125,000 acres and 17 miles of Coastline including San onofre and trestles.


They use the beachfront to train for amphibious Landings, like the kind you’d see in those big world war two movies.

At the end of the war Surfers.

Come back.

They got a little money in their pocket.

Hey, let’s go back down to the beach and they set up the Shacks again and started surfing.


And it was a pretty wild west phenomena, bon fires, blazed people, slept on the beach.

A Bohemian lifestyle thrived still trestles was very much under the jurisdiction of the Marines at Camp Pendleton.


And the commanding officer was not happy with what was going on down there and threatened to close it down there.

We’re going to restrict all access.

This would have been a disaster for the Surfers to be cut off from some of the best waves in the country, nay, the world.


Luckily, there were a few upstanding citizens in the area who had an idea, well, but together club and we will regulate membership and control how many people can Come in here, will pick up the trash, we’ll build some pictorial, has that way.


The military wouldn’t have to manage the Ruckus and a small group of surfers could use the beach for leisure.

So they brought the idea to the military and that seemed to be satisfactory to the military, the commanding officer at Camp Pendleton, agreed to give the club access to San onofre, except for lower trestles and in 1952 the San onofre surfing Club began.


Formerly meeting the first few years got off to a rocky start but by the end of the 50s, the club was in full swing.

They enforced a membership quota collected dues and had a years-long waitlist.

And for most people in the club, it was Utopia the families that you’d eat together have events together.


Volleyball tournaments together, every parent was a lifeguard for everybody else’s kids, so it’s really a safe beat.

And you just grew up with confidence.

That’s babo again.

We heard him talk about sneaking into lower trestles as a youngster at the top of the episode.


Back in the day his family belonged to the San onofre surfing club and he says everyone there was equal.

Men are just in their trunks, you’re not special and everybody just became the same.

You know there was no hierarchy equal though individualized there was a pocket of beach for each little.


Unity and the club one for the old men, to read, books & gab, one to play volleyball, and one dress for dog lovers, but lower trestles was still off limits.

Members and non-members alike snuck in causing friction with the Marines.


So they responded by posting up at the beach and confiscating boards.

Just like we heard at the top of the show.

Some Surfers.

Even remember being beaten with billy clubs by Marines when their boards washed up on Lower trestles.

So yeah it was a pretty big problem for both the Surfers and the military as tensions.


Rose and surfboards piled up in that warehouse at Camp Pendleton.

Some members of the club feared that the military would revoke their agreement entirely if something didn’t change and the situation continued to escalate when in Nine an unexpected dick, popped up at the beach, a tricky dick.


That is, I want to say this to the television audience because people have got to know whether or not their presidents, a crook.

Well, I’m not a crook for most people, former President.

Richard Nixon is known best for Watergate.

Well, did you also know?


Dick was a proud and true Californian?

That’s right.

In fact, when he became president and 1969, he set up shop at what was called the Western White House and San Clemente a little Spanish Village By the Sea that butts up right against trestles and Camp Pendleton from this spanish-style Hacienda, Nixon conducted official business, even welcoming several heads of state.


But all this official business only made the issues with the Surfers even more contentious out with many going further north to Huntington Beach.

They’re afraid.

Don’t care for military police and Secret Service men always asking questions.


So Secret Service was buzzing around the area and their black suits, keeping the beach on even tighter lockdown.

Talk about the ultimate Vibe killer because Nixon and his wife Pat or all about that beach life.

Thank you, mr.


President, and the first lady waiting for that walk.

Now, do you think I understand out of the corner of my eye that she might be the first couple loved strolling along, San onofre and their wing tip shoes and loafers, but the rocket power kids might call Total.

Shoob, he’s and there’s a story that on one of these walks with the president.


The first lady came up with an idea to share her love of the beach.

Some say that it was Pat.

Nixon’s said to him, this would be wonderful to open this up as Art for all people.

Whether the story is real or not but is true is that this little contentious slice was on the fast track to becoming a key part of Nixon’s Pet Project called Legacy of parks program.


The legacy of parks program, surveyed and transferred underutilized Federal lands to State and local governments.

So that people throughout the us could enjoy more parks and outdoor space.

Pat Nixon even did a nationwide tour for the program in 1971.


Always young children here today and I think of what fun they’re going to have here.

Voting enjoying the beauties of this River camping hiking playing baseball.

This focus on Recreation was also linked to what Nixon hoped would have been his crowning.


Presidential achievement cleaning up the environment for all Americans, which is what led to the creation of the Environmental Protection, Agency word got out.

That a part of Camp Pendleton was on a short list to become state land, and it was like a third Challenger, entered the ring in the battle for San onofre, the Surf, Club the military.


And now of all the people in the world, President Nixon, after the break the battle over the beach gets gnarly, and will jump the shark into the politics of beach life.


Cowabunga my dudes before the break, we learned all about the beef between the military and the Surfers, their handshake agreement to share.

The beach was hanging on by a thread.

When President, Richard Nixon showed up and proposed that the land be transferred to the state, which tied directly into the legacy of parks programs.


So the president was all about opening up San onofre, but not everyone was on board.

So the Marines are not real keen on giving up.


They were kind of in a tough spot Nixon’s frustration, over coordinating the land transfer with the military was even captured and one of his staticky secret recordings.


It’s hard to make out but the tape says we’re having problems with the armed services committee and shaking some of this military land loose.

So let’s just say the military was not budging on Nixon’s idea.


As for the Surf Club, they wanted to keep the beach exclusive and not have just any Tom Dick or Harry on the beach clogging up the good swells and taking over their little Utopia.

And lucky for them.

They had a secret weapon an Insider at the Nixon Administration.


Babosos dad, Bob mardian Senior we call them that’s me and my brothers, the bald eagle.

The bald eagle was a member of the San onofre surfing club.

And he also just happened to be Assistant Attorney General for the Nixon Administration and Back in 1970, he was the club’s best shot at Getting through to the president for in my father.


Anyway, he thought it would be prudent to approach things and so he can see this kind of will rounded mix that are taken care of this beach.

This is Tom Craig, his father was actually the president of the San onofre surfing Club at the time.

So they got the bald eagle to coordinate a meeting with President Nixon and on August 25th 1978 a handful of San onofre surfing club members met on the lon.


Western White House to convince Nixon.

Not to make the beach, public Tom and his father were there.

I think I was 19 years old.

I was a little nervous at first, you know, going through the gate at the Western White House and everything, but my dad was all dressed up in a suit.


I had my Hawaiian shirt on and sunglasses.

Everything that was very much.

The vibe older balding, men in suits and young long-haired blond people and Surfer garb There were handshakes and polite discussion.

But this wasn’t just a meet and greet, the club members brought an honorary membership to butter up.


The President Nixon wasn’t a surfer per se but he did own a surf board.

It was a gift from one of his daughters, and that’s kind of the joke.

It Nixon’s got a surfboard.

Hey, let’s make him an honorary member of the Surplus or maybe he’ll see our side of the story and not make it public.


Now that he had the membership, everyone had to wait and see that the president would maintain the status quo or open up the beach to the public by the spring of 1971.

His decision was announced.

The president announced today.


The six miles of military beachfront property at Camp, Pendleton will be turned over to California for States.

Talk to your point with a big Breakers.

Role is being transferred from the Marines to public swimming today.

The president turned that beach back.

To the citizens, as the first of a series of turned backs of underused, military property, who recreational purpose.


President Nixon declared that San onofre would become a state Beach, a 50-year lease for the land was secured from the military at a steel.

The state would pay just $1 for the entire contract.

That means only 2 cents a year.


But here’s the thing, neither the military, nor the Surf Club ever had any chance apparently tricky.

Dick, had his own hidden agenda here, Steve long again.

Nixon’s already thinking about his future, he’s expecting to be elected for a second term and then all presidents need to have a location for a Presidential Library.


Now, presidents aren’t supposed to build their libraries on land.

That is federally owned, but if it was State Property, well, then he could build whatever he wanted.

So he formed a committee that included, many of the famous names that later went on to Watergate Fame and they come This conclusion that if it’s not part of the military base they can, in fact, put a Presidential Library there.


So everything seemed to be coming up Nixon with the beach transferring to state land years later.

All of us would fall apart after he resigned in disgrace, because of Watergate.

By the way, Bob goes dad.

The bald eagle got convicted in Watergate to though he was later, exonerated and Nixon’s.


The library landed about 40 miles, Inland to Yorba Linda so it wasn’t all benevolence when it came to the beach still Nixon.

Secret agenda, wasn’t the biggest issue.

There’s a 1971 ABC, Special Report showing Pat Nixon giving a speech to open up a historic park in Minnesota.


She’s got her big yellow hair, her perfectly pink dress or String of Pearls.

She’s there to promote the leg.

See of parks program, the same deal that created San onofre State Beach.


Behind the audience.

Pat Nixon was informed that a small group of Native American demonstrators were protesting the transfer of land over Indians who were protesting the giving back of the property to the state which means of course, to the state bacon, Enjoy it as well as any other citizen but apparently makes a fair point if you completely ignore American history.


And I don’t know, just like basic context and San onofre similar issues were at stake.

We have these tremendous tremendous ties to the land, you know, like it’s our experiences Indian people, that’s Rebecca Robles, she’s a member of the Hoffman tribe, on her, mother’s side, the same.


Group that used the beach for 10,000 years to fish and commune with the ocean.

And she’s an advisor for the San onofre Parks Foundation along with Steve long.

The former Beach superintendent to be the people of the land and know where the sacred sites are know, where the burials are know where the power places are know, what plants can be used.


No, the ocean, you know, we, we also were ocean people so it’s not like we can put it in a box and say, Our history, it’s in a book over there, you know, we’re a part of it, where the living part of it for eons, the native peoples, not only lived as a part of the land they took care of it long before any Surfers or the military showed up.


First explorer, said it looked like a garden when they got here, you know, that it looked like attended Garden.

Aha, Sherman fished for Bass and trout built boats from Reeds and like many The other tribes in the area they harvested Chia Yuca and acorns a sustainable way of life.


I think that’s why it’s important to look at how the you know, the Native Americans lived so long, ten thousand years at least and not destroy everything.

Then and 1769 Spanish, explorers established a mission system, and enslaved, native peoples.


And what is now California from their slavery and the mission system, ravaged their way of life.

And when the mission system ended, the land was turned into a ranch.

The Hashem and were left with little choice but to work there.

But the real Calamity came when gold was discovered in the northern part of the territory in 1848 people flooded in from all around the world and it was a destruction of culture, destruction of religion.


And the second governor he said my goal is to rid.

California of the Venom of the Indian people, local governments, even offered bounties for native peoples.

For example and Shasta County, five dollars was offered for every native Californian head turned in by the end of the Gold Rush.


Only 15% of the Native Californian population was left.

Some of those remaining were the AHA Shaman who continued to work on the ranch.

Up until the military showed up in the 1940s.

So many of our tribal members lived on, that, ranch, grew up on that ranch worked at Ranch and some of our elders, you know, like the people in their 80s, 70s 60s.


They remember living up there on the ranch after the war was over, Rebecca says, the state government did seem to acknowledge the Native Claims to the land and then late 1860s, the state of California paid Indian people like a check in compensation for the land loss.


My family refused to even get checks and we refused to cash the checks, then in the 1970s and 80s and the wake of the Civil Rights Movement, an entirely new attitude began to develop, it was like a Renaissance for a California Indian culture.


You know, there was a Revival of songs Sarah.

Only language and then are seeking Federal recognition.

And so you ask what happened to us?

We’re still here.

So considering all of this.


It’s especially disconcerting.

When we think about what happened in 1971, as Nixon, the state, the military and the Surf Club were fighting over the beach.

Rebecca says, the AHA Chemin the original people of the land were never consulted.


I’ve never talked to anybody about it, but what I think they would have just thought, oh well, the government’s doing something else so I don’t think that they were involved in it at all.

Since 1971, there have been improvements to the relationship between the first peoples and the government.


Rebecca says Camp.

Pendleton has contacted the tribe.

When remains need to be re buried tribal, meetings and celebrations are held at the State Beach Sinai.

The museum includes traditional language and the Millennia of stewardship continues something that Rebecca and many of her tribal members.


See as their Duty part of our cosmology is said as the people of the land, as the people who have, you know, like are able to speak and have this power to walk around and make decisions that we have, we carry responsibilities to take care of it today.


A new problem has emerged with the Beach.

The 50-year lease that Nixon enacted just expired in 2021.

A temporary agreement has been secured in the short term but it’s not clear.

If another 50-year lease will be signed.

If Elise is renewed, the military is federally required to charge the actual value of the property.


That means the one dollar price tag will likely shoot up to 250 million dollars per year which the state of California might not be able.

To afford.

So, while the future of the park is unclear, this could be a new opportunity for reparations.


This is a unprecedent time for land Bap.

That’s what I’m thinking.

Why not give land back to the hashman.

People in other places, it’s happening.

Is this an opportunity for that is an opportunity for justice?




Why not now, When we first drove into this story, I was expecting this charming tale of a SoCal Community fighting for their Beach.


All with an unexpected, celebrity appearance by Richard Nixon as the unlikely savior of surf and to an extent it is just that until you start to zoom out and see that this story is woven into a larger one.

But this piece of land has a far-reaching history.


So asking the question, who does this land belong to the Marines, the Surfers, the general public without consulting that history?

It’s an incomplete question.

Perhaps like Rebecca says there’s an opportunity now to include the people that were overlooked in the 70s, the descendants of the original people and to use the lands expansive history, as a guide for what happens next, It’s a new dawn for trestles.


A new wave is crashing onto its Shores.

Why fight it when you can surf it Not passed it as a Spotify original produced by gimlet and zsp media.


This episode was produced by Julie Carly next week.

We’re going on a domino Journey that starts at the first Opium War and ends on the Silver Screen.

The rest of our team is associate, producer, remotely Philip.


Laura Newcombe is our production assistant.

The supervising producer is Erica Morrison editing by Brittany loose and Andrea be Scott fact-checking by Jane, Ackerman sound design and mixing by Emma Monger, original music, by Sachs kicks, Ave Willie, Green, Jay bless and Bobby.

Lord, our theme song is Toko Liana by Coco, Co with music supervision by Liz Fulton, technical Direction by Zach Schmidt show art by Elysee Harvin, and Talia Rahman.


The Get a producer at CSP media.

Exact Stewart Ponte the executive producer from gimlet.

This Matt schulze special, thanks to Chris Altus.

Don Craig Mario.

Cuevas are a saint ioan Mike Gautier.

Willie pink Ryan Pettigrew.

The Nixon library and to Lydia Pole Green Abbie ruzicka, Dan Behar, Jen hon, Emily wiedemann, Liz Styles, Ella, Walsh and Joshua Bianchi follow not past it.


Now, to listen, for free exclusively on Spotify, click the little bell next to the follow button to get Notifications for new episodes and while you’re there.

Hey, why don’t you write as 5 Stars?

You can follow me on Twitter at Simone palana and thanks for hanging.

We’ll see you next week.


And would you say that Nixon is the patron saint of surfing?

These are what the patron saint of Surfing.

No, is anyone in here?

Believed that Nixon is the patron, saint?


No, no.

These are what the patron saint of Surfing.

No, is anyone in here?

Believed that Nixon is the patron, saint?

No, no.

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