Grady Banister, Orange County
Some of my fondest memories are triggered by the smell of wood smoke, salt air and the ocean.
Growing up in Orange County, for many of us as high school students, it was a summer ritual, to spend at least a few nights every summer gathered around the fire pits. Some of us wandered a little bit away to be with our girlfriends, most of us made new friends or talked with old friends about the future. All of us wanted to move to a beach city when we graduated. A few kids would bring beer, but we were pretty good at making sure the drinkers didn’t cause a problem or try to drive.
Romances started and ended, friendships became deeper, new ideas and dreams were spawned and summer days and vacations started and ended gathered around these pits.
It saddens me to think that the young people of Orange County could grow up without those memories. I’m sorry I don’t think the Air Quality Management District or anyone else for that matter could convince me that the fire pits produce more particulate pollution than a dozen other sources. Ever get behind one of those trucks filled with hot tar on the freeway? Wake up to the sound of backpack blowers at full throttle?
And to the beachfront homeowners, those fire pits were there when you purchased your home and you knew it. To rob the rest of us who all pay taxes to enjoy the beaches and memories of watching the sunset and spending the evening around a fire pit is a crime.