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A time capsule in Moss Beach

Open the plastic tub and the letters spill out, along with three family photographs and the cork from a single bottle of champagne.

“Dear whomever may have found this letter. … In reading our letters today I hope you realize how important family traditions and family vacations are. There is nothing more important than family. And as I begin my own family in 20-something days, I cherish the annual trips we made and look forward to bringing my children here one day. …”

The letters tell a story from six points of view. Together they form a free-verse love sonnet, retelling memories of each other and the hills above the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, where the tub was lovingly hidden not so long ago. A hiker ran across the plastic container and brought it to the Review office, thinking it might make a nice human-interest story. I accepted it, with the understanding that he would return it to its rightful place.

“This is a very special place (where) I can hear my kids’ voices laughing and giggling. My kids are now in their 20s and hopefully will bring their kids here. When I leave this earth, I want part of me to spend eternity here, playing with those little voices of my kids…”

The letters are all hand-written and clearly come from members of one tight family. They say the family started coming to the Coastside in the late 1980s and tell of child’s play in the ocean waves and adjacent wooded hills, where kids who are now adults remember days spent hunting for Dracula in what they called “Sherwood Forest.”

“We brought cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents here once or twice, but this is our special place. … We came here today to celebrate my 50th birthday and I came up with the time capsule idea in part to forever mark our special place. … In my heart, my four little kids will always be running and playing in this forest.”

The accompanying photos are from 1998 and 2012, respectively. Family photos sometimes withhold hidden secrets, but these are an open book. This is the kind of family that cherishes day trips with each other. You want your family to be like this family.

“Whoever is reading this, I want you to stop, look out at the water, take a deep breath and take it all in. This place is so amazing…”

It’s easy to forget. Sometimes it helps to see what is right before you through the eyes of people who do not call all this home.


Beautiful story. I think that mostof us appreciate what a special place we have, but it becomes easy to take it for granted if something doesn't remind us from time to time just how special. I hope we don't let it get away from us.

Just spoke to one of those smiling faces, Nicole Margullis. She's gone from being one of the kids in the picture to being a teacher in Elk Grove and she assured me her family wouldn't mind being outed in this way.

It's a wonderful thing to hear about her family and the way they used the Coastside as a place to bond. I'm so glad she doesn't mind me sharing.

And I promise to return the time capsule.

- Water difficult to get out of the tap, and sure doesn't taste good when it does flow.

- More all-night-barking, in-your-yard-defecating dogs than anywhere else on earth.

- Way too many smog-producing automobiles.

- Way too many renters willing to treat the rest of us like cr@p.

- Absolutely the most fantastic Pacific coast in the world!

- Easy access (well, it was until all those traffic lights on Hwy 1) to fantastic redwood walks (Purisima Creek Redwoods is the BEST anywhere!)!

Moss Beach? Love it or leave it! I would not leave it for a million dollars. Seriously!

Me either! The Bluff trails, the vistas of blue horizon, whales spouting in the late afternoon sunlight low on the horizon, seals basking on the beach or barking on the rocks, the fog drifting through the branched of the Cypress forest along the coast line above the Marine Reserve, oh, and the tidepools, foghorn and even the monthly test of the Tsunami Siren... the harbor a short distance away for a quick cup-o-chowder (Award winning) at P-S-C, where Magnus Johnson beckons us in the door.

...don't forget to add the above-mentioned cypress trees being whole sale eliminated by neighbors (without permit), morons off-roading everywhere, warplanes thundering overhead. Truly a paradise - minus the people. Give back Moss Beach to the seals!

I HATE cypress trees anywhere but at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (and I'd dump those too, if I had the authority!)!. They are non-native, limb-dropping, falling-over-in-our-Pacific-coast-storms, killing-anything-under-them, view-blocking, ugly-@$$ed trees that should be 100% removed from California, as should all the eucalyptus, palm, pampas grass, etc.

Give me a clear view to the coast and I'm in heaven!

Suggest you stay clear of Carmel or Big Sur. god awful ugly places, everyone aspire them like the plague..

I repeat, give me a clear view of the coast and I'm in heaven. I do not require non-native planting to make a view spectacular. In fact, I require just the opposite.

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