Sunday, August 6, 2017

PCC 2017 Pt. 2: Just Like I Remembered You.

The black Nova sped down the street and pulling into the parking lot, stopped its engine.

The dark-haired 17-year-old opened the car door and started walking towards the restaurant entrance.

He wore boots, Levi 501's, and an apron over his shirt so the splatter of crab entrails wouldn't permanently stain his clothes.

As he walked, the sun that bore into his eyes was just the kind that people stuck in high-rises dream of seeing someday.

The salted air was crisp but would, without much resistance, give way to a high of 75.

Across the street, the sand caught the few waves that the surfers missed.

The young man shoved open the doors and headed to the back of the restaurant.

It was 1975.

Business as usual at Neptunes Net, Malibu California.

And my dad was just starting his shift.

Dad Avendano:

"I was working at Dolly's coffee shop when Paul and Dolly bought Neptunes Net. They asked me if I would swap over to the new restaurant. I said yes. I didn't realize this meant a 17-mile trip every work day. But I took the job, even though I didn't know what kind restaurant it was either. 
The first time I walked in, I was amazed by the live crab and lobster tanks. 

The rest is history as they say. I worked there for 3 years. 

Work consisted mostly of taking orders and selling shrimp, clams, and crabs. We dropped the unsuspecting crabs into boiling water. After they were done being cooked, we would take the legs and claws off, crack them and serve them on a plate. 

These are some pictures I had from my work at the restaurant. 

These are local California Rock Crabs.

We called these Spider-Crabs.

These are buckets of clams and shrimp.

Me holding a Rock Crab.

I mostly worked afternoons, so I spent most summer mornings surfing off the coast of Malibu with my buddies, which was just across the street. 

Sometimes I surfed at Ventura beach, where I could look right across the beach and see the fairgrounds, and the building where PCC is currently held. 

40 years later, I have a different perspective. 

I'm on the inside now, looking out at the beach. 

I wouldn't trade this view for anything."

As we drove past Neptunes Net, it was a similar narrative to this that played through my head.

Some things stay the same with time. 

Others join that chosen lot of items that continue to improve each year they're alive. 

Kinda like this NSX that we saw.

Which has recently been introduced in the new 2017 version, just like this one I saw parked in the Dairy Queen parking lot in McMinnville (yes, we gets a sports car every once in a while too).

Mike, if you're reading my blog, I would love to take a ride in your car.

I won't scratch it or anything. I'll take my shoes off and wear gloves.


While Caleb and I finished the drive to Ventura, our parents were getting to our Airbnb in Oxnard.

It was a lovely little place, just across the way from the beach.

At first glance, there were two things I immediately noticed.

The sweet green cabinets and the real wood floor.

My parent's room.

Caleb and I shared a room. But thank the Lord, we had separate beds.

We only share a bed at WCC. 

It's more special that way. And less hazardous to our survival. 

Because of all the airport craziness I talked about in my 1st PCC post, we didn't make it to the fairgrounds in time to catch the preaching but made it for the middle of the altar call. 

Bro. Ham had just finished preaching and it was beautiful to see all the young people praying up in the front.

I was reminded of something I wrote down in my journal, almost 10 years ago.

It explicitly and completely described my feelings as the service came to a close, and I started to see numerous friend's faces emerge from the crowd.

It went something like this:

"As I sit here pondering the great mysteries of the Incas, I recall a feeling... more like a hope, that resides within the boundaries of my head. 

The feeling... or hope, that one's friends whom one has known in times past,

have not changed."

And I was happy to see that they hadn't.


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