Linnie Aikens Arts and Letters • HeART Haven Studios

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“William Hearst Memorial Beach,” (previously known as San Simeon State Beach), CA


William R. Hearst built his glorious castle upon the hill above the cove established in his memory in 1953, as well as the dock leading out to sea from this cove in 1957.  We had grown up with the “Patty Hearst kidnapping” and all that followed being lived out in our time, so we were all familiar with the name. I had visited the castle when I was in my teens, traveling the hour-long journey from the coast inland up to his hilltop mansion.    There was, and still is, open land or ocean surrounding it for miles in all directions. I remember feeling overwhelmed at the ostentatiousness of luxury, and even more incredulous to discover that the inside of the pool was inlaid with 24 karat gold.  Why?  Were there not enough starving children to feed in our own country, much less around the world?  Even before cable and satellite T.V. and the internet (we still had one of those tube TVs built into a wood console!), we knew that there was a whole world in need out there. 



Today I sit in the cove: “William Hearst Memorial Beach,” and I look up at the blind of towering Eucalyptus trees he had planted there before I was born--trees over 60 years old at least.  These trees, with their elegant pale trunks stretching almost sensuously into the sky....nothing at the castle would ever rival their beauty.


Eucalyptus trees remind me of my mother, BJ.— slender and graceful, masking an indomitable will and strength, yet illusive in spirit as the breeze that blows through their tinkling coarse leaves.  They, like my mother, are a paradox.....and undeniably, art in motion.


She and my father used to love coming to San Simeon State Beach, and today I understand why. 


Hearst was only added to the state park name in 2007.


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