By John Charles Dyer, UK Correspondent
As a wee lad I had the opportunity to tour Disney Studios. A budding artist even at four, I enjoyed observing the then-studio cartoonists at work. On a later holiday- but still while in elementary school- my family and I were privileged to have Walt Disney’s flat at the top of the Fire Station in Disneyland all to ourselves for a long weekend. As I am sure all readers understand, the enthralled little boy in me still cherishes these memories.
I’ve had many enchanting experiences. I watched stars glint in a pristine dark night sky above Monte Toyon in the Santa Cruz mountains. I gazed down on the magnificent Yosemite Valley from Half Dome. I wandered the forests of mottled light that surround Patrick’s Point, seeking the Ewoks of my imagination. I held my breath watching wales breach the Pacific from Patrick's Point's sacred central rock. I soaked up the warm, jeweled nights of Nassau. I stood on the site of Bunker Hill in Boston. I walked Capitol Park in the Nation’s capitol. I toured the North and South East coasts of Cornwall.
I rode the route along the Fowey River to Lerryn which was one of the routes that inspired Wind in the Willows. I gazed on the Talland Bay from a bench within the soul refreshing graveyard of Talland Church. I photographed England’s breath taking cathedrals in Wells, Salisbury, Bristol, Exeter. I listened to Timothy Leary expound on LSD in the Raymond College Common Room. I’ve talked with Allen Ginsberg after enjoying the poetry of Jack Kerouac. I have experienced the force of nature who was Eric Hoffer.
I remember vividly lounging in the warm light that flooded the Common Room alcove, smiling at its fountain, my first morning at Raymond College, my Hogwarts. It reminded me of my great uncle’s cabin in the then undeveloped Santa Monica Hills, the tiny but truly "burbling" creek that wandered through the ferns that covered his hillside, the steep trail that led from the Cabin in which some of the 20th Century's great theologians had debated life.
But few experiences have been as magical as Whitby. To think, we only went to Whitby to avoid the crowds during the week of the British Open (which took place 200 yards from our home flat).
Whitby nestles into the North Yorkshire seaside, straddling the mouth of the Esk River.
(Left to Right Up: Whitby & Abbey from the Esk, Whitby along the Esk.)
(Left to Right, Whitby & Whitby Bay. Photos by John C. Dyer)
We stayed in a “self-catering” cottage, rented through Whitby Holiday Cottages.
(Left, Holiday Cottage,
By John C. Dyer)
Whitby has fantastic historical associations. The earliest documented English poet, Caedmon, lived and at worked at Whitby Abbey. The Abbey in its original form pre-dates the time of King Edwin of Northumbria. Edwin's daughter, St. Helena, became its Abbess.