By Tom Marshall
Whether something is historic or just something that is old, is a relative thing.
We in the San Clemente Historical Society have spent much of our 50 years crusading to preserve the city’s first buildings. The 203 structures still standing that we call historic “Ole Hanson” buildings were built in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
When I explained this to my niece, Liz Dubrulle, she broke out laughing. Liz is a staff member of the New Hampshire State Historical Society. Apparently, they don’t focus much on buildings that aren’t of the Revolutionary War era.
It’s much the same in most East Coast states, as I observed during a recent trip back there. In Virginia, for instance, tourists flock to Historic Colonial Williamsburg. Unfortunately, what used to be a quaint authentic town of the 1770s, complete with costumed volunteers, is now overrun by tourists and trinket shops.
Down the road, though, Yorktown, Virginia was better. The Yorktown battlefield is still a highlight, as is the shoreline. On the grassy town square, the local symphony orchestra was giving a free concert.
With the lunchtime temperature at 81 degrees, I wondered what would our managing editor, Shawn Raymundo, do? (Remember, last year, he did an in-depth story on San Clemente brew pubs).
So, we entered a tavern that offered more than 50 types of beer on draft. I noticed that one of the handles said “S’mores.”
I asked the bartender, “That’s just the company’s name, right? It’s not really beer made from s’mores?”
She replied, “It is beer with chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker flavors.”
Decide for yourself if this sounds good.
She gave my wife, Dominique, and me a small taste. Here are the results of our two-person taste test. Dominique (who doesn’t like beer) said, “I like it. It’s good.”
I (no stranger to beer), said, “I think I’m going to throw up!”
You see, beer, like history is a matter of opinion. One person’s historic object is another person’s S’mores beer. Just don’t give up tasting life.
Our thirst for traveling is now redoubling, as Dominique and I make up for lost time during the pandemic.
Since we are doubling our national and international trips, I am resigning from the Historical Society’s board of directors and all my duties, including writing this column.
I’d like thank Shawn, Publishers Norb and Alyssa Garrett and all the fine folks at Picket Fence Media for allowing me to author this column the past five years. I’m sure someone else will step in and keep the flame of history alive.
Dominique and I can’t wait to see what adventure lies around the next bend in the road. See ya’!Tom Marshall is a member of the San Clemente Historical Society and a retired journalist.