I lived in Ventura many years ago, in my late teens and early twenties. What I’ve always noticed about it is that it could be a cool city but it’s not. It seems depressed, and there are a lot of empty shops on Main Street. I’ve wondered why it never became another Santa Barbara. It’s on the ocean, the climate is wonderful (cool most of the time). It seems like the perfect place for hip to set up shop, but hip has gone elsewhere, leaving Ventura to its thrift stores and its bars.

Cathy said it’s because it’s a very conservative town, and then there are the gangs. It’s right next door to Oxnard. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it, but Ventura just never lived up to its potential, in my opinion. I’ve occasionally thought I could live here, were I to move back to California (before I met Frank) and then thought twice. No . . . it’s a nice place to walk through for a hour, but it just has this down-on-its-luck feeling I wouldn’t want to spend too much time around.

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