Another "For Sale" sign, and no, not my house this time. It's my cousin Suzanne's place on Broad Beach. And while that sounds so very la-di-da what with the mansions and mega-mansions that have taken over that stretch of sand, it's actually the opposite.
Suzanne, who passed away in May, would have turned 101 next month. She moved into her '50s-era bungalow in 1971 and stayed for 40 years. She never changed a thing. (Seriously, check out the kitchen.)
She and her husband bought the place when Malibu was the boonies. She'd tell us stories about looking a quarter mile down the beach in either direction without seeing another light, as the houses were sparse and far apart.
Today, a quarter mile of darkness can still separate the houses at night, but that's because most of Broad Beach is second and third homes. As for Suzanne's lateral view, it pretty much vanished as the houses around her modest cottage were built up and out.
Suzanne was sharp and engaged until the very end, always one of the funniest people I knew. She'd sit at the head of the '60s patio table in her living room, read the news and manage her business investments,
A liberal and a populist, she was baffled by her neighbors' urge to barricade the beach and declined to donate to the dune buggy bullies who rode the sand, keeping the hoi polloi at bay.
So with the sale of this 1950s outpost on Broad Beach, perhaps the last original structure there, we're losing a beloved Broad Beach original.
And I don't just mean the house.