Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's time for the grunion!

Grunion run. The name still makes me giggle, because it was always fun to see and has such a funny name.

What is a grunion run?

This time of year in San Pedro, mill-ee-uns and mill-ee-uns of these tiny little fish wash onto the sand on oncoming waves, spawn and wash back out. Crowds of people line the beach to watch. Some are down at the waterline scooping baby-food jars full of them for science projects. I did it in elementary school a few times, for classes and my girl scout troop.

Now, you have to have a fishing license to catch them. Didn't used to. But it didn't really become an event until John Olguin started teaching about it.

30 years ago, Olguin seemed an old man to me. He's almost 90, now. A native Pedroid and born there in 1921. I loved going on field trips to Cabrillo to get learnin' from him. He had an accent, even though he was born here. I don't know where his family was from. But it made it so you had to listen carefully to what he was telling you about, really had to listen because the stuff was so cool. Like, the critters who make little holes in the rocks around San Pedro harbor are pittas. Weird that I would remember it, but I remember more HOW he said it than what he said about them.

To the grunion!

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