Natalia and Kathryn interview each other.
Glitter gel pen poised at the ready, a little girl with bouncy blonde pigtails stared across the lunch table. “So,” she started, watching beads of sweat trickle off of her victim’s face, “what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” The girl’s partner jumped in: “And what’s your favorite topping?” At the ripe age of six, Natalia and Kathryn were seasoned journalists, passing off heated interrogations for “interviews.” They terrorized the playgrounds of Del Mar Heights Elementary School, scrounging up the juiciest stories from reviews of school plays to the inner lives of teachers, all for their very own newspaper – “The News Crew.” Having known and written with each other their entire lives, naturally Natalia and Kathryn continued their journalistic journey together into high school – becoming both writers and editors for the Torrey Pines High School paper, the Falconer. While their stories have certainly matured from the days of ice cream polls into writing about child homelessness and diversity in education, the root of their passion for journalism remains: an undying value for human connection and the art of storytelling. And, unsurprisingly, this value first surfaced from the interesting happenings and people of their hometown, Del Mar.
I moved to Solana Beach when I was 12, but for me, Del Mar will forever be home. Growing up here was an eternal summer: pizza slices from Sam’s, adventuring through the Torrey Pines extension, and days by the sea at Junior Lifeguards. Del Mar is where I learned how to write — really write — and so all of my pieces are an ode to this town and the lessons it has ingrained in me. I believe Del Mar’s true sunshine comes not from the weather, but in the people who reside here. The people whose stories it is my mission to share.
When I think of home, I think of the ocean. I think of my elementary school’s old bones and watching out for snakes in the grass. Home is watching my father chat with strangers on the street because he knows everyone in town. It’s the people that make it: Johnny-O who let us stow surfboards at his house, Betsy Schulz whose artwork colors our town. Home isn’t just the place I was raised in, it’s the people and experiences that have shaped who I am. They say we “write what we know,” and though I dream of writing about the world, one thing created that dream: my home.