Posts Tagged ‘history’

First Year on La Playa

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

In our third installment of Forging Community, Colin Fahrion shares an old photo from 1990 illuminating a brief glimpse on Balsa Man’s early years.

Balsa Man 1990, aka Zonelet Jaunt #4 (photo #2b030 by Mike Mike)

Balsa Man 1990, aka Zonelet Jaunt #4 (photo #2b030 by Mike Mike)

Yep that’s us—bone-tired with “what the fuck are we doing here?” looks on our faces. It was 1990 and the first time we took Balsa Man to the place Mike Mike and the Susurrus Coterie called the Zonelet, a little beach still inside San Francisco city limits yet completely removed from the Big Wide World.

Mike Mike took the photo if I remember. He was happy as a clam that day, gallivanting across the sand, but the rest of us were exhausted from trudging the Balsa Man across 1800′ of shifting sand from the parking lot to the north side of la playa. Of course, the Balsa Man was quite a bit bigger back then, which is why we needed the Ryder truck.

Over the years, we’ve continuously shrunk the scale and the Balsa Man has become much easier to carry. Back then in 1990 the scale was 1/5th, making the Balsa Man a whopping 8 foot tall!

Still we did it. Mike Mike draw a line in the sand, and then we all held hands, stepped across the line, and lumbered down the beach. The rest is history. The Zonelet turned out to be the perfect place for Balsa Man—much better than my backyard ever was.

See you all at Balsa Man 2010!

Welcome to the “Forging Community” Blog Series

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Welcome to Forging Community, an ongoing Balsa blog series that peers through the unique microscopic lens of Balsa Man to explore the nature of small communities, how they form, their design and their impact on the larger metropolis. You are encouraged to join the discussion by adding your own thoughts and ideas as post comments.

We start this series with a look back in time an artifact from the early days of Balsa Man. This was from first year the event was on the beach instead of some guy’s backyard. It moved there after he almost caught his house on fire. It’s hard to believe Balsa Man has such a rich and long history for such a small little guy—it’s even harder to believe they only asked for 15¢!

First Balsa Man Flyer

Stay tuned to the Balsa Blog Forging Communities series for more artifacts of Balsa Man past and a look at how small creative communities form, grow, and support each other amongst the chaos and alienation of a large metropolis.