Here is just one of many stories posted.
So many great stories you've got to read. But if you could only read one. This one really summed the tone of all of them.
Santa Cruz has a certain magic about it. It is the jewel of the bay area where I have lived my entire life. Santa Cruz is what I call the place you go "to make it without having to fake it" There is a certain spirit or pride and individualism that set it apart. A community appeal. Where you show your "scars" actual and figurative with comfort as they simply are.
Growing up we often lose that, and when I feel a bit too jaded or as though I want to run from the Bay Area or CA I make the short drive through the windy road that is highway 17 to Santa Cruz. Instantly I feel a sense of calm and belonging.
I fall in love or appreciate my home all over again as though seeing it through virgin eyes. Some people have a love affair with San Francisco, but for me Santa Cruz is the epicenter. Where everything falls into place and feels effortless and perfect.
So naturally when leisurely watching American Idol I saw a contestant from Santa Cruz my eyes and ears took notice. I listened to the background story; foremost of a young man that like me was unemployed due to a layoff. The tears and frustration in his eyes were ones I knew all too well.
The heartfelt and pure love between him and his fiancee and family was also something so endearing. Again the things I know deep down are most important, and really do exist all coming from a community I admire so much. I have been fighting my own battles and been gloomy. Stepping outside myself and seeing this has been incredibly lifting and motivating...
So I am watching a fairy tale of sorts come true. So fitting it is Santa Cruz. This is where dreams come true. No earthquakes, economic hard times or any other worries can keep it from building or rebuilding stronger.
James represents Santa Cruz so perfectly. With a grace, humility, and tenacity that we all can learn from. Not just ones with dreams of fame but those of us just wanting to make it. So look to Santa Cruz. You can survive and be who you are with no regrets.
- Shelby Baker, Foster City