What the Beach Ball in Newport Beach Has to Do With Challenges

beach ball at newport pier

The Beach Ball in Newport Beach is a landmark.

A standing practice on Friday night when I was in my 20s was whether I could kick persuade a guy to move off a particular bar stool at the Beach Ball in Newport Beach, CA. I’m not sure if there was any better time to be a young adult than in the 1970s in Newport Beach, before everything became so developed, and many of the wetlands were still just wetlands, and you could find a place to park with ease. At that time, I was an escrow officer, and my escrow office was on Lido Island. Every Friday night, my girlfriends and I would go out to listen to music around Newport Beach and, invariably, we would end up at the end of the evening at the Beach Ball at the Newport Pier.

Being goofballs in search of adventure, my girlfriends and I used to take bets and make up challenges for ourselves. Like the day we removed all of the living room furniture from a stranger’s apartment and placed it on the sand at Balboa Pier in broad daylight. But we were just kids, doing kid things because it made us laugh. Our imaginations did not stop us and, in fact, they encouraged us to do truly outrageous things. Stuff that rule abiders probably can’t fathom.

When I first entered the Beach Ball in Newport Beach, I quickly sized up the best spot to sit to watch the musicians, which about the 5th bar stool from the wall in the front row. It was like making up my own game to seize that bar stool. I enjoy challenges. Probably good training for my career today, selling Sacramento real estate. My method was to approach the person sitting there, which fortunately for me was almost always a person of the opposite sex, and talk him into giving me his bar stool. And I always got it. Without fail. Whomever occupied that seat would vacate and offer it to me.

The downside, though, just so you know, is when you always win at the same thing, after a while the self-imposed challenges it used to present are not so exciting anymore. You have to fail to succeed every now and then to keep things interesting — not that I prefer adversity because I do not.

Yet, I never forgot the concept of location. Optimum placement equals optimum experience. It’s just put to better use today in my travels and in selling Sacramento real estate.

I am reminded of this blip on my radar right now because my team member and buyer’s agent extraordinaire Josh Amolsch just came back to Sacramento from a cruise that stopped in Long Beach on the way to Ensenada. He and his charming girlfriend caught an Uber in Long Beach to Huntington Beach and then rode bicycles down the oceanfront into Newport Beach, finally all the way to the Balboa Pier. Along the way, he stopped to shoot a photo of the Beach Ball in Newport Beach for me. Even after 40 years, it still looks the same. It’s one of those landmarks that might never change. Thanks, Josh.


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