Cyclone Racer 1
People on car 2
End of ride 3
Last Photos of the Pike
AT THE PIKE
Short Stories 1
LONG BEACH AND THE PIKE
The photo included here is Richard Dowdy,
Rainbow Lagoon, Summer of '48.
About Richard Dowdy
As a child, Richard
lived in Phoenix, Arizona, from where each summer his grandparents
would flee the desert heat and take him to Long Beach for three
months. This began in 1946. With Long Beach as the home base,
these summer vacations afforded Richard the opportunity
to spend a lot of time at the Pike, the beach, Rainbow Pier and
lagoon, the movie theaters, Pierpoint Landing and other nearby
When he moved with his parents to Encinitas, California in the
early '50s, Richard continued his visits to Long Beach with his
grandparents, which continued until about 1957. Richard, having
just discovered surfing, could not be persuaded to spend his
summers in Long Beach.
When it came time for college, Richard chose Long Beach State,
majoring in art, English and photojournalism. He lived with several
high school friends in Naples and renewed his visits to the Pike.
Having taken up photography, Richard was prescient enough to
realize that the "Nu-Pike" was in decline, and occasionally
began shooting photos of the remaining businesses and attractions.
Not realizing that the Pike would eventually disappear, Richard
shot not nearly as many pictures of the Pike as he now wishes
he had taken.
After graduation, Richard returned to Encinitas and went to work
for Surfboards Hawaii and Hansen Surfboards, eventually moving
from building boards to the position of Hansen's advertising
director. After several years, Richard was asked to become editor
of Surfing Magazine in Laguna, where he remained as editor and
art director for nearly eight years.
Following Surfing, Richard began to indulge his other passion,
auto racing, by creating a magazine devoted to radio-controlled
cars, based in Newport Beach. As a result, Richard began combining
his love of racecars and photography by covering auto races for
the magazine. In doing so, Richard has won awards for his racing
photography, focusing almost exclusively on open-wheel racing
(Indycars, Formula One) through the years.
While at the car magazine Richard heard from an old friend and
former co-worker from Surfing magazine, Chris Carter, who asked
him to write for a new TV series he created for Fox Television,
entitled The X-Files. Richard agreed, and went on to contribute
to the series. That led to his writing an encyclopedia of the
first four seasons on CD, entitled Unrestricted Access. Following
that project, Richard was hired by Fox to write the massive script
for X-Files, The Game, a seven-CD, live-action interactive game,
which has sold over a million copies worldwide.
Soon after, Richard joined with his wife, Nanette, in her graphic
design company, Studio 2055, as writer and art director. Located
in Carlsbad, California, the studio has been successful creating
corporate identities, ad campaigns, annual reports, brochures
and Web site design for multinational as well as local clients.
This year, Richard was hired by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
to photograph the 86th 500-mile race, marking his 14th consecutive
year as a photographer at the annual event. He also photographed
the inaugural Long Beach Grand Prix in 1975, and has shot the
Long Beach race almost every succeeding year since '75.
He is the author of a nonfiction book, Snap Judgments, and is
working on a mystery novel set in Long Beach in 1948. He lives
in Carlsbad with his wife, two cats and a new puppy.
AT LONG BEACH AND THE PIKE
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