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 SUMMERTIME AT LONG BEACH AND THE PIKE

Part One, Part Two

 

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 attractions.
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.

 

SUMMERTIME AT LONG BEACH AND THE PIKE

Part One, Part Two

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