The magic of Malibu

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    Thanksgiving is at the door again — time to thank the good people we met and time to be thankful for the luck we had.

    I think about the many sudden and abrupt turns my life took. I left my native Europe, heading for the West Coast. After lots of adventures and bad times, I ended up living in Malibu. I think it is quite symbolic. Being a Naval Academy graduate and a Merchant Marine Officer, I had the chance to sail around the globe, visiting more than 100 cities in dozens of countries. Now, my ship is moored. Malibu is my last haven. Instead of storming against huge, dangerous rollers I enjoy the ocean through my windows and I breathe the breeze while I stay home. I still cannot entirely believe it. I worked very hard in order to get here and I had certain amount of luck, but I also came across some wonderful people. I would like to thank Mr. Jeff Barton from Coldwell Banker Point Dume Office, my real estate agent, for his efforts and for making it possible for me to own my little piece of Malibu. He did not spare his time on Easter Sunday, on Father’s Day and on Memorial Day Sunday, as well as on numerous other weekends, sometimes at midnight, in order to comply with my hectic schedule. One truly amazing person.

    For years, while living on the west side, Malibu had been my urban antidote. I started coming there five years ago, when my father became terminally ill. Malibu has always had the magic ability to lift my spirits, even to alleviate my smog and stress induced headache. It never mattered how bad my day could have been; once I saw the ocean, driving down the California incline, all tension was gone. The Malibu magic had helped me through dark days and through tough times. It does not consist only of the mountains, the surf and the sky. The people who live here are the other ingredient. I’ve always admired the sincere attitude and the humble gratitude that Malibuites rich or modest are able to express.

    People from nearby cities and adjacent counties were trying to prevent me from moving to Malibu, citing natural disasters, road closures and congested traffic. I had been told I did not belong in such an exclusive place. To all these people I would answer, using words from an interview with a prominent Malibu resident, published recently in this newspaper: “Once you’ve been up there, nothing else matters.”

    Ian Popov