Red Roadway


It was either when my dad was going to what he called Oceanside College (Now called MiraCosta) or just after joining the Marine Corps. The time just prior to and in the wake of Pearl Harbor. He spoke of hitch hiking between L.A. and San Diego. I remember he said the hike through San Clemente was on a red roadway. The concrete of the street and sidewalks were cast with a color tint.


Bill Soderberg in his hitch hiking youth. Other stories he told about this period of time concerned working at the poinsettia farms in Oceanside and San Diego North County. His service in the Marine Corps, outside one stint on the USS Portsmouth, was all based at the Marine camps in San Diego County. Photo is dated 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor, “Day of Infamy,” was December 7, 1941.


The distant building with a tower is San Clemente’s forever endangered 1938 Miramar Theatre. So far I haven’t verified the roadway itself was cast in colored concrete. Observing the black and white photos, one can see the car tracks darkened the pavement. And it was, and still is, typical for concrete roadways to eventually be paved over in asphalt. Clearly this is pre asphalt.

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The 1957 view of San Clemente. Note the colored sidewalks. Especially red on the right side.

I am Dan Soderberg, award winning documentary film maker and phototgrapher specializing in architecture, historic preservation and nature.

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