A Gift To The Community Of Ocean Beach and the World

by on January 7, 2009 · 14 comments

in Ocean Beach, Peace Movement, San Diego

A reader sent this wonderful photograph to us back in early December and I had been thinking about a way to share it with everyone. This seems to me a fitting space. Thanks Jim.

Glorious sunset over the Pacific, photo by Jim Grant

Peace Rock was such an inspiring place for most everyone who saw it and it was a sad day when we realized it was gone. We here at the OB Rag want to thank the Peace Rockers for their tireless efforts in bringing the Peace Sign back to Ocean Beach and offer up big cudos to Doc, the Manager of the OB International Hostel, and the owner, John, who both supported the latest project here in OB.

There are others to thank but we may never know their names. The following was sent to us by the Peace Rockers to share a little more history about the Peace Rocks project. Did you know that there were others? Make sure to check out the Peace Rocks! website and give them a few cudos yourself! Read on…


December 31, 2008

On Memorial Day weekend, 2006, a small group of long-time locals -calling themselves “Peace Rockers” – installed a stunning stained-glass Peace Sign atop the magnificent rock off the shores of Sunset Cliffs.

No political statement was ever intended by the design. Rather, the Peace Rockers hoped the Sign would inspire a continual contemplation on tolerance, on harmony, and on the desire of all people for an end to violence. Regrettably, the sign was removed by persons unknown in the middle of the night in January of 2008, and was never returned.

A second Peace Rocks installation went up in April of 2007 in Santa Cruz, California. Unfortunately, a larger-than-expected late spring swell washed the sign away shortly thereafter.

Peace Rocks April of 2007 in Santa Cruz, California

A third sign was installed in Carmel, California, in July of 2008. That one lasted only a short time, and was removed by local Park Rangers.

Carmel, California, in July of 2008

Encouraged by the generally positive reaction to their installation, but discouraged by the complications of maintaining a “guerilla” art project on public property, the Peace Rockers sought a sanctioned site in their hometown – Ocean Beach – for their fourth installation. They quickly settled on the O.B. International Hostel as the desired location, as its very existence is an embodiment of all of the international goodwill we hope the peace sign projects.

An awesome sight, the brillant peace sign over so many flags of the world.

Working anonymously through a representative on the Ocean Beach Town Council, the Peace Rockers made contact with the manager and the owner of the Hostel, and secured their permission for the present installation. Now, on New Year’s Eve Day, 2008, the Peace Rockers make this sign as a gift to the community.

Testing the lights before installation, OB International Hostel, Ocean Beach, December 2008

Hoping for Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward All, we wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Our website is not current, but anyone may still offer Positive Posts for Peace at www.peacerocks.info


Make sure to take a walk down Newport Avenue between 8 and 9 pm when the
Peace Sign lights up the OB night!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Deb January 6, 2009 at 6:09 am

A great start to 2009. Peace Rockers…..I’d love to have one put up on my house and I am sure there are many others in OB that would do the same. If they are available please let us know.

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avatar Peace Rocker January 6, 2009 at 7:09 am

Thank you, OB Rag, for your support.

Personally, I would love to see a Peace Sign atop every house in Ocean Beach, and encourage anyone who feels the same to construct your own design — from wood, from metal, from PVC pipe, from ANYTHING — and to display it wherever and in whatever manner feeds your own soul.

(“You may say we’re dreamers. But we’re not the only ones. Perhaps some day you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”)

The stained glass signs we have erected (first on Peace Rock, then in Santa Cruz, then in Carmel, and now on the Hostel) are VERY expensive to create, but we Peace Rockers are sufficiently encouraged by the overall positive reaction to our efforts that we are committed to installing as many more as we can find perfect places for, in California, or ANYWHERE else that would be truly inspirational.

We loved the “guerilla” aspect of our Sunset Cliffs, Santa Cruz and Carmel locations, and we love the way the stained glass plays so beautifully on rocks in the ocean; but we are open to any ideas that anyone seriously suggests. Contact us at our still-not-updated website: http://www.peacerocks.info

Peace Rocks Never Sleeps!

Peace, out.

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avatar Frank Gormlie January 6, 2009 at 11:44 am

Peace Rocker – thank you so much for all your inspiration. Peace signs atop every house !

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avatar angel January 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Awesome. I’m so glad we have our peace sign back.

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avatar J.Stone January 14, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Maybe we could start with window signs like those that used to be so prevalent around OB. If I remember correctly they said something like “Another house for Peace”. I’m sure someone out there remembers them. Large blue & white

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avatar jaci silvestri February 4, 2009 at 10:10 am

MY PAST GUESTS FROM SWITZERLAND AND HOLLAND WERE SO AMAZED AND AWED BY THE “ROCK PEACE SIGN”. WE THOUGHT WHAT A WONDERFUL STATEMENT TO OUR EUROPEAN NEIGHBORS!
WHAT A LOSS TO SEE IT HAD GONE MISSING…AND WHAT A GREAT FEELING TO SEE IT MAGICALLY RE-APPEAR ON THE HOSTEL!
CUDOS TO THOSE PERSISTENT ROCKERS! CHEERS TO THE OB HOSTEL! I AM SO PROUD TO LIVE HERE. PLEASE KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! I’LL BE LOOKING TO GET A PEACE SIGN FOR MY WINDOW.

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avatar Peace Rocker February 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Hardly Earth-shattering news here, but FYI we recently decided, in conjunction with the owner and Manager of the O.B. Hostel, to light the Peace Sign from dusk to dawn every day, rather than just the one hour (8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.).

Our thinking originally was that we did not want the sign to “dominate” the street, but now that the sign has “settled in” to its perch atop the hostel, we came to believe that we were missing half of our audience every day — the “night crowd” in O.B. — and that we should let the peace sign shine.

So that’s all. We hope the community, at least MOST of the community welcomes the installation. For what it’s worth, we are now contemplating another “sanctioned” installation at another international hostel in San Francisco, but are also actively exploring other potential “guerilla” installations on rocks in the ocean. All ideas are welcome.

Pass the peace forward.

Peace Rocker

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avatar Gary Gilmore February 14, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Yeah, the sanctioned locations are a great way to let the people know how the community feels and it does me proud to see the peace sign atop the OB Hostel but, it’s the “guerilla” installations that put the biggest grin on my face. Kinda makes me feel like OB could secede from the nation, design our own flag (I have a few ideas), print our own currency (or simply do without) & live happily ever after. Any piece of sculpture that can make me feel like that is one powerful symbol.

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

Gary, your comment made me smile as I recalled the days back in the mid-1970s when a bunch of us associated with the OB Community Planning Group (a forerunner to the Planning Board but not recognized by the City) were thinking just that – secede from the City. We looked into it, did some research. Some of us visited folks up in Venice in LA as they were looking into the same idea for their community as well. In the end, we determined there simply was not sufficient tax base here (as most of the community are renters) to fund our own municipality. (sigh)… it was/ is a great idea still, and is continually memorialized in the iconic bumper sticker: “US out of OB”.

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 15, 2009 at 10:58 am

Hey – do you have a home-made peace sign in your window or on your roof, or anything similar that you display? Send a photo to us and we’ll publish it in an upcoming series of pictures of peace signs of OB. Send it to us via email if you can. obragblog@gmail.com

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avatar anonymous March 19, 2009 at 9:49 am

I like the idea behind the peace sculpture as much as any other OBecian would, but I have to say I don’t like the fact that the folks who created this “Peace Rock” movement have essentially ‘taken over’ the space atop Bird Rock, which used to be an open forum for whoever wanted to anonymously place fun/off-beat sculptures and artwork up on top.. In the name of peace they’ve domineered the space. Seems pretty hypocritical to me. (But maybe I’m the only one who looked forward to seeing what new creation showed up each year..? Anyone else remember the giant tiki head?)

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avatar Patty Jones March 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Hey anonymous, the Peace Rockers’ latest installation is atop the Ocean Beach Hostel. They decided against putting another one on Bird Rock, so other than the gulls, pelicans and cormorants the rock is pretty much an open forum again. Maybe someone will put up some new guerrilla art!

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avatar chuck schiele October 11, 2009 at 10:22 am

peace.

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avatar Danny Morales December 31, 2009 at 6:08 am

“BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR”- Redux

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