"The Birds" and Bodega...

We decided to play extreme tourists and go on a movie trail. In 1961, director Alfred Hitchcock was looking for a remote area, free of interference from trees and mountains, giving him open and clear shots of sky to film his next thriller. Bodega and Bodega Bay fit the bill, and almost three years later, The Birds was released.

The Birds (1963), was Hitchcock's first horror film and Tippi Hedren's first movie. It was about a wealthy San Francisco socialite who pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness. Yep, quality storyline for certain.
We began in the tiny hamlet of Bodega. The Potter School (1873) was a public school with classes for grades 1- 8 on the first floor. The upstairs functioned as a multi-use room and community hall. In 1961, the condemned building was sold at auction. In 1962, Hitchcock use the school in his movie. The crew had to shore it up for filming. The old school sat vacant and condemned until 1966 when Tom and Mary Taylor purchased it. With the help of their three children, they lovingly restored the Italianate structure to its original splendor. The 6,000 square foot space is still owned by the Taylor family. The old school serves as a residence for three generations of their family. Yes, they still live here. Wild!

Saint Teresa of Avila Church, constructed in 1860 by shipbuilders, is a Roman Catholic wooden church with a steeple sitting on a hilltop overlooking Bodega Highway. The church, located directly next to the schoolhouse, is where Hitchcock attended services while filming and is also seen in the movie.
Interestingly, the film did not finish with the words The End because Hitchcock wanted to give the impression of unending terror. It worked! I still get unnerved when a flock of ravens 'caw' at me.
Coffee and a delicious snack were had at the Bodega Country Store. This quaint place has been serving Sonoma west county for 160 years. Today it houses the largest Hitchcock Collection and serves the community as a Good store in a small town. What a cool space to relax and learn even more about the history of this place.
We continued our tour, closer to home. How interesting is this? California Registered Historical Landmark No. 833: Bodega Bay and Harbor "Discovered in 1602-03 by the expedition of Vizcaino. It was named by Bodega in his survey of 1775. The harbor was used in 1790 by Colnett and by the Kusov expeditions in 1809 and 1811 . The Russian-American company and their Aleut hunters used the bay as an outpost until 1841. Stephen Smith took control in 1843. Pioneer ships of many nations used Bodega Bay as an anchorage."
Fish & Chips have been our meal of choice. This was pretty tasty.

A unique discovery, to us, was the American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos. Easily identified by its large, orange, pouched bill. Distinguished from Brown Pelican by its much larger size and its color--white rather than brown, it is one of the biggest birds present in North America (it may have a wingspan of as much as 9.5 feet, making it as large or larger than our biggest birds of prey). Wow, right?
Next month is the start of Crab Season. These crab pots are everywhere. The anticipation is growing!
I am a sucker for photo opportunities that involve a cut out. Steve is a great sport. This just seemed the right end for our day's tourism.

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1 comments:

For Travel's Sake said...

Well, this town has a lot of character... and you two are a bunch of characters... :)
I love the layers of the city, and your sights and consumables...
It looks like a place I want to visit!
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