The Santa Monica Pier marks its 100th anniversary today. KPCC’s Brian Watt stopped by the pier and met carpenter Eric Broeske. He’s worked on the pier’s maintenance crew for 18 years.
Eric Broeske: To work every morning in such a beautiful place... You know, the work sucks, the view is priceless. The atmosphere is just incredible here, you just can’t beat it. You can’t. You get to see the ocean every day, look over the side and see wildlife. It’s just therapy. It’s amazing I get anything done some days. It’s so many distractions. (Laughs)
Brian Watt: But what is it about the atmosphere?
Broeske: You know, you see people, meet people from all over the world, and all walks of life. And that just throws us into the mix.
Watt: Do you have an early memory even before you started working here about coming here as a kid?
Broeske: (Laughs) Absolutely. I used to come – My mom used to drop me off when I was in fourth, fifth grade just to come down here and fish. I never thought I'd spend so much of my life here, but I'm very lucky.
Watt: And you fish, too?
Broeske: Oh yeah, fish and dive. I tell you this break wall... what used to be the break wall is just rock rubble wall now – it's just amazing how much life there is there, just at the front of this pier. It's about 30 feet of water, it's probably some of the best diving on the coast.
And not enough people experience it because they're just "well, it's dirty." It's not the case. It's not the case. We don't get the best water quality grades, but there is some beauty.