Pipes on a yellow wall in Málaga Spain

Pipes in Málaga ( and Malibu)

I once painted a series of vibrantly colorful, abstract paintings with pipes as the main subject matter. I sold quite a few of them and can’t help but wonder if they’re still around. Somewhere.

To this day whenever I see pipes of any kind, I easily get excited. What goes on in those pipes? Are they filling or emptying? Is it sludge, freshwater or gas flowing within them? How old are these pipes and are they lined with asbestos, lead or some other slowly degenerating material?

My oldest memory of pipes?

When I was youngster, sometime back in the late 1960s, my brother and I would once in a while walk along the ocean from our rented beach house in Malibu (California) and eventually tunnel through a storm drain, essentially a gigantic pipe that went under the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and ended up in canyon or ravin just below the Santa Monica Mountains.

Walking through the storm drain was scary. The noise coming from all the traffic on PCH above was amplified by a factor of 10 and deafening. I would usually run as fast as my scrawny legs would hurtle me through and instead of feeling relief, experience a wave of angst swell over me when I realized I’d have to go through that same storm drain again on our way back to the beach.

Once we hit the canyon, though, there were licorice bushes to distract me. And if that wasn’t enough, my brother Nick would show me what he had been told was an ancient, sacred burial ground for local Native American Indians.

I discovered the pipes above the other day while walking through an otherwise nondescript lane Málaga’s historic barrio.