This House on the Hill

By Scott Andrews Editor’s Note: From time to time, I’ll share personal essays from friends that I particularly enjoy. We start the series with this piece by Scott Andrews, founder and Executive Director of the SLO Jazz Festival. I have to admit, when I come out to my folks’ place now, I am sad andContinue reading “This House on the Hill”

Hold the Mayo

That someone would find it odd is quite understandable. Not me. After all, these are my parents and I know what to expect when I visit. It’s all pretty predictable. I usually get up around 8, and plod through the house, trying my best to act awake. Mom is in the kitchen, making morning coffee.Continue reading “Hold the Mayo”

The Young Turks

Arthur James Clancy Lewis Hogarth came to town for a brief visit last Saturday. Lewis has been a special part of my life for almost a decade. He was there the day I brought Topper home from the shelter. He introduced me to Charlotte. There was, of course, much to catch up on as weContinue reading “The Young Turks”

Topper Meets the Material Girl

Author’s Note: Topper (1983-1997) was a one-of-a-kind dog who started with me back in Indiana and spent the last ten years of his life on the Central Coast. In 1990, while a reporter for the San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune, I used Topper as the basis for a series of popular articles called “Walking Topper,”Continue reading “Topper Meets the Material Girl”

Thinking Outside the Box

Our plans for the weekend have changed unexpectedly. A friend died earlier this week and we have to juggle our schedule so that we can attend his memorial service on Sunday. We weren’t all that close, more a friend of a friend, but we always respected the man. We will definitely be there on Sunday.Continue reading “Thinking Outside the Box”

This Won’t Hurt a Bit

Linda Galanos stands at the foot of the examining table. Her voice is matter-of-fact. “OK, I want you to place your right foot here and your left foot over there,” she says, pointing towards the floor. “Then I’m going to have you lean forward.” I’m naked under the paper-thin gown. It’s 9:15 in the morningContinue reading “This Won’t Hurt a Bit”

I Left My Heart

I write this from San Francisco, and you should be envious.  Most people I know hate LA, but no one says a discouraging word about the City by the Bay. San Francisco is truly one of the great cities of the world, right up there with Paris, New York, and Rio. Early December is aContinue reading “I Left My Heart”

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

My neighbor in Nipomo has a rooster, which means I’m writing this at 4:30 in the morning. I didn’t intend to become an early bird, but my sleeping pattern changed dramatically about two weeks ago when my neighbor decided to move his roosters from the rear of the property closer to the house—and right byContinue reading “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

William and Edith

Edith YaDeau was born on September 20, 1915. Ten days later, William Stuart Congalton entered the world. Woodrow Wilson was president. Titanic had sunk just three years prior. Our nation was poised on the brink of world war. William’s mother, a woman he loved more than life itself, died suddenly, unexpectedly, when he was stillContinue reading “William and Edith”

Dave in Real Life

Charlotte and I and a friend headed to the movies the other day. We wanted to catch the new film by the Coen Brothers, but the local paper printed the wrong movie times and we arrived about 45 minutes late. Another movie, a comedy, was starting in about 15 minutes. “What do you know aboutContinue reading “Dave in Real Life”