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”

The Road Not Taken

I know it may be politically incorrect and probably downright sacrilegious to confess in these days of $3.99-a-gallon for gasoline, but I still love the tradition of a Sunday drive.          It is a ritual passed down from my parents, who could rarely ever afford a true vacation. They learned to often settle for a twoContinue reading “The Road Not Taken”

Drink. Drank. Drunk.

He was to meet his friend for a birthday drink at McCarthy’s downtown. Another friend joined in. The three drank and drank, and then drank some more, until they decided it was time to stop. Well, at least, to stop long enough to wander down Higuera Street to McClintock’s and drink some more. He hadContinue reading “Drink. Drank. Drunk.”

Our Man in Iraq

The dog days of summer have arrived and thoughts typically turn to deep questions about vacations and gardening and barbecues. But I need to remind you that a savage, bloody, unpopular war is raging overseas and thousands of American soldiers are putting their lives on the line 24/7 so that the toughest choice many ofContinue reading “Our Man in Iraq”

Nine O’Clock Town

Dear John Linn, I was simply delighted when I recently read that you and your wife Renee are planning to open up a new Linn’s restaurant in downtown San Luis Obispo. While some skeptics have called this move half-baked, I applaud your decision. The location at Marsh and Chorro has great potential. Your culinary reputationContinue reading “Nine O’Clock Town”

To March with Penguins

The journey of a lifetime often begins with a single step. For me, the journey began with eleven words, spoken by our friend Jan over dinner last August in Nipomo. “You’re going to hate me for this,” she announced, the hesitancy clear in her voice. “I’m going to Antarctica.” Antarctica. Jan had said the magicContinue reading “To March with Penguins”

Waiting on Mary Street

They’re building in Nipomo. Commercial buildings. Not too many towns can make that boast in these economic tough times, but construction continues along Tefft Street. Things are going up fast and the Mary Street project should open this summer. Many of the tenants have already been announced; no Macy’s or Target among them. Instead we’veContinue reading “Waiting on Mary Street”

The Most Beautiful Woman

Here’s a lesson for aspiring writers. If you come up with a good idea, jot it down and file it away somewhere. If you write a story or a poem or a screenplay and it doesn’t initially sell, file it away. You never know when you might be able to use it. Case in pointContinue reading “The Most Beautiful Woman”