Walking Topper: Elsie Louis

Deciding where to meet Topper and me was an easy choice for Elsie Louis. I had asked her to pick out one spot in all of San Luis Obispo County that was special to her. She invited us to see a tree. A young Camilla-stewartia grows in the garden at the Dallidet Adobe in SanContinue reading “Walking Topper: Elsie Louis”

Mayor Fred

All is not harmonious in Harmony these days. A popular fixture in this tiny Highway 1 community died earlier in the month, and the locals are dealing with a profound sense of loss–what one grief-stricken person terms “a large hole in my heart.” Fred, after all, was their mayor, a life-long resident. Leaders come andContinue reading “Mayor Fred”

Visiting Mom and Dad

There are two things from last week’s visit with my parents that still embarrass me, but I’ll share both with you. My 81-year-old mother beat me in basketball. Twice. Shooting underhand. And I cried foul an hour later when she stuck a wad of $20 bills in my shirt pocket. I protested. She insisted. IContinue reading “Visiting Mom and Dad”

If the Shoe Fits…

I believe I’ve discovered a fundamental difference between men and women. The answer lies at our feet. Shoes. It’s quite simple, actually. Men tend to be rather Spartan when it comes to footwear. We buy one pair, perhaps splurging for two pair on rare occasion, at a time. We wear these same, reliable, comfortable shoes,Continue reading “If the Shoe Fits…”

Dog Math

Two is always greater than one. Always. Basic mathematical principle universally understood. Apples. Kisses. Dollars. World Series baseball tickets. It doesn’t matter. Having two of something, anything, is always better than having just one. Yet I’ve been rethinking my math lately since we brought two new dogs home to Atascadero. Tanner and Charles Foster KanineContinue reading “Dog Math”

Envy: The Four-Letter Word for Writers

There is a scene in my movie screenplay Authors Anonymous where Colette, the New Age, unpublished, Danielle Steel-wannabe, confronts fellow writer Hannah, who has already scored an agent, a book deal, a movie deal and now an invitation to meet a famous author. “Why does all this happen to you, and only to you?” aContinue reading “Envy: The Four-Letter Word for Writers”

Singing the News

Stormi Martel’s voice thunders across the table. “Rick never came home for dinner. Not once! He always stayed at the station to work on the newscast and make it better. This is the thanks he gets.” The other three couples at the long center table at Cafe Monte Carlo in Pismo Beach murmur in agreement.Continue reading “Singing the News”

Poly Canyon

A few hundred inspired souls spent Sunday morning scrambling up the narrow paths to the top of Bishop Peak. I opted for a more solitary journey with Topper. Our destination: Poly Canyon. For people in the university community, Poly Canyon is old news, as much a Cal Poly fixture as Kennedy Library or Mustang Stadium.Continue reading “Poly Canyon”

Afternoon Delight

For Kathy… Winston Churchill managed to do it regularly, without shedding any blood, sweat, or tears. Napoleon and Stonewall Jackson never battled the urge. Brahms found the concept as comforting as a lullaby. And then there’s Ronald Reagan, who, as president, came to personify the very ideal. These famous men share a common passion withContinue reading “Afternoon Delight”