Salinas Friends

Dear Jasper and Kestrel,

Grandpa Nelson and I lived in Salinas for thirty-five years, raising your Momma Katie and Uncle David, running businesses and teaching school. We got to know a lot of people.

Quiet, sunny Downtown Salinas

Of course, for me, most of the people were kids, who have now grown up and moved away. On the other end of life, many of our oldest friends have passed away.

I did have an emotional visit my old school, University Park, but I didn’t take any pictures while I was there. It seemed wrong to interrupt powerful feelings with “smile for the camera” nonsense.

Dear Pat Van Noy and Liza, enjoying lunch

But we did get to take Pat Van Noy out to lunch at Stonies Taphouse and Bistro, and who should we run into but Jim Riley and his pal Liz! Jim has lived in the area for all of his long life, and has been Mayor of Spreckels for many years.

Jim Riley and Liz

He ran Rollick’s Coffee and he and Auntie Bridgett’s stufftie, Harold, were great friends.

Jim and Harold in 2013

We stopped in at the new bookshop on South Main Street, called Downtown Books and Sound. It is an expansion of the old shop, Destination Salinas, just across the street. Well organized, bright and beautiful, it is filled with wonderful books and even shelves from our beloved Logos books, which recently closed in Santa Cruz.

The new Downtown Books and Sound

Both shops are run by Trish Triumpho Sullivan and her husband Dan Beck. Trish is a mover and shaker in downtown politics and business, and Dan is a talented musician.

Trish Sullivan, looking good

Now that we are back home in Portland, we are back into chilly Autumn, and it feels good. As much as I love our old friends in Salinas, I am glad for our new adventure in the big city.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Downtown Book and Sound

Dear Liza (and Jasper and Kestrel),

Saturday was another walk to Old Town Salinas for brunch with a friend at First Awakenings. This time I met Terry Soria, who I started working with about 15 years ago. We understood each other and made each other laugh on difficult days. We worked together for a few years, then lost touch. Then, four years ago, I got to teach her grandson! I was so happy to get to talk about the joys and frustrations of teaching with her.

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Terry Soria, who understands

While I was downtown, I stopped in at Downtown Book and Sound, run by our old friends Trish Triumpho Sullivan and her husband, Dan Beck. Dan, who  is a musician and artist,  was working on a new tune on his guitar when I arrived. Trish is an artist and community activist and out of the shop at the time.

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Downtown Book and Sound

Downtown Book and Sound is part music shop, part bookstore, part art gallery, and part visitor’s center. There is always good art on the walls, good music playing, and someone interesting to talk to. The chartreuse window frames make it easy to spot at 222 South Main.

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Marilyn, by Trish Sullivan

Dan and I talked about life and family, then I scooted out.

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Dan Beck

In the past few years, the city of Salinas has started investing in more Steinbeck-themed art and activities. I found this giant boulder at the corner of Central and Homestead. It says, “I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that dogs think humans are nuts.” John Steinbeck.

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Steinbeck rock at Central and Homestead

I also visited the beautiful new Tony Teresa Baseball Diamond at Hartnell College! There was an exciting game going on between the Hartnell Panthers and the College of the Siskiyous Eagles. It was tied 1 to 1 when I left. Hooray for baseball season!

Love,

Grandma Judy

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College Baseball!