SLO County’s Merle Davis and the hanging judge

Early on as a cabby in San Luis Obispo, I was warned about Merle Davis, who drank in McCarthy’s, the oldest bar in town, along with a crew of weathered ranch and farm hands and railroad men and scabrous retirees. Merle was a local legend—decorated war hero as a teenager, owned a ranch out in the California Valley, rodeo guy, champion hunter, notorious roughneck and redneck who went on three-week benders sandwiched between two-month periods of working hard and drying out on his ranch. Read More …

The Cayucos Wall Gang

I was hanging out the other morning at the seawall off the pier with the usual suspects–and our dogs–when a very friendly lady and her dog and an older couple approached us, and she said, “Mom, Dad, this is the wall gang. They’re here just about every morning.” Read More …

Dell chats with the man from India

I was in my car in the south lot listening to John Coltrane on a very late blustery Saturday afternoon across from Ruddell’s Smokehouse in Cayucos, watching the people and savoring the music, and this fellow around 35 who struck me as middle eastern was walking around on the edge of the lot holding onto a blue paperback book that I surmised was a novel. Read More …

A great thrift store in Cayucos

We have the most reasonable and underrated thrift store in the county, and maybe in the state. Just about anything you need can be found in the Cayucos thrift store, a nonprofit and senior center operated by longtime citizens past retirement age; little old ladies who have been around Cayucos for decades (and have had successful professional careers), are dedicated to getting things done, and have become the backbone of the community. Always in good cheer, they volunteer their time to work shifts mornings and afternoons. Read More …

More conversations with coastal elites in Cayucos

I was down along the seawall on a pristine morning with my dog Wilbur and talking to two men whom I’d consider extremely elite coastal elites, due to the fact that one is a college grad and successful businessman, while the other is a retired professor with a master’s degree — qualifications that perhaps doom them to make any real sense in this world in the face of the willfully ignorant who regard such people as out of touch and, well, out and out pansies. Read More …