SLO LIFE Winter 2010

slolife

SLO LIFE

magazine

@ home

Donald & Eldra Avery

+SLO Moped

gets a makeover

WINTER 2011

Meet Kevin Rucks

skateboarding, lessons learned & zombies

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slo life magazine | 3


| publisher’s message

My seven-year-old daughter loves looking at old family photos.

As we were flipping through a dust-covered album the other day,

I came across a shot I had not seen in years, and it stopped me in

my tracks. It was a picture of my grandpa working on one of his

tractors in his shop, bundled up in a jacket and hat in the middle of

the scorching hot summer just outside of Visalia in the San Joaquin

Valley. At the time the photo was taken, he was in the final throes

of his battle with terminal cancer.

Glenn L. Pratt

(1920 - 1994)

Nothing could keep Grandpa out of his shop. From the time he

dropped out of the sixth grade until the moment he drew his final

breath, he was a cotton farmer. Like most people of his generation,

he believed in the importance of a handshake. He believed in his

neighbors. He believed in hard work. And he understood that the

key to running a good business was to continually innovate. That’s

a word he would have never used himself, but, looking back on it,

that’s exactly what he did. He almost never bought new machinery;

instead he opted to keep his old, fully-paid-for equipment going.

When something could not be revived for another season, he

often improvised and fabricated whatever he needed himself. A

combination of notes, numbers, and diagrams scratched out on

a yellow legal notepad by his massive, grease-stained right hand

soon enough became a reality out in the shop.

When I was a kid, about the same age my daughter is now, I remember listening in on discussions between Grandpa and his brother Louie. They would

debate about the best way to build this or fix that. They would talk for hours about finding a better ball bearing for the harvester. Honestly, I didn’t care

what they talked about, and I certainly didn’t understand much of it. I just wanted to be around it. I wanted to soak it in. These were big, important

men talking about big and important things. It was cool, and I wanted to be like them.

As I reflect on that photo today, it brings about a flood of emotion. I think about my wife and my kids, who never had the chance to meet Grandpa;

I think about my many cousins back in the Valley and elsewhere who today apply the lessons learned out at the shop when we were younger; and, I

think about how I can see a little bit of Grandpa in the local small business owners I am so privileged to work with here each and every day.

As publisher of this magazine, I wear many hats. But, one of my most favorite things I do is visit with our advertisers. Sometimes I feel like a seven-year-old

kid again as I learn about their plans for their businesses and what they are doing to innovate. Those conversations leave me with a strong faith that our

small business community will continue to lead the way, probably not with some big, complicated high-tech invention, but in small, incremental steps, on a

daily basis, with the same grit, dedication and ingenuity that Grandpa displayed in his shop as he built his business, one ball bearing at a time.

Live the SLO Life!

tom@slolifemagazine.com

SLO LIFE

magazine

4251 S. Higuera Street • Suite 800 • San luiS obiSpo, Ca 93401

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4 | slo life magazine


contents

Meet Your Neighbor:

Kevin Rucks

16

26

Business Makeover:

SLO Moped

778 Osos Street, Suite C

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

805.439.2323

www.coastfiduciarylaw.com

6

8

10

12

14

20

22

24

38

42

44

46

The Way We Live:

34 The Avery Home

Q & A :

Dave Romero’s life and career

Places :

going SLO on Turri Road

How I Found My Way Here :

it took getting lost to find home

The Way It Was :

treasure found

Inspiration :

the Kalmans fight for a cure

No Place Like Home :

discover the monarch grove

Finds Under Fifty :

it’s time to go shopping

To Your Health :

stand up for yourself

Real Estate :

local experts share their insight

Local Food by Local People :

a hearty, healthy meal

The Arts :

masterworks performed

Community Calendar :

the best SLO has to offer

I grew up in San Luis Obispo before leaving

to attend college and pursue my career as an

attorney. After a decade of practicing litigation

and estate planning, I was ready to return to

the place I love, start a practice I believe in and

make a difference in the local legal community

by offering a competent and caring approach to

the practice of law.

Central Coast Estate Planning and Fiduciary

Services is the culmination of my personal

and professional dreams. What makes my firm

different is that I haven’t forgotten the human

element in the practice of law. I focus on each

family or individual and their unique needs and

keep my firm small and specialized so that you

are always my top priority.

Whether you need an estate plan written or

updated, require representation in probate,

trust or tax litigation or are interested in hiring

a trustworthy and knowledgeable personal

fiduciary, I can offer the guidance, experienced

legal representation and personal touch that is

so often lacking from the practice of law today.

It’s a tough world out there and trust, probate

and tax law can be a minefield, but I am here to

help you and your loved ones.

Jed D. Hazeltine

LL.M. Taxation

Attorney At Law

slo life magazine | 5


| Q & A

Mayor Dave Romero

Since he came to town in 1956, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who has had such a large

impact on San Luis Obispo. And, on nearly every major city issue since then, you can find his fingerprints.

He retires in January and leaves some very big shoes to fill. The Mayor takes our questions…

What did you want to be when

you grew up?

You know, from the time I was

about ten, I wanted to be a civil

engineer. Actually, I wanted to

be a logging engineer at first, but

I couldn’t get into the program

at the university back in 1946,

so I went to my own state

university, the University of New

Mexico, and enrolled in their

civil engineering program which

was a better choice for me. So, I

chose something as a child and

got to spend my entire working

life doing something I wanted and

liked.

How did you get the nickname

“Dave the Pave”?

It was given to me by a critic

who had the perception that I

approved every development

proposal that came through.

I used the name in a different

context because “Dave the

Pave” was the one who made

sure that our streets were paved

and that our sidewalks were

well-maintained. The nickname

became a positive thing for me.

What do we have to do to keep

San Luis Obispo at the top of all

those “Best Places” lists?

I think what we have been doing

for the past 15 years or so has

been positive, and has brought

us to that point. We need to

continue to do what we’ve been

doing. The critical problem for us

has been the high cost of housing.

Hopefully we’ll be able to provide

more of it to bring the prices

down. To do that we also need to

make more jobs available.

What do you think people

misunderstand about you?

The main criticism people have

made of me over the years was

that I was strongly pro-growth, but

really I have been strongly pro-city.

That is, I have always done what I

thought was best for the welfare of

the city. There has to be a certain

amount of growth or you stagnate.

What single piece of advice

would you pass on to the new

mayor?

I would advise the new mayor to

really work to see that we have a

harmonious, operating, teamfunctioning

city council because

the way the council relates with

itself during the meeting is the

perception the public has of

how well we operate and is the

perception of the city.

What will you miss most and

least about being mayor?

Having spent fifty years in the

city – friends. I won’t miss long

meetings, particularly those

with extensive testimony.

Do you have any regrets?

No - I have no regrets. I think that

a lot of the life choices that I’ve

made, especially in coming here

to San Luis Obispo so many years

ago have worked out really well. I

have no regrets at all in my

life. I’m very happy with the way it

has all turned out. I am one of the

most fortunate men and have had

a truly blessed life.

What does the future hold for

you?

I’m still going to keep a finger

in the city’s operations, not

as a voting member but as an

ambassador, so I’ll still be a part

of my beloved city. Hopefully, my

wife and I will have a long travel

vacation, which we never did in

my time as mayor because I didn’t

want to be away that long. We

have lots of grandchildren and

now great grandchildren coming

on, so we’ll have lots of family

activities as well.

What’s the one thing you would

whisper in the ear of someone

just starting their career?

Marry a patient woman… that

really affects your life a lot.

Where would you take Mrs.

Romero for a special night out?

My wife and I for many, many

years have celebrated our

anniversary at the Madonna Inn.

I always ordered the same thing,

a “junior top,” which is a small,

local top sirloin steak with a baked

potato and salad and all the rest

of the stuff that goes with it. It

was a special thing that Alex had

there and it wasn’t on the menu,

but people knew about it.

When you look back on your long

career what do you think about?

I think about how far the city

has come. When I first came

here, in 1956, the city was sort

of like any old town USA. The

infrastructure really needed

improvement. We didn’t have

any trees in downtown. We had

signs overhanging the streets.

Lot of things were run down

in the community. We needed

road improvements. The traffic

situation was poor – it still is in

a lot of ways. I really think about

how things were, and I think

it needed someone who could

dedicate a lifetime for a single

purpose.

How do you want to be

remembered?

I’d like to be remembered as

being mayor at a time when the

city reached a pinnacle of respect,

and we were recognized for the

efforts that we have had – and

it isn’t all my efforts. It started

many, many years before me

with thoughtful city councils who

did a lot of master planning and

started things. I would hope to

be remembered as Mayor of San

Luis Obispo during the very best

of times.

Please finish this sentence for

us: “The real truth about Dave

Romero is…”

… he has an undying love for San

Luis Obispo.

SLO LIFE

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Hear for the Holidays

Sleigh bells

ringing.

Carols

sung by

the fire.

Jingling all the way.

Laughter,

cheer, and

joyful

noises

abound.

It’s hard to imagine

missing all the

sounds of this

magical time

of the year.

Give a special

gift to a loved

one, and let them

hear for the holidays.

And every other day, too.

Call us today for your consultation

805541-1790

Helping You Hear The Things You Love

slo life magazine | 7


| Places

Going slO

TURRI ROAD

Named for the Turri Family’s ranch nearby, this little-known shortcut that connects San Luis Obispo to Morro

Bay was captured beautifully by Anthony Halderman six years ago. Halderman, who likes to shoot the local

landscape immediately following a hard rain with the sun at his back, took this photograph while standing on

the roof of his car just after a February storm had swept through from the Pacific. SLO LIFE

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slo life magazine | 9

Do you have an amazing photo? Go to slolifemagazine.com to share it.


| How I found my way Here

road to mayan ruins Leads to SLo

It took getting lost in the jungle to help Heidi Rank find her way home.

of gas in the middle of the jungle

when they happened upon a

small, unassuming sign off of the

road that read “Cerveza Fria” [cold

beer]. Overjoyed at the thought

of getting directions, the roadweary

travelers stumbled into the

establishment. Recalls Heidi, “As

the woman behind the bar was

pouring beer for the guys, I locked

eyes with her and had the most

powerful ‘déjà vu’ I can remember.

She was beautiful, stunning, and

spoke perfect English.”

“In 1989 I was a single mother

of five-year-old twins working in

Chicago as an architect. I was at

a point where I needed to take

a break and clear my head, and

it was the middle of winter, so

I arranged a week-long trip to

Cancun with a friend, who had to

back out at the last minute. I was

disappointed, but also determined

to continue, so I decided to go by

myself…”

It was while boarding a bus to visit

some Mayan ruins that the solo

traveler, Heidi Rank, happened

upon two other Americans

who were being hassled by

an exasperated, Spanish-onlyspeaking

bus driver. Seeing that

the pair had very limited Spanish

speaking ability, Heidi jumped

in to translate. The problem was

quickly resolved – turned out it

had something to do with the fare

– and a full bus, along with the

Lost: (left to right) unidentified Belizean guide, John Pratt, and Heidi Rank consult their maps.

Photo by Dana Holt.

three American tourists was soon

chugging, bouncing, and lurching

down the road toward Tulum, Mexico.

An easy conversation flowed

between the three Americans as

they settled into their seats for the

long drive, and it was discovered

that the two men were from San

Luis Obispo. John Pratt, a local

attorney, was taking a longplanned

trip with good friend,

Dana Holt, a local photographer

whose family had been in San

Luis Obispo for many generations.

Remembers Heidi, “They were

going to rent a truck and drive into

Belize in search of some pretty

remote Mayan ruins. During our

bus ride, they invited me to come

along. I pondered it for a minute,

decided it was an opportunity of a

lifetime, and accepted.”

On the first night of their journey,

John called his wife, Gayle

Peron, who is now a County

Commissioner, to tell her that they

had picked up an American girl

who spoke Spanish. John recalls

the conversation, “‘Hi honey…

you’ll never guess what happened

today.... We met this really nice

girl from Chicago who speaks

Spanish… We invited her to come

to Belize with us… We all have

to squeeze into this tiny room…

You can’t imagine the sleeping

arrangements’ …and then I hear

a ‘click’ and the line goes dead.

There was a storm going, and the

power went out. So, this is the

only thing my poor wife hears from

me while I’m out in the jungle for

the week with my buddy, Dana,

and our new friend, Heidi!”

The trio’s first attempt at finding

the ancient Mayan City of Altun

Ha was a disaster, and, after a

full day of driving, they found

themselves lost and nearly out

How did you find your way here? Go to slolifemagazine.com and tell us your story.

When she introduced herself

as Alexandra, Heidi reflexively

blurted, “Class of 1975, Guilford

High School.” The two women

were amazed by the odds of

growing up together in Rockford,

Illinois, a town of around 100,000,

only to be reunited nearly fifteen

years later in the middle of a

remote rain forest. According to

Heidi, “Rockford, Illinois wasn’t

famous for much, but it was

known as ‘Trampoline Town U.S.A.’

Alexandra and I had taken ‘tramp

lessons’ together, as we called it.

She was really good and went on

to become the World Trampoline

Champion.”

After years on tour with various

trampoline and tumbling groups,

Alexandra was now working as

the manager of the resort that

her father had acquired as an

investment property. She invited

the trio to stay the week there

as her guest, which they readily

accepted. The remainder of

their trip “flew by” as Alexandra

directed them to some of “the

best ruins in Belize.”

Now, forever bonded by the

whimsical twists and turns in their

quest for ancient Mayan ruins, the

trio kept in touch, and, looking for

a better place to raise her kids,

Heidi picked up and moved to

San Luis Obispo later that same

year with her two young children,

where she has been ever since.

SLO LIFE

10 | slo life magazine


Over 15 different

styles of Patagonia

down jackets for

men and women.

for a good time

call 553-8820

Our Publisher, Tom Franciskovich, has a long track

record of helping companies just like yours achieve

their marketing objectives. Call him, he’ll let you

know how we can help you. Plus, he’s a lot of fun.

slolifemagazine.com

slo life magazine | 11


| the way it was

treasure Found

Images captured in the 1970’s finally have their stories revealed. BY BARBARA STICKEL, PHOTOS BY THOM HALLS

While we enjoy the bounty of fresh local fish, we often

forget what it takes to bring the catch of the day to our

plates. A compelling new exhibit at the History Center

of San Luis Obispo called “The Catch: Stories of Local

Fishermen” gives the visitor a glimpse into the life of

our fishermen during the 1970s. Photojournalist Thom

Halls, then Cal Poly art student, captured our local fishing

industry during his senior project in the mid-1970s. Who

could have known that over thirty years later, these photos

would provide the perfect platform for guest curator,

Cal Poly graduate student, and local fisherman, Barbara

Stickel, to share this fascinating story.

Through her connections to the fishing community and

tireless hours of interviews armed with these photos,

Stickel has been able to identify many of the people

in Halls’ photos and gather their narratives. The result

is an exhibit that honors local fishermen in a personal

way. Stickel sheds light on who these people are, what is

sacrificed for another day at sea and how many of them

have lost their lives in pursuit of their passion.

above enGine rooM When Travis Evans’ family sent him to CalPoly in the 1930s, he

was expected to return home afterward. That never happened, and the man the fleet calls

“The Preacher,” still fishes out of Port San Luis daily, weather permitting.

12 | slo life magazine

left workinG the nets (left to right) Bruce Brebes (1942-1983) and George Graafft are

shown working a lampara, fishing for bait on the fishing vessel Mello Boy. Today, the Mello

Boy is still providing live bait for recreational fishermen at Port San Luis.


Below is an exerpt of Barbara Stickel’s writing featured in the exhibit:


Most commercial fishermen will tell you: “It’s not just what I do, it’s who

I am.” For many, there is no retirement, not because of a lack of planning,

but by choice. Fishing is not simply a job; it is an entire sense of being.

It’s almost as if their bodies demand the constant exposure to salt and

continual hard work.

And, despite the effort, there is no predicting the catch, there is no

controlling the sea; ensuring that everything is in good working order

is all fishermen and their families can do. For commercial fishermen,

maintaining equipment and protecting the hull from the elements can be a

matter of life and death, and their survival depends on remaining vigilant

until the boat has safely returned to port.

Despite the near constant attention to regular maintenance while aboard,

the real action for commercial fishermen comes in spurts. Many uneventful

hours may pass motoring from fishing spot to fishing spot; much time is

spent waiting while the gear is in the water. During the catch, the work is

hard, fast, furious. The haul must be handled quickly and carefully with

any unwanted species rapidly returned to the sea. Day and night blend

together. On foggy days, the horizon melds into the sea. Salt air and

moisture permeate everything.

At sea, the world on the shore ceases to exist. Routines are interrupted,

plans are put aside, and expectations constantly change. It’s not

uncommon for a commercial fisherman to be uncertain about what month

it is, let alone the day of the week or date. Yet they are drawn to the

mystery, the appeal of knowing that something new and unexpected might

happen or might come over the rail of the boat at any given moment.


SLO LIFE

above Morro Bay Fuel Docks Shortly after this photograph was taken, a consortium of

fishermen purchased and rehabilitated the docks shown. For the next twenty years, the docks

provided fuel and berthing for the commercial fleet.

wanDerlust

Albacore fishermen, much like the fish,

prefer to roam the open oceans.

slo life magazine | 13


| inspiration

The Kalmans v. neuroblastoma

The power of love may be what it takes to find a cure.

Calli Kalman and Frank Kalman

founders of Kids’ Cancer Research Foundation

14 | slo life magazine


There is a sadness that permeates Frank Kalman. It is not obvious when you first meet him, but if

you know his story, you will understand why he struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Nine years ago when his daughter, Calli, was 12 years old, she was diagnosed with a very rare cancer

called neuroblastoma. This type of cancer afflicts approximately 700 American children each year.

“The euphemism that parents whose children were diagnosed with this disease use is to say that

‘Jenny earned her angel wings today’ when they share the news that their child passed,” Frank

explains as his eyes well up with tears and his voice cracks with emotion. He collects himself with a

long, deep breath and continues. “There was this one Friday about six months ago when we learned

that three kids had earned their wings, and that’s when I said ‘I’ve got to do something.’”

By this time, Frank had “pressed every button and pulled every lever” to get the best care possible

for Calli and had become uniquely qualified to help other families going through the same thing.

“I have developed this huge amount of knowledge about the disease and the treatments and the

whole process, and I want to put it to good use. There are just so many people we can help.” With

that resolve, the Kids’ Cancer Research Foundation was recently formed [more information about

the organization can be found on the web at www.endkidscancer.org].

The list of people involved with the foundation is impressive and reads like a “Who’s Who List”

of cancer researchers, but, mostly, it serves as a testament to Kalman’s dogged persistence and

hard-earned credibility. Kalman recalls his chance meeting with one key board member, Christopher

Kennedy Lawford. “We were walking through a shop in Santa Monica, wasting time between chemo

appointments for Calli, who was so sick and completely bald, when I recognize Chris. So, I go up to

him and make a comment about a movie he was in. He was so gracious, and he and his wife spent a

half an hour or so talking with Calli.”

A friendship blossomed, and Lawford continued to follow up with Calli to inquire about her

treatments and played a vital role in clearing up a “major problem” while she was at the Sloan-

Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. According to Kalman, “I was just at my lowest point and

the treatment wasn’t going well at all, and we were caught up in some red tape. Anyway, right

about then Chris called to ask how we were doing and I told him ‘not well’ and he said, ‘Look, I will

call my mom [JFK’s sister, Patricia], she used to work there. And, if that doesn’t help, I’ll call Uncle

Teddy [the late Senator Ted Kennedy]. Don’t worry - we’ll get it figured out.’ It was like this guy just

walked in out of the blue and said, ‘I have an atomic bomb, where do you want me to deliver it?’”

Despite the big names that Kalman has lined up, he cites the support that his daughter has

received from the people of San Luis Obispo as being the most important to them. “Our friends and

neighbors held a fundraising event a while back at the Fremont Theater where they screened Calli’s

favorite movie, “Remember the Titans.” I remember there was this unassuming looking college kid

who walked up and wrote a check and walked right back out. We saw that type of thing over and

over again. I mean, over a thousand people turned out to support my daughter. I’ll never forget

that.”

Today, as Kalman launches his new foundation, Calli’s cancer has returned. She continues her

chemotherapy treatments while also attending Cal Poly as a 21-year-old junior. One gets the sense,

however, that we have not heard the last from this inspirational father-daughter team. Says Kalman,

“We’re looking at this foundation like Edison and his light bulb. It would be bold of me to say that

we’re going to find a cure for this cancer, but the more research we can fund, the closer we get to

getting it done.” SLO LIFE

Do you have an inspirational story to share? Go to slolifemagazine.com and tell us about it.

slo life magazine | 15


| Meet your neighbor

Meet Kevin rucks

In this installment of our “Meet Your Neighbor” series, SLO LIFE Magazine sat down to talk with Kevin

Rucks. He is formally a professional skateboarder, who lives in San Luis Obispo with his wife, Jennifer, and

their two kids, Drake and Milla. In addition to co-owning and operating Salisbury Vineyards with Jennifer

and her parents, John and Maridel Salisbury, Kevin is a freelance artist who owns a small skateboard

hardware company, Cannibolts, and is actively learning the art of BMX with his son. Here is his story…

Who were your role models as a kid?

My heroes growing up were Spider-Man, The Six Million Dollar Man, and

Evel Knievel. My biggest influence was Evel Knievel because he always

said things like “guys will cheat in car racing and use nitrous oxide, and

their car will run really fast for a couple of laps then blow up. If you take

drugs in life you’ll run really fast for a while, then you’ll fall apart too.” In

other words, you can’t cheat the system - there’s no easy way to do it.

He had integrity. He’d say that he wanted to live his life “jumping through

the air with sunshine on his face.” I remember the first time I saw him say

that; it just grabbed me, and I said that’s what I want. I didn’t care about

being rich or having a mansion or a yacht, I wanted to be like Evel Knievel,

jumping through the air with sunshine on my face because he’s living

free and being his own guy and being dangerous. That was cool. That’s

not something you could buy or go to college for. You had to earn it. You

either did or you didn’t.

Why Spider-Man and the Six Million Dollar Man?

I liked The Six Million Dollar Man because he was always trying to do

the right thing and be honest, and he didn’t like guns. Spiderman was

the same way but he used sarcasm to put down the bad guys by making

these great little wisecracks. When someone would pick on me at school,

I would try to do the same thing. I figured out that if I could embarrass

somebody for trying to bully me or my friends, then they usually left us

alone, and sometimes they’d start buying my artwork.

Let’s start from the beginning, Kevin. give us some background.

My dad was an electrical engineer from Arkansas who worked in the

aerospace industry. We bounced around a little bit growing up. We

lived next to Cape Canaveral when I was little, so I got to see spaceship

launches. Just before I started elementary school, he was transferred

to Orange County, where I grew up. My mom was a stay-at-home mom,

and I have two older sisters. I started skateboarding when I was about 9

or 10 years old. I found out I was pretty good at it and decided to enter

some competitions. I was 14 when I got my first sponsor, Santa Cruz

Skateboards.

What did your parents have to say about that?

At the time, they really didn’t understand what it was all about. I

remember once in high school they sat me down to ask if I was doing

drugs. I was the lead singer in a punk band and had this huge Mohawk

and was really into animal rights and being a vegetarian; I even started a

magazine called “Why?” which was all about why we shouldn’t be eating

animals. They said, “There are all these random people coming to the

house all the time, and you always have cash.” I took them through my

bedroom and showed them all my drawers and my closet, which were

full of tons of free stuff from my sponsors, companies like Santa Cruz,

VANS, Airwalk Shoes, Converse, and Independent. I would sell everything

that I didn’t use. That’s where the cash was coming from. They were pretty

blown away.

16 | slo life magazine

huh?

By the third or fourth grade, kids were buying my artwork… they’d say,

“Can you draw me a zombie? I’ll give you a quarter, or you can have my

chocolate milk at lunch,” or they’d trade me for something. I never went

to school for art, but I ended up doing a lot of skateboard graphics and

concert posters for people. Half the time I’d get ripped off and never get

paid, but I didn’t care because I loved doing the work.

How did you get into art in the first place?

My grandmother was an artist back in Arkansas. She painted fine china.

So when I would go back there to visit, she would teach me all of these

really cool techniques using oil paints. I’ll never forget when she taught

me how to paint a dragon. She put this blue paint down then used a Q-tip

to roll out the scales of the dragon. I was blown away. Then she showed

me how to make the teeth by using a toothpick to carve it out. I can still

recall the smells of oil paint and those old arts and crafts shops she would

take me to.

it sounds like you had fun at grandma’s house.

On those same visits, I would go to this little comic book shop - the same

one my dad went to as a kid. My dad would tell me, “Kevin, you can go

in there, but you have to buy something. You can’t just go in to look at

everything and leave.” He was very adamant about supporting the store.

So, I would walk two miles from my grandmother’s house down to the

little town center of El Dorado, Arkansas. I’d spend all day in this comic

book shop just soaking it all in. The little old lady there was so nice. She’d

let me sit in the middle of the floor with a huge stack of comic books, just

flipping through them all day long.

continued on page 18


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slo life magazine | 17


| Meet your neighbor

Why didn’t you choose a career in art?

Actually, my friend had an embroidery company down the street from

where I grew up. He started asking me to draw things for his customers. For

example, he’d get some job with the fire department and he’d say “Kevin,

I need for you to draw a Dalmatian with a crooked fireman’s helmet that

looks like an old-time Chicago-style gangster.” Then the next day it would

be something else. He would call me and say, “I’m meeting with my client

in ten minutes - I need you to come over and talk to this guy.” That led to a

job with a t-shirt company, where I did a lot of silk-screening.

Why didn’t you stick with it?

Well, one day this lady came up to me and told me that she was putting

on these skateboard shows and paid $100 per event. She had this

traveling ramp and would go to motorcycle events and promotions at

K-Mart parking lots, and sporting event halftime shows, all sorts of stuff.

So, I said, “Ok, when’s the first event?” thinking it would be some deal

a few months down the road and she said, “I’ve got shows Wednesday,

Thursday, and Friday...”

What did you do?

So, I went in the next day and quit the art job. I remember there was this

old hippy guy that worked there and never said anything to me, but

he just laid into me when I quit. It was an important lesson that I didn’t

fully grasp until later, but I learned about the impact that we each make,

whether we like the job or not. We all hold value, but I didn’t realize it at

the time. I was 18, and I just thought I was sketching out these stupid

t-shirts. But, after I was gone for a while, I started thinking about it and

started wondering, “Wow, who’s going to do that work now that I’m

not there?” I really should’ve given them at least a two-week notice or

figured out how to do some work from the road or something.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, Kevin. i’m sure they got it worked out…

So, when did Jennifer enter the picture?

I was filming a commercial for Mello Yello soda in Hollywood. This guy,

H.B. Barnum [a songwriter and record producer], who I had not heard

of at the time, had emptied his pool so that we could skate in it for the

commercial. It was a great place on Mulholland Drive with a view of

downtown Los Angeles. Jennifer had just recently graduated from Cal

Poly and was working as an assistant for her brother who is a professional

photographer, and she was renting a room in the house next door.

Anyway, my friend had parked his truck in front of her driveway, and Jen

came over to ask him to move it so she could pull her car out.

this sounds like a true hollywood love story!

H.B. grabbed her by the hand and walked her over to make the

introduction. Let me say, a girlfriend was the last thing in the world I

wanted. I was working hard and really focusing on my career. But, as

Jen likes to say when she tells this story, she walked next door to “find

a skateboard on its side, an empty pool, and her husband’s eyes.” We

just clicked right away. Later that day, after we finished filming the

commercial, Jen’s landlord was feeling pretty flush because he had

received some money for the use of his driveway, so he bought beer for

everyone, and the two of us sat on the back of my truck and just talked

about things all night like we had known each other forever.

How does Jennifer feel about your skating these days?

She loves it, and I think she wishes I would do more of it, but I‘m pretty

busy these days. I can still compete in the Masters Events, which are 40

and over. I’ll be 43 this year. They have this thing called the Old School

Skate Jam where they invite all the old pros to get back together. I went

to Tony Hawk’s facility in January to skate the Boom Boom Huck Jam

Ramp. It was nice to skate with Tony again, and I was able to thank him

for supporting the SLO skate park [The Tony Hawk Foundation recently

provided a $25,000 grant to help with the development of the skate park

in San Luis Obispo]. He said that they are really careful about who they

donate to, but that “they were really impressed with SLO.”

how do you keep in shape for skateboarding?

I have a ramp in front of my house now where I mainly do BMX tricks with

my son and some of the other neighborhood kids. It’s a lot easier to fly

through the air on a bicycle instead of a skateboard, especially now that I’m

older. Right now, I’m trying to learn how to do bar spins; that’s where you

spin the handle bars completely around while the bike is airborne.

Don’t you ever worry about falling?

That’s one of the things I’ve always appreciated about skateboarding

- the humility of it all. You’re always falling down. I mean, there is a lot

of failure involved in the sport. I would say that 90% of skateboarding is

making mistakes. You are constantly falling. And when you fall, it hurts.

You are hitting concrete. The other day I was riding my skateboard with

some neighborhood kids, and I tried a new trick and fell. They were

really concerned and came running over to me and said, “Oh my gosh,

Mr. Rucks, are you okay?” And, I said “Yeah, I’m fine. Why?” And, they

said, “We’ve never seen an old man fall like that before.” So I got up and

brushed myself off and said, “I fall all the time. That’s how you improve.”

“Kevin Rucks - A strict vegetarian with a burning passion for the

toughest, most enjoyable sport in the world, Kevin plans to skate,

draw and make the earth a better place to live.”

thrasher Magazine, november, 1990

Seeing all of these kids running around the neighborhood must bring

back memories.

It really does. I remember my dad coming home from work – I do the

same thing now. He would love it when he would come home and see all

these kids in the front yard, but then he would get a little annoyed with

all the soda cans all over the front lawn and the candy wrappers all over

the place. And you’ve got all these random kids in the house. There’s

never a dull moment when you have a ramp in your front yard.

What does the future hold?

These are tough times for everybody, but I’m hoping that with this

18 | slo life magazine


economy and with the way that things are going right now, there’s a lot

of potential. I think there’s a big light at the end of the tunnel, a new idea

or a new way of doing things that will just be better for everyone. The

world is a much smaller place now. I mean, I look at the things my kids

know. They’re so much smarter than I ever was. We used to have to go to

the library or ask our parents. Now they just “Google it.” When I would

ask my dad some crazy question growing up, a lot of times I would stump

him, but now when my kids ask me something, I say, “Well, let’s go look.”

Kevin, you have such an interesting story - thanks so much for sharing it.

Not a problem. It was great talking with you. SLO LIFE

Know someone we should meet? go to slolifemagazine.com to introduce us.

slo life magazine | 19


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This really is one of those “right in our own

backyard” wonders. Every winter, a small

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becomes a magnificent haven for some of the

most beautiful butterflies anywhere. “A lot of the

time you’ll look up into the trees and you really

can’t see them. They look like leaves,” says Docent

Terri Jackson. “And then you’ll look through the

telescopes and say ‘Oh my goodness! I’ve never

seen anything like it.’”

It’s no secret that the Central Coast is a hot

spot for tourists, especially during the summer

months. But, there is a group that chooses

winter to make its trek here. What is a bit

shocking is how many of them there are. The

migration of the Monarch Butterfly is another

reason there’s no place like home.

230,000 Monarchs hanging in the grove through

winter. Over the last five years, there has been an

average of approximately 25,000 each winter.

While Monarchs typically only live a few weeks,

the variety that camps out here tends to live

six-to-nine months due to their unique fat-storing

system. But, if you do the math that means that

the Monarchs here this season, even the ones

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If you’ve heard of it, but have never stopped to

check it out, you should. Jordan Elkins works for

state parks and says the Pismo Grove plays host to

the largest congregation of Monarch Butterflies in

the United States.

From the end of October, until late February

or mid-March, you’ll find tens of thousands of

them hanging out here for protection from the

winter elements elsewhere. “So they come down,

they hang out in the trees, they go into a semihibernation,”

says Elkins. “They’ll sleep during the

night, and hang out during the day to get warm.”

Their numbers vary year-to-year, but there are

always enough to leave you in awe. Elkins says

1991 was a particularly big year, as there were

So, consider making a stop in the coming weeks

to say, “Hello.” Your kids will feel like they have

walked into a fairy tale. If you time it right, you

will likely find this place to be pretty magical. Even

docents like Jackson, who see the grove daily, year

after year, will tell you that they are still in awe

of the beauty of this little corner of the Central

Coast. “Sometimes when the sun hits a cluster, all

the butterflies will start flying at once, and it’s like

an explosion of gold. I’m still impressed by it.”

SLO LIFE

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reporter, hosts the “No Place Like Home” series

every Thursday evening at 6pm.

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20 | slo life magazine


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slo life magazine | 21


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“On the Road slo to life Avila magazine Beach” | 23


To Your HealTH

Stuck at your desk?

Sit down - we’ve got some bad news for you.

Actually, you should probably stand up.

Some researchers in Sweden caused quite a stir

earlier this year when their paper was published

in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. In

essence, they said that, even if you exercise 30 to

60 minutes per day but spend much of the rest

of the day sitting, you may be at increased risk of

metabolic syndrome (diseases like diabetes) and

death.

While their conclusions are drawn from a small

but consistent pool of data, there appears to be

significant support for their findings here in the

States. James Levine, MD, an obesity specialist at

the Mayo Clinic said to Science Magazine back in

2005, “What fascinates me is that humans evolved

over 1.5 million years entirely on the ability to

walk and move. And literally 150 years ago, 90%

of human endeavor was still agricultural. In a tiny

speck of time we’ve become chair-sentenced.”

Dr. Levine has since become somewhat of a guru

for the “treadmill desk” and made the first live

demonstration on “Good Morning America” in

2007 [we link to the video on our website, which is

worth the five minutes it takes to watch it].

And we didn’t have to travel far from San Luis

Obispo to find someone that agreed with him.

“Short of sitting on a spike, you can’t do much

worse than a standard office chair,” says Galen

Cranz, a professor at the University of California

at Berkeley. She goes on to give a useful visual

comparing the spine to an “S” shape when standing

and a “C” shape when sitting, and explains how the

“S” is much stronger than the “C” and so on. She

asserts that “the spine was not meant to stay for

recommended reading:

-The New York Times, February 23, 2010

long periods in a seated position.”

On the surface, these arguments seem to make a

lot of sense, but you have to dig deeper to really

understand how it all works. For that we picked up

on the research of Marc Hamilton, a microbiologist

at the University of Missouri, who concurs with the

Swedes when he says “sitting too much is not the

same as exercising too little. They do completely

different things to the body.” Hamilton, like many

of the researchers we found who study the effects

of sitting, does not own an office chair. He claims

that “when you sit, the muscles are relaxed and

enzyme activity, which breaks down fats, drops

by 90% to 95%, leaving fat to camp out in the

bloodstream. Within a couple hours of sitting,

healthy cholesterol plummets by 20%.”

Although the ideal situation would be to just not

sit as much, for many of us - particularly during

the work day at the office - that may not be a

realistic possibility. A decent alternative appears

to be what researchers call “perching” which

means half-standing, half-sitting on a barstool at a

height that keeps the weight on the legs and leaves

the S-shaped curve intact. In a traditional office

environment where you are sitting at a computer,

this means that you would have to elevate your

desk.

While we find this subject matter quite compelling,

frankly we are getting a little “freaked out” by

the length of time we are sitting at our desks

researching it. There is a lot of great information

that we link to on our website, but, for now, we’re

going for a walk! SLO LIFE


It doesn’t matter if you go running

every morning, or you’re a regular at

the gym. If you spend most of the rest

of the day sitting — in your car, your

office chair, on your sofa at home — you

are putting yourself at increased risk

of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a

variety of cancers and an early death.

In other words, irrespective of whether

you exercise vigorously, sitting for long

periods is bad for you.


Have a health question? Go to slolifemagazine.com and share your curiosity with us.

24 | slo life magazine


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slo life magazine | 25


FULL SPEED AHEAD

an unidentified customer

takes a test drive

26 | slo life magazine


SLO

Moped

Gets

a

Makeover

Even in the best of times, running a small business is a risky proposition.

Success often follows failure, and many seasoned entrepreneurs – at

least the honest ones - will admit that sometimes it takes a lucky break.

In short, starting and operating a small business is not for the faint of

heart. There are no guarantees. No safety net. Guts, determination, and

good old fashioned hard work win the day, except when they don’t.

SLO Moped, based in San Luis Obispo, is a great example of one such

small business. The tiny company is just one of the thousands here on

the Central Coast that drive our local economy and bring vitality to our

community. SLO Moped’s story, similar to so many other small companies

like them, is tenuous and uncertain.

Launched 18 months ago by husband-and-wife team, Jim and Megan

Mackintosh, the road so far has been a bumpy one. The couple - neither

of whom had any small business experience – with a burning desire to

create a better life for themselves and their young daughters, jumped

in with both feet. Following their shared passion for all things moped,

they boldly cashed in their retirement savings for a shot at the American

Dream. The problem is that the money is running out.

Captivated by their story, we here at SLO LIFE Magazine decided to reach

out to the experts. Like a modern day barn raising, we recruited key

members of the local small business community to pitch in and help SLO

Moped turn the metaphorical corner.

NUTS AND BOLTS

Rain was threatening when the team from Collaboration rolled into

SLO Moped’s parking lot on a Thursday afternoon. Michael Gunther,

the company president, greeted the Mackintoshes warmly and, after a

few minutes of small talk, began peppering the couple with questions

about the business. A tour of the shop was followed by a long, honest

conversation about SLO Moped, its challenges and its opportunities.

“There are a couple of things I see here,” began Gunther. “And, please

keep in mind, we usually spend weeks with a client before we get

to this point, but there are some things you are going to have to do

immediately.”

The short list began with developing “a true break-even budget,” which

according to Gunther meant that the Mackintoshes had to find out how

much revenue they needed to generate in a given month to pay all of

their bills, including paying themselves a salary. Gunther explained that

achieving sales beyond this number would be the point at which the

business would become profitable. “You have to understand that finances

are the foundation of business,” counseled Gunther, “and by identifying a

goal, you can start to take steps to achieve it.”

“Second and equally important,” instructed Gunther, “we have to get

you set up with some sort of formal accounting system.” He went on to

explain that it did not have to be complicated and recommended a basic

version offered by Quickbooks. In its first year-and-half of business, SLO

Moped had been simply keeping receipts from all expenses in a box,

which they tallied up at the end of the month and discounted it from

their sales figure to find out if they had turned a profit or lost money.

Gunther reasoned that their accounting system will actually help them

make better decisions because they will have facts to work with, and

will no longer have to make “gut decisions” when it came to operating

the business. “Just like knowing your break-even point, having a solid

accounting system will help you understand what you need to do next, it

will no longer be a mystery and you will start to get the answers you need

so that you don’t have to wing it,” he said.

MARKETING 101

The Mackintoshes had a lot on their minds when they sat down in the

conference room at San Luis Obispo-based Verdin Marketing Ink. Its

founder, Mary Verdin, leads the company, which specializes in marketing

and public relations for local businesses. The meeting got underway with

slo life magazine | 27


| SMALL BUSinESS MAkEOvEr

the Mackintoshes providing an overview of SLO Moped, including its

perceived strengths and weaknesses, and drilled down to specifics with

their marketing.

“I have a couple of observations,” offered Verdin. “I can see that there

is no marketing plan in place currently, and things seem to be done by

the ‘seat of the pants’ to this point.” She explained the importance of

establishing a program that targets their likely customer. “You have to

get clear on who your customer is so that you can communicate your

message with this type of person.” Verdin went on to suggest methods

for gaining this understanding. “Also, your brand messaging is a bit

disjointed. This has to be applied consistently at all times, but, again, the

brand should be dictated by your target market.”

Verdin cautioned the Mackintoshes that there was a lot of work to

be done at this point and that the temptation of many small business

owners is to jump to the tactics of marketing and skip the grunt work,

like doing market research. She offered a metaphor: “Think of it as if

you are going to paint your house, it’s all the prep work that makes for a

great result, right?” The Mackintoshes nodded in agreement, suddenly

realizing the magnitude of the work ahead of them.

WEB STRATEGY

“The website looks really outdated, it doesn’t look professional, and

it makes you look like you’re not a legitimate company,” plainly stated

Forrest Hatfield, founder and director of web systems, at ITech Solutions,

an internet development company in San Luis Obispo. “Your website

doesn’t necessarily have a direct correlation of how legitimate your

company is, but in the eyes of the user it does. You want to make sure

they have a professional experience. For example, when you advertise

somewhere, they [the prospective customers] are probably going to

check out your web page to get more information before they come into

your shop. You want to make sure your site is representing you well and

that you are using it to gain credibility.”

The Mackintoshes readily agreed with Hatfield’s assessment, but

appeared to consider the implications for the first time. Despite their

sudden anxiousness to change the website, Hatfield cautioned the couple

to have a well-conceived web strategy before moving forward. He went

on to ask probing questions, such as: “Will you be selling parts through

the website to people out of the area? If so, you will probably want to

create a separate brand name because a lot of those customers may not


Think of it as if you

are going to paint

your house, it’s all

the prep work

that makes for a


great result, right?

- Mary Verdin

above WEB STrATEGY (left to right)

Mike Wiemholt, Forrest Hatfield and

Megan Mackintosh review plans for the

new website.

right nUTS AnD BOLTS (left to right)

Megan and Jim Mackintosh, and

Michael Gunther talk business.

opposite page MArkETinG 101

(left to right) Megan Mackintosh,

Mary Verdin, Maryn Anderson, and Jim

Mackintosh review brand development.

28 | slo life magazine


understand that ‘SLO’ stands for San Luis Obispo and not ‘slow.’ Selling

parts for slow mopeds probably won’t be a good idea.”Hatfield and his

team then showed the Mackintoshes how they could begin to analyze

data coming from their website, including a breakdown of visitors, where

they are physically located (by city), how they get to the site (i.e., search

engines or by typing in their web address directly), how much time

they spend on the site, and a variety of other metrics. Additionally, they

made suggestions for a website overhaul and stressed the importance of

continually updating the information presented so that it always appears

fresh and new, as most of the information on the SLO Moped website

was a year or more old.

continued on page 30

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW

ABOUT YOUR OFFICE COPIER

MAKING YOUR BUSINESS

Efficient Effective Empowered

www.ultrex.net

712 Feiro Lane, Suite 33

SLO, CA 93401

Tel: 805.783.1234

Fax: 805.783.2987

slo life magazine | 29


| SMALL BUSinESS MAkEOvEr

THE BACK-STORY

Hearing that the Mackintoshes weren’t thrilled with their company’s

logo, we contacted them to see if they would like to be the subject of

a “logo makeover” where we would invite local graphic designers to

participate in the project which we would then publish. They loved

the idea and jumped on it.

Somewhere during the process Megan was summoned to Hawaii

where her mother was in the hospital with a serious illness. Megan

diligently spent every day of that week next to her mother’s side.

CONCLUSION

HiDDEn vALUE Megan and Jim Mackintosh

What begins as a story about saving SLO Moped ends as an object lesson

demonstrating the strength of our local small business community - the

kindness and generosity demonstrated by Collaboration, Verdin Marketing

Ink, and ITech Solutions is truly moving. The companies gave freely of their

time and resources [see “Meet the Panel” on page 32 for details] with no

expectation of anything in return [except a potentially interesting article,

which we hope proves true!]. The truth is, the only ones who can makeover

SLO Moped are Jim and Megan Mackintosh. Now it’s up to them.

SLO LIFE

Megan’s mother did pull through and the Mackintoshes brought her

home to live with them and their daughters. Although they saw a

spectacular turnaround with her health, the business continued its

slide downward and Megan’s weeklong leave and the additional,

unexpected expense of relocating her mother was nearly too much

for the little company to withstand.

It was clear at that point that SLO Moped’s challenges were much

larger than a substandard logo. And, it is within that context that we

called Megan to ask her if she would like to participate in a “small

business makeover” instead. Before she answered, we warned her

that the experience was not without risk, and may be painful, and

that she would have to expose all of their problems for the whole

world to see. We candidly explained that she may be unhappy with

how she was portrayed by us. To that she answered, “Bring it on.”

30 | slo life magazine


slo life magazine | 31


Looking for a place to

meet with your client?

Remember,

San Luis Business Center

| Small BuSineSS makeover

meet the Panel

Combining to donate a package of goods and services with an estimated

value of $20,000, these local companies are giving SLO Moped every

chance for success.

The highly regarded web development

company, ITech Solutions wasted no

time in building SLO Moped a brand new

website, complete with its own content

management system (CMS) so that the

Mackintoshes can manage it themselves.

Additionally, the company has offered to

host the website and provide consulting

to get it off to a smooth start. Forrest

Hatfield and his development team, in

fact, were so diligent and so efficient that

they often found themselves waiting for

content from the Mackintoshes. The new

website – a dramatic improvement - can

now be seen at www.slomopedonline.

com and we post a before and after version

on our site at www.slolifemagazine.com.

As a small business consultant who holds

a masters degree in psychology, Michael is

uniquely qualified to coach small business

owners. He understands the ups and downs of

the entrepreneur on so many different levels,

perhaps better than anyone locally. His company,

Collaboration, has offered SLO Moped a series

of one-on-one coaching and training. The

Mackintoshes have taken the first step already

with Eric Hubbs, business development manager

at Collaboration, who has outlined a way

forward with the Project Plan. This document,

according to Hubbs, will serve as the framework

for improving SLO Moped’s operation. It details a

list of action items, which are designed to create

accountability for improvement.

Mary Verdin was involved in the SLO Moped project from the very

beginning, initially as an unofficial advisor offering guidance on the

logo redesign concept. As someone who has deftly managed a worklife

balance for both herself and her employees, Mary is ideally suited

to work with the Mackintoshes. Her company, Verdin Marketing Ink,

has agreed to provide SLO Moped with help in developing a marketing

plan, an ad template design, and a public relations package. Work is

already underway and Mary has prepared and presented a Marketing

Plan Worksheet, which is a six-page proposal outlining her findings

along with recommendations for going forward.

6 Conference Rooms

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Forrest Hatfield

Co-Founder, ITech Solutions

mary verdin

President, Verdin Marketing Ink

michael Gunther

President, Collaboration

32 | slo life magazine


San Luis

Business Center

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“Of all the decisions we’ve made for our new business, locating in

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office was ready for work on the first day, which allowed us

to focus on growing our business. ”

-Janice Petko, Jeff Buckingham, Cheryl Lovell

of Blue Rooster Telecom

slo life magazine | 33


| The Way We Live

The avery home

34 | slo life magazine


“We have a car, but don’t drive it much,” began our conversation

with Donald and Eldra Avery, owners of a thoughtfully remodeled

1939-vintage home on Fixlini Street. When the couple decided to

move from Los Osos to San Luis Obispo in 1998, their first priority

was proximity to work. “My commute from our kitchen counter to my

classroom chalkboard is exactly one half of a mile, which I walk back

and forth each day,” explains Eldra, an English teacher at SLO High

School. Donald, an architect, works from an office constructed within

the home.

The couple “camped out” in the home for seven years before doing

any significant remodeling, but the list of problems grew longer and

more difficult to ignore over time. “We started with one room and

our contractor, Mark Alfirevic, would ask, ‘Should we go ahead and

remove the plaster from this other room, too?’ and the project just kept

growing over time, so much so that we had to move into a motor home

at one point. We traveled around to different RV parks in Morro Bay for

a year,” says Donald.

The remodel became so consuming, in fact, that only three things

remain from the original structure: the hardwood floors; the coved

ceiling in the living room; and an interior window upstairs. Despite the

massive overhaul, the couple wanted to maintain the character of the

home they had grown to love. According to Donald, “We wanted it to

be the house that it was, but put back together in the way it should

be, to make it what it should have been.” With a few small exceptions

- most notably the much-used breakfast nook - the footprint of the

building, the floor plan, and the window and door openings remain the

same.

Attention to detail throughout the remodel is obvious, but really stands

out in the ornate stonework completed by local artisan, Jim Shimmer.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with the back patio where the

couple is fond of hosting parties that invariably gather around the

brick oven there. The two other areas where considerable expense

was encountered were in converting the space above the garage into a

separate, legal apartment, which, according to the couple, cost a “small

fortune” in city permits and fees. Additionally, the initial cost to install

solar panels and a solar thermal water heating system was significant,

but “well worth it now” as the couple pays an average of just $45 per

month for electricity and $23 per month for gas, which includes utilities

for the rental property.

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Need a bathroom upgrade?

Our afternoon visit with the Averys concluded with a stop in Eldra’s

“Mary Poppins” hobby room upstairs, a small space where the ceiling

matches the pitch of the roof. Two built-in twin beds are situated

across the room from one another - complete with matching clocks and

reading lamps - for visiting grandchildren. Asked if the remodel was

worth the years of effort and the thousands of dollars of expense, Eldra,

who was busy clearing the latest sewing project off the table to make

room for us, left little doubt where she stood on the subject: “I think

it’s important to invest in something that nurtures your creativity, your

soul, your spirit.”

SLO LIFE

above BeFORe & aFTeR clearly the change is dramatic, but the

character of the original structure has been preserved. The garage,

which includes an upstairs apartment, is detached and sits at the back

of the property.

bottom left NaTURe’S BOUNTy many of the vegetables and herbs in the

garden end up in dishes cooked with the outdoor brick oven. The couple

is currently building a chicken coop with their next door neighbor.

bottom right PaRTy TiMe most gatherings end up right here on the

patio. Small overhead lights add to the ambiance, as does the fragrance

of the wide assortment of vines and potted plants lining the ornate

stonework.

continued on page 36

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slo life magazine | 35


| The Way We Live

MaRy POPPiNS

a whimsical, fairy-tale-like space fosters Eldra’s

creativity and houses her visiting grandchildren who

love the built-in beds in grandma’s hobby room.

DRaMaTiC COLOR

sensible use of the existing space yielded much-needed room for closets. The

multi-tone color scheme continues throughout the entire house and complements

the exterior paint choices. Their daughter’s oil paintings, pictured here above the

bed, are framed throughout the home.

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1188 Los Osos Valley Road • Los Osos, CA 93402

(805) 528-1800 • www.sagelandscapes.net

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Sustainable Landscape Design • Construction • Maintenance • Habitat Restoration

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California-Friendly Plants • Pottery • Fountains • Statuary • Outdoor Furniture • Display Garden

Visit us on-line at www.SageLandscapes.net

36 | slo life magazine


TiMeLeSS

filled with books, photos, and paintings, the

living room maintains its original coved ceiling.

With the exception of the flat screen TV, it would

be difficult to tell that it was not still 1939.

DiNNeR TiMe

Donald spent weeks trying to convince his wife they should install a

second sink and additional stovetop in the island, she initially felt it was

excessive but finally relented, now it’s her favorite spot in the kitchen.

slo life magazine | 37


| real estate

leverage

A powerful tool if you know how to use it.

Despite the recent correction in the housing market, it’s no secret that real estate remains the greatest source of wealth creation nationwide. SLO LIFE

Magazine set out to ask local real estate professionals: “Why is that?”

And, while the answers were varied, every single person we talked to touched on the power of leverage.

Leverage, as it pertains to real estate, means “borrowing money” and derives from the word “lever,” which, of course, can be used to create a

tremendous amount of force. Here is how it works:

Let’s say you buy a $400,000 home with a 20% down payment ($80,000) and the bank loans you the remaining 80% ($320,000). The word “leverage”

is appropriate because, like the strength you gain by using a lever, you have gained more purchasing power by borrowing money. You essentially buy a

$400,000 asset for just $80,000. Of course, now you have to repay the bank, but here is where the power of leverage kicks in.

Let’s assume that real estate continues on the same trajectory it has been on for the past 100 years and it gains in value of 2% over the rate of inflation

(this is the average of all the bubbles and recessions during that time frame). So, just by living in your home and not including any improvements you

may make, your investment creates $8,000 ($400,000 x 2%) of wealth in the first year alone. When measured against the original down payment, that is

a 10% return on your cash investment ($8,000 / $80,000 = 10%) which is pretty hard to find these days.

Now, imagine that you live in this home for 20 years, through the magic of interest compounding at an annual rate of 2% that same $8,000 will turn into

$194,379. After 30 years, the gain would be $324,545 plus, by then, you would have probably paid off the original principle balance.

All of this is made possible by leverage, which is the borrowing of money to make the purchase possible. Of course, we all got carried away with the use

of excessive leverage during the bubble, but now may be a great time to revisit the concept. You can continue to track what the market here in San Luis

Obispo is doing by watching the numbers below, but your best bet is to find a house that you will be happy to live in, make a significant down payment

(20%), be happy, live the “SLO Life,” and let power of leverage and compounding interest do their thing. SLO LIFE

the numbers at a glance

Comparing the last four months to the same period last year (07/01/09 - 10/31/09 vs. 07/01/10 - 10/31/10)

Home Price

$100,000 - $500,000

2009 2010 +/-

Home Price

$500,001 - $1,000,000

2009 2010 +/-

Home Price

$1,000,001 - $2,500,000

2009 2010 +/-

1. Total Homes Sold

30 31 3.33%

51 45 - 11.76%

2 4 100%

2. Average Asking Price

$447,565 $430,861 - 3.73%

$684,163 $687,993 0.56%

$2,322,500 $1,876,750 - 19.19%

3. Average Selling Price

$431,982 $416,984 - 3.47%

$658,063 $659,909 0.82%

$2,087,500 $1,643,750 - 21.26%

4. Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

96.52% 96.78% 0.26%

96.19% 95.92% 0.27%

89.88% 87.58% - 2.30%

5. Average # of Days on the Market

73 69 - 5.48%

83 111 33.73%

393 247 - 37.15%

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of Realtors

38 | slo life magazine


Our approach to real estate is about

much more than property… it’s about people.

The Payne Team

Iconic 1930’s Mission Style Home. Featuring 3 bedrooms and 2 baths,

this home is the epitome of historic San Luis Obispo. Featuring

hardwood floors throughout, remodeled bathroom and a fireplace

in the living room. Located on a large parcel, close to downtown,

shopping, schools and all the core of what San Luis Obispo has to offer.

Visit www.1253Peach.com. Reduced to $659,000 by Gavin Payne.

64 Acre Estate. Just a few minutes from Downtown SLO! Beautifully

remodeled in 2009, this home offers a wonderful warmth inside with

modern appliances and wood flooring throughout. Expansive outdoor

decking wraps around the home to take in the vistas over the 4.5 acre

vineyard and spring fed creek. New barn built in 2008 has 2 bathrooms,

compressed air, dust collection system, floor drains, horse facilities and

much more; ideal for winery or shop use. Extensive well system for irrigation.

www.7480TassajaraCreek.com. Offered at $969,000 by Gavin Payne.

SLO Garden Home. Let the fabulous garden spaces on this property

sweep you away. Three bedrooms, two full baths, swimming pool,

wood and tile flooring and a spectacular atrium that brings in an

abundance of natural light. A very unique home not usually found in

SLO. View this listing at www.1700jalisco.com. Offered at $699,000

by Gavin Payne.

Fantastic Home on Cul-de-Sac. This remodeled 3,200 sq. ft. residence

has 4 bedrooms, each with their own bath, making this a wonderful family

home. The private walkway to the front door has a calming water feature

and gardens. Cherry hardwood floors and a grand fireplace in the living

room, a separate formal dining room and wonderful family room. Offered

at $719,000 by Gavin Payne. www.1736LeeAnnCt.com

SOLD

PENDING

Stunning Views from Mediterranean Estate. Built in 2007, this

4 bedroom, 4 bath plus office, craft room and separate media room

totals 4300+ sq. ft. Fabulous modern kitchen featuring granite counters,

butlers pantry and entertaining bar. Open floor plan featuring Travertine

floors, Cherry hardwood and multiple fireplaces. Offered at $1,699,000

by Gavin Payne.

Avila Beach. Spacious 2700 sq. ft. luxury penthouse with three

comfortable suites complete with private bathrooms. Private

entrance directly off Front Street, meticulously furnished, amazing

white water ocean and beach views. Large patio is complete with

built-in BBQ and refrigerator, patio furniture and ceiling mounted gas

heaters. Includes private off-street parking and 2 car garage. Offered

at $2,969,000 by Gavin Payne.

Gavin Payne

805-550-3918

Cheryl Priolo

805-459-0200

Adam Quaglino

805-748-3995

962 Mill Street

San Luis Obispo, California 93401

www.HomesofSLO.com

slo life magazine | 39


40 | slo life magazine


| REaL ESTaTE

ask The Experts

Where do you see SLO real estate heading over the next year?

Charlotte Storlie

The Mortgage House

Oh, that crystal ball that we all wish we had!

Based on what I am seeing in our mortgage

applications and closings, which have been at

record levels the last few months, I feel that

local real estate values will continue to stabilize

and increase moderately in the next year. I

expect the incredibly low interest rates to

continue, possibly through next year. Much of

our inventory in the area has been diminished

by short sales (sales where lenders have agreed

to let the borrowers sell and settle for less than

owed) and foreclosures. The median price has

increased slightly, yet affordability countywide

is at an extremely good level. Values have come

down to where many people can now afford to

buy, especially with the allowable maximum

loan limits for conventional and FHA, and the

low down payments still available through

FHA. This has the effect of increasing demand,

which, in turn, reduces supply and pushes

values upward.

Inspired Habitats

San Luis Obispo

Specializing in

Home Staging

Personal Organization

& Feng Shui

Karen Strombotne

805.439.0270

inspiredhabitats.net

I am often optimistic regarding the state of San Luis

Obispo’s real estate market and today more so than

ever. Perhaps not in the way most would expect,

however. My prediction for the next 12 months is

“more of the same!” Sellers will have to continue

to adjust their perception of value downward a

little further and buyers can expect to purchase

more home for their money, but may continue to

struggle with finding the perfect home with our

small amount of available inventory. Opportunity

exists for those looking to sell what was perhaps

a starter home and upgrade to a larger home

and for those going in the opposite direction

and downsizing their home needs. Basically, you

should look to sell lower, buy lower and do so with

historically low interest rates. We have experienced

an increase in first time homebuyers stepping into

our market too, something I expect to continue

over the next 12 months. Initially spurred on by

Federal and State tax credits these buyers continue

to pursue home ownership through the increasing

availability of low down payment loan programs.

Most people watching or in the market today may

think about optimism in our market in terms of the

return of increasing values. I think we have every

reason to be optimistic about a little stability and a

little more of the same. This is ultimately the path

to the return of increasing values and a healthy real

estate market for our city.

Gavin Payne

The Real Estate Group of San Luis Obispo

SLO LIFE

Have a real estate question? Go to slolifemagazine.com to get an answer.

slo life magazine | 41


Shopping for the person

who has EVERYTHING?

Well they AIN’T

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| LocaL food By LocaL PeoPLe

Healthy comfort food

Warm your winter with a hearty, healthy meal. By NANCy FOx

I moved to SLO twelve years ago with my husband and two sons. As a native to Los Angeles, I started

a gift-basket company when I graduated from college called Mrs. Beasley’s. It really took off with the

Hollywood crowd who loved the tasty mini-muffins. I will admit that it was quite fun to get calls from

celebrities who would confess they were hooked on these indulgent little treats. The company grew

and grew, and we ended up shipping our gift baskets all over the country.

After I sold Mrs. Beasley’s, I became very interested in healthy cooking and baking for my family. My

husband’s family has a terrible history of heart disease. His father was one of four brothers who all died

before the age of forty! I really like him and want him to stick around, so it motivated me to get into

the kitchen. I spent four years developing a wonderful collection of reduced calorie and fat food and

desserts that even my young sons enjoyed. Out of this, a restaurant called Nancy’s Healthy

(805) 550-6264

www.shitsandgrinsbbq.com

Jason@shitsandgrinsbbq.com

42 | slo life magazine

Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf

Serves 4; Prep Time 10 mins; Bake Time 1 hour

In 2007, meatloaf was voted the 7th favorite meal

in America. I’ve made a few flavorful and healthy

twists. Using barbecue sauce instead of ketchup is

a small change that makes a big difference. By free

forming your meat instead of using a loaf pan, you

won’t trap the fat into the meal. And substituting

lean ground turkey for ground beef will save you

over 250 calories and 38 grams of fat per serving.

Ingredients

1 package ground turkey (1-1 ¼ pounds)

½ cup plain bread crumbs

1 cup chopped onions

½ cup + ½ cup barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 egg whites

½ teaspoon salt

fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with foil.

3. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bread

crumbs, onions, ½ cup barbecue sauce,

Worcestershire sauce, egg whites, salt and

pepper and mix well.

4. Place meatloaf mixture in the center of the

baking pan and shape into a 12 x 4 inch loaf.

5. Spread the remaining ½ cup barbecue sauce

evenly over the top of the loaf.

6. Bake 1 hour. Let stand 5 mins before slicing.

Skinny Mash Potatoes

Serves 4; Prep Time 10 mins; Cook Time 25 mins

With gobs of butter and cream, it’s no wonder

mashed potatoes are such a popular comfort

food. By using reduced-fat milk to replace the

cream and a reduced-fat spread with half the

calories and fat of butter, you save over 60 calories

and 7 grams of fat per serving.

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs. red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into even

sized large chunks

2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter or spread

¾ to 1 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk

¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. In a large saucepan cover potatoes with

cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover

and simmer until fork tender (approx 15-20 mins).

2. Drain potatoes.

3. Add the reduced-fat butter, milk, chives, salt

and pepper to the hot potatoes.

4. Turn the flame to medium and mash potatoes

until blended and all the ingredients are

heated.

Broccolini with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serves 6; Prep Time 8 mins; Cook Time 10 mins

A hybrid vegetable between broccoli and Chinese

kale, broccolini is a vitamin and fiber packed

vegetable you’re sure to love.


Kitchen was born. The menu featured healthy versions of old-fashioned comfort foods that tasted every

bit as good as the original dishes. It was such a thrill to learn that Oprah was a fan of our cookies, and

she invited us to join her “Favorite Gifts” show where they were featured.

The decision to sell the restaurant and move to SLO was the best one of our lives. My husband likes to

say that when we left L.A, we “got out of dodge.” But, the truth is, we couldn’t imagine a better place

to raise our boys. Now, after 25 years in the kitchen, I have developed some excellent recipes which you

and your family can find on my website at www.skinnykitchen.com. One of my family’s favorites, which

I would like to share with you, is my Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf dinner. It’s a hearty, but healthy dish,

perfect for this time of year. Enjoy!

Central Coast

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Ingredients

4 bunches (1½ pounds) broccolini

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon sugar

½ fresh lemon

½ teaspoon salt

fresh ground pepper

Instructions

1. In a large pot bring 6 cups of water to a boil.

2. Cut the bottom third of the broccolini stems, discard.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together, the olive oil,

vinegar, mustard, garlic, and sugar. Set aside.

4. Bring water to a boil, drop in broccolini. Return

to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat for

about 2 minutes until tender. Drain well and place

in a serving dish.

5. Drizzle dressing over the broccolini. Toss to

coat. Squeeze lemon juice over the broccolini and

sprinkle with salt and pepper.

cherry Pie Topped cheesecake

Serves 12; Prep Time 15 mins; Bake Time 35 mins

Beautiful chunks of ruby-colored cherries top this

divine vanilla cheesecake. One slice has only 270

calories and 9 grams of fat.

crust

1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, melted

filling

2 (8oz) packages reduced-fat cream cheese

2 egg whites

1 large egg

1 cup sugar

½ cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Topping

1 (21oz) can cherry pie filling

Instructions

1. To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350

degrees. Coat a 9-inch spring form pan with

cooking spray.

2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.

Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. To make filling: Beat the cream cheese until

fluffy and smooth. Slowly mix in the egg whites,

egg, and sugar until smooth. Stir in the sour

cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Pour the

mixture over the crust and spread evenly.

4. Bake for 35- 40 minutes or until the center is

set. Cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 6

hours before serving.

5. To add topping: After the cheesecake has been

refrigerated, remove from spring form pan and

place on a serving plate. Top with with cherry pie

filling. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

SLO LIFE

Have a recipe to share?

Go to slolifemagazine.com to tell us about it.

• No Contract Required

Eat Healthy, Eat Local

Serving

• San Luis Obispo • Avila •

• Los Osos • Five Cities •

• Nipomo •

www.sloveg.com

805.709.2780

slo life magazine | 43


| The ArTs

Cuesta Master Chorale

The best of SLO combine their passion with their talent to create a showstopping experience. By DAnIELLE DuTrO

masterwork mas•ter•work n. synonymous with masterpiece; an outstanding

work of art or craft; the greatest work of an artist or composer

While many Central Coast residents are taking in a football game on

Monday night, over a hundred locals meet to rehearse masterworks

of some of the world’s most renowned composers. The Cuesta Master

Chorale (or CMC) began in 1983, but for the past twenty-five years its

members have been under the direction of Dr. Tom Davies. The group

has performed works such as Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem and

Bach’s B-minor Mass.

The CMC embodies a true sense of community. It is a place where all

walks of life and all ages come together to share their passion for music.

The diverse choir has a membership that ranges in age from high school

students to its most senior members who have been with the choir since

its inception. The impressive group boasts well-respected community

members; some of whom serve as directors for other choirs. Whether

mothers singing with their daughters or husbands harmonizing with their

wives, CMC is truly a family.

Member Vicki Ewart, a soprano and advisory board chair, has been a

member since 1984. With over twenty-five years of singing experience in

the choir, she has had the opportunity to sing some of the most impressive

works that Cuesta Master Chorale has performed. Passing on the family

tradition, some of her fondest memories include the performances where

she stood shoulder-to-shoulder alongside her daughter, Erin.

This tight-knit company of singers is distinctive not only in its makeup

but also in its depth. “Master Chorale is unique in that we are one of

the few community groups that regularly performs masterworks,” says

Ewart. Because performing masterworks requires both an artistic choir

and a talented orchestra, coordinating, organizing and recruiting the two

memberships can be difficult if not impossible for most groups. But the

partnership with the Master Choral Orchestra has made it all achievable

since CMC’s beginning.

Anyone who has sat in the audience at a CMC concert can report that

it is often a profound experience. It can also be unforgettable to those

who perform the pieces. Ewart recalls fondly the first time the Chorale

sang Handel’s Messiah in its entirety. “The soloists were fantastic, the

choir was fantastic, the whole night was just magical… Those are magic

memories in my mind.”

Despite the complexity of work that the group performs, its members are

not without a good sense of humor. One unforgettably funny moment for

Ewart was when, “We were at the Nazarine Church in Arroyo Grande - I

don’t even remember what piece it was - but Tom [Davies] got so excited

that he threw his baton into the audience. At our next rehearsal Tom was

presented with a glove that had a baton velcroed to it.” SLO LIFE

Tom Davies, conductor CMC

(sans velcro glove)

44 | slo life magazine


slo life magazine | 45


| Community Calendar

Presenting the best

in professional

entertainment at the

Performing Arts Center!

WWW.CALPOLYARTS.ORG

WE ARE THE MUSTANGS

Season, Group, and Single Game Tickets

on sale at the box office by calling

1–866–GO STANGS or online at GoPoly.com

Like us on

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twitter.com/CPMustangs

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December 1 - 8

Event Hannukah Candle Lighting

Time 5:00pm

Location Mission Plaza

Contact 426-5465

Description On the first night

of Hannukah, the Jewish

Community Center will be

hosting a Hannukah Party along

with a candle lighting.

December 2

Event General Stanley McChrystal

Time 7:30pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.slofoodbank.org

Description McChrystal, a

four-star general, will speak on

America’s global role and its

security issues in a lecture titled

“The State of International Affairs

and the Security Challenges

Facing America.”

December 3

Event Holiday Parade

Time 7:00pm

Location Higuera Street, SLO

Contact www.downtownslo.com

Description Downtown

Association Presents its 35th

Annual Holiday Parade

December 3

Event A Modern Gospel Christmas

Time 8:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description The House of Prayer

Church Choir celebrates their

13th anniversary with a unique

presentation of holiday and

gospel music.

December 3

Event Fall Jazz Concert

Time 8:00pm

Location Spanos Theater

Contact www. music.calpoly.edu

Event This concert will have an

eclectic mix of jazz standards and

modern compositions, and will

performed by the University Jazz

Bands No. 1 and No. 2 and the

Cal Poly Jazz Combos.

December 4

Event Opening of “The Catch”

Time 2:00pm-4:00pm

Location History Center of SLO

Contact www.historycenterslo.org

Description A new exhibit

featuring a series of photographs

of the San Luis Obispo County

fishing community taken in the

mid-1970s by Thom Halls.

December 4

Event A Christmas Celebration

Time 8:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www. music.calpoly.edu

Description This festive annual

concert by the Cal Poly Choirs

will put you in the mood for

holidays. Performers include

PolyPhonics, The University

Singers, Early Music Ensemble,

and Cal Poly Brass Ensemble.

December 4 - 5

Event A Christmas Carol

Time various

Location Spanos Theatre

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Gilbert Reed’s

masterful telling of the Dickens

classic in this lively ballet will

delight the entire family. Set

to Sir Thomas Beecham’s

orchestrations of music by G. F.

Handel, “A Christmas Carol” tells

the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s

journey from heartless miser to

generous soul.

December 5

Event Art in the Vineyard

Time 11:00am-5:00pm

Location Tolosa Winery

Contact www.tolosawinery.com

Description Featuring 30 artists

including paintings, sculptures,

textiles, pottery, jewlery,

glass art, home decor, hand

made soaps, and much more!

Appetizers, wine tastings, and

live music will also be included in

this free event.

December 5

Event Joy to the World

Time 3:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description San Luis Vocal Arts

Ensemble presents Joy to the

World, a holiday concert with an

international flair. Come along on

a spirited sleigh ride across the

globe as we sing of peace, love

and goodwill to the people of our

earth.

December 7

Event CASA’s Voices for Children

Time 11:30am-1:00pm

Location Maddona Inn

Contact 781-2670

Description Casa’s Voices for

Children fundraising luncheon will

feature lively entertainment, a

children’s musical performanced,

a silent auction and live auction.

December 8

Event Jon Anderson

Time 7:30pm

Location Spanos Theatre

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Jon Anderson shines

as an accomplished solo artist

and composer. His solo acoustic

Spanos Theatre show will

include many classic songs from

throughout the YES songbook, as

well as his own eclectic work.

December 11

Event Fa-La-La

Time 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Location Dallidet Adobe & Gardens

Contact www.historycenterslo.com

Description Christmas caroling

competition with musicians from

around the county. Beer, wine

and beverage sales benefit the

History Center.

December 11

Event Clara’s Tea Party

Time 12:30pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description An exclusive tea party

with the Sugar Plum Fairy and

her friends, photo opportunities,

and a special treat!

December 11, 12

Event The Nutcracker

Time various

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description The Civic Ballet

presents The Nutcracker. Audiences

of all ages will marvel at the magic

and wonder of this production that

has delighted the Central Coast for

more than 30 years.

December 12

Event Holiday Concert

Time 3:00pm

Location Clark Center

Contact www. slosymphony.com

Description San Luis Obispo

Youth Symphony Presents their

annual Holiday Concert.

December 16

Event The Blind Boys of Alabama

Time 7:30pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Go Tell It on the

Mountain is a special holiday

engagement, celebrating the

spirit of Christmas with all the

energy and soul of old-time

gospel, complete with sweet

harmonies and exuberant

charisma.

46 | slo life magazine


December 18

Event CMC Holiday Special

Time 8:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

DescriptionThe Cuesta Master

Chorale and Orchestra will

perform its annual holiday

concert with a selection of

spiritual music from Baroque,

Romantic, and 20th Century

composers.

December 19

Event Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday

Time 6:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description The fourth annual

Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday

Concert & Sing-Along.

December 31

Event SLO Symphony New Years Eve

Time 6:00pm & 7:30pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Soprano Maria Jette

will join Michael Nowak and the

orchestras for a winter “pops”

concert filled with Broadway

show tunes, movie music

and delightfully familiar old

standards.

January 7

Event Liszt Commemorative

Time 8:00pm

Location Spanos Theater

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Music Department

chair and pianist W. Terrence

Spiller will give a benefit recital

of works by Johannes Brahms,

Paul Hindemith, and Franz Liszt.

January 14

Event Guitar Masters

Time 8:00pm

Location Performing Arts Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Featuring the

amazing artistry of three of the

world’s foremost guitarists:

Andy McKee, Eric Johnson, and

Peppino D’Agostino.

January 15

Event Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood

Time 7:30pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description The stars of TV’s

“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

team up for an evening of

extraordinary improvisational

comedy.

January 21

Event Forbes Pipe Organ Recital

Time 8:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Dr. James Welch

returns to SLO with an

encompassing program.

January 22

Event Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Time 8:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description South Africa’s

premier male a cappella group.

January 22

Event J.S. Bach in the Mission

Time 8:00pm

Location Mission San Luis Obispo

Contact music.calpoly.edu

Description The Early Music

Ensemble will be assisted by

David Arrivée and other Cal Poly

faculty members.

January 23

Event Jungle Jack Hanna

Time 4:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Jack Hanna’s live

show features many of his

favorite animal friends, as well

as fascinating and humorous

stories and footage from his

adventures around the world.

January 30

Event Spring Awakening

Time 7:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Winner of eight Tony

Awards, this landmark musical

with its brilliant score explores

the coming-of-age journey from

adolescence to adulthood with

poignancy and passion.

February 5

Event A Night at the Mission

Time 8:00pm

Location Mission San Luis Obispo

Contact music.calpoly.edu

Description An evening of

beautiful music performed by

our chamber ensembles in the

Old Mission Church.

February 5

Event SLO Symphony Classics III

Time 8:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Violinist Shunske

Sato performs.

February 8

Event Vienna Boys Choir

Time 7:30pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description The Choir’s angelic

a cappella vocals are comprised

of talented singers between the

ages of 10 and 14.

February 10

Event Swan Lake

Time 7:30pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.com

Description Russian National

Ballet Theatre presents

a full-scale production of

Tchaikovsky’s perennial classic,

Swan Lake.

February 19

Event Lilly Tomlin

Time 8:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description One of America’s

foremost comediennes.

February 24, 25, 26

Event Falsettos

Time 8:00pm

Location Performing Arts Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Cal Poly presents

“Falsettos,” a play by William

Finn and James Lapine.

February 26

Event Musical Travelogue

Time 8:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact music.calpoly.edu

Description A musical travelogue

through Europe over the centuries.

February 26

Event A World of Music

Time 8:00pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Over 150 musicians

present music from around our

world with a special emphasis

on the beauty and excitement of

songs from the Middle East.

February 28

Event Monty Python’s Spamalot

Time 7:30pm

Location Cohan Center

Contact www.pacslo.org

Description Based on theclassic

film, “Monty Python and The

Holy Grail” , Tony Award-winning

Monty Python’s Spamalot tells

the tale of King Arthur and his

Knights as they embark on their

quest for the elusive Holy Grail.

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slo life magazine | 47


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48 | slo life magazine

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