SLO LIFE AprMay 2020 Low Res

slolife

LIFE

SLOmagazine

CENTRAL COA

WINE & FOOD

SEASONAL

FAVORITES

TAKING IN

THE VIEW

ON THE

RISE

BEH

THE

SCE

NEWS MEET

APR/MAY 2020

SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

BRIEFS

TIM

UPCOMING

HAPPENINGS

LOCAL

ARTIST

NOW

HEAR

THIS

HEALTH

TRENDS

TRAVEL

ENTURE

MARISA BLOCH GAYTAN

TAKING CHARGE &

PLANTING ROOTS

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 1


We’re more than

just ink on paper.

2226 Beebee St, San Luis Obispo, CA 805.543.6844 prpco.com

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M O D E R N • C L A S S I C • J E W E L R Y

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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 3


4 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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CONTENTS

Volume

30

32

34

11

Number 2

Apr/May 2020

38

Timeline

View

Q&A

MEET YOUR

NEIGHBOR

10

PUBLISHER’S

MESSAGE

12

14

16

20

28

Info

Sneak Peek

In Box

Contributors

Briefs

6 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020

36

NOW HEAR THIS


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 7


| CONTENTS

72

76

Real Estate

Health

82

TASTE

90

92

Kitchen

Wine

48

ARTIST

54

56

58

Family

On the Rise

Dwelling

96

BREW

8 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


805.574.0777

www.sagelandscapes.net

@sagelandscapes

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 9


| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

A little more than a decade ago, I washed up on the shores of San Luis Obispo a broken and busted heap,

bruised and bloodied. The Great Recession came out of nowhere and snatched everything from us: our

business, our building, our home, our cars, our money, and our pride.

Although the sun was shining, it was always dark. The talking heads cried out in terror each day, “The Dow

Jones dropped another 500 points!” Somber-faced politicians wrung their hands. They had no answers. For the

first time in my life, I thought about buying guns and water purifiers.

Today, I am a ten years older. Maybe a little wiser.

The news now is much worse. This time, the talking heads are not just reporting on the stock market, but

also mortality rates. Everyone is feeling pain. All of us are paying a price, both large and small. For many, the

invoice will not arrive until later, after the tidal wave recedes.

When I think back on the Great Recession, I count it as one of the best things that has happened in my life.

The lesson I learned was one I already understood in my head, but not in my heart: It’s people that matter most. After interviewing thousands of locals

for this magazine over the past ten years, that lesson has been reinforced on a daily basis—it has been codified and sequenced in my DNA.

I am often asked about our title, SLO LIFE Magazine, particularly by people who do not live here on the Central Coast. Why do you call it SLO Life,

what does that mean? My answer is always the same: SLO Life is not a place, it’s an idea. Yes, we have the best beaches, the best small towns, the best

trails, but it’s really about the people—a community of doers and makers, hopers and dreamers, who are passionate and steadfast and fiercely committed

to belonging to this place, and to one another.

This magazine was founded upon the concept of meeting your neighbor, and it is the name of our cover article. The idea for that feature dates back to

our first issue, but it was sparked by a memory formed during our first days here. I was feeling depressed and defeated as I pushed my trash can, then

overflowing with dirty diapers and nasty collection letters, to the edge of the curb. I turned to my right and there she was, my neighbor. She waved as

she called out, “Hello!” She told me her name was Sue Waterbury. I asked her the question that has begun all of my interviews for this magazine since.

“So, tell me, where did you grow up?” Over the years, until she passed away, Sue became a surrogate grandmother to us. We called on her in a pinch

when we ran out of eggs or milk, and when my wife went into labor in the middle of the night. Before we brought our new baby home, our two other

little ones woke up greeted by Mrs. Waterbury, who also happened to be their Tiny Tigers preschool teacher at SLO High.

Our Meet Your Neighbor article is the conversation which takes place at the end of every San Luis Obispo driveway. And that is what makes it all so

difficult now—the driveway is closed. No hugs. No handshakes. Six feet. In some ways, it would be easier if it had been an earthquake or a fire instead.

At least we would meet our neighbors and bake casseroles and be with one another now. Instead, we are “sheltered in place,” trapped with the talking

heads who only tell us how bad it is. How it will only get worse.

But I know better—because I know you. And I know this place.

We all have to dig deep. We have to keep faith in this community. In one another. When my kids complain about the situation, I tell them they are

perfectly justified in doing so. Flag football was canceled. So was dance. And swimming, too. This sucks. All of it. There is no amount of lipstick for this

pig. But I also tell them they are living through history. I tell them to not hold their breath and squeeze their eyes shut in fear, but to open them and

fully experience it. Life is about living, even when the days are dark. FDR talked about “fear itself,” and he was right.

I have no doubt that a decade from now, I will be thinking about how important this time was for me in becoming the new and improved ten-year-older

version of myself. I will look back on it and miss those endless days with my family, the phone calls and video chats with neighbors and friends. My kids

sitting around the kitchen table with their computers trying to figure out how to do this distance learning thing as they laugh and talk and argue and

negotiate their way forward. My wife coming up with new and creative uses for the canned food hiding in the dark corners of our pantry. As for me, I

am again putting my faith in you, and this place we share, this idea—SLO Life.

On behalf of everyone here at SLO LIFE Magazine, I wish you and your family, friends, and neighbors health and resolve.

Live the SLO Life!

Tom Franciskovich

tom@slolifemagazine.com

10 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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SLO LIFE

magazine

4251 S. HIGUERA STREET, SUITE 800, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA

SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

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Tom Franciskovich

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Libbie Agran

Charlotte Alexander

Jeff Al-Mashat

Aimee Armour-Avant

Lauren Harvey

Paden Hughes

Zara Khan

Cindy Lambert

Jaime Lewis

Heather Muran

Brant Myers

Jessie Rivas

Shawn Strong

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Suzi Bliss

Amy Joseph

David Lalush

Vanessa Plakias

Jay C. Winter

CONTRIBUTIONS

Have some comments or feedback about something you’ve read here?

Or, do you have something on your mind that you think everyone should

know about? Submit your story ideas, events, recipes, and announcements

by visiting us online at slolifemagazine.com and clicking “Share Your Story” or

emailing us at info@slolifemagazine.com. Be sure to include your full name

and city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may

be edited for clarity and space limitations.

ADVERTISING

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at (805) 543-8600 or by email at tom@slolifemagazine.com or visit us

online at slolifemagazine.com/advertise and we will send you a complete

media kit along with testimonials from happy advertisers.

Nicole Pazdan, CSA,

SUBSCRIPTIONS

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slolifemagazine.com/subscribe. It’s just $24.95 for the year. And don’t

forget to set your friends and family up with a subscription, too. It’s the

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NOTE

The opinions expressed within these pages do not necessarily reflect those of

SLO LIFE Magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole

or in part without the express written permission of the publisher.

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CIRCULATION, COVERAGE, AND ADVERTISING RATES

Complete details regarding circulation, coverage, and advertising

rates, space, sizes and similar information are available to prospective

advertisers. Please call or email for a media kit. Closing date is 30 days

before date of issue.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

info@slolifemagazine.com

4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Letters chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations.


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 13


| ON THE COVER

A SNEAK PEEK

behind the scenes

WITH MARISA BLOCH GAYTAN

BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

I met Marisa at Pasolivo and I was hoping we’d have

a beautiful sunset, and was happy to see a gorgeous

setting sky. The timing worked out perfectly for how

I envisioned our shoot.

Marisa showed me around the tasting room. I

asked her what her favorite olive oil was and

she said, “Well, I’m pouring it right now.”

We walked to the back to see how it all was

processed and stored. She explained how they

grind up the olives into a paste, and then the

olive oil naturally separates. And, unlike wine, the

fresher and younger the oil, the better.

I asked Marisa about this old red car that was parked

nearby. She said it’s an old Land Rover that belongs to the

ranch. I asked her if it was too dusty to sit on so we could

take photos, and she said, “I work on a ranch. Dirt doesn’t

bother me.” SLO LIFE

14 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 15


| IN BOX

Take us with you!

Hey, SLO LIFE readers: Send us your photos the next time you’re relaxing in town or traveling

far and away with your copy of the magazine. Email us at info@slolifemagazine.com

ARGENTINA

PUERTO VALLARTA

SALLY and JIM BROOKS-SCHULKE

at Punta Tombo Magellan penguin colony.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS

JANET and CRAIG CARLSTROM

with TERI and RON ANDRS

TOWER BRIDGE, LONDON

MIKE and NANCY TEJADA celebrating Nancy’s 40th

birthday at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Private Island.

RIDLEY and PACEY

16 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


RAJA AMPAT, INDONESIA

GRAPEVINE LAKE, TEXAS

JEFF HERTEN, DEBBY LYON,

NIKKI, STEVEN, KENZIE, and

KADIE CASTLEBERRY

BIG ISLAND, HAWAII

RICH KRUMHOLZ

CHINA PEAK

ROSH WRIGHT and

MADDY SINCLAIR

SAO MIGUEL ISLAND, AZORES

TONY and CINDY MCCOWN

MELISSA LATIMER, CRISTINA MACEDO,

and ALAINA MCBRIDE at Ski Patrol—most

importantly, everyone was A-OK!

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 17


| IN BOX

SLO LIFE travels!

BROOKLYN BRIDGE

DEATH VALLEY

DAN, KACEY, MADISON, JORDYN, GAVIN and ALEX

COHEN with MATT, KIMBERLEY, SPENCER, PEYTON,

and CLAUDIA WORMLEY and KEN FINNEY

AL and RITA NIETO with

SALLY and JIM BROOKS-SCHULKE

NEW CALEDONIA, SOUTH PACIFIC

LOS ANGELES

JACKIE POPE, LAURA HEIDEN and APRIL CLEATH

brought SLO LIFE Magazine to the Oprah 2020 Tour.

18 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020

Please send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com

Follow SLO LIFE on Facebook: Visit facebook.com/slolifemagazine

Visit us online at slolifemagazine.com

Letters may be edited for content and clarity.

To be considered for publication your letter should include your name, address, phone number, or email address (for authentication purposes).


LEARN BY DOING

WAS BORN HERE

CAL POLY AND LEARN BY DOING

HAVE BEEN RESIDENTS OF

THE CENTRAL COAST

SINCE 1901.

Cal Poly students provide free tax preparation for

low-income community members of the Central Coast as

part of the Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA

is sponsored by the Cal Poly Accounting Area, California

Franchise Tax Board and the IRS. Cal Poly student

volunteers have prepared over 33,000 tax returns since the

program began in 1992.

See more Learn by Doing stories at

GIVING.CALPOLY.EDU

PHOTOGRAPH BY CAL POLY STUDENT JUSTIN SHARER (FOURTH-YEAR BUSINESS MAJOR)

AD DESIGN BY CAL POLY STUDENT LAUREN WENSTAD (THIRD-YEAR GRAPHIC COMMUNICATION MAJOR)

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 19


| CONTRIBUTORS

JEFF AL-MASHAT writer

Reading I just finished “Evicted,” by Matthew Desmond. In my other

life, I work for ECHO as the Director of Homeless Services for Paso

Robles. This book focuses on stories of income inequality and onerous

rental laws.

Playlist Right now the stuff really in my head is from the

documentary “Echo in the Canyon,” where Jacob Dylan, Jade, Beck

and other current artists recreate songs from the Byrds, the Beach

Boys, and others from southern California’s late 60s/early 70s era.

Podcast I loved the first season of “Slow Burn.” I thought I knew

the Watergate story pretty well, but I said, “I never knew that,” after

every episode.

Funniest practical joke?

When I was studying art history in France, we had a day in Rouen

and we were supposed to write a journal entry about Joan of Arc. On

the bus home, I convinced some undergrads, who spent the whole day

in the bars and needed material for their journal entries, that Joan was

Noah’s wife and that she is the one who designed the Arc that carried

the animals in the flood.

What would make San Luis Obispo a better place?

An Ethiopian restaurant.

CHARLOTTE ALEXANDER writer

Reading “Plainsong” by Kent Haruf (again),”The Night Fire” by

Michael Connelly, “Letter to a Christian Nation” by Sam Harris

(again), “Silver City and Other Screenplays” by John Sayles

Playlist Artists: Lyle Lovett (always), Bob & Wendy, Louie Ortega;

Songs: “The Sound of Silence” performed by Disturbed, “Uptown

Funk” performed by Bruno Mars, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”

performed by K.D. Lang

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Former Cuesta College President Dr. Grace Mitchell and her

husband (a former community college president himself ) Dr.

Ernie Berg (both now deceased). They were kind, gracious,

and unfailingly supportive mentors to me, both personally and

professionally. They inspired me and others to follow our passions

and put heart and soul into whatever we do.

What’s the closest thing to magic?

Sitting in a darkened theatre watching a good play unfold before

your eyes.

LAUREN HARVEY writer

Reading “The Third Hotel” by Laura Van Den Berg. I picked it up at a Little Free Library. I recently finished

“Don’t Let Me Go” by Catherine Ryan Hyde, it was wonderful!

Playlist Little Dragon. I’m also a big fan of classic rock; Creedence Clearwater Revival and Neil Young are among

my favorites.

Podcast “The Morning Mindset.” I listen to it near every day. It keeps me grounded and focused.

Do you have a secret talent? I play electric bass with my husband who plays drums. It’s actually how we met.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Slow down, enjoy the moment. All those things you think you’ll do in the future, do them now.

What would make San Luis Obispo a better place?

A Brazilian steakhouse, like Fogo de Chao!

20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


PADEN HUGHES writer

Reading “Girl Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis

Playlist “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish and “How Do You Sleep?” by Sam Smith

Podcast “The Goal Digger Podcast” with Jenna Kutcher. She is authentic, inspiring, and really puts practical topics

out there for female entrepreneurs like me.

Do you have a secret talent? I practice Byron Katie’s Inquiry method of questioning my long held beliefs and flash

judgments and it’s a practice that has brought a lot of peace, happiness, and growth in my life and relationships.

Thoughts I love San Luis Obispo so much because I believe every one of us has sacrificed something to be here

and call this place home. It brings a special energy. Everyone has skin in the game about how we grow and evolve

as a community. Let’s not lose that in arguments, but use that to find solutions. Sending gratitude to every reader

and I’m so very thankful to every person who invests in bringing value and their perspective to our community.

Reading “Steve Jobs”

ZARA KHAN writer

Playlist It’s always Country music for me; Luke Combs right now.

Podcast “Skimm’d from the Couch.” I enjoy their interview style

and variety of guests. It’s a great combination of educational,

inspiration, and entertainment. I originally discovered them as a

news source, The Skimm.

What’s a food you haven’t eaten, but want to try?

Thai tea cheesecake.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Patience, patience, patience.

What did you want to do when you grew up?

A talk show host—I wanted to have a show called “Tea with Z.”

What is something that would make the world a better place?

Learning more about other cultures, faiths, and ideas.

DAVID LALUSH photographer

Reading “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell

Playlist Ben Howard

Podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience”

What’s a food you haven’t eaten, but want to try?

An authentic Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Travel the world as much as possible.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

With my background in architecture and design, one of my biggest

inspirations is Donald Judd. He was a huge influence for minimal

design as an artist, furniture designer, and architect.

Do you have a secret talent?

Woodworking.

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 21


| CONTRIBUTORS

JAIME LEWIS writer

Reading “Normal People” by Sally Rooney

Playlist Sylvan Esso, Khruangbin, Cass McCombs, Durand Jones & the Indications

Podcast For news, I like “The Daily” from the New York Times, and for a funny spin on the

news, I like “The Daily Show Ears Edition.” For meditation, I love Tara Brach. For food, I

like “Good Food” from KCRW and “The Splendid Table” (and “CONSUMED,” ahem). And

for stories, I like “This American Life,” “Hidden Brain,” and my favorite, our hometown hero:

“Your Own Backyard” (though I might be biased).

What’s a food you haven’t eaten, but want to try?

Ramen burger.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Less cocktails. More investing.

BRANT MYERS writer

Reading Bob Woodward’s “Fear” and

Ronan Farrow’s “Catch and Kill.” As

an avid political news and podcast

consumer, it was fascinating to take a

deeper dive on the two biggest issues of

the past few years.

HEATHER MURAN writer

Reading “Harry Potter and the Chamber

of Secrets” with my daughter Clare. I’m also

catching up on some John Grisham and I’m

reading “The Racketeer.”

Playlist Grace Potter—I heard her recently on

“Live From Here with host Chris Thile” and I

absolutely love her voice.

Podcast I really enjoy “This American Life”

with Ira Glass, and also “Stuff You Should

Know” with Josh Clark and Charles W.

“Chuck” Bryant. Many random topics

covered—right now I’m listening to “How

Disco Works.”

What did you want to do when you grew up?

I loved astronomy and I always wanted to

become an astronaut. I grew up in a rural part

of California and my family had a telescope.

There were no street lights which made it

possible to see craters on the moon and even

several planets.

What’s the closest thing to magic? The

Ocean! It has so much life, beauty and

healing. We spend a lot of time at the beach

and being in the ocean is like magic for our

family.

22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020

What’s a food you haven’t eaten, but

want to try? I just saw a story that a

Montana man was selling homemade

jerky for years in his small shop. Turns

out, it was from humans, and I gotta say,

what would that be like to eat people

without knowing? I know I would tell

the story at every cocktail party for the

rest of my life. Also, teriyaki or original?

Do you have a secret talent? I think my

eyes might have super powers. I can read

800 wpm, have 8/20 vision, and can blow

smoke out my tear ducts. Though the last

one will cost you a pint to see.

What would make San Luis Obispo

a better place? I’ve been to over forty

countries on six continents and there is

no better place than San Luis Obispo.

JOE PAYNE writer

Reading Ever since high school, my favorite

book has been “The Lord of the Rings” by

J.R.R. Tolkien. Yes, all three, which originally

Tolkien wanted to release as one. Tolkien

passed on to me a sense of wonder concerning

words, a love of descriptive writing, and an

unapologetic long-windedness and tendency

to overwrite.

Playlist Mississippi John Hurt. One of America’s

founding bluesmen, Hurt’s iconic fingerstyle

guitar playing was formative in my relationship

to the guitar, my second instrument after piano.

At the time of this writing, I am preparing for

a concert on Hurt’s birthday at a local winery

where I will perform many of his iconic folk/

blues songs like “Pallet On Your Floor” and

“Stack O’ Lee.” Also, Randy Newman, because

Randy Newman is my spirit animal.

Podcast “Moby Dick Energy” by Talia Lavin,

a Brooklyn-based freelance writer who spends

most of her time focused on politics. She just

started this side project, which includes her and

different guests breaking down Herman Melville’s

“Moby Dick” chapter by chapter. Melville was

also notorious for his long-stretching pen and

vocabulary, which Lavin and her guests revel in

much to a nerdy writers’ satisfaction.


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23


| CONTRIBUTORS

Dr. Arnie Horwitz

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

Are you feeling overwhelmed

and confused? I can help.

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JESSIE RIVAS writer

VANESSA PLAKIAS photographer

Reading “Daisy Jones & The Six” for my book club. It captures

the magic of the 70’s music scene. Feeling some Fleetwood Mac

vibes with this one. I was recently asked to sing “Dreams” with

a new band. By chance, I started practicing the song as I started

reading the book. Great timing!

Playlist Linda Ronstadt’s “Blue Bayou.” I used to sing along

with this song on our avocado ranch when I was seven. I will

sing this someday, yes I will! Maybe with my ukulele. That steel

guitar lead though, so good!

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My boys. My youngest inspires perseverance and unconditional

love; my oldest inspires thoughtfulness and patience; and my

hubby inspires adventure and love of life. All three inspire

humor, music, and giving.

Therapy/Counseling/Coaching

Dr. Arnie Horwitz • 30 yrs. Experience

805-541-2752

www.doctorarnie.com

Reading “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell. Not all good

reads for me are happy go lucky. This book is honest and blunt.

Exactly why I enjoy reading Malcolm.

Playlist Leon Bridges; soulful and easy to listen to.

Podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Always interesting topics and

always willing to see both sides of an argument.

What’s a food you haven’t eaten, but want to try?

Oysters Rockefeller. I can’t believe I haven’t had this yet.

What would make San Luis Obispo a better place?

Give, donate, and volunteer what and when you can. Just care and

let it be known that you care.

SHAWN STRONG writer

Reading “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi.

Not the happiest book, I’ll be honest, but the strength and

insight that the writer maintains in the face of his mortality is

nothing less than inspiring. I’ve also been reading some of H.P.

Lovecraft’s short stories. The guy had a questionable personality

at best, but could he ever write a scary story. Sheesh.

Playlist Recently been listening to the song “El Guero” by

Grupo Firme featuring Marca MP nonstop. Heard it in a

commercial like a week ago and haven’t been able to listen to

anything else. Definitely recommend checking it out.

live the SLO LIFE!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

slolifemagazine.com

24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Get some real work experience and a little cash in your pocket before

heading to college. You’ll be a lot better off if you find a career you’re

passionate about before spending four years pursuing it.


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www.GardensbyGabriel.com 805-215-0511 lic.# 887028

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25


E XE PX EC P EC T T B EB TE T T ERSM

ERSM

PASO ROBLES

PASO ROBLES

www.240SPRING.com

www.240SPRING.com

Attention Investors! This is a rare opportunity to own a large apartment complex in Paso Robles. Located on the "Gateway" to Paso Robles, this Spring Street

Attention Investors! property This includes is a rare 6 buildings opportunity with 54 to apartments. own a large The apartment apartments complex consist in of; Paso (8) Robles. one bedroom, Located one on bath, the "Gateway" approx 650 to sqft, Paso (42) Robles, two bedroom, this Spring one Street bath, approx

property includes

900sqft,

6 buildings

and (4) three

with

bedroom,

54 apartments.

one bath,

The

approx

apartments

1100 sqft.

consist

Coin

of;

operated

(8) one

laundry

bedroom,

for additional

one bath,

income

approx

and

650

an

sqft,

onsite

(42)

office

two

space

bedroom,

for management.

one bath, approx

The complex

900sqft, and

sits

(4)

on

three

approximately

bedroom, one

2.8

bath,

acres

approx

and graced

1100

by

sqft.

majestic

Coin operated

Oak trees.

laundry

Located

for additional

in the "Opportunity

income and

Zone"

an

and

onsite

zoned

office

TC-2

space

"Town

for

Center

management.

Commercial

The complex

Zoning District."

sits on approximately 2.8 acres and graced by majestic Oak trees. Located in the "Opportunity Zone" and zoned TC-2 "Town Center Commercial Zoning District."

KIM WURSTER, REALTOR ® , LIC. #01018125 805.441.2112

KIM WURSTER, KURTIS REALTOR WURSTER, , REALTOR LIC. #01018125 ® , LIC. #01931796 805.441.2112 805.441.1419

KURTIS WURSTER, REALTOR ® , LIC. #01931796 805.441.1419

MORRO BAY

MORRO BAY

4 bed/3.5 bath 2,224 sf home with remodeled

kitchen featuring beautiful granite counters, new

Nestled at the top of a valley, this updated home

is situated on 2.5 private acres showcasing

Featuring two homes, this charming and inviting

property is 7,169 sf. The 1,351 square foot 3

4 bed/3.5 bath soft close 2,224 cabinets sf home and with a roll remodeled out spice cabinet. Nestled A at immaculate the top of a panoramic valley, this hillside updated and home ocean views. Featuring bedroom, two homes, 1 bathroom this charming main and house inviting features a

kitchen featuring unique beautiful spiral staircase, granite counters, built with pier new pilings is is situated a The on remodeled 2.5 private kitchen acres features showcasing new Granite property remodeled is 7,169 sf. kitchen, The 1,351 open floor square plan foot living 3 room

soft close cabinets conversation and a roll starter! out spice The cabinet. great room A on immaculate the countertops, panoramic breakfast hillside and bar, ocean pantry, views. ample storage bedroom, with 1 lots bathroom of potential main and house ample features windows a allowing

unique spiral second staircase, floor built is light with pier and pilings airy boasting is a ocean The remodeled and stunning kitchen views. features With new a wall Granite of windows remodeled for kitchen, maximum open light. floor The quaint plan living Guest room Suite in the

conversation views. starter! The security The great of a newer room roof, on the new forced countertops, air overlooking breakfast the bar, valley, pantry, the ample living storage room also has with a lots backyard of potential has and it’s ample own entrance, windows is allowing approximately

second floor unit, is new light water and heater airy boasting and new ocean paint inside and and stunning wood views. burning With fireplace a wall of and windows sliders to for the maximum 584 light. sf and The features quaint Guest a beautifully Suite in the remodeled

views. The security out is an of added a newer bonus. roof, Website: new forced 345Island.com

air overlooking oversized the valley, deck. the Website: living room 1090FoxCanyon.com

also has a backyard bathroom. has it’s own Website: entrance, 1828Johnson.com

is approximately

unit, new water heater and new paint inside and wood burning fireplace and sliders to the 584 sf and features a beautifully remodeled

out is an added STANLEY bonus. Website: CRAIG 345Island.com 805.235.0514 oversized deck. CONNOR Website: STORLIE 1090FoxCanyon.com 805.458.0010 bathroom. TERRY Website: GILLESPIE 1828Johnson.com805.459.2022

Broker Associate, LIC. #00995466

REALTOR®, LIC. #02060307

REALTOR®, LIC. #01815083

STANLEY CRAIG 805.235.0514 CONNOR STORLIE

Broker Associate, Better LIC. #00995466 Homes and Gardens Real Estate Haven REALTOR®, Properties LIC. #02060307

547 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Better Homes 805 and Main Gardens Street, Real Morro Estate Bay, Haven CA 93442 Properties

1401 Park Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446

547 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

805 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442

1401 Park Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446

26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020

ARROYO GRANDE

ARROYO GRANDE

805.458.0010

SAN LUIS OBISPO

SAN LUIS OBISPO

TERRY GILLESPIE 805.459.2022

REALTOR®, LIC. #01815083

BHGREHAVEN.COM

805.592.2050

BHGREHAVEN.COM

805.592.2050


DISTINCTIVE COLLECTION

1475 1475 LITTLE LITTLE MORRO MORRO CREEK CREEK ROAD, ROAD, MORRO MORRO BAY BAY

1475LITTLEMORROCREEK.COM

1475LITTLEMORROCREEK.COM

Positioned at the highest point in the Little Morro Creek Valley and offering sweeping views of

Morro Rock and the Pacific horizon, this 2,908 sf, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom single level home is

Positioned at the highest point in the Little Morro Creek Valley and offering sweeping views of

situated on 20 bucolic acres and provides a rare opportunity for ranch style living just minutes

Morro

from

Rock

the

and

beach.

the Pacific

Sunsets

horizon,

over the

this

water

2,908

can

sf,

be

3

seen

bedroom,

from the

3

large

bathroom

master

single

suite,

level

the soaking

home is

tub

situated

in the

on 20

master

bucolic

bath,

acres

the

and

living

provides

room, the

a rare

dining

opportunity

room and

for

the

ranch

expansive

style living

front lawn.

just minutes

The open

from the

kitchen

beach.

has

Sunsets

large Corion

over the

countertops

water can

with

be seen

bar seating

from the

and

large

plenty

master

of cabinets

suite, the

for

soaking

storage.

tub

The

in the indoor master poolroom bath, the also living boasts room, spectacular the dining panoramic room and views the of expansive the valley, front ocean lawn. and The surrounding open

kitchen ranch has land. large The Corion home’s countertops location takes with advantage bar seating of and the plenty generally of warmer cabinets microclimate for storage. perfect The

indoor for poolroom the 800 avocado also boasts tree spectacular hobby orchard, panoramic with enough views usable of the space valley, for ocean the addition and surrounding of equestrian

ranch facilities. land. The The home’s property location boasts takes some advantage of the valley’s of the most generally abundant warmer water, microclimate with 3 usable perfect wells that

for the pump 800 up avocado to 75 gallons tree hobby per minute. orchard, The with 900,000-gallon enough usable irrigation space for pond the adds addition to the of beautiful equestrian rural

facilities. setting The and property attracts boasts abundant some birds of the and valley’s waterfowl. most Offered abundant at: $2,390,000 water, with 3 usable wells that

pump up to 75 gallons per minute. The 900,000-gallon irrigation pond adds to the beautiful rural

TIM COWAN

805.459.3818

REALTOR® TIM • LIC COWAN #02021716

805.459.3818

Tim@BHGREHaven.com

REALTOR® • LIC #02021716

Tim@BHGREHaven.com

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 27


| BRIEFS

-37% Want

The decrease in the number of residential

burglaries in the City of San Luis

Obispo, from 164 in 2018 to 104

reported burglaries in 2019. Property

crime decreased overall in the city, with

a ten percent reduction in general thefts,

according to the SLO Police Department’s

2019 annual crime report.

EatSafeSLO.org

to see how well your favorite local

restaurant or bar measures up foodsafety-wise?

View SLO County Health

Agency food facility inspection reports

online any time.

411,589

“The men and

women working in

our hospitals and

clinics are ready.”

Pacific Central Coast Health Centers

President and CEO Dr. Scott Robertson

on the preparations underway at local

hospitals to combat the spread of

COVID-19, including activating incident

command systems and posting healthcare

workers at entrances to check all visitors

for symptoms.

$3.68

The price of a gallon of gas in San Luis

Obispo County, the most expensive not

only in California, but in the nation at the

beginning of March. And it’s not the first

time SLO has topped the list—just last

summer the average price for a gallon of

regular hit $3.91.

6

The largest number of original patents

that Cal Poly faculty researchers have

obtained in a single academic year. In this

case that would be 2018-19, for a range

of concepts including medical devices,

construction and packaging materials, and

a device with the potential to bring light

and electricity to people living off the grid

in developing countries.

28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020

Attendance at the California Mid-

State Fair, which qualified the event for

inclusion as one of the Top 100 Fairs of

2019 by the International Association of

Fairs and Expositions. Marking seventyfive

years in 2020, the event looks to top

that number when it opens July 22 at the

Paso Robles Events Center.

March 14, 2020

The date of the first confirmed case in San

Luis Obispo County of coronavirus disease

2019 (COVID-19), after more than 100

tests for the virus were performed by the

SLO Public Health Laboratory.

“Busy Box”

A drive-thru, at-home projects program

brought to you by the San Luis Obispo

Children’s Museum and designed to

keep kids busy during their time off

from school. Each box is filled with fun

crafts, science projects, and games with

instructions to match.

AA+

The high rating of $16 million in bonds

recently issued by the County of San Luis

Obispo to finance the construction of a

new Animal Services Facility. Thanks to

the excellent rating and a low interest rate

environment on the day of the sale, the

annual payment will cost taxpayers less

than expected over the twenty-five-year

repayment term of the project.

one

The number of individuals who have filed

a “Candidate Intention Statement” to run

for office in the City of San Luis Obispo’s

November 3, 2020 election. Three seats

are up for grabs—those of Mayor Heidi

Harmon and Council Members Aaron

Gomez and Andy Pease. Jeffrey C. Specht is

the sole filer as of mid-March. SLO LIFE


Dear Central Coast Neighbors,

For decades, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital have

been here for you in times of calm and in times of crisis, in times of peace and in times

of heightened concern about your own personal health and that of our communities.

Our dedicated team of physicians, nurses and support staff throughout Tenet Health

Central Coast, and our entire network of care facilities, has been here through nearly

every major life phase of thousands of our local residents. That is what we do; every

day, all year long and without interruption and hesitation. We are ready for any event. In

fact, with more than 1,200 employees and hundreds of physicians, we are not only ready

for what might happen, but anticipate unforeseen challenges that occur every day in

our hospitals. It is what we do as healthcare providers and good community partners.

In collaboration with all of our healthcare services within the county, throughout the

state and at the national level, our commitment is to the health and safety of our

San Luis Obispo County residents, always. You are our family, friends and neighbors.

We are ready, trained and well-provisioned to meet your needs. Our commitment is

to you and we take that commitment seriously and without reservation. Trauma,

infectious disease and other routine and non-routine medical conditions are

something we know well, train for and work with every day. You can trust that we

are a community built on care and we are here for you now and in the future.

We wish you good health.

We

are here

for you.

Warmly,

Mark Lisa

Chief Executive Officer

Tenet Health Central Coast

TenetHealthCentralCoast.com

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29


| TIMELINE

Around the County

FEBRUARY ‘20

2/5

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff ’s Office announces it recently served four

new search warrants for specific items of evidence in the Kristin Smart case. One

of the warrants was served in San Pedro at the home of Paul Flores, who has been

a person of interest in the Smart case since the Cal Poly student’s disappearance in

1996. Another warrant was served in Kings County, Washington, where Flores’ sister

reportedly lives, and two of the warrants were served in Arroyo Grande at the home

of Flores’ parents. The search warrants were limited in scope and sealed by the court. A

spokesman for the Sheriff ’s Office says that because Smart’s disappearance is an active

and on-going investigation, no additional information would be forthcoming.

2/22

SLO County’s first “libromat” opens at Cole’s Linen and Laundry in Grover Beach.

A project of County Public Libraries in partnership with First Five of San Luis

Obispo County, Raising a Reader, Altrusa International of San Luis Obispo County

and laundromat owners Jack and Terrie Garretson, this “library-in-a-laundromat”

offers children’s books and other literacy materials, including a selection of bilingual

books, to kids and busy families in a place where they often have the time to read.

Books will be replenished and rotated in the libromat every week.

2/13

McClatchy, owner and publisher of thirty newspapers

including the San Luis Obispo Tribune, announces

it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With revenue

declining for five consecutive years, McClatchy

reported a net loss of more than $300 million last

year, prompting a sixty-five percent drop in its

stock price. The bankruptcy is expected to end the

McClatchy family’s control of the company, which

was founded in 1857. The Tribune has in recent years

downsized its operations, moved to smaller quarters

in San Luis Obispo, and recently stopped printing a

Saturday edition.

2/23

San Luis Obispo City firefighters respond to a fire in the upper section of the slides at

Sinsheimer Park, extinguishing the flames before they spread to other structures. Four

teenagers, ages fourteen to sixteen, are being investigated for possible arson, according

to police. The playground, renovated by the city in November 2017, has been the focus

of several recent vandalism incidents, including the theft of a section of artificial turf

that cost some $10,000 to replace. Two of the teens were caught immediately, and the

other two fled on foot but were caught nearby.

2/25

The Board of Supervisors issues a resolution designating the month of February

as National Meat Month in SLO County, noting that “San Luis Obispo County

Cattlewomen are proud that the continued production of a nutrient dense food for

the populace has played a historic, economic, and a healthful role in our daily lives and

that the livestock and meat industry have been significant in the development of this

nation and our county.” Supervisors also recognize Cattlewoman of the Year Kathy

Loftus during the presentation.

2/29

Political and social activist Angela Davis launches

the eighteenth annual Change the Status Quo Social

Justice Leadership Conference held at Cal Poly.

The scholar, author and educator delivers a keynote

address to more than 700 participants, asking for

more equitable and just institutions and emphasizing

the importance of building communities of struggle

for economic, racial, and gender justice. The day-long,

student-led conference, hosted by the university’s

Center for Service in Action, aims to empower

students to use the Learn by Doing spirit to challenge

social norms, ask critical questions, seek solutions, and

make lasting social change.

30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


MARCH ’20

3/3

Unofficial results of the spring primary election indicate

that the three San Luis Obispo County Supervisors

running for re-election will keep their seats for another

term. Supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong had

no trouble defeating their challengers, while Supervisor

Adam Hill squeaked to a win with only a little more than

fifty-one percent of the votes cast. All results are considered

unofficial until a final election results report is released.

3/11

The FBI serves the County of San Luis Obispo a search and seizure warrant under

seal at the County Government Center. County Administrative Officer Wade

Horton assures the public that the investigation poses no threat to the public or

county employees, but has no further information on the reason for the search.

3/12

United States Drought Monitor data is released showing that nearly all of San

Luis Obispo County is experiencing moderate drought conditions after a dry

winter and one of the driest Februaries the Central Coast has ever experienced.

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other

federal agencies show that almost half of California is experiencing a moderate

drought and another thirty percent of the state is abnormally dry.

3/5

Katcho Achadjian, who represented San Luis Obispo

County for three terms on the California State Assembly

and served on the County Board of Supervisors for more

than a decade, dies at the age of sixty-eight. Born in

Lebanon to Armenian parents, the popular local politician

immigrated to the United States in 1971 and became a

US citizen in 1982. He studied at Cuesta College before

graduating from Cal Poly and purchasing a small business

that expanded into multiple stores and gas stations

throughout the county.

3/9

A stretch of public beach in Avila where San Luis Obispo

Creek meets the Pacific Ocean is closed by health officials

after more than 25,000 gallons of sewage was leaked from a

clogged sewer main in the 1100 block of Orcutt Road. The

creek lets out below the Avila Beach Drive bridge.

3/13

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that to date has sickened more than 1,300

people in the US and killed more than 4,300 worldwide, San Luis Obispo

County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein declares a local public health

emergency, allowing her to issue specific orders to limit the spread of the virus.

At the same time, the county’s Emergency Services Director, Wade Horton,

proclaims a local emergency in order to coordinate response efforts. The Public

Health Department is actively monitoring returning travelers and identifying

others who may be potentially at risk, working closely with local health care

providers, facilitating and performing laboratory testing for the virus, and

working with local cities, school districts, and other organizations to prepare

and protect the community. SLO LIFE

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31


| VIEW

Wild-Eyed Encounter

BY JOE PAYNE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAKOTA LAMBERSON

The unmistakable pitch of a ground squirrel crying out a life-or-death

warning was the first hint something was out there. But as San Luis Obispo teen

Dakota Lamberson peered from the passenger seat of his mother’s car while they

meandered along the wooded road, all he could see was a group of deer.

“We were pretty sure that [group of deer] wasn’t the reason the squirrel had

alarmed,” Lamberson said. “Then, out of seemingly nowhere, a bobcat walked

across the road and went up the hill on the other side.” As soon as the cat

appeared, it was gone, vanishing among the browning vegetation in a caramelcolored

ripple along the hillside.

On that 2018 afternoon, after an unsuccessful search for great horned owl along

the winding path of Hi Mountain Lookout Road, Lamberson’s mom cruised in

the direction of Santa Margarita Lake. It was Lamberson’s first visit to the area,

and it was a lucky one. “We hiked up the hill and split up to watch for the bobcat,”

he recalled. “For the next three hours, we kept catching glimpses of it through the

trees.”

Once Lamberson made it, alone, to the top of the hill with his camera, a pointyeared

head popped up from behind a rock and locked him with a penetrating

gaze. He captured a few shots immediately, then took a couple of steps back, as

he was “too close.” The cat didn’t move, clearly squaring the kid up, and accurately

assessing him as no threat.

“He sat, I stood, for over three minutes like this,” Lamberson said. “It was very

unreal. I was super excited but trying to stay calm…I couldn’t believe it was

happening.” Eventually, the feline retired down the hill, leaving the youth holding

a camera loaded with photos and a head swimming with endorphins.

Up to that point, the budding wildlife photographer had spent plenty of time

outdoors with his parents’ camera, catching shots of birds, big and small, or more

common mammals like deer or squirrel. The bobcat was a milestone, he shared, as

predators are much more difficult to find, let alone photograph well. “I had spent

so much time dreaming about getting close to a bobcat or some unusual animal,

so when I was finally there photographing it, I kept having to remind myself that

it was really happening,” Lamberson explained. “It is still at the top of my list of

wildlife encounters. Elusive animals are always more

exhilarating to photograph.”

Now, the steely-eyed bobcat is just one of several

feathers in the fourteen-year-old wildlife photographer’s

proverbial cap. His website (dakotalamberson.com)

showcases many incredible images, from black bear

to bighorn sheep in Yellowstone National Park. Last

year, he won a high honor in the youth category of an

esteemed wildlife photography competition.

Although Lamberson isn’t old enough to have a

learner’s permit or his own cell phone, his work and

approach illustrate a mature passion. He hopes his

photography can aid conservation efforts and raise

awareness, both in the San Luis Obispo area and

beyond. “If you don’t put a face on an animal that you

are trying to protect, then it will just seem like some far

off creature. But if you tell people it is in their backyard,

and show them a photo of it, they will connect to it and

be more likely to protect it.” SLO LIFE

JOE PAYNE is a

journalist, as well as a

lifelong musician and

music teacher, who

loves writing about

the arts on the Central

Coast, especially music,

as well as science,

history, nature, and

social issues.

32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33


| Q&A

THE VILLAGE

If it were up to ROBERTO MONGE, he would snap his fingers and turn

the City of San Luis Obispo into a village. From his roots, growing up

in a tiny, rural Central American hamlet to his deep roots here on the

Central Coast, the idea of community is always top of mind. He is a

software engineer by trade, but his real passion shines through with

his co-founding of a neighborhood group called City Repair SLO. We

sat down for a visit the other day. Here is some of what he had to say…

Where are you from, Roberto? I was born in

a small village in El Salvador. One of my aunts

told me, “Your feet never touched the ground

for the first three years of your life because

everyone was carrying you around.” So, there

was a real sense of a village, a community.

Everything was safe. You just walk around and

pick fruit from peoples’ trees. So, I think that

really was instilled in my psyche and my being.

And then, when I was eight years old, we had

to leave because of the civil war. My dad was

involved in politics. He helped overthrow

the government. One day, my mom told me,

“We’re leaving right now. Write a note to your

neighbor, you’ll never see him again.” My dad

was on a death squad blacklist, which they

published in the newspaper. It was a notice

that said, “When we find you, we’ll kill you.”

And they meant it.

Wow, tell us more about your dad. Sure. He

was the first person to go to college and then

became the highest level lawyer, basically like

an attorney general. What I remember the

most is when people couldn’t pay him. They

would come to ask him for services, but they

couldn’t afford it. So, they would give him

chickens, or turtles, or ducks. We always had

this abundance of gifts from people. It really

did not dawn on me until later in life, but I

realized at some point, wow, what a cool thing

to do. And the fact that he didn’t do it for free

was important to him because he didn’t want

to take away from peoples’ pride. So, he would

accept a turtle for in exchange for a marriage

contract or something.

Where did you go? We hopped on a plane for

California—San Jose. It took me a long time

to adjust to the idea that everyone wouldn’t

shake hands or acknowledge each other. I

remember a friend would walk into my house

right by my parents without really knocking

on the door or saying, “Hello.” He’d just come

in and go straight to my room. My dad would

always get up and go over to him and say, “Hi

there, welcome to my house.” And then I’d go

over to that same kid’s house the next day, and

I’d walk up to the dad to shake his hand, and

he looked at me funny and said, “Hey, get out

the way, you’re in front of my TV.” There was

definitely some culture shock.

What were you like as a kid? I was really

good at tearing stuff apart, and was curious

about how things worked. I spent a lot of time

at Chuck E. Cheese playing arcade games. I

couldn’t afford to play really, but figured out

that if I snuck in behind a family, I could jump

into the little ball pit area and dive to the

bottom and find the tokens kids would lose

in there. They’d be jumping around and the

tokens would just fall out of their pockets—so,

I’d sneak in, then dive and harvest. It was

dangerous work because the kids would land

on me. I’d scream out. [laughter] But that

was the way I funded my habit. Later on, I

ended up at San Jose State University. Got an

engineering degree in mechanical engineering.

I was always interested in software. That’s

what I do for a living.

How can being more village-like make

a difference? Now, okay, good question.

Let’s talk about what to do if people

are quarantined, which they are. Maybe

someone else in the neighborhood could

go shopping for them. Maybe they can

bring food to them, so they don’t have to

leave. But without knowing one another,

our neighbors, in the first place—without

knowing if there’s someone at high risk, let’s

say it’s an older person with asthma—then

there’s nothing we can do. We just all go off

into our separate corners and isolate. Then,

it feels really kind of scary. But, if you’ve

got, let’s say, a pulse on your neighbors and

you already know them and you’ve had fun

together, then I think all these things,

all of our challenges, are going to be

much easier on all of us. So, that’s why

I teamed up to create City Repair SLO.

My motivation was to sort of recreate the

village, to connect people in the community,

and to improve the health and happiness of

the neighborhood. There’s no department

of health and happiness around, so why not

make one of our own? SLO LIFE

34 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


What

Put On Your

Big Boy Pants and

Get a Hearing Aid

Serving you, your parents and your children since 1978

Call us today

for your consultation

805 541-1790

www.KarenScottAudiology.com

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 35


| NOW HEAR THIS

SHAWN CLARK

FAMILY BAND

BY SHAWN STRONG

36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

May 2nd . The Libertine Pub . Morro Bay

May 16th . Saucelito Canyon Vineyard 20th Annual Wine Club BBQ . Lopez Lake

July 24th . Mission Square Stage at the California Mid-State Fair . Paso Robles

shawnclarkfamilyband.com

Pancho and Lefty

It is unclear what became of the itinerant cowboy, Lefty,

from Townes Van Zandt’s classic, “Pancho and Lefty.”

After hearing the soulful baritone of San Luis Obispo

county’s resident cowboy crooner, Shawn Clark, I’m

beginning to think Lefty made his way from the colder

climate of Cleveland to the sunnier streets of SLO. The

wandering vaquero remains a sobering motif of country

music, present since the dawn of the genre. For better or

worse, Clark embodies this weary, rambling, and rugged

bleeding heart, and the Shawn Clark Family Band has

proven that this cowboy isn’t one to shy away from a fight.

From Fort Worth to Chicago,

From Chicago Back to Fort Worth

This story begins forty minutes outside of Dallas, Texas

where a young Shawn Clark dreamed of greener pastures.

In a modified VW van, he left Fort Worth and headed

east until his efforts ran dry in Arkansas. He found

himself in Nashville when offered asylum in the yard of

an old friend. For the next year and a half, Clark worked

as an artist and barista before moving on to New Mexico

and then to a Mennonite colony in Tiskilwa, Illinois.

After working his hands to the bone, he spent a short

time back in Fort Worth and then moved on to the

thriving city of Austin, Texas. After so much travelling,

he wondered about the unknown souls who lived adjacent

to the exit ramps he passed so often. He wondered about

those whose lives existed entirely on a side street and were

more or less unacknowledged by the rest of the world. It

was at this point that the musician decided he wanted to

move to California.

Clark’s long hair and unshakeable call to adventure

earned him the title of “honorary Californian” by his

Texan brethren. With the wind at his back, he took the

plunge and became an actual Californian. Of course,

this would not be a true country music story without

a girl involved. With over 163,000 square miles of

California countryside to consider, the decision of

where to put down roots could have been a challenge.

Thanks to Clark’s girlfriend at the time, he landed

in San Luis Obispo working as a barista trainer.

Needless to say, their love was not to last. Thankfully

for the rest of us, he had already dedicated himself to

settling down here and found the love of his life in the

contours of the beautiful Christy. Clark started Cacti

Coffee Roasters, began playing music locally, and a few months

later married Christy and welcomed a daughter, Prairie Rose, the

second love of his life.

Molly Pitcher Brewing Company

With a flair for the arts, Clark’s many years on the road were filled

with odd jobs and side gigs such as creating and selling art. From

watercolors in Nashville to sculptures out of reclaimed materials

in Austin, his fingers seemed to have the Midas touch. He wrote

ceaselessly, but it was not until after the death of his grandfather,

Fred Anderson, that Clark was compelled to fully pursue his

musical passion. His exposure to and love of old country music is

credited to his grandfather and Clark was ready to tell his story.

Thus, the cover band Pancho and Lefty was born with the intent

to faithfully re-create country tunes recorded before 1975. As

Pancho and Lefty, Shawn Clark, Nathan Stuart, and Steven Ploog

made regular appearances at the Atascadero-based Molly Pitcher

Brewing Company until 2016, when Clark set out on his own and

officially started the Shawn Clark Family Band. After featuring

a rotating group of musicians, the band eventually chose to

feature drummer Ryan Allshouse and bassist Phil Siems. Multiinstrumentalist

Kristopher Chavez, guitarist Ryan Delmore, fiddle

player Jacob Gerhardt, and man-about-town Brenneth Stevens also

make frequent appearances.

Shawn Clark Family Band

Once Clark was ready to record the years of material he had

accumulated, the Shawn Clark Family Band became the perfect

channel to release original material. Since 2016, the band has

worked its way into the local scene

and played almost every Central Coast

venue. When questioned about goals for

the group, Clark expressed two. First,

make as much music with his friends

as possible while growing with and

cherishing his family to the fullest extent.

Second, to become a country-rock legend

of old, up there with Hank Williams Jr.,

Waylon Jennings, and Jimmie Rodgers.

At the time of writing this, it seems as

though both are possible. The Shawn

Clark Family Band plans to release an

album later this year, tentatively titled

Silver Linings. In the meantime, keep an

ear out for Shawn Clark and his band in

the coming months. SLO LIFE

Los Angeles born, SLO County

raised, SHAWN STRONG’s

passion for the local music

scene and artists that have

created it, fuels his writing and

drives his commitment to living

the SLO Life.

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 37


| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

SPRING

FORWARD

PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

On the eve of this magazine’s ten-year anniversary, we take a look back,

as we reminisce with our very first Cal Poly intern, San Luis Obispo

resident MARISA BLOCH GAYTAN. Since her days at SLO LIFE Magazine,

her career has risen by leaps and bounds. At the tender age of

twenty-seven, she was named general manager of Pasolivo, a maker

of premium olive oils based in Paso Robles. She represents a new

generation on the Central Coast who scrap and hustle their way toward

a living and a future. Here is her story…

38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 39


40 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


kay, Marisa, you know the drill.

Where are you from? So, I’m originally

from Ventura County. Moorpark to

be specific. It’s a small town, maybe

30,000 people, in southeast Ventura

County near Simi Valley and Thousand

Oaks. I was born and raised there. I

have an older sister. She’s nine and a

half years older than me. In a way, for Oa good portion of my childhood, after she left, it was like I was an only

child. We’re really close now. She lives in Texas now. San Antonio. By

coincidence, both of my parents were born near Miami, Florida. And both

of their families moved out here when they were younger. And they both

ended up in the LA area. My dad grew up for most of his life in Simi

Valley. And my mom spent most of her life in Agoura [Hills]. They were

introduced to each other through mutual friends. After they were married

and were looking for a place to settle down, they chose Moorpark because

of its relatively low cost of living and the tight-knit community as a place

an ideal place to raise a family.

And, what about your parents? My mom was a teacher for over thirty

years, mostly second grade. Sometimes first or third. She just retired. My

dad was big in real estate. He also owned a 7-11 during part of that time.

I was really young when he had it. I think I was just nine or ten when he

sold it. I was the one just doing tasks for some extra allowance money

around there. But never was an official employee. My sister worked for

him which is kind of nice. She got to set her schedule and have a nice

after school job. It was great until he was held up at gunpoint. That was

it for him. He told himself, “You know what? I have a family and I can’t

risk it.” We were always in the store there, too. We weren’t there when that

happened, but he knew we could have been. It was a crazy thing to watch

him go through. So, after that, he decided to sell it and he went on to get

his broker’s license instead. He’s still in real estate to this day.

What were you like as a kid? I grew up dancing. I started when I was

just three years old as a lot of the kids do. I did it for a few years and then

fell out somewhere along the way because I wanted to try soccer and do

some different things. I did a lot of musical theater, as well. And by the

time I turned nine, a lot of my friends in elementary school were dancing,

so I ended up going back to the dance studio and getting super involved.

I danced competitively. I was also on the dance team for my high school.

My life was dance. After the school day ended at three o’clock, I was at

the studio until eight. And the weekends were all about the competitions.

I did jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and lyrical which is now classified more as

contemporary. The only one I never really got into was tap. I think,

because I’m such a rule follower, it would always get me so upset when

people were just going off doing their own thing. Like, so many beats and

it’s like, “Ah, I can’t focus.” [laughter]

That’s the same reason I don’t tap dance… With dance I did a lot

of musical theater, I was huge in the performing arts. I did a lot of

productions and things like that which led to doing voice lessons at some

point. I actually ended up trying out for the show American Idol. I was

sixteen. It was a crazy experience. Tons of people everywhere, some of

them dressed in funny costumes and things like that, doing whatever

they could to get picked to move on to the next round. You realize how

much talent there is out there, too. I was able to see a lot of them perform

because they have you sing for producers first. I did get to sing the longest

in my group, but it’s pretty much, “Yes. No. Yes. No.” And that’s it. They’re

just working through that crowd. It’s all day. That was the only time that

I tried out. It was kind of my one shot. But, really, I did it just for fun to

see what would happen. After that, the path was to come to college. Get a

degree, get a good job.

It sound like you were very focused. I was pretty much a straight A

student throughout. Always super honest, never really got into trouble. I

might have been grounded a couple of times with my parents, but never

for anything serious. Initially, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Loved animals

growing up. But once I started getting further along in my schooling,

writing always seemed to be a recurring theme and passion of mine. At

some point, I saw the movie “13 Going on 30.” It’s a major chick flick

about this girl who wakes up and she’s the editor of a magazine. I said

to myself, “Wow, that’s what I want to do!” It was just so glamorous. I

imagined sitting at a big desk somewhere, striking with my red pen saying,

“No, take this out.” [laughter] I thought I was going to become the editor

of People magazine. That was my top goal. I was like, “You know what?

That’s where I’m going to be.” I just liked all the different types of stories

they did. I like the entertainment and news side of things. I’ve always

liked fashion. And I like some of their other stories that they do that are

unrelated to entertainment. Some of their deeper, investigative pieces. I

felt like it had a wide variety and I always pictured myself living the big

city life, whether it was LA or New York. Yeah, that was my big goal.

What was the next step? So, later in life, I started to really take an

interest in journalism. I looked at [the] Walter Cronkite [School of

Journalism] at ASU. Sonoma State, all the way down to San Diego. My

top three choices ended up being USC, ASU, and Cal Poly. I did not get

into USC. But it came down to ASU and Cal Poly. I visited San Luis

and just loved the community here. I fell in love and decided it was far

enough from home but close enough that I could go back and visit if I

needed to. I love the downtown and all the little shops. For me, it has

always felt like the best of a bigger city and a small town. And going

through the journalism program was amazing. I loved how hands-on it

was. And getting to write for the Mustang Daily. Getting to go out into

the community and do stories but then also taking the other courses

as well, some PR courses, some broadcast. They gave us a little taste of

everything. It was during my time there when the industry started to

change a lot. But it really was the hands-on “learn by doing stuff ” I love

the most. And that’s when I met you.

That’s right. You were our very first intern. Yes, you were just getting

started. I had been looking for an internship when the first issue of SLO

LIFE came out. I wanted to do something with a magazine, so I just

kept calling and calling until you finally gave me a job. [laughter] And it

was so cool because it wasn’t just busywork. You actually sent me out on

a real assignment. You had me write an article about Dan DeVaul. His

farm, Sunny Acres, the rehab community, was causing some controversy

around town at the time and you were wanting to find out what was

going on out there. I remember sitting down with you and you said,

“Okay, here’s what I’m looking for.” I’ll never forget driving up to his

house. As I was parking my car, I thought, “Oh, man, what am I getting

myself into?” I mean, I had done stories for the college paper by that

time, but this was my first semi-professional assignment. It was so cool.

I got to talk to Dan and ask him whatever I wanted as we toured around

the property. Then I wrote the draft and brought it back for you to edit,

and the story turned out to be so much more than I originally thought it

could be. The collaboration was the part I’ll remember. I got to see actual

editing, not just one played in a movie.

That was a difficult assignment. Dan’s a tough nut to crack. It’s true, but >>

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41


I felt like the longer we talked, the more he kind of started to open up.

He was guarded at first because he had been contacted quite a bit by local

media who wanted to do a story about the controversy at his property. So

I took a step back and said to myself, “Alright, what is this person going

to be looking for? What’s going on in his mind?” But I felt like the angle

we took on the story was more nuanced and more about just what he

was trying to do there. We really tried to get to know him as a person.

So, yeah, it was kind of my first real-world experience working with an

editor. I had peers who edited my other stories that I had written, but to

be in this kind of setting and also to see your experience and just how

you would make certain edits and it completely changed and evolved the

story. I remember thinking, and I said this to you at the time, “Oh, wow.

Just rewriting that one line makes such a difference.” And, as I mentioned

earlier, the thing I really do love about journalism is the team effort, the

collaboration. And how somebody’s perspective who may not have been

at the interview can take what you wrote and evolve it to the next level.

For me, it really connected me to the community in a big way for the first

time. I was a part of it in a way that had not been before. It was such an

interesting to have people say, “Hey, Marisa, I read your article in SLO

LIFE.” It was such a good feeling. I think I told you this before, but I still

have that story framed as my first published article.

And, if I remember, you left for Spain immediately after your

internship. That’s right, yes. Good memory. It was an amazing experience.

It tied in with my Spanish minor, of course, getting to actually apply

the language there. I lived with a host family, really one lady, and she

solely spoke Spanish. I was completely immersed in the culture. And, it’s

an interesting side note that I did not realize at the time, but I was in

southern Spain, Granada, which is in the Andalusia Region, the number

one region for olive oil production worldwide. I mean, you would drive

to other cities and the roads are just lined with olive trees and they’re

beautiful and you’re just like, “Wow, it’s just like miles and miles and

miles.” I had no idea. Of course, olive oil is a huge part of the cuisine there.

So, when I was there it became a staple in every meal. But, beyond that, I

didn’t have any special interest in going to taste olive oil at the time other

than just soaking in the beauty of the country and all those trees.

What happened when you returned? So, I decided I didn’t want to leave

the area as many of us do. My only other job I had held was at California

Pizza Kitchen in town. So, I started to evaluate my options. I’d given

up wanting to move to a big city. I decided that I didn’t want to do that,

so there goes People magazine editing. And, so, I started to look at the

marketing and public relations side of things. I had taken some courses >>

42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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throughout my time at Cal Poly and felt that with all my customer

service experience I could probably take a shot at something in the area

doing that. I was interested in wine and winemaking, so I emailed my

resume out to every winery that I could think of. I didn’t really look at job

postings or anything like that. I was just like, “All right. Here’s my resume.

Hopefully somebody will want to interview me.” And, so, I was really

fortunate. Just a couple weeks after graduating, a winery up in Paso called

Veris Cellars, which has since sold to Castoro [Cellars], reached out. I had

an interview and they said, “You know, this job hasn’t been posted yet, but

we got your resume. We’re looking to hire for an events and marketing

position.” So, that was my first job out of college, I graduated in December

and started in January.

How’d it go? I was there for a year before they started having some issues

and a lot of turnover. I started putting out my feelers and became the

marketing and events person at Pasolivo. I just kept getting promoted.

First, I was the club manager. I was managing our whole olive oil club

membership which we grew significantly, something like 800%. I put a lot

of focus on it which led to the tasting room manager position. And that

was an entirely new experience because I got to really plan and design the

tasting room and retail store which meant figuring out how everything

should be laid out, what products we should carry there, how we were

going to market them, and how we were going to get people in the door.

So, after that, we had some changes with our general manager at the time

and the owner actually stepped in as the interim GM. Finally, it became

too much, and they were like, “You know, Marisa, you’ve been with us for

a while and you continue to progress. So, why don’t we give you a shot at

this?” The main thing that they were concerned with was my educational

background, because I had no business experience at all. They suggested

that I go back and get my MBA. So, I did. I went back to school and

finished my degree a year ago and have been the general manager there

for three years now.

What advice would you give to a graduating Cal Poly student? That’s

a good question. I would honestly say, “Work hard and seek opportunity

instead of waiting for it to come to you.” I feel like that’s one of the

best things that I’ve ever done is that I don’t wait for jobs to be posted.

I’m constantly proactive. So, if I want something, I’m emailing you and

saying, “Hey, what do you have?” I would say that’s the biggest thing. I

feel like if you wait for certain things then more people are involved and

it’s a lot tougher. Plus, I think it shows a lot of initiative and drive when

you’re willing to get ahead of it. Yeah. That’s the best way to set yourself

>>

44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 45


apart from everybody else. Also, going into an interview prepared with

samples. I remember I showed up to my first job interview and they told

me the sort of things they were looking to do. “Oh, we want to create a

new brochure and a newsletter.” So, I did all of those things and brought

them with me to my second interview, I came in with their brochure and

newsletter that I had designed. Not things that I had done in the past, not

my old portfolio, but the actual thing they need. I just said, “Here you go.”

They were impressed by that. They said, “Wow, you’re the only person’s

who’s done that. You’re hired.” So, that’s my best advice. Work hard. Be

proactive. Don’t sit back and wait.

And, what about you? What’s on your mind now? You know, I hope I

can make it work forever and I’d love to purchase a home here and set

our roots here, make a family. Housing, of course, is the biggest challenge.

It’s just so expensive in the area. And, deciding on location, asking the

question, “Where do we really want to be?” I know you can go somewhere

else, like maybe Atascadero, which is less expensive, less of a commute for

me. But my husband is from here, lived here since he was four years old.

He really loves San Luis. I do too. And we’ve really decided that whatever

we’ve got to do, even if it takes a little bit longer, we really want to be here.

We want to plant roots here. We love the community. We love being able

to walk downtown. We have two dogs and we like to stroll around with

them. It’s nice to be close to the beach. But yeah, really just trying to figure

out a way to build our life here. That’s what I’m thinking about.

What does the future hold? My goal is to really start to be able to give back.

I feel like this community has given so much to me. And my experience

since coming to school here has been amazing. So, I know initially, it’s about

having the hustle and drive just to be able to stay here, to make it work. But

as things become more grounded, the thing I really want to do is give back.

I’m not sure exactly what form that will take, but probably a lot of volunteer

work, maybe serving on some different committees. So, volunteering and

figuring out how I can get involved. I don’t know exactly where that’ll be or

how it’ll take effect, but I want to make sure I am showing my gratitude for

this place and doing my best to lift others up, too, and give them the same

opportunities I’ve been given. SLO LIFE

46 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 47


| ARTIST

T

PROFILE

Jordan

Hockett

BY JEFF AL-MASHAT

he simplicity draws you in. The sophistication makes

you stay. The instant unconscious recognizability of the

repeating stick figures and simple lines in Jordan Hockett’s

paintings captivate even those who actively avoided that

art appreciation elective, to stop and look at the work.

But, like the work of masters such as Rene’ Magrite, and

Edward Hoppe —if you walk away from the work, it keeps

calling you back, even if you aren’t entirely sure why. With

all of these artists, viewers are left with a nagging feeling

that there is something else going on here.

And with Hockett’s work, there is definitely more

going on. Hockett is a great communicator, but he is

not the type who would ever say that about himself.

Instead, much like his laid-back, humble demeanor,

you have to spend some time with his work so you can

really hear his artistic voice coming through. When

it does, it screams, with the interweaving notes of his

architectural schooling, classical design principles

and well-honed graphic design from years of practice.

He creates deep and complex stories with minimal

information. Behind the stick figures are geometric

lines, linear architectural forms, and shapes that

employ perspectives that create wild possibilities in the

environments he creates.

“I spent a lot of years doing graphic design, so I understand

how to communicate a lot quickly,” says Hockett. “If I was

designing a billboard, I had to grab people’s attention and

communicate a message in a split second.”

Hockett had been studying to be an architect, but wanted

more freedom than some of the mathematic constraints

allowed for. Instead, he is

using his math skills to make

his personal finances work so

that he can live and work as a

full-time artist.

Hockett shows his work

around California and has

patrons across the United

States as far as New England.

His work can be seen at

Studios On the Park, where

he has his studio and assists

in curating other shows at the

Paso Robles hotspot. SLO LIFE

JEFF AL-MASHAT is a

writer and visual artist with

an MFA in painting from

Georgia State University. He

lives in Grover Beach.

48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 49


50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 51


52 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53


| FAMILY

Cambria

Clydesdale Ride

BY PADEN HUGHES

What could be better than standing

on a hilltop overlooking the ocean

during a sunny spring afternoon in

Cambria? Being there on top of a

six-foot, one-ton Clydesdale horse

during a guided trail ride.

Ever since I heard about the Covell Clydesdale Ranch

in Cambria, I longed to experience it firsthand. I have

loved horses since the time I was a young girl and I’m

always hunting for new Central Coast adventures.

Tara Covell, an entrepreneurial young woman, raised

half a dozen Clydesdales on her family’s ranch and

decided to expand the herd and create the first place

in the United States where Clydesdales can be ridden

exclusively. Nearly all of the current herd was born and

raised in Cambria.

Before this experience I knew very little about the

breed—only that Budweiser had made them iconic. It

didn’t take much to convince me to add this adventure

to my wish list. At the mention of large horses and

trail rides, I was sold. Best of all, my husband made a

mental note and remembered months later when it was

gift-giving time. My Christmas stocking surprise was a

two-hour trail ride at the ranch. Needless to say, I looked

forward to it for months.

Children must be seven years old to ride, so we enlisted

a babysitter and drove forty-five minutes northwest to

Cambria. One mile away from downtown, the ranch

was surprisingly easy to find. We traveled down a dirt

road and approached a majestic line up of over twelve

enormous Clydesdales. Known as gentle giants, their

temperament couldn’t be better for first time riders who

want to experience the countryside free of anxiety.

Our guide welcomed us; most of our group of about eight

were visitors to the area. We were presented with a brief

rundown of what to expect and how to handle the reins.

When it was time to choose our horses from the lineup,

I selected a beauty named Duchess and used a step stool

to climb onto the saddle. At around six feet tall, Duchess’

back towered above me. Sitting elevated in the saddle

gave me a sense that I was untouchable.

Clydesdales, originally bred for pulling heavy

machinery or wagons, are sturdy and strong, with

patient personalities to match their intended line of

work. I knew it was a rare experience to ride this breed.

Creatures of habit and comfort, the horses fell easily

into formation, heads down and in tight alignment. We

slowly plotted along a narrow trail through a forest of

pine trees and open pastures to the top of a beautiful

hillside with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.

Our two-hour ride was the perfect amount of time

to adjust to horseback, enjoy the scenery, and feel like

we traveled back to a time when these massive horses

pulled heavy wagons up treacherous country roads. We

absolutely loved it.

I must admit that the best part of the day was

exploring the ranch itself and the enjoying the

beautiful views. In 1998, the Covell’s bought the

ranch which covers 2,000 acres of pine trees and

pastures that are currently home to almost 100

Clydesdales. From the top vista, guests can take in

the glistening ocean and green rolling hills. It was

incredibly peaceful and breathtaking—the perfect

Sunday afternoon excursion. For those who want to

enjoy the ranch apart from horseback, vehicle tours

are also available.

As a local, it is special to discover the Central Coast in

new ways. If you haven’t done

so from horseback and want

to see a different side of North

County, this experience is the

perfect surprise date, family

outing, or opportunity to show

visitors this extraordinary

place we call home. At $100

per person for a two-hour

trail ride, it’s priced to be

an occasion and it certainly

delivers.

Visit thier website at

covellsclydesdaleranch.com

to learn more. SLO LIFE

PADEN HUGHES is

co-owner of Gymnazo

and enjoys exploring

the Central Coast.

54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55


| ON THE RISE

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Jake Browning

This eighteen-year-old San Luis Obispo High School

senior is a National Merit Commended Scholar, a

Golden Tiger award winner, and has been on the

Academic Honor Roll in every trimester. But that is

just his academics. He is also a standout soccer player

having been named Most Valuable Player, All-League,

as well as being the Coach’s Award recipient.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in? I’ve played soccer

since kindergarten. I played club for eight years before competing for four

years in high school. I’m proud to have been a defender on the back-to-back

Mountain League Champion teams these past two years for SLOHS. I also

work part-time at Nucci’s on Broad as a waiter. I enjoy the variety of tasks

required of me and enjoy the chance to use my Spanish in a real world

environment. And, I spend several hours each week tutoring high school

classmates on subjects from SAT prep to math to science and anything

in between. I enjoy working with peers as it challenges me to learn how

others learn and figure out how best to support them.

What do you like to do for fun? I started playing guitar about year ago.

Playing guitar provides me with a challenge as I work to master new

songs. I appreciate the fact that there is always more to learn. I also

love driving scenic routes. A favorite is Highway 1 between SLO and

Cayucos. It’s so pretty, and I love the Brown Butter Baking cookies as

a halfway point before returning home. I listen to a variety of music for

entertainment and to find new pieces to play on guitar. I always have tunes

playing and appreciate a live concert when I can make it happen.

Who has influenced you the most? I’ve been fortunate to have benefitted

from many significant influencers. Most recently, my SLOHS soccer

coach Pat Sigler has taught me the value of accountability, how to work

cohesively with others toward a common goal. He’s a great mentor. I’m

grateful for his guidance.

What is important to you outside of high school? Friendships. Preserving

solid relationships that will endure for the rest of my life. I care about people.

What career do you see yourself in someday? I really enjoy working with

numbers. Maybe I’ll be a financial analyst? An accountant? An actuary?

It’s hard to know right now. I look forward to learning more about career

possibilities in college.

If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be? Martin

Luther King Junior. I admire his resolve and drive to fight for what is right.

What do you dislike the most? Dishonesty. It creates unnecessary breaks in

trust and bonds.

What schools are you considering for college? I’ve applied to eight schools:

four UCs, Boise State, Claremont McKenna, Santa Clara and Stanford. I’m

waiting to hear my options and I’m excited to figure out where my next step

will take me. SLO LIFE

Know a student On the Rise?

Introduce us at slolifemagazine.com/share

56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


Sleep Under the Stars, Connect with Nature, Be Creative

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Session #1 June 21 - 27

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Session #4 July 12 - July 18

Session #5 July 19 - July 25

Session #6 July 26 - August 1

Session #7 August 2 - August 8

Since 1941

www.campnatoma.org | 805-709-2569 | info@campnatoma.org

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 57


| DWELLING

PICTURE

BY ZARA KHAN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LALUSH

58 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


PERFECT

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 59


A

s I sat at the head of the dining table and began

chatting with Eric and Susan Steeb, I couldn’t help

but notice that everywhere I looked was picture

perfect. It was as if the windows were picture frames

and the views were pieces of art. I learned this was

no coincidence. A dated

traditional home in desperate

need of attention isn’t usually

the first place people start

when building their dream

home. When the couple first

stepped through the front

doors and were greeted by

breathtaking views, they knew

this was where their passion

project would take place—this

was their new home.

The talented duo with

backgrounds in finance and

>>

In addition to being an

interior designer, ZARA KHAN

is also a shoe aficionado and

horror movie enthusiast.

60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 61


engineering decided to make the remodel a personal

project and returned to San Luis Obispo when they

had spare time to slowly bring their vision to life.

I’m puzzled by how they found spare time. With

successful careers, close relationships with friends and

family, and involvement with the local aviation group,

they managed to add design and remodeling to their

list of impressive accomplishments.

The Steebs completed most of the remodel on their

own and hired only a handful of subcontractors. They

enlisted the help of local architect Peter Danciart

and leveraged his eye for using nature to complement

buildings. Danciart spent a semester abroad in

Copenhagen, Denmark and is heavily influenced by

the warm modernism of Scandinavia. The strategy was

for the team to collect images they were attracted to

and identify the common elements to solidify their >>

62 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 63


design direction. Fortunately, they were on the same

page—“modern with a touch of zen.”

It is impressive how the Steebs balanced being so

involved in every little detail, with trusting their

subcontractors to guide them on large decisions.

When it was time for the exterior to be painted,

the couple was to be away for the weekend. They

expressed their desire for a color that wasn’t too brown

or too grey, but true middle ground. Selecting paint

colors can be a challenge within itself, but when they

returned, and to their astonishment, the exterior was

the perfect shade. As we walked through their home,

I was amazed at the quality of craftsmanship. The

attention to detail is flawless (and you can appreciate

it in person at the upcoming home tour—more on that

to follow). >>

64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


ARCHITECTURE

LANDSCAPE

INTERIORS

MEDIA

WE BEFORE ME

Architect Aisling Burke enjoying a job well done with our clients

from Transitions-Mental Health Association and the Housing Authority

of San Luis Obispo.

Bishop Street Studios is a great example of the

whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

An amazing group of people came together on

this unique project to resurrect an architectural

landmark and provide much needed housing for

an underserved population in our community.

The team embraced our ‘we before me’ value,

fostering strong relationships while building a

legacy project for the community.

TENOVERSTUDIO.COM

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 65


At the entrance to their home, my eye was instantly

drawn to four decorative bookshelves in the center of

the main living area. I asked about the inspiration and

was surprised to learn that it was a solution to one of

their most puzzling constraints. The living area held

four structural columns; removing them would create

a completely new project, so the team decided to

embrace them. They strategically hid each column in

a decorative bookshelf and covered them with a dark

stain, creating a striking focal point at the entry rather

than the eyesore they were previously.

Renovating the master suite was a puzzle. The Steebs

wanted their bed situated so they would be greeted

with the stunning view of Bishop Peak when they rose

in the mornings. To spatially arrange the master suite

to include a walk-in closet, freestanding tub, and large >>

66 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67


vanity, they had to relocate walls and by doing so, were

able to create an additional en suite adjacent to the

master. The master bathroom perfectly embodies their

“modern with a touch of zen” style. With jobs and

friends in both the Bay Area and Southern California,

they were able to source materials and decor as pieces

caught their eyes in order to curate a space that felt

uniquely personal.

Hosting, entertaining, and spending time with loved

ones are high on the family’s priority list. The lower

level of the house is dedicated to making visitors feel

at home; the guest unit complete with a kitchen, living

area, and multiple bedrooms. When friends and family

aren’t seeking refuge in the guest unit, the bottom

story doubles as the Steeb’s home office and future

aviation room.

The elements I appreciate most throughout the

home are the cohesion and balance. The couple was >>

68 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


#805STRONG

W E W O U L D L I K E F I R S T A N D F O R E M O S T T O T H A N K

A L L T H E P E O P L E T H A T W O R K T I R E L E S S L Y T O

E N S U R E O U R S A F E T Y A N D W E L F A R E W I T H I N O U R

H E A L T H C A R E O R G A N I Z A T I O N S . A S W E A L L F A C E

T I M E S O F U N C E R T A I N T Y W E R E M I N D O U R S E L V E S

T H A T E A C H D A Y I S A N O P P O R T U N I T Y T O M A K E A

D I F F E R E N C E N O M A T T E R H O W B I G O R S M A L L .

C O N T I N U I N G T O S U P P O R T O U R L O C A L B U S I N E S S E S

A N D S H O P S M A L L . W E R E M A I N # 8 0 5 S T R O N G .

RAMSEYASPHALT.COM

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 69


intentional in replicating subtle details in different

spaces. They were also cognizant of not letting the

angular lines of modern design take over. Subtle curves

were added, whether it was the addition of a curved

statement sofa or rounded art pieces to style the

shelves. From the kitchen to the landscaping, the Steebs

put in countless hours of hard work—their home truly

is a labor of love. Although

they have more projects in

mind, their place has already

become one of my favorite

homes on the Central Coast.

You can tour the Steeb

residence, along with hand

selected others, at the

upcoming American Institute

of Architects California

Central Coast Home Tour in

June. Visit the website:

aiacentralcoast.org/hometour

for more details. SLO LIFE

DAVID LALUSH is an

architectural photographer

here in San Luis Obispo.

70 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


LIFE IN THE SLO LANE

STARTS HERE

Ladera


Ladera at Righetti Now Selling!

Pricing starts from the low $1 millions.

The first release of spectacular homes at Ladera at Righetti offers three different home

layouts, each designed to take full advantage of the site’s gorgeous hillside topography.

Homes range from approximately 2,600 square feet to nearly 3,000 square feet, features three

and four bedrooms, and two and one-half to fourand one-half baths.

To visit, take Tank Farm Road in San Luis Obispo to Righetti Ranch Road and follow the signs. Or please

feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to schedule a time to discuss San Luis Obispo’s most

attractive new home neighborhood.

Information Center open Friday through Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(805) 774-3038

www.righettiladera.com

All prices, plans, terms and offers are effective date of publication are subject to availability and may change without notice.

Housing is open to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. Depictions of

homes are artist conceptions. Hardscape and landscape may vary and are not included in the purchase price. Square footage

shown is only an estimate and actual square footage may differ. Please consult our sales team for additional information. Sales

by CADO Real Estate Group DRE # 01525182 Construction by Ambient Management Service LP Lic. #1014645

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 71


| SLO CITY

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUMBERS

laguna

lake

tank

farm

cal poly

area

country

club

down

town

foothill

blvd

johnson

ave

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

2019

6

$935,667

$921,000

98.43%

29

2019

24

$695,760

$691,400

99.37%

5

2019

2

$882,500

$855,000

96.88%

64

2019

2

$1,210,000

$1,175,000

97.11%

67

2019

8

$739,238

$735,406

99.48%

66

2019

5

$944,500

$917,600

97.15%

72

2019

4

$801,725

$789,000

98.41%

47

2020

5

$665,180

$660,700

99.33%

51

2020

3

$770,717

$780,238

101.24%

3

2020

4

$1,199,250

$1,199,500

100.02%

10

2020

3

$1,232,333

$1,187,400

96.35%

67

2020

8

$1,215,125

$116,084

95.47%

25

2020

6

$743,000

$762,667

102.65%

49

2020

13

$1,061,069

$1,017,338

95.88%

67

+/-

-16.67%

-28.91%

-28.26%

0.90%

75.86%

+/-

-87.50%

10.77%

12.85%

99.10%

-40.00%

+/-

100.00%

35.89%

40.29%

3.14%

-84.38%

+/-

50.00%

1.85%

1.06%

-0.76%

0.00%

+/-

0.00%

64.38%

-84.21%

-4.01%

-62.12%

+/-

20.00%

-21.33%

-16.88%

5.50%

-31.94%

+/-

225.00%

32.35%

28.94%

-2.53%

42.55%

*Comparing 01/01/19 - 03/16/19 to 01/01/20 - 03/16/20

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE

72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


Get growing on your

home purchase

Let’s keep the conversation going. Contact us today.

Donna Lewis

Branch Manager/

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8743

C: (805) 235-0463

donna.lewis@rate.com

Ken Neate

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 706-8074

C: (925) 963-1015

ken.neate@rate.com

Dylan Morrow

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8738

C: (805) 550-9742

dylan.morrow@rate.com

Maggie Koepsell

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8742

C: (805) 674-6653

maggie.koepsell@rate.com

Phyllis Wong

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 706-8075

C: (805) 540-8457

phyllis.wong@rate.com

Luana Gerardis

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 329-4087

C: (707) 227-9582

luana.gerardis@rate.com

Joe Hutson

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (831) 205-1582

C: (831) 212-4138

joe.hutson@rate.com

Rate.com/offices/CASanLuisObispo1065

1065 Higuera Street, Suite 100, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

*95% Customer Satisfaction: Data Source: Guaranteed Rate’s Client Satisfaction Surveys (Averaged 2015-2018)

Not eligible for all loan types or investors. Conventional loans only. Eligible for primary, 2nd home and investment properties. Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt

of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Title company restrictions may apply, contact Guaranteed Rate for current rates and for more information Applicant subject to credit and underwriting

approval.

Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Restrictions may apply, contact Guaranteed Rate for current rates and for more information.

Donna Lewis NMLS ID: 245945, CA - CA-DOC245945 • Ken Neate NMLS ID:373607; CA - CA-DBO373607 • Dylan Morrow NMLS ID: 1461481, CA - CA-DBO1461481 • Maggie Koepsell NMLS ID: 704130, CA - CA-

DBO704130 • Phyllis Wong NMLS ID: 1400281, CA - CA-DBO1400281 • Luana Gerardis NMLS ID: 1324563, CA - CA-DBO1324563 • NMLS ID #2611 (Nationwide Mortgage APR/MAY Licensing System 2020 www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE • CA - Licensed | 73 by

the Department of Business Oversight, Division of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act Lic #4130699 • Joe Hutson NMLS ID: 447536, CA - CA-DOC447536


| SLO COUNTY

Let me help

you purchase

or refinance

your home.

REAL ESTATE

REGION

BY THE NUMBERS

NUMBER OF

HOMES SOLD

2019

2020

AVERAGE DAYS

ON MARKET

2019

2020

MEDIAN SELLING

PRICE

2019

2020

Contact me today to learn more.

Ben Lerner

(805) 441-9486

Arroyo Grande

Atascadero

Avila Beach

Cambria/San Simeon

57

50

5

15

58

47

3

25

66

48

28

99

61

71

29

104

$785,516

$544,859

$1,244,600

$917,148

$778,831

$604,304

$855,967

$859,920

Cayucos

6

10

91

219

$920,833

$1,419,900

Creston

1

1

181

52

$1,200,000

$956,000

Grover Beach

18

15

66

58

$540,828

$558,567

Los Osos

21

23

41

36

$634,500

$653,109

Morro Bay

25

21

62

65

$761,140

$655,301

Nipomo

52

37

62

64

$611,109

$673,438

Oceano

4

14

124

91

$501,667

$569,232

Pismo Beach

15

21

56

81

$1,392,870

$849,537

Paso (Inside City Limits)

50

64

50

53

$515,921

$502,229

*

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

10

10

94

93

$504,150

$876,800

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

22

21

51

112

$548,291

$668,926

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

8

11

33

57

$547,772

$567,273

Senior Loan Advisor

NMLS 395723

blerner@flagstarretail.com

1212 Marsh St., Suite 1

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

San Luis Obispo

Santa Margarita

Templeton

39

5

14

60

3

25

52

161

14

56

196

95

$900,199

$463,800

$574,171

$998,553

$713,333

$938,272

* Top 200 Mortgage Originator | Mortgage Executive Magazine

© 2020 Flagstar Bank flagstarretail.com Est. 1987

Equal Housing Lender Member FDIC

Not a commitment to lend. Programs available only to qualifi ed borrowers.

Subject

74 |

to

SLO

credit approval

LIFE MAGAZINE

and underwriting

|

terms

APR/MAY

and conditions.

2020

Programs subject to change without notice. Some restrictions may apply.

Countywide

414 437

*Comparing 01/01/19 - 03/16/19 to 01/01/20 - 03/16/20

59 71 $673,786 $739,981

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE


EST. 1999

Drought-Tolerant, Lifestyle Landscapes

Design . Build . Maintain

805.927.0374 . ecotoneslandscapes.com . LIC # 767033

freshpaintslo.com

@freshpaintslo

805-787-0451

LIC. # 1036406

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 75


| HEALTH

Elderberry

Unwrapped

Everything there is to know about

the latest hero in natural medicine.

BY LAUREN HARVEY

Elderberry entered the realm of herbal medicine

perhaps as long ago as 370 BCE when

Hippocrates dubbed it the “medicine chest”

because of its versatility as a medicinal treatment.

Throughout history, elderberry made its mark

on folk and herbal medicine across cultures

including the Egyptians, Irish, and Native

Americans.

Eventually, elderberry blossomed its way into

popular culture for both its notable power and

its wretched scent. Decaying elderflowers give off an unpleasant sulfuric scent,

so much so that Shakespeare dubbed it the “stinking elder.” The comedic cult

classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail even used it as an insult in the wellknown

line, “Your father smelt of elderberries.” Fortunately for us, elderberry’s

reputation as a natural cold-curing powerhouse outweighed its downfall as a

stinking shrub best left for use as a fly deterrent when horseback riding.

More recent cultural references draw on the berry’s reputation as an herbal

cure-all and therefore, a source of strength, as the chosen lumber for Harry

Potter’s most powerful Elder Wand. Though undoubtedly, elderberry’s modern

reputation is similar to the one it had hundreds of years ago—as a

holistic way to help the body fight sickness.

Promoted as an all-natural immune boosting, congestion clearing,

viral victor, elderberry is lauded as nature’s miracle cure. Claims of

a natural alternative to drugstore cough medicine are enticing for

many seeking natural cures to common

ailments. Though the validity of these

claims is often met with a healthy dose

of skepticism, and rightly so. What

we take to relieve our colds typically

consists of a medley of medicines far

removed from the natural environment.

Can this one berry be responsible

for shortening colds and providing

effective, natural relief to rival our tried

and true drug store cold medicines?

With curiosity at its peak, I began an

investigation into the identity of this

wonder berry and the truth behind its

cold-curing powers. >>

LAUREN HARVEY is a

creative writer fueled by a

love of cooking, adventure,

and naps in the sun.

76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77


#1

LITTLE

BLACK BERRY

American elderberry, a species relative of the European elder, Sambucus

nigra, grows to a towering ten to twelve feet in height, and in some cases,

as large as thirty feet. Vibrant emerald leaves fill the bulk of the elderberry

bush while petite ivory flowers bloom readily on budding green stems.

As the stems darken into a deep, almost blood red, blossoms give way to

berries hanging in clusters. Pale green in their infancy, they mature into the

deep blue-black berries commonly known as elderberries.

Though temptation may suggest eating the berries directly off the plant,

it is important to note the toxicity of the seeds, stems, leaves, and roots.

Containing a compound called glycoside that produces cyanide in the

body, ingesting these parts of the plant, including unripe berries, may

cause unfavorable side effects such as nausea or vomiting. While not fatal,

it is wise to avoid these parts of the plant. Cooking the ripened berries

eliminates all traces of this compound rendering it safe for use, as is done

in the treatment process for elderberry supplements.

#2

ANTIOXIDANT

POWERHOUSE

With the hue of a blackberry and the shape of a blueberry it may

be easy to mistake this powerhouse plant for just another berry. But

beneath elderberry’s rich purple skin lies a bed of essential vitamins,

minerals, and antioxidants.

A report published by Purdue University Center for New Crops and

Plant Products found that when matched against other berries of

comparable size, elderberry proved to be a notably high source of iron,

calcium, and Vitamins A, B6, and C.

Antioxidant effectiveness is derived from a range of compounds,

including total phenolics, anthocyanins, and flavonols. The Purdue

78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020

report suggests elderberry’s high concentration of these compounds

makes it an effective, completely natural source of antioxidants.

Elderberry products popularly boast of its wealth of antioxidants,

which may protect cells from free radicals, linked to diseases such as

heart disease.

#3

EFFECTIVE

COMBATANT

Recent studies show elderberry to be effective in shortening the length

of common colds and even influenza. In a 2016 study, published by

MDPI in the journal Nutrients, elderberry capsules were administered

to travelers ten days before intercontinental flights and five days after

arrival. Travelers who exhibited cold or flu symptoms after the flight

contained a combination of passengers taking an elderberry supplement

as well as those taking a placebo. The findings, therefore, suggested

elderberry had low effectiveness in preventing cold or flu symptoms.

However, the study’s findings did reveal that consuming elderberry

while exhibiting common cold symptoms shortened the overall lifetime

of the symptoms by an average of two days. Travelers who took the

elderberry supplement with cold or flu symptoms were relieved of the

symptoms notably faster than those who did not.

Reaching for a jar of elderberry syrup to help fight off your seasonal

cold may prove to be a viable alternative to harsher over-the-counter

medicines. Studies into the effectiveness of the elderberry itself are

relatively new, and more studies need to be conducted to accurately

assess effectiveness.

Consumers should also be aware of the propensity for companies

with a vested interest in exhibiting elderberry’s effectiveness to fund

scientific studies. However, the results of recent studies are promising

and generally point toward elderberry as an effective cold medicine that

grows right here in our backyard.


Sustainable Materials | General Contracting Services | Custom Cabinet Shop | Interior Designers

111 South Street, San Luis Obispo

(805) 543-9900

All under one roof.

CA Contractor License #940512

slogreengoods.com

Smiling makes the world a better place and

Dr. Daniel is here to help bring out your best.

Give us a call to schedule your appointment today!

Specializing in Smiles

Dr. Daniel Family Orthodontics

1356 Marsh Street . San Luis Obispo

(805) 543-3105 . drdanielortho.com

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 79


IT’S TIME TO

MAKE YOUR

TRANSFORMATION

WITH REV SLO FITNESS

LOSE WEIGHT . BURN FAT

GET IN SHAPE

MEET NEW PEOPLE

FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL U S

AT INFO@REVSLO.COM

#4

WAYS TO

ELDERBERRY

Drugstore shelves are lined with chemical remedies promising weary customers relief

from cold symptoms. Medications become more effective and readily available, but not

necessarily with overall health in mind. This is where elderberry became so vital—as a way

to shorten sickness that leads us back to nature.

The power of elderberry is so pervasive that it sits waiting on drugstore shelves right next

to those medications it aims to naturally replace. Syrup, capsules, tablets—the number

of elderberry products readily available to consumers can be overwhelming. As with any

supplement, it is important to consider what else is used to create the product.

Strengthening the immune system with a natural powerhouse, held together by manmade

ingredients and sweetened artificially seems contradictory. Natural, made-withcare

elderberry products are available to us here in San Luis Obispo County, made by

small business locals like Bliss River Organics. Online boutiques like Etsy abound with

homemade elderberry products, from syrups to teas.

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80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020

For those who are more hands-on, some companies sell do-it-yourself elderberry syrup

kits—all ingredients are delivered ready to boil and sweeten. That way you know exactly

what’s going into your supplements, to assure it remains pure as nature intended. Or, use

an online recipe as your guide to creating a customized elderberry supplement. However

you get your elderberry, be sure to carefully follow cooking guidelines to safely make the

most of elderberry’s antioxidant powers.

FINAL WORD

Consuming elderberry in any of its safely processed forms will be beneficial to your

health. Though its grandiose claims of preventing all illness may be unfounded,

there is no doubt elderberry brings a much-needed boost to your immune system.

Elderberry may provide relief from seasonal cold and flu symptoms, providing a safe

alternative to over-the-counter medicines with unnatural ingredients. SLO LIFE


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81


| TASTE

Food

Trucks

Take your appetite on the road with a few popular SLO County food trucks.

BY JAIME LEWIS

Think of the Western chuck wagon,

the pushcart fruit vendor, the

rolling hot dog stand or the ice

cream truck: the concept of mobile

meals has been around for ages.

Before the advent of Facebook,

Instagram, and Twitter, you

couldn’t really know where or when a food truck would

appear. You had to hear about it from someone and hope

you’d find it. But with real-time social media, trucks can

alert their followers and customers to where they will be.

And customers have been paying attention.

Today, food truck culture is serious business, with dishes

ranging from casual to gourmet. Chefs like it because

they don’t have to deal with the overhead of a brickand-mortar

restaurant. And diners like it, especially

when multiple trucks team up and appear together,

because there’s something for everyone, from your

picky kid and meat-loving grandpa to your healthconscious

girlfriend.

Speaking of varying tastes, my husband, kids and I

decided to try a few local food trucks by attending

an 805 Food Truck night. These events bring a series

of food trucks to public parks through SLO Parks &

Recreation on a monthly basis. (Check @805foodtrucks

on Instagram or Facebook to learn about the next

event.) On a chilly night in February, the trucks met at

Santa Rosa Park, and plenty of hungry people came out

for the food and the street cred—including us. >>

JAIME LEWIS writes about

food, drink, and the good

life from her home in San

Luis Obispo. Find her on

Instagram/Twitter @jaimeclewis.

82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83


HAVANA, OOH NA-NA

Chrystal Trenado pokes her head out of the order window

of the Cubanissimo food truck, which is covered in colorful

vintage images from Cuba. She hands me my cubano

sandwich, and explains that her husband, Arqui, was born

and raised in Cuba.

“Most of our food is coming from family recipes,” she says.

“Our cubano is just like one you’d find in Cuba.”

In fact, the Trenados are so committed to authenticity that

they have the bread for their cubano sandwiches custom

baked, just for them. “Getting a Cuban sandwich in

California, the bread is usually French or Italian-style,” she

says. “But we use the real thing.”

Inside, marinated pork, ham, swiss cheese, mustard and

pickles are pressed between slices on a hot grill. My kids,

husband and I each take a bite, marveling at the shatter of

the bread and the umami ham and cheese against tangy

pickles and mustard.

Chrystal also offers us an order of yuca fries, a house/truck

specialty made from cassava, a sort of tropical potato. The

fries are big, chewy and satisfying, especially with the little

pot of mustard-y sauce that accompanies them. >>

84 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 85


IN WEST PHILADELPHIA,

BORN AND RAISED

We meander over to the Lido’s truck where philly

cheesesteak reigns. Owner Alisa Urquhart takes our order

and explains how her husband worked his way up in Lido’s

original brick-and-mortar location until he was able to

take over the business.

“He bought it at nineteen years old,” she says. “Then we

decided to turn it into a food truck.” The Urquharts have

been on wheels ever since, often with their daughter,

Mackinzie, taking orders at the front window.

When our name is called, I run to retrieve our sandwich.

I had wondered if just one cheesesteak would be enough,

but from the heft of the bag, I can tell we’ll have plenty.

When I open the container, we marvel at the mountain of

thin-sliced beef that lays before us. This sandwich could be

the ninth wonder of the world.

Alisa tells me the Amoroso hoagie rolls are shipped in

from Philadelphia each week, and ours is slathered in

mustard and melted American cheese, topped with ruffles

of sirloin and grilled onions—plus a bag of Lay’s potato

chips on the side. Each of us makes contented sounds as

we eat the savory beef paired with that sweet roll. >>

86 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


䰀 漀 挀 愀 氀 䔀 琀 栀 椀 挀 愀 氀 䨀 攀 眀 攀 氀 爀 礀 匀 椀 渀 挀 攀 㤀 㜀 㐀

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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 87


REYES OF THE ROAD

Alex Reyes comes out from behind his AR Catering truck

to talk with me. He says his focus is Mexican food, but he

can do much more depending on the location or event, from

brunch to barbecue.

“My experience was in restaurants,” he says, “but I’d work

sixteen-hour days and never see my family. This way, I get to

bring them along, visit new places, and meet new people.”

He decides to share a couple favorite dishes with us, and hands

over a huge container of nachos and a fat slice of tres leches

cake. For the nachos, crispy chips lie beneath a blanket of

house-made cheese sauce, salsa, jalapenos and hefty chunks of

marinated tri-tip.

“Ohmygosh, this meat is awesome,” says my husband, our

resident carnivore.

“And this cheese sauce has a little spicy kick,” says my spiceobsessed

nine-year-old son.

But my seven-year-old daughter has already moved on to dessert.

“I like these foods because they’re hand-foods,” she says, holding

the tres leches cake and licking the shiny, marshmallow-y

frosting off her fingers. SLO LIFE

88 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 89


| KITCHEN

Spring Salads

‘Tis the season for all things salad. With the amazing bounty of the season,

Chef Jessie Rivas shows us how to go beyond lettuce with these delicious recipes.

BY CHEF JESSIE RIVAS

MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA & BROWN RICE SALAD

1 ½ cup quinoa

1 ½ cup brown rice

2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup kalamata olives, quartered

½ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

¼ cup feta cheese, small diced or crumbled

1 whole Armenian cucumber, small diced

¼ cup sundried tomatoes in oil, diced

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup champagne vinegar

juice of 1 medium lemon

salt & pepper to taste

WHITE BEAN AND BABY SPINACH

SALAD

2 cups white beans

1 bay leaf

2 cups packed raw baby spinach

1 cup celery, diced with leaves

1 large shallot, diced

1 tsp celery seeds

1 ½ cup white vinegar

½ cup olive oil or canola blend

1 tsp sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa and rice separately. Cool and combine in a large bowl.

Add cucumber, parsley, olives, cheese, and sundried tomatoes to

the quinoa and rice. Toss ingredients well. Combine oil, vinegar,

and lemon juice and slowly mix into the salad. Finish with salt and

pepper to taste. Serve the salad at room temperature.

Cook beans in water with bay leaf. Add salt when

tender. Let cool and remove bay leaf. Combine

remaining ingredients and mix well. Store in an

airtight container in the refrigerator for at least two

days before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.

JESSIE RIVAS is a chef and

barista serving the city of

San Luis Obispo.

SLO LIFE

90 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


JESSIE’S TIP:

Both of these dishes pair well with grilled

meats such as lamb, pork, and bbq

chicken. The salads can be made ahead

!and taste will improve over time.

APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 91


| WINE NOTES

Two Hens and

a Rooster

A Local Look at Prohibition

BY HEATHER MURAN

or many of us imbibers of wine and spirits, it’s impossible

to imagine a world without drink. Within our beautiful

county, craft beer, spirits, and the local wine industry

flourish with plentiful options to please any palate and

pair with fresh, local cuisine. Yet, the SLO Life as we

know it could have been very different. FFor decades before Prohibition, wine, beer, and distilled spirits were a part of

the daily routine for many Americans. But to Californians in the early 1900s,

many who had immigrated from Europe, wine was the drink of choice. To local

farmers, ranchers, and grape growers, wine was an expected accompaniment to

every meal and was considered a food product rather than an alcoholic beverage.

San Luis Obispo County was a small hub in the blooming California wine

industry when National Prohibition went into effect on January 17, 1920,

making the selling and transporting of alcoholic beverages illegal. The oncethriving

California wine industry did not expect wine to be outlawed along with

alcoholic spirits. California, the largest producer of wine in the country, was

unable to mobilize an effective opposition to Prohibition. Instead, they adapted.

Winemaking shifted to the home winemaker and a few sanctioned wineries, and

grape growing expanded its markets.

One of the provisions in the National Prohibition (Volstead) Act allowed the

head of a property-owning household to produce up to 200 gallons of fermented

beverage each year for personal consumption (that equates to almost three

bottles of wine per day). During the first five years of Prohibition from 1920

to 1925, vineyard acreage almost doubled in size. In fact, vineyard acreage in

California increased to levels not matched again until the 1970s.

Congress also allowed wineries to produce sacramental

wines for religious purposes and wine for medicinal use,

which helped keep wineries in business. Grape production

was driven by the demand for grapes to use for home

winemaking. Grapes grown in California and in San Luis

Obispo County were shipped all over the United States.

According to the records from the US Government, the

order of application dates for bonding during Prohibition

are: Brunetti (1922), Pesenti (1925), and York (1933); these

applications can be found in the Inventory of the Collection

of United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,

for the Establishment of

California wineries in San Luis

Obispo County.

Brunetti never went into

production and the Pesenti

Winery was not bonded

until 1934, the first in SLO

County following the end of

Prohibition. Wine was being

produced in wineries that

had been established prior

to Prohibition primarily in

the Templeton area, west of

Paso Robles. Adolphe Siot

established a winery in the

1890s. The Rotta family,

HEATHER MURAN is a wine

historian and beach bum

who has been part of the

local wine community for

over nine years.

92 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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mentored by Siot, started grape growing and winemaking operations by

1917. Rotta Winery was one of the few wineries in California to remain

open during Prohibition, and the second winery to be bonded and resume

commercial operations after Prohibition.

The Dusi and the Pesenti families both started planting vineyards around

1925. Sylvester Dusi sold his wine locally and produced it in a still hidden

on his property. The finished wine was secretly stored underneath a chicken

coop on the ranch. Dusi would take a call from the local hardware store in

Paso Robles and they would place an order for “two hens and a rooster.”

Dusi would arrange a time to deliver several jugs of wine to the store the

next day, collect the payment, and let the customer pick up the “hooch” at

his own discretion.

James Anderson and The York Brothers, both located on York Mountain in

Templeton, were growing grapes in the 1880s and building wineries almost

immediately, both with thriving businesses. In the Geneseo area, the Ernst

and Klintworth families were growing grapes, along with grains, and making

wines starting in the late 1880s. In the southern part of SLO County, Henry

Ditmas and A.B. Hasbrouck planted vineyards in the upper Arroyo Grande

Valley. In 1886, Hasbrouck built St. Remy winery to make wine with Rancho

Saucelito grapes grown by Ditmas. The winery was shuttered just before

Prohibition took effect.

Still used during Prohibition

During the 1920s, the legislation gave these wineries one year to harvest,

make wines, and store them on their premises. The amount stored was

reported to the government at year end. Each of the wineries handled their

1920 wine inventory and future production differently. The York Brothers,

the largest winery in the county, knew their clients’ needs. They sold grapes

to home winemakers and grape juice and concentrate to others from Santa

Barbara to Bakersfield and the coast to Salinas Valley. The wineries in SLO

County saw the demand for grapes had increased from 1920 to 1925 and

they followed the market. When the price of grapes dropped and each family

had a surplus, they made wine at home following the legal limit of 200

gallons per household and then turned to winemaking in canyons and remote

communities like Bradley, in Monterey County. A number of stills were

hidden in the mountains between San Luis Obispo and Bradley. Local wine

was often stored and aged in redwood barrels buried in the vineyards. Many

citizens spent time in jail, arrested by agents of the Treasury Department, for

selling their wine to customers.

By 1926, the price of grapes fell dramatically as the supply exceeded the

demand. Vineyards were abandoned as the price continued to decline and the

United States slipped into the Great Depression after the Stock Market Crash

of 1929. There was a major movement to repeal the 18th Amendment, and it

was President Franklin Roosevelt who signed the repeal. Beginning in 1932,

wineries throughout California renewed their bonds and make wine again.

The next time you visit your favorite tasting room or craft distillery in San Luis

Obispo County, take a moment to raise your glass and remember the early

growers who persevered through Prohibition.

To Learn More:

Visit the Wine History Project of SLO County’s exhibits on display.

“Temperance, Teetotalers and Taboo”: Features the history and movement of

temperance groups, abstinence pledges and pre-prohibition restaurants. Open

now through May 2020 at the Paso Robles Historical Society.

Kids stomping grapes during Prohibition

to use for homemade wines

“Grape Expectations: Break Their Hearts...and Have No Mercy”: Showcases

the California wine industry just before Prohibition, how the industry survived

Prohibition, and the many uses of grapes during the era. Open now through

May 2020 at the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum. SLO LIFE

94 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 95


| BREW

HARD CORE

BY BRANT MYERS

There is a certain thrill when walking into a new

tasting room for the first time. Much like a

blind date, you might have a vague idea of what

will happen, mostly based on what your friends

have told you and an off-hand cursory Internet

search, but you never really know what to expect.

I happened to step through the doors of SLO

Cider just hours before their grand opening. The building’s façade

was coated in fresh paint to set it apart from their neighbors in

adjoining buildings that share the cul-de-sac’s terminus.

The door is wide open and I walk through and am immediately

greeted by an inviting sitting room with plenty of space to relax

and enjoy the colorful prints of famous music icons and an eyecatching

long canvas almost entirely in black with a rainbow prism

shooting behind Cerro San Luis, complete with a white “M,” a lá

Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” I follow the muted sounds

of movement as I continue into the building and make my way

down a corridor into what I expect to be the heart of the operation.

Greeted by Nate Adamski and Jeremy Fleming, the head of

operations and the head of brewing respectively, I come across

the best part of any tasting room. The tap wall. We sit and start

talking shop. Well, more accurately, I bother them while they’re

getting ready for the biggest day of their business lives. Luckily, I have known

these two for years and the offer to kick me out at any time is repeated

throughout my visit.

Adamski fell in love with brewing while in Oregon’s rich beer scene and having

returned to his home in SLO he went deep into apples and has been working

with local orchards and making cider ever since. His knowledge and passion

for cider has been evident since we first met years ago, and it’s great to see him

strike out on this journey allowing him to put his years of insight into a product

of his own creation. Fleming has a knack for putting anything with yeast and

sugars together to transform every day foods into fermented consumables.

Having first met him as the head brewer for Bang the Drum, we’ve crossed

paths in a few of his ventures in the industry and it’s evident he found a home

at SLO Cider where he can experiment with a assortment of varietals.

I pull up a bar stool and the guys start getting deep in the weeds with me about

mead blending and what exactly a Cyser is, but I pull them back to the basics

and ask for a pour of their foundational offerings. It’s a strategy that I often

don’t use when confronted with a shiny menu at any new tasting room. To

start with what they are known for, going from lighter on the palate to heavier,

ensures that you maximize your ability to taste everything in a flight and

subsequently are able to appreciate the full range of flavors. I usually go for the

biggest, brashest brew available first, so—do what I say, not what I do. My first

pour is a Cyser, a style that combines apples with honey. A cider mead to put >>

96 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


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APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 97


it simply. This one uses Braeburn and Jonagold, a cultivar of Jonathan and Golden

Delicious. It’s light, effervescent, and the floral notes of honey come through

in bursts throughout imbibing the overall apple frutiness. The Cyser is a great

example of what I’m going to learn while chatting. SLO Cider only looks at the

bottom line long enough to stay in business, their methods and ingredients are

to showcase the best product that can be made without compromise to quality.

Let’s delve into their aforementioned portfolio ciders and explore that concept of

quality more.

The four standard offerings include Dry, Rosé, Hopped, and Tropical. Available

in draft or cans to-go, to later enjoy that one style you fell in love with during a

tasting flight. You can likely discern what the flavors and styles will be based on

their very descriptive names. This is definitely not a brewer—not a pun in sight.

Fleming goes into eye-glazing detail about the yeast varieties, but I’ll boil it

down for you. He prefers three different styles of sweet acidic, low fermentation

champagne yeast that all result in a dry quaffable end product. No sickly sweet

cloying off-the-shelf ciders here.

Back to the quality aspects I alluded to. The Hopped Cider could have used

any of the myriad hop varieties available but Fleming opted for the highly

sought after, and subsequently pricier, Citra hop which imbues aromas of lime,

grapefruit, bright orange, mango, lychee, and gooseberry. Not a bad sensory

experience from apples and seed cones. The Tropical has a hard seltzer vibe to it,

which may be the force behind their win of Best Drink at the SLO Craft Beer

Festival. A cider winning at a beer festival? These flavors of passion fruit, orange,

and guava, also commonly known as POG, come from their use of actual fruit

puree. Fleming gets very excited to share his baking background and how they

used a specific company that makes the highest quality fruit purées resulting on

better tasting pastries. In other words, there are less expensive alternatives, but

they stay true to the philosophy of making the best product they can without

compromise. This has all made me very curious as to where they got their grapes

for the Rosé. Are they from the Rhône Valley? Béziers or Narbonne? I’m actually

pleasantly surprised when they tell me there are no grapes, but it’s inspired by

rosé and uses raspberries and hibiscus for the flavor. Personally, I’m excited about

this prospect as I’m not a fan of hybrids in the first place, when

too often the wine grape bitterness overpowers any subtle flavors

of the brew.

As I’m finishing my last tasting, the third and fourth members of

the party arrive, Pete Ayer and his dog Maximus come in toting

cardboard boxes no doubt filled with a myriad of promotional

materials and last minute decorations for the night’s party. Ayer

has brought his commendable talent in branding and design

to the group as evident by the presence of no less than four

postcard flier designs, piles of stickers, a wide assortment of

hats and merchandise, but more importantly, a good brand with

distinctively strong styling. Max is a good boy. He makes sure my

ankles stay licked and his head stays scratched.

I start asking about future plans and growth because it’s funny

to me, seeing as how they are hours away from actually opening.

That doesn’t dissuade them as they

start showing me which walls are going

to be knocked down as soon as their

neighbor’s lease ends. Their brewery

was designed in collaboration with a

mobile canning line. They may one day

add a walk way between themselves

and the cidery next door, 2 Broads

Cider, hopefully transforming their

enclave into a miniature destination

location with food trucks and live

music. In the meantime, they’re just

excited to share their product with the

masses and are already starting to offer

exclusive releases, collaborations, and

specialty ciders to keep their creative

apple juices flowing. SLO LIFE

BRANT MYERS is a 14-year

veteran of the Central Coast

craft beer industry who

enjoys sharing his passion

with anyone who doesn’t

put an orange in their

hefeweizen.

98 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020


APR/MAY 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 99


100 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | APR/MAY 2020

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