SLO LIFE Magazine Jun/Jul 2020

slolife

LIFE

SLOmagazine

LOCAL

ARTIST

HEALT

TRENDS

NOW HE

THIS

NTRAL COAST

THE NUMBERS

EHIND THE

SCENES

WS

S

JUN/JUL 2020

SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM MEET

CHRIS BURKARD

PURSUING PASSION &

SHARING STORIES

JUN/JUL 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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2 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020

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

1 1 2 8 G A R D E N S T R E E T S A N L U I S O B I S P O

W W W . B A X T E R M O E R M A N . C O M

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 3


We’re here

for you

now

and

always.

We know how important essential travel is to our community. SLO Transit

has taken extra precautions in implementing enhanced cleaning methods

and maintaining a rigorous cleaning schedule to keep buses clean and

sanitized. We’re here for you now with essential travel and we’re here for

you as our community is supporting one another on the road to recovery.

For more information on individual routes and schedules, please visit our website at

slotransit.org, download the SLO Transit app, or call Transit Dispatch at (805) 541-2877.

4 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


GENERAL BUILDING CONTRACTORS . LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS

805.704.7559 License 731695

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 5


CONTENTS

Volume

24

26

11

Number 3

Jun/Jul 2020

30

View

Q&A

MEET YOUR

NEIGHBOR

10

PUBLISHER’S

MESSAGE

12

14

16

22

Info

Sneak Peek

In Box

Briefs

6 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020

28

NOW HEAR THIS


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Before & After actual patients

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nation’s leaders in patient care

Affiliated with the Center for Medical Weight Loss,

a physician directed program

Dr. Ken Stevens

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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 7


| CONTENTS

60

64

Real Estate

Health

70

TASTE

75 Wine Notes

40

ARTIST

42

44

46

Family

On the Rise

Dwelling

80

BREW

8 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


2019 Beautiication

Award Winner

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 9


| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

As a kid, I loved running my fingers through the musty old card catalog at the library, searching for the books

about astronauts and dinosaurs and quarterbacks.

Although I have always been fascinated by stories and storytelling, it took a long while to figure out why.

Stories, I learned in school, are about characters. Some of those characters are called protagonists. They’re the

heroes. It was something I had to unlearn.

Protagonists, instead, are simply the people through which a story is told. It’s how we experience it, through

them. They are neither good nor bad; they just are. In other words, they’re the same as the rest of us—human.

Ten years ago, my wife, Sheryl, and I published the very first issue of SLO LIFE Magazine. Rising out of the ashes

of the Great Recession, we did not have the funds to deliver to your mailbox as we do now. Instead, we recruited a

small army of Cal Poly students to walk with us, neighborhood by neighborhood, to drop it on your doorstep.

In the months leading up to that inaugural issue, I thought a lot about stories and the best way to tell them. I had an epiphany following my interview

with our first ever “Meet Your Neighbor” subject. When I met Lief McKay out for a pint, I still did not have a clear vision for our cover story. At the

time, he was active in the SLO Rugby Club, and I thought it might make for an interesting article. In my mind, I pictured a pile of rowdy and muddied

players hamming for the camera after a game.

I started that interview the same way I always do. “So, tell me, where are you from?” My voice recorder sitting on the table between us disappeared after a

few minutes as he retraced the steps of his journey. By the time we wrapped up our conversation I had three hours of audio. And zero idea what to do with it.

It’s a familiar view for tortured writers everywhere—the blank screen. Over and over, I played the tape as I thought about how to tell the story of the

SLO Rugby Club. Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play. It was mildly interesting, but not compelling. At a primal, gut-level, it didn’t engage. Still, I found myself

continuing to go back to the beginning of the conversation, that first half-hour after I asked the where-are-you-from question. That’s where I found my

protagonist. He was hiding in plain sight.

The thing that most fascinates me about stories is not the stories themselves, but how they are told. For people who study this stuff, they call it voice.

As I began to write, I found myself deep inside my own head, sometimes adding a pair of quotation marks followed by “McKay said.” It just did not

resonate. The voice was all wrong. Because it was my voice.

As I continued to limp through the article, I kept playing that recording in the background. I wanted Lief ’s speaking style, right down to his Australian

accent, to jump off the page. That’s when it occurred to me. The cover story should be Lief in his own words. We called it “Meet Your Neighbor.”

That is what I love most about the work we do here at SLO LIFE Magazine, we share the stories of the characters who bring this place to life. Their

stories through their eyes in their voice. The protagonists among us: Human beings. Sisters. Brothers. Neighbors. Friends.

It’s a decade later now. In so many ways, I feel like we’re just getting started. Just getting warmed up. During those early days, our kids were still in

diapers, so often in our laps as we worked, lulled to sleep by the rhythm of the keyboard clicking and clacking, stirring when they were interrupted by

Mom and Dad bickering over whether or not to use a semicolon.

Aside from the finer points of storytelling—protagonists and voice and all those things—the real lesson I have learned over the past ten years is that it’s

not about me. SLO LIFE Magazine has a life of its own now. It’s all grown up. And that has everything to do with you. I see it the same way I imagine

I’ll see my kids someday when we load up the minivan and drop them off at college, or watch them walk down the aisle. Just like today, I will be fighting

the lump in my throat as I struggle to understand the emotion underlying it all—pride. More than anything, I’m proud of the work we have done,

proud to have played a role in creating something bigger than ourselves, something better, something that has, and will continue to, bring joy and create

community in the only way we ever have, through sharing stories.

On behalf of everyone here at SLO LIFE Magazine, Happy Anniversary—this is your magazine. And, most of all, to our advertisers who make

everything possible, thank you for your support.

Live the SLO Life!

Ten Years

Tom Franciskovich

tom@slolifemagazine.com

10 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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SLO LIFE

magazine

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

SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

info@slolifemagazine.com

(805) 543-8600 • (805) 456-1677 fax

PUBLISHER

Tom Franciskovich

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Libbie Agran

Charlotte Alexander

Jeff Al-Mashat

Lauren Harvey

Paden Hughes

Zara Khan

Jaime Lewis

Brant Myers

Shawn Strong

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Luke Chesser

Julie Gauguery

Caju Gomes

Ron Johnson

David Lalush

Kelsey Knight

Julia Perez

Vanessa Plakias

Austin Schmid

Gunnar Velten

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

If you would like to advertise, please contact Tom Franciskovich by phone

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

Ready to live the SLO Life all year long? It’s quick and easy! Just log on to

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

gift that keeps on giving!

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.

Contact us today for FREE placement assistance.

(805) 546-8777

elderplacementprofessionals.com

12 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020

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.


Getting Through This, Together.

“Instant action set American Riviera Bank apart! They were right on top of

all of the SBA requirements; I wouldn’t be getting through this without them.”

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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 13


| ON THE COVER

A SNEAK PEEK

behind the scenes

WITH CHRIS BURKARD

BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

As I got out of my

car to scope out the

property, Chris’ oldest

son Jeremiah, ran

to the top of their

deck to welcome me.

He climbed down

from his favorite tree

wearing a hat and

cowboy boots. It was

so sweet, definitely a

Huck Finn moment.

We talked about how precious time is and how

they love the rural life—that it suits their family.

Chris and Brea talked about why it’s so important

to manage your life and to use your time wisely.

As I was leaving, Forrest, Chris’s youngest, surprised me

with a yellow ice flower that made my heart smile.

Brea jokes that when Chris gets back from a trip, he

checks in with the alpacas first. The alpacas definitely

love Chris and feel safe with him. They were taking

refuge near him during the shoot. SLO LIFE

14 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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JUN/JUL 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

SITKA, ALASKA

ATLANTIC OCEAN

LIZ CLARKE, along with many others, contributed

to the restoration of the historic Mill Building.

LOREN EYLER of Avila Beach crossing

the Atlantic aboard Allure of the Seas.

AMAZON BASIN, COLUMBIA

DA NANG, VIETNAM

DR. MICHAEL CLAYTON on the Vichada River with

fishing guide ROMERO catching a Peacock Bass.

DORA ERB on vacation with her sisters at the

Golden Bridge wearing Kadazan Sabah traditional dress.

16 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


LEARN BY DOING WAS BORN HERE

CAL POLY AND LEARN BY DOING

HAVE BEEN RESIDENTS OF

THE CENTRAL COAST

SINCE 1901.

Cal Poly liberal arts and engineering studies students

partner with low-income elementary schools throughout

the Central Coast to teach computer science, design and

leadership. Using robotics, STEM (science, technology,

engineering, mathematics) skills and interactive storytelling,

the goal is to encourage academic achievement and equal

opportunity in industry, and to create new ways for Cal Poly

to serve our local communities.

PHOTOGRAPH BY CAL POLY STUDENT JACOB IZZO

(FOURTH-YEAR INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES MAJOR)

AD DESIGN BY CAL POLY STUDENT LAUREN WENSTAD

(THIRD-YEAR GRAPHIC COMMUNICATION MAJOR)

See more Learn by Doing stories at

GIVING.CALPOLY.EDU

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 17


| IN BOX

SLO LIFE travels!

FRENCH RIVIERA

THE FIERCE FLAMINGOS

LAURA, GIANNA,

and STELLA SHEARD

STUTTGART, GERMANY

MYRIAM, LUKAS,

and AMÉLIE OLAIZOLA

CLINTONVILLE, OHIO

OLIVIA and MARC WOOD in front of the Rustic Bridge

in the historic Beechwood neighborhood.

JENNIFER and ERICK WAND pause briefly during their

2019 European Odyssey to share SLO Life Magazine at the

festivities of the Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest.

18 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 19


| IN BOX

Trekking with you!

TAHITI

SAN LUIS OBISPO

PAUL RYS restoring a home in SLO.

MORRO BAY

JOE SHEPARD shortly after a dive near the island of

Tasha in French Polynesia, not to far from Bora Bora.

SAN LUIS OBISPO

JUDI and GARY TEWELL

MICHELLE COBBS retreating in the

she-shed in her backyard.

20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 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).


Here for Your Care

Your Safety is Our Priority

A COMMUNITY BUILT ON CARE

As the world around us changes, our commitment to your health and safety remains

the same. If you visit Tenet Health Central Coast for an emergency, a surgery or the

birth of a child, rest assured we have extra precautions in place for your safety and

comfort. If you need care, don’t hesitate to come to one of our hospitals. Accidents,

chronic disease and new or worsening symptoms don’t stop during this time and

neither should their treatment. We’re here for you, no matter your healthcare needs,

bringing the expertise and compassion that makes us a Community Built on Care.

For more information, visit TenetHealthCentralCoast.com

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 21


| BRIEFS

19,720

The number of new unemployment claims

filed in SLO County between March

14 and April 25, according to the local

Workforce Development Board. Claims

spiked the week ending March 28, with

8,959 unemployment claims submitted. In

comparison, just 183 local unemployment

claims were filed in the week ending

January 18, 2020.

72%

A recent audit found that Cal Poly student

fees have increased by 72% over the past eight

years—the highest fees in the CSU system—

and that the university had violated state

policy by diverting tens of millions of those

dollars toward salaries and benefits.

$20

million

The amount of money the SLO Airport

received in April from a C.A.R.E.S. Act

stimulus grant to cover lost revenues due

to a ninety percent drop in passengers

since state and county shelter-at-home

orders were put in place due to the

COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ask a

Librarian”

Have a question and can’t find the

answer? Visit slolibrary.org and select this

free, convenient, and recently-expanded

online feature offered by the county

library system.

$150,000

The projected energy cost savings from

the construction of a 1.2-megawatt

solar field on a parcel of land at the end

of Oklahoma Avenue, offsetting about

eighty percent of the County Operations

Center’s energy use. The project will

provide electricity to twelve facilities at

the COC, and is slated for completion in

September.

Gambelia

Sila

Also known as the blunt-nosed leopard

lizard, this large charismatic reptile native

to the Carrizo Plain may be threatened by

climate change, according to a study led

by Cal Poly biological sciences graduate

student Kat Ivey recently published in the

journal Conservation Physiology. Listed as a

federally endangered species, the lizards may

be forced into underground burrows more

often during soaring summer temperatures,

where they cannot mate, feed, or defend

their territories.

“Leisure travel

should not take

place during a

pandemic.”

County Health Officer Dr. Penny

Borenstein announcing steps the County

took in May to limit tourism to the region

to protect public health. Mandates include

limiting the use of campgrounds to local

residents only and limiting hotel and

short-term lodging occupancy rates to

no more than fifty percent, and only for

“essential travel.”

#SLOTogether

A social media campaign of hope and

inspiration designed to let the true spirit

of the San Luis Obispo community—

including a unique lifestyle and endless

supply of happiness—shine. It includes

individual stories of local businesses and

organizations going above and beyond to

support their neighbors.

Open SLO

The City of San Luis Obispo sent a survey

to ask its residents a series of questions,

including: “The following are proposed

locations for temporary closures of streets

and use of City-owned spaces within the

downtown for walking, outdoor dining,

and retail. How supportive would you be

of each of these strategies?” Under the

heading “Higuera Street (from Osos Street

to Nipomo street, while maintaining cross

street access to vehicles during Marsh Street

Bridge Closure),” as of this writing, 62.28%

responded “Very supportive.” SLO LIFE

22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


IT’S TIME TO GET A SECOND OPINION

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advisory services offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Financial Planning offered through Crew Wealth Management,

a registered investment advisor and separate entity of LPL Financial.

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23


| VIEW

Valley View

BY JOE PAYNE

PHOTOGRAPHY BY RON JOHNSON

Retired Paso Robles Navy veteran Ron Johnson has been into

photography for a long time—we’re talking since the days of the dark room.

His in-laws were passionate photogs, and he spent plenty of time in his

brother-in-law’s darkroom with the caustic chemicals that only added to the

discomfort of the painstaking process.

The passion Johnson had for photography waxed and waned over the years since he

left the Navy, worked in manufacturing in the valley, and served on the Planning

Commission for twenty years, but once the digital age came about, the ease of

creating and processing photos was a draw. Already a collector of film cameras at

the time (all of which he still holds onto), his collection of cameras expanded. “I

have more digital cameras now than I ever had before,” Johnson said. “Do I miss

[dark rooms]? No, absolutely not, not in the least.”

The other motivator to dedicate more time to his longtime passion happened six

years ago when Johnson got involved with the Paso Robles Art Association’s Photo

Guild. The members of the guild are “very willing to share their equipment and

their knowledge,” he explained, and within that group of like-minded creatives,

Johnson had an opportunity to grow as an artist himself.

Always with a camera in hand, Johnson snaps shots whenever he sees an inspiring

view or subject. In the case of this image captured from the top of the hill at Pear

Valley Winery, Johnson was attending a Teacher of the Year event there in support

of a friend, and was struck by the view. “It was just being at the right place at the

right time, honestly,” he said. “I think anyone in the camera club could have taken

that same picture. My photo skills aren’t anything exceptional by comparison to

anyone in our group.”

Johnson’s humble attitude hides some of his bona fides, including six first-place

photography awards in the Art Association’s competition last year. One of those

awards was for this shot at Pear Valley, which won the blue ribbon for the Digitally

Enhanced Landscape category. The image isn’t enhanced in color, or cropped to

change the composition, Johnson explained, but touched up with Photoshop to

remove some farm equipment that he felt took away from the scene. It was just a

bunch of “stuff ” in the shot that distracted from the view, he said, which he wanted

to look “clean.”

A cursory glance at his Flickr page online shows

that Johnson enjoys digital effects and subjects

beyond landscapes, like wildlife and architecture.

“There’s a lot of software available to create all

kinds of different effects, and I really like doing

that,” he said.

Since he’s a veteran, Johnson drives to Santa

Maria to visit the VA hospital regularly, where the

doctors there are helping him battle skin cancer.

After noticing his dermatologist didn’t have any

photos hanging in the exam room, Johnson asked

what he’d prefer. The answer was “landscape.”

By his next visit, Johnson had prepared a framed

print of this shot, which still hangs there today. “I get

a thrill out of thinking that somebody likes the photo

so well that they’re willing to hang it on their wall,”

he said. “I think that’s really a big deal.” 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.

24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25


| Q&A

BEING BOLD

Recently, we had the pleasure of visiting LINDSEY MCCONAGHY. In

addition to starting her own public relations firm, she also serves as the

President of the local chapter of NAWBO, the National Association of

Women Business Owners. Here is some of what she had to say…

Okay, Lindsey, it’s obvious you didn’t grow

up on the Central Coast. I was actually born

in New Orleans in Louisiana. But, as you

can tell, that’s not where my accent is from.

I grew up in Surrey, in the UK, just outside

of London. So, my mum was from New

Orleans and she met my dad while she was

on vacation in London. It’s a really romantic

story. He is a licensed black taxi driver there

and he picked her up in his cab one evening.

They got talking, and he asked her out on

a date. Then, four months later, they were

married. I was born in New Orleans and

then three months after that they decided to

move outside of London where I grew up,

because my dad’s originally from there. So

basically, I lived there most of my life. Went

to school there, went to university in the UK.

What sort of work did you do after

graduation? I have always worked in public

relations. I started out in London working

for agencies. And then I gradually moved

in-house to manage public relations for

companies internally. And my last job before

I left London was for a start-up. It was a

health tech company and they had this big

vision to really disrupt the industry—it was

just really exciting. When I came to San

Luis, I wanted to continue doing public

relations with start-ups and innovative

businesses. But I remember thinking that

since it’s so small, they probably don’t exist.

But after arriving here, I discovered that

there was actually quite a bustling start-up

scene. You have the Hot House downtown,

where I actually work out of, and then

you have the Center for Innovation and

Entrepreneurship. And, locally, there are

established companies like Amazon who are

here. I was very pleasantly surprised by that.

So, I’ve been able to establish my own PR

company and work with a lot of really great

businesses here, quite a few of which are

start-ups.

How did you end up here? My husband

was born and raised in SLO. He went to

SLO High. Then he moved to London for

work, which is where we met. We actually

got married in France. Then, at some point,

we decided to move back here for a bit of

a change of scenery and a change of pace. I

visited a couple of times on vacation with

him and just absolutely loved it. We got to

a point where we fancied a bit of a change

from the city, especially now with our

fifteen-month-old daughter, Grace. One of

our favorite things to do as a family is to

take a long walk on the Bob Jones Trail and

keep going all the way to Port San Luis.

That view looking back on Avila is just a

pinch-me moment. I always say, “Oh, my

gosh, I can’t believe this is where we live.”

And how was it starting your own business

here? For me, when I was starting a business,

it was really quite daunting. I dealt with a

lot of self-doubt. I wondered if I was really

capable or qualified enough. But I found

that connecting with other women who

were doing it helped build my confidence.

It was quite inspiring to see others in your

community, who are successful and are

building businesses and are facing challenges

similar to yours and overcoming them. It’s

really reassuring. It’s like, “Oh, okay. This

is normal.” For anyone running a business,

it’s going to involve a lot of ups and downs

and challenges. And it’s not necessarily a

reflection on you. It’s just the nature of it.

Is that how you discovered NAWBO?

Yes, that’s right. Nationally we have

about 10 million members. We are a local

chapter. It’s a place where women in

business can be bold. It can be something

that some of us struggle with. I think it’s

more about encouraging and empowering

women. It’s a pretty amazing group. We

are dedicated to helping women business

owners succeed. We like to say that we

are purposeful, effective, and courageous

advocates for female entrepreneurs. We

actually have representation in DC, people

there advocating on behalf of womenowned

businesses. And, locally, we’ve been

recognized as one of the fasting growing

chapters in the nation. It’s just an immediate

connection to a network and a support

system. It’s a place where women don’t have

to be afraid to be ambitious. SLO LIFE

26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 27


| NOW HEAR THIS

THE VIBE

28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


SETTERS

BY SHAWN STRONG

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE VIBE SETTERS

Dante Marsh has a background that’s as unique as they come. Born and raised in

Northeast Ohio, Marsh had no interest in singing. His stage back then was the

football field. In high school, he heard that an easy-A could be had by joining the

choir. Marsh was surprised to find he enjoyed it. A lot. With the support of his choir

leader, his singing improved. His confidence grew and, for the first time, Marsh

contemplated making music a permanent part of his life.

After high school, Marsh’s family moved to Nashville while Marsh himself stayed in

Ohio to attend college. A few semesters later, Marsh decided to drop out and move to

Tennessee, as well. While working odd jobs in and around Music City, Marsh began

playing guitar. He was a quick study and displayed his talent at the many open mic

opportunities around town. He continued to work full-time for another couple of years

while attending those open mic sessions nearly every night. Eventually, Marsh felt

confident enough that he could support himself with music alone and said goodbye to

all his other jobs.

Marsh was encouraged by one of his Nashville-based associates to take some time to

travel. Within a few weeks, he was on a plane headed for the Pacific. He spent nearly

a month on the Hawaiian Islands recording his first album. It was at this point, Marsh

says, that he began to see music as something more than just a profession. As far as he

was concerned, music had become his life’s purpose. Feeling more confident than ever,

he quickly made his way back to Nashville and then to Los Angeles.

As is the case with many up-and-coming artists, Marsh struggled to find work and pay

rent in the city. He was confident in his abilities considering his success in Nashville,

but the sheer size of the LA music scene was difficult to navigate. Eventually, a friend

suggested that Marsh might want to take a trip to a little place called San Luis

Obispo. With that, he packed his bags, hopped on a train, and made his way north.

When it comes to settling into a new town, Marsh admits he is a creature of habit.

Starting with open mics, he slowly began to establish

himself among the locals before getting increasingly larger

gigs. In no time at all, Marsh was set up with the biggest

show he had booked up to that point, which was held at

SLO Brew. And, in the two years since, he’s played at every

winery, pub, and bar in the county. In that time, he’s also

recruited an ace group of musicians including bassist Drake

Freeman, lead guitarist Jon Millsap, percussionist Tim

Costa, and drummer Gerald Purify. The group has gone on

to play at large events including the Whale Rock Music

Festival. Most recently, the group was awarded a New

Times Music Award for best R&B group as well as the

coveted Performance of the Night Award.

Currently, Marsh is recording another solo album. Be sure

to keep an eye out for The Vibe Setters. You’ll be glad

you did. 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.

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29


| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


MISSION

STATEMENT

PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

As he continues to explore the far corners of the globe, Arroyo Grande

resident CHRIS BURKARD still claims the Central Coast is the best

place to live. The self-taught professional photographer now spends

his time teaching the craft to others, as well as maintaining a long list

of blue-chip clients. He is also a frequent speaker after catapulting his

career on the TED stage. In addition to his wife and two young boys—

five and seven years old—his family also includes two horses, two

alpacas, six chickens, and “a half-dozen other random little critters.”

Here is his story…

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31


32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


et’s take from the top, Chris. Where

are you from? I was actually born

and raised here. My biological father

passed away before I was born, so it

was just my mom and me for a big

portion of time. We bounced around

and lived in just about every town

in the county. She was a manager of

Kennedy Club Fitness and was just Lkind of a superhero, do-it-all mom trying to make the best life for us

as possible, while still getting a degree and doing all the stuff that she

needed to do. So, she mostly raised me by herself. And then, when I

was about twelve years old, she got married, and my stepdad became a

big part of the family.

What was it like growing up here? In the beginning, it was me and

my mom hanging out at the beach. But at some point, the beach

became more like a babysitter. She’d say, “Hey, here’s five bucks. Go

down to the beach. I’ll pick you up this afternoon.” So, I’d go boogie

board and hang out with friends. I mean, that was as much of my

upbringing as anything else. But I think that, in many ways, I didn’t

appreciate where I lived when I was young. I just wanted to get out

and see the world and see what was out there and just explore. I

thought this small town was kind of holding me back, which I think

many kids in that age group feel.

How did you discover photography? I was in high school doing a lot

of art classes, and I was like, “This is rad. I love it.” On the weekends, I

was spending more and more time with my friends going up the coast

and surfing and exploring. And, so, when I was a senior in high school,

probably eighteen years old, my wife, who was my girlfriend at the

time, we were at her house, and her mom brings out this old camera,

an old Nikon with a hippie strap. I started playing around with it, and

I just remember thinking, “Wow. This is it.” I felt like, all of a sudden,

I could take creativity anywhere I went. I could take it along with me

to the beach, or wherever. I realized that photography was this thing I

could do. Now, never in a million years would I have considered it to

be something that would be a career.

So, did you start taking classes? No, I never took photography classes

in high school or anything like that. It was just more of an experience

where I was kind of trying to find myself and figure out where I fit

within my group of friends. Photography was sort of my way of feeling

a part of something bigger than myself. I don’t know how to put it,

but it’s sort of like that movie “Ocean’s Eleven,” where everyone in

the group has some special thing they do; somebody’s the driver, and

somebody’s the tech guy, and somebody does this or that. I had my

spot as the documentarian of the group, and that felt really special.

That was my role because I was never an incredible athlete or anything.

I just felt like this was sort of my gift to give to the people that I

enjoyed spending time with.

And that was back in the days of film, right. Yeah, that’s right. I’d go

buy expired film from CVS Pharmacy or Rite Aid, at the time. And

I’d shoot my friends surfing, or whatever we were doing. At the end

of the week, we would all usually gather together at somebody’s house

to hang out and look at the photographs. Then, I started going to

Cuesta, and I’m sitting in class, and all my friends are calling me up

and saying, “Chris, you’re missing out. The waves are so good.” And

I’d be sitting there in class thinking, “Man, why am I here?” I’d say to

myself, “Okay, I’m here because my mom wants

me to do this.” And I got really good grades, and I

got scholarships, and I was on track to be the first

person in my family to have a college education.

That was a big thing for them, and for me. But I

felt like photography was this fleeting opportunity

that was passing me by. And I kind of knew, in

that moment, that if I didn’t pursue it right then

and there, that I was going to get so far down this

road that I was never going to be able to fully give

myself to this craft.

So, what did you do? It’s kind of like being at the

train station, your bags are halfway packed, and

you have to jump on the train before you’re ready,

but that’s what I did. I quit my job at nineteen,

and I quit school, and I told myself, “I’m going to

give photography everything I have. I don’t care

if I’m facedown in the dirt, or if I’m thriving. At

least I’ll know that I did it, and I tried it.” And

that’s exactly what I did. I tried to make ends meet

the best way I could. There were no aspirations to

do what I do now, which is working within this

commercial realm of photography and creating

books and films. I had no idea that was even a

possibility, to be honest. In the beginning, it was

just about making money with a camera and

the pride that comes from that. I think there’s

something to be said for the dream of just being

able to support yourself through creative means,

and that’s what I was really seeking after. There

was no ego, no pride about what I was shooting. I

shot weddings and senior pictures, and everything

to make ends meet.

What were some of your other hustles?

Sometimes I’d run down to the beach and take

random photos of people out in the water, and then

I’d run up to them on land and say, “Hey, I have a

couple of photos of you surfing. I’ll give them to

you on a CD for twenty bucks.” And, I’d go to surf

shops and say, “Hey, can I shoot photos of your

store’s interior for a couple hundred bucks?” And I

would do that. Sometimes I’d trade for equipment

or clothing, and I would sell that off. It was

hustling in the realest sense of the term. And, you

know, I’ve never really got to the point where it’s

like, “Oh, man—I’ve made it. Everything’s great.” I

mean, the reality of being a freelance photographer

is that you never know where your next paycheck is

coming from. So, for me, if you never fully accept

that you’ve made it, then you’re always going to be

willing to keep working hard.

What was your first big break? I’d say when I

landed a job on the staff at Surfer Magazine, which

I did for about eight years. That was kind of one

of my dreams as a young photographer. And I did

that and realized, “Whoa, there’s some job security

here. I’m actually doing this.” But, I was making >>

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33


pennies on the dollar. Those retainers don’t pay much, but that was

when, I think, that I felt like I had landed somewhere, that there was

a future in this line of work. I still contribute to them once in a while,

but I also have much different clients now and I am in more of a

commercial space where I’m shooting campaigns and advertising work

for larger tech companies, and stuff like that. So, the work has evolved

and changed over the years.

And, so, what is a typical job for you now? I would say, there’s

nothing really typical about anything I do, first of all. It’s always

complicated. There’s always sort of something different. I would say

that the one takeaway that I have is that every job forces me to bring

something different to the table. Some of them force me to bring my

experience as a water photographer or action sports. Some of them

require me to shoot with a large crew and strobes. And sometimes

you’re not even touching a camera; instead you’re just directing

commercial TV spots or something like that. So, in the world of

commercial advertising, it’s always changing. And I love that; I love

the fact that it’s always changing, and it’s always challenging me and

forcing me to try something new and different.

What do you mean by that exactly? I try to bring a lot of inspiration

into it. By that, I mean the things that really motivate me and move

me and inspire me. I still try to bring that to the table. So, most of

the jobs I’m doing are rooted in the outdoor space, or they’re rooted

in wilderness and landscapes and things like that. But that hasn’t

always been the case. I remember being on the beach in Mexico, and

just basically having a sixty-person crew lighting up this tiny Corona

bottle. I remember thinking, “This is so weird.” It’s not necessarily a

moment that I’m proud of. It’s just like, “Whoa. This has taken me so

far from being this young kid, going to the beach, taking photos of my

friends.” It’s definitely taken me to some weird places. That’s for sure.

Where else has it taken you? I think I’ve, in many ways, come

full circle. I’ve gone all the way to doing these crazy, big, massive

production shoots to realizing, “Wow. That doesn’t fulfill me.” Now,

I’m coming back to a place of working on stuff that does keep me

inspired and excited and moved, I guess you could say. And so much

of that is accepting the fact that, even though you can do jobs that

will pay you more money to fill your bank account, you have to be

conscious of the fact that, if it’s not fulfilling you internally and it’s >>

34 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 35


not fulfilling your mission statement as an artist, then those things are

just not going to last. Those things are just not going to sustain you

for the long term. And I’ve accepted the fact that, for a long portion

of my career, I’ve traveled and gone to places simply for the fact that

I needed to collect a stamp in my passport or collect a paycheck. And

those two things are great, but they’re not fulfilling.

What sort of career advice would you give to someone starting out?

Here’s the thing, people always ask for advice, all the time. And I love

giving advice, actually. It’s something I take very seriously. And I’ve

done a lot of it through workshops and events and public speaking,

but the biggest thing I’ve realized is that if somebody doesn’t know

where they want to end up, you simply cannot give them directions.

You can’t give somebody directions to an unknown destination. So

that means you first have to dive into what you want, and who you

want to be, and what you want your world to look like before it’s

worth investing the time in trying to educate yourself or finding a

roadmap to get there. The roadmap only exists if there’s a destination

in mind.

And what if that destination means working for someone else?

Here’s the best way to put it. If you were to go to a group of

photographers, a room of photographers, and you were to ask them,

“Hey, who here wants to shoot for National Geographic?” Every single

one of them would raise their hand, right? And then if you were to

ask them, “Well, what is their mission statement?” Nobody would

raise their hand. I’ve done that hundreds of times in hundreds of

workshops all over the world. And the reality is, how can we ever

work for someone if we don’t know what they stand for? National

Geographic’s mission statement is to inspire people to care about the

planet. That is what all of their digital, film, social properties, that’s

what they all live under, that banner. So, whatever your path, whether

going out on your own or working for someone else, you want to

make sure there is alignment with the mission, otherwise it just won’t

work, at least not for long.

How do you advise someone to come up with their mission

statement? So, it starts with understanding and really starting to

break down what inspires you. What is it that you want to do?

Obviously, we all have to make money. I’ve had to do a lot of jobs that

weren’t very inspiring, but they got me through hard financial times

or whatever. But in the back of my mind, I always knew that what I

loved most was storytelling, and traveling. So, the point is that you need

to cultivate a mission statement as a photographer, or as an artist, or as

>>

36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020



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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 37


whatever you want to be, and that’s your guiding light. That’s your moral

code. For me, I grew up in a home where traveling wasn’t an option. But

I wanted to do it. So, when I started to go places, all I wanted to do was

bring back those experiences to my mom and share them with her and

tell the story because I knew how special it was. And that’s still what I

do now, except it’s not just my mom, it’s turned into millions of others.

Can you expand upon your own mission statement? I think that, if

anything, I want to empower people to go out and seek experiences

outside that empower them to be the best version of themselves, and

to learn what it’s like to open themselves up to new experiences and,

ultimately, to get way outside of that zone of comfort and to shed our

skin and become a better person. That’s what photography did for me,

and that’s what I’ve always hoped that it could do for other people. But a

big part of that is learning how to be a more conscious traveler and be a

more aware human. So, I think that learning how to just be more aware

of our surroundings and be more cognizant of the places we go and the

issues they’re facing and how we can bring awareness to those things.

Nowadays, my work is focused on celebrating those things, the wild

places, and the idea of pushing the human spirit to its furthest.

And what does the future hold? That’s a funny one. I get asked that

quite a bit, and I never really know what to say. People are always like,

“Oh, where do you want to be in five, ten, fifteen years?” To be honest, if

I’m doing exactly what I’m doing right now in the future, I would be so

happy. I love the fact that I get to reach so many people, and I love the

fact that I get to do what I do. And traveling is a big part of that and

sharing those experiences with my family. I think, if anything, all I want

to do is, hopefully, have more opportunities to take my kids to these

places and share that with them. And I think, if I can continue to reach

as many people as I’m able to today, I’d be super grateful because that

is truly one of my favorite things—being able to connect with people

and tell stories. And hopefully inspiring them to get out and see it for

themselves. That’s why I do what I do. SLO LIFE

38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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| ARTIST

PROFILE

Amy

McKay

A

BY JEFF AL-MASHAT

my McKay’s paintings suggest that she was the star

student in her color theory classes, but when asked

about her masterful use of color, she seems genuinely

surprised that she has any acuity for it. Instead, her focus

in the work is on the importance of physical spaces for

gathering and appreciating what is important in life.

Part of that appreciation for meaningful outdoor places

comes from her professional background as a landscape

architect. But in her paintings featuring everyday items

like bicycles, intimate sitting spaces, and “Chuck Taylor”

sneakers, it is apparent that the work is about much more

than an iconic shoe or a simple desk chair.

ONTARIO

RIDGE

McKay’s dexterity with color makes looking at her

work a pleasurable experience on its own, but it is

the genuineness of the imagery that really makes

her paintings so engaging. While there is certainly a

comparison to be made to Wayne Thiebaud’s colorful

cakes and candy paintings, McKay’s work aligns more

with an old master like Camille Pissarro and the

subtle social commentaries woven into his paintings of

everyday people.

“My work is about memories that we make in our

lives,” said McKay. “The paintings of things like

sneakers are about the people who wear the shoes—

my daughter, my father—but at the same time these

iconic colorful shoes, that all of us probably have had

at least one pair of, represent a lack of barriers and

commonality between people.”

Similar to the deeper

meaning behind the objects,

McKay’s paintings of places

and spaces suggest that there

is something special about

each setting. The perspective

she uses is broad, leaving a

lot of room for the viewer

to observe the additional

surroundings, giving a sense

that there is more of a

story, a memory or colorful

commentary to be appreciated

in each piece. 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.

40 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41


| FAMILY

Sand

and Sun

BY PADEN HUGHES

One of the best things about this corner of the world is the beautiful ocean front

and many seaside communities, each with its own flair and personality. Our

family favorite is Avila Beach. It is a great little protected cove with a unified

look and feel, perfect for families looking to enjoy the south-facing beach.

A fun collection of restaurants, tourist shops, a playground, and an aquarium—topped off

with a wood-planked pier and beautiful views—it’s hard to imagine Avila being anything

other than a tranquil cove. But its history is rich with twists and turns. From Chumach

natives to Spanish conquistadors, from a whaler hub to Unocal’s oil tank farm, which lead

to its environmental clean-up and eventual rebirth, Avila has had many face lifts over the

last few centuries.

I find it interesting that what gives Avila Beach its cohesive charm is actually a sad story

of environmental damage. For nearly one hundred years, Unocal pumped gasoline, diesel

fuel, and crude oil from its bluffs, while 22,000 gallons had silently been spilling into the

earth around the oil giants’ tank farm. Residents who grew up in the area in the 70s and 80s

remember going to the beach as children, building sandcastles, and watching oil well up as

they dug in the sand. By the end of the 90s Unocal was required to pay over $200 million

to clean up the environmental devastation. After removing 300,000 cubic-yards of crude

saturated earth, most of the town was decimated and needed to be rebuilt, in part explaining

why Avila looks so fresh and unified. It’s as if Walt Disney himself had taken up residence

nearby and orchestrated the cheerful, bright rebuild of the town.

Moving here in 2004, all I have ever known Avila to be is a perfect little beach town. It has

always been my favorite spot in the sand, in large part because of the Bob Jones Trail that

winds from the highway to the ocean. It is a haven for families

to enjoy the sunshine and beauty of the Central Coast.

Now with young children of my own, I find it a perfect place

to enjoy splashing along with the ebb and flow of the tide.

With small tide pools exposed during low tide at either end of

the main cove, it’s a wonderful place to explore the ocean and

sea life. There is something healing and refreshing about the

rhythmic and peaceful cadence of waves breaking, the smell

of the ocean breeze, and the warmth of sunshine on your skin.

Whether shrouded in fog or illuminated by the sun on a clear

day, Avila Beach always makes for a picture-perfect walk in

the sand. It’s the one place I return to again and again. It

never gets old and always restores my gratitude for this place

we call home. SLO LIFE

PADEN HUGHES is

co-owner of Gymnazo

and enjoys exploring

the Central Coast.

42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 43


| ON THE RISE

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Ashley Thorshov

This San Luis Obispo High School senior has received

Golden Tiger awards in English and Math, the Mayor’s Award

for Community Service, a Letter in Tennis, and has been on

the Honor Roll every trimester.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in? I participate in local tree-planting

projects, creek clean-ups, and climate awareness strikes. I started the Climate Action Club at

SLOHS and am a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. On the weekends,

I volunteer at Bliss Cafe, an environmentally friendly cafe in downtown SLO.

What do you like to do for fun? I like to paint, draw, and sing and I love to spend time in

nature. I enjoy taking long hikes and going to the beach, and if a sunset is involved, that’s

even better.

What is going on with you now? I was recently asked to write an Op-Ed piece for HuffPost

on how the climate crisis has affected my college/career path and have been enjoying

working with their editors.

What is your favorite memory of all time? Last Fall my parents and I hiked to Point Sal. It

was a long and cold hike, and when we reached the coast, we stopped to rest in a sunny patch

of sand sheltered from the wind. The three of us fell asleep to the sound of the seagulls and

the waves. I remember feeling completely at peace.

What career do you see yourself in someday? I am exploring majors including

environmental law, environmental engineering, renewable energy management,

sustainability, and marine biology. I want to pursue a career where I will be able to help

the planet as much as possible.

Who has influenced you the most? This year I met Jennifer Bauer, a fierce advocate

for the planet who has been involved with environmental activism, education, and

awareness for many years. She helped me and three other students fight for a more

environmentally friendly school district. We attended San Luis Obispo Unified School

District Board of Trustees meetings and, after a few meetings, successfully convinced

the board to create a sustainability advisory committee. This was the first time that I

felt like I had really made a difference.

What do you want people to know about you? I want people to know that I am open-minded.

I don’t judge others because I would never want to miss the opportunity to meet a kindred

spirit and I believe that everyone has a story to tell.

What are you looking forward to? I am really looking forward to taking a gap year after I

graduate from high school. I want to go to South America and volunteer.

What schools are you considering for college? My dream colleges are those that are leaders

in environmentalism. I have been looking into UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly, Stanford, and

California Institute of Technology.

What else should we know? I speak Spanish, I can drive a stick-shift, and my spirit-fruit

is a mango. SLO LIFE

Know a student On the Rise?

Introduce us at slolifemagazine.com/share

44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


Thank you to our

partners who help distribute

our Talley Farms Boxes.

• Collin’s Market

• Farm Supply Company

• Heritage Ranch -

Lake Life Wellness Center

• Lemos Feed & Pet Supply

• Lincoln Market & Deli

• Miner’s Ace Hardware

• Nature’s Touch Harvest

and Nursery

• Naughty Oak Brewing Company

• Quality Suites Hotel

• Robinson Family Residence

• Santa Margarita Feed Store

• Sea Pines Golf Resort

• Shell Beach Liquor and Deli

• Takkens Shoes

• The Rock SLO Brew

• The Vitamin and Herb Stores

• Wolfe Family Residence

• Woody’s Butcher Block

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

䐀 攀 猀 椀 最 渀 礀 漀 甀 爀 搀 爀 攀 愀 洀

䘀 爀 漀 洀 琀 栀 攀

䌀 漀 洀 昀 漀 爀 琀 漀 昀 栀 漀 洀 攀

Helping families eat healthy

Olivia Talley

(805) 489-5401 | TalleyFarmsBox.com

匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 稀 椀 渀 最 䤀 渀

䌀 甀 猀 琀 漀 洀 䌀 爀 攀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀 ☀ 䄀 渀 琀 椀 焀 甀 攀 刀 攀 猀 琀 漀 爀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀

㐀 ☀ 㠀 䜀 愀 爀 搀 攀 渀 匀 琀 ⸀ 䐀 漀 眀 渀 琀 漀 眀 渀 匀 䰀 伀

㠀 㔀 ⸀ 㔀 㐀 アパート⸀ 㠀 㠀 㘀 ⴀ 眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 䜀 愀 爀 搀 攀 渀 匀 琀 爀 攀 攀 琀 䜀 漀 氀 搀 猀 洀 椀 琀 栀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 45


| DWELLING

MODERN

46 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


PARADISE

BY ZARA KHAN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LALUSH

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 47


“D

on’t make promises when you’re happy, don’t reply

when you’re angry.” We should actually be thankful Clive

Pinder made a casual promise while he was happy. At their

wedding, Pinder hinted to his new mother-in-law that they

may eventually find their way back to the Central Coast

and she held him to it.

Pinder met his wife, Karrin

Colwell, a Central Coast native,

in London where she had

relocated for work. Locally,

the Colwells are an established

family who are best known as the

owners of the historic and iconic

A&W car hop restaurant in Paso

Robles. England’s charm was

hard to resist, but the weather

did not impress Colwell. There

aren’t many places that can

compete with the weather we >>

In addition to being an

interior designer, ZARA KHAN

is also a shoe aficionado and

horror movie enthusiast.

48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 49


are blessed with on the Central Coast. The couple’s first

attempt at a solution was to spend some of their time in

Spain, but quickly learned why people referred to Spain as

“a cold country with a very hot sun.” When the sun was

present the weather was delightful, but when the sun went

down it was right back to chilly. Pinder was born in Nigeria

before moving to England to attend boarding school. With

roots in Africa, they decided maybe they should give the

region a try next.

They settled on Zanzibar and tackled their first new

construction project. They built a vacation home which they

enjoyed for many years and continue to today. Vacationing

in Zanzibar was enjoyable, but daily London weather was

still wearing on Colwell and she just couldn’t help but

daydream about the sunny weather on the Central Coast.

One fateful day, Colwell and Pinder opened an email that

had a property listing sent by Colwell’s mother. It was

located in Templeton and after seeing the breathtaking >>

50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


Montecito Blend Chip Seal

C O M M E R C I A L & R E S I D E N T I A L

RAMSEYASPHALT.COM (805) 928-9583

Lic# 881030 A/C12/C32

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 51


views they knew they needed to move quickly. After

chatting it over they went with their gut and purchased the

site unseen.

Excited for their new project, they started to brainstorm

about the style of their future home, it was no surprise

the couple gravitated towards the pragmatic aesthetic of

Mid-Century Modern. They felt in line with the principles

of the Bauhaus Movement which promotes that form

should follow function, the character of natural materials

should be celebrated and should also embrace minimalism.

They recognized the value of the property was primarily

in the views and wanted to maximize them from every

angle possible. Expansive vistas of neighboring vineyards

wrap 180 degrees around the northern portion of the

home. Most of their time would be spent outside, so the

relationship between indoor and outdoor living needed to

be seamless. >>

52 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53


Colwell and Pinder are firm believers in supporting local

business. It only felt right to enlist a local architect to help

bring their vision to life. They began to ask around to see

who might be a good fit and were connected to Andrew

Goodwin at Andrew Goodwin Designs. Goodwin’s

attention to detail, communication style, and design eye

confirmed they needed him to be part of the team.

It was important to Colwell and Pinder that the house

implemented sustainable features. It was designed to be

passively cooled, powered by the sun with photovoltaics,

and due to the wildfire requirements of the site, as fire

resistant as possible. Most importantly, the home also

needed to display their extensive art collection, which

showcases African and Aboriginal art, and not have the art

compete with architectural elements. Colwell and Pinder

wanted their friends and family to visit often and for as >>

54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 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

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55


long as they wished so they decided to have two master

suites at opposite ends of their main living area to allow

for privacy and individual space. Their final request, a

modern lap pool.

They spent about a year before planning and dreaming with

Goodwin. The building did not begin until the Fall of 2016.

They compiled requests of how they needed the house to

function and details they were attracted to, but ultimately

let Goodwin run with the design. When they received his

first design presentation, they were sold.

It’s not often an architect nails the design on his first

presentation and contractors are able to complete a project

on budget and on time. I asked what they thought helped

achieve these result—it was all due to the team they put

together. Along with Goodwin, KGM Construction, and

Carefree Pools all worked together tirelessly to make sure

every detail was done correctly and that they were moving

forward with the best option for the space. Colwell and >>

56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 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 personal appointment to discuss

San Luis Obispo’s most attractive new home neighborhood.

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

Call for a personal appointment (highly recommended).

(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

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 57


Pinder first remodeled their guest house and were able to

live in it during construction in order to be available to

address any questions or unforeseen obstacles.

The couple are fully embracing all that the Central Coast

has to offer. Their home has a unique balance of feeling

like a warm residence, but carries the interest similar

to a museum. Each piece of

art has a home and a story to

accompany it. The art piece I

was most fascinated by is the

pair of shields that live next to

their front door. The shields are

made from elephant and buffalo

hide and showcase the coming

of age for boys in Africa. They

were tasked with hunting a large

animal and the shields even

display the piercing of the spear.

Another article could be written

about the history and beauty

behind each art piece displayed

in their home, but that is a story

for another day. SLO LIFE

DAVID LALUSH is an

architectural photographer

here in San Luis Obispo.

58 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 59


| SLO CITY

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUMBERS

laguna

lake

tank

farm

cal poly

area

country

club

down

town

foothill

blvd

johnson

ave

2019

Total Homes Sold

23

Average Asking Price

$819,039

Average Selling Price

$801,343

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 97.84%

Average # of Days on the Market 24

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

10

$751,465

$745,900

99.26%

24

2019

7

$970,986

$948,771

97.71%

37

2019

9

$1,646,111

$1,606,333

97.58%

104

2019

18

$743,200

$723,396

97.34%

55

2019

11

$887,500

$862,082

97.14%

51

2019

21

$784,748

$771,162

98.27%

31

2020

16

$674,863

$667,969

98.98%

57

2020

8

$800,255

$795,451

99.40%

59

2020

10

$1,081,700

$1,069,900

98.91%

10

2020

3

$1,232,333

$1,187,400

96.35%

67

2020

19

$1,036,579

$1,005,485

97.00%

24

2020

14

$754,314

$762,179

101.04%

51

2020

18

$1,084,133

$1,048,078

96.67%

60

+/-

-30.43%

-17.60%

-16.64%

1.14%

137.50%

+/-

-20.00%

6.49%

6.64%

99.10%

145.83%

+/-

42.86%

11.40%

12.77%

1.20%

-72.97%

+/-

-66.67%

-25.14%

-26.08%

-1.23%

-35.58%

+/-

5.56%

39.48%

39.00%

-0.34%

-56.36%

+/-

27.27%

-15.01%

-11.59%

3.90%

0.00%

+/-

-14.29%

38.15%

35.91%

-1.60%

93.55%

*Comparing 01/01/19 - 05/20/19 to 01/01/20 - 05/20/20

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE

60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


100% digital mortgage.

Safe. Simple. Secure.

Please join us in supporting the SLO Food Bank during these unprecedented times.

Many of our neighbors are struggling and the demands at the SLO Food Bank have

increased exponentially. As a sponsor of this year’s Hunger Awareness Day on June 5 th ,

we are asking our friends, families, and neighbors to consider a contribution to the SLO

Food Bank. Just $5 can feed 3 families of four for a day. Please go to

slofoodbank.org/donate or text “FEED805” to 707070 to donate today.

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

Phyllis Wong

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 706-8075

C: (805) 540-8457

phyllis.wong@rate.com

Dylan Morrow

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8738

C: (805) 550-9742

dylan.morrow@rate.com

Luana Gerardis

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 329-4087

C: (707) 227-9582

luana.gerardis@rate.com

Maggie Koepsell

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8742

C: (805) 674-6653

maggie.koepsell@rate.com

Joe Hutson

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (831) 205-1582

C: (831) 212-4138

joe.hutson@rate.com

Ken Neate

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 706-8074

C: (925) 963-1015

ken.neate@rate.com

Rate.com/offices/CASanLuisObispo1065

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

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. Guaranteed Rate is not affiliated with SLO Food Bank. Donations received are collected directly by SLO Food

Bank and not GUARANTEED RATE.

Donna Lewis NMLS ID: 245945, CA - CA-DOC245945 • 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 Licensing System www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

JUN/JUL

• CA

2020

- Licensed

|

by

SLO

the Department

LIFE MAGAZINE

of Business Oversight, | 61

Division of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act Lic #4130699 • Joe Hutson NMLS ID: 447536, CA - CA-DOC447536 • Ken Neate NMLS ID:373607; CA - CA-DBO373607


| 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

116

107

10

48

107

104

5

44

55

41

32

87

65

47

28

88

$818,039

$565,342

$1,250,737

$842,953

$800,944

$569,824

$1,109,477

$815,642

Cayucos

12

17

85

164

$811,917

$1,257,912

Creston

3

1

76

52

$836,667

$956,000

Grover Beach

38

44

61

56

$540,837

$567,302

Los Osos

49

42

34

28

$645,224

$653,464

Morro Bay

47

40

99

67

$642,271

$655,301

Nipomo

99

70

66

52

$646,785

$699,460

Oceano

18

24

69

85

$573,250

$563,760

Pismo Beach

43

33

80

56

$1,253,929

$849,537

Paso (Inside City Limits)

135

96

48

53

$542,185

$539,278

*

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

21

20

89

55

$486,524

$698,830

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

41

37

54

109

$542,656

$596,172

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

21

17

52

78

$537,670

$618,118

Senior Loan Advisor

NMLS 395723

blerner@flagstarretail.com

1212 Marsh St., Suite 1

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

San Luis Obispo

Santa Margarita

Templeton

123

8

34

112

7

41

47

118

75

50

119

97

$888,392

$1,096,768

$737,697

$926,547

$578,057

$825,649

* 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

62 |

to

SLO

credit approval

LIFE MAGAZINE

and underwriting

|

terms

JUN/JUL

and conditions.

2020

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

Countywide

929 824

*Comparing 01/01/19 - 05/20/19 to 01/01/20 - 05/20/20

58 62 $697,940 $713,104

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE


"Not planning for the

expected can cause unnecessary

confusion and stress."

Paul Sullivan, Wealth Matters

New York Times

1599 Monterey Street | 805.544.5900 | sloconsignment.com

(at the corner of Grove Street, across from Pepe Delgados)

Open Monday - Saturday 10-6pm

smart, eclectic, art to live on

We can help you during these

uncertain times by setting up an

affordable Living Trust.


In Trust Legal

Legal Document Assistance

InTrustLegal.com

Call Today for a

FREE Consultation.

(805) 439-0715

Mention this ad for $50 Off.

We are not a law firm and cannot give legal advice. We can only provide self-help services at

your specific request. SLO Reg. No. 250.

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

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 63


| HEALTH

THE ART OF SELF-CARE

BY LAUREN HARVEY

Self-care has seen a recent boom in popularity. Trendy social media

hashtags like #SelfCareSaturday may propagate the perception that the

essence of quality self-care lies in a sequence of facial masks and bubble

baths. While these pampering moments are important aspects of whole

self-care, the concept entails a much more in-depth maintenance of mind,

body, and soul.

For a professional perspective on the proper practice of self-care, I

reached out to a Central Coast local and Master Practitioner, Tricia

Parido of Turning Leaves Recovery, Life and Wellness Coaching. Parido

defines self-care as “a crucial factor in creating a satisfying, well-balanced,

and highly functioning life. Caring for our physical, emotional, mental,

and spiritual fitness keeps us in touch with who we are, the passions

that fuel us, and the purpose that drives us.” Beyond physical, external

maintenance, self-care asks us to pay attention

to ourselves and tend to our innermost

emotional and intellectual needs.

From a psychological perspective then, self-care

is less about good skin care and more about

developing, as Parido says, “better capabilities

to adapt to change, value-driven priorities,

and actions fueled from a moral foundation.”

Self-care is a layered individualistic practice,

developed in multiple areas. Here, we’ll cover

some basic elements of self-care to integrate

into daily routine aiming to enrich your life

and the lives of those around you. >>

LAUREN HARVEY is a

creative writer fueled by a

love of cooking, adventure,

and naps in the sun.

64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 65


#1

WATCH

AND LEARN

Perhaps the most basic place to start self-care is to become self-observant.

To illustrate, think of caring for a houseplant. Left unattended, the plant

thirsts for nourishment and lacking water will eventually wither into

a mess of dried leaves. Without paying attention, you’ll miss the signs

the plant needs water in the first place like dry dirt, and the lackluster

appearance of the leaves. The attention inherent in care is something

then, we owe to ourselves as well. Parido terms it, “staying in touch with

your state of being.” Becoming aware of our feelings, needs, and desires

may be the unglamorous counterpart of the bubble baths of self-care,

but nonetheless as essential.

To tackle this feat, Parido suggests, “Check in [with yourself ] every two

hours until you get the hang of it.” Diving into our feelings, setting a

mandatory check-in may seem like it would bring more discomfort than

relief. But, as Parido explains, “If you aren’t present enough to know

what prompts a mental or emotional spiral in the wrong direction, you’ll

be hard-pressed to stop or care for it before it infects your entire day.”

To truly take care of ourselves, then, we first need to become aware of

exactly what it is we need.

#2

BEAT

BURNOUT

When we neglect emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs, we risk

wearing ourselves down to the point of burnout. In a 2018 self-care

article published by Psych Central, psychotherapist Emily Griffiths,

LPC explains the connection between self-care and burnout as such,

“When we lose sight of our self-care practices, we can experience

burnout which sets [us] up for getting sick, overwhelmed, and

exhausted.” Forgoing our self-care time or merely not making that

time a priority can be a dangerous game.

Self-care that combats burnout is an all-encompassing care that

connects spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally. If this seems

overwhelming, start small and simple. Jennifer Shepard, Central

Coast local and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist suggests

“making a list of activities you can engage in that will allow you to feel

recharged, relaxed and provide a sense of tranquility.” Set time aside for

purposeful rest, engage in a hobby activity that brings creative joy, or

simple at-home spa time. If intuition suggests you need a break, it may

be worthwhile to listen.

#3

FOOD

FOCUS

Though it may not be immediately associated with self-care, what

we eat is an important element of how we treat ourselves. In addition

to affecting physical well-being, food has the power to keep our

minds working and alert. According to Tchiki Davis, Ph.D., in a

2018 Psychology Today article, “eating [certain] foods can help prevent

short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which can have

long-term effects on the brain, and in turn, the rest of the body.” Just

like all self-care is personal and needs to be tailored to the individual,

so is diet.

Certain foods have higher anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and pro/

prebiotic elements; however, if you’re allergic or intolerant, the

negatives outweigh the positive benefits. Find alternatives that work

for you and focus on the foods that make your body feel good. In a

2018 Psych Central article, Kristen Brunner, MA, LPC, puts foodfocused

self-care in simple terms, “choose food … that [is] delicious to

you and say no to anything that makes you feel awful.” Our personal

relationship with food is often complex. This makes it an even more

important aspect of self-care. Try paying closer attention to what

you eat, when you eat it, and ultimately, how it makes you feel, both

physically and cognitively.

66 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


Savor the

Everyday

www.GardensbyGabriel.com

805-215-0511 lic.# 887028

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67


live stream spin

LOSE WEIGHT . BURN FAT

GET IN SHAPE

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL U S

AT INFO@REVSLO.COM

#4

GET

MOVING

In a society full of Fitbits and Smart Watches, tracking physical activity seems to be more

accessible than ever. Getting up and moving is important not only to our physical health, but

also to our mental and emotional health. Tchiki Davis, PhD, says, “Daily exercise can help

you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety.” From

the gym to a yoga class, getting moving is an essential component of self-care.

Different forms of physical activity bring additional benefits, particularly when done

outside, in close proximity to nature. Thinkers and writers from Aristotle to William

Wordsworth found the value of walking outside for mental clarity and stimulation. A 2012

study published in the PLOS ONE Journal, found a “cognitive advantage to be realized if

we spend time immersed in a natural setting.” The study attributes this cognitive advantage

in part to natural stimuli being processed as an emotionally positive experience. Adding

a hike, beach jog, or leisure walk to your self-care routine could prove physically and

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68 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020

#5

DIVIDE

AND CONQUER

Finding time, even ten minutes a day, for essential self-care practices may be the biggest

obstacle we face. General busyness, taking care of others, and the pressure of productivity

may get in the way of taking time for you. Master Practitioner Tricia Parido recommends

a method of block scheduling to effectively manage time, stay focused, and build self

check-in time into daily routine. Parido suggests, “Plan [your day] in two-hour time blocks

and focus on your top five priorities, using action plans.” Using timers or planners can be

effective to manage this routine. With this method, take a few minutes at the end of each

time block check in physically, mentally, and emotionally, and make adjustments as needed.

Additionally, you can use life planning to schedule self-care like you would any other

appointment. As Tchiki Davis, PhD states, “It’s extremely important to plan regular self-care

time.” What that time includes, however, is up to the needs of the individual, and could change

daily. Ideas include a hot bath and a good book, a block of social time among friends, or a

family game night.

FINAL WORD

Solitary or social, restful or active, our time of self-care must be mindful and

rejuvenating. After all, it is in these moments, where we are completely and wholly

cognizant of the present moment that fills us most with joy and gratitude. Taking

some time to put self-care first may be the key to unlocking greater fulfillment in

other areas of life. SLO LIFE


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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 69


| TASTE

Farm Boxes

Three local produce companies offer home cooks the cream of the crop.

BY JAIME LEWIS

I

s it just me or have things changed

since this column last published?

The answer of course is yes, they have,

in so many ways. With regard to food,

the landscape has shifted dramatically

for all of us over the last couple

months.

So, it should come as no surprise

that demand for local farm boxes

(or “farm shares,” “harvest boxes”

or “community supported agriculture”)

has increased since mid-March. And

by increased, I mean exploded. A farm

box is, after all, one of the most elegant

solutions to the modern home cook’s

dilemma: How can I avoid long lines, eat

fresh, and support my community?

I took on the enviable (and formidable)

task of trying three of these farm boxes,

the result being some of the most beautiful

meals on our table in a long time. >>

JAIME LEWIS writes about

food, drink, and the good

life from her home in San

Luis Obispo. Find her on

Instagram/Twitter @jaimeclewis.

70 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


RUTIZ FAMILY FARM

Across the street from a residential neighborhood, the

Rutiz Farmstand usually hums with shoppers picking up

tangerines, local honey, sourdough, and tomato starters, not

to mention “Jerry’s Berries,” which have a cult following.

But lately, the stand has seen a different kind of activity—

and lots of it.

“In the last month, our ‘pre-made bag’ sales have increased

seven- to eight-fold,” says Jerry Rutiz, whose farm box

program began in 2005. Rutiz says that, due to present

health concerns, he can’t pack his farm shares in returnable

boxes, but is using bags instead. And rather than offering

one box per week, as he has in the past, these days he is

offering a different bag each day to meet the demand.

“Every bag has nine to ten different items, but each

day we change up the items offered,” he says, adding

that people can expect their bag to contain four to five

veggie items and four to five fruits. The day I receive

my bag, I grill the artichokes and asparagus, toss a salad

with the lettuces, and make a greyhound cocktail with

the grapefruit. The mint garnishes a plate of tahini rice

noodles the next day, the avocado graces my tacos, and the

potatoes go into a nicoise salad. >>

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 71


TALLEY FARMS

“We have tripled in size in the last month,” says Andrea

Chavez, who manages the Talley Farms Fresh Harvest Box

program, started in 2012. “Currently we’re at 4,000 boxes a

week,” she adds. “That will go up next week.”

I head down to Lincoln Deli in SLO, one of seventy Talley

pickup points between Paso Robles and Goleta. At the

Talley truck, I’m handed an “Original” box, filled to the

brim with fresh quality produce, expertly packed. I’m most

dazzled by two gorgeous heads of butter lettuce, which I

turn into turkey lettuce wraps for dinner. The shelling peas

become a bright pea soup, the avocados become guacamole,

and the apples, celery, and kiwis are for snacking. But if I

wasn’t sure what to make? Chavez provides recipes for the

produce directly in the box. “I was taught from a young age

to cook,” she says, “and I love it.” >>

72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 73


SLO VEG

FARM TEAM: Which box is right for you?

RUTIZ FAMILY FARM: organic practices, feeds 3-4

per week, available week-to-week as needed (no

subscription), one box size for $20, pickup only at

the farm, add-ons available at farmstand, recipes

available on website.

TALLEY FARMS: mostly organic practices, various

sizes and frequencies, customizable, subscriptionbased,

pickup points throughout the Central Coast

as well as home delivery and overnight shipping

in the Western US, recipes, prep and storage

instructions included in each box.

SLO VEG: a selection of produce grown on

different farms on the Central Coast, various sized

boxes and frequencies, fruit-only boxes available,

customizable, subscription-based, pickup points

in North SLO County and home delivery across

the rest of the county, add-ons, and recipe ideas

available on website.

When Rachael Hill launched SLO Veg in 2009, the goal was

to deliver local food to subscribers, the day it was harvested,

gathered from a collection of Central Coast farms. That goal

has remained the same since, with more subscribers joining all

the time.

“We tripled our business in the last six weeks,” she says.

“We’ve been able to purchase new vehicles and conveyors,

streamlining our process to sustain the growth.” Hill adds

that many SLO Veg farmers have planted more to supply

her subscribers. “Yeah, it’s a big deal for them to purchase

seed, plant it, and cultivate it. We’re hoping that customers

continue to support farmers and keep that value there.”

Though SLO Veg offers a variety of veggie-and-fruit boxes, I

try the fruit box, which is unique to their program. The “small”

fruit box arrives at my door and takes me immediately by

surprise: it is enormous. Satsumas, minneolas, navels, and cara

caras cascade out of the box, a citrusy miracle on my kitchen

counter. There’s also a clutch of delectable kiwis and two

cartons of local strawberries.

“I don’t want any of this to go bad,” I say to my kids. “We

need to eat every bit of fruit here.” They stare back at me,

unfazed.

“Don’t worry, Mom. We got this.” SLO LIFE

74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


PEACE. COMFORT. HEALING.

Join our On-line Church Services at

ChristianScience.com

Sunday Services

Listen live on Sundays at 10 am or join audio

replay available within 30–60 minutes after the

service ends until Friday.

Wednesday Testimony

Participate in a weekly testimony meeting with

people around the world on Wednesday at 2 pm.

Hear others share insights, experiences, and

healings they’ve had through their prayer and

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For inspiration in the form of audio casts or links,

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1326 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 75


| WINE NOTES

Raise Your

Glass

BY LIBBIE AGRAN

As of the 2019 harvest, Tom Myers is recognized as the

winemaker who has filled over 190 million bottles

with San Luis Obispo County wine during the last

forty-one years. No one in the County has come

close to this record. So, how can one man have made

enough wine to fill that many bottles?

The answer: Myers had the experience, the passion, and the opportunity to

produce more than enough wine to fill those bottles.

Myers got his start when he received a Christmas gift containing a home

winemaking kit from his wife Kathy on a cold winter day in Michigan—he was

intrigued. In 1974 he applied for a license from the Commissioner of Alcohol,

Tobacco, and Firearms to become a home winemaker, producing fewer than 200

gallons annually. Myers began visiting wineries in his home state of Michigan

and the more wine he made and tasted, the more interested he became in the

science of winemaking. He applied to UC Davis in 1976 and was the first

graduate with a Masters in Viticulture and Enology to be hired as a winemaker

in San Luis Obispo County. He is known locally for his understanding on the

science of making wine. He explains, “Wines are a living

biological system. They are dynamic and subject to changes

both fast and slow, good and bad.”

In 1978 Myers joined the staff

of the Estrella River Winery

in Paso Robles as Assistant

Winemaker. The winery was

the first to establish a lab

for testing wine with stateof-the-art

equipment and

technology. The wines Myers

made there have served as

the prototypes for the trends

and styles in the Paso Robles

AVA, including Estrella River

Cabernet Sauvignon, Castoro

Cellars Zinfandel and red

blends. >>

LIBBIE AGRAN is the

Director of the Wine

History of San Luis Obispo,

dedicated to collecting,

preserving, and presenting

the intriguing local wine

history.

76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77


Myers is best known for his Zinfandels. “The distinctive and amiable

characters of Zinfandel entitle it to rank among the noble varieties of the

world. It is our heritage grape,” he explains. The alchemy and artistry of

winemaking continue to fuel his passion for making wine.

The opportunity to fill 190 million bottles opened up when he joined

Castoro Cellars in 1990. Myers met Niels Udsen at Estrella River

Winery when Udsen joined the staff in 1981. He mentored Udsen

and scores of other local winemakers, as well as helped Udsen

file the paperwork to establish his own label, Castoro Cellars in

1983. A few years later, Udsen not only established the first mobile

bottling service owned and operated in San Luis Obispo County,

but developed the custom crush business that is an integral part of

Castoro Cellars’ business today.

Tom Myers 1985

Custom crush is the business of making wine for a client and bottling

it with the client’s own label. When Myers became the winemaker

in 1982 at Estrella River Winery, new wineries were opening around

Paso Robles; most were small with little experience in viticulture or

enology. Estrella River was producing a surplus of wine from their

own vineyards. The winery offered custom crush services, bottling wine

under labels established by Mission View in San Miguel, Barron and

Kolb, Gary Eberle, John Munch and Udsen in Paso Robles. Caparone

and Zaca Mesa wineries brought their own fruit to crush at Estrella.

Udsen developed a business model at Castoro Cellars to offer custom

crush services before he planted his vineyards and built a winery. This

enabled him to build capital for investment in his own winery. He

crushed Zinfandel grapes, sourced locally and shipped the juice to

Fetzer Vineyards, famous for White Zinfandel wines. Francis Ford

Coppola and San Antonio wineries became clients. Winemakers

John Alban of Alban Vineyards, Steve Dooley of Stephen Ross Wine

Cellars, and Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon collaborated with Myers

to produce their wines. He currently works with Trader Joes to make

their brand of Central Coast wines.

Myers has made bulk wine for wineries in Colorado, Illinois,

Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, and Wisconsin. He has shipped his wine

to Brazil, Canada, China, England, Denmark, and France. Recently a

New Zealand winery has been shipping their wine to him for a new

custom crush service—canned wine.

Myers sees wine as one of the great foundations of western culture.

He shares, “Without diminishing the wonder, the winemaking

process can be explained by the sciences. That appealed to me and

played a large part in my decision to pursue a winemaking career. It

was an idea that melded the appeal of making something I feel is

spiritually and physically beneficial to civilization; I discovered my

ideal career.”

Tom Myers present day

photo credit Julia Perez

Want to learn more?

Check out the documentary “Tom Myers: Made in Paso”

on the Wine History Project’s Vimeo Channel. SLO LIFE

78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


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JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 79


| BREW

BREWED

FOR GOOD

BY BRANT MYERS

hat a wonderful, supportive

community we have here.

Someplace warm, a place

where the beer flows like

wine. (Did you catch the

“Dumb and Dumber”

reference?) I’m talking about

a little place called San Luis

Obispo. In an ongoing effort

Wto out-scratch each other’s

backs, I’m highlighting one of the breweries, and broad endeavors our local beer

scene is affecting to coalesce people and the brewing industry of this county.

I recently spoke to Dylan Roddick, co-owner and brewer at the newly

opened Oak and Otter Brewing Co. on Tank Farm Road, about his fresh

beer release benefiting the Land Conservancy which is part of a larger plan

to have a continually rotating brew dedicated to a local non-profit. The idea

is simple and effective—make a batch of beer and donate a portion of each

sale to a non-profit. Once the batch is over, a new organization is chosen,

and a new beer brewed. The Land Conservancy chose a pale ale style, and >>

80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


3076 Duncane Lane . San Luis Obispo

805 549 0100

JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81


the Pismo Preserve Pale Ale was created. A slightly tweaked version of their

flagship Hollister Peak Ale, this recipe opted for Zythos and Eukanot hops versus

traditional west coast citrus-y pales to provide a more earthy and floral aroma.

Sounds like a good pairing to the also recently opened coastal Pismo Preserve

trail system.

Roddick, and fellow owner Anthony Ponsey, hatched this plan at the beginning

of the year as a way to connect with the community stating, “We’re a small

business, and non-profits are as well, so it just seemed to be a perfect match.”

The Pismo Preserve Pale Ale may be a new beer benefiting a new foundation, but

they plan on keeping their program rolling. One dollar from each of their crowler

sales goes toward the non-profit at the moment. I was especially thirsty after

talking to Roddick, so I ended our call and had my brewery fresh beers before

five o’clock. Well, I cracked that Pale Ale first thing, handed the IPA to my wife,

and popped the Kölsch in the fridge for tomorrow’s pizza night. He wasn’t joking

about the earthy floral aromas; it reminded me of the old school pales that started

the hoppy revolution decades ago. Then wrestling the other can away from my

wife, I tried their Hoppy Otter, which came in with big citrus notes from Mosaic

and Amarillo hops which brought me back to the present day IPA scene. Mmm,

there’s just something about fresh draft beer that gets me excited. Did the Kölsch

survive until the next day? Don’t judge me.

I realized after talking to Roddick just how important it is

to support local breweries in the same way we support our

non-profits. Since that day, I have chosen a new brewery

every week to place an order. It’s been a fun way to not only

keep cash flowing to local businesses,

but also a fantastic way to have a

brewery experience at home. To

be able to go through a portfolio

of beers from the same maker over

the course of a week will give you

the ability to acquire a taste of the

maker’s craft. You might be able to

pick up the nuances of a house yeast,

a favorite hop varietal that a brewer

uses, or even appreciate how one

person at one brewery can create so

many different flavors and styles.

You might even discover something

new. So, drink fresh beer and have

fun while supporting your friendly

neighborhood brewery.

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.

82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2020


JUN/JUL 2020 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83


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