SLO LIFE JunJul 2021

slolife

LIFE

SLOmagazine

HEALTH

TRENDS

SUMMER

GETAWA

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUM

TAKING

IN THE

VIEW

SEASONAL

FAVORITES

EXPLORING

LOCAL

SCENE

TASTE

KIDS

FAVES

RE

ST

GS

SAN LUIS OB

JUN/JUL 2021

BIKE TRAIL

CENTAL COAST

SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

MEET

DANA MCGREGOR

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 1


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2 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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

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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 3


THANK

YOU.

Thank you for wearing face coverings, maintaining physical

distancing, washing hands thoroughly, staying home when

feeling ill and using SLO Transit for essential travel only.

Thank you SLO for preserving the health and wellness of our

community. We appreciate you.

4 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 5


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6 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 7


CONTENTS

Volume

22

24

26

12

Number 2

Apr/May 2021

30

Briefs

View

Q&A

MEET YOUR

NEIGHBOR

12

PUBLISHER’S

MESSAGE

14

16

18

20

Info

Sneak Peek

Inbox

Timeline

8 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021

28

NOW HEAR THIS

38 Author


Surf is Up

Downtown

Moondoggies’ Randy Adler with son Dane

MoonDoggies Beach Club

Central Coast native Randy Adler wins our award for the most diligent

merchant in Downtown SLO. During the past year we watched as he

worked incredibly hard to keep his locally-owned surf shop on Monterey

Street open, and he tells us that his business now couldn’t be better.

“It’s almost unbelievable. People are looking for new outdoor activities,

and surfing is one of the biggest beneficiaries of that. Our surf equipment

and apparel business is doing really well.” If you ask us, it couldn’t

happen to a nicer guy, and we’re proud to have Moondoggies as an

important part of the San Luis Obispo Collection.

D O W N T O W N S L O I S T H E P L A C E W E W A N T T O B E .

Court Street • Monterey Street • Downtown Centre

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 9


| CONTENTS

56

60

Real Estate

Health

68

TASTE

74

WINE NOTES

40

ARTIST

42

Explore

44

On the Rise

78

Brew

46

Dwelling

82 Happenings

10 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 11


| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

Ark

This summer feels different. It’s actually reminding me of a different season: spring. Specifically, the

spring that blossomed along the California coastline twenty-six years ago following the El Niño

deluge of 1994/95. Then, I was a college student living in the Crown-Merrill Apartments on campus

at UC Santa Cruz (Go Slugs!).

I had never seen rain drops so large. It felt as if I were aboard Noah’s ark alongside shivering giraffes

and pandas, hypnotized by the metronome-like redwoods swaying under sheets of cascading water.

We were all so hunkered down, sometimes told to stay at home for fear that we’d end up under the

trunk of a fallen tree. This was before Zoom meetings. And it didn’t matter anyway because the power

was often out. We studied by candlelight.

One day, it stopped. That spring was unlike anything I had experienced before. After so much cold

and wet and gray—and isolation—everyone seemed to be vibrating on some higher ethereal plane

when the sun finally came out again.

It feels that way now. Except it’s not spring, it’s summer. And it’s not 1995 but 2021. Historians describe a cyclicality to events, as in “history

repeats itself.” Many say we’re on the brink of a “new Roaring Twenties.” I’m not sure what that means exactly, and while speakeasies and dance

crazes sound great to me, the historical cycle I’m most interested in right now is my own.

This time around, I’m not a college student, instead I’ve got one of my own.

Between our three kids, I’ve lost count for how many “graduations” my wife and I have attended (for the record, I put the word “graduation” in

quotes because I don’t really count moving from the first grade to the second as graduating). Still, there’s always a ceremony and everyone shows

up to take pictures and clap deliriously when the “diplomas” are conferred upon those deemed worthy of coloring between the lines.

The fact that our first-born is graduating high school this year—a week before her eighteenth birthday no less—is forcing me to continually

ponder a question: Where did the time go?

Of course, there is nothing unique about that particular question, which has been tackled with vigor by philosophers and scientists alike. The

truth is, it simply evaporates like an El Niño mud puddle drying out while we race around to dance recitals and t-ball games and “graduations.”

This past year has been tough. A long winter. Cold and gray. But there were rays of sunshine peeking through the clouds at times as we bobbed

up and down on the ark, squinting hard in the search for land on the horizon, somewhere to dock. With nothing else to do, we turned toward

one another, those on board with us, the giraffes and pandas, our families, friends, and neighbors. We didn’t have to ask where time went

because we were in it—together.

Now, when that question starts to bubble up in my mind again—“Where did the time go?”—I answer it differently, with a question of my own,

borrowing the intellectual jujitsu so often expertly employed by our sixteen-year-old son.

It turns out that the answer to one of life’s most enduring and intractable questions is “Who cares?”

Trying to figure out where time went only serves to accelerate its departure. I’m better off, I’ve decided, to embrace every fleeting moment I’ve

got with the giraffes and pandas, give thanks for the sun—and the rain—hold on, and enjoy the ride.

Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in producing this issue of SLO LIFE Magazine and, most of all, to our advertisers and subscribers—

we couldn’t do it without you.

Live the SLO Life!

Tom Franciskovich

tom@slolifemagazine.com

p.s. If you’d like to read more visit me at tomfranciskovich.com

12 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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SLO LIFE

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

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Jeff Al-Mashat

Brant Myers

Lauren Harvey

Paden Hughes

Zara Khan

Jaime Lewis

Andria McGhee

Joe Payne

Brian Schwartz

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

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Todd Meaney

Mark Nakamura

Vanessa Plakias

Nicole Pratt

CONTRIBUTIONS

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

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

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

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Contact us today for FREE placement assistance.

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CIRCULATION, COVERAGE, AND ADVERTISING RATES

Complete details regarding circulation, coverage, and advertising

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

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

before date of issue.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

info@slolifemagazine.com

4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800

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


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 15


| SNEAK PEEK

ON THE COVER

behind the scenes

DANA MCGREGOR

BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

Let’s see, shirtless surfer—once soccer pro—

wearing a Captain America Goat cape while

“rainbowing” a soccer ball over his goat …Yep!

This was going to be a super fun shoot!

When I first arrived, I met Cody. He had just finished up a surf lesson

with Dana. Cody was thrilled to surf on a board with a goat. He just

went for it! It’s a memory Cody and his family will cherish forever.

At one point, we heard some commotion behind us.

Someone had lost their dog and good samaritans were trying

to help the nervous pup. They needed a leash and Dana was

quick to grab his goat rope to lend a hand. Everyone was

grateful the dog made it back to its owners safe and sound.

During our shoot a paramedic/surfer, Neil, and his mom came

over to meet the goats. Neil went in for a milk refresher right from

the goat’s teat! Then his mom, Diane, then me! It was warm and

creamy and I asked where the chocolate and cinnamon were.

SLO LIFE

16 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 19


| TIMELINE

LOCAL

april 2

The Pentagon approves the use of Camp Roberts, a California Army National Guard base

in northern SLO County, to temporarily house unaccompanied migrant children. It is not

clear if, or how many, children might be placed at the camp, but the U.S. Department of

Health and Human Services confirms that the camp is under consideration. After being

processed by the Border Patrol, children are transferred to Health and Human Services,

then eventually released to a sponsor, usually a parent or close relative.

april 19

Attorneys for Ruben and Paul Flores enter “not

guilty” pleas on behalf of their clients during

an arraignment hearing in connection with the

May 1996 death of Cal Poly student Kristin

Smart. The father and son were arrested by San

Luis Obispo County Sheriff ’s officials on April

13 at their separate homes. Paul, 44, is charged

with first-degree murder for allegedly killing

Smart while trying to rape her, while Ruben,

80, is charged as an accessory after the fact for

allegedly helping conceal Smart’s body after she

was murdered. A preliminary hearing date is

tentatively set for July 6.

PHOTO BY NICOLE PRATT

20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021

april 18

Team Coastal Cancel Cancer Crew,

a multi-generational coterie of

seventeen volunteers, hosts “Run

for a Cure,” a five-mile fun run

relay held at the beautiful Chateau

Noland in Avila. The Crew, led by

SLO High School students Matthew

Davi, Savanna Henderson-Witt, and

Mattea Kalpakoff, joined two other

teams, each running in honor of a

local Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Hero—three children battling blood

cancer. Even with COVID restrictions

on the number of runners, the three

teams together raised more than

$7,500 to support cancer research and

patient support.

april 25

The City of San Luis Obispo begins replacing

old outdated parking meters at individual

parking spots with all-new multi-space pay

stations. The change, in line with a City plan

to open up sidewalks and expand the parklet

program, means people pay for their parking at

one strategically-placed station, rather than at

individual meters, which clutter up the sidewalk.

Drivers simply punch in their license plate

numbers, select an amount of time, pay the fee,

and go on their way. Plans call for completing

the replacement of downtown meters at twohour

spaces by July 2022, as well as developing

a parking app by July of this year that allows

people to bypass the stations and simply use

their cell phones.

april 27

Alaska Airlines announces it will offer daily

nonstop flights between San Luis Obispo and

both Portland and San Diego beginning June

17. The San Diego service had been launched

in January 2020 but was put on hold during the

pandemic, and the Portland service was scheduled

to begin last June but never launched. Alaska

already provides nonstop service twice daily

between SLO and its hub in Seattle.


REVIEW

may 2

Cal Poly alum and NASA astronaut Victor Glover, along with three other

astronauts, splashes down in the Gulf of Mexico after spending nearly six

months in space aboard the International Space Station. Their safe return to

Earth on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon was the first nighttime splashdown since

the Apollo missions of the 1960s. The crew spent 167 days on board the

space station, completing 2,688 orbits around Earth. The mission was historic

for Glover, the first Black crew member aboard the ISS for an extended stay.

He is one of eighteen NASA astronauts selected for the Artemis program,

which aims to send humans back to the moon before 2030.

may 3

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla introduce the Protecting Unique and

Beautiful Landscapes by Investing in California (PUBLIC) Lands Act to increase

protections for public lands throughout the Central Coast, northwest California, and

Los Angeles. The package consists of three bills originally introduced in the House

of Representatives, including the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act that would

designate 288,000 acres of public land in the Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo

Plain National Monument as wilderness, 159 miles of streams as wild and scenic rivers,

and two national scenic areas totaling 34,880 acres, and would establish a 400-mile-long

Condor National Scenic Trail stretching from LA to Monterey County.

may 4

Seven SLO County Library branches open their doors for limited Grab & Go service

after closing during the pandemic along with seven smaller branches. Arroyo Grande,

Atascadero, Cambria, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Nipomo, and San Luis Obispo libraries are

open Tuesdays through Saturdays for browsing, “holds” pickups, and express computers.

No seating is available for leisure reading, however, and program rooms will remain

closed. Cayucos, Creston, Oceano, San Miguel, Santa Margarita, Shandon, and Shell

Beach libraries remain shuttered until further notice, but patrons can always “Ask a

Librarian” at www.slolibrary.org.

may 6

Thursday Farmers’ Market, closed since March 2020,

returns—concentrating its usual five blocks into two

on Higuera Street from Osos to Chorro streets in

downtown SLO. The first phase of opening includes

familiar farmers and vendors, but precludes on-site

dining, entertainment, and handling fresh produce.

Designed like an outdoor grocery store, the smallerscale

market offers produce and staples such as bread

and coffee beans from more than thirty vendors, while

a full-scale revival is projected for June depending on

government restrictions.

may 10

One police officer is killed, and another wounded, in

a shooting at an apartment on Camellia Court in San

Luis Obispo. Detective Luca Benedetti, a twelve-year

law enforcement veteran and member of the SLO

regional SWAT team, died after a burglary suspect

opens fire on officers serving a search warrant at his

apartment. Another SLOPD detective, Steve Orozco,

is wounded but expected to fully recover. The suspect,

identified by police as Edward Zamora Giron, opened

fire at the detectives and was wounded by return fire.

He later committed suicide.

may 13

The director of the US Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention announces that people who are fully

vaccinated do not need to wear masks or practice

social distancing indoors or outdoors. State and local

laws, however, remain in effect, meaning that wearing

face masks indoors in California—and thus in SLO

County—is still the rule. The future looks brighter,

however, as the County announces plans to demobilize

its Alternate Care Site at Cal Poly by May 31 and

return it to its pre-pandemic status as the campus rec

center. And earlier in April, Governor Gavin Newsom

declared that California plans to discontinue its colorcoded

re-opening tiers for individual counties in June,

meaning the entire state could move at once to open up

for “business as usual” on June 15.

SLO LIFE

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 21


| BRIEFS

$1.7 million

Grant funds from the California Natural

Resources Agency Urban Greening Program

to help the City of San Luis Obispo improve

the Anholm Neighborhood Greenway, a

bicycle and pedestrian route along Chorro

and Broad Streets connecting the downtown

to Foothill Boulevard and the Highland

Drive entry to Cal Poly. Construction,

including safety lighting and public art,

begins in early 2022.

Plaza

Pop-Ups

A series of month-long activations

adorning Mission Plaza in downtown

SLO through summer 2021 and perhaps

beyond. Featuring a different cultural

nonprofit each month and funded by the

City, each art installation is unique to its

nonprofit’s mission.

10,107

AF

San Luis Obispo’s available water supply

last year in acre-feet (AF), which is

consistent with the City’s current water

supply needs. That’s according to the

2020 General Plan Annual Report, which

outlines the City’s four sources of H2O:

Salinas Reservoir (Santa Margarita Lake);

Whale Rock Reservoir; Nacimiento

Reservoir; and recycled water from the

City’s Water Resource Recovery Facility.

Cracking the

Government Code

A series of interactive, fast paced, and

informative sessions featuring experts

who have wrestled in the trenches of

community governance. Brought to you

by the SLO Chamber of Commerce, it

is designed to create lasting connections

and share ideas in a safe, fun, and

collaborative space.

5,000

The number of free showers that a local

nonprofit has provided to people without

access to running water and other hygiene

supplies. Shower the People launched

in October 2018 with sites in San Luis

Obispo and Grover Beach. All guests also

receive a new pair of underwear, socks, a

t-shirt, and more.

“Considering all

that 2020 brought,

it was a good year

for California olive

oils, especially the

Central Coast.”

Central Coast Olive Oil Competition

chief judge Paul Vossen praised the

olive varietals from the 2021 contest

when results were announced in April.

The thirteenth annual competition saw

Pleasant Valley Farms in Aptos win Best

in Show. Singled out for several Best of

Class medals were Boccabella Farms and

Rancho Asul Y Oro in San Miguel; Stagg

Hill Cuvee, Mountain Springs Olive

Ranch, and Fandango in Paso Robles; and

Homestead Olive Ranch in Templeton.

$75

Your contribution to SLO Botanical

Garden’s public art fundraiser “Pickets

for Programs,” which could provide

support for vital operations and expands

educational programs. Each donation lets

you paint a picket (instructions, brushes,

and high-quality paints supplied) to adorn

the fence surrounding the Children’s

Garden. And it stays in place for three

years for everyone to enjoy.

ATP

Cycle 5

The California Transportation Commission

is funding the County Parks Department

Bob Jones Trail extension project to the

tune of $18.25 million as part of Cycle 5 of

its Active Transportation Program (ATP).

The “City to Sea” project, a top priority for

the SLO Council of Governments for more

than two decades, will connect the existing

trail in Avila to the Octagon Barn at the

South end of San Luis Obispo.

48%

The percentage of SLO County’s

population that Public Health officials

estimate at the end of April had received at

least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The

County’s clinics in Arroyo Grande, Paso

Robles, and San Luis Obispo administered

3,144 vaccines on April 22, the most

in a single day since the County began

providing the vaccine in December. SLO LIFE

22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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areas await you on the patio including a stone fire pit with seating, a putting green, a hot tub, and unmatchable ocean views.

LISA THOMPSON, REALTOR ® , LIC. #01417618 805.878.6206

SOLD

MONTECITO MORRO BAY SAN LUIS OBISPO

SOLD for $15,975.00! A rare opportunity to

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BROKER ASSOCIATE, LIC. #01267325

ROB ROSE

REALTOR®, LIC. #02035157

805.550.1015

805.471.8351

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TERRY GILLESPIE

REALTOR®, LIC. #01815083

805.459.2022

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Haven Properties

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1401 Park Street, Suite 103, Paso Robles

2646 Santa Maria Parkway, Suite 106, Santa Maria

BHGREHAVEN.COM

805.592.2050

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23


| VIEW

WALKING

BY MARK NAKAMURA

Do you have a bucket list of things you want to do before you

kick the bucket? See the aurora borealis? Run with the bulls

in Spain? Walk the Camino de Santiago?

How about seeing a cloud inversion on the Central Coast? A cloud

inversion is when the normally warm air near the ground and the

cooler air above it is flipped. The cooler air below is trapped near

the ground and the warmer air is above it. This allows for a view of

looking down on the clouds.

It’s hard to get out of bed early in the dark and start hiking with a

headlight to arrive at the top of the mountain before sunrise, but

when it’s foggy in San Luis Obispo, chances are that if you go a

thousand feet up in elevation, you can be looking down on a sea of

clouds.

Cerro San Luis, Bishop Peak, the mountain that is above the “P”

at Cal Poly, and, my favorite, Reservoir

Canyon Trail (also known as “The

Tower” hike) are places of interest.

Sometimes, you don’t have to get too high

in elevation. Terrace Hill is an excellent

place for photographs of the cloud

inversion when the fog is low.

This photograph was taken at the top of

Bishop Peak on a foggy morning in San

Luis Obispo. There were several Cal Poly

students up there after I arrived and took

this couple’s photograph with the clouds

below them. One of the trailheads is on

Foothill Boulevard, which is the one I

use.

SLO LIFE

MARK NAKAMURA, pursues

his passion in landscape

photography as well as

capturing the joys of

weddings, families, events,

and sports around the

Central Coast. Find him on

Instagram @nakamuraphoto

24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


ON AIR

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25


| Q&A

Born to be Wild

In 1987, Pacific Wildlife Care was founded to deal with the oildrenched

pelicans showing up on the beaches around SLO County

following the Apex Houston oil spill. Fast-forward to today, the

nonprofit organization now boasts over 200 volunteers, a small

paid staff, a rehabilitation center, a full-time wildlife veterinarian,

and for the first time in its history, an executive director, former

Morro Bay City Councilwoman, CHRISTINE JOHNSON, who visited

with us the other day. Here is some of what she had to say…

We always start with this question,

Christine: Where are you from? So I was

born in Pennsylvania, on the western part of

the state, but grew up on the eastern side, in

Bloomsburg. My parents were teachers. I’ve

got one brother, he’s younger, and in higher

education now. We lived in a rural area and

always had wildlife all around us. You learned

quickly that you had to share your garden

with the rabbits and deer. I had an aunt,

actually a great aunt, Aunt Kay. She was an

avid birder. We would spend a lot of time

with her during the summer. At one point, I

remember thinking to myself, “I’m just like

my Aunt Kay, I love birds.”

Did you go away to school? Yes, college

was at Penn State, where I met my husband,

Lee, and then I went on to get my master’s

in student affairs and higher education.

From there, I spent the first five years of my

career in Philadelphia. I worked at Peirce

College, which was originally established in

1865 to educate Civil War veterans. It’s very

diverse and, I’d say, 80% of the students were

first-generation college students. It was very

empowering to be a part of that, I really loved

it. But, my husband, through his job had an

opportunity to transfer to the West Coast, to

Long Beach, so we did it. That’s when I first

got involved working for a nonprofit, the Girl

Scout Council.

How long were you there? Five years, then

we had another opportunity through my

husband’s work again, and we decided to do

it. He was with an international shipping

company, so I had to very much reinvent

myself as the trailing spouse. We went briefly

to Columbus, Ohio before bouncing around

during the next ten years: Santiago, Chile;

Korea; Northern New Jersey where our son

was born, he’s now sixteen; Panama; Brazil;

St. Louis; and then Morro Bay. Back in 1990,

when Lee and I graduated from college, we

took a trip along the California coast, just

like every other tourist from the east does.

We camped here for two days and just fell in

love with the area, as so often happens with

people. We never forgot about it.

Okay, so how did you get involved with

wildlife rehabilitation? So, first off,

everybody here in Morro Bay has seagulls in

their neighborhood. And, one day, we found

one in our yard that had been injured and

unable to fly. I didn’t know what to do, so I

asked my neighbors and one of them said,

“Oh, you should call these people.” And I

did. There was a hotline, and they take these

kinds of calls. Somebody came out right

away, picked up the gull, rescued it. The

whole experience was great, it was so good to

know that there was somebody doing that.

That was my introduction to Pacific Wildlife

Care, or PWC. They’ve been operating for

over thirty years, doing this great work in our

community rescuing wildlife. The idea is to

rehabilitate the animal and get it back out

into the wild as soon as possible.

Let’s talk about our local wildlife.

You know, that’s a big reason why we ended

up here on the Central Coast in the first

place. We’re so abundant in wildlife here.

There’s so much biodiversity here in this

county. You just feel like you’re so much a

part of the natural world every day, which

is so much different than living in a city

where you barely see any other living

thing except for people. I’d say it’s similar

in some ways to where I grew up in rural

Pennsylvania, in terms of daily encounters

with wildlife, and understanding, too, that

our human interactions have an impact on

those animals. And so, PWC does a great

job in my opinion of helping us balance

out important things that we do need to

do for people, like more housing and better

transportation. But there is sometimes a cost

to that, to the natural world. So, I feel happy

to be able to play a role in maintaining that

balance by helping wild animals as much as

we possibly can. SLO LIFE

26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


A Day at

the Beach

I’m the thinker.

Yep !

Did he say

“stinker” ?

See Karen

Helping you hear the things you love, since 1978

Call us today

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www.KarenScottAudiology.com

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 27


| NOW HEAR THIS

Bringing

BY JOE PAYNE

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRASS MASH

the Brass

28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


According to The Power of Live, a global

study that captured the trends and

behaviors of music fans ages thirteen

to sixty-five from eleven countries, live

music is one of the most powerful human

experiences and the ultimate escape from

digital overload.

Anyone who has been to a Brash Mash show can attest to the studies

findings. Performing live the first Friday of the month at Liquid

Gravity in San Luis Obispo, the band can be found mashing up

unexpected pop tunes with artful horn arrangements. The venue allows

for outdoor gatherings to enjoy live music, band leader Colin Dean

explained, and the response has been huge, “There was a two-hour wait

to get in the door last time and people waited!” Dean said. “Maybe it’s

the tacos, maybe it’s the beer, maybe it’s us.”

Whatever it is, Brash Mash is a tacos and beer kind of band. The

group usually performs with anywhere between eight or 12 players,

Dean said. Most are “band nerds” who’ve grown up, and in the case of

Dean and a few members, are actually band directors at local schools.

“We have a whole fleet of saxophones, trumpets, trombone, tuba, and

we have some killer kit drummers,” he said. “What’s specifically fun

is having people who are trained in classical and jazz; everyone in the

band, if they don’t have a music degree, it’s pretty close.”

Dean is a trombone master himself, comfortable when he “kicks up

in the high register” or going low for some “elephant sounds.” While

a brass group like his is best known in New Orleans, Dean says that

Brash Mash is not a “NOLA band,” but rather a horn ensemble

perfectly suited to the San Luis Obispo area.

As band leader, Dean is also the group’s principal arranger. As the “onthe-nose”

band name suggests, he mashes up two or more known pop

songs. The point is usually to combine two songs you never thought

you’d hear together, and to cater to the taste of the locals all at the same

time. “This isn’t an urban place, this isn’t a rural place, we’re like our own

thing here,” he explained. “It’s like 30 percent classic rock, 30 percent

pop music, and like 30 percent random things that people like including

country and Americana--infused things.”

There’s an inherent humor to the choices Dean makes, a playfulness only

understood when you hear Britney Spears somehow combined with

Black Sabbath. That humor was a big part of his formative years as a

musician. “Honestly, it’s kind of a band nerd thing,” he said. “For those

who grew up in band in high school, people are always joking around

with each other musically, and trying to play the most annoying song....

We’re always trying to one-up each other.”

That camaraderie is part of what makes a great band, and brass players

understand that earlier than most musicians. With literally a whole gang

of band directors and devoted horn players with him, Dean admits he’s

“spoiled” by both the level of skill and the camaraderie of his compatriots.

Dean’s current lineup of dedicated

performers for Brass Mash are Brett Malta

on tuba, Sean Sullivan on drums, Sam

Franklin on baritone saxophone, Anthony

Yi on alto saxophone, Tim Crooks on

tenor saxophone, Ben Kerr on trumpet, and

Breanna Chambers on trumpet. They are

often joined by a few revolving members

as well, Dean said, all of whom contribute

to an engaging and fun live concert. “The

hang is the best,” he said. “I get to hang out

with horn players all day? And they’re killer

players? And they’re smart? And we get

to play Offspring songs and BS? And do

something that’s fun and people enjoy it and

keep showing up? That’s amazing.” SLO LIFE

JOE PAYNE is a

journalist, as well as a

lifelong musician and

music teacher, who

writes about the arts on

the Central Coast.

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29


| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

joy

ful

PHOTOGRAPHY BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

“Iconic” and “Toyota Prius” are words that very rarely

go together, except here on the Central Coast where the

overloaded “goat-friendly hybrid” is a familiar sight at

local beaches. The driver, DANA MCGREGOR, transports

his precious cargo that includes a dozen surfboards

strapped precariously to the roof, a handful of damp

and sandy wetsuits in the trunk, and a goat named

Pismo riding shotgun. It’s all done for one purpose: “To

bring joy up and down the coast.” And, judging by the

smiles of curious onlookers, it appears that the mission

is being accomplished. From professional soccer to

the art of clearing poison oak, from cryptocurrency to

childrens’ books, here’s his story…

30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31


32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


kay, Dana, let’s talk about where you’re from. I grew up here, Pismo

Beach, California. I went to Arroyo Grande High school, went to Shell

Beach Elementary, Ocean View, so I kind of grew up in this neck of

the woods. We moved here in the fourth grade. My family basically

moved up here from Riverside area. My dad was a general contractor,

and his grandfather was a goat surfer . . . no, I’m just joking! That’d

be funny if we had an ancient history of goat surfing and I’m just

carrying on the next generation. I think our family, the McGregors,

we got kicked out of Scotland for stealing sheep. So, we went for goats Oinstead. Actually, I think that McGregor is a common shepherding name from Ireland and Scotland,

but I’ve also got some Belgian in me, too, so I’m kind of mixed.

What were you like as a kid? I’ve had a passion for soccer since I was twelve years old, and I wanted

to play at the highest level I could. I kept playing every single day and practicing until I made the

Olympic development team. I did that for a couple years, then I got a soccer scholarship to play at

Fresno State. I actually didn’t want to play in college. I wanted to go straight to Europe to play, but that

was the only opportunity that was open at the time. So, I went to college and ended up having a “come

to Jesus moment” during my freshman year of college, and my life kind of transitioned from that point.

I finished playing soccer there in Fresno and then sort of got burned out on the sport.

What did you do instead? I worked for a couple years after college at a Christian group home. One

day, one of the kids there said, “Mr. McGregor, why don’t you go play professional soccer?” And it hit

me. I was probably twenty-three or twenty-four at the time. And dang, that hit me really hard. Why

don’t I do that? I kind of stopped playing for a couple of years after college, I stopped doing something

I loved. So, I thought it through and realized, “Oh, you know what, that makes sense and I’m still

young enough to do it,” so I ended up trying out for a semi-pro team in Oregon. And that team had

a thing called Professional Soccer Ministry where they sent two players to different countries to play

professional soccer. We went to South Africa, Cape Town. Then, I lived in Beirut, Lebanon for a season.

After that, I went to Ohio for a couple of years where I played for the Cleveland City Stars.

How long did you play professionally? I was probably about twenty-nine when I finished my

career—I’m forty-two now—so, I moved home when my folks were going through a separation. I felt

like I needed to go home and take care of the fam and see for myself what was going on. So, it was

then, when I returned, that I saw someone bring in a bunch of goats to clear out the poison oak. They

eat that stuff, no problem. A year, maybe two, later, we kept dealing with poison oak in my mom’s

backyard. So, I thought it would be kind of cool to bring in a goat, have it around a little bit so it could

clear away the poison oak. Then when my friends from Africa would come into town we’d eat it. That

was a big part of what we’d have for dinner over there. But, every time I’d leave the house, the goat, who

I called “Goatee” would start to cry. And I’d be like, “Oh dang it, we can’t have that.” I didn’t want him

to be upset.

Well, what did you do? So, I loaded up the goat in my car whenever I went somewhere, including

when I’d go surfing. One day, she was acting like she wanted to go out in the water, so on a whim, I

took her out there with me. And I was like, “Dude, this is so awesome!” And it just sort of took off

from there. Before we knew it, we’re on the Today Show, just me and Goatee riding waves. It was

funny because I never meant for it to be anything except for just messing around and having fun. But

it somehow blossomed. Every time I’d leave the country, she’d get pregnant because I’d leave her at the

goat farm. Now I’ve got Pismo and Grover, too. Pismo’s the one who likes to surf the most. He’s more

of an adrenaline junkie like me.

Okay, so what’s it like to surf with a goat? I describe it as an out of body experience, or an out of this

world experience. I mean, when you’re doing it, the whole time you’re thinking, “Wow, this is incredible!”

You’re putting an animal that is out of its element in this super unique environment and it’s experiencing

that feeling that you can only get from riding waves. And then when get them to kind of like it, it’s a

whole different level! So, the whole experience is a trip, it’s pretty supernatural, pretty crazy. And then

once you get other people involved so they can have the experience, too, it takes it up another notch.

And how do you think the goats feel about the whole thing? I mean, if we wipe out and eat it, which

we’ve done many a time, he’s not too happy with me. That’s not an enjoyable feeling. So, I try to have

some success with it where we get a good ride in, and especially on this huge board that I have, it’s

pretty large. It’s pretty darn safe now for him so we rarely wipe out, unless you try to go too big. To be

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33

>>


honest, it’s really fun. Even wiping out. I honestly think when he wipes

out, he’s a better goat. It kind of humbles him. It’s like people. We kind of

get humbled when a big wave gets us. It’s kind of the same thing. It’s like,

“Dang, wow, okay.” It just puts things in perspective and brings us back to

humility. And he trusts me because we’ve been through some hard times

and hard waves.

How do you get the goat and all of your equipment to the beach? Well,

you may have seen me driving my Prius around town. It’s got a picture

of Goatee on the side. That’s my transport, my goat-friendly hybrid. I

took the seats out and put down some artificial grass. From there, I walk

him down the beach. He goes pretty willingly straight to the water. Most

goats don’t like water. In general, I’ve found that to be true. But Pismo’s

cool with it for the most part. So, what I do is, I lead him to the beach,

then I’ll pick him up, put them on the board, so he doesn’t even really get

wet. He kind of looks like royalty. He gets to go surfing almost without

getting wet. It’s pretty funny. He looks like a king out there, like he’s on

his throne.

Is this what you do for a living? It’s a very big part of my lifestyle, but

I wouldn’t say it generates a major income. I do other stuff. I invest in

cryptocurrency. I’ve been doing it for four years. So, that’s been working

out. It’s kind of freed me up to be able to do more of the things I love, and

I love helping people and bringing joy to people. For example, this last

week we had a really cool situation. It was totally unplanned, but we just

met this kid. He wasn’t supposed to make it to his seventeenth birthday

because he has some sort of very rare disease. Only several people have

it worldwide. Well, he just made it to seventeen and I asked him if he

wanted to go surfing. He was really excited, so I asked him, “With our

without the goat?” He said, “With.” So, I said, “Well, let’s do it!” So, we

put the goat on the board and he’s holding onto the goat for balance. And

every time we go over the waves, he’s letting out this shout of joy. I’m just

thinking to myself, “Oh my God, it’s Magic Mountain, but in the ocean.”

It was so cool.

That is so cool. I enjoy doing stuff like that because you don’t have to

charge them. I can kind of pay myself a little or do whatever, just enough

to take care of myself, so I can do stuff like that for free. And we do have a

nonprofit where people can donate, if they want. But we also do individual

surf lessons, or we have surf lessons with a group that includes the big

party wave board. We call it “the Rapture” because it takes people really

high, gets people real high. Gets people really full of joy. It’s pretty rad.

You could take six or seven people and a goat on it. It’s pretty hilarious.

That’s what inspired a children’s book that I wrote, it’s actually the >>

34 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 35


second one and it’s coming out soon. It’s called “Pismo’s Party Wave.”

It’s kind of about a dream that came to me one night, a story I tell

through Pismo’s perspective.

What times stand out the most for you? Oh, wow. There’s a lot of them.

I would say almost every one of them involves kids. We do these things

we call “Beautifully Abled Camps.” We take kids with autism or Down

syndrome out with Pismo. We’ve even taken a kid out who was blind. He

surfs now! I’m like, “Wow, these kids are amazing and they’re going in my

next book because they need to get recognized.” I mean, they’re surfing,

doing something that’s so cool—surfing without having the ability to

really do it. So, those experiences have been really special to me, just seeing

how much joy it brings to people and kids.

Has anything ever gone sideways out on the water? [laughter] Okay,

this is not a bad thing, but it’s sort of funny. There was one time that I

took Pismo out on my board when we had a good swell. We caught this

big wave and I sort of lost my balance for a moment and sort of pushed

him off on accident. He was not happy. So, then, on the next wave he’s

like, “Oh, no you don’t—you’re not pushing me off this time, buddy!” We

were riding along on the wave and he head butts me right off the board!

And, keep in mind, this was a good-sized wave, eight foot, maybe nine.

I fell off and got thrashed around for a minute until I finally made my

way up to the surface. I treaded water and just watched Pismo ride that

wave all the way into the beach. I was like, “Are you kidding me?! You’ve

got to be kidding me!” Somebody got a video of it, and they screened it at

the Fremont [Theater] one year for the film festival. People were asking,

“How’s that even possible?”

Is that the typical response? Usually, they’re kind of wowed by it.

Everyone’s so different, but I would say the majority just stop on the beach

and they have to watch us surf for a bit. They have to kind of witness it.

Yeah. When we’re done, I’ll usually play soccer with him a bit. I’ll throw

the ball at Pismo and he’ll hit it back to me. It’s a pretty crazy thing to

watch. He’s a pretty cool goat, kind of a dog personality. I think people can

relate to that for the most part. But, you know, we’re mostly just trying to

bring joy. That’s what it’s about. That’s the only reason we do it. In addition

to the camps and the lessons, we also do a little work with some rehabs.

And I think we’re going to do a surfing goat documentary about how the

goats have impacted our community. We’ll probably do that, but mostly

we want to just keep doing our thing, making people happy—bringing joy

up and down the coast. SLO LIFE

36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 37


| AUTHOR

LOCAL READ

From the Persian Gulf

to the Central Coast

BY BRIAN SCHWARTZ

Before becoming a successful author and independent publisher,

Ed Cobleigh flew fighter jets with the US Air Force, US Navy

(TopGun), Royal Air Force, French Air Force, and the Imperial

Iranian Air Force. During his service, he also worked with the

CIA, FBI, and MI6. Visiting over fifty countries in his lifetime has

given Ed a wealth of experiences to draw from.

In 2005, his memoir, “War for the Hell of It,” was published by Berkley Publishing

Group. Cobleigh later revised and republished it in 2016 and it soon reached #1 on

Amazon (in his genre) and continues to sell well to this day.

As an independent publisher, his books have sold over 27,000 copies in twelve

countries and three languages.

In Cobleigh’s second fictional work (published at the end of 2020), he takes us

from the lethal skies over the Persian Gulf to California’s coastal wine country.

Fly with the Falcon delivers romance, ethical dilemmas, falcon lore, and a

showcase of the central coast from an aerial perspective.

I first met the author at SLO Nightwriters, a support group for writers in San

Luis Obispo. While his life as a fighter pilot in Vietnam was the source of his

highly successful memoir, I wanted to learn more about his latest work which has

a strong connection to the beautiful California Central Coast.

What inspired you to write “Fly With the Falcon?”

I wanted to write a novel set on the Central Coast, a book touching on sexual

harassment, and a subject I know best, flight. The creative challenge was to meld these

disparate themes into a single tightly written narrative.

What do you hope readers will take away from it?

For world-wide readers, the allure of our part of California. For locals, the fierce grace

of Morro Rock’s peregrine falcons. For everyone, the

problem with sexual harassment and the promise of

redemption from it.

Why did you decide to venture into the sensitive topic

of sexual harassment now?

The #metoo movement publicized this serious problem.

I portray the wild falcon as a symbol and a tool of escape

from a harassment victim’s mental prison.

As a past presenter at the Central Coast Writers

Conference, Cobleigh is generous with his time and

advice to aspiring authors. For the younger set, Cobleigh

teaches a STEM course on the aerodynamics of raptors.

He and his wife, Heidi, currently reside in Paso Robles.

You can learn more about Cobleigh’s other books on his

website at www.edcobleigh.com. SLO LIFE

BRIAN SCHWARTZ is a

publishing consultant and

advocate for local authors.

He can be reached at

brian@selfpublish.org.

38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


TIMELESS DESIGN

FOR A CHANGING

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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 39


| ARTIST

PROFILE

Abbey

Onikoyi

N

BY JEFF AL-MASHAT

There are a number of variations on this quote, but Jerry Garcia’s style

of playing music has been described as “never wasting a note.” As has also

been said about Garcia, “every note had a purpose.”

If there is a painter whose work is akin to that concept, it’s the Central

Coast’s Abbey Onikoyi. Every brushstroke seems exciting. It is electrifying

to look at his work, because there is so much to experience as you move your

eyes around the canvas.

Movement seems to define Onikoyi’s life, whether physical, spiritual, or

geographical, and his paintings reflect that principle.

The Los Osos-based painter began life’s journey in Nigeria, where he was

one of 18 children. From there, he moved to Newbury, England, where

he spent his boyhood, while his father worked in advertising. Eventually,

Abbey moved to the United States to pursue further education. In Chicago,

where, like his dad, he pursued a career in advertising, working for industry

giants like Ogilvy and BBDO. Then he was on to Hawaii, where he gave

up many of the creature comforts he had become used to as an advertising

executive to dedicate himself to his art full-time. While living in a tent in a

friend’s backyard, he would often paint through the night and sleep during

the day.

Full time painting led him to Big Sur’s Esalen Institute, where he taught

about drawing, painting and culture. It was also an opportunity to further

develop his painting style and process, which starts with music, dancing and

splattering paint across the canvas: “From there, I seek to find out what is

there.”

Oftentimes, it is family or friends, people who have inspired him, or spirits

he has a connection to. Onikoyi never sketches anything out in advance.

Once he begins a piece, his eyes move throughout the work connecting

colors and shapes--but the figures that emerge never look back. All of

the eyes of Onikoyi’s subjects are closed. “I realized that I didn’t like eyes

looking back at me,” he says. “When the eyes are open, the viewer focuses

on those eyes. Having them shut allows people to look deeper into the

painting.”

Onikoyi says that he wants people

to experience the spirituality in the

paintings and shape their own journey.

While he admits it is hard for him to

stay in one place, he feels at home in

Los Osos. Advertising film shoots had

brought him to San Francisco and Los

Angeles earlier in life. He fell in love

with the California vibe, the land, and

the climate. But it wasn’t until living in

Big Sur that he traveled down the coast

to San Luis Obispo and couldn’t believe

there was a place like it on earth.

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 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41


| EXPLORE

Going

Electric

BY PADEN HUGHES

Recently my family showed up in Avila Beach on

a beautiful sunny day and cruised into BoltAbout,

a bike store located behind the restaurant Blue

Moon Over Avila. BoltAbout was started by

three Cal Poly grads. They originally intended

to provide fun transportation specifically for

students. They pivoted their business model to

serve locals and tourists alike in Avila.

Upon our arrival we were greeted by a cute little

shop lined with charming beach cruiser electric

bikes, ready for rent. They also had scooters,

which is next on the top of my list for fun date

ideas (sans kids). We had made a reservation

online for two bikes and a kids trailer. I told my

kids it would be like royalty pulled in a carriage—

they bought into the idea and were thrilled to hop into

their attached cart.

Within 5 minutes we were dodging tourists and their dogs

and happily throttling our way out of downtown Avila

towards the Bob Jones Trail.

I have walked, jogged, golf carted and pushed a stroller

down Bob Jones Trail what seems like a hundred times

since moving to the area in 2004, but never have I enjoyed

it as much as I have on an electric bike.

Now as someone in fitness, advocating for an electric

experience over using your own athletic performance, is

about as rare as it gets. But in the name of fun, electric

wins for me for a couple of reasons.

First, you can arrive dolled up for a date and jump on

an electric bike and not break a sweat. So, anyone who

is worried it’s too physical, rest assured—the only thing

you will be experiencing on an electric bike is the wind

through your hair and enjoying the uphill as much as the

down.

Now of course electric is only there if you want it. You can

still choose to peddle your heart out. I thought I would

do that, but then I found the throttle lever. Which brings

me to my second reason I had so much fun: the thrill of

bolting ahead so easily and smoothly, took over. It was the

TIP!

Check out

bikeslocounty.org

for regional bicycle

maps and future

bikeway paths.

42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


most fun Michael and I have had on an outing with the kids in

months and a crowd pleaser for the whole family.

If you start on the Bob Jones trail in Avila you can ride it to the

trailhead in San Luis Obispo at Ontario Road, right off Highway

101. Since 2007, the League of American Bicyclists recognized

the city of San Luis Obispo as a Bicycle Friendly Community.

With more than 75 miles of bike lanes and paths, and over 150

secured bicycle parking spaces, it’s not hard to see why cycling in

SLO, whether electric or not, is so popular.

For our next trip we plan to start in Avila Beach and head south

off the Bob Jones Trail into Shell Beach and explore. SLO LIFE

PADEN HUGHES is

co-owner of Gymnazo

and enjoys exploring

the Central Coast.

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 43


| ON THE RISE

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Genevieve Dandurand

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LANDEN WILLIAMS

With multiple awards and accolades to her name,

this San Luis Obispo High School senior is ready for the next

leg in her journey towards a successful future.

What recognition have you received? I’ve been acknowledged as an AP Scholar With

Distinction; College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program Winner; Rotary

Youth Leadership Award; 1st in Art and 3rd in History at California Junior Classical

League Convention; 2nd Place Team at AP Statistics Math Competition; and my

writing is published in American Library of Poetry’s Annual Anthology “Accomplished.”

What extra-curricular activities are you involved in? Throughout high school, I

have been involved in the SLO County United Way Youth Board (Director at Large);

SLO Noor Foundation (Volunteer); Speech & Debate Team (Vice President); Model

United Nations; Harvard Model Congress; Latin Club (Associated Student Body

Commissioner); Interact Club; National Honors Society; Young Democrats Club;

Astronomy Club; Ceramics Club; Cross Country Team; Track & Field Team; Water Polo

Team & Club; and Stanford Medicine Clinical Summer Internship Admit.

What do you enjoy outside of school? For fun, I enjoy making ceramics that I sell

at Harmony Glassworks and online at Etsy.com. I also love walking/hiking, reading,

listening to music, and yoga.

What experience has influenced you the most? The summers after my freshman and

sophomore year, I took classes on scholarship at Harvard, Stanford, and Brown University

and having to go alone in such different environments really helped me blossom into

the person I am today. I don’t believe I was ever shy, but these experiences made me very

outgoing and independent.

Do you have a career path in mind? I intend to become a Doctor, but from a PhD or

Medical Degree, I am not sure. I plan to study either English, Bioengineering, or Human

Biology, as I aim to become a professor or doctor to help others, while maintaining my

own happiness.

If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be? “It isn’t what we say

or think that defines us, but what we do.” These cathartic words, uttered by Jane Austen,

appear on a sticky note adhered to my mirror, amplifying, “DO SOMETHING!” To be

witness to the life of such a pioneer female authorship, would surely be my wish.

Where did you decide to attend college? One of the happiest moments of my life was

getting into Stanford University. I had been wanting to go since I was a freshman and

it finally felt like all my hard work had paid off. When I opened the decision letter at

almost midnight, I was overcome with joy and was so energetic and for some reason the

song “Here’s to Never Growing Up” by Avril Lavigne kept going through my head so

I went on a drive and with the windows down in SLO was belting out the lyrics to

some cathartic songs.

SLO LIFE

Know a student On the Rise?

Email us at info@slolifemagazine.com

44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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| DWELLING

46 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


PICTURE

PERFECT

BY ZARA KHAN

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

DAVID LALUSH

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 47


J

im Moroney knew early on that he wanted to be involved

with wine when he retired and planted the seed early on

to his wife Barbara. While attending college in the Bay

Area, the high school sweethearts, spent quite some time

becoming well aquatinted with the classic Cabernets and

Chardonnays in Napa Valley. Though they didn’t always

live in California, they were always finding reasons to visit

the golden state. While living in Texas, close friends of

theirs decided to relocate to Cambria, and whenever the

Moroneys visited their trips included wine tasting in Paso

Robles. They were drawn to the rolling hills and down to

earth people—this is where they felt they belonged.

The Moroneys were no strangers

to the building process. Each

time they moved, they always

made some changes to their

new found house to make it feel

more like a home. With a few

remodels and one other new

construction project under their

belt they were ready for the next

project. It was undeniable that

the site had breathtaking views

just waiting to be captured, but

they knew enough to know

that this project needed a solid, >>

In addition to being an

interior designer, ZARA KHAN

is also a shoe aficionado and

horror movie enthusiast.

48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 49


creative team because of the site constraints. They also

knew the team would be their eyes and ears throughout the

project since they would be living in Texas during the build.

John Mitchell could not have come more highly

recommended. It’s not often that you find a licensed

Architect and General Contractor in one person. Mitchell

found that this combination was key in his career. He

had the unique ability to guide clients through the

design process and also educate them on the budget and

feasibility throughout the process. When it came time to

bring the project to life, he had already worked through

the challenging details in his mind. Throughout his career

he had collaborated with Michelle Fanning of Design

Collaborative and never passed up an opportunity to work

with her.

Before they could start the design, their first hurdle was

how and where to position the home. The property had a

major gas line running through it and even though it was

a large parcel it came with a lot of constraints when you

factored in the Moroneys’ desired list and limitations from

the soil type, slopes and easements. A lot of planning when

into the infrastructure—it was a complex puzzle to pull

utilities to the site.

The Moroneys had two requests: capture the views and

make it a space where friends and family felt comfortable

during their visits. To achieve the first, windows and glass >>

50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 51


were placed in as many places as possible. A majority of

the walls are either glass panels or sliders that open up

completely for a seamless indoor/outdoor experience.

The home features a unique floorplan. All of the bedrooms

in the home have independent walls and entrances so

that guests really feel like they are having a private getaway.

There is actually no way to access the bedrooms

from inside the house, creating an added layer of privacy.

During the planning phase, Mitchell had designed a

unique ceiling featuring a 30’ popup lined with windows.

It was his creative intuition that told him this would be an

important architectural detail and the Moroneys trusted his

recommendation. While its execution was one of the most

challenging elements in the building process, its completion

is one of the most striking details of the home. Fanning fell

in love with the feature and used it as her inspiration for

the kitchen design.

When I asked the Moroneys, Fanning, and Mitchell what

their favorite details of the home was they all had the

same answer—the back kitchen. This concept was used to

accommodate the Moroneys preferred entertaining style.

The home has two kitchens. One visible kitchen and one

hidden behind it. This allows them a full catering kitchen

which keeps the behind-the-scenes hustle and bustle out of

sight, while still allowing access to full kitchen for everyday

use. They also appreciate the extra space and appliances

when they have a full house of visitors. >>

52 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


Selling Paso

- by Miranda Battenburg

Selling Paso - by Miranda Battenburg

Over 20 years local experience

Miranda brings strong branding &

marketing to your listing

Berkshire Hathaway HomeSerivces knows great homes

Full service local brokerage

Complementary market analysis

Represents buyers and sellers

Quality properties

Miranda Battenburg

Realtor DRE#02131203

800 11th St.

Paso Robles CA 93446

805-712-1362

805-237-4700

miranda@sellingpaso.com

www.sellingpaso.com

©2021 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire

Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. ® Equal Housing Opportunity.

If your property is currently listed with a real estate broker, please disregard this offer. It is not my intention to solicit your listing.

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53


Once their home began taking shape, the team started to

shift their focus to bringing Jim’s dream to life—opening

their own tasting room just below the home on the hillside,

called Sixmile Bridge. With winemaker Anthony Yount

at the helm, Jim knew that they would focus on Bordeaux

wines even though the hillside was best known for producing

Rhone varieties—it made the most sense to make what he

liked to drink even if it was going to be a challenge.

Along with the successful completion of the build, a

friendship developed between the team and owners.

Inspired by their camaraderie, I asked if they had any trade

tips. Fanning advises getting

an early start with the design

process to make the project

run more smoothly—if you are

framing and don’t have a designer

on board yet, it’s almost too

late. Mitchell shares that there

are times in a project where it

is easy to get blinded by details

and it is important to remember

when it is all said and done, it is

a home—a place to connect and

DAVID LALUSH is an

make memories. The Moroneys architectural photographer

believe the key is to assemble a here in San Luis Obispo.

team you trust, and trust them to

advocate for you. SLO LIFE

54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55


| SLO CITY

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUMBERS

laguna

lake

tank

farm

cal poly

area

country

club

down

town

foothill

blvd

johnson

ave

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

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

94.92%

10

2020

4

$1,249,250

$1,211,800

97.00%

54

2020

19

$1,036,579

$1,005,485

97.00%

24

2020

Total Homes Sold

14

Average Asking Price

$754,314

Average Selling Price

$762,179

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 101.04%

Average # of Days on the Market 51

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

2020

18

$1,084,133

$1,048,078

96.67%

60

2021

31

$731,038

$740,509

101.30%

20

2021

28

$973,180

$962,976

98.95%

43

2021

19

$1,045,089

$1,014,686

97.09%

24

2021

9

$1,414,444

$1,401,883

99.11%

15

2021

36

$965,100

$977,718

101.31%

35

2021

15

$880,027

$886,967

100.79%

28

2021

21

$1,071,457

$1,109,953

103.59%

27

+/-

93.75%

8.32%

10.86%

2.32%

-64.91%

+/-

250.00%

21.61%

21.06%

99.10%

-27.12%

+/-

90.00%

-3.38%

-5.16%

2.17%

140.00%

+/-

125.00%

13.22%

15.69%

2.11%

-72.22%

+/-

89.47%

-6.90%

-2.76%

4.31%

45.83%

+/-

7.14%

16.67%

16.37%

-0.25%

-45.10%

+/-

16.67%

-1.17%

5.90%

6.92%

-55.00%

*Comparing 01/01/20 - 05/19/20 to 01/01/21 - 05/19/21

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE

56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


Do you have big dreams for your new home? At Guaranteed Rate,

we’re ready to help, with all the tools, technology, and dedicated

support you need to make those big dreams a reality.

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

Donna Lewis

Branch Manager &

SVP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8743

C: (805) 235-0463

donna.lewis@rate.com

Ken Neate

SVP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 706-8074

C: (925) 963-1015

ken.neate@rate.com

Maggie Koepsell

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8742

C: (805) 674-6653

maggie.koepsell@rate.com

Ermina Karim

VP of Mortgage Lending

Dylan Morrow

VP of Mortgage Lending

Luana Geradis

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 329-4095

C: (805) 602-0248

ermina.karim@rate.com

O: (805) 335-8738

C: (805) 550-9742

dylan.morrow@rate.com

O: (805) 329-4087

C: (707) 227-9582

luana.gerardis@rate.com

Zoe Thompson

Licensed Sales Assistant

Elieen Mackenzie

VP of Mortgage Lending

Matthew Janetski

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8737

zoe.thompson@rate.com

O: (805) 212-5204

C: (831) 566-9908

eileen.mackenzie@rate.com

O: (805) 329-4092

C: (619) 300-2651

matt.janetski@rate.com

Joe Hutson

VP of Mortgage Lending

O: (831) 205-1582

C: (831) 212-4138

joe.hutson@rate.com

Rate.com/SanLuisObispo

1065 Higuera St., 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.

Donna Lewis NMLS #245945; CA - CA-DOC245945 | Dylan Morrow NMLS #1461481; CA - CA-DBO1461481 | Eileen Mackenzie NMLS #282909 | Joe Hutson NMLS #447536; CA - CA-

DOC447536| Ken Neate NMLS ID #373607; CA - CA-DBO373607 | Luana Gerardis NMLS #1324563; CA - CA-DBO1324563 | Maggie Koepsell NMLS #704130; CA - CA-DBO704130 | Matthew Kanetski NMLS #1002317; CA

- CA-DBO1002317

Guaranteed Rate, Inc.; NMLS #2611; For licensing information visit nmlsconsumeraccess.org. • CA: Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 57


| SLO COUNTY

REAL ESTATE

REGION

BY THE NUMBERS

NUMBER OF

HOMES SOLD

AVERAGE DAYS

ON MARKET

MEDIAN SELLING

PRICE

2020

2021

2020

2021

2020

2021

Arroyo Grande

107

133

65

35

$800,944

$940,790

Atascadero

104

142

47

16

$569,824

$692,297

Avila Beach

5

9

28

36

$1,109,477

$2,023,667

Cambria/San Simeon

44

61

88

52

$815,642

$1,007,574

Cayucos

17

21

164

43

$1,257,912

$1,485,097

Creston

1

3

52

62

$956,000

$1,186,667

Grover Beach

43

62

56

14

$570,611

$708,562

Los Osos

43

43

28

17

$655,942

$815,174

BEN LERNER

Originating Branch Manager

NMLS395723

805.441.9486

www.blerner.com

ben.lerner@myccmortgage.com

Morro Bay

Nipomo

Oceano

Pismo Beach

Paso (Inside City Limits)

40

70

24

33

97

56

110

21

58

166

67

52

85

56

55

43

29

28

39

24

$642,271

$699,460

$563,760

$909,825

$542,562

$957,021

$791,553

$687,269

$1,193,965

$567,280

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

20

16

55

39

$698,830

$801,559

the lerner team

CROSSCOUNTRY MORTGAGE

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

37

17

52

23

109

78

55

43

$596,172

$618,118

$930,596

$858,474

San Luis Obispo

113

183

49

30

$929,719

$1,013,973

Santa Margarita

8

14

108

50

$577,050

$802,490

Templeton

41

57

97

52

$825,649

$1,008,621

58 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021

Countywide

828 1,185

*Comparing 01/01/20 - 5/19/20 to 01/01/21 - 05/19/21

62 31 $714,850 $858,678

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 59


| HEALTH

All About

Adaptogens

They’re the newest wellness craze. But do they work?

BY LAUREN HARVEY

A

shwagandha. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Perhaps

you recognize it from your new face cream, the

supplements at the health food store, or even at

your local smoothie stop. It’s promoted as a “stressrelieving

super plant.” But really, what is ashwagandha

and what, if anything, does it actually do?

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, “a class of herbs

intended to boost your resistance to and tolerance

of stress – emotional and physical,” explains Brierly

Horton, MS, RD. That is precisely what makes

adaptogens like ashwagandha, and the en vogue

cordyceps mushroom (often touted as a coffee

replacement) so appealing to the masses.

Allegedly, adaptogenic

plants can reduce stress,

squash fatigue and hone

focus. Such claims can

often skate by untested,

hooking consumers with

lofty life-changing promises

left unfulfilled. Today, we’ll

reveal the truth behind

adaptogens: if, and how,

they work, what types there

are, and ultimately, if they

are worth all the fuss. Let’s

dive in. >>

LAUREN HARVEY is a

creative writer fueled by a

love of cooking, adventure,

and naps in the sun.

60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 61


Dr. Brenda Powell, co-medical director of the Center for

Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine at the Cleveland Clinics

Wellness Institute explains further, “Adaptogens train your body

to handle the effects of stress.” While adaptogens don’t magically

disappear stress, they do enhance your body’s ability to process it.

“Adaptogens may tweak hormone production and physiological

responses to stress to ensure that your body—from your mind

to your immune system to your energy levels—functions as it

should,” says Powell.

However, it is imperative to note that not all adaptogens effect

our bodies in the same way. Each of the over 70 adaptogenic

plants provides different benefits. Ashwagandha, for example, was

found to aid in managing anxiety in a 2014 study, while rhodiola

can be used for stress relief and focus. A double-blind, placebocontrolled

2012 study found that, “regularly taking rhodiola

helped fight the kind of fatigue that dulls our mental performance

and concentration,” notes Horton.

HISTORY OF A SUPER PLANT

The term adaptogen was first coined by a scientist in the USSR in 1947.

Essentially, scientists were seeking a ‘superhero pill’ that would allow military

pilots to fly better, faster, and for longer periods of time. The Soviet Union

scientist formally categorized adaptogens as “plant-derivatives that can nonspecifically

enhance the human body.” How wonderfully vague!

The practice of seeking out and consuming adaptogens, however, has a

much older, richer history. Rooted in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine,

“some of the original adaptogens include ginseng root [as an antioxidant

and anti-inflammatory] and astragalus [for immune system support],” notes

Keri Marshall, MS. “From a [traditional] Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine

perspective, adaptogens are meant to literally help ground you so you can

get your roots back, in an effort to restore balance in your life.” These roots

and herbs, used for centuries, have recently catapulted into the mainstream,

integrated in everything from tea to face cream.

While I don’t believe adaptogens (or anything, really) can live up to the

expectation of eliciting supernatural responses out of natural beings, adaptogens

must provide some value if they have been safely used and consumed for

thousands of years.

ADAPTOGENS AT WORK

The question remains: Do adaptogens really perform as well as its proponents

claim? Mostly, yes. “More recently, several adaptogens have gone through

scientifically rigorous studies and have come out with the equivalent of a

scientific thumbs -up,” says Brierly Horton, MS, RD. The results are promising,

boding well for adaptogen enthusiasts. Horton goes on to note that, “clinical

trials have found several herbal preparations with adaptogens to reduce stressinduced

endocrine and immune impairments, while also boosting attention,

endurance and resistance to fatigue.”

Scientific studies are now proving what Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine

practitioners have known for centuries—these adaptogenic plants help support

us in ways we need it most. “As the name suggests, [adaptogens] adapt to meet

your needs. [They] bring balance the way a thermostat controls temperature:

they turn up your energy when you’re fatigued and help you relax when you’re

restless,” explains Horton.

As for adaptogenic skincare, Los Angeles dermatologist Tsippora

Shainhouse, MD recommends moringa and marshmallow root.

“Stress has been shown to impair the skin barrier, leaving it prone

to water loss and dehydration,” notes Dr. Shainhouse, “Moringa

and marshmallow root may help to repair the skin barrier and

increase skin hydration.”

Whether you choose adaptogenic skincare, supplemental capsules,

sip adaptogenic tea, or incorporate a premixed powder into soups

or smoothies, the key to adaptogenic success is consistency. Laura

Slayton, a nutritionist in New York, believes, “adaptogens need to

be consumed consistently to see any effects.” Unfortunately, one

cup of cordyceps is unlikely lower cholesterol or boost endurance.

So remember, if you’re into the adaptogen experimentation

mood, opt for investing in a powder, supplement, or tincture. As

Slayton says, “If you’re putting a smudge of ashwagandha in your

smoothie here and there, it’s unlikely to do much.”

UNREGULATED

Not all adaptogenic supplements, powders and tinctures are

created equal. However, the burden of checking the quality of

these supplements falls on consumers. “The Food and Drug

Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor the quality of herbs and

supplements like over-the-counter products,”’ says Debra Rose

Wilson, Ph.D, R.N. When buying adaptogens, get to know the

brand. Check the ingredients, seeking purity and lack of fillers.

If you seek the cream of the adaptogenic crop, naturopathic doctor

Keri Marshall, M.S. recommends opting for liquid tinctures.

“Generally, liquid versions are going to be better than a powder.

That’s because when a liquid extract is made, you have the ability

to pull out the important medicinal components you want…

Essentially, a liquid extract is more pure.”

As for side effects, nothing major has been reported. Dr. Powell

says, “there’s little evidence to suggest that adaptogens can cause

side effects or health problems—though, like any plant, they

can be allergenic or cause gastrointestinal distress for some

people.” Furthermore, Keri Marshall, MS discourages adaptogen

use, “if you’re on immune-modulating drugs.” Adaptogens

themselves are immune modulators and may result in undesirable

interactions. Jenn Miremadi, MS suggests it’s best to consult with

your healthcare provider, “before taking any new supplements,

including adaptogens.” >>

62 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 63


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For all of their beneficial qualities, it’s imperative to remember that adaptogens are not a cure

for anything. Adaptogens recent rise in fame may be due to their stress management qualities,

appealing to those seeking relief from the increased stress of life in the 2020s. “People are

basically wanting to take these adaptogens all the time for their chronic stress that they’re not

managing otherwise,” says Dr. Powell.

If taking a pill and being stress-free sounds to good to be true, that’s because it is. “There’s no

good research that suggests adaptogens are a cure-all. And certainly not a substitute for triedand-true

stress management techniques and medical care,” says Horton, MS, RD.

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64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021

Not even the incredible power of adaptogens can cure us of all our fatigue, anxiety, and

stress. Adaptogens are best used as a supplement combined with an overall healthy lifestyle,

structured stress management, and attentive self-care. We may never be as stress-free as we’d

like, but integrating adaptogens into our self-care routines will enhance our bodies natural

abilities to keep itself balanced.

FINAL WORD

Adaptogens are a class of plants that assist our bodies’ natural stress

management processes. Taken regularly, they may help manage stress, anxiety,

and fatigue. Consult a medical professional before incorporating adaptogens

into your daily routine. SLO LIFE


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 65


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Did you know that one in three people over the age of 65 experience some degree of hearing loss? Chances

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to take a hearing test. Hearing tests are simple and painless, and they provide useful information on a person’s

hearing abilities. Because hearing loss is a sensitive topic, here are a few tips for the conversation.

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If you would like more information, please contact us today for an appointment.

66 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021

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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67


| TASTE

Kid Food

Think grown-ups are the only ones interested in eating good food?

These SLO kids will teach you to think again.

I

n

what universe do children

choose a bento box, shakshuka,

or peshwari naan as their favorite

foods?

This one, it turns out.

Over the last several months, I’ve

learned there is a clutch of savvy

kids who read this food column

on the regular. (Children of SLO: thank you for being

my most loyal readers!) After all these years of telling

them where I like to eat, I figured it’s time I asked

where they like to eat. So I invited a few of my pintsized

foodie friends to show me the San Luis Obispo

culinary scene through their eyes.

68 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021

BY JAIME LEWIS

Did they choose burgers, hot dogs, pizza and/or ice cream?

Nope.

Instead they chose Japanese, North African and Indian cuisine

— with no guidance or input from me. Really.

This bodes well for the future of SLO and the future of

humanity, in my opinion. Our kids are more aware and open

than I ever was as a child. Good folks are coming up in the

world, I’m happy to report. (My only concern is that they’ll

put me out of a job.)

Without further ado, meet Simon, Isaac, Ari, Leila, Lucy and

Poppy, your guides to the good life in San Luis Obispo. You’re

in excellent hands.

JAIME LEWIS writes about

food, drink, and the good

life from her home in San

Luis Obispo. Find her on

Instagram/Twitter @jaimeclewis.


A place for everything,

everything in its place

Simon, seven years old, tells me he likes the kids’ bento box at

Kumi Ko restaurant in SLO’s Marigold Center. We sit down

together with his 10-year-old brothers, Ari and Isaac, plus my

11-year-old Corban and 8-year-old Lulu, for a delicious Monday

night takeout dinner.

Visually, the contents of the bento box are ravishing: the bright

colors of the vegetable tempura (veggies lightly battered and

fried), the mound of sushi rice dusted with black and white

sesame seeds, thin slices of chicken teriyaki, and spirals of apples

and oranges. Every element gets its own compartment, a sort

of prescribed orderliness that’s hard to resist. The bento box’s

defined edges remind me how much all of us — kids and adults

alike — need our boundaries.

Aesthetics aside, the tempura is shatteringly crispy, the rice

impeccably sticky, and the teriyaki perfectly sweet and salty.

I watch all five kids chow down on their dinner, and realize I

haven’t heard a single complaint.

Lulu flings her dumpling across the table, trying to get the hang

of using chopsticks. (#reallife) As she switches to a fork, I ask the

group why they like this bento box so well.

“There’s a lot to it,” says Isaac. No one else speaks up. I only hear

the sounds of munching, which is explanation enough. >>

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 69


So dang good

“A bad poached egg is really bad,” says 10-year-old Lucy as

she and her twin sister Leila slurp shakshuka with poached

eggs and feta from Big Sky Cafe. This pureed tomato-based

stew is a traditional North African breakfast, served at Big

Sky with several slabs of pita bread. The girls introduce me to

it, and I’m hooked on the sweet, salty, and spicy richness that

Big Sky draws from the raw ingredients.

“Yeah,” says Leila with a shiver, “a bad poached egg can be,

like, sticky and gooey. Just wrong.”

Corban is here, too, learning, listening, jostling for pita. “I

like all kinds of things,” he says between bites. “Just not fish.”

Leila’s jaw drops. “I love anchovies!” she cries, aghast that anyone

could feel this way about seafood. “They’re so dang good!”

“I like lima beans,” says Lucy, while breaking the poached

egg and stirring it into the stew. The group goes quiet until

Leila leans over her bowl once again and says, to no one in

particular, “We have to come here more often.” >>

70 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 71


Where everybody

knows your name

When my daughter Lulu and I arrive at Shalimar Indian restaurant

in SLO, 8-year-old Poppy and her mom Lizzy are already in deep

discussion with owner Aasim Sajjad. As we sit down to join them,

it’s clear that Poppy is a star customer.

“I can give you menus,” says Sajjad, “or you can just ask Poppy. She

knows the menu by heart.”

I ask the star customer to order and she asks for peshwari naan, a

dish that’s new to me. When it arrives, I’m completely taken aback:

it’s soft naan bread filled with a thin, pureed mixture of maraschino

cherries, coconut and pistachios. The color is electric pink, and the

flavors are liltingly sweet, almost floral. Lulu and I applaud Poppy’s

choice to eat dessert first.

We order vegetable fritters to share, bright yellow savory dumplings

as light as a whisper. I’m taken in by all the vibrant colors: pink

cherries, marigold fritters, emerald mint sauce. What child wouldn’t

want to eat a rainbow like this?

I put in an order for chana masala, the piquant chickpea stew I’ve

always loved. Lulu looks a little nervous.

“Will it be spicy?” asks my precious girl.

“Don’t worry,” Sajjad tells her with a smile, and looks over at Poppy.

“I’ll make it mild—Poppy mild.” SLO LIFE

72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 73


| WINE NOTES

rosé roots

BY ANDRIA MCGHEE

T

here’s no denying, France is the motherland of

wine. We learn a lot from the French, but they also

do from us with our willingness and ability to be

more experimental in winemaking.

It might not come as a surprise that our Central

Coast vineyards mimic some very famous regions

in France. Edna Valley is similar to Burgundy in

the east of France while Paso Robles is like the

Rhône and Southern France regions. We have a

similar climate, similar soil, similar grapes to those

world-class places, but we still have our own special

terroir.

Let’s take a look at how these areas have influenced

our Central Coast selection of rosé. >>

ANDRIA MCGHEE received

her advanced degree in

wines and spirits from

WSET in London and enjoys

travel, food, wine, and

exercise as a means to enjoy

those around her.

74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 75


L’Aventure Rosé 2020 // $32

Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Graciano, Petit Verdot

Winemakers from all over the world who want to make the most of the

varieties that we grow here meet every year at Hospice du Rhône in Paso.

The collaboration of these winemakers is magic, improving the skill of

winemaking for all parties involved.

You have probably seen wines made from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, as

well as Cinsault (san-soe), Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier (vee-yoneyay)

that grow so well in our Paso soil and have a strong history in the south

of France and the Rhône valley. Our climate in the Templeton Gap feels like

the cool breeze Rhone receives from the Alps that whips over the land to

cool down the fruit when the days warm up. In France, the wines are named

after their location, like Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Provincial whereas in

California they are called by the grape, a brand name, or a winery. Both wines

are highly sought after.

How does L’Aventure make such an impact in our area with its winemaking?

Stephan Asseo made wine in Bordeaux for 17 years and was frustrated with

the strict rules that he had to comply with within that region of France. After

a lot of research, he found Paso Robles to be an ideal place to grow wine, as

well as an ideal place for their three children to get an education. In 1997

he quickly started building a house and learning which vines work best in

their new land. Asseo was free to make the wine that makes him and his wife

happy. And he never ceases collaborating with winemakers.

The 2020 Rosé, made at the request of Asseo’s wife Beatrice, is made mostly

of Rhône grapes. It is very much like the rosé found in Southern France, such

as Provence. The red grapes are picked later in the harvest season than other

rosés, crushed, all the juice escaping the skins with minimal contact and then

fermented in steel instead of a wood barrel. The flavor is luscious. I could say

it is like strawberry and rose petals but It is a flavor of its own. Because of

its later harvest, the flavor is so well balanced with acid that you don’t even

notice anything until your glass is empty. It’s a perfect start to something

special.

Baileyana Rosé 2018 // $24

Pinot Noir

Where we learn so much from our pioneers in the old wine worlds, such as

France, Catherine Niven and her husband Jack had a hand in pioneering

what our Edna Valley AVA is today. They observed the weather and the

changes that happened to the valley over time: where the wind was, what the

soil was made of. With the help of experts, they founded Paragon Vineyard,

the oldest vineyard in the Edna Valley. Still to this day they care about the

farming practices. They aim to use wilderness to help take care of the vines

they have worked so hard for.

For the last 20 years, winemaker Rob Takigawa has kept the same care in

winemaking that the Nivens have focused on that reflects the terroir of

the Edna Valley. His specialty out of Cal Poly was Soil Science which is

unique in understanding what the soil gives a grape and the wine it makes.

This region compares to the Burgundy region in France where they grow

primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Like Edna, it benefits from the fog

pockets that sit and cool off the grapes but then burn off with the sun rays,

giving the grape skins a chance to dry off. This cooler climate makes worldclass

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. Most of the rosé in this region is

made from Pinot Noir.

The rosé featured right now is from 2018 and is a delight. Have you ever had

a basket of ripe local Okui strawberries that have been sitting in the sun?

That is the taste of the rosé except with the bonus of a little touch of acidity

that pairs well with some snacks or just with a chair and some sun. SLO LIFE

76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77


| BREW

Taste

of the

Town

BY BRANT MYERS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TODD MEANEY

n my excitement to rejoin society again, my first outings

were naturally to my favorite breweries. With the ability

to visit seven breweries on an eight-mile route, it was a

no-brainer to visit them all in a single trip. So, I grabbed

some friends and hit the San Luis Obispo Beer Trail.

I wanted to try one flagship beer from each brewery so

that I could revisit their particular styles, check out any

changes to their décor, and re-educate my palette for

the local brewing scene. So, come join me in discovering

Iwhat we’ve been missing this whole time.

Liquid Gravity Brewing Company

Crashing the party before it started, I was greeted by the

owners of Liquid Gravity, Brendan and Celeste Gough, as they

were getting ready for a night filled with live music on their

outdoor stage and the hottest pies in town from Benny’s pizza.

Despite being closed, they were sympathetic to my need for

their beer, so I was poured an LG IPA and we chatted at the

bar about how fast the industry is shifting back to having an

immediate need for more staff to keep up with their growing

demand for Liquid Gravity beers both on draft at their tasting

room and can for distribution. I try to get out of their way, so

I make my way to the edges of their expansive back patio and

watch the LG team furiously coordinate a night that is sure to

be just another house party at their massive second home for

serious beer fans.

Liquid gravity IPA is a clean, modern West Coast IPA with a

bright, tropical hop character, refreshing bitterness, and crisp

finish. Bursting with an intense bouquet of passionfruit, guava,

and tangerines, this 100% mosaic dry-hopped beer is the

cornerstone of the Liquid Gravity lineup. >>

SLO Brew Rock

Thirsty for a cold beer on a warm afternoon, my first stop was SLO

Brew’s The Rock. Local workers and hungry patrons were enjoying

their lunches in the airy taproom and scattered around the large

outdoor space. The design of the facility with a large rock in the

middle is great for breaking up into small groups and finding the

perfect niche to enjoy beers under the sun. We cruised around,

poking our head into the music venue, which looked to be set for an

intimate show, complete with sofas, plush chairs, and tables to keep

pints frosty while listening to tunes. I ran into an old acquaintance,

John Nguyen, who offered to take me behind the scenes on his

way into a meeting. I had a cold pint of their flagship IPA, which

has changed names but is still the gold medal and award-winning

standard IPA that has become synonymous with the West Coast.

According to SLO Brew, their Mustang IPA is “dedicated to the

100,000+ alumni that have made SLO Brew an institution.” Crisp,

clean, and clocking in around 7% ABV, this beer has tasting notes of

hop-forward piney resin and an aroma of citrus, mainly orange and

Meyer lemon. It quenches the thirst and is a great segue over to the

grassy lawn and cornhole sets waiting to be played with.

BRANT MYERS is a beer

industry veteran and

founder of SLO BIIIG, a

hospitality consulting firm.

78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 79


Oak and Otter Brewing Company

Tucked away on the corner of a building a

few hundred feet behind Trader Joe’s, Oak

and Otter offers an intimate tasting room

where you’re likely to be served by the owner

while watching the brewer run back and forth

between the back and front of the house. I

flag down Dylan Roddick as he’s doing this

exact thing and pick his brain for a bit about

the beers he currently offers. Readers might

remember that I featured O&O around this

time last year, and they are back at it again with

the collaborations with local environmental

non-profits. It’s always a beautiful sight to see

a tasting room beer board full of new brews.

Staying true to my plan, I go with a beer that

is about as permanent a feature as possible

for a brewery that rotates styles and brews

whenever they can. I get a pour of their Hoppy

Otter IPA, a light-bodied West Coast IPA full

of citrus notes and bursting with hop aroma

derived from the generous use of Mosaic and

Amarillo hops. Reminiscent of a Sierra Nevada

pale ale, with a subtle pineapple scent, I grab

my pint and sit outside on their quiet patio and

soak in the sunshine.

There Does Not Exist

Walking into TDNE, I was pleased to see the owner/founder/brewer Max

Montgomery there as he came over and joined us at the bar. We discussed

his popular artwork, our passion for the narrow Kolsch glasses, and he

poured me an Infinite Eclipse IPA. While drinking and jawing I noticed

some new glassware, a row of dimpled mugs. Not a traditional pint style

outside of Germany. Max went on to show off his very cool foamer taps

and explained that he uses it with his Moonset Dark Lager to pour a

layer of foam first, then pour the beer underneath. This wet-foam method

protects the beer from touching outside air to minimize oxidation even

while drinking. Neat stuff! I had to drink one and it immediately took me

back to Munich. My first beer was the Infinite Eclipse, a West Coaststyle

IPA brewed with 2row & Pilsner base malts to keep the body light

and dry. It was hopped, hot side, with Chinook, Mosaic, and Talus. This

laid down a citrusy/stone fruit base for a double dry-hopping with Citra,

Simcoe, and more Talus. The resultant beer is super tropical with notes of

papaya, green mangoes, mandarins, and a little bit of lemon zest.

Libertine Brewing Company

Heading into the heart of downtown, we next visit the

Libertine’s SLO location for a palette cleansing wild

ale. Although always experimenting with different

barrels and fruit combinations, I go with their yearround

offering of Pacific Ocean Blue Gose. This tart

and slightly salty golden ale is a brewery favorite and

offers an extreme terroir of the Central Coast region

with the use of Pacific Ocean seawater for salt additions.

That’s right, it’s brewed with ocean water pulled

directly from the Pacific. It has a mid-level tartness

that’s softened by the addition of salt. The restaurant is

just getting ready to come out of the afternoon lull and

get fired up for some dinner service, as the bar is full of

friends of the staff enjoying a drink and a conversation.

Central Coast Brewing

Ending closest to home, we head into CCB like it is

my second home. Being so close to me, I spent many an

afternoon in their tasting room and was happy to see

their front patio facing Higuera street full of familiar

faces. After getting two beers, one for each hand, I

walked through to the shaded and quiet rear patio as

we stood over the creek and commented on the orange

trees lining the riparian environment. I sipped my

Lucky Day IPA like I was comforting an old friend.

This beer has a firm upfront bitterness, a soft midpalate,

and a resinous lingering bitterness that is sure to

appease any hop lover. The aroma is loaded with tropical

fruit, citrus, and pungent hop flavor and then heavily

dry-hopped to achieve its intoxicating aroma.

There are many breweries and styles to explore here in

town, so I suggest grabbing a few friends and checking

out some of your old haunts, and maybe even a new one

while you raise a pint glass and toast to the best coast.

Cheers! SLO LIFE

TODD MEANEY is a

landscape, product, and

lifestyle photographer

living the SLO LIFE with his

brewery-loving Great Dane.

80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021


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3076 Duncane Lane . San Luis Obispo

805 549 0100

JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81


| HAPPENINGS

Culture & Events

100 Years After the 19th Amendment

Commemorating a century of women’s

constitutional right to vote, the SLO

County Bar Association presents a

traveling exhibit at the SLO Public

Library curated by the Library of Congress

and showcasing the largest expansion

of democracy in American history. The

seven-banner free-standing exhibit features

historic photos and artifacts, identifies

issues of gender equality that remain today,

and celebrates Black, Native, Latina, and

Asian American suffragists.

Through September 18 // slobar.org

Barefoot Concerts on the Green

Sea Pines Golf Resort’s Barefoot

Concerts on the Green series has

returned to entertain Central Coast

friends and families with live music

and barefoot dancing on the putting

green. Join Greg Mendoza on

percussion, Brian S. Cram on bass,

and Bob Boulding on guitar for some

great music-making on a midsummer

Saturday afternoon.

June 26 // seapinesgolfresort.com

SLO Grilled Cheese Festival

Grab a map online and head out across

SLO County to discover some of the best

grilled cheese and twists anywhere. The third

annual event, benefiting Restorative Partners,

supports local restaurants and gives you a

chance to vote for your favorites: Most Ooey

Gooey, Best Twisted, and Best in SLO.

Through June 30 // slogrilledcheese.com

MBAA Salon 2021

Celebrate seventy years of Morro Bay Art

Association members with selections of their

own work that each feels best represents his

or her own personal artistic journey. You be

the judge of the exhibit, which is installed

in the traditional French Salon format,

large groupings at different heights and in

alphabetical order, at the Art Center Morro

Bay. The three who receive the most public

votes for “best artist” will be featured in a

future show.

Through July 12 // artcentermorrobay.org

Atmospheres Deep

The SLO Museum of Art and

SUPERCOLLIDER, a Los Angeles-based

gallery that creates immersive science and

art experiences, presents a multimedia group

exhibition guest curated by Richelle Gribble and

Emma Akmakdijan. This journey is designed to

reawaken a connection to the ocean, examining

coastal regions above and below the ocean’s

surface to uncover the human impact on a vast

region of multispecies cohabitation. ”

82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | JUN/JUL 2021

Light Towers

A stunning new exhibit at Sensorio has

been created by internationally acclaimed

artist Bruce Munro to celebrate the

variety of the Paso Robles wine country.

Colorful six-foot-tall towers composed

of more than 17,000 wine bottles are

illuminated with glowing optic fibers

whose colors morph to a moving musical

score. In addition to “Light Towers,”

Sensorio continues to offer its “Field

of Light” attraction made up of 58,000

solar-powered, fiber-optic lights.

Through September 30 // sensoriopaso.com

Funding Our Future BBQ

The Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo

hosts a drive-through barbecue to raise

money for scholarships awarded to local

students who have faced significant

personal challengers while excelling

in their studies. Purchase meal tickets

online for $35 in advance or $40 dayof.

Each meal feeds two people and

includes your choice of chicken, tri-tip,

or vegetarian, along with sausage, beans,

sourdough bread, and dessert.

June 6 // slorotary.org

Future Veterinarians Camp

This virtual session of Woods Humane

Society’s week-long Critter Camps lets

youth in grades three to six learn about

basic vet care, shelter medicine, careers

in the veterinary field, and more. They

meet a practicing veterinarian, take on

fun at-home challenges and activities

that can be completed in home or yard,

and receive a collectible camp button

memento. A must for all future vets!

June 28-July 2 // woodshumanesociety.org

California Mid-State Fair

The date for this year’s “biggest little

fair anywhere” is set, with the safety of

attendees, exhibitors, and staff remaining

a top priority. If State guidelines allow,

expect all the carnival rides, livestock,

exhibits, corn dogs, live music, and cold

beer you’ve come to enjoy.

July 21-August 1 // midstatefair.com

Through August 1 // sloma.org SLO LIFE


JUN/JUL 2021 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83


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