Not a California Girl!

American Culinary Institute, St. Helena, CA By Barbara


I am so not a Californian. I stare a lot and wonder what this state is all about. On our way into SonomaCountry we passed through Medocino County in northern CA. When I saw a young man that wore blood red Pantaloons, sported a dreadlocks styled hair do that was topped with a classy 40’s fedora, I thanked heaven my husband was driving. I would have had to stop and have a conversation with him. There were things I needed to know.

Bodega Bay, CA. (Setting for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”) by Barbara

I think that only in California would you find a “Ask the Rabbi” booth at a street fair, or pass through a town billed as a “non nuclear zone” community. Impeach Bush bumper stickers are stuck on bumpers…often and while fire stoves burn willy nilly the price of gasoline is outrageous because they are keeping “pollutants” out of the air.

In the San Fransisco area housing is so expensive the rest of the United States cannot even imagine and young people work at two jobs just to keep a roof over their head. But there are a lot of people that seem to slip in under the radar and live in the countryside in modular housing or shacks of one kind or another. You get a flash back to the hippie era when you see the occupants step out of their door. There is a large Hispanic presence, especially in the manual labor work force. Wine producers and their vineyards provide work for these people. I have no idea where they are living.

Here in Sonoma County and over toward the coast you will hear Italian being spoken. It seems so fitting in that wine and Italians seem to belong together. When we played golf at Bodega Bay yesterday the waiter in the restaurant was speaking Italian. At the Napa Wine Company in Oakville, CA. we were served by a beautiful Italian woman. Her accent was so charming. We bought two bottles of wine.

But, above all else, this is a beautiful part of the world. Each back road leads to a hidden treasure and getting lost is not a problem. It is a joy. In Oregon we used to encourage Californian to visit but not stay. Our governor at the time was Tom McCall. He posted a sign at the border between our two states. Now the sign is gone and thank heaven Oregonians are welcome in California. Tom McCall forgot that the road ran both ways!! And we are delighted that it does.

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