Colony Magazine #24 • June 2020

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ON THE COVER Collage of scholarship recipients. Contributed photos Creative design by Nic & Hayley Mattson



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Something Worth Reading Publisher’s Letter

Round Town Colony Buzz: Father’s Day Studios on the Park: Crafting Creative Connections AUSD: Board Appreciation


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publisher, editor-in-chief

Nicholas Mattson

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Local Business Restaurateurs: PPPowering Through

Taste Of Colony Taste of Americana: Love, Reunions, and Picnic Traditions


Denise Mclean Jen Rodman ad consultants

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Tent City Andrà Tutto Bene: “Everything is going to be okay”

Last Word Estrella Warbirds Flight Team Salutes Healthcare Workers Directory To Our Advertisers


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Hayley Mattson

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DID YOU KNOW? The first civic building in Atascadero, The Printery, had the first rotogravure presses west of Chicago. Community founder Edward Gardner Lewis published the fisrt Atascadero News newspaper and the Illustrated Review, a photo/news magazine, in the area.

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Colony Magazine | June 2020

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Something Worth Reading | Publisher’s Letter

irst, happy Father’s Day to all the happy pappies out there. Now that the niceties are out of the way, let’s talk about COVID-19. Our journey as a community and as a nation over the past 10 weeks has been phenomenally disorienting. That might be putting it lightly. Actually, as hard as the story has been to deal with, there has been a large amount of goodwill to come from the hardship and it just reminds us what a great community we have. As we all dealt with innumerable personal woes, financial insecurity, and whiplash of information, so many in our community looked at how they could use their time to help others. The whole story has not been without its complications, and we truly wish our graduating seniors were provided an opportunity to enjoy a traditional graduation. But traditions are sometimes born of necessity, and there is a possibility that a graduation parade is not all that bad an idea — although we all still want to see the grads walk. There is power in taking steps, and like the toddlers taking their first wobbly ones, it is inspiring to watch our loved ones take that graduation walk as they begin a journey into adulthood. But we got COVID-19 instead. It should be called COVID2020, so we can all remember what it stole from us. For the moment, let’s put controversy aside. Let’s take a real check of our personal inventory and admit where we are wrong. This isn’t about us, or tradition, or what was stolen from us. This is about what we do with it, and if that means a graduation parade, then let’s give the 2020 Classes the best damned graduation parade we can imagine. Let’s make it a protest, not against restrictions, but against our sorrow. Let’s get out there, line those streets, and let all the class of 2020 know that we are proud of them, and all they can accomplish by staying focused on what is good, and true, and by inventing what is possible. We need them to be there when we need them. They need us now. They need us to lead by example that we don’t have to like it, but we have to do it — better, we GET to do it. We have freedom, and it lies in our choices. We can choose to be upset at things we can’t change, or we can choose to change the things we can. Atascadero high schools — AHS, Paloma Creek High School, and ACE Academy — will be graduating together on Wednesday, June 3 in a downtown Atascadero parade. Information is available at We look forward to a great celebration of a great community, and to the asterisked Class of 2020 — the one that was quarantined. All our love, Nic & Hayley

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Colony Magazine | June 2020










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By Hayley Mattson

s a young child, Father’s Day was filled with cheesy gifts that my father would never use and trips to Morro Rock to sit and watch the waves break, followed by clam chowder at the local market in a bread bowl. It was his idea of the perfect day. Sitting there with him as a young girl, my mind wondered … Why is he making me sit here? Why is this fun? How long will we be here? And that went on and on for the length of time we were there. I remember the cold air and looking at him and thinking, what is he thinking about? Later in my adult life, I realized how special those moments were with him. He was a strong man, an Olympian that won three gold medals and one silver in swimming during the 1968 Olympics. A real estate attorney, a youth baseball coach, Templeton High School Varsity Girls Basketball coach, while he lived here and a loving dad. I was a spit-fire as a kid, and he really put up with my shenanigans, but he taught me a lot about love, compassion, patience, and

commitment. Everyone loved him. He never met a stranger. He had a boisterous laugh that you could hear from afar and every loud whistle I hear I still turn my head thinking he is calling us in. When he was diagnosed with lymphoma back in late 2009, we all thought he would beat it no question. He was the strongest man that I knew, so of course, he would. No more than seven months later, we were having a tough discussion about him transitioning into Hospice. I remember sitting with him once again, just the two of us like we did back on the beach at the rock, except now he was telling me what he was thinking. He asked about my plans, and what the future looked like for Nic and I and what we wanted to accomplish. We read his favorite scriptures, and he shared some of the stories that I always wanted to hear but never knew. He shared the lessons he valued the most with me and what he would miss the most, not being here with us. He was never one to hold back, always letting me know how much I was loved and how he held each of us as the most important accomplishments of his life. He passed away on June 14, 2010, just eight months

after we were first told the gut-wrenching news. And as Nic and sat on his back patio in San Diego with my step-mother and siblings, that is when I realized he was our glue. I guess I never really saw it before, but there it was. Our glue was gone, our hero, our confidant or mentor, and our friend. The smartest man I ever knew. Now ten years later, as I sit here writing this and the raw emotions rise again, I am honored and blessed to have had him as my father. He was a wonderful man who loved his family and would do anything for his children. His love of people and the communities he lived in were always better when he was around. He cherished his relationships and friendships and genuinely wanted to help kids find their drive and passion. He was a force to be reckoned with, and I am blessed today to have a husband that resembles him. His love and care for people emulate my father, and his commitment to being the best dad he can to our kids is undeniable. Nic is my partner and my best friend and reminds me of my dad often. I am blessed to have had them both in my life, and I know my father is still with us every step of the way. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads’ and pappa’s out there that continue to love and guide our kiddos each and every day. ■


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Colony Magazine | June 2020


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Happy Father’s Day!

June 2020 | Colony Magazine | 13

CREATIVE CONNECTIONS: Art Center Finds New Ways to Interact During the Shutdown


By Meagan Friberg

he year 2020 has brought many changes to the lives of people worldwide, including those living and working in San Luis Obispo County. Recently, Anne Laddon and Sarah Ambrose of Studios on the Park in downtown Paso Robles shared some of the creative ways the artists behind this non-profit center are keeping art alive amid health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. What has been one of the biggest effects of these shutdowns for Studios on the Park? Sarah: We are very unique in the fact that we aren’t able to adjust quite like other businesses due to having a lot of moving pieces involved. For instance, our Kids Art Smart program took a big hit because the schools have been closed and may not be back in session Anne Laddon until the fall or perhaps even longer. Anne: Our main activities and one will be able to open those boxes, go People love coming to Studios, browsing of the main reasons people donate to the YouTube videos, learn how to around, and interacting with artists at and give to Studios is to support the do the projects at home, and show work. How have you adapted to this Kids Art Smart programs. We have us their artwork. We are hoping if temporary shutdown? about 4,000 school children per we get more sponsors on board to Sarah: We are trying out differyear that have been coming here free help pay for items, we can increase ent ways of keeping Studios active. of charge for classes taught by our the number of students we can get Recently, we turned our Orchid volunteers. We are trying to imagine theses boxes out to. Show in the Atrium Gallery from how to make these types of classes an in-person experience to a video happen for our local children now and Are you able to utilize the upfront gift shop? experience, and it was well-received. through the summer. Sarah: We are starting to highlight For our upcoming shows, we want to Sarah: These classes took a halt some of the items on social media have more extensive videos where we once the schools were shut down and let people know more about the walk around and interview the artists, in mid-March. But, we are lucky artists that have items for sale in the find out more about the piece, and because we had a sponsor – Justin gift shop. We are also changing out let them share a backstory to why Winery – donate funds to create our front window to enable people or how they created that particular boxes for these children with supplies walking by to see what we have, piece. for activities that we would normally with signage directing people how to do in some of our classes. Our Art contact our gift shop manager, Elaina What do you have planned Smart Coordinator, Michelle Rollif they would like to make a purchase. for the summer months? ins, is putting together these boxes It’s certainly not the same as before, Anne: In June, we will have our and creating YouTube videos with but we are doing the best we can to Reweaving Our Tattered Social instructions with the help of her two let people know what is available and Fabric show featuring California boys and some volunteers. The kids offering curbside pickup. women artists who are addressing

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issues of resiliency and recovery. It’s kind of a way to show how we can recover from this Covid-19 pandemic and how we, as artists, can show our strength. We are still planning our July show, which will be based on pottery. How the art will be displayed is still up in the air, depending on when we are allowed to reopen; we are hoping to present these shows to people one way or another. Sarah: We will continue with our artist interviews as well. We felt it was important to share what the artists are doing during this time, and share what their passions and inspirations might be. They have been really well-received – check them out on our website – and they are a way to maintain a feeling of person-to-person interaction. Do you have a message for our community members? Sarah: We are still here, we are still relevant, and we are trying as many ways as we can to reach out to the community. Our mission has always been to make art accessible, so now we are doing this through social media, online classes, window displays, and more. Art can be a big piece of who you are and what you are doing, and we want to be there to support our community. We want to give people something to turn to – and we want that to be art. When we open our doors, we want everyone to come back, knowing we will be practicing the proper social distancing and health safety procedures. For a list of resources for artists and art lovers of all ages, as well as interviews, gift items, upcoming exhibits, classes, and more, follow Studios on the Park on Facebook and Instagram, see studiosonthepark. org, and sign up for the weekly newsletter. Donations are always appreciated. ■ Colony Magazine | June 2020

A Grateful AUSD Board

Praising staff, the AUSD Board is grateful to the District in whole for their response to COVID-19 By Hayley Mattson


he AUSD Board of Trustees met virtually once again on May 5. Coming together, they shared spirits of gratitude and praised the teachers, along with all the staff of the Atascadero School District. Superintendent Tom Butler shared that he is thoroughly impressed with all the efforts from the teachers “we did not ask for this, it came upon us rather suddenly, and the teachers have handled this beyond expectations, they really have in a professional style — style where you take something super difficult, and you make it look easy and graceful — and our teachers have stepped into this.” Butler

continued, “It hasn’t been without obstacles, it hasn’t been without issues on a daily basis sometimes connecting with families and overcoming technology pieces, but I just want to say just a heartfelt thank you, and I am so fond of the work that is being done by our teachers. We’re grateful to all of you right now, and you are helping our students succeed at a demanding time.” As the Board of Directors began to share their thoughts and updates, each of them concurred with Butler’s sentiment towards the teachers and the administrative staff as well. Corrine Kunhle reflected on when they came together in March to make the difficult decision to close the schools “to

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the staff and the parents too; you are true professionals, you have made a success out of a challenge, out of something we never saw coming and thank you to the students for working together.” Ray Buban was excited to see the teachers having fun online with their classes and thanks to the teachers for all they are doing. Ray also thanked the school board members for purchasing banners that hang in Sunken Garden, Paloma Creek, and the Zoo for the graduating seniors “that is what makes us special,” he said. As each of them continued to give their sincere thanks and tremendous respect for the entire team that has helped our students and parents in our

community, Board President, Donn Clickard wrapped up the comments. He shared that recently he met with all the President Chairs of the school boards throughout the county. They met to discuss how everyone is handling different challenges at this time of crisis. “I was well prepared to attend by the list of list of things that we were doing by Tom,” he continued, “interesting it seemed as though everyone was looking to us here in Atascadero saying what are you doing to handle that?” Clickard went on, “there is something to be said about the reputation we have, one that is certainly earned, by the team we have from the administration and throughout the district, we are special.” ■


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IN MID-MARCH, AS SPRING fever would have been setting in with sports and final semesters ringing in the closure of high school careers, the ringing of alarm bells were set off instead and the closure was of the entire school system. That left seniors hanging, and wondering what their final memories as seniors would be and what graduation would be like. For a handful of seniors, it also asked what would Scholarship Night look like? Scholarship Night historically brought together community groups and families who donate thousands of dollars to kids who have committed to higher education or trade schools to advance themselves as next-generation professionals. That is usually done in person at the Atascadero High School gymnasium. This year, like so much of the students’ experiences, it was done virtually through Google Meet. Colony Magazine and The Atascadero News participated in recording the presentations and producing a short video with the students and presenters. The following pages are a proud partnership between the Atascadero Unified School District and Colony Magazine to recognize the presenting organizations and families that contribute to the students’ futures by way of thousands of dollars in scholarships, and the students chosen to receive the awards.

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Presenters: Liza Garcia & AHS Band Teacher Nate Conrad Each year the AHS Band Boosters award scholarships to students who are involved in the band program and who have submitted an essay explaining the impact that the AHS Band Program, and music in general, has had in their life. Tonight’s award recipient wrote a very heartfelt and passionate essay explaining how significant being in band has been to them and how much music and band have enhanced their high school experience. The Band Boosters would like to thank them for their participation in the AHS Band program. We wish them much success as they further their education.


Presenters: Alicia Borlodan, Julie Leasburg, Luke Neumann & AHS Choir Teacher Carrie Jones The AHS Choir Boosters awards scholarships to students who show dedication and enthusiasm towards choir, singing, and the department’s choral endeavors. Students must be enrolled in a performing choir to apply. Recipients will have shown a past commitment to the Choral Department and a desire to continue the development of their singing voice and/or musical skills. Recipients must be enrolled in a college or university music, vocal, or choir course.


Presenter: Erin McCall and Shawna Volpa Seniors who participated in productions during their senior year are awarded scholarships for post-secondary schooling based on the number of productions they participated in during all of their high school years. Participation could have been for starring roles or technical support. Students could have been in a maximum of 8 productions during their high school career. Colony Magazine | June 2020


Presenter: Sherry Perry and Andrew Weatherly The Atascadero FFA Boosters have developed a scholarship program for the FFA students who are continuing their education in an agricultural field. The student must be an active member, involved in leadership events, and earn their Chapter Degree.


Presenters: Warren, Braedon and Shari Frace Brynn and Brittni Frace were sisters and best friends who graduated as scholar-athletes from Atascadero High School in 2014 and 2016. They were both on varsity cross-country, soccer and track. The Brynn and Brittni Frace Memorial Scholarship is intended for a scholar-athlete who would honor their love of sports, the Earth, healthy living, joy of life and their belief every run should be “Miles of Smiles.” This scholarship is awarded to students who have participated on the AHS Track Team and/or the AHS Cross Country Team.


Presenter: Steven Collins The recipients of the Atascadero Art Association scholarship were chosen based on an art teacher recommendation and their high school art work pieces they presented to our Art Association committee members.


memorial scholarship

Presenter: Carol Hamilton, Gina Molina greyhound community service scholarship

Presenters: AGF Legacy

greyhound newcomer scholarship

Presenters: AGF Legacy

shirley jean smith nursing scholarship

Presenters: Laura Afana, Linda Thompson & Julie Marshall guido lombardi (1937 – 2015) memorial scholarship

Presenter: Marcia Lombardi

henry mueller (1937 – 2016) memorial scholarship

Presenters: Mueller Family

jared tyler cunningham (1981–1994) memorial scholarship

Presenters: Mr. Lee Cunningham & Family stephen b. sefton memorial scholarship

Presenters: Jeff Spiller, Joe Davis & Julie Davis cooper family scholarship

Presenter: Andrew Weatherly Presenters: The Cooper Family – Diana, Vic, The recipients of the Atascadero District Teachers Association scholarChristian, Melissa and Ryan ship represent the sons and daughters of Atascadero Unified School District teachers. ATASCADERO KIWANIS Presenter: Youth Services Committee Chairman Ray Buban & ATASCADERO FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION President Mike Shaw Presenter: Brandon Roberts Kiwanis clubs focus on changing the world by serving children, one child The Atascadero Firefighters Association presents scholarships to deserv- and one community at a time. Service is at the heart of every Kiwanis club. ing students who are interested in giving back to the community through By working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish a career in a rescue field such as a firefighter, EMT, or medical pathway. alone. We are generous with our time, creative with our ideas, passionate about making a difference and we have fun along the way.


The Kiwanis/Community Service Scholarship awarded to students who Presenter: Ray M. Buban & Rob Casebolt most represent the beliefs of Kiwanis Club International: “We Build.” This The criteria for this scholarship has been established by the Atascadero student is the future of this country and based on this scholarship recipient, Greyhound Athletic Boosters and it is given to a selected member of the we will be in good hands. Atascadero High School Rally Squad. The John Mackey Memorial Business Scholarship is presented to the ATASCADERO GREYHOUND FOUNDATION student that best represents a strong work and academic ethic and that is The Greyhound Foundation is pleased to present the following motivated to succeed in the business world. scholarship awards: The Kiwanis Club Leadership Scholarship is awarded for outstanding bourbaeu family scholarship leadership, community service, academic achievement and all-around good Presenter: Charles Bourbeau person. brian russell award

The Miles Wemp Memorial Education Scholarship is presented to the individual that we believe will continue excellence in Education & Creativity which was the trademark of Mr. Miles Wemp.

bud & helen ewing

The Otto Heilman Memorial Agriculture Scholarship is presented to the student who demonstrates the fortitude, courage and ambition shared by our forefathers and the Agriculturalist of today.

counselors’ scholarship

The Special Recognition Scholarship is presented to a student that demonstrates unique and special social and academic gifts.

Presenter: Sam Derose and Cindy Josephs Sponsored by: Kurt Russell Presenter: Charles Bourbeau Sponsored by Denise Bennett Presenters: Heather Bakich, Meghan Beck, Jeff Bockert, Ashley Hurni david b. hamilton

June 2020 | Colony Magazine

Continued on Page 18 | 17

Continued from Page 17




Presenter: Tom Zirk The Kiwanis Club General Scholarships are awarded to students that The Atascadero Rotary Club is very proud to present 12 scholarships the Scholarship Committee believed to be deserving individuals of outstand- tonight. ing citizenship and academic caliber, whom we wanted to honor…because The Rotary/Clark Herman Scholarship, The Rotary/Don Hanauer Scholthey earned it. arship, The Rotary/Rasmussen Scholarship, The Rotary/Ganpule Family Scholarship, The Rotary/Gordon Gearhart Renewable Scholarship, The Brian Myracel Memorial Scholarship is presented to the student who Rotary/Joanne Main Annual Scholarship, The Rotary/R & B Shultz demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship, friendship and commitment to College Scholarship, The Rotary/R & B Shultz Vocational/ Trade Scholthose around him through thoughtfulness and understanding. arship, The Rotary/Renewable Scholarship, The Rotary/Ted McCarty Scholarship, The Rotary/Todd B. Everett Scholarship, The Rotary/Toni Melvin D. Atwell Memorial Fireman Scholarship is presented to the Naretto Scholarship student who demonstrates outstanding community involvement and a willing heart to serve others. ATASCADERO TRAIL RIDERS Presenter: Ned Thompson Key Club General Scholarships are awarded to students that the scholIn 1982 the Atascadero Trail Riders established a memorial scholarship arship committee believed to be deserving individuals of outstanding citi- in honor of their late friend, Captain Lloyd Duty of the San Luis Obispo zenship and academic caliber, whom we wanted to honor…Because they County Sheriff ’s Department. These scholarships are to aid local graduatearned it. ing seniors.

geraldine brasher phemister scholarship

Presenter: Mike Orvis Atascadero Land Preservation Society and Atascadero Native Tree Association is a local non-profit volunteer organization founded in 1989 to acquire and preserve natural open space located in Atascadero. Ms. Geraldine Brasher was a founding member and tireless supporter of ALPS, and one who wanted this scholarship to support students in their conservation and environmental interests.


Presenters: Karen McNamara, Sandi Brownell, Cathy Williams, Tessa Hagwood & Jerry Tanimoto Dr. Mike McNamara Memorial Scholarship: Dr. Mike McNamara, a 1973 Graduate of AHS was born with a life-threatening disorder that was supposed to take his life by the age of 8. Not to be deterred, he thrived to the age of 60 - leaving a great impact on many lives, literally across the globe. When Mike received his Doctoral degree, he was given a special award for the student who overcame great adversity to obtain their degree. The Optimist Club searches each year for an AHS student who has conquered a great challenge of their own. Five additional scholarships are: Former teacher at AHS and a Founder of the Atascadero Optimist Club, Mr. Jerry Tanimoto, The Inspiration Scholarship, The Optimism Scholarship, The Community Service Scholarship, The Innovative Scholarship and The Achievement Scholarship.


Presenter: Rodney Torres and Ryan Smith The A-Z Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises money for veterans, individuals with disabilities or special needs, and provides community support and scholarships to local high school students.


Presenter: Mike & Lori Bickel The B-Loved Foundation awards scholarships to individuals who, through their actions, demonstrate a consistent desire to serve others using the resources available to them. The following recipients exemplify unselfish giving in the thoughtfulness of their actions.


Presenter: Michelle Baro The recipients of the CSEA Scholarship represent the sons and daughters of the Classified Employees of Atascadero Unified School District. To qualify for the scholarship, parents must be a CSEA member for one full year before the year of graduation of the student. To receive the scholarship, proof of enrollment in school after high school must be provided.

CalRTA – California Retired School Teachers Association

Presenters: Meghan Beck The California Retired School Teachers Association Scholarship is in remembrance of all of our great retired teachers that have given so many dedicated hours to this high school and this district.

CIF Scholar Athlete of the Year Presenter: Bill Neely

Presenters: School Resource Officer Knowles COLE STEVEN BONESO MEMORIAL The Atascadero Police Association gives scholarships to students who plan Presenter: Andrew Weatherly to further their education after high school. The Cole Steven Boneso Scholarship was created in memory of Steve Boneso’s son, Cole. In 1981 Steve Boneso was awarded the outstanding senior ATASCADERO REPUBLICAN WOMEN FEDERATED award in FFA, so after Cole’s passing, the memorial scholarship was created Presenter: Juanita McDaniel and is given each year to the outstanding senior in FFA. The local Atascadero Republican Women Federated Club is part of a national organization with over 75,000 members throughout the United COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SLO COUNTY States. The Republican Women Federated clubs have a strong commitment Presenter: Angela Hollander to education. They educate their members on important issues, our system of The Community Foundation works to enhance the quality of life for all government, and candidates. Club members also work to contribute toward residents of San Luis Obispo County. One of the ways they do this is by the education of high school and college students. supporting our local students with scholarships.

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Colony Magazine | June 2020


the quota club

- dona nolan memorial scholarship

Presenters: Julie Marshall Presenters: Beth & Dan Nolan The Creston Volunteer Firef ighters Association is pleased to present scholarships to high achieving students who are interested in giving REX HENDRIX FAMILY FOUNDATION back to the community through a career helping people through a rescue Presenters: Julie Marshall f ield such as f iref ighter, EMT, medical pathway, nursing, doctor, etc. Rex and Betty Hendrix graduated from Atascadero High School in the 1950’s. In fact, Betty was born here. While at AHS, both were in JILL DEROSE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP Drama and Rex was president of the FFA for two years. They were Presenter: Sherry Perry and Andrew Weatherly both given scholarships upon graduating and because of that, they were The Jill DeRose Memorial Scholarship is awarded to an individual able to attend Cal Poly. They want to give back to the community in who exemplif ies the hard-working habits and the idea of “Learn by appreciation for all that has been done for them. Doing” that are represented in the FFA.



Matthew Shuck remains actively involved in sports – despite having an intellectual disability, he continues to run ½ marathons and be involved in an active lifestyle. His family strongly believes that his involvement in sports in High School - Cross Country and Track – have contributed to making him the active and positive young man he is today.

Presenters: Mike & Emma Emrich Solarponics gives these scholarships in remembrance of two gentlemen who were taken too young from cancer. Terry Keller and Leo Evola both worked hard to change the way we use energy. They set an example for treating others with respect and giving those less fortunate a hand up. We hope we can affect change in the lives of those receiving these scholarships to be productive citizens.



Presenters: Chris & Mathew Shuck

Presenters: Cynthia Bunting

Presenter: Kyle Casey William’s Church and the Knights of Columbus take great pleasure MR. & MRS. WALTER & HAZEL LEVERENZ in recognizing exceptional teens who are active members in serving Walter & Hazel Leverenz set up this scholarship fund in their wills. their faith community and plan to further their education in a junior For over 20 years they have given scholarships to AHS seniors who are college, university of Catholic religion or vocational school beginning planning to go on to a 4-year college or university. in the Fall of 2020. The scholarships are for students who have excelled in Math & Science or Music. Students must have completed a minimum of 3 years AHS SCHOLAR ATHLETE AWARD in Math or Science or a minimum of 3 years in music education and Presenter: Bill Neely have maintained a minimum of a 3.75 GPA.

QUOTA INTERNATIONAL OF ATASCADERO the atascadero quota club scholarships

Presenters: Ms. Kathy Johnson


Presenter: Atascadero Greyhound Foundation & Ray Buban


Congratulations to all the 2020 Scholarship Recipients!

June 2020 | Colony Magazine | 19

2020 Scholarship Recipients

Alexander Zavala

Allexis Adams

AHS Drama Boosters Morro Bay Arts

Atas. Art Assoc. Scholarship, Atasc. Optimist Club, Dr. Mike McNamara Mem. Scholarship

Autumn Burkey

Autumn Gonzales

Atascadero Kiwanis Special Recognition Scholarship

Brodie Story

Atascadero Republican Women Federated, AHS FFA Boosters, Jill DeRose Mem. Scholarship

Cameron Calmere

Quota International of Atascadero, The Atascadero Quota Club scholarships

Chandler Soojian Atascadero Firefighters Association

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California School Employees Association

Brody Wade

Amber Waiters

The Rotary/R & B Shultz College Scholarship, Atascadero Kiwanis Club General Scholarships

Bailey Doherty

Atascadero Republican Women Federated, Creston Volunteer Firefighters Association

Bronson Sims

California School Employee Association

Atascadero Optimist Club , The Optimism Scholarship, Atascadero District Teachers Association

Caroline Lozon

Carson Eads

Atascadero Kiwanis, Key Club General Scholarships, Atascadero Optimist Club, The Inspiration Scholarship

Codi Carroll

Creston Volunteer Firefighters Association

California School Employees Association

Cody Zack

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Newcomer Scholarship

Andrew Pericic

Anneline Breytenbach

Atascadero Kiwanis Club General Scholarships, Atascadero Police Association

AHS Scholar Athlete of The Year AHS Athletes of the Year

Ben Chester

Brendan Haydon

Atascadero Optimist Club , The Optimism Scholarship

Brooke Stanley

Atascadero Optimist Club , The Optimism Scholarship

Casey Journey

Brynn and Brittni Frace Memorial, “Miles of Smiles”

Crystal Barnes

Atascadero Optimist Club , The Inspiration Scholarship

AHS Drama Boosters

Cael Cooper

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Jared Tyler Cunningham (1981 – 1994) Memorial Scholarship, Atascadero Optimist Club , The Community Service Scholarship The Rotary/Rasmussen Scholarship, Atascadero District Teachers Association, Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Bourbeau Family Scholarship, CIF Scholar Athlete of the Year

Eleanor McCall The Rotary/Toni Naretto Scholarship

Colony Magazine | June 2020

2020 Scholarship Recipients

Eliana Murdock

Elizabeth Mintey


Emma Ioppini

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Shirley Jean Smith Nursing Scholarship

Ellie McCall

Cole Steven Boneso Memorial, AHS FFA Boosters

AHS Drama Boosters

Eric Fregoso

Evalina Gomes

Rotary/Gordon Gearhart Renewable Schol., Quota Intl. of Atascadero, Quota Club - Dona Nolan Mem. Schol., Atascadero Greyhound Fdn., Stephen B. Sefton Mem. Schol.

Creston Volunteer Firefighters Association

Grace Hoese

Grace Shelley

Giovanni Librizzi Atascadero District Teachers Association

James Johnson Matthew’s Award

Jordan Hathaway

Atas. Greyhound Athletic Boosters Spirit Award, Atas. Kiwanis, The Special Recognition Schol.

June 2020 | Colony Magazine

The Rotary/Don Hanauer Scholarship

Jaycee McEntire

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Cooper Family Scholarship

Joseph Hider

Atas. Land Preservation Society and Atas. Native Tree Assoc., Geraldine Brasher Phemister Scholarship

Emily Heckman

A – Z Fdn., CalRTA – Calif. Retired AHS Drama Boosters, Atascadero Greyhound School Teachers Association, Quota Foundation, Greyhound Newcomer Intl. of Atasc., Atascadero Quota Club Scholarship, AHS FFA Boosters Schol., Atasc. Kiwanis, Miles Wemp Mem Education Schol.

Atascadero Kiwanis, Key Club General Schol., Rotary/Ganpule Family Schol., Mr. & Mrs. Walter & Hazel Leverenz

Jessica Schroeder

Atascadero Optimist Club, The Community Service Scholarship

Julianne Carnes

Ellie Zack

Rotary/Todd B. Everett Scholarship, Solarponics, Terry Keller & Leo Evola Mem.

Forrest Powell

Atascadero Kiwanis, The John Mackey Memorial Business Scholarship

Isais Vasquez

Gage Neumann

AHS Choir Boosters Atascadero Optimist Club , The Innovative Scholarship

Israel Reyna

Atascadero Police Association

B-LOVED Foundation

Johnny Rodriguez

Jonina Van Beek

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Counselors’ Scholarship

Justin Zack

AHS FFA Boosters

California School Employees Association

Kacey Journey

Rex Hendrix Family Foundation | 21

2020 Scholarship Recipients

Katelyn McKinley

Community Fdn. SLO County, Atas. Kiwanis, The Kiwanis/ Community Service Scholarship

Leslie Contreras

Katie Eimers

The Rotary/R & B Shultz Vocational/ Trade Scholarship

Lindsay Zillig

Logan Chase Knuckles

Atascadero Kiwanis, The Kiwanis Club General Scholarships

CalRTA – California Retired School Teachers Association, The Rotary/ Renewable Scholarship

Logan Knuckles

Maci Christianson

Creston Volunteer Firefighters Association

MacKay Stith

AHS Drama Boosters

Minako Nogi

Atas. Greyhound Fdn., Jared Tyler Cunningham Mem. Schol., Mr. & Mrs. Walter & Hazel Leverez

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Katie Kershner

Atascadero Republican Women Federated Rex Hendrix Family Foundation

Mr & Mrs. Walter & Hazel Leverenz

Meghan Calmere

Atascadero Optimist Club Solarponics, Terry Keller & Leo Evola Memorial

Nailea Rodriquez

Atascadero Optimist Club, The Inspiration Scholarship

Atascadero Kiwanis, Melvin D. Atwell Memorial Fireman Scholarship

Mackenzie Bryson

Atascadero Optimist Club, The Achievement Scholarship

Mika LaChaine

Williams Catholic Youth Leadership Scholarship

Nancy Martinez

Atascadero Optimist Club, Mr. Jerry Tanimoto

Kyle Pericic

Kylee Degnan

The Rotary/Joanne Main Annual Scholarship, Atascadero Police Assoc.

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Guido Lombardi (1937 – 2015) Memorial Scholarship Atascadero District Techers Association Atascadero Optimist Club , The Achievement Scholarship

Logan Jones

Brynn and Brittni Frace Mem., “Miles of Smiles,” Atas. Greyhound Fdn., Greyhound Community Service Scholarship

Mackenzie Wright

Madison Howell

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Brian Russell Award

Atascadero Optimist Club, The Optimism Scholarship

Mikayla Vert

Mikenna Goldensmith

Atascadero Optimist Club, The Achievement Scholarship, Rex Hendrix Family Foundation

Noah Carlisle

Quota Intl. of Atascadero, The Atascadero Quota Club Scholarships, Solarponics, Terry Keller & Leo Evola Memorial

Atascadero Optimist Club, Mr. Jerry Tanimoto Awards Received

Olivia Sprouse

Atascadero Optimist Club, Mr. Jerry Tanimoto

Colony Magazine | June 2020

2020 Scholarship Recipients

Sal Murillo

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Counselors’ Scholarship

Seth Robasciotti

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, David B. Hamilton Memorial Scholarship Atascadero Kiwanis, Brian Myracel Memorial Scholarship Rex Hendrix Family Foundation

Tristan Compton

Atascadero Optimist Club, The Achievement Scholarship

Westley Cooper

The Rotary/Ted McCarty Scholarship

June 2020 | Colony Magazine

Sam Bordan

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Bud & Helen Ewing, AHS FFA Boosters

Skylar Wiley

Quota International of Atascadero, The Atascadero Quota Club scholarships, CalRTA – California Retired School Teachers Association

Troy M Normile

Sam Numan

B-LOVED Foundation

Tamara Castro

Atascadero Art Association Scholarship, Morro Bay Arts

Tyler Cronkright

Atascadero Kiwanis, The Kiwanis Club General Scholarships, AHS FFA Boosters, Atascadero Trail Riders

AHS FFA Boosters, Atascadero Kiwanis, The Otto Heilman Memorial Agriculture Scholarship

Wyatt Hasch

Wyatt Marshall

AHS Athletes of the Year

California School Employees Association

Samantha Hallmark

AHS Band & Pageantry Boosters Atascadero Kiwanis, The Kiwanis Club Leadership Scholarship The Rotary/Clark Herman Scholarship

Tara Prendeville

Atascadero Optimist Club, The Community Service Scholarship

Vincent Crosbie

Atascadero Art Association Scholarship Atascadero Optimist Club, The Innovative Scholarship

Samantha Leasburg AHS Choir Boosters

Taylor Kirk

Atascadero Greyhound Foundation, Henry Mueller (1937 – 2016) Memorial Scholarship

Vincent Lounder

Atascadero Optimist Club, Mr. Jerry Tanimoto

Zandra Flores

Atascadero Firefighters Association | 23

Class of 2020

“Seniors 2020, The One Where They Were Quarantined” By Hayley Mattson


hroughout the days of COVID, several Facebook Groups have formed to offer support. Gathering individuals that are willing to be of service and assisting those in need. As the weeks went on and schools became closed indefinitely, there was a unified sense of loss for our youth that would be graduating high school. This loss ignited a fire within Regina Orosco, a parent and North County community member that lives in Atascadero. Regina had stumbled upon a Facebook Group that was created in Southern California at her old alma mater. The group featured high school seniors from around the county that were being “adopted” by parents, teachers, community members, and local businesses. Regina quickly looked up San Luis Obispo County, to see if we had anything like it and realized there was not. She spoke to a few friends, and the response she received was excited and supportive. So she launched the Facebook Group “Adopt a High School Senior 2020 San Luis Obispo County.” With a “Friends” like theme for a logo and the saying “Seniors 2020, The One Where They Were Quarantined,” the group began to receive some attention. First, from friends and family and then it started to spread like wildfire. When Regina started the group, she had no idea how many people would jump on board and get

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involved. “We have retired teachers, local business, and community members adopting our seniors from all areas of the county,” she said. “It is a way we can all share our love and support. Some of these kids may be the first in their families to graduate, or go off to college, walking in your cap and gown is a big deal, and that is why I knew I had to do something.” Regina does not have a senior in high school, but she and her husband are very involved in the local school district by helping with non-profit organizations and PTA’s. She herself has adopted ten different seniors and will continue to do more. “The most important part of all of this is to let these kids know that they are supported, and we are all behind them during this time.” As we all continue to walk through this pandemic, Regina’s number one goal is to provide a space that offers hope and joy. “This is a hard time, there is nothing to look forward to, but in this group, it is all positive no negative. I look forward to waking up and checking the feed to see who posted a video or what student was adopted or who still needs adopting,” she shared with us. Regina and the 2800 plus members have adopted over 500 seniors from around the county, and she is hoping to hit 1000 by June 3. So, what does it mean to “adopt” a senior? A parent or guardian may add their senior to

the group by posting a photo along with details about their personality, achievements, school, community involvement, and future goals. The student is then tagged with an “adopt” button that allows community members to see their profiles and adopt them if they are able. “We made a rule that each child is only allowed to be adopted once; that way, every student has the

ability to be adopted” Regina said. She continued, “once the student is adopted, the adopter and parent set up a time to “surprise” the student by arranging a visit. These visits maintain social distancing and safety for both parties. They are filled with love and laughter, and you can see the pure joy on the student’s face, and that is how I know we are making a difference.” “This is a joint community

THS Senior Grace Thayer (left) and adopter Patrice Nadeau

AHS Senior Emily Heckman (left) and adopter Regina Orosco, Group Creator Colony Magazine | June 2020

effort” Regina said, “I am just hosting the page and trying to do my part in all this. It is an honor to see the community come together and support our youth during this time. We are making long-lasting relationships for years to come, and my hope is that the students continue to share their updates and life as they go off to college or get their first job, so we can continue to support them as they grow.” Regina said that she will keep the group going through the end of June and then transition it into something everyone can follow the progress of the students that have adopted. She is not sure what that will look like and will focus on that later on, but for now, she will continue to do her best in making sure every student that wants to be adopted is with the help of our incredible community. For more information or to get involved, visit the Facebook Group at “Adopt a High School Senior 2020-San Luis Obispo County.” 

AHS Senior Noah Meade (right) and Arianna adopter Cortez

THS Senior Jaron Blank (center) and adopters Jo & Sam Lowe

THS Senior Samantha Barlogio (right) and adopter Brandi Bognuda

AHS Senior Katie Kershner (left) and adopter Angie Erb

AHS Senior Kylee Degnan (right) and adopter Tammy Pomi

June 2020 | Colony Magazine | 25

Completed in 1917, E.G. Lewis erected the first La Plaza building which enclosed an indoor shopping mall and served residents, not only as a place to shop, but also as a place to meet neighbors and community members. Contributed photo

Atascadero’s Forgotten Building As former hub of commerce, ‘La Plaza’ rises from the ashes of history By Megan Olshefski


hile walking eastbound towards the intersection of Traffic Way and Olmeda Avenue, one may obliviously pass a series of steps. At the top of the steps, a plaque takes center stage, while below, a stone wall surrounds the remains of a fountain. Upon the plaque rests an image of a multistory colonnade building, suggesting the whispers of a forgotten memory. A memory named “La Plaza.” Set among the fields of a young Atascadero, La Plaza was not only the center of all economic commerce, but also a community gathering place, a hotel, and California’s first enclosed shopping center. Completed in 1917, the Mercantile, or “La Plaza” (as dubbed by a community-wide naming contest after the interchangeable street names of Traffic Way and La Plaza Boulevard), formed the Lewis Civic Center

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alongside the Printery and Administration Building- the heart of E.G. Lewis’ utopian society. In 1915, two years before the official opening of La Plaza, publications announced the forthcoming addition to the Atascadero Colony. As a publisher himself, Atascadero founder E.G. Lewis knew the power of the written word and cut no corners when it came to a young Atascadero’s advertisement. He sought experienced management for his Colony, locating the first manager for La Plaza, Mr. A.S. Thompson, in Los Angeles. In one journal (vol. 49 of Notions and Fancy Goods), E.G. Lewis instructed Mr. Thompson “…to make the Atascadero Department Store the finest and most up-to-date department store in the West, and that means anywhere.” E.G. L ewis’ vision for Atascadero was that of a cooperative community, discouraging the establishment of businesses anywhere but within La Plaza.

With operations falling under the Colony Holding Company (also led by E.G. Lewis), insurance was granted for one business per industry within the Colony, eliminating competition. This cooperative vision even led to a community decision on February 18, 1919, to grant a branch of the Pacific Co-operative League tenancy within La Plaza overseeing all food departments as the Atascadero Rochdale Store. Within La Plaza, businesses leased small stall spaces situated underneath the windows of the basement and first floors. Upstairs resided the Atascadero Inn, complete with Spanish-style beams. Supplies arrived via a railroad spur that served both the Printery and La Plaza. Shoppers to La Plaza arrived either by footpath, via horse, or in a Model-T. On the first floor, one found: the drugstore, tailor, grocer, meat market, shoe shop, furniture store, clothing and millinery shops, an electrical display depart-

ment, and the post office. In the basement: the barber, a photography shop, an additional shoe shop, the electrical workshop, a billiard hall, and the bakery. Anything from garden supplies, jewelry, clothing, food, car parts, to home decor filled the space of La Plaza. Similar to shopping around Atascadero today, one would likely run into someone they knew while at La Plaza. After a day spent buying the latest goods, lunch could be arranged with friends at the cafe on the first-floor balcony. Even the grocer advertised the lunch special in his store, “The Merchant’s Lunch,” served for a grand total of $0.35. By the late 1920s, the Colony Holding Company disbanded, allowing businesses to flock to real-estate along the heavily trafficked El Camino Real. This exodus from La Plaza allowed the Atascadero Inn to expand within the building under managing owner Fred Bartholomew. Postcards from the early 1930s called Colony Magazine | June 2020

the Inn the “New Atascadero Inn and Bungalow” located at the ideal point on “California’s Road to Romance” - halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. High-end clientele arrived from the cities with the Inn’s promise of an all green golf course; access to bathing, fishing, and hunting; ideal climate, and saddled horses for riding. One of the first faces guests of the Inn met from the Atascadero community was that of teenage Bellman Donald Stinchfield. Working at the Inn during his junior and senior years of high school, Donald combined industry with — what his granddaughter Kristi Stinchfield Hostetter describes as — a “frugal” nature, to purchase town lots. Community-oriented throughout his life, Donald was active in groups including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and ABC Church after his time at the Inn. His family remains in the area over one-hundred years since Donald’s parents moved him and his four siblings to Atascadero in 1918. Donald may have reported to Bell Captain Clifford Reynolds, a young man whose family moved to Tent City during the early days of Atascadero and who also had attended Margarita Black Union High School. As Bell Captain, Clifford oversaw the operations of the Inn’s Bellman staff and likely insured guests enjoyed their visit. Not included in his job description was the task of “babysitter,”; unless it was for his nephew, life-long Atascadero resident, Bob Wilkins.

The interior of the original Atascadero La Plaza. Contributed photo With a laugh, Bob recounts his stay as an infant in room “Number 1” of the Atascadero Inn: “I am probably the only person in Atascadero [today] who stayed in the Inn.” Though he was only an infant at the time, Bob recounts the building as “…quite a structure….” and references its construction quality as mirroring that of the historic Administration Building. Despairingly, the Atascadero Inn’s fate was sealed on September 13, 1934, when a fire broke out in a third-floor room, burning the city’s center of commerce, community, and luxury hotel to the ground. Fifty-two guests were checked-in to the hotel that night; fortuitously, all survived the blaze. The property damage was estimated at between $100,000.00-$250,000.00. One story from that night even reached the ears of a young Bob Wilkins, “I heard of someone who ran into the liquor store [inside

the building] and ran out with an armful of booze to save it from the fire.” The remains of the building went untouched for some time, as Bob recounts skating in the former parking lot as a child and exploring the “catacombs” of the old Mercantile. Even the railroad spur remained by the time he was in eighth or ninth grade. As the years passed and new safety codes established, the remains of the old hub-of-life disappeared. In the twenty-first century, the memory of La Plaza lives on in our community’s history. Planned for completion in 2021, a physical manifestation of the historic La Plaza will rise from the ashes off of El Camino Real as a new shopping, and residential center opens its doors, aptly named “La Plaza.” Head of Marketing and PR for the development group Z Villages, and long time Atascadero resident,

Zoe Zappas, states the inspiration for the new La Plaza building came as a result of her father. After reading about Atascadero’s history, Z Villages CEO Mike Zappas fell in love with the Palladian style architecture. The hope of the new, La Plaza, is to pay homage to the historic building and the community; as Zoe proclaimed: “Atascadero deserves to have some sort of tribute that can be a good amenity for people to enjoy.” History-loving community members will even recognize the colonnade, welcoming in visitors like their forebearers. Though time was not kind to La Plaza, we can ensure the prominent building is remembered by sharing its story. Next time you take a walk along Traffic Way, take a moment to stop at La Plaza’s steps and reflect on Atascadero’s long-forgotten building. ■

Young shoppers pick out a treat from the bakery counter located on the basement floor The first building of new construction on La Plaza takes shape along El Camino of La Plaza.. Photo courtesy of the Atascadero Historical Society Real in Atascadero, across from Sunken Gardens Park. Photo by Nicholas Mattson June 2020 | Colony Magazine | 27

PPPowering Through Two Local Restaurateurs’ Economic Stimulus Packages Deliver Much Needed Relief By Megan Olshefski


s we come upon the conclusion of the second month of our COVID-19 induced lockdown, meeting friends and family for a meal or drinks seems a distant memory. The lockdown forced restaurants to close their doors for dine-in meals and caused a chain-reaction of brainstorming takeout ideas and loan paperwork for local restaurateurs. Included among them are locals Eric Peterson and Donovan Schmit. Peterson opened his first restaurant, Guest House Grill, in the recession-wrought year — 2008. Pushing through the year, he expanded his restaurant business, North County Restaurant Group, which now includes: Street Side Ale House & Eatery, Comfort American Kitchen, Country Touch Cafe, Jack’s Bar and Grill, and Touch of Paso. No stranger to tough times, Peterson took the mentality and grit he developed in 2008 to push himself and his team through the COVID19 lockdown, which could not have come at a worse time for a restaurant owner — days before St. Patrick’s Day. Usually, the most profitable day of the year for restaurants and bars, this St. Patrick’s Day became one he

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will likely not forget for the rest of his career. “It happened really quickly,” Peterson said. “St. Paddy’s day is my frame of reference. Friday was busy, and people were starting to hear about [the lockdown] … Sunday was when things really started to slow down.” By Monday, lockdown orders forced restaurants to seize serving alcohol — to prevent gatherings of St. Patrick celebrants on Tuesday. “[Our restaurants] went from a full-fledged Saturday,” Peterson said, “[then] by Monday, we were doing 25% of what we do…we stayed open on St Paddy’s Day even though we could not sell alcohol.” The next day, Wednesday, Eric was forced to lay off his entire staff of nearly 200 individuals and close his restaurants’ doors. The day off allowed Eric and his team to regroup and brainstorm, resulting in reopening the following day with about 5 to 10 percent of their staff for takeout only. Co-owner of Fish Gaucho and Pappy McGregor’s, Schmit experienced a similar St. Patrick’s day to Peterson but took an alternative approach to the lockdown. A restaurant owner for nineteen-years with his cousin and business partner, Troy Larkin, Schmit knows St. Patrick’s Day is the busi-

est day of the year for his restaurants. Hearing of the lockdown, he hoped it would happen after the holiday. Sadly, orders forced Donovan to furlough his staff and close his restaurant doors, but he remained hopeful they would reopen after two weeks. Anticipation for a shorter lockdown led Donovan to wait on initiating any takeout service and instead rode out the two weeks on the restaurants’ savings. With this anticipation, he offered his staff to take home any food they wanted from the kitchens and turned off the lights. As the two weeks looked to turn into three, then four weeks, Schmit applied for the Paycheck Protection Program loan. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan introduced with the

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill, which grants small businesses the means to keep their employees on their payrolls and cover business expenses. Both Schmit and Peterson applied for the PPP loan in what they recount as a frenzy of paperwork and top-notch collaborative effort with their bankers. Adding to the stress of the process was the knowledge they were competing with other small businesses for a fixed amount of money. When both restaurateurs found out they were accepted for the loan, a weight was lifted from their shoulders. Schmit recounts how the agony of waiting seven to ten days from application to the first deposit turned to surprise when he found out they would receive the full amount they hoped for, “…we were shocked we got it all.”

Colony Magazine | June 2020

For Schmit’s restaurants — Fish Gaucho and Pappy McGregor’s — the PPP loan covered two-and-ahalf months of payroll expenses, rent, and utilities. His relief in knowing his over-100 employees were taken care of is evident in his voice as he stated: “once we got the loan, the stress of money stopped.” When Peterson received word on his approval for the PPP, he felt a similar relief to Schmit. For Peterson, the PPP is “The only reason [the restaurants are] staying alive ... because we were lucky enough to get the PPP.” noting the restaurants’ high rents with their street-front property. Today, Peterson’s restaurants are operating purely with pick-up or delivery only, with fewer than half his employees back to work. He hopes they will return to running full-force with his full staff in the near future. In the meantime, his restaurants rearranged to meet social-distancing standards, with staff wearing masks made by Atascadero’s Sew Fun and utilizing sanitation products made by local distilleries. The switch to takeout-only means the dishes are replaced with high-quality to-go boxes (to ensure one’s fries do not arrive soggy), and mason jars now hold to-go cocktails. Peterson feels like they have found their “new groove” and when asked what the silver lining of the entire experience has been for him, he said,” We always talked about the ‘AmazonAge’ with everything delivered to your doorstep … and [we] always talked about online orders … this forced us to do that, and this is something we will do forever. I think especially for the next 12 to 18 months, until whenever.” With the PPP loan in hand, Schmit plans to initiate takeout-only this week as the County issues guidelines for the anticipated new lockdown-lifting phases. He awaits further rules and news from the County and will adhere to social-distancing regulations on masks, gloves, signs, and sanitation stations. As his restaurants ease back into business, they will open with a limited menu to allow an eager Donovan to refill his kitchens with food and re-employ his prep staff and cooks. He hopes to re-employ his entire team in the near future and maintains an open line of communication June 2020 | Colony Magazine

with them on any updates. Schmit stated the hardest part of the lockdown has been the unknown that comes with the “waiting game” and knowing he can only re-employ half of his work-force as his restaurants can only operate at half their potential, “We want to bring everyone back,” Schmit said. “[The difficulty is] how do we remain profitable to have enough business coming through the door to keep everybody?” Even with his concerns for the unknown, he presented confidence. “We should be able to weather the

storm for however many months it takes us to get back to full steam,” Schmit said. The brunt of the storm will pass for both gentlemen as they look ahead to the upcoming weeks, months, and years. Schmit remains optimistic for the future and knows things will settle into a new normal. “I believe we are in a fortunate area that once we are able to open, this is an area that should thrive quicker than other areas,” Schmit said, “with the amount of wine tourism and coastal traffic.”

Peterson echoed Schmit’s optimism, reflecting his experience with the community during the lockdown. “We are eager to get back to work, see our employees and customers, and serve the community again,” Peterson said. “Seeing the community come out, the support of our customers has been really genuine; the whole community has been really positive about this.” Regardless of what the storm brings, the two restaurateurs and their teams are eager to continue their service to the community, just as the community is eager to return to their tables.  | 29

| Taste of Americana

Barbie Butz


wo meaningful events will occur on June 20 and I’m looking forward to both of them. First, summer will officially begin and second, my husband and I will celebrate 61 years of marriage. Younger folks say “Wow! How did you do that?” Of course they’re wondering how we put up with each other for all of those years. I just answer “it was a lot of work — a lot of work on my part and a lot of work on John’s part!” However, we loved each other when we married; we loved each other as we raised our three wonderful sons; we loved each other when we formed a business in this county; we loved and supported each other as we each became involved in our community; and we still love and support each other now in our retirement. We hope to celebrate our anniversary this year with a family reunion. However, because of the coronavirus and the restrictions in place for “gatherings” we may have to wait awhile. None the less, we can still plan our menu! Traditionally, families plan their reunions during the summer

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months when children are out of school and working members can take their vacations. Parks are always great locations for these events since children can be physically active while adults relax. A reunion is not complete without some of those special dishes, like potato salad, that have been in the family for generations. Several family members will often compete with their versions of that famous picnic salad. Here are two recipes for potato salad that are in my collection. Enjoy! OLIVE POTATO SALAD Ingredients: • 10 hard-cooked eggs • 10 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed (red or white potatoes work best) • 2 celery ribs, chopped • 2 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion • 1½ teaspoons salt • ¼ teaspoon pepper Dressing: • ¼ cup sugar • 1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour • ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten • 6 tablespoons white vinegar

• 6 tablespoons water • 1 ½ teaspoons butter or margarine • Paprika Directions: Chop six hard-cooked eggs; set aside. Slice remaining hardcooked eggs and refrigerate. In a large serving bowl, combine the chopped eggs, potatoes, celery, olives, parsley, red onion, salt and pepper; refrigerate. For dressing, combine the sugar, flour, salt and mustard in a sauce pan. Combine the egg yolks, vinegar and water and gradually whisk into the saucepan mixture. Add butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Cool to room temperature, stirring several times. Pour over potato mixture; gently stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Top with sliced eggs; sprinkle with paprika. Serves 12-14

• Salt and pepper • 1/3 cup scallions, sliced • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced Directions: Boil the potatoes until just tender, about 19 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl to cool slightly. In a food processor or blender, combine the egg, anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, and cheese. Process until smooth. With the processor running, slowly pour in the oil in a thin stream. The dressing will thicken slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the potatoes, and add the scallions and parsley and toss. Chill the salad at least 2 hours. Serves 6-8

If you’ve ever been confused as to which potatoes to us for your potato salad, consider this tip: For salads (and other recipes where you want the potatoes to hold their shape), choose a thinCAESAR POTATO SALAD skinned potato such as round Ingredients: whites or round reds. Their firm • 8 cups small red potatoes, and waxy texture keeps them skinned and diced from falling apart when boiled. • 1 egg Mealy-textured, dry, thick• 2 anchovies, or 2 teaspoons skinned potatoes, such as russets, anchovy paste are better suited for baking and • 2 garlic cloves, minced frying. • ¼ cup lemon juice Let’s all hope that we can hold • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated our “gatherings” in the park very • ½ cup olive oil soon. Stay well! ■ Colony Magazine | June 2020

North County Athletes Going y College these graduating seniors will continue their athletic prowess at the college level By Connor Allen


lthough there was little or no spring season for all local athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still several north county athletes who will be moving on and continuing playing their sport at the next level in college. Unfortunately, due to social distancing and the shelter-at-home orders, the athletes have been stripped of their moment in the sun and the ability to celebrate, embrace and smile with their friends and family in a memory that will stay with them for a lifetime. We at the Paso Robles Magazine and Colony Magazine want to do our part in recognizing greatness and the dedication it takes to excel both off an on the court or field. The Paso Robles Bearcats softball entered this spring season as the favorites in the county to bring home the league title in large part due to their seven standout senior leaders on the team. Despite not being able to defend their championship coach Billy Tidwell’s seven seniors will be attending college with two girls sticking to athletics in Sophia Prietto, who has signed to play volleyball at Westminster College and Hillary Conner who will run track and field at Linfield College in Oregon. The Bearcats five other seniors will also be continuing their education with Madison Howard, and Becca Stroud attending Cal Poly, Karli Whisenhunt attending Montana State, Hannah Tibbets at Sacramento State while Mya Gonzales is going to Cuesta and plans to join their up-and-coming soccer team that has helped several former Bearcats in the recent past. The Bearcats boys baseball coached by Jonathan Thornhill is June 2020 | Colony Magazine

also sending five boys to college that are looking to advance their athletic careers. Taylor Bonham (Cuesta, plans to walk on to the baseball team), Seth Maldonado (Monterey Peninsula to pursue football and baseball), Gerald Norte (Pacific University, football, and baseball), CJ Ontiveros (Mt. Sac, baseball) SETH ROBASCIOTTI JARETT TACHOVSKY and Preston Regalado (Marymount Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo University, baseball). The Templeton Eagles also have a group of athletes that will continue competing and learning at the next level, starting with Hope Erwin, who signed her National Letter of Intent to attend Fresno Pacific University, where she will quickly become a contributor to their track and field team as a thrower. Templeton senior Hannah Clark HOPE ERWIN LOGAN JONES ZACK LOGAN Fresno Pacific Univ. Univ. of Michigan Monterey Peninsula College is continuing her education and will be attending Missouri Valley College, where she will play basketball while also majoring in nursing. After back-to-back shares of the Ocean League title in soccer, Templeton’s Jerett Tachovsky caught the attention of local recruiters and will be staying close to home for his school as he will begin with Cal Poly in the fall and play soccer. Senior quarterback Zack Logan is not done playing yet and has signed to play football at Monterey Peninsula College next year. Atascadero has a pair of boys SOPHIA PRIETO that will be walking-on to athletic Westminster College programs come next year in Seth Robasciotti and Logan Jones. Robasciotti will be staying close to home and has confirmed with sports reporter Connor Allen that he will be attending Cal Poly in the fall and playing football. Jones will be heading off to The University of Michigan where he will compete for a spot on the track and field team. Congratulations to all the local HILLARY CONNORS HANNAH CLARK athletes! ■ Linfield College Missouri Valley College | 31

| Education

ANDRA TUTTO BENE “Everything is going to be okay” Jim J.

Brescia, Ed.D


he S an L uis Obispo County Office of Education’s mission is to promote student success by supporting the work of local districts, delivering specialized student services, and providing countywide leadership and advocacy. Our mission is achieved by highly skilled and dedicated employees working to serve our students, their families, our districts, and the community. The month of May was a time in which many schools across the county had planned to hold employee appreci-

ation celebrations before the Stay-At-Home was issued. I ask the community to join me in thanking our essential workers who have continued to provide services. Please know that we are very proud of the patience, concern public servants demonstrate for our students, their families, and the community during these difficult times. Until we can resume regular in-person services, our organizations will continue to implement physical distancing practices, hygiene practices, and conduct much of our work remotely. Your support in following the Public Health Department guidelines is much appreciated and has assisted in making our community safer. The upcoming weeks and months will be challenging and will require continued patience, clarification of understanding,

and clear communications. I have tremendous confidence in our ability to join forces in serving the community. Together we are stronger and can achieve much. I would like to share with you some of Jack Savoretti’s lyrics to a recently produced song “Andrà Tutto Bene” – “Everything will be OK.” It is an honor to serve as your county superintendent. ENGLISH Everything will be fine everything will be fine look into each other’s eyes and then say everything will be fine everything will be fine I know ITALIAN Andrà tutto bene andrà tutto bene guardarsi negli occhi per poi dire andrà tutto bene andrà tutto bene lo so ■

Going viral from the country that has been hit so severely with the Coronoa virus, Italy’s optimistic attitude has their citizens—and the world— looking forward to better times.

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Colony Magazine | June 2020

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Estrella Warbirds

flight team honors Nurses and Doctors for Hospital Week

Tenet CEO Mark Lisa Leads Freedom Flight team in California Flyover STAFF REPORT


hile many around California experienced the flyover of the Air National Guard that spanned through much of Northern California and the Central Coast, employees and staff got a more personally-connected salute courtesy of the Freedom Flight team at the Estrella Warbird Museum in Paso Robles on Wednesday. It was more personal, because it featured Tenet Health Central Coast CEO Mark Lisa leading the formation of classic World War II-era airplanes to honor Twin Cities Community Hospital and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center as part of National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week observances. “I was fortunate to be asked to fly among the Freedom Flight team and to be able to show my appreciation and respect for all that the Tenet Health Central Coast team does for our communities – not just this week, or during a crisis, but every day,” said Lisa. “It is

very important to recognize front-line workers and it is National Hospital and Nurses Week, so George Marrett thought it would be a great honor and I thought it would be good to tag along. This was a great gesture on the part of the Estrella Warbirds Museum.” The Freedom Flight pilots from the Estrella Warbird Musuem were the highly-decorated test pilot George Marrett and retired Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Rice. “Last week, we saw the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels fly over Washington, and I thought, ‘why don’t we do the same thing

for our local heroes?” said Marrett. “We’re used to flying in formation here at the Estrella Warbirds Museum for Veterans Day and Memorial Day, so it was an easy choice. Then we found out Mark was a pilot and we said, ‘OK, you can lead the formation.’ It doesn’t get much better than that.” The tradition of a flyover dates back to before the 1920’s as a ceremonial or honorific flight to show respect for those on the ground. The theme of the Freedom Flight team was “America Strong” to honor doctors and nurses during Hospital Week. ■

George Marrett, Mark Lisa, and Wayne Rice prepare for take off, then give us a peek of the view from Mark Lisa's cockpit. Contributed photos 76 Gas Station.................................. 05 American West Tire & Auto............... 05 Atascadero Chamber........................ 07 Atascadero Pet Hospital................... 15 Bottom Line Bookkeeping............... 07 Five Star Rain Gutters....................... 09

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Colony Magazine | June 2020

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