SLO LIFE Magazine Dec/Jan 2023

Page 80

MEET CLAUDIA MAKEYEV DEC/JAN 2023 SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM
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DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 7
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10 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 CONTENTS Volume 13 Number 6 Dec/Jan 2023 16 18 20 28 Info Sneak Peek Inbox Contributors 14 PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE 30 32 34 36 Timeline Briefs View Q&A 40 MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR 38 NOW HEAR THIS
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12 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 54 56 58 60 Author Explore On the Rise pet collective 50 ARTIST 94 GETAWAY 62 72 78 dwelling Real Estate Health 82 TASTE 96 Happenings 86 90 Wine notes Brew

Truce

On Christmas Eve, 1914—in the middle of the first World War—a remarkable thing happened.

Everyone stopped fighting.

While it would be a gross misrepresentation to say “everyone,” it was a sizeable number, which many historians now agree was somewhere around 100,000 soldiers. But it took one of them—just one—to start the most unlikely chain of events.

British Private Albert Moren recalled the scene years later in The New York Times: “[It was a] beautiful moonlit night,” he said, “frost on the ground, white almost everywhere.” At first it was faint, barely audible, but the Allies began craning their necks and cupping their ears. Through a heavy German accent, the song was recognized: “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

O sing, choirs of angels . . .

Somewhere there in the dark, cold misery of a forgotten bend on the Western Front, a lowly British infantryman listened. Leaning against a frost-bitten wall of mud and rock, he closed his eyes. Then, spontaneously, the words came out.

Sing in exultation . . .

The guy next to him sang the next line. And then the guy next to that guy. On both sides, soldiers joined in until throngs of sworn enemies where harmonizing across “no man’s land”—the hundreds of feet separating their trenches—where bullet-filled bodies lay contorted and disfigured along the pockmarked battlefield.

The next morning, a few Germans called out “Merry Christmas” as they stood up holding handmade signs reading, “You no shoot. We no shoot.” Then, they stepped forward. Unarmed.

Allied soldiers took aim at the approaching enemy, doing as they were trained—clearing their minds and inhaling slowly and steadily as the target bobbed in the crosshairs. They started to squeeze their triggers. Then, they saw the tentative smiles on their faces. And, one by one, they released. Exhaled. Dropped their weapons. Crawled out. Walked forward. Met in the middle. Very hesitantly, with great trepidation, they removed their bloodied gloves—and shook hands.

Then, they traded with one another for much-needed rations, and much-wanted cigarettes before tins containing chocolate, sent to the frontlines by heartsick mothers back home, were shared. A wild boar was roasted, and a makeshift soccer ball was kicked around. One by one, the corpses that had been lying between the trenches were dragged away and buried, in some cases the enemy lending a hand. That night, there was laughter by the bonfire as lame attempts at translating English to German and then to French were made. More carols were sung. A light snow fell.

In some stretches along the frontline, trench warfare ceased until after New Year’s Day. But it returned. And the Great War raged on to yield an astounding twenty million deaths. Yet, those who took part in what became known as the Christmas Truce, including a British soldier named Murdock Wood said, “I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves there would never have been another shot fired.”

And that’s what worried the guys in charge.

Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, an Allied commander, claimed, “The greatest danger” to the morale of his troops was digging trenches too close together— in some cases close enough to smell grilling bratwurst—observing from his experience that “troops in trenches in close proximity to the enemy slide very easily, if permitted to do so, into a ‘live and let live’ theory of life.” A young Adolf Hitler, then an obscure corporal, was more succinct when he fumed at hearing the news of an unsanctioned truce: “Such a thing should not happen in wartime!”

But it did.

And it can.

If somebody sings first.

I wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. 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

14 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE
DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | Pictured: Silestone® Bianco Calacatta 805.544.9133 or visit slmarble.com San Luis Obispo 5452 Edna Rd. | Showroom & Slab Yard Santa Maria 914 W. Betteravia Rd | Showroom & Fabrication Contact our expert team for personalized assistance with your countertop or tile project. Family owned and operated, we have proudly serviced the Central Coast and Valley for over 35 years Natural Stone Quartz Tile Retailer Fabricator Counter Installer Bring your dreams to life with San Luis Marble

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PUBLISHER

Tom Franciskovich

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Sheryl Franciskovich

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Charlotte Alexander

Dan Fredman

Paden Hughes Zara Khan

Jaime Lewis

Brant Myers

Joe Payne Brian Schwartz

Tim Townley

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Jaeden Barlett

Timo Beckwith

Emily DesJardins

Richard Fusillo

David Lalush

Todd Meaney

Mark Nakamura

Mariah Vandenberg

Alexandra Wallace

CONTRIBUTIONS

Have some comments or feedback about something you’ve read here? Or, do you have something on your mind that you think everyone should know about? Submit your story ideas, events, recipes, and announcements by visiting us online at slolifemagazine.com and clicking “Share Your Story” or emailing us at info@slolifemagazine.com. Be sure to include your full name and city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations.

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NOTE

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR info@slolifemagazine.com

4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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

16 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
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ON THE COVER WITH CLAUDIA MAKEYEV

behind the scenes

As a part of my process in photographing editorial shoots, I like to learn about the model and sketch out ideas based on who they are, their interests, and things that mean something to them. My goal in every shoot like this is to tell the story of the model.

When I first met Claudia, I knew right away we were going to have such a good time together—she is very sweet, warm, and welcoming—I instantly went to work on my sketches and planned outfits, colors, locations, props, and timing of photos.

We started the shoot at Claudia’s home studio in San Luis Obispo to showcase her personality in her space. She has a real love for animals and has two dogs, Lucy and Henry, as well as a coop full of chickens. We stopped by the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach where she volunteers as a marine biologist. And, with her marine biology background and her love of the ocean, we had to trek over to the tide pools in Cayucos.

The inspiration behind Claudia’s art is to teach people about the ocean and marine life. Everything she does is based on science and her art is also just so cute. SLO LIFE

18 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
| SNEAK PEEK
DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 19
REAL ESTATE | PROPERTY MANAGEMENT | IN-HOUSE MARKETING 1333 JOHNSON AVE, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA 93401 | (805) 548 2670 | THEAVENUESLO.COM
“As the sun sets on 2022, The Avenue would like to thank everyone who has helped make this year such a success. We feel so grateful for you and to call this community home.”
20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 HIGHCLERE CASTLE RITA MORRIS and JERI CAIN TAKE US WITH YOU | INBOX LONDON, ENGLAND CHRISTINE ZURBACH, ZOE FUJII, and HUDSON ZURBACH VENICE, ITALY Send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com JIM and SALLY BROOKS-SCHULKE GALAPAGOS SUE DONALDSON CATHEDRAL OF COLOGNE DIANA and DAVE WEHNER FURNAS, AZORES, PORTUGAL
TONY MCCOWN RINCON BEACH
CINDY and
JERRY X SHEA and MARY SULLIVAN with CECE
DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 21 SLOHolidays.com @DowntownSLO @ExperienceDowntownSLO Santa’s House • Classic Carousel Letters to Santa • Musical Light Show Dazzling Displays • Live Entertainment Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Hundreds of Small Businesses Decorated Window Showcase Santa’s Mouse Scavenger Hunt Unique Shops & Dining Around Downtown Holiday Plaza Explore & celebrate local! November 25, 2022 – January 2, 2023 Lights, sights, & family fun in Mission Plaza! HOLIDAY PLAZA PRESENTED BY HOLIDAY PARADE SPONSORS CLASSIC CAROUSEL SPONSOR PHOTO SPOTS SPONSOR HOLIDAY TREE SPONSOR HOLIDAY PARADE & SANTA’S HOUSE PRESENTED BY LETTERS TO SANTA SPONSOR SANTA’S MOUSE SPONSOR SANTA’S MOUSE BROUGHT TO YOU BY MEDIA PARTNERS SPECIAL THANKS TO MUSICAL LIGHT SHOW SPONSORS
22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 SLO LIFE TRAVELS | INBOX Send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com URQUHART CASTLE, SCOTLAND
LOBDILL and BILL DICKINSON WEST NEWFIELD, MAINE CORVALLIS, OREGON BOLOGNA, ITALY
CECELIA
LEE, BRUCE, EMILY TEDONE, SKY
and JEFF EIDELMAN HAWKINS 100TH ANNUAL FAMILY REUNION DIJON, FRANCE BARGE LADIES of SLO SUE and HOLLY ROBERTS MONT-SAINT-MICHEL, FRANCE KIM and CAROL BENNETTS
RICCARDO CAPELLI,
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DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23
24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
BOB and SHARON MOORE with granddaughter JIANNA CRAWFORD
LAKE EDEN, VERMONT LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA
JOHN and PATRICIA ASHBAUGH NINA LESCHINSKY BARCELONA,
SPAIN
STEVE and JENNY MATHIS
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PRIORAT, RON
PIGEON, PATRICK CORRIGAN and JUDY KAATZ
AVILA
PIER
TREKKING THE GLOBE Send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com | INBOX IVERNESS, FLORIDA
ANN MARSHFIELD, CINDY MCCOWN, CINDIE RHODERICK, and JEAN RENO
TIMELESS CLASSICS FOR THROUGHOUT THE YEAR FOLLOW US: wildflowerwomenboutique.com LOS OLIVOS 2920 Grand Ave. 805.697.7377 ORCUTT 3388 Orcutt Rd. 805.922.9195 PISMO BEACH 890 Price St. 805.773.1055 SAN LUIS OBISPO 874 Monterey St. 805.543.3200 PASO ROBLES 1236 Park St. 805.226.5088 “The Central Coast’s Premier Ladies’ Boutique”
26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA PRINCEVILLE, KAUAI, HAWAII CINDY and RICK JONES
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and ERIN RUSSELL WEST UNION, WEST VIRGINIA MEIKA FRANKLIN DANVILLE HARRISON and GENEVA ADVENTURE AWAITS Send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com | INBOX THE RAMANATHAN FAMILY MADURAI, INDIA
SARAH WINDLER
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Local, honest expertise for home buyers and sellers 200+ transactions closed in the last 10 years Incredibly grateful to have helped 20 families buy, sell or invest in 2022. In the spirit of giving, we’re making a donation to the SLO County Food Bank in the name of each client we’ve worked with this year. - Anna, Graham, Logan & Minion #2 HAPPY HOLIDAYS HAPPY HOLIDAYS
www.ccreslo.com 805.459.1865 | Lic. #01873454 graham @ ccreslo.com

1. CHARLOTTE ALEXANDER is an awardwinning writer and editor with more than twenty years experience in nonprofit organizations, higher education, and media.

2. Portrait photographer JAEDEN BARLETT loves the beach, golfing, and going on adventures with friends. You can find her most recent work on instagram @jaedenb.photography.

3. EMILY DESJARDINS is an editorial photographer based out of her home town in San Luis Obispo County. Contact her at behance.net/emily_desjardins emilydesjardinsphotography@gmail.com.

4. Documenting expanses, encounters and experiences, RICHARD FUSILLO is a photographer and educator living on the Central Coast. You can follow his work on Instagram @fusillofoto.

5. PADEN HUGHES is co-owner of Gymnazo and enjoys exploring the Central Coast.

6. In addition to being an interior designer, ZARA KHAN is also a shoe aficionado and horror movie enthusiast.

7. DAVID LALUSH is an architectural photographer here in San Luis Obispo.

8. JAIME LEWIS writes about food, drink, and the good life from her home in San Luis Obispo. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @jaimeclewis.

9. TODD MEANEY is a landscape, product, and lifestyle photographer living the SLO life. You can follow him @toddmeaney.photography.

10. BRANT MYERS is a the founder at slobiiig.com, a hospitality consulting firm, and Toddler Timber, where he makes wooden children’s toys.

11. MARK NAKAMURA is a wedding, portrait, sports, event, family, children, architectural, commercial, and landscape photographer. Find him on Instagram: @nakamuraphoto for landscape photography and @marknakamuraphoto for everything else.

12. JOE PAYNE is a journalist, as well as a lifelong musician and music teacher, who writes about the arts on the Central Coast.

13. BRIAN SCHWARTZ is a publishing consultant and advocate for local authors. He can be reached at brian@selfpublish.org.

14. MARIAH VANDENBERG has a background in neuroscience and is an active photographer, artist, musician, and outdoor enthusiast.

28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 | CONTRIBUTORS
1. 2. 4. 6. 7. 8. 10. 11. 13. 5. 3. 12. 14.
DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29 Personal Service & Exceptional Car Care San Luis Obispo 805.779.3437 Santa Maria 805.723.2450 Grover Beach 805.519.8451 Morro Bay 805.772.6060 RIZZOLISAUTOMOTIVE.COM Tires. Maintenance. Repair. Service for ALL Makes and Models! 45 Now Open in Morro Bay!

LOCAL

october 1

K-9 Storm and K-9 Khan patrol their last shifts prior to retiring from the San Luis Obispo Coast District of California State Parks, where both served their entire careers. K-9 Storm, partnered with State Park Peace Officer Iain Beveridge, and K-9 Khan, partnered with State Park Peace Officer Jason Rule, were assigned to Hearst Castle. Both dogs were born in the Czech Republic and were trained in officer protection, suspect apprehension, searching, and tracking, and were cross trained in explosives detection. They will now enjoy retirement with their partners and their families.

october 1

Cal Poly and t he family of alumnus and NFL Hall of Fame coach John Madden announce the creation of the John Madden Football Center, a new $30 million facility to house the headquarters of the university’s football program. In two years, fans will see the two-story, 30,000 square foot center come to life beyond the south end zone at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Madden played football and baseball at Cal Poly in the late 1950s before embarking on a long coaching and broadcasting career. He passed away in December 2021 at the age of eighty-five.

october 6

Capitalizing on the surge in travel from SLO County Regional Airport, American Airlines begins using a larger aircraft, an Airbus A319, for its twice-daily flights to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The airline previously flew the route using an Embraer E175 with seventy-six seats. At 128 seats, the A319 nearly doubles the number of available seats each day. The larger plane also offers three classes of seats: eight First Class, twenty-four designated main cabin “extra,” and ninety-six in the main cabin. The year 2022 is expected to be the busiest in the airport’s history.

october 25

The Cal Poly Academic Senate resolves to ask former CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro to “abort his retreat into the tenured faculty at Cal Poly,” citing his controversial high-profile resignation in February from his former position, and saying his presence would be a disruption, a distraction, and not in the best interests of the safety of the campus community’s work environment. Castro stepped down following a USA Today investigation that revealed his mishandling of sexual harassment complaints during his time as president of Fresno State.

october 31

PG&E forma lly asks the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew Diablo Canyon’s license and postpone the planned 2025 shutdown of the SLO County plant, which supplies about nine percent of the state’s power, as part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s effort to improve reliability of the electricity grid.

30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 | TIMELINE

REVIEW

november 7

The San Luis Obispo Blues baseball club announces the hiring of Dean Treanor, a former Blue and Cal Poly Mustang, as head coach for the 2023 season. After playing college ball, he spent thirteen years as a police officer in San Luis Obispo. Treanor returned to baseball with the Fresno Suns, and subsequently coached or managed the San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos, L.A. Dodgers, Florida Marlins, Indianapolis Indians, and other organizations. He was the Blue’s pitching coach in 2021. The hometown team starts its season at home on May 26, 2023 against the Coastal Dodgers for a two-game set, and finishes the regular season with a final home game on July 30.

november 1

The City of San Luis Obispo awards $300,000 in grant funding to twenty-one nonprofit organizations for programs in 2023 seeking to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, including accessibility improvements, training programs, afterschool programs, and community events. The programs are designed to help narrow equity gaps that have disproportionately impacted marginalized communities, and include a pilot college prep program serving fifty first-generation students, and a program designed to increase access to mental health services for Spanish-speaking adults living with mental illness.

november 4

The annual Central Coast Economic Forecast warns that the trend of younger workers moving from the coast to inland communities where housing is more affordable is not sustainable. The number of working-age people in San Luis Obispo County dropped by more than four percent in 2021, and that number continues to shrink. More than twenty percent of the population in the county is older than sixty-four. The answer, according to economist Chris Thornberg? Build more affordable, multi-family housing to attract recent college graduates, young families, and entry-level workers.

november 5

Ventana Wildlife Society releases four juvenile California condors into the wild from a holding pen high in the craggy mountains above San Simeon. The two male and two female endangered birds, each about two years old, were raised in captivity at the Los Angeles Zoo. The birds, North America’s largest land birds, are equipped with numbered wing tags and GPS transmitters for identification and tracking.

november 11

After an extensive national search, the City of San Luis Obispo announces the selection of a new fire chief. Cal Poly grad Todd Tuggle will join the city’s fire department on December 5, coming in with almost twenty years of experience, most recently as head of the Santa Maria fire department. With a base salary of $218,400, Tuggle will manage a $14 million budget and lead a team of sixty full-time employees. He succeeds Chief Keith Aggson, who retires December 9.

november 11

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County announces the awarding of $500,000 in general grant funds to forty-two local nonprofit organizations intended to help their work on behalf of the arts, the environment, human services, and seniors or people with disabilities. As a way to further support stability, the foundation made a strategic decision to ensure that these awards— and all future general grants—are unrestricted, meaning each grantee has the agency to determine how best to utilize their funding.

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31
SLO LIFE

The number of guns that the SLO Police Department took off local streets during its first “Groceries for Guns” event on October 1. Police officers collected the unwanted or unused weapons while handing out $12,000 worth of grocery gift cards.

$3.75 million

The asking price for the iconic 150-acre Varian Arabians Ranch located between San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande, which has come up for sale for the first time in its sixty-year history. When founder Sheila Varian—a renowned breeder of Arabians—died in 2016, she left it to the California Rangeland Trust so that the property could never be subdivided.

46.8%

The increase in changes in ownership of residential property in SLO County over the last ten years, according to County Assessor Tom J. Bordonaro, which reflects the dramatic growth in property values. The assessed value of the 174,000 taxable parcels in the county has increased from $41 billion in 2013 to a record-setting $67 billion today.

Winemaker Austin Hope upon learning that Hope Family Wines in Paso Robles was chosen by the magazine as 2022 American Winery of the Year. According to the influential publication, the Hope family played a critical role in the creation of the region’s eleven sub-appellations, helping create the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance in the 1980s.

“I’m in a hole.”

A City of San Luis Obispo Public Works employee calling for backup when a utility truck was trapped in a sinkhole that opened up after a water main broke in November near the intersection of Calle Lupita and Calle Jazmin. The water flooded yards and attracted curious onlookers.

24,000+

The number of waterfowl species that call the thirty-three acre Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Los Osos home, including great horned owls, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and osprey. The wildlife preserve, wooded in some areas and marshland in others, provides habitat for the birds to nest and thrive.

The number of western monarch butterflies counted at the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove on Highway 1 at the beginning of November. According to California State Parks, that’s almost 2,000 more than were counted around this time last year, which is a promising start to the threatened species’ annual winter migration into SLO County and the rest of coastal California.

1,200 acres

The size of a patch of nearly pristine SLO County land surrounding the iconic Point San Luis Lighthouse that is now permanently protected from development. The parcel, preserved through a deed restriction, represents ten percent of the Diablo Canyon Lands, which is finally protected after several years of negotiation with PG&E and Eureka Energy.

A new, free app that allows community members to quickly and effectively connect with the City of San Luis Obispo. Users can report issues, from litter to potholes to broken bike racks, that need attention, pinpointing the location and submitting photos, and receive updates from city staff in response.

32 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
240
“We are all grateful to be recognized for such a prestigious distinction by the editors at WineEnthusiast.”
202
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DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33 We Are “REAL ESTATE” OWEN AND CAMILLE CALDRE #02040597 / #02107467 805-215-5063 The Schwaegerle Real Estate Team: Honest. Committed. Proactive. Educated. Empowering.
| VIEW

CHAPEL HILL

I’ve lived in San Luis Obispo for over thirty-five years and have always wanted to photograph Chapel Hill. So when the invitation from Festival Mozaic came up with this iconic church, I jumped at the opportunity.

There is something magical happening at the chapel as you picnic in the evening while listening to the orchestra concert watching the afternoon sun as it melts into dusk and then to the starry night sky.

Shandon rancher Judge William Clark and his wife Joan built Serra Chapel in 1993 on their property. It houses some artifacts from William Randolph Hearst, including a 13th-century Moorish ceiling. Today, Catholic masses are held there on Sunday mornings and the Festival Mozaic concert is hosted every summer on this vista. Otherwise, it is closed to the public.

The evening I took this shot, I arrived at the Chapel Hill parking lot above the church and walked down to the lower terrace. My wife and I and our friends ate a picnic supper and set up our chairs outside. Since it was hot, we drank plenty of water and stayed in the shade until the concert was about to begin.

Both before and after the concert, I took photographs inside the cathedral. I came outside to frame some shots looking into the church as the daylight gave way to night and the warm glow of the interior spilled out onto the patio.

In the photo you see here, I set my camera on my tripod for the slightly long exposure with my 16mm-35mm lens, focusing on the interior of the church.

If you ever have the chance to attend Catholic mass at Chapel Hill or a concert, by all means go. It doesn’t get much better than this.

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 35

Emily Francis

Let’s talk about where you’re from. up in a small town in New Hampshire, just 14,000 people. My mom was a shop teacher— industrial arts, woodworking, a little bit of photography, and stuff like that—and my dad wasn’t really in the picture, but he was around early on in my childhood doing contract work for the government, so we traveled a lot to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But, where I grew up, it’s the first state in the [Presidential] Primaries, so we always had candidates coming though spending lots of time in our town at our diners and schools. Bill Clinton was there, and George H.W. Bush. I’ve got a picture with Reagan, too, but I don’t really remember him because I was too young. It sort of sparked in me at an early age this idea that government wasn’t some faraway thing.

What did you like to do as a kid?

I feel like I bopped along for a while until I found what I loved, which was Mock Trial and then this other program called We the People, which is arguing constitutional law. I found those programs in high school and they just gave me purpose. It was really exciting doing the public speaking. And then, at some point, I realized that it wasn’t so much what we were doing, but it was the teacher who was guiding us through it and brought us those programs and got us so excited and really pumped us up who made the difference. It’s like, oh wait, it was that guy. And, so, that really shifted my thoughts to, well, maybe someday when I’m old I’ll be a teacher.

Did you go away to school?

Colorado College, which is a tiny liberal arts school in Colorado Springs. And they had this great block program where you do these super intensive month-long classes. You do one at a time. I loved that. So, I studied political science there. And, during the summers, I was a whitewater [rafting] guide. That’s where I met my husband. He was in biological science, and after graduation, we weren’t married yet, but we moved to Ecuador to do some field work. When we returned to Colorado, we settled in Boulder where he was doing his PhD and I was teaching high school. We then did a brief stint in North Carolina before coming here, which was about ten years ago now.

conversation with newly elected San Luis Obispo City Councilmember EMILY FRANCIS the other day. From presidential politics to whitewater rafting to high school

It was a job. My husband works in the bio department at Cal Poly, and we were, and are, super grateful, because there were something like 400 applicants [for the opening] at the time. But it was tricky—and I talked a lot about this on the campaign trail—because, when we got here, we couldn’t find childcare for our daughter. I was ready to jump right back into teaching. Super excited. It’s such a cool way to become part of a community, to meet all these teenagers, to teach high school history, but we just could not get childcare. We were on every wait list in town, and it kept me out of the workforce for a-year-and-a-half. So, I actually started walking dogs and doing all these little side gigs to try and make things work. But that was a struggle, and super frustrating. From there, I ended up changing gears and decided to go back to Cal Poly for grad school in the

Was it your experience with childcare

Yes, absolutely. The spark was the lack of childcare and what we can do as a city to help fill that gap. For us, it all worked out in the end, but it was one of those experiences where you’re like, I know there are other people who are probably going through this right now, people who are less able to weather this kind of thing. So, that was the starting point. It was like, yes, this is an amazing place, but there are some folks who are being left out of the amazingness because of economic disadvantage or lack of resources in particular areas. And, as part of this process, you have many conversations with folks in local government here. We have incredible people here working at the city who are all pushing in the same direction to make real change for climate and equity. We have great energy. I want to join that team, not to change it, but to help make those goals

36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
| Q&A
DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 37 Call us today for your consultation 805 541-1790 www.KarenScottAudiology.com
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staying present

38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
| NOW HEAR THIS

Years ago, along the fog-swept foothills of SLO County, a group of seasoned musicians discovered in one another a shared passion for a certain sound. In this pastoral setting, the Zen Mountain Poets were born, bound to bring their distinct blend of American rock and roots music to the Central Coast for years to come.

Acting as a loose collective of collaborators, the Zen Mountain Poets have seen many members come and go, but at the heart of the group are Billy Clayton and Robyn Saxer, singer songwriters and multi-instrumentalists. Well, pretty much everyone in the Zen Mountain Poets is a multi-instrumentalist, including the current rhythm section, which includes drummer Anthony Roselli and bassist Syd Carr. “We’ve always said, ‘Who is Zen Mountain Poets? Whoever is here now,’” Clayton said. “That’s how it’s always been. A lot of members have rotated in and out. We’ve made beautiful, beautiful music together.”

The current lineup in the group represents more than a century of collected experience in professional music. Their skills run the gamut, with the four members able to play more than a dozen instruments between them in styles as varied as a century’s worth of American music. When they’re not performing locally, the crew piles into a 1954 Greyhound bus and takes to the road.

While the Zen Mountain Poets could perform cover tunes all night, which some of them have definitely done over the years, they prefer to share mostly originals, showcasing their unique blend of sounds. When a band member brings a new song to the table, no matter what the style, everyone is allowed to contribute what they feel in the moment. That spontaneity and freedom has led to a sound that nearly defies description. “The genre that we refer to our songs is psychedelic neo-prog folk/jazz, and I like to throw some blues rock in there,” Saxer explained. “We have some messages in the poetry of the verse that we have . . . that positive message just to co-create and come together and collaborate.”

SLO area music fans should recognize Zen Mountain Poets from semi-regular sets in Santa Margarita at The Porch and the Educated Gardener, as well as Liquid Gravity in San Luis Obispo. Their music, as the name suggests, is much more at home in the rolling rural landscape of the Central Coast than the late-night downtown scene.“Now that we’ve been in the area a while, people know what we do. We have a solid fanbase who show up to our shows, they know our songs, and listen to them on our website and Reverbnation,” Saxer said.

“Because there’s so many different songs that carry these feelings in them, what we hope for is that somebody will listen and connect, whatever that song may be, in their way,” Clayton added. “I think eliciting feelings from our audiences is the greatest compliment I could ever get. It’s why I do it, and it feels so good.”

The Zen Mountain Poets are set to release a new, full-length album before the end of the year. Titled “Stellar Ignition,” the album showcases the varied skills and styles that make the group a unique offering on the Central Coast. “We’ve got a country song, we’ve got a reggae song, we’ve got some really psychedelic music on there, a couple of instrumentals,” Saxer said.

More information about the album is available on the Zen Mountain Poets’ website, which also includes upcoming performances dates. They will be the featured band for a couple of sets at the Cambria Christmas Market on December 10 and 11.

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 39

pro file

When she was just a kid trying to find her place in Southern France, it would have been inconceivable to imagine the trail to be blazed by CLAUDIA MAKEYEV. By concocting a formula made up of equal parts science and art, and then adding massive doses of energy and passion, the San Luis Obispo resident has dedicated her life to preserving the natural world. Known by many as the Mermaid Scientist, she has made it her mission to inspire the next generation to discover the beauty and wonder of the ocean. Here is her story . . .

40 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 | MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

Okay, Claudia, let’s start from the beginning. Where are you from? I was born in Berkeley, California. That’s where my dad went to grad school and my mom was a stewardess for Pan Am in the seventies. She was first based in New York, but then she was moved to San Francisco. We lived above the Lawrence Hall of Science. And then we moved to Michigan for a few years because that’s where my mom is from. Then we moved to the south of France because that’s where my father is from. And we got to know our family there, and the language. After that, we moved back to the Bay Area, so my dad could work in computer programming.

What brought you to San Luis? It was a job. My dad was hired as the CEO for a company here called Dega Technology. He was this very loud, very charismatic Frenchman. This was back in the nineties when SLO was really a one-horse town. I was going into the eighth grade and got involved in everything: soccer, softball, tennis, surfing, and horseback training, that was always a constant no matter where we lived, Michigan, France, wherever; that was always something we did. I was the new kid at school, but I was used to that role. I was socially awkward, but just embraced it and did all the honors classes and student government. I was blissfully unaware of my awkwardness.

What do you mean by that, “blissfully unaware?” I don’t know. So many of the students I’ve mentored through the years, they seem so well put together. And I think still, to this day, I retain a sort of childlike obliviousness to things, socially, in general, which sort of, in a weird way, leads to a general happiness. I don’t know, “blissfully unaware of my awkwardness” is probably a horrible description, but somehow it works for me. That’s a really good question though and, honestly, I’ve never really thought about it. But as I try to come up with an answer here, I think, maybe, it helps me ignore the naysayers. Since I’m not really aware of them or thinking about them I can just move on ahead with what I want to do. I suspect that might have something do with my upbringing with so many of my formative years growing up in France, where it was obvious that I was very different from all the other kids, in terms of clothes, and language, and mannerisms, and culture. I think I just decided very early on that, “Oh, wait a second, I’m different.” And that’s okay.

Tell us about your family. I have a younger brother and sister. We’re all a year-and-a-half apart. My brother is a writer and editor in San Francisco, and my sister is a yoga instructor in L.A. My mom, she lives here, she used to own Farb’s Bakery in town. It’s a wholesale bakery on Pismo Street that used to be owned by the Farber family. So, she baked bread for local delis and restaurants, basically. She bought it because she’s a classically trained chef and she just loves bread. And, actually, she just recently got her PhD in Mythology and Depth Psychology. She just graduated. I’m very proud of her and hope that I’m that prolific in my seventies. And, my dad, he passed away in a scuba accident a few years back.

Is that something you can talk about? Sure, yes. I mean, well, I was living in the Philippines at the time and doing a lot of diving in the Coral Triangle and, so, he decided to get back into scuba diving, which he had done in the past. So, he was re-certifying in the Monterey Bay, which is a pretty easy area [to dive in]. But he was, unfortunately, diving with very novice people. The divemaster left him alone with this guy who, as it turns out, was quite inexperienced. Anyway, my dad had some sort of distress under the water and was taking his mask off because something was wrong. And, so this guy, rather than helping him, just went to the surface to go get help. By the time the others got down there to him, it was too late. So, yeah, if I had to write a Yelp review for that dive school, it would not be favorable. My dad, he was my person, like my top three favorite people. I could call him for anything. He was a good guy. It was a huge loss.

That’s terrible, I’m sorry for your loss. Can we switch gears and talk about your career, what’s your background? Okay, I’ll do my best to keep it all straight. I always wanted to be a biologist, so I went to UCSB and double majored in Environmental Science and Marine Science. Plus, I did Art Studio full-time. Then, I was inspired by an Environmental Literature class which led to me soliciting sponsors to ride my horses from Mexico to Oregon on the Pacific Crest Trail. From there, I returned to SLO and got a job with the Land Conservancy doing a really cool project with them working on the Nipomo-Guadalupe Dunes. Then, it was off to a fellowship in Montana in the area of Environmental Economics. Next, I got a full research assistantship to the Environmental Natural Resource Economics Department at the University of Rhode Island before becoming a research biologist in Monterey with the National Marine Fisheries Service. I also worked with rock fish populations in Santa Cruz before taking a job at Cal State Monterey doing outreach with minority students, encouraging them to get into science while I was also doing a bunch of field work in the Channel Islands. >>

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 43

What does the future hold in wildlife preservation? I think that bioeconomics are going to play a big role. If you take a look at what’s happening in the area of land preservation, that’s a great model. You know, where organizations buy the development rights to keep wide swaths of open space to foster biodiversity. I did my final project for my master’s [degree] in Rhode Island applying a similar concept to the ocean where you protect and preserve a designated area—think of it like Central Park with all its various wildlife in the middle of Manhattan—where you can promote healthy populations of fish, which ultimately helps all of us, including the fishermen. I was able to do this really cool modeling in the lab there running simulations out over seventy-five years to prove out the theory with actual numbers. It’s really very exciting because, for example, with trawlers, every time you trawl for fish, you also destroy the ocean bottom, which destroys the ecosystem, and ultimately the very fish you are

trying to catch. So, it’s much more expensive for you to do that than it is to keep an isolated, protected area pristine to allow the fish populations to rebuild and then migrate. It then becomes a sustainable practice that is also good for business. It’s a real change that everyone, even the greediest of the greedies, can get behind.

Earlier you mentioned living in the Philippines. What brought you there? I initially went to the Philippines on an exploratory surfing mission, and I fell in love with the Coral Triangle. And, also, I fell in love with someone, so I figured out a way to stay there. I started off in Manila managing a children’s website called Kabillion. Then, I started a nonprofit organization called The Mermaid Islands Corporation, because I was also doing some contract work to help create these marine protected areas in the Coral Triangle, which is this magical place where all the currents

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DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 45
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come together bringing little baby fishes and corals and sea plants from all over the world. You get more biodiversity there than any place on the planet. So, it’s just this very special, magical place. And with some of these outer islands, there’s an ancient tribe called the Tagbanwa. They’re subsistence fishermen out there, just living their best life. There’s not really any money to speak of in their culture, and they travel in their hand-dug canoes just line fishing for their families. It’s truly this little Eden on water. But the surrounding islands were changing with these huge real estate developers putting in these mega resorts. And the native population, for some reason, started to get treated like second- or even third-class citizens.

How so? Okay, well, for example, I would wake up each day and do a morning swim from one island to the other. They were pretty close together. And, so, they were going to start building this resort on this one island, the one I was swimming to, so they posted up an armed guard there. The guy would walk up and down the beach with an AK-47. He didn’t know anything about Tagbanwa culture, and how important fishing is to them. So, the day before, there was this little guy, a native,

in his hand-dug canoe that he uses to fish the reef at that beach, which, by the way, his ancestors had been doing for thousands of years. And, so, the guard sees him out there and starts yelling at him to leave before hopping in his power boat with his AK-47 to shoo him away from this suddenly private property. The guard throttles the engine and buzzes the native guy so close that he flips over his little canoe. The [Tagbanwa] guy doesn’t say a word; he just rights his canoe, pulls himself back in, and quietly paddles away. So, the next morning, right there on this pristine, beautiful, white sand beach, there’s a bamboo spike standing straight up-and-down for the whole world to see—and sitting there on top is the guard’s severed head.

Whoa! Was there a trial or any sort of prosecution? No, everyone knew what happened and nobody went to jail. You do not tell someone they cannot fish there. So, here I am, this tall, white girl who had just found a sponsor who gave me some seed money to set up a tiny island school to teach the Tagbanwa about basic coral reef ecology, like sustainable reef management. I thought, maybe, we’d have twenty kids, but we ended up that first day with seventy-six. After a while,

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the parents were like, “Hey, can you also teach my kids how to read and write?” But, to get funding from the [Philippine] government to expand our curriculum, you had to provide their birth certificates, which nobody had. It took a long time to figure out how to obtain them, but we did. And, so, we hired some new teachers, hired a cook and everything because many of these kids are little, just six or seven years old. Some would paddle a canoe eight hours from a different island to get there. We also built a little dorm and fed them through the week. I’ll never forget it, because when we designed the dorm, it was like something we’d have back home with all of these separate little rooms with bamboo beds. But the kids were so used to sleeping all together that they would cuddle-up in the middle of the floor with each other and sleep in just one of the rooms like a big pile of puppies.

Was this when you wrote your first book? Yes, I made an ABC book based on all the animals on the island, which was tiny by the way, you could walk about the whole thing in seven minutes, but there was just so much wildlife diversity. I’ll never forget my time there, but I eventually made my way back to the States where I did more field work and really got into art. And then I got a grant with NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] to do a children’s book, illustrate and write about rock fish, and I threw a mermaid in there and that kind of became my thing, the Mermaid Scientist. Now, I’m back in SLO where I work as a scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. I do art on the side, and NOAA is providing my books for free to classrooms along with a curriculum and a poster, which is so exciting and will, hopefully, spark a little something in somebody one day.

48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
SLO LIFE
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254 words with Jayson Maulé

Born and raised in Arroyo Grande, after graduating High School I attended Portland State University as a graphic design major. I’m currently enrolled in Pacific Conservatory Theater—Professional Actor Training Program [PCPA]—in my final year and have plans to apply to grad school. I had always known I wanted to be an artist and began exploring, largely due to the art classes my parents had put me through when I was younger. Color theory and composition have been the biggest takeaways from art school, and it dramatically impacts my work today.

There are a multitude of reasons, and people, that brought me to where I am today. But, I attribute much of where I am to leaving college athletics—cross country and track—and then beginning my training as an actor. I feel something artistically opened inside me after making that decision.

I believe inspiration happens as a process of habit, and as a byproduct of my subconscious attempting to make sense of things. At least, that is how I approach my work. I am inspired when I allow myself to romanticize the past or allow myself simply to fantasize, without dissociation, and only sometimes is this easy. I also draw creativity from tactile feelings from music, textures, and kinesthetic response.

Currently, my focus is just being consistent, meaning getting a brush to canvas and finding something I can expound on. The trend lately is exploring different textures, surfaces, and thicknesses and how they can relate to each other to create the composition.

50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
| ARTIST
PHOTOGRAPHY
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| SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 Thank you to our generous sponsors sloma.org
Barbara Renshaw

Home/Work at SLOMA

On Friday, November 18 over 300 members and community leaders gathered to celebrate the premiere of Home/Work at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Guests included artists from Chicago to LA, the group toasted the exhibition, cheered for it’s generous sponsors, and enjoyed wines hosted by Hope Family Wines.

The exhibition features the work of fourteen contemporary artists whose works invite visitors to consider what does home mean to you?

Home/Work is open to the public through March 5, 2023. SLOMA is open Thursday through Monday 11a.m. to 5p.m.

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53
Photos courtesy of Heraldo Creative Studio.

Within Reach

Wendelin Van Draanen moved to the Central Coast at a young age. With over thirty titles to her credit, she’s one of the most prolific authors on the Central Coast. Best known for her award-winning “Sammy Keyes” mystery series for young readers, many of her books have become bestsellers. Her “Shredderman” series was made into a movie by Nickelodeon and in 2010, her novel “Flipped” became a feature film directed by Rob Reiner. Needless to say, she’s accomplished more than most throughout her twenty-five-plus year multi-genre writing career, yet she has managed to stay humble and grateful.

She recently published her first work of historical fiction, “The Peach Rebellion.” Inspiration came from an affection for her mother-in-law whose past she knew little about. One reviewer describes it ‘The Grapes of Wrath meets Grease.’ “The Peach Rebellion” is a Young Adult (YA) historical novel set in the Central Valley (a fictionalized Oakdale) during the post-dustbowl era when Wendelin’s motherin-law was growing up. Just as the elements combine to produce a peach, the three main characters come together in a memorable story.

Wendelin pointed out that 55% of the audience for YA books are in fact adults seeking stories of discovery and innocence (as compared to the darker themes so prevalent in adult fiction today). “The Peach Rebellion” has been popular with women’s book clubs where Wendelin often makes surprise appearances.

A note about Wendelin’s tenacity: She spent over ten years sending out query letters before landing an agent. It wasn’t until she had been picked up by a major publisher that she made the difficult choice to walk away from her beloved teaching career. Part memoir, part self-help for writers, “Hope in the Mail” is the non-fiction title that has landed her on the stage at writers’ conferences around the country.

When writing books that appeal to children, it helps to be a teacher and parent. Her popular “Shredderman” series came about because she couldn’t find books that appealed to her two sons. To market her books (a role that publishers now expect from authors), she speaks at schools and has developed strong relationships with librarians.

Supporting Wendelin in her journey is her husband Mark Parsons, who himself became a full-time author in 2014 after a career with PG&E at Diablo Canyon (I will be featuring Mark in a future issue).

Currently, Wendelin is assisting Mark with the launch of his latest title, “The 9:09 Project.” Book marketing itself is a fulltime job and she confided in me that it took her three months just to set up an eleven-day book tour.

Where does she find inspiration? In her own words: “What inspires me to write is wanting to give my reader a compelling story that leaves them thinking more broadly about the world and their role in it.” SLO LIFE

54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 | AUTHOR
@WendelinVanD wendelinvand.com READ MORE
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Sonic SOak

Over a decade ago, I sat in a marriage counseling session where our counselor asked my husband Michael and I to come up with our list of absolute life necessities. Being very literal, I instantly thought of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and made my list: water, food, shelter, love. When it came to Michael, however, his list included travel, massages, exercise, and my personal favorite: going to a concert once a month! We all got a good laugh about how different our two lists were.

While he certainly hasn’t been to a concert every month, and has somehow managed to survive, we do both love music. So, when we had an opportunity to experience a private sound bath with Natalie Teichmann and Jon Nowaczyk of Let’s Get Tuned, we knew we’d love it. I had heard them both demonstrate the singing bowls one day with my daughter. It was peaceful, beautiful, and instantly relaxed me. Since Michael had never experienced it, I knew this would be the perfect date night.

As luck would have it, our day leading up to the sound bath had been more hectic than usual. We were irritable, our kids’ energy was unruly, and we had been running behind all day, which stressed us out. As we drove to the Let’s Get Tuned studio in Cayucos, I commented on how much we could use a sound bath. I mean, if you’re going to be surly on date night, you may as well go get a sound bath together to flip the mood around.

Sound baths facilitate an environment of cellular healing through the vibrational resonance of sound. It regulates your nervous system and places the body into a deep state of relaxation that allows itself to heal. The theory behind the practice is that your body is an instrument and needs to be tuned to operate optimally.

TIP!

To book a sound bath privately, check out letsgettuned.com for scheduling and pricing. You can also follow them on Instagram @letsgettuned to learn more about local community sound baths.

56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
| EXPLORE

As a highly sensitive person, nervous system regulation has been my saving grace for being a grounded, happy human. This particular night both Michael and I needed to get out of our proverbial funks and something told me this sound bath would be the perfect solution.

We arrived at the studio, met the owners, and were taken into a beautiful space overlooking the Pacific Ocean at sunset. The studio was thoughtfully adorned with plants and sound instruments. It was peaceful—our heart rate slowed just walking in the door.

They showed us how to use a medical grade tuning fork, the vibration of which is said to not only instantly bring your nervous system into regulation but to boost your body’s natural production of nitric oxide (immune boosters). We learned to tune ourselves, and then each other. Both fully relaxed, we laid down and for an hour as Teichmann and Nowaczyk played top line instruments from Grotta Sonora Gongs to crystal singing bowls.

A symphony of sound engulfed us as we laid there. Time stood still. The experience started with peaceful singing bowls, then moved into the deeper vibrations of the gong that grew from rumbling into a shockingly immersive depth that shook any heavy emotions right out of our bodies. The practitioners then went back to playing the singing bowls and ended the session with a peaceful French chime reminiscent of running water.

We loved it. We felt lighter, and Michael revealed how he’d walked into the session with a lot of inner turmoil but when they played the loudest gong, he felt it disperse immediately. It was so powerful.

Teichmann and Nowaczyk generously allowed us to play various instruments and we were happy to learn they offer teacher trainings. The pair believes the more people who learn how to bring themselves into a deep state of peace and ease, the happier the world will be. We couldn’t agree more.

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Keith Moon

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAEDEN BARLETT

Known as an intelligent, docile breed of bunny, New Zealand White Rabbits are easily recognized by their dense white fur, red eyes, and upstanding ears. While Keith Moon would love to live a rock and roll lifestyle trashing hotel rooms, he spends his time instead as a silly and snuggly housemate in San Luis Obispo. SLO LIFE

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beach house

| DWELLING

Bungalow

CConstraints often lead to the most creative solutions. When Tom and Marla Williams purchased their home in Cayucos their intention was to have an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area and an excuse so Tom could fit in as much surf time as possible. They didn’t anticipate living there full time, but with the couple retiring, the children moving out of the house, and a community waiting for them by the ocean, a slower pace of life didn’t sound too bad.

The Williams had completed a few partial remodels and decided they were up for the challenge of transforming their beach shack from the ‘40s into something new. After interviewing architects and general contractors, they began assembling their team. They knew that more important than their relationship with each individually, it would be important that the architect and general contractor could work well together. During the project, the Williams would be staying in the Bay Area, four hours away, and not only was it their first new construction project, it was all happening during the unchartered territory of the pandemic.

They interviewed Nina Nazarov Hambly, Principal Architect and Founder of Catch Architecture, and immediately connected with her. Hambly, a >>

64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 65 MODERN 705 Paso Robles Street, Paso Robles, CA 805-227-6697 • a1glasswindows.com Visit our New Window and Door Experience Center in downtown Paso Robles! Marvin Signature® Modern windows and doors bring exceptional design and performance to any home. Now available on the Central Coast with your local Marvin dealer and the certified installation experts at A-1 Glass.

Cal Poly alumnus who focuses on residential and boutique commercial spaces, had completed several projects in the Bay Area and was being drawn back to the Central Coast. Her portfolio spoke for itself and they were attracted by her desire to make the design process as comfortable as possible. Dan Chivens of D Chivens Construction, who focuses primarily on new construction home and boutique commercial projects, is Cayucos-based and came highly recommended due to his attention to detail and organized way of running a project. It was a perfect pairing.

When Catch Architecture started the design process, they knew the main challenge would be to meet all the city’s building constraints, which were in place to preserve the charm that makes up the seaside community of Cayucos— the reason the Williams wanted to relocate in the first place. They explored working with the existing structure, but decided that it would be more cost-effective, and less constrictive on the design process, to just tear the home down and start from scratch. From a design perspective, the vision was clear. The Williams wanted a space that was modern, subtle, and warm.

From a construction point of view, tasked with a modern design, Chivens knew that the devil was in >>

66 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67 Images are representational only and may di er from homes as constructed. Square footages are approximate. Seller makes no representations or warranties that the view from the property will remain the same. Future development changes to and growth of landscaping and the like may impact any current views from the property. Homes are constructed and marketed by WCP Developers LLC (CA Contractor License #1035148) and real estate sales brokered by WCP Real Estate, Inc. (CA DRE License #02055906), on behalf of Avila Ranch Developers, Inc., a California corporation. ©2022 Wathen Castanos Homes. All rights reserved. Equal Housing Opportunity. avilaranchslo.com Follow us on social: /avilaranchslo /avilaranch Come Visit Us! Getting to Avila Ranch from famous Highway 101 is easy breezy! We are just a couple miles south of downtown SLO in the heart of wine country. Sales O ce Open 7 Days - 11 am to 5 pm 211 Bravo St, San Luis Obispo, CA. jillp@wchomes.com 831.531.9038 Scan For Directions Starting from the 3-4 Bedrooms 2.5 Baths $900s 1,811 – 2,273 sq. ft. Starting from the 2-3 Bedrooms 1-2.5 Baths $800s 819 – 1,708 sq. ft. New year, New home! You deserve this. The holidays are here and what would be better than starting a new year in a beautiful new home in the heart of San Luis Obispo. Located just a few miles south of downtown SLO among award-winning wineries, the homes at Avila Ranch are connected to nine di erent parks by a network of paths and trails for all residents to enjoy. Come visit us today so you can tour the models, pick your homesite and floorplan, and take the first step toward the sun-drenched lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

the details. The luxury of trim to hide imperfections isn’t available and the planning phase needs to be prioritized. Luckily, he had the team to pull it off. Joel Garcias of Garcias Bros, Richard Harrison of Harrison Electric, and Alex Apodaca worked tirelessly to bring the vision to life.

The second story was challenging from a structural perspective. The clients wanted to maximize lighting in the home but also wanted to retain privacy. This led them to use custom skylights installed in key areas. Sound Structural Solutions was able to come up with a concept to support that vision, but also retained the modern design aesthetic that the clients desired. Their plan created one of Chivens’ favorite design elements of the house—the stacked roofline.

La Cantina doors on the back wall of the house bridged the inside and outside living areas and created ample room for hosting. They also focused on the heart of the home, the kitchen. It was important to the Williams to have a large island so people could gather and serve as a piece where beauty meets function. Because this was all taking place during the shutdown, the reality of supply chain issues was a hurdle they had to overcome. Ultimately, it pushed them to find alternates, many of which they ended up appreciating even more than their initial selections. >>

68 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023

Since the couple enjoys hosting and entertaining, it was important that friends from out of town felt comfortable and would visit often. Marla was also up for the challenge of being the interior designer on the project and was able to pull the design elements together seamlessly. With guests in mind, she had a vision of a bunk room but when it came time to furnish it, had a hard time finding what she had in mind. She wanted larger beds for guests and could only find a twin bed over a full bed, not a full bed over a queen. She decided to have them custom-built, and it is one of her favorite details in the home.

The Williams could not be happier with how their home came together, and more importantly, the great experience which they credit to the thorough and visionary team of builders. Hambly says the smooth process is largely due to transparency from the beginning to the end. With the entire team working to create a home the client loves and functions the way they need, when everyone has the information required, it helps the process run a little faster and a lot smoother. Chivens also adds the importance of identifying the entire team early, even if it isn’t time for a tradesman to be involved, they may offer invaluable insight. From dream to reality, the Williams are grateful to the team that brought their vision to life. SLO LIFE

70 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 SLO LIFE ® *Comparing October 2021 to October 2022 // San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS | REAL ESTATE STATISTICS COUNTY WIDE MEDIAN SELLING PRICE $775,000 UP FROM $759,500 ONE YEAR AGO ACTIVE LISTINGS 579 UP FROM 488 LAST YEAR AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET twenty four DOWN FROM 26 LAST YEAR PROPERTIES SOLD 1,845 DOWN FROM 2,719 LAST YEAR AVERAGE PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT $508 UP FROM $498 LAST YEAR AVERAGE % OF ASKING PRICE 97.3% DOWN FROM 100% LAST YEAR

THANK YOU FROM

FAMILY TO YOURS...

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 73 BHGREHAVEN.COM 805.592.2050 FOR THE AGENTS AND STAFF AT HAVEN PROPERTIES, REAL ESTATE IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A TRANSACTION. IT IS ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE MEET, THE FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY WE SERVE AND THE JOY OF CELEBRATING HOME OWNERSHIP.
our Clients, Families & Friends a vibrant holiday season, a new home overflowing with love, and a New Year filled with joy, peace, and prosperity. Whether you are an existing Client or a new one, we are proud you are a part of the Haven Family! In the spirit of the holidays, thank you for the prviliege of representing you. Happy Holidays!
OUR
Wishing

laguna lake

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2021 72 $777,689 $784,761 100.91% 16

2022 45 $987,111 $1,040,937 105.45% 9

+/-37.50% 26.93% 32.64% 4.54% -55.56%

tank farm

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2021 63 $942,938 $946,746 100.40% 28

cal poly area

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2021 36 $1,169,433 $1,160,365 99.22% 28

country club

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2021 18 $1,397,944 $1,398,020 100.01% 15

2022 33 $1,243,928 $1,277,806 102.72% 14

+/-47.62% 31.92% 34.97% 2.32% -50.00%

2022 18 $1,197,555 $1,249,506 104.34% 14

+/-50.00% 2.40% 7.68% 5.12% -50.00%

2022 19 $1,909,316 $1,948,938 102.80% 25

REAL

ESTATE BY THE NUMBERS

down town

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2021 84 $942,963 $954,878 101.26% 34

Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

2021 36 $941,886 $952,612 101.14% 31

2022 49 $1,151,745 $1,187,647 103.12% 21

+/5.56% 36.58% 39.41% 2.79% 66.67%

+/-41.67% 22.14% 24.38% 1.86% -38.24%

2022 22 $1,269,955 $1,289,212 101.52% 17

+/-38.89% 34.83% 35.33% 0.38% -45.16%

2022 35 $1,093,311 $1,157,793 105.90% 22 johnson avenue *Comparing 01/01/21 - 11/07/21 to 01/01/22 - 11/07/22

2021 55 $1,074,473 $1,103,471 102.70% 22

+/-36.36% 1.75% 4.92% 3.20% 0.00%

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS

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| SLO CITY SLO LIFE
®
foothill boulevard
Total Homes Sold Average Asking Price Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price Average # of Days on the Market

$725,495 $1,890,977 $1,120,137 $1,550,706 $1,008,750 $708,087 $849,467 $1,008,074 $856,346 $664,559 $1,321,458 $611,245 $879,451 $926,624 $910,552 $1,021,953 $743,646 $1,034,831 $886,753

$1,134,906 $849,849 $2,193,483 $1,273,938 $1,823,375 $1,391,786 $746,181 $1,007,710 $1,119,510 $1,004,649 $756,978 $1,444,124 $726,960 $832,278 $1,207,081 $862,107 $1,267,798 $764,333 $1,313,034 $1,011,746

76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO COUNTY SLO LIFE Arroyo Grande Atascadero Avila Beach Cambria/San Simeon Cayucos Creston Grover Beach Los Osos Morro Bay Nipomo Oceano Pismo Beach Paso (Inside City Limits) Paso (North
- East 101) Paso
Paso
San Luis Obispo Santa Margarita Templeton Countywide BY THE NUMBERS 2021 328 352 24 166 55 8 142 128 151 259 49 117 379 44 92 60 427 23 150 2,719 2022 225 258 15 110 46 7 105 113 96 206 45 89 290 41 70 38 255 9 75 1,845 REGION NUMBER OF HOMES SOLD 2021 25 15 28 42 39 33 16 15 38 23 23 29 17 32 42 37 26 30 34 26 2022 24 16 22 32 80 78 21 18 24 22 28 23 18 20 52 22 17 22 21 24 AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET 2021 $1,006,463
AVERAGE SELLING PRICE *Comparing 01/01/21 - 11/07/21 to 01/01/22 - 11/07/22 REAL ESTATE ® San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS 895 Pismo Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Ben Lerner 805.441.9486 www.blerner.com ben.lerner@ccm.com Win the rate game! 3-2-1 rate buydown Let me help you find the right option! The 3-2-1 temporary buydown gives you a lower rate and lower monthly payments for the first three years of your loan. Equal Housing Opportunity. All loans subject to underwriting approval. Certain restrictions apply. Call for details. All borrowers must meet minimum credit score, loan-to-value, debt-to-income, and other requirements to qualify for any mortgage program. CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC NMLS3029 NMLS2131793 NMLS395723 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).
46
(North 46 - West 101)
(South 46 - East 101)
2022
DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77 ForgeaNatural Connection www.GardensbyGabriel.com lic.# 887028 805-215-0511

You Say You Want to Start a Revolution?

It turns out that blood glucose—for all of us, not just diabetics— may hold the key to good health.

So, one day, there was a funny post popping up on our Instagram. It was two diagrams, one stacked upon the other, along with some food. One of the diagrams was a massive silhouette of a dramatic peak, while the other looked like a nondescript and very rounded foothill. There were two arrows, one said “Spike,” and the other said, “No spike.” We took the bait and clicked.

The woman behind the post answers to the handle “glucosegoddess,” and she apparently has something like 1.2 million followers. After poking around her page for a few minutes, we quickly became very enthusiastic followers number 1,200,001. And we bought her book just published by Simon & Schuster called “Glucose Revolution.”

The Cliffs Notes version: When she was nineteen, Jessie Inchauspé broke her second thoracic vertebra in fourteen places after a failed cliff dive while vacationing in Hawaii. She recounts many years of pain and rarely feeling like “herself.” Never fully recovering, she suffered debilitating brain fog and sometimes uncontrollable mood swings. But she soldiered on in her schooling, eventually becoming a researcher employed by the company 23andMe where she found herself signing up for a project conducted by the Health Research & Development Team who then outfitted a group of employees with continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) looking into food response for non-diabetics.

Most people have never heard of CGMs, but they are becoming more popular among diabetics because it allows them to measure their blood glucose on an ongoing basis without pricking their fingers. The Glucose Goddess then went about her business, dutifully writing down everything she ate in her food journal and noting how she felt, as the project required, along with recording the CGM numbers before and after the meal. What she learned next ignited a revolution.

In a nutshell, the Glucose Goddess discovered that all her debilitating symptoms came roaring back when her blood sugar spiked. Yet, she felt great when it was flat. She excitedly relayed the news to her friends who just weren’t understanding it. Until she drew a diagram. Orange juice, spike. Orange, no spike. Bread, spike. Bread slathered with real butter, no spike. The experiments went on and on with each one of them posted to her Instagram page. People began to follow her lead, finding that they, too, were feeling much better, had more energy, and were also losing weight.

Now, we get to the meat and potatoes of the book—pardon the pun, but just be sure to eat the meat first, okay?—where the hard science is explained. For the sake of brevity, we’re going to skip that here and instead get to the good stuff. Just know, that it all comes down to insulin and the truly shocking revelation that only about 12% of us have optimally functioning glucose levels. For now, we’re going to jump to the hacks discovered by Inchauspé, of which there are twelve. We’ve abbreviated those, too, so please consider the following “hacked up” hacks—all of them proven to flatten the curve. >>

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DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 79 © 2022 Innerbloom Ketamine Therapy, A California Professional Corporation (805) 321-8471 | www.innerbloomkt.com | ig: innerbloomkt
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#1

– Eat Foods in the Right Order

According to the author, the right order is fiber first, protein and fat second, starches and sugars last. In other words, skip the breadbasket at the restaurant. Or, if you want the bread, ask the waiter to leave it for dessert.

#2

– Add a Green Starter to All Your Meals

Inchauspé shares the story of sending her mother a card, which read: “OMG—My mom was right about everything!” Specifically, she was talking about salad and her mom’s insistence they always start with one.

#3

– Stop Counting Calories

Making the case that calories are nothing but a red herring taking our attention away from the important stuff, Inchauspé explains how calories are counted by literally setting the food on fire and measuring the heat it generates. But—and this is a very big but—you’ve got to stop snacking. Instead, stick with two or three meals a day.

#4

– Flatten Your Breakfast Curve

The author explains that our acceptance of packaged cereals, pastries, and juices to begin our day is setting off a metabolic avalanche dysregulating our blood glucose, which most of us struggle throughout the day to calm. Better off skipping breakfast altogether if you can, or go with something savory.

#5

– Have Any Type of Sugar You Like—They’re All the Same

Here, she takes a deep dive into the different types of sweeteners finding problems with all of them because to some degree—some of them worse than others—they all spike blood glucose. Better to avoid them altogether or eat them in their natural form, like an apple.

#6

– Pick Dessert Over A Sweet Snack

According to the Glucose Goddess, snacking is a relatively new human habit. We didn’t used to do it, at least not nearly as much until starting in the ‘80s when it became “a thing.” She advises having dessert after the meal and skipping the midafternoon bag of chips.

#7

– Reach for Vinegar Before You Eat

The science on this one is fascinating. Too much to recount here, but you can read all about in her book. It’s interesting to learn that this is an ancient practice apparently found in many parts of the Middle East.

#8

– After You Eat, Move

Turns out the after-dinner stroll has some merit, and a lot of it. Inchauspé talks here about an Indian custom roughly translated as “one hundred steps after a meal.” Her CGM diagrams sure make a compelling case for adopting the practice.

#9

– If You Have to Snack, Go Savory

This is perhaps her most impassioned argument, which is simply don’t snack. Instead, eat fullsized filling meals two or three times a day. It was the snacking that messed her up the most, and her food diaries proved it. But, if you must, don’t snack on carbs. Go big with something filling.

#10

– Put Some Clothes on Your Carbs

If not eating carbs is not an option, you can slow the spike and flatten the curve by slathering them with some fat. She gives the example of a bowl of white rice. Don’t eat it plain, instead dress

80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
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DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81 It pays to support SLO! ENJOY TWO SHOP LOCAL INCENTIVES: Buy LocalBonus Nov 25–Dec 24 Spend $100 at SLO RETAIL stores and earn a $25 gift card for another local biz! Eat Local Bonus Jan 2–jan 31 Spend $100 at SLO RESTAURANTS and earn a $25 gift card for another local eatery! Scan for details!

Island

Paso Robles’ newest restaurant and bar is as laid-back and tropical as they come.

| TASTE
Time

“Who opens a tiki bar in wine country?” This is my first question for general manager Jeff Kennedy when I walk into the Cane Tiki Room in Paso Robles, a low-lit, campycute place decorated with stuffed macaws, blowfish lanterns, and a giant tiki statue that lights up and breathes steam behind the bar. After all, Paso has no shortage of excellent eateries and drinkeries—the new Hemingway Steakhouse and the underground Libretto Jazz & Wine Lounge sit just down Park Street from Cane. Do we really need another bar and grill thrown into the mix?

“Tiki is almost a cult thing,” Kennedy explains. “For people who love it, they come from all over to hit another tiki bar. There’s really no other one for miles around, so fans are coming out to see us. And they’re all-in.”

Cane is the fourth establishment under the Park & Pine Group umbrella, which also operates Pappy McGregor’s, Fish Gaucho, and 1122 Speakeasy, all located within a block’s distance of Paso Robles’ buzzy City Park. If you’ve dined or libated at any of these spots, you know how dialed-in the vibe is. At Pappy’s, it’s a legit Irish pub with a stellar whiskey list. At Fish Gaucho, it’s Baja-style Mexican food, accompanied by a wall of tequilas and mezcals. And at 1122 Speakeasy, it’s velvet drapes, brass fixtures, and slinky Prohibition-era cocktails. Clearly, Park & Pine Group owners Troy Larkin and Donovan Schmit know how to run with a theme.

But whereas Larkin and Schmit started at the drawing board with their first three businesses, Cane came about via the Covid lockdown. “At the Speakeasy, everything’s indoors,” says Kennedy, who had worked at Fish Gaucho previous to the tiki bar. “To keep things flowing during the pandemic, rather than try to recreate the Speakeasy outside, we did a pop-up tiki bar theme instead. And it went really well.”>>

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83

So well, in fact, that the Park & Pine Group decided to make the tiki bar idea official with a brick-andmortar place. They took over Stein’s BBQ next door to Fish Gaucho and Kennedy got busy designing the menu.

“We are a rum-focused bar,” he says while assembling a “Swizzle My Granny,” a play on the Chartreuse Swizzle, made with apple-infused Chartreuse. “A lot of people don’t know much about rum, or assume that because it’s distilled from sugarcane that it’s sweet, but it’s not.” I sip the Swizzle, enjoying the interplay of fruity, tart, and bitter flavors.

And then there are the garnishes: all of Cane’s drinks go the distance with bobbles and doo-dads, orchids, fanned fruit, and even one drink that’s lit on fire and sprinkled with cinnamon that sparks in the flames. Pure theater.

Kennedy explains that tiki culture began in the 1930s with Don the Beachcomber in Los Angeles, but it really flourished after World War II with places like Trader Vic’s in Oakland. Between their exposure to the South Pacific during the war and their bent toward escapism afterward, American men and women were primed to enjoy exuberant cocktails and so-called “exotic” foods in a relaxed, party atmosphere through the 1950s and into the ‘60s.

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From the Cane dinner menu, I order the Ahi Poke and Hawaiian Kabobs, both of which shine with the sweet and salty flavors that make shareable pu pu plates like these so irresistible. (In Hawaiian, the term pu pu refers to hors d’oeuvres.) I especially like the kabobs: simple spears of chicken, peppers, pineapple wedges, and onion, bathed in teriyaki and fired to a light char on the grill. As at Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s before it, Cane Tiki Room serves vaguely pan-Asian dishes that aren’t authentic to any one culture, but which have, over time, crystallized into a culture all their own. Egg rolls, Asian chicken salad, Mongolian beef, and Spam musubi all have their place here.

A spot like Cane Tiki Room is about much more than what’s on the menu, of course. According to Kennedy, for tiki aficionados, bars like this are a way of life, from the glowing pineapple lights that flank the entrance to the marimba music that streams from the speakers, the vintage tiki mugs that line the shelves to the clever and colorful menu.

And that brings me back around to my initial inquiry: Who the heck opens a tiki bar in wine country? Turns out a few very savvy, observant people do. Nothing against wine, but the market in Paso is downright saturated with it. To sip something vibrant and new from a long bendy straw while sharing family-friendly cuisine and listening to a steel drum rendition of Careless Whisper is a welcome—and deliciously unexpected—change of pace. SLO LIFE

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 85

One vine at a time

San Luis Obispo’s wine community was ecstatic earlier this year when the region was granted a coveted AVA (American Viticultural Area) designation. This lets consumers know that the grapes grown here in SLO are unique and that wines made from local fruit will provide a different sensory experience than wines made from grapes grown in other regions. This builds consumer awareness of our wineproducing community, and with just a few

releases flying the San Luis Obispo Coast AVA flag thus far, it’s obvious consumers are already seeking wines with the San Luis Obispo Coast AVA on the label. But aficionados and wine geeks are always on the lookout for more data, and wines from single vineyards provide exactly that.

Whether you’re talking about To-Kalon in Napa Valley, La Landonne in Côte-Rôtie, or the James Berry Vineyard in Paso Robles, a superstar individual site adds credibility to an entire region. Grapes from these vineyards are often sold to multiple wineries, giving wine lovers the opportunity to taste several different versions of the same grape source to compare, contrast, or just plain argue over which is the best.

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| WINE NOTES

Within the SLO Coast AVA borders, vineyards including Spanish Springs, Bassi, Stone Corral, and others are being noticed for the quality of grapes they’re growing. Enter winemaker Molly Bohlman where her work at the Jespersen Ranch in Edna Valley is generating excitement. The vineyard is 112 acres in total, with about 75 acres planted to grapevines. Located west of the SLO Regional Airport, it gets cool air blowing in from the Pacific every day. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Albariño, Grenache, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Meunier, are all sustainably farmed on the property.

Back in college, Bohlman had been studying French at the University of Minnesota when she headed to France for a semester and had her first serious exposure to wine. Upon her return home, she took a part-time job at the University’s experimental winery. At the end of her junior year, she moved to California to study

winemaking, graduating in 2000 from Cal Poly with a degree in Fruit Science and a Minor in Viticulture and Enology.

“I got a lot of experience working around the Central Coast, mainly at Tolosa where I ran the custom crush operation” says Bohlman. “I’d also been the assistant winemaker at Vina Robles and had worked at Gainey, but I wanted to work in Northern California, so I accepted a job offer from Paul Hobbs.”

“Working for Paul was the right job but at the wrong time,” she continues. “I was thirty-nine years old, pregnant with my first child, working these intense hours, and really focusing on my work to the exclusion of everything else. Stress is good for grapevines but bad for people, and I knew that once I’d had my baby, I really wouldn’t want to continue at that pace. While I was on maternity leave, Niner contacted me

about coming back to the Central Coast to make wine from the Jespersen Vineyard and I jumped at the chance.”

She joined Niner Wine Estates in 2014. “The fun part for me is that I’m only working with this one single vineyard and it’s fascinating to see what can be done here. We farm thirty acres of Pinot Noir, and fruit from each acre is fermented separately at the winery. I get to work with different rootstocks and soil components, which lets me tailor my winemaking process to each aspect of the vineyard. I’m looking to produce as complex of a wine as I can that will still reflect the vineyard. We did a replant in 2021 to pull out some blocks that weren’t performing and replaced them with new clones and varieties. They’ll come online in the next few years and I’m excited to explore the possibilities. Most of the grapes are used for Niner bottlings, but over the years we’ve sold to >>

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 87

local wineries like Dunites, Kynsi, and Stephen Ross. It’s always interesting to see how other winemakers approach the fruit differently than I would, but the vineyard always shines through.”

Niner Wine Estates owner Andy Niner says, “All of our Niner releases are made from grapes grown in our own vineyards. Molly’s viticulture focus before moving into winemaking has been so helpful to us. In the estate-grown wine game, having someone who understands both aspects means everything. She’s decisive and humble, and she’s all about seeing what the vintage gives us and coaxing the flavors out of the grapes. She’s working to improve the vines and bring them into more harmony with their surroundings, and the changes we’ve made under her guidance over the last few years will continue improving our wines thirty to fifty years down the line. I really respect her for that.”

Bohlman says, “As I’ve moved further along in my career, I like the idea of embracing this site and its diversity. When I was younger, I had a more expansive vision of what I wanted to achieve in wine, but about five years ago I realized how great my situation is here. and I’ve embraced what I’ve been given and I’m doing my best work with that, right here at Jespersen Ranch. This is my twenty-seventh harvest in the business, so it only took me twenty-plus years to figure that out!” SLO LIFE

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2021 Niner Wine Estates Sauvignon Blanc “SLO Coast Sauvignon Blanc is its own animal compared to New Zealand or France” says Bolman. “We get great natural acidity here but if you open up the grapevine canopy and let a lot of sunshine onto the grapes, you’ll bring out more tropical aromas.” This wine has big aromas of herbs and grass glide above stone fruits on your tongue. Long finish, rich texture, with a touch of earth, a beautiful wine that will likely improve with a year or two in the cellar. $30 2019 Niner Wine Estates Pinot Noir Reserve Bohlman captures the elegance of the SLO Coast by using two blocks in Jespersen that she feels consistently produce the best Pinot in the vineyard. Whole cluster fermentation brings out the essence of the vineyard in a wine with cinnamon and herb aromatics and dark fruit, brambles, and a little black tea on the palate. Luscious and long, it’s drinking well now but will evolve gracefully in the cellar for another five to ten years. $75
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expansion plan

| BREW

Normally, when a brewery expands, you can find a smaller version of their flagship location in an adjacent city—a second spot that serves loyal customers slightly closer to their homes with the same general interior vibe and a core line-up of flagship beers on tap, being fed in from the main brewery. This model proved a very good business idea by a lot of breweries, but was a death knell for others. I’m looking at you Modern Times. It can be quite a gamble stretching resources and splitting precious time between retail locations and the tightrope walk of success has to be just right or the drop starts to look precipitous. In some instances, the brewery makes such a good choice it surprises even the most hardened and cynical beer enthusiast. It’s me. I’m the skeptic.

Although, it’s hard to be skeptical when you hear news through the grapevine about a local brewery making a sideways move. Humdinger Brewing in the Village of Arroyo Grande had the unfortunate timing to schedule their Grand Opening the day after the statewide shelterin-place order came down in Spring of 2020, but have been brewing beer every day since, getting cans and kegs out to grocery stores, bottle shops, and restaurants as fast as their loyal customers will drink them. I’ve written about Humdinger’s beers before and personally like the Piston Honda, a Japanese rice lager. Dry to finish and immensely drinkable. Surprisingly, the news that came down to me wasn’t about a smaller version of their AG location popping up in San Luis Obispo, or Grover Beach, or a myriad of other cities that would enjoy a taproom they could get to slightly easier. >>

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“Humdinger Brewing just purchased Doc’s Cellar.” Now, if you don’t know, Doc’s Cellar is kind of a legend in the local beer community. It’s a wealth of supplies and knowledge for “fermentation artists” throughout the county that want to try their hand at making beer, wine, spirits, and cider. I myself have bought champagne yeast to turn an over-producing apple tree into hard cider, perused stainless steel fittings when I was prototyping kegerator parts for my old business, and just wandered the aisles thinking about turning something sugary into something boozy. On warm mornings of any given summer beer festival, you can find brewers and staff lining up to frantically buy last-minute parts to seamlessly serve their creations when gates open to thousands of attendees in just a matter of hours.

Why would a brewery buy a store full of yeast, hops, stainless fittings, and hundreds of yards of thermoplastic vinyl hosing? Yeah, of course, they need this stuff, but they can buy it without buying a store, too. I asked Lee Samways, one of the founders, if it was just to get supplies at wholesale pricing and he gave me his signature wry smile and shook his head “No.” Obviously, that’s a lot of work to save a few bucks, but I’m a hard-hitting journalist and have to ask these tough questions to break the story. The simpler answer is that there is also a brewery at Doc’s Cellar. Now, you can’t go out and buy Doc’s Cellar IPA at your local pub, but if you’ve been to a brewery or a restaurant with their own beer but can’t seem to spot a haggard looking brewer skulking around in rubber boots or see steam coming out from behind a closed door, there may be a chance that you’re actually drinking Doc’s beer. Contract

brewing has been a part of Doc’s for years and now it gets a kick of professional and dedicated brewers behind their product. An even bigger boon is that Humdinger can keep up with their personal demand and increase the brewery’s selection using Doc’s additional equipment to brew their own recipes.

My business brain is turning thinking what a great move this was to increase production while diversifying, but while talking to Samways and fellow founder, Justin Amy, I was even more impressed with their larger philosophy. Now, I’ve been circling the Doc’s scene for well over fifteen years but only as an outsider. They started telling me about the SLO Brewers (or SLOB’s as the homebrew club is colloquially known) and the long, storied past of fresh faced kids that walked in their doors, sat down at a meeting, and walked out that night sporting a full-beard, muttering words like krausen and flocc.

Digging deeper into Doc Cellar’s roots in the area, Samways, Amy, and store manager Aaron Smith start listing all the notable freshman they’ve hosted over the years. It turns out to be quite a illustrious lineup of names I recognize. No less than three head brewers from Central Coast Brewing, one from Oak and Otter (behind Trader Joes in SLO), as well as notable brewers from the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Seismic Brewing, Captain Fattys Brewery, and the aforementioned Modern Times (we don’t blame Stewart for their fate). It really struck me then and there that Doc’s Cellar doesn’t just make beers, they make brewers.

Being a brewing supply store, owned by brewers, and housing a brewery, we were able to sample some of the bottles heading to Colorado to be entered in the Great American Beer Festival which is always such a special treat. I acted like a BJCP elitist, a beer judge, and we talked about their entries in this year’s contest while rapidly going through various style merits. Quickly dispatching those bottles, we had some Humdinger beers fresh from the tap, leaving the bottle cooler full of colorful unopened cans. Wait just a second . . . is this a second location in a neighboring city serving the same flagship beers in a slightly smaller taproom!? Well, the article is almost done, so it is what it is.

I’m really excited for the team at Humdinger to take over the well-established Doc’s Cellar. It was not only a smart move but, like a fine Persian rug, it really tied the room together, bringing the brewery and brewing community full circle. I look forward to the short-term benefits of having more, delicious, fresh beer readily available, regardless of whose name is on the label, and the longer term benefits of seasoned pros training the next generation of brewers. So, let’s raise a nonic of refreshing German pilsner to the sky and say, “Ships Ahoy, Krispy Boi” to Humdinger Brewing, the new owners of Doc’s.

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SLO LIFE
DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 93 Paid Advertisement Recent state legislation has potentially impacted decommissioning and continued operations of Diablo Canyon Power Plant Attend a webinar with topics including an overview of SB 846 and PG&E's responses to the legislation on December 14, 2022 at 6pm. To see the agenda and submit questions or comments in advance, visit www.diablocanyonpanel.org Hosted by the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. WIRELESS INTERNET FOR THE CENTRAL COAST NO CONTRACTS . NO DATA LIMITS INSTALLATION ONLY $99 805.556.4065 | peakwifi.com

Farm Lux

Okay, so, I’ll admit it, this was the first time I’ve ever slept in a dairy barn. The three-bedroom, four-bath is now a long, long way from its roots, but the bones are there. And so is the spirit. While nothing short of ultra-lux, the space expertly captures the spirit of a working farm. Partly, I suppose, because it is in the middle of a working farm. Therein lies the magic of MarFarm, it places you there, but at the same time is also takes you away.

As much as the interior captured my imagination, it was the outside space that allowed it to take flight. With sweeping views of the Edna Valley, the grounds are impeccable. Not a blade of grass bending the wrong direction. It seemed to me the perfect place for a mellow cocktail party with friends around the fire, or the ideal headquarters for a pre- or post-wedding family gathering. And, speaking of cocktails, there’s a larger-than-life rooster in the courtyard, which made for one of the most Instagrammable sights I’ve seen in a while. Everywhere, in every direction, there was no single, tiny, super obscure detail that had been left unconsidered. But, even with all those amenities— truly, too many to list—it somehow captures and honors the rustic nostalgia of its heritage.

94 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023 | GETAWAY

GETTING THERE

In addition to the 3,000-square-foot accommodations, there is also a smaller guesthouse nearby called MarCasa. They can both be found in the Edna Valley off of Highway 227, not far from Claiborne & Churchill Winery. Be sure to make arrangements before arriving, however, as the private property is not accessible without a gate code.

While it could be called a three-bedroom house, it’s probably more accurate to describe it as three separate master suites. Plus, of course, all the amenities you would expect in a house, and so much more. First off, let’s talk about the bathrooms. Each of them featured walk-in showers filled with tile imported from Morocco. And those fixtures, all brushed gold. My favorite was soaking in the tub while watching the farm animals amble in the pasture. It all paired so well with a chilled glass of Sauv Blanc. Another special touch were the fireplaces found in each of the suites. Curled up in plush Belgian sheets with a soft flame flickering in the background I wondered to myself: Why did it take me so long to sleep in a barn?

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SLO LIFE

Culture & Events

CINDERELLA

Last seen at PCPA in 2015 and back by popular demand for the whole family is the Broadway adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite, with a new book by Douglas Carter Beane. This fresh, contemporary take on the classic musical is full of new surprises, familiar friends, and of course unforgettable music.

Through December 23 // pcpa.org

NATURE NIGHTS

The SLO Botanical Garden presents an immersive outdoor holiday light and art exhibit for the entire family. Featuring large format light projections by Bryn Forbes, illuminated sculptures by Michael Reddell, and artistic lighting of garden areas by Kody Cava throughout eight acres, the event also includes a variety of culinary delights. Through January 8 // slobg.org

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME Cuesta

College drama presents “one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway,” a Tony Awardwinning play by Simon Stephens. Director bree Valle and her students bring this adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel alive in the intimate experimental theater at the college’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center on the SLO campus. December 1-4 & 9-11 // cuesta.edu

Winter Faire & Juried Craft Show

This very special holiday event offers a collection of exceptional paintings, photography, and fine crafts, spanning a variety of artistic mediums from traditional to contemporary. Crafts include fiber, wood, glass, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, and more. Whether you’re attending this extraordinary exhibit to observe or to find that perfect holiday gift, you are in for a delight.

Through January 2 // artcentermorrobay.org

HOME/WORK

The SLO Museum of Art presents the work of fourteen contemporary artists whose work together questions our collective experiences of home. The works reflect on the unique and intimate experiences of the artists who made them—and invite us to consider how we achieve balance in our busy lives of making home and making work.

The show includes new works by emerging artists, and recontextualized works by world-renowned leading feminist artists.

Through March 5 // sloma.org

A CHRISTMAS STORY

SLO Repertory Theatre’s Central Coast holiday tradition is back. The heartwarming, funny, nostalgic story of nine-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas returns to delight the whole family. Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows Ralphie as he pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself. Their consistent response: “You’ll shoot your eye out!”

December 3-18 // slorep.org

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LOCAL HISTORY SERIES: PEARL HARBOR

Join local historian and author Jim Gregory in commemorating Pearl Harbor Day at the Arroyo Grande Library. He discusses the internment of Japanese-Americans, World War II’s impact on the local area, and the contributions of local soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen.

December 7 & 10 // slolibrary.org

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

Celebrate this festive time of year with a San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble choral concert filled with holiday classics at the Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center at Cuesta College. Includes a Christmas singalong for the whole family. December 11 // vocalarts.org

THE NUTCRACKER

Featuring the full live OperaSLO orchestra, sterling production values, and SLO County’s finest dancers, filled with all the pageantry, magic and wonder that have made this one of the most enduring holiday traditions around the globe, this is a ballet experience you won’t want to miss. December 9-11 // civicballetslo.org

LIGHT UP A LIFE: PAWS TO REMEMBER

Hospice SLO hosts a remembrance ceremony that includes music, inspirational messages, poetry, and the lighting of hospice candles and the hospice tree in memory of cherished pets. The ceremony is free to attend, and for a donation of $25 or more, your cherished pet’s name is read aloud, their name is entered into the Memorial Book, and you’ll receive a lantern in their memory. December 14 // hospiceslo.org

REINDEER RUN

The SLO County Friday Night Live 5k fun run in downtown SLO’s Mitchell Park promotes wellness and healthy lifestyles among youth and families. Participants, volunteers, and spectators are encouraged to dress in their favorite holiday attire to kick off the winter season.

December 10 // slofnl.com

HOLIDAY FESTIVAL & SING-ALONG MESSIAH

It’s the most wonderful time of the year with the SLO Master Chorale featuring soloist Paul Woodring on the Forbes Pipe Organ at the Performing Arts Center SLO. Sing along and enjoy traditional carols and holiday arrangements for chorus, organ, and orchestra. December 17 // slomasterchorale.org

DEC/JAN 2023 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 97
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COME TOGETHER

Ring in the New Year with the SLO Symphony and a pops concert created by Canadian-based symphonic rock group Jeans ’n Classics. Bring your friends and your party hats to celebrate the hits of the ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s and enjoy the music of Queen, Earth Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, U2, A-ha, and more.

December 31 // slosymphony.org

TERENCE BLANCHARD

POLAR BEAR PLUNGE

Each year, thousands of brave individuals and teams converge on Cayucos Beach and Avila Beach to start the new year with a dip into the Pacific Ocean.

January 1 // cayucoschamber.com avilabeachpolarbearplunge.com

Oscar nominee and six-time Grammywinner Terence Blanchard pays a visit to the Performing Arts Center SLO, bringing along his internationally acclaimed band The E-Collective with the Turtle Island Quartet. An artistic force for making powerful musical statements concerning painful American tragedies, past and present, Blanchard interweaves melodies that create strong backdrops to human stories.

January 18 // calpolyarts.org

ESCAPED ALONE

Three old friends and a neighbor. A summer of afternoons in the back yard. Tea and catastrophe. Caryl Churchill’s conventiondefying play, presented as a staged reading at SLO Repertory Theatre’s downtown venue, juxtaposes backyard tea with environmental disaster, exploring themes of politics, crisis, communication, and female endurance.

January 27-28 // slorep.org

PIANO RECITAL

Pianist and Cal Poly professor emeritus W. Terrence Spiller performs works by Frédéric Chopin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sergei Prokofieff and Maurice Ravel, including Ravel’s sparkling “Jeux d’eau” and selections from Chopin’s “Etudes” Op. 10. Presented by the Cal Poly music department in Spanos Theatre of the Performing Arts Center SLO.

January 13 // music.calpoly.edu

BACH WEEK CHAMBER CONCERT

Enjoy the world-class musicians of Tesserae Baroque, a period instrument ensemble specializing in repertoire of the Renaissance and Baroque. The group presents a unique performance of works by Bach that have only survived in “secondary” versions, since the originals have been lost, including a trio sonata for recorder and violin based on Bach’s A-Major Flute Sonata, his Organ Sonata No 5 performed as instrumental trio, Reincken’s Sonata Prima in A Minor, and extracts from reconstructed cantatas.

January 20 // music.calpoly.edu

CATAPULT

This America’s Got Talent finalist features incredible dancers who work behind a screen to create magical shadow silhouettes of shapes from the world around us. Be amazed as they transform into a mountain, an elephant, a dragon, even a helicopter. You never know what they will create next—be surprised and delighted again and again with a show full of humor, emotion, and engaging stories.

January 28 // calpolyarts.org

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100 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2023
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