GAYS MILLS - On the fourteenth day of my trip, I woke up in Brentwood, California, at the home of Bob Lafollette.
I was not really surprised to see a ‘Lafollette for Mayor’ sign in Bob’s yard, given the family name’s association with politics. Turns out it was his son Paul’s sign.
After a sumptuous breakfast, and I mean sumptuous including a slab of homemade peach pie for dessert (at breakfast!) served by Bob’s wife Anna, Bob and I spent a pleasant morning catching up.
Bob is what I call a Model A maven. He has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, accumulated over a lifetime of working on the iconic Model A Ford. He also has a plethora of Model A parts which are meticulously stored in a collection of buildings and shelters behind his house.
Bob had agreed to supply me with a rebuilt transmission for my own 1930 Model A sedan and he carefully explained how he pieced the unit together from several separate transmissions.
I mentioned that I was going to Marina, California, next to see my nephew Ben. Anna and Bob both perked up and told me that their daughter Kristen lived in Marina and that I should meet her. I agreed to do that and after getting detailed instructions on how to get to Marina, I set off.
I never actually got lost on the way to Marina, but I did see quite a bit of the Golden State that I hadn’t expected to see. It seems that they just don’t mark the highways in California like I was used to in Wisconsin. It took me about 4 hours to go the 116 miles that I thought it would take. In fairness, I did get stuck in a whale of a traffic slowdown on the way that added about an hour to my travel time. Conservatively speaking, it was stop-and-go (mostly stop)for at least five miles on a four-lane divided road with no options for getting around a horrific wreck. It was near the San Luis Reservoir, if you’re familiar. After I passed the site of the accident, I drove 10 miles or more meeting the other 2 lanes creeping toward the problem.
Marina is a rapidly growing city about eight miles north of the heavily developed and densely populated Monterrey Peninsula. It’s the former site of Fort Ord, a huge military base that has been out of service since 1994. Marina has a lot to recommend it: right on the ocean, miles of sand beach, and it offers more affordable housing than its neighbors to the south.
I found Ben’s place and reconnected with my favorite nephew. Ben introduced me to Flame Pizza, an eatery that I had not heard of. They have a very clever business plan, you order a pizza just the way you like it, sort of like Chipotle and Subway operate, going down the line and saying, yes, yes, yes, as they pile on the extras. One price, no matter how laden you make it. It was a real treat.
Ben is a surfer and offered to take me surfing. I was sorely tempted by the offer but the surf wasn’t really ‘up’ that day. I did, however, get my feet wet in the Pacific once again at a beautiful beach somewhere between Pebble Beach and Carmel.My short stay in Marina was a very pleasant one and my recounting of it will be continued next week.