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Sunday, March 26, 2023

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Under the Chinaberry Tree

This Week On
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Monday, March 27
Michael Johnson Campbell Horses, etc
Tuesday, March 28
R. Agrasanches Harlingen Posters
Wednesday, March 29
Lu Mitchell Dallas Satire
Thursday, March 30
Harry Bob Martin Spur Theater
Friday, March 31
George Hallmark Meridian Artist
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by Tumbleweed Smith

"The grapes on a score of rolling hills are red with autumn flame. Across Sonoma Mountain wisps of sea fog are stealing. The afternoon sun smolders in the drowsy sky. I have everything to make me glad I am alive. I am filled with dreams and mysteries. I am all sun and air and sparkle. I am vitalized, organic."

Those words were written by Jack London, an adventurer and author who wrote 50 books (Call of the Wild, White Fang) from his ranch north of Sonoma, California in the early 1900ís. He died in 1916 at the age of 40. His place is now a state park.

We toured the area around Santa Rosa and Glen Ellen with some friends who live there. It is an extremely compact area. It seems we didnít go but a few miles and there would be something new to explore. In a one-block area we toured an olive oil manufacturing facility, a cheese company, a chocolate factory and a winery.

Those California folks know how to do it. The olive oil place (Figoneís Olive Oil Co.) was something Iíd never experienced before. It had acres of olive trees and huge (dumpster-size) boxes of olives leading to the entrance. Visitors could sample the various varieties of olive oil. The John Raymond Cheese Company had cheeses from all over the country including some made in California. We must have sampled a dozen different types of cheese. Same for the Eric Ross winery across the street: types of wines that were totally new to me. At Wine Country Chocolates we watched wine-infused (cabernet-sauvignon) truffles being made by hand. Such tasty delights, and all just a few yards apart.

Besides visiting our friends in Sonoma, we were in California primarily to visit our son BZ and his family, who live in the hills of Oakland. We were there nine days. We did take a detour to Gilroy, California where I made a speech. Gilroy is the garlic capital of the USA. Yes, we did get some samples. We even sampled garlic ice cream. Gilroy is a city of 50,000. The annual Garlic Festival, held in the summer, attracts 150,000 visitors.

Just before we left to go to California, my 4-year old grandson Max asked me over the phone if I knew any jokes. I told him one off the top of my head, but then scoured the Internet for kid jokes and carried a good supply of them with me. I fired one off every few hours. Max told his friends that I knew lots of jokes. Max even repeated some of them and told them well. His little brother Aiden didnít get them, but since everybody was laughing, he laughed, too.

Max is learning how to cook. His class at school wrote a cookbook and Maxís recipe for spaghetti was included in it. ďPut noodles in oven for like one minute, two minutes, three minutes, four minutes, five minutes and make it cold with water. Add sauce, the sauce I like but not the sauce I donít like. All sauces are red, different kinds of red. Add a clock, maybe a pointy rock or a cowbell.Ē

Sounds delicious.

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