A Quick Opinion: The coast is overcast and the valley is dry

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Charley Wallace

There was a fraternity reunion last weekend in San Luis Obispo. Not many from my time at Cal Poly showed up, but those who did seemed to enjoy getting together with old and new alumni. Sherri decided to pass on this trip, and she made the right decision, as not many wives, or girlfriends, made an appearance over the weekend.

I’ve written before how San Luis Obispo has changed over the years, but I’ve solved that problem, at least for me, by not going downtown or to the campus when I visit. I did take a detour to Morro Bay to play a round of golf and that area looks about the same as it did in the 1970s. No water, no new houses.

There is something called Airbnb, where you can rent a room in someone’s home. This was the first time I’ve tried it, and it worked out beautifully. The room had its own entrance and bathroom and was a block from the fraternity house. The hostess even had a beer, and other refreshments, in the refrigerator waiting for me. What more can you ask for? It was just far enough from the KX house so that you couldn’t hear the backyard barbecue party but close enough to the downtown if you wanted to walk to a nice restaurant.

What hasn’t changed in San Luis Obispo is the city’s view on noise after 10 p.m. They issue tickets to the landlord in the thousand dollar range, which must be working because I was home before 10 both nights I was there. I’m sure the younger people stayed up later, but hopefully they were inside and quiet.

The drive down Highway 5 always seems longer than five hours, and even longer coming home. You still see a few dead almond orchards, but you also see new orchards being planted. I guess some farmers have water and some don’t. You also see a lot of fallow acres. The California Aqueduct is full, so our water is going to use somewhere.

I did notice a couple of for sale signs along the highway, but if things were as bad as farmers’ signs implied, there should be hundreds on the market. I’ve noticed that the old Singleton farm east of town has been for sale for a while now. So even in Winters you can become a farmer if you have enough money and time.

An interesting thing happened as my age group started to retire. They started moving back to the coast. Several of my friends moved to the Central Valley after graduation and ran large farming operations, but now live on the coast. One was complaining about not seeing the sun much this summer. “If this weather is the way of the future, I’m out of here,” he told me as he had a third cup of coffee. Not sure where he would go, but I don’t think it would be back to the heat of the Central Valley.

On the golf course, I was told, that it is always wet, but they still have a sprinkler system. By 1 o’clock on Sunday the sun made an appearance and it probably got up to 80 degrees. Seemed pretty nice to me, except for my putting. The greens are like the trees of mystery. It might look like the putt is straight, but it always breaks towards Los Osos, and sometimes by a lot. I’ll have to go back and get another putting lesson.

One quick note on vaccines. This week, Sherri got her third shot. I’m scheduled to receive a booster shot next Wednesday. I hope to see you in line with me.

Have a good week.

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