Becky Levine (beckylevine) wrote,
Becky Levine

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My Town Monday--Arroyo Grande, California

Most Mondays, Barrie Summy does a fun post about a town--somewhere she is at the moment or somewhere she's been recently. Today, she's showing us the Sand Castle competition in San Deigo. All the My Town Mondays are the "creation" of another blogger, Travis Erwin.

I enjoy Barrie's posts, but have never gotten up the momentum to participate with one of my own. Partially that's just getting out there to take the photos, and partially it HAS been the lack of high-speed internet. But, as you know--THAT problem has gone away.

And this weekend, I went back to my hometown. My nephew just started college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, which is about twenty minutes from the house I grew up in, where my parents still live. We had a bike to deliver to said nephew, and my son and I decided to check out the Harvest Festival, a small-town fair that's been going on in Arroyo Grande since before I was a kid.

So here is my first (and possibly last) My Town Monday.

We were lucky to find a parking space just a couple of blocks from the main downtown street. To get to the park/parking lot where the booths are, we crossed the world-famous (uh-huh, really!) swinging bridge.

It's a great place to make your mother dizzy but not, if you've been raised well, to tip over your grandmother!

Then we stopped at the Lions' booth. My father has been a member of this club for the past, oh, man, forty-plus years.

We each had a tri-tip sandwich, my son's with ketchup, mine with salsa.

They were as delicious as they look, but not as yummy as the gooey, messy hamburgers sold at this same booth when I was a child. Sorry, Dad. You'll probably have to pay a fine for this at the next meeting. :)

We strolled through the booths.

Mostly, we were on the hunt for a carton of confetti eggs. You can see evidence of those eggs coating the ground between the booths. Depending on your point of view, my son and I have the "perfect" hair for confetti eggs.

Then we went down the main street of the downtown area, called "The Village." 

I watched the Harvest Festival parade from this sidewalk many years, including the year my father (one-time city-council member and mayor) was Grand Marshall. I also marched down this street for two years, when I played flute in the junior high band. For the Christmas Parade, we did the traditional "Winter Wonderland," but for the Harvest Festival parade, we played Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown." 

Our band teacher was cool.

The building in the background used to contain the five-and-dime store where we spent a lot of our time and allowance. I'm not sure what's there now, but I'm guessing the narrow aisles and over-packed, floor-to-ceiling shelves are long gone.

I took guitar lessons in this building.

If you look closely, you'll see the picture of the guitar over the doorway. This is not the music store that was there when I was young, but the newest in a series of shops that has filled this space over the years. If you visited, stopped in, or drove through Arroyo Grande anytime in the eighties (and nineties?), you probably recognize this as the home of the perhaps-even-more world-famous Burnardoz Ice Cream. (If you don't believe me, check out the photos and the comments at this Disco Mermaids post.)

Burnardoz has closed, so we went down the street to Doc Burnsteins, where my parents assured me they use the original Burnardoz recipes. My old favorite--Bittersweet Chocolate--was still on the menu, but I opted for a bowl of Peanut Butter Cup Delight, with just a bit of chocolate sauce on top.

Yes, after that tri-tip sandwich. Can you hear the burps?

It was a good trip back. My son was nice enough to bear with me as I said "hi" to a few people I hadn't seen in years (and I mean years), and to be the polite grandson willing to shake hands with people he has never met before. And the My-Town-Monday photo quest gave the afternoon a nice, extra reason-for being.

Oh, if you haven't seen my request for writing-book recommendations, check out my last post and leave me a note!
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