San Simeon was William Randolph Hearst’s showplace, but Art Beal aka Captain Nittwit had a castle of his own just down the road in Cambria. We took the tour with Michael O’Malley, who never met the man, but loved his passion for building and creating a rambling nine level living complex almost wholly from junk.
Apparently Art was unpredictable in his behavior, and less than loved by all his neighbors. He sometimes yelled and cursed at the local kids, other times he’d let them come and enjoy his pathways and perches that snaked around the hillside. With auto parts, old appliances abalone shells and concrete, he fashioned a most memorable way of saying that he was here.
And we’re glad someone like Michael and his wife Stacey have stepped in to keep the ridge residence running. But we had to run on ourselves, down to the beach for some Pacific Coast catch! With Morro Rock in the background, we engaged in some of that impromptu recreation that can irritate viewers from sea to shining sea.
Oh yeah, San Luis Obispo is a pretty little town too. There were bands playing in several downtown bars that sounded pretty good. But we had a mission-- Bubble Gum Alley, which puts the Gum Tree we saw in D.C. to shame. It’s a block long two wall stretch of statements in chewing gum, which is both dazzling, and as Dawn who was passing through put it “really icky.” Of course, she and her friend Kristi ended up helping us post some Juicy Fruit for posterity too!
And finally, when in SLO, no visit is complete without a trip to the Madonna Inn’s men’s room. Waterfall urinals rule! And the pink decor and balls-to-the-wall over-decorating all around gave us an end of the day visual jolt par excellence. Tomorrow we head south, where fires are popping up like crazy. Wish us luck...
Music in the van--”Blue Train” John Coltrane