Monday, September 25, 2006

A toast to the Bottle Village

Morro Bay was foggy when we awoke today.  Couldn’t even see that big rock out in the water for awhile.  Still, we jumped on the 101, then over to Highway 1 through Oceano, where a nursery/antiques store has some huge metallic dinosaurs sprinkled around the grounds.  Turns out Bill, the owner, doesn’t actually make them, he just trucks them in to liven up the place.  Oh well...

  On the way down the Central Coast, we passed by Anderson’s Pea Soup empire (since 1924) in Buellton.  Having just read an article in the Eureka, CA paper about our visit, which called him a co-producer-- Don suggested that Mike should go get some shots of the Anderson’s signs.  He also mentioned he’s probably due for a raise!

After a tasty Indian buffet in Santa Barbara, and a near miss on a lane change (my bad), we gave ourselves over to the LA traffic gods, and  headed on into Simi Valley.

No, not for the Reagan library-- for Grandma Prisbey’s Bottle Village, or what’s left of it. The Northridge earthquake in 1994 was not kind to the bottle buildings and decorative pieces that Tressa Prisbey built in a flurry of activity from 1955 to 1961.  But Joanne Johnson rolled out the red carpet for us (one square anyway) and regaled us with stories of the woman she got to know in the last years of her life. A tidy, meticulous woman who didn’t herself drink, but made the most of colorful beer and liquor glass in her art.

Joanne’s volunteer squad, Kathryn and Drew, and her kids Sarah and Kathleen were also on hand with cookies and lemonade (just like Grandma P), tidying up the concrete work, tile and walkways.  They’re doing it for all the right reasons, and we salute that spirit!  We also noted the passing of Seymour Rosen, who played such a big role in making people aware of this and other important folk art sites.  Thanks Seymour.  Happy trails.

Music in the Van--I’m Good Now”-Bob Schneider, “Communique” Dire Straits, “Flying Cowboys” Rickie Lee Jones

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