Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Until Next Year. . .Some Time


Thank you all for stopping by these last three months. I hope you've been enjoying Take 25 to Hollister. I've been having fun taking photos, learning, and writing about stuff around town and the county. But, it's time for me to buckle down big time to make a deadline. No more fun for the naughty, at least for a while.

I'll be back on the 25 in six weeks, more or less. Until then, I invite you to pretend you haven't read any of the posts thus far. And, yes, please, I love reading comments.

May you have a Happy Christmas and a glorious New Year! Peace and Joy!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Flapjack’s Country Café

Whenever Dick and I go on a road trip, we like to start by driving over to Tres Pinos for breakfast at Flapjack’s Country Café. The owners, Karen and Phil Barrett, make and serve some of the best breakfast dishes around the area.

On our last visit, Dick devoured a delish Italian pesto omelet and I plowed through a heaping dish of Phil’s Corned Beef and Eggs. How heaping, you ask? I had a half-order and I took half of it home. (I probably could’ve eaten it all, but I was saving myself for a whole bunch of eating treats throughout the day, as it was my birthday.)

Both our dishes came with home fries and a huge, fluffy flapjack. Yum! You could have toast instead of the pancake, but, hello, it’s the Flapjack’s Country Café.

Did I mention the big mugs of coffee? Heavenly.

Flapjack’s offers a creative menu. The owners also offer choices for folks who adhere to a non-gluten diet. Check the offerings out for yourself. Breakfast. Lunch.

Just recently, Phil and Karen began serving “Sunset Suppers” on Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 5 and 7:30 pm. I went home with a copy of the menu. Grilled polenta, Pasta Marinara, Pasta Primavera, Chicken Cacciatore, and Eggplant Parmigiana are featured. I’m drooling just thinking of how they might taste, and in my mind, I’m thinking it will be very trés delicious. I’ve already decided that my first order will be the NY Steak plate: “Phil’s NY Steak, cooked to order with sautéed bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and garlic served with pasta marinara.” It’s only $16.50! What a deal for these times.

Tres Pinos is a few miles south of Hollister. Just head straight out on Hwy 25, or as we, locals, like to call it, Airline Highway. Tres Pinos is a very small hamlet. You won’t miss Flapjack’s at all. Just as you’ve slowed your car to the proper speed limit, you’ll see the restaurant on the left. You can park alongside the highway. You can also turn left just after passing the restaurant to park in its parking lot. If you need to buy stamps or mail a letter, the post office is right by the parking lot. I like to mosey over to read what’s posted on the community bulletin board. But, that’s for another post.

Some links to check out:
And, since you're in Tres Pinos, check out:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Christmas Contest

$1,000! Want to win it?

Some of the downtown merchants are currently sponsoring a “Where’s Rudolph?” contest. Here are the rules:
  1. Go to a participating store, restaurant, or other business. See the list below
  2. Find the picture of Rudolph.
  3. Ask for an entry form, fill it out, and turn it in pronto.
You can enter as often as you like. You can enter only once a day. You don’t have to buy anything to win. But, since you need to buy those Christmas presents or eat to sustain yourself, well, there you are.

The Contest ends on December 15. Get going!

The Merchants
The following restaurants are also participating in the contest:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Music!

Last night, Dick and I headed over to the Veteran’s Building for a Christmas concert. “Deck the Halls. . . fa la la la la. . .” Yep. We got to sing a bunch of first verses worth of Christmas carols with the Watsonville Community Band, the members all decked in their green and gold uniforms. It’s nice to know that there is an outlet for once-upon-a-time high school band members. One of the trumpet players was my seventh grade music appreciation teacher, who continues to teach and lead middle school musicians into one amazing marching band year after year.

“We are the Watsonville Community Band,” announced Eugene Smith, the condu
ctor, at the beginning of the night. “But we are not a Watsonville band.” The members hale from various cities in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito counties, including Watsonville, Salinas, Ben Lomond, Gilroy, and Hollister.

The Watsonville Community Band is one of the few adult community bands in the nation. It has been around since 1947! According to the Christmas program, anyone who plays (or played) a band instrument is welcome to join. The band performs yearly concerts, such as its Christmas Concert series, as well as participates in marching parades. Their performances are always free.

At last night’s concert, the band performed a selection of pieces, from an Andy Williams song, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” to the quietly moving “Ave Maria.” They also played the “March of the Women Marines,” which was composed in 1943 for the Women Reserve band. That piece was a head bouncer and toe tapper, but the coolest thing about it is the fact that one of the members of the band was part of the original Women Reserve band.

The “Night Before Christmas” was read by the conductor, surrounded by many of the tiny
children in the audience. Snap. Flash. Snap. Flash. Snap. Yep, the sound and blur of a photo op for parents and grandparents who smilingly crept up to candidly catch their kiddies. For the last piece, the audience stood and sang joyously loud (OK maybe some of us) with the band, after which Santa Claus popped out to give the kids candy cane sticks.

The concert was an hour long, and for an hour, I felt a sense of the warmth of small-town community. The Watsonville Community Band will be back to put on a spring concert for the town. I’m looking forward to it.

In the mean while, here are still a few more Christmas concerts in the co
unty to check out:
Christmas singing cheer can also be found at these events:

Christmas 2008
Hwy 25, Hollister, California

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hollister and Bikers

Have you ever seen the movie The Wild One? A young Marlon Brando plays an "outlaw" biker named Johnny. He scoffs at trophy-winning bikers, yet goes through much of the movie clasping a stolen biker trophy in the same way that Linus clings to his blanket. Of course, Johnny could've been doing so facetiously because his character was portrayed as a misunderstood guy after all. That's how I interpreted it.

The Wild One was kinda based or somewhat inspired on an incident that took place in Hollister in 1947 over the July 4th weekend. It was a motorcycle rally that got out of hand. I would think it was a no brainer that some fights were bound to take place when 4,000 bikers rolled into town. They were there to enjoy some motorcycle races and to relax and party. Remember: It was a three-day Fourth of July weekend. The police force was few in number, but they had it under control. After all, about .02% of the attendants were arrested and charged with misdemeanors. Hullo. Nothing outlaw-ish about that.

Still, if you're a journalist, you can spin a pretty gol darn story. And, the newspaper reporters did just that. What probably made that Fourth of July incident famous was the infamous spread of staged photos in Life magazine. I'm not gonna go into the five W's of the event. You can click on these links for the history:
In 1997, Hollister merchants, the city council, or maybe both together, decided to hold a Fourth of July Independence Motorcycle Rally to honor the event's 50th anniversary. Since then, the rally has become an annual event. Next year's event is not sanctioned by the City because it lost taxpayers' money big time. But, you never know.

I have no idea what the annual event celebrates. Is it the romantic image of an outlaw biker played by Marlon Brando, the misdemeanor arrests of a bunch of bikers, or what? Could be why Hollister rarely makes any money off the hundreds of thousands of people who come into town each year for three days. Bad karma. But, suppose we were to celebrate the idea of WWII Vets letting off steam after a hard week of work, because that was what many of those 4,000 bikers were. It's a thought. Anyway, enjoy the trailer for The Wild One.



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