George Worthy

I’m beginning to think like my personal nurse. Her opinion is that we will be wearing masks for the rest of time. I would have to agree with her. I have been around for a lot of years and watched my government closely as we are stifled a little more every year. Of course, the last year has been one for the books. I don’t think I have ever seen such incompetence by federal officials.

So now we have a new virus being cooked up in South Africa. No vaccination yet, but it is just a matter of time. I have taken all the shots that my government has recommended and yet I spent the last two days wearing this infernal mask like everyone else. It seems as if a child drops a penny on the ground, the government comes out with a new threat to our lives.

I had a visitor from Georgia this weekend. He is a very good friend of mine. Tom sponsored me to the Catholic Church many years ago and he is my son Reed’s godfather. In other words, he is a good friend. He and I worked for the same company in Georgia; however, he hasn’t had a vacation in the past six or seven years. I still do West Coast assignments for the company, but I won’t live in Georgia, so my advancement in the company is limited. That is not a bad thing for me. I am a California kid.

If you have been locked up for the past few months and afraid to go out, I don’t blame you, but I can tell you that there is a lot you can do if you follow the rules. Tom was the general manager of a couple of California companies before the present company called him to Georgia. He, like I, loves this valley. He would like to come back here to retire but is afraid he wouldn’t have enough gas to make the trip and not enough money to buy gas. Of course, gas won’t be $5 a gallon forever, or at least I was told. Doesn’t it choke you just a little to have to pay that much for a small gallon of gas?

Yesterday I took Tom for another trip around the Salinas Valley. We started off down Gonzales/River Road and marveled at all the plants already planted for the next harvest. The vineyards looked a little forlorn with no fruit hanging, but the color of the dormant vines were truly beautiful. Copper and amber colors as far as you wanted to look. The green of the shooting plants filled me with anticipation of the field trucks roaring along Highway 101 at about 54 mph and more trucks trying to pass going 55. Meanwhile, as my fellow scribbler pointed out, there are hundreds of cars nudging each other going 80 and applying makeup or pouring coffee.

I used to drive my boys to school and used the long lines of car jostling along to teach them about inertia and how far it takes a car to stop at those speeds. I’m not sure that they took my lessons any better than they took the teachers’ lessons. I’m just kidding about the lessons. They both have done well. In any case, it is a very dangerous highway. I’m pretty sure the stretch of road between Gonzales and Salinas is the most dangerous road in Monterey County. A word of prayer is recommended before each trip.

When Tom was here, we were talking about where to go for a cup or bowl of clam chowder. Masks were recommended on The Wharf in Monterey, so that became our destination for the day. You can believe me when I tell you it wasn’t just our destination, all the streets and roads leading to The Wharf were packed. I have never seen so many cars waiting to get onto The Wharf or anywhere near. 

We took our time and finally got a parking place as close as we could to The Wharf and the other stores that were packed. We fought our way to Abalonetti Bar and Grill. I can remember on the rare occasion my parents coming over to Monterey from Pismo Beach, after my dad had been hunting abalone along the cliffs between Pismo and Avila Beach. They would take us to Abalonetti to have squid that had been beat to softness and coated with bread crumbs. It really did taste very similar to abalone. 

On this trip to the restaurant, I advised Tom to try their clam chowder and I would try the squid. (They don’t call it squid.) I was so disappointed! Tom didn’t trust me about the squid, so he had prawns and I had the… well, they call it something different, Abalonetti steaks. They were terrible! He had to send his back to the kitchen as it was burnt beyond recognition. And mine, instead of looking all buttery and tender, was as tuff as shoe leather. I won’t recommend anyone on The Wharf ever again. 

Of course, that was our fault because we ate the next evening at Luigi’s in Gonzales and it was food to swoon over. Luigi’s is highly recommended. That will teach us to eat in the fine food establishments we have in our wonderful town of Gonzales. I hope you will also try them all.

God Bless.

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Gonzales columnist George Worthy may be reached at [email protected].


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