“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming." -- Goethe
Today, I start my last week of what has been my life for the past six years. There have been ups and there sure have been downs, but it’s been great. The people I’ve met and the friends I have made will stay with me for the rest of my life. The kids at the Club have easily had as much an impact on me as I have had on them. I feel the quote above sums up my feelings and the reason I have loved working for the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Last night, before going to the Last Day Saloon to see Choppin’ Broccoli, an 80’s cover band, and Petty Theft, a Tommy Petty “tribute” band, Christen and I had dinner at Jack and Tony’s, a restaurant and whisky bar in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. While waiting for our table, we went to the bar for a drink. I had Woodford Reserve over ice and Christen had a Dirty Shirley. Before we could pay for our drinks, the hostess returned to bring us to “the best seat in the house.” (Not bad for showing up on a Friday night at 8:00 without a reservation.) She took us to a booth where the wall meets the storefront windows, a table, seemingly, just for couples like us.
After glancing at the short, yet mouth-watering menu, Christen ordered the crab cakes off the appetizer menu and started with the night’s special, potato and leak soup. I ordered the peppered New York strip steak with asparagus and fries. While Christen enjoyed her soup, I snacked on some delicious bread, brought to us by one of the three people waiting on us. I tried the soup and it was delicious.
Soon, dinner was served and it was delicious. I am not a food critic, so I can’t really go into the finer points of what makes a good steak or whether or not the fries were right for the meal. All I know is that steak is good and this steak was great, I love French fries and potatoes always go with meat in any form, and the asparagus was bright green, crunchy and sweet. Even better, as I ate through my dinner, I continued sipping on my WR. It all kept getting better and better.
Good, strong whisky - check.
Juicy, pink, mouth-watering steak with delicious sides - check.
The redwood tree and the wine grapevine are both iconic in Northern California. Two wineries are petitioning the state to let them clear redwoods and Douglas firs to make room for new Pinot Noir vineyards. Environmentalists want the trees protected.
My wonderful girlfriend made this for me last night. She used White Hawk IPA, which made the dish a little hoppy. Otherwise, it was pretty damned tasty. Oh yeah, she put peas in it. That was a good idea.
So, this is my last week in the lovely egg/wrist-wrestling/antique-store-turned-hair salon-capital of the world. I think I’ve lived here for about seven years, at least long enough to forget how long I’ve lived here.
I’d like to say I will miss several things Petaluma has to offer, but the truth is that most of them left a long time ago. As the freeway widens and another cow pasture is filled with grapevines, the Old Time Circus that Petaluma once was has moved on. I will miss living downtown, however, never being more than an arm’s reach from a cup of coffee or a stiff drink, a new book or a haircut or a sandwich, taco, ice cream cone or slice of pizza.