Savoring trip to Templeton
Thank you for the article on Templeton, Calif. ["A Different Way to Roll," by Marc Stirdivant, June 1]. When we go, we usually eat at McPhee's on Friday and Saturday because we like it so much. Be sure to save room for dessert and try the bread pudding. It is delicious. My daughter thinks it should be declared one of the basic food groups.
Also, try Victor Hugo Winery. That is our house wine. It is a small family winery owned by Vic and Leslie Roberts. It is a winner.
Please ask first
Madeline Lindenheim took a photo of a man playing an accordion in Old San Juan after, in her own words, he'd "lowered his head" to "close everyone out" ["Bowing to His Muse in Puerto Rico," Your Scene, June 1]. It's intrusive to assume it's OK to take photos of strangers whenever it suits us.
Rule of thumb: For close-ups of people you don't know, ask politely if it's OK. If you sense any discomfort, don't take it.
Her next adventure
Thank you for bringing us up to date on the best travel writer out there — Susan Spano ["Looking Back, Looking Ahead," by Christopher Reynolds, May 25]. I have so enjoyed her columns over the years and was wondering what happened to her. Now I can read her new book and envision her teaching English in Armenia. As a French speaker, my daughter taught English volunteering for the Peace Corps in Mauritania in the early '90s. I really admire Spano for committing to two years in a strange country at this time in her life. What courage and sense of adventure.
Nice piece on Wilbert Tai Hook ["Life on Low Simmer at Black Pot Beach," by Christopher Reynolds, April 20]. I'd like to meet him some day. I knew his father, Henry..
In the late '60s, my wife and I were living in a gatehouse north of Rose Harada's store near the end of the road at Haena. Harada was not very friendly to me at first, so I stopped going there. One afternoon while driving my 1943 Jeep past Harada's I saw two elderly gentlemen tarring a roof across the road. I stopped to give them a hand. They acknowledged me with a handshake and continued to talk to each other in Hawaiian. One of them was Henry. I worked in silence while admiring the splendor of the spoken word.
At the end of the day, Harada arrived from across the road with a large plate of food and some cold Primo beer. Her words of admonishment to me before returning to her store were, "Haole boy, you don' eva pass by, but you stop in and say aloha, please."
It was a good life at the northern end of Kauai in the '60's. I was heartened to read that Wilbert has managed to hang on to that good life. It made me smile.
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