Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Land That Time Forgot......

Cachagua.....What, what, what, what?

We just finished one of those catering runs.......three events on Saturday, four on Sunday: a wake for Episcopalians in Monterey....and pool party for the Stanford business kids in Portola Valley.....snotty dinner in Carmel, Big Sur Marathon, SPCA red-tail hawk-release brunch, nice Cachagua social bbq. Oh...and brunch at The Store.

Vignette: Portola Valley......James standing at his bar table by the pool, overlooking San Francisco Bay, Stanford, etc. The very hot female business school roommates throwing the party are discussing swimming nude in the pool. A young male guests looks at James and says: ''Wow.....beautiful work space, pouring champagne in the sun, surrounded by beautiful, rich, smart women.....How do I get your job?'' As I am walking past him I say: ''It's easy.....just graduate!'' This year's graduates are already calling......remember The Roches? ''Please Mr. Sellack, can I have my job back?''

Still, the odd, LSD-like atmosphere that prevails at the moment came from the last party of the run.....cocktails and dinner in Cachagua.

The client: one side of the family are Budweiser heirs; the other side had Auntie write ''Joy of Cooking'' for something to do in between clipping bond coupons. They live in Minnesota from May to November. Their California house has the only authentic view of the Ventana Double Cone that shows both cones.....short of actually hiking back in there, god forbid. The house was designed by Will Shaw, his last house. It has the best guesthouse ever built: three bedrooms, kitchen, living room in 900 sq feet max.......gorgeous. Spiral staircase to full And the rest of the house.......well, you can forgive the guests a sense of unreality as they gaze out over Cachagua, Durney Vineyard, and the Santa Lucia's in a perfectly designed and executed environment done by a master artist as his finale. I call it architecturally induced hallucination....... Same thing probably happened to Jay Gatsby, looking down his pier.......

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the mountain we have redneck crackheads groveling in the mud and dust of their trailer parks....buying Natty Ice and Bugler in my store, and bitching about the organic milk. Alcoholism flourishes in forms as wonderful and varied as orchids in the Amazon; meth idiots are rampant; child abuse, date rape and incest aren't prosecuted....they are graded. The water has such a high natural concentration of flouride that the few teeth remaining after the heroin and meth abuse dissolve in the mineral flush....though most of the locals agree with WC Fields: ''I don't drink fuck in it!''

And....the New People at the cocktail party want to buy in!! Take hold of the magic!! Build a modern restaurant and offices.....and follow in the wake of the MAGIC we have created at the Store. Wow.

I met a chemical engineer named Lolita, dressed in a strapless ball gown (at a barbeque in Cachagua......) who bought the old ATT Earth Station.......and apparently makes a nice cup of coffee on weekend mornings after 7. Spanish Basque, even.

I met a couple who found Cachagua on the internet, and moved here from Livermore after their only son was killed in a motorcycle crash... and could no longer face familiar scenery.....every rock and bush painted with tragedy......They will be right at home here. We lose at least one a year on motorcyles.

And I met a couple that wants to buy the commercial lot on the corner of Nason Road......without water....and build a restaurant/office complex in the middle of nowhere 27 miles from town, up ten miles of tiny, windy, pot-holed roads frequented by well-armed, drunken, drug-addicted maniacs driving dilapidated self-maintained cars and trucks they are certain will never be seen or inspected by the CHP and sheriffs who never come here because of budget cuts. Cachagua is Sarajevo. Cachagua is Chechnya. And I have gathered the magic and can wield it like a sword?

Who knew?


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