Sunday, September 10, 2006

Monterey Travel Missive #1

I landed at Monterey Peninsula Airport airport yesterday, and after accidentally driving into the high security lot behind the air traffic control tower I eventually found my way down to Rte 1. I drove past Sand city which as far as I can tell is a big beach and Home Depot... possibly a Berkley art project representing the two halves of the male brain. I got a cheap hotel in Marina in walking distance of the beach and got used to the idea. I heard some fantastic radio already. On the AM band I caught the last half of Radio Ranch, a program on 1240 KNRY-AM.

Host J.P. Mick Vernon reads cowboy poetry by himself and others in between obscure and not-so-obscure country oldies tunes. It is a totally unparalleled program in all of radio land. He told a story about a young girl riding colts and developing a preference for a very old mare, then played some Dale Evans ...and it totally worked. He was included in the 2005 Nevada County Poetry Anthology and is also the author of The Lyrical Lawman Rides, a book of original cowboy poetry.

90.3 KAZU used to be a local scene powerhouse, with a morning show that often beat out Nic at KCRW in local polls. But Melanie was ousted from that slot when management decided that Monterey needed a third NPR news outlet in the market... I often wonder if she picked up a show somewhere down the road. This afternoon they were running something that ran simultaneously on 88.9 KUSP. They seemed impotent and dull.

Still in market are 88.1 KZSC the U. or Santa Cruz and 91.9 KSPB at Robert Louis Stevenson H.S. I am sure I'll check those out during the week ahead.

I drove up the road a bit and bought some supplies for the traveling I'll be doing over the week. two boxes of low-cal snack bars, an apple, a 6 pack of water, a six pack of Dew, a bag of bagels etc. Across the way on reservation road I found a consignment shoppe of called Del Monte Bargains. It was run by some middle-aged Slavic woman, possibly Russian with corn rows. Her accent was thick, and it made her explaining too viscous. I bought 4 books, supposedly at a dollar each but she took about 3.50 when I turned out my pockets:

Burma Road by Nicol Smith
The Fall by Samuel R. Delany (ironically a Philly Local)
A Winter Walk by Tolbert McCarroll
Solomons House by the Cowell College History Workshop... some kind of hippie college let the class of 1970 print a book. It's spectacularly fragmented so far.

I had brought A movable feast with me. I like reading Hemingway when I travel, as he reminds me why it is good to do so. But I think it may go back in the duffel. I have so many options now.