END OF AN ERA
A crowd gathered at 5:30 the other evening at our favorite coffee shop. As you can see most of Lily's Coffeehouse is a deck. The patio deck and small coffee bar inside were jammed, answering the question what would happen if all of Virgina's customers showed up at once?
For 16 years Virginia, pictured above when she became Central California's premiere barista, has been dispensing coffee along with her daily sunshine and absolute cool mellow at Lily's. She began building her clientele a few years earlier a few blocks away in Cambria.
She is moving on with life, and her loyal customers, most all of whom are also friends, gathered in a pot luck feast to wish her well.
Under Virginia's guidance Lily's has become the center of the village. There is an early morning group, the tennis players, the mid-morning group, the mid-day group, the afternoon group, plus all of the tourists who wonder in.
I was sitting with tennis pals one morning watching two couples stroll by and look down at the deck when one of the men said-"Looks like a bunch of local yokels."
Virginia would have made even that buffoon feel at home. Lily's, under Virginia is like home.
I can't tell you how many times the conservative crowd has settled all of the worlds' problems. Or how frequently the liberal group has mapped the way to a better future, or how often the world traveled, well read, writers, painters, actors, musicians, tech experts, craftsmen, community activists or foodies have filled the deck with delightful and edifying conversation and entertainment. There have been days when I've just listened and have been amazed and entertained.
A few of the grand patrons of this daily salon have passed though they seem to still inhabit the deck. All over the world people find their favorite coffee shops of course, but we've been lucky to be attended to by such a special woman in this very special brew of coastal California culture.
This was the time of year when it was tough for a kid to get to the dinner table on time. With old Sol hanging higher in the sky, you could get in a few more baskets, or a few more innings, except for the paternal mandate to be at the table, and washed up, by a time certain.
We eventually learned to make the deadline, eat, help clear the table-giving us ample time to "make sure you digest your meal"-before dashing to our bikes and back to the diamond or court before darkness brought down the curtain.