Saturday, October 22, 2022
We flew into San Jose last night, planning to head to Paso Robles today. We could have driven the direct route, but decided to go part of the way via the Pacific Coast. Santa Cruz has a Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, and we always enjoy seeing what’s available at these local markets.
There was lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, coffee and pastries, and some very interesting gourds. It’s a fairly small venue, but the displays were very appealing.
Nearby Natural Bridges State Beach is home to a natural preserve for butterflies that overwinter there each year. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to explore the area today. We did enjoy the natural bridges in the bay, and the waves that broke against the rocks and shore of the bay.
Salinas was home to author John Steinbeck as a boy. He wrote 33 books, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs and poetry. Many were set in the Salinas Valley. Several books were adapted for movies or plays, such as East of Eden, Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath. His boyhood home is now a restaurant near the downtown area.
The National Steinbeck Center tells the story of Steinbeck’s life and legacy. There are sculptures of some of the characters that peopled his novels, like the Joads of The Grapes of Wrath, and Woody Guthrie, who wrote a song based on the book: The Ballad of Tom Joad.
The Center is full of quotes from Steinbeck’s books, tributes to others who were influenced by him, and artifacts from his life including the camper/truck he used to travel cross-country with his dog, Travels With Charley.
After being nominated eight times, John Steinbeck received the Pulitzer Prize in 1938 for Grapes of Wrath, and the Nobel Prize in 1962, six years before his death in 1968. There was controversy about the Nobel, with many feeling that his recent works were not as good as what he had written in the past, that his best works were behind him. He, himself, doubted his worthiness, but he was grateful nonetheless. Fifty years after the Nobel was awarded, it was revealed that the committee through he was the best of a bad lot of nominees.
I especially appreciate the following Steinbeck quote: