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Friday, March 17, 2017

Away from the Bay: Morro Bay, California


Check out Part One of this report...

After dinner, I take a stroll uptown to get some snacks for the room as Letty and Tim head back to the motel. Morro Bay's downtown district runs along Morro Bay Boulevard and Harbor Street up on a bluff above the waterfront.

It's quiet and cold. Most of the stores are closed but soon I hear some music. This isn't a radio but sounds live. Nothing nearby suggests there's a concert or club open.

I keep walking and, as I walk by the music store, it gets louder. I peek through the door and see a band playing...practicing...in the back of the store (see pic at top).


Watch the Video!


In the morning, the three of us walk back up to the downtown area to shop and explore. While Letty seeks out bargains in one of the several thrift shops up here, Tim and I wander back over to that music store.


It's a tight fit but we get Tim and his chair in and carefully find a route through the crowded aisles of guitars, cables, drums, mics, and sheet music. I tell the guy behind the counter of hearing the band last night.

"Yeah? What'd you think?"

"You guys sounded good."

"Thanks, what's your name?"

Tim and I introduce ourselves, he says he's Ed.  That would be Ed Frawley, owner of the store and guitar player of the band I saw last night. The store is Central Coast Music on the corner of Morro Bay Boulevard and Monterey.

The band is called Deep Blue and they were tuning up for a CD release party at The Siren, a nightclub around the corner that was just about to open up. This used to be one of the town's classic, working-man bars called Happy Jacks.

Ed also tells us that someone found the original neon sign from Happy Jacks, which will be restored and hung on the wall in the new place.

I hear a guitar upstairs. Upstairs? I didn't know this place had a second story. I step back and look up to see what looks like an old projection booth and look in the back of the store...yes, that looks like a stage.  I ask Ed about it and he tells me that this used to be the town's vaudeville theater dating back to the early 20th century.

Ed gives Tim a slight bent maestro's baton and I buy him a harmonica and we say our goodbyes.

A curiosity shop across the street is having a going out of business sale, so we meet Letty there and grab a few cheap goodies before hitting a nearby leather shop, where she buys a remnant piece to take home and work on.


Going back down the hill, she spies some more thrift shops so Tim and I hit the bar on the corner, where she'll meet us when shes's done. This is Legends, which used to be the old Circle Inn.

Grabbing a couple of beers, Tim and I munch on the free popcorn while we make friends with our neighbors along the bar. There's also a window cut into the wall in the back of the room where the pizza parlor next door will sell you a pie, pass it through the opening, and you can enjoy with your libation.

This is a true locals place...as we ask about a good place for dinner along the waterfront, they are a bit dismissive as in "that's for the tourists," but we do get some good recommendations from them and have a friendly good time while waiting for Letty.

She eventually shows up, we have one more drink, then head back down the hill for dinner.

We'll talk about all the good places to eat in the next installment. See you then!

Darryl Musick
Copyright 2017 - All Rights Reserved

Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2017 - All Rights Reserved

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