Ocean Beach Idyll


After we left the Adams Avenue Roots and Festival, Jodi Shagg showed me the latest incarnation of her wonderful store, In Harmony Herbs and Spices.


She and her partner, herbalist/teacher James Green, remodeled the storefront in quaint, laid back Ocean Beach with elegant wooden moldings and filled it with magical gifts and a goodly supply of herbal remedies and books.


The store’s gorgeous exterior sign, hand-painted for Jodi by her friend, artist David D’Amour.




Jodi and I took a sunset walk along Ocean Beach’s beach and pier.


After our walk, we met James Green and their friend John (owner of Coastal Sage garden store) and his wife Serena (above), and daughters Shenandoah (above), Danielle and baby Nele Belle (above) at El Rancho, Ocean Beach’s Mexican restaurant, for supper. I ordered their signature tamale filled with mole (unsweetened chocolate) sauce and shiitake mushrooms, but they’d sold out of that item for the night.


A good time was had by all, although Danielle (above) had frolicked with such gusto at the Earth Day Festival in Balboa Park (including face painting) that she fell asleep next to John (above) before her dinner came.


I admired the restaurant’s collection of Frida Kahlo reproductions and photos.


This is the view from John and Serena’s house, where I spent the night before.

I was driving back to Los Angeles late that night on Highway 5, when heavy rains whipped my driver side windshield wiper to shreds. I stopped at the first gas station I could find, and, miraculously, there encountered a fellow traveler named George who was recharging his cell phone at the station’s electrical outlet, and who expertly repaired the failing wiper blade. I offered him a CD in appreciation, and he selected Living in Hawaii Style, saying it would brighten his long drive to San Jose that night. Angels are watchin’ over me.