Heather Young is a local journalist with aspirations to become a travel writer. To feed her passion, she took advantage of the Travel Writers’ Boot Camp held during the Central Coast Writers’ Conference. New Mexico journalists Judie Fein and Paul Ross typically train travel writers on junkets in exotic places, but agreed to test out a three-day training session. The Visitor & Lodging Alliance of Cayucos, with support from the Morro Bay Visitor Alliance, funded their workshops.
Young’s creativity was not unique in the class. But she captured the essence of one of Morro Bay’s personalities. She titled the brief story “The G Spot.”
Heather writes: “Before I met the Giovanni of Giovanni’s Fish Market in Morro Bay, I pictured a portly, red-faced, mustached, middle-aged Italian with thinning gray hair. Was I surprised to find that Giovanni DeGarimore is a youthful, edgy, savvy, businessman and — dare I say — a hunk!
“ ‘You’re Giovanni? The owner of Giovanni’s?’ I sputtered.
“With a smile that radiated confidence yet sincerity, he answered, ‘Yes, I am.’
“Giovanni, the owner of a Morro Bay fish market, restaurant and STAX Wine Bar, has been in the fish business since he was a little sprat. The day of his birth, his father, Mike, left a sign on the door of their Morro Bay business that read, ‘Gone to have a baby, back tomorrow.’
“And he was — with wife, Kathy and newborn son.
“ ‘I was in a wooden box in the back of the fish market,’ Giovanni said with another melt-my-heart smile.
“Although he’d successfully assumed and expanded the fish market operations, he harbored the need to prove to his father, the world and himself that he could swim on his own. He pitched STAX, a new business concept for the recently vacated-on storefront owned by his father.
“The idea of the wine bar came to Giovanni in the middle of the night. ‘At 3 a.m., I had an idea for a hamburger joint,’ he said. ‘By 3:30 a.m. it was a wine bar.’
“Giovanni’s Fish Market delivers fresh fish locally and worldwide from 1001 Front St. Order at www.giovannisfishmarket.com. STAX Wine Bar is open daily at 1099 Embarcado. For more information, contact www.staxwine.com.”
Young has created more stories from her boot camp experiences: Cayucos Brown Butter Cookie Co. and Full Moon Wine Bar & Bistro plus touring with Morro Bay’s Harbor director, Eric Endersby.
As a youth, Young traveled to England, Scotland, Russia and Amsterdam. Today, she’s practicing her skills and building her following with tales of people and places on the Central Coast, but the wanderlust bug has drawn blood. See where she takes us next at www.aroundtheworldwithheatheryoung.blogspot.com.
Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-1422.