New books tell of Arroyo Grande's chickens, lost recipe in Pismo

clambert@thetribunenews.comNovember 27, 2012 

Cynthia Snyder

Ever wonder who feeds the roosters in the Arroyo Grande Village? Or where the feathered fowl sleep?

Wonder no more.

A book by Shell Beach-based author Cynthia Synder, who lived and worked in Arroyo Grande for about two years, aims to answer those and other questions about the Village flock.

Her book is one of two self-published works recently released by South County authors. Arroyo Grande High School graduate Jerome Jones also just published a children’s mystery that is set in a town called Pismo.

While living and working in the Arroyo Grande Village several years ago, author Cynthia Snyder was often asked whether roosters really lived in the area, and how they could be found.

“After I while I decided not only to tell people, but to show them,” said Snyder, a former interior decorator who now lives in Shell Beach. She published the first edition of a small handbook in 2008 with help from the South County Historical Society.

The second edition, titled “The Arroyo Grande Village Roosters or Chickenology for the Layperson,” has been revised, lengthened and redesigned, with a map of the Village, colorful photos of local roosters, and quotes from local residents.

The Arroyo Grande flock can be found near Bridge or Mason streets, or around Olohan Alley, Snyder wrote. At night, they roost in the trees to avoid predators — which include dogs and coyotes as well as people — and enjoy eating cat food that some residents leave out for local feral cats.

“Our roosters are just one element that makes the Arroyo Grande Village so charming and special,” she wrote.

Snyder’s book can be found at several local Village stores, including Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab, the Village Salon and Posies, as well as Albertsons on West Branch Street, or ordered on For more information, contact Snyder at

Mystery in Pismo

In 2008, Arroyo Grande High graduate Jerome Jones was teaching fourth grade at an elementary school in Utah when he went to the library to find a book about nutrition.

He couldn’t find one geared toward his students, and so decided to write his own. The result, “The Mystery of the Lost Recipe,” tells the story of two siblings who decide to help a local restaurant owner in Pismo find his lost lasagna recipe.

“I wanted to make a book that was based here in Pismo that emphasizes kids helping each other and exercising and eating healthy,” Jones said.

He hopes to continue the children’s adventures in a sequel. His first book was published through the Mascot Books author program, which allows authors to self-publish and provides marketing support.

Jones, who has coached cross country and basketball, is working at a YMCA after-school program in the Five Cities area while he looks for a full-time teaching or coaching job. His book can be found at and (currently just the Kindle edition).

For more information, contact Jones at or

Cynthia Lambert and Gayle Cuddy write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service