Pacing through the Pines

2014: Fond hopes flourish in Cambria

Special to The CambrianJanuary 9, 2014 

The once popular strategy of making New Year’s resolutions has fallen by the wayside like an old rusty bicycle with flat tires and broken spokes. Seems it is harder to keep resolutions than most people suspected when making those bold promises for weight loss, cessation of smoking, or other personal or business upgrades.

We humans appear to invariably be drawn back to our old habits and patterns in profoundly predictable ways. Hence, why try to change just because the calendar says another year has begun? You may as well try to transport Stonehenge to the Shamel Park.

However, if you ask folks in Cambria to share their fondest wishes for 2014, most of those queried will gladly provide positive, interesting narrative. After conducting several informal interviews on Monday, Jan. 6, this reporter discovered a diverse and eclectic mix of optimism, hopefulness and thoughtfulness.

Take for example Coast Union principal Wade Lawrence; he hopes the community will come out and support the student athletes involved in soccer and basketball this winter. But moreover, he wishes that “as many people as possible will come out on Jan. 15 and support the Pam Kenyon ‘Fight Like a Girl’ spaghetti fundraiser at the Veteran’s Hall.”

Walking into Froggie’s (for the first time), this reporter was met with a welcoming smile and hello from the clerk, Anne Olmos. When asked for her fondest wishes for the upcoming year, Olmos did not hesitate for a split-second. “In 2014 my wish is to see my family stay healthy and continue to be prosperous. Not overly prosperous but to continue to have work.”

There are many important things to be positive about in the upcoming year, but Olmos said, “More than money, more than anything, is good health. Every day is a gift.”

Ron Olney was interviewed in front of JBJ Pizza and had no reservations about expressing his hopes for 2014. “Number one priority,” he stated firmly, is that “The CCSD figures out the water problem and does something about it, ASAP.” A 25-year resident of Cambria, Olney believes “there’s lots of water out there but nobody wants us to have it.”

JBJ proprietor Bertha Casas also has hopes for a better water future for Cambria, and she wishes there could be “Peace in the world — that would be great. We need peace.” Another sincere hope is that people who are poor and struggling “can have a better life in 2014.”

Down the street a few stores is Half Moon, a clothing boutique owned by Monie Hopkins. She immediately identified her fondest wishes for 2014: “For me, it’s to be done with 12 years of paying for college” for her three sons. She only has “two quarters left from 12 years of paying for college.”

Her youngest son, Terek, majoring in creative writing, graduates from the University of Oregon in June. Hopkins, who also owns the New Moon boutique, hopes the very best for son Terek as he enters the world of employment.

The manager of the Cambria Chamber of Commerce is Mary Ann Carson, who certainly wishes that the economy “in the whole world” — and here on the Central Coast — will continue to perk up in 2014. Carson, who shared a fresh home-made chocolate chip cookie — from a batch delivered moments before from Citizen of the Year for 2013, Taylor Hilden — hopes the upcoming Amgen bicycle tour, stopping over in Cambria in May, “will raise awareness about Cambria.”

Moreover, Carson’s fond hope for 2014 is for “locals and business to work together. This tourism industry we have trickles down to everybody. Maybe the chamber could sponsor some business breakfasts where people can come and share ideas in 2014.”

Local realtor Kim Maston has high hopes that the national economy will strengthen, that the housing market will “continue to improve,” and that “the healthcare reform will shake out in a way that actually is beneficial to everyone.” The snags in the Affordable Healthcare rollout has created “a nightmare for me and a lot of other people,” Maston offered.

Meanwhile author, executive coach and keynote speaker Sharon Jordan-Evans was out of town Monday but answered her email request for a list of positives in 2014. She wishes for health and happiness for all, for “World peace (seriously),” and for rainfall in Cambria.

Because she is a bicycle enthusiast — and a strategic member of the Slabtown Rollers bicycle group — she couldn’t resist offering one last fond wish: that “Caltrans circles back to complete the repair they started on Highway 1.”

Freelance journalist and Cambria resident John FitzRandolph’s monthly column is special to The Cambrian. Email him at

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