Greetings From Old People Camp

To everything there is a season…

April 18, 2014 

Suzanne Davis

Spring has arrived once again on the Central Coast! The hills are finally green, the veggies are planted, the birds are twitterpated and we’re on the cusp of rock ’n’ roll season.

That last part may have more significance to me than it does to you. The warmer weather means I’m morphing into my band-widow-with-a-garden mode, wherein my husband, Mick, spends every waking hour from May through September preparing for, performing at or recovering from geezer rock ’n’ roll gigs — and I water the cucumbers.

Occasionally, people ask me who the heck Mick is, because they know that’s not my husband’s name. I explain that it’s my affectionate moniker for him, being that he’s a rock star in a 1960s cover band, and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones is his musical doppelgänger.

Therefore, I do not, as some have assumed, have another husband (at least, not one that I’m revealing here today).

As you can see, Mick is going to be otherwise occupied for long periods, and because one can only spend so much time with cucumbers, I need to plan another trip with some girlfriends. I have a few ideas in the works, one being a trip to Colorado that we could call “Thelma, Louise and Sally Take the High Road.” We could find out what tourist life is like in places where weed is not something sprayed with Roundup. I pitched it to Sally and Louise, but they informed me of personal obligations that prevent them from taking extended road trips, i.e. retired, nonrock-’n’-roll husbands. So, we may be forced to stay closer to home and be content to head up to Parkfield and take a look at the earthquake fault.

The good news is that Mick and I do have a short spring trip planned with Lance the travel trailer and our new truck. We limped home from the Albuquerque, N.M., balloon fest this past fall, and found to our dismay that our F150 was very nearly terminal, hence we decided to spend a gazillion dollars on a slightly used model, rather than half-agazillion fixing up the old truck. After much discussion with our adult children around the breakfast table one weekend, we decided to call our new truck “Fat Tony.” We mean no disrespect, but “Rotund Anthony” did not have the same mobster panache. One of our sons came up with the name, and you’ve got to admit that, “Fat Tony and Lance” has a nice ring.

Besides glamorous vacations, I have other ideas in the works for occupying my time. For years I’ve thought about providing a guide service for seniors who come to visit our area — those people who would love to get off the tour bus, and instead cram themselves into a 2010 Toyota or climb into a large pickup truck.

I’ll work up a snazzy brochure and call it something like “Five Geezers in a Prius” or “Fat Tony and the Old Folks.” The business will be modeled after the “Road Scholar” trips, and offer different activity levels: moderate, active and strenuous. Moderate activity will involve driving around San Luis Obispo and honking at teenagers, the active bunch will honk and moon said teens, and the strenuous tour will include all of the above plus lunch at a downtown eatery.

As I think about it, I might even go so far as to install benches and seat belts in the bed of the truck, and I’ll get my brother-in-law to ride in the back and point out interesting sites.

He’s way into reminiscing about the SLO of the ’70s, so he could stand with a bullhorn and pontificate as we cruise by the former locations of Montgomery Ward, Hanna’s Hardware and Scrubby and Lloyd’s. To reduce our liability risks, we will, of course, supply our patrons with helmets, because as you may know, getting in and out of the back of a pickup is not that easy. After the tour of downtown, we could even provide some musical thrills, and drop by one of Mick’s gigs — helmets optional.

As you can see, I have lots of important work planned for the season, but for now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to water the cukes.

Suzanne Davis is happily retired and living in the South County with her husband and their three dogs. Email her at

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