Richard Stacy used to run a nightclub that played host to the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Willie Dixon, Willie Nelson and John Lee Hooker.
George Thorogood played his first Los Angeles-area show at the Sweetwater Cafe, and Vince Gill had his wedding reception there.
But it’s not Redondo Beach that gets Stacy, 68, misty-eyed when he talks about the community that’s home to him.
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Specifically, he remembers the rains of 1995, when floodwaters inundated his wife’s shop, Stephanie’s Special Creations in the West Village.
“All the people in Cambria ...” Richard Stacy recalled, his voice trailing off as he got choked up thinking about it.
“I was ready to throw it all out,” Stephanie Stacy continued, speaking of the merchandise she thought was ruined. “One person in particular came out and got it all washed at the laundromat. It wasn’t just us, it was every shop. It was amazing.”
That sense of community is one thing Richard Stacy points to in describing his love of Cambria, where he moved in 1988 from Encinitas after growing up in New Hampshire and spending 20 years in Redondo Beach.
“What I really like about this town is, first and foremost, the sense of community,” he said. “Hardly a week goes by that there’s not some kind of benefit for somebody who has a serious health issue or a financial setback. This is what we do here.”
Stacy, owner of Marathon Tile, also points to the climate — “It can be 110 over in Paso (Robles), and it’s 70 here” — and the schools as reasons to appreciate Cambria.
There’s also plenty to do. He’s president of the Cambria Couples Dance Club, and he’s taken his children to hike in Big Sur and to regular barbecues at San Simeon Cove.
The “Stacy Compound,” as they call their home on Pineridge Drive, is also home to a granddaughter and his 92-year-old parents.
“People are drawn here, I think, because of the remoteness of it,” he said of Cambria. “The closest town is 15 miles away, and it’s smaller than we are. We depend on each other; there’s a feeling of interconnectedness here.”