Les Naman didn’t live in San Luis Obispo. Indeed, he didn’t even live in California, but became a valued friend of the community. The great-grandson of community pioneer Charles H. Johnson, Les took his business responsibilities beyond the economy to preserve both the gifts of property and heritage.
What is known as the Johnson Block (corner of Chorro and Higuera) had fallen into the unimaginative architecture of the 1950s. Instead of casual maintenance, Les restored the building to much of its original integrity and was planning to do more.Thanks to his mother, Dorothy (he dedicated a city bench in his parents’ memory), and cousin, Pat Volk, Les remembered he (and we) are part of the chain from yesterday to today and on to tomorrow.
Near monthly trips from Portland to oversee the family’s investment is near-Herculean compared to those who live locally and allow historic assets to degenerate. Les will be mourned by his family and friends but deserves to be thanked for his care of our community. A grateful city will miss him.