From TODD WALTON
“The church is the great lost and found department.” Robert Short
The terrace at the Presbyterian in Mendocino can be a wonderful place to sit and read and write and eat a snack, especially on a sunny day. From every bench one has a view of either the ocean sparkling in the distance or of the stately white church with its impressive shingled spire. Tourists and itinerants frequent the terrace, and sometimes these visitors will notice me there on a bench, deduce from my appearance and demeanor that I am a local character, and then ask me questions, which I do my best to answer.
“Where is the historical monument?” I think you mean historical landmark, and this church is the landmark.
“Is it a Catholic church?” No.
“Can you go inside the church?” I can, but I prefer to stay out here.
“I mean can we go inside the church?” If the door is unlocked, ye may enter.
“Is there a good Mexican restaurant in the village?” No.
“Is there a homeless shelter around here?” Not in Mendocino, but there is Hospitality House in Fort Bragg providing shelter for well-behaved homeless people.
“How far is it to Fort Bragg?” Eight to ten miles depending on which sign you believe.
“Is there an inexpensive motel around here?” No.
“Where is the best place to watch whales?” Alaska.
“We meant around here.” Take Little Lake Road to where it ends at the ocean. Get out of your car and…
“We have to get out of our car?” No. You can watch from your car, though your chances of actually seeing a whale or a whale spout will be greatly diminished if you stay in your car.
“Is there a good Chinese restaurant around here?” No.