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October 20th, 2009 - Monterey, CA

I would like to thank Thomas D’Acquisto and Garrett Dulaney for their generous donations. Please make a donation of any amount for the month of October and let’s reach this month’s goal.

Andy Pogany, another GSer invited me to visit him if my travels took me to Monterey. Monterey is a small town just north of Carmel, on the coast of California. Famous for its fisheries from the years gone by, it was also the first capital of California.

I met Andy and his friend Dennis around 6pm at a shopping center near his house. Since it was getting dark, we exchanged a few words and started heading back towards his place. The road kept getting narrower and I started to doubt whether there was actually anything at the end of the path but sure enough, at the end of the road stood a beautiful house on top of a hill surrounded by oak trees.

After a great Hungarian dinner and lots of wine, we played Crokinole, a Canadian board game which was a lot of fun. You cannot beat Andy in that game and I was glad to be his partner. I went to bed around 2:30 and that set the precedent for the following nights.

The next day Andy took me out for a ride around Monterey and showed me much of the town. From fisherman’s wharf to local hotspots, we covered anything that was worth seeing and did some shopping for the bikes. We spent the rest of the night working on our rides, turning wrenches while listening to country music (according to Andy, a necessary activity).

We wired up a coil relay for Andy’s GS750 and fixed his broken mirror mount and later took the rear wheel off of the 850 and greased the splines which was overdue after 8000 miles of hard use. One thing led to another and when I looked at my watch it was already 4 am and we were still talking about cars and our various fruitless attempts to re-invent the wheel in our pasts.

My plan on leaving the next day came to a halt when I woke up at noon and could barely stand straight, so Jollene and Andy offered me to stay another night so we could see the State Parks and the town of Carmel.

We left for the coast rather late waiting for the morning rain to clear but still managed to see a lot of the places we intended. We toured the Carmel area in Andy’s old (1996) Porsche 911 which I was privileged to drive. Now I know what all the fuss is about when people talk about this German beauty. As Andy puts it, it’s a classic car with 6 angry Germans pushing in a trunk. My camera died when we were in Point Lobos and we were bummed that we couldn’t take more pictures and we felt really stupid later when we realized we both had our camera phones with us and didn’t even think of that.

After having dinner in a little Italian restaurant in Carmel (with a horrible “100 year old family recipe” garlic bread – Andy forced me to add this) we headed back to Monterey and made a promise to go to sleep early that night. It was all going as planned until we started talking about guitars and the last night of my stay turned into a jamming session that lasted until 3am. Andy pulled out his guitar collection and hooked up the Amp and we played everything from Persian folk songs to old blues. What a great night.

My stay in Monterey was memorable and although seemed like a vacation with no progress on the mission, it laid out a lasting friendship with a great couple. The exciting news is that Andy will be proof reading my journals which will save you some headache trying to figure out what I’m trying to say. Andy and Jollene, thank you both for your hospitality, I had a fantastic time.

There are 5 Comments

  1. Andy Pogany
    October 20, 2009 at 9:23 am

    We ate, we drank, we sang, we danced.
    Well ok, we didn’t sing and dance… we wrenched, toured, bs-ed, and played some music…
    Chris,
    I echo Tom’s sentiments wishing you nothing but the best on your mission and wishing I could have done more to help. It was an absolute pleasure to have you as our guest.
    Soccer (“futbol”)/esp. world cup soccer both from countries that didn’t make it this time, guitar, first generation ethnic Americans still speaking a native tongue, love to laugh/poke fun at…well everything, frustrated and adventurous car/bike amateur mechanics, old Suzuki bikes, lovers of classic Porsches, and healthy heterosexual male-ness appreciating God’s work with feminine pulchritude (well, not as bad as those horny deer in my yard, right Chris?).
    So nah, Shiraz and I have got like NOTHING in common
    One night (where the wife was sure to invite one my dear male friends over for dinner as “insurance” that we were not about to “live” one of the many horror movies she dearly loves and watches all the time) turned into 3 nights. Of pure fun, bonding, and loving being a part of this and being able to “contribute in some small way” as Tom said perfectly below.
    We ate well (hey, it’s a Hungarian thing), libations flowing freely (not while riding of course), got Chris out to take a small sample of awesome Monterey area, stayed up insane hours having way too much fun, accomplished much in the way of Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and well, just didn’t want it to end although we both knew it had to at some point.

    I hope you enjoyed your stay in Monterey and Steinbeck’s “Pastures of Heaven” where we humbly live. I hope you will remember us and your stay; we will certainly never forget you and will be rooting and praying for you over the next four years!
    Hanginthere, godspeed, and all that (I hate “goodbyes”)….here we (well just you since I’m taking pic) are in my garage having fun wrenching and bsing until 4am holycrap! God i’m gettin’ too old for that but what fun it was!:

  2. BeerMonger
    October 24, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I grew up playing crokinole and have 2 boards today. We’ve had an annual crokinole tourney amongst our friends and family for several years, complete with a trophy! Good to see you got an introduction to it.

  3. Andy Pogany
    October 25, 2009 at 7:11 am

    BeerMonger-right on. I offered to get each of my 2 daughters boards once they graduated college. Believe it or not, it worked and they graduated. Everyone in our family loves the game. Where did you grow up?

    Chris – looks like you made it to Bakersfield. Bike ok? Gonna hook up with Chef?

  4. Andy Pogany
    October 25, 2009 at 7:12 am

    ps If anyone cares, that is a 1959 Gibson ES330 Chris is playing. Something of value that is actually OLDER than even me!

  5. August 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    awesome post

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