The Central Coast / Henry Miller / Art Scene in Big Sur



Top shot is along Highway 1, where we spent the day driving and hiking from San Simeon north.  I gave the boys a choice: they could either see some warped old dude’s castle, or the aquarium at Monterey, but not both.  They wisely chose the latter.  This sparked a discussion of Orson Wells and Randolph Hearst, but that’s a different topic.

Bottom shot is at Nepenthe in Big Sur, where we always stop for tea.  If you’ve been there, you know the view is insane. 

We passed the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, but didn’t have time to go in.  I stayed there one night in 1990, when I’d met the caretaker in town.  He’d spotted me working on a book, asked what it was about, and the next thing you knew, offered to put me up.  Since I was camping at the time, that was fine by me.

It was a great night.  He fixed one helluva meal, then we went to Esalen to soak in the hot springs, then back to the bar to drink beer until closing.  I’ve never seen him since, but he was pure laid-back California hospitality.

I told this story to the boys, as well as the story of Henry Miller’s life–one of the first Big Sur rebels.  They all were engrossed, so I got my oldest a copy of Tropic of Cancer.  Since he just finished a Cormac McCarthy novel, it looks like Miller will provide diversion for the rest of the trip.

The art scene in Big Sur?  Plenty of painters, but this ain’t gallery country.  That’s in Carmel and San Francisco.

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