It sits on a bluff. Across the highway from the flatblue, mercuried Pacific. Pretty much alone; brown saltwinded clapboard. Just a nearby post office, a gas station and A handful of loose-jointed houses for company. Locals arrive in their wheezing beaters, Then hang out in the dusty parking lot out front: Ancient hippies who moved back up in the ridges, After the revolution faded in the Bay Area; Slowmoving commercial fishermen, From the trailer park across the bridge; A few artists, scrub farmers and part-timers, Easymovers, content just to get by. Whats inside tells you this could only be a Northern California creation: An intelligent Assortment of wine, dark roast coffee, sourdough, Wild salmon, Mexican beer, rolling papers, bait and Books of local poetry. When the checks arrive, its the better wines, But usually its slow cans of beer and homegrown. If you fish, its workin, cheatin and hurtin songs. Otherwise its the old Grateful Dead stuff, With some Stones and Airplane thrown in. The universe moves here almost like the high tech, New Economy never happened; as though, Time stopped about 1971, and all these folks Just kept living the laid back good life.

Albion, California Aug 1999