"California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see. But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot If you ain't got the do re mi." - Woody Guthrie
So off we drove across the grand old USA to find our fortune in California. We moved with two cats and whatever belongings we could fit into two cars. We either got rid of the rest, or put it in storage. After a brief visit with my mother in upstate NY we headed west. Driving 300 to 500 miles a day we reached our final destination, the beautiful and charming little coastal city of Santa Cruz, CA with the goal of finding housing and jobs. But unfortunately that was a vision we were never able to realize. Jobs were scarce and affordable housing was even scarcer.
After a short, pleasant yet frustrating period exploring Santa Cruz we faced the necessity of going "over the hill" as they call crossing the Santa Cruz Mountains into the depths of Silicon Valley where housing was expensive but more plentiful, and I had gotten a toehold teaching piano at a Russian music school in Mountain View which is the home of Google and pretty much at the center of Silicon Valley. We rented an attractive apartment in Menlo Park (home of Facebook) and I started to augment my teaching practice with private students from that area. I also landed my first gig playing solo jazz piano at the opening of a new commercial property in San Francisco by advertising on Craig's List. We were beginning to feel established. My wife had grown up in this area. But that was before it was transformed by the microchip, so for both of us it was the beginning of a brave new world.
This is the 30th installment in this blog series and my last blog post of 2019. So Happy New Year! And please join me again in 2020 as our journey continues in Woody Guthrie's garden of Eden. But make sure you bring enough Do Re Mi.....