Category Archives: Judy Salamacha

Dr. Don Morris – A Life Lived Well

JudySalamacha300DPIThen & Now
By Judy Salamacha

Where does Dr. Don M. Morris get his zest? It might be from his passionate interest in people and his quest to stay healthy and make things happen.
At 85-years young, he recently won three gold medals at the California State Senior Games Championships held in Pasadena. Competing in the 85-89 age group, the Shell Beach resident made 23 of 25 basketball free throws, including 11 of 18 from the 3-point line.
He also won the hotshot-shooting contest. He’s won over 100 medals in the past 33 years competing in track and field and basketball at Senior Olympic competitions in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon.
In 2009, he was honored as the “Mt. San Antonio College Alumnus of the Year,” and the 1950 graduate was said to have “excelled academically and athletically,” according to the recitation for the award. Continue reading Dr. Don Morris – A Life Lived Well

Writer’s Conference a Treat and a Bargain

JudySalamacha300DPIThen & Now
By Judy Salamacha

While traveling to workshops, author and education consultant, Sandra Mittelsteadt, meets people who are impressed that she has published three books. Publishing is their “dream” they tell her. To which she answers, “The only difference between me and you is I wrote the first word.”
Tolosa Press columnist, Teri Bayus, is the newest director for the 31st production of the Central Coast Writers Conference at Cuesta College, set for Sept. 18-20. She advises, “If you are even thinking of picking up a pen to start to write or want to jumpstart your current project, you need to come to the conference.”
Offered through Cuesta College Community Programs, registration and youth scholarship applications can be found at: Continue reading Writer’s Conference a Treat and a Bargain

Training with the Friends of the Elephant Seals

Tolosa FES Elephant SealsThen & Now
By Judy Salamacha

Would you like to meet people from all over the world without traveling far from home? Is teaching something amazing to children and adults on your bucket list?
Are there ocean mysteries you’d like to discover without leaving the shore? Does it make you happy to make others happier?
If you are intrigued by these questions, you should meet Polly Tatton, chairperson of the training team for Friends of the Elephant Seals (FES). An interview with her is the first step to becoming a docent and volunteer guide. Continue reading Training with the Friends of the Elephant Seals

Volunteers Honored by Senior

JudySalamacha300DPIThen & Now
By Judy Salamacha

“Seniors, Get into the Act!” This call to action complimented and congratulated several individuals and senior service organizations for their good works at the 2015 “Celebration Tea” hosted by the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging.
Jim Talbott, president of the agency’s board of directors, said the honorees were “champions” for their efforts to enhance the lives of senior adults in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. Three honorees were recognized as “Senior Citizens of the Year” — Dr. Ralph B. Allison, Forrest “Frosty” Frost, and Joan Bogle. Continue reading Volunteers Honored by Senior

A Welcoming Home for Elderly Dogs

JudySalamacha300DPIThen & Now
Story and Photos by Judy Salamacha

Tolosa Charlotte Meade & 19th Beagle
Saturday, June 27 from 4-7 p.m. the nonprofit will present a second annual benefit for Meade Canine Rescue at Four Lanterns Winery on Hwy 46 West. Guests may walk their own dog or a senior rescue dog through the vineyard during “Yappy Hour in the Vines.” There will be wine tasting, live music, and a silent auction with celebrity guests, actor David Alpay, author Teresa Rhyne, and movie equestrian, Donna Cheek. The advance donation cost is $40. Call (805) 239-4004 or email to: [email protected] for tickets or information.

Charlotte Meade is not an Old Mother Hubbard. She’s far from elderly and is a spunky bulldog when confronted with irresponsible pet owners. And her cupboards would never be without healthy canine cuisine.
Her volunteers at Meade Canine Rescue Foundation say she’s the Pied Piper of her 62-dog senior homestead. No doubt, she’s the Alpha dog on the ranch, but she’s no “dog” when it comes to looks, knowledge or determination. Admirers probably liken her more to a St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In fact, Pope Francis, take note — Meade is working miracles in California for senior dogs that become homeless for a variety of reasons.
“Dogs that have no other option but death are provided food, shelter, veterinary care, exercise, and love,” reads Meade’s website (see:, a senior dog rescue nonprofit based in Connecticut and California created by Charlotte Meade. Funds for medical costs and supplies are the most needed while Meade and volunteers provide a loving and safe environment for abandoned senior dogs to live out their final years.   Continue reading A Welcoming Home for Elderly Dogs

Living a Luffa Life

JudySalamacha300DPIThen & Now
By Judy Salamacha

A luffa sponge isn’t grown in the ocean? Seriously, luffa sponges are harvested in Nipomo, and from vines no less.
Deanne Coon, co-owner of The Luffa Farm, claims, “It’s a plant with an attitude. It will either like you and grow for you or not.” Since 2003, she’s invited the public to visit and discover the mysteries of the luffa.
Judy S Loofa Stage DoneCoon had success growing luffas in Northern California, but after moving to Nipomo it took her three years to discover the perfect conditions her vines liked. Chasing off hungry gophers and creating a cozier environment inside greenhouses produced thriving luffa vines.
In 2003 she had enough sponges to create a mail order business and sell to a few local outlets. Long’s Drugs was first to agree to carry her luffa sponges. The growing business allowed Coon to work from Continue reading Living a Luffa Life

‘All In Student Challenge’ a Joy for McCarthy’s

JudySalamacha300DPIThen and Now
By Judy Salamacha

Friday, May 15 is the deadline to take the “All In Student Challenge” for 2015 (see:, sponsored by McCarthy’s of San Luis Obispo.
The program changed in 2015 to reach more Central Coast students in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara counties with a valid California Driver’s License and Student ID.
“It doesn’t matter if students are in high school, community college, or university,” said Mike McCarthy, who visits campuses with Coach McCarthysTommy Miner and the California Highway Patrol encouraging students to agree to drive — and live — smart and responsibly.
Ten students and their parents will be randomly selected to join the festivities May 30 at McCarthy’s car lot, 43 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo for a barbecue and drawing when one will win a Scion tC. Continue reading ‘All In Student Challenge’ a Joy for McCarthy’s

Then and Now

JudySalamacha300DPIBy Judy Salamacha

Hiking up the Pecho Coast Trail, it is easy to imagine you’ve crossed over into another dimension. Only seaside can you spy, the carved, flattened space seemingly suspended three-quarters up the jagged cliff.
The precipice houses a light station compound built 125 years ago to protect Port Harford  and San Luis Bay. It might have been lost to decay, vandalism or demolition, but for the efforts of PG&E and other corporate and individual supporters who donated money and 85,000 hours of sweat equity to preserve the Central Coast treasure, now listed on the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places. Continue reading Then and Now

Guerillas Lend a Hand at the Zoo

JudySalamacha300DPIThen & Now
By Judy Salamacha, photos provided by GGC member, Amaya Toke

Taylor Newton ‘”heard it through the grapevine” that his Morro Bay-based Guerrilla Gardening Club was needed to spruce up the grounds at Zoo to You in Paso Robles, which has plans to implement more public entertaining.
When Newton met Curator, Kasey House, they witnessed a serendipitous kinship that destined their organizations to work together.
Zoo2YouBengalTigerTwenty years ago, David Jackson, an internationally known and respected exotic animal trainer and zoological manager, created Zoo to You to provide a permanent, loving home for displaced, abused, abandoned and permanently injured wild animals. Continue reading Guerillas Lend a Hand at the Zoo

Hunting Up Innovation at SLO’s Spice Hunter

JudySalamacha300DPIThen & Now
By Judy Salamacha

If the headline for this column read “Engineers Spice up Pallets” would you question the spelling – “palates” or “pallets?”
Actually, the play on words literally describes what’s happening at The Spice Hunter, a San Luis Obispo-based manufacturing/distribution facility. Owned by C.F. Sauer Company, it employs 70 and packages over a million spice jars a month for the company’s private label, plus several private labels under contract. Continue reading Hunting Up Innovation at SLO’s Spice Hunter