Shadowbrook Book. Say it three times fast and you get “ShadowBook.” That’s what I’m doing – resurrecting the book on my favorite restaurant. It came to me on a Friday afternoon at Happy Hour. As I sat at the famous bar sipping my usual – Grey Goose Martini up, slightly dirty, two onions, two olives – I suddenly felt at home. And then Ted Burke, the owner, walked in, greeted me warmly as though no time had passed (it had been four years) and I just knew this was the right thing to do.
I started this project several years ago when I moved back to Capitola from Miami to marry an old friend, yeah, one of the Capitola “Exes.” He proposed at Table Sixty-six, one of my favorites overlooking the creek. We were more friends than lovers, and agreed to support one another through our senior years. We were to enjoy a life of travel with me having plenty of writing time, and he managing his vast real estate holdings.
With the real estate crash of 2008 came the crash of our world, our proposed life together, and our marriage. During the turmoil of the next few years, much of my work on Shadowbook was lost or destroyed. I moved on. I moved to Costa Rica intending to spend the rest of my days there.
Due to a variety of circumstances, four years later I found myself back in Capitola. It was as though I floated in on a magic carpet and landed smack-dab in the middle of my old life. It was time to face the demons and wrestle the ghosts of my past. Why was I here?
A dear friend of mine, Nancy, had been telling me for years that I should have my astrological chart done. She knew an expert in the field, Jeanne Alkire, and kept raving about her readings. While I don’t discount astrology, I am not well versed in it either. I grew up in the times when it was common to greet new acquaintances with, “Hi, what’s your sign?” before asking the person’s name. The 1968 hit song “Age of Aquarius” was the rage and, and with college behind me, I set out to make a life for myself in San Francisco.
Always up for adventure, a fellow motorcycle enthusiast invited me to take a ride down the coast to a place called Capitola where he heard there was a cool bar that was only accessible by some tram thingy.
At that time, the Shadowbrook bar was dark, low-ceilinged, and had a burlwood piano bar off to one side. I loved it! Over the years, it became the focal point for celebrations, first dates, last dates, and a safe place to hang out alone. What does all this have to do with my chart? Jeannie answered my question in four simple words. Why am I back in Capitola?
She said, “You have unfinished business.”
She had me from the moment she walked in the door. Before we even sat down for the reading and before we were even introduced, she said, “Your housing is in flux and something bad happened to you when you were five years old.”
The hairs on my arm stood up, and I sat down to hear what else Jeannie had to say. Within minutes she cleared up a whole bunch of stuff, “You have mostly fire, a bit of water, some air, and NO earth.”
That explains everything! I have NO EARTH! I have been searching for someone or something to tie me to the earth lo these many years. For now I choose to be tethered to the earth via Shadowbook. I have recovered some of the stories I wrote ten years ago, studied the history of Capitola, and am now actively recruiting material from people who have tales to tell about this iconic place.
If you have a story, be it funny, sad, interesting or disastrous, please contact me! I will happily include it in the book – “Shadowbrook – Unauthorized tales from Table 66” (that’s where I plan to perch and write).
Some of you, dear readers, have been waiting for “The Husbands” which was to be my next book. Due to the sensitive nature of the material, I have postponed this one. Remember, I live in a small town with THREE exes! Even if I change the names, people here know me well enough to guess the characters. Stepping on toes is one thing, but all things considered, it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie if I value my life.
So, thanks to Nancy’s gift of a Chart Reading, and the astute observations of Jeannie, Astrologer Extraordinaire, I am clear on my mission. Shadowbook! Coming soon…
Send your stories to: email@example.com
Excerpt: The dining experience at Shadowbrook begins the moment you step off the curb and walk over to the cable car platform. The quaint red car may be quietly waiting for you to board, it may be sitting at the bottom of the hill, or it may be enroute, trundling up the steep slope. Wherever it is, just looking at it takes you back in time, invites you to slow down, and indulge your senses as you become immersed in the exquisite tropical gardens gracing the grounds surrounding the restaurant.