Imagine yourself driving long, winding roads flanked by towering redwoods, the pouring down rain beating your windshield. For miles, as day moved into dusk, few cars traveled this road. While Don navigated the twists and turns, and we shared random conversation, I found myself drifting into daydreams, snippets of what could be my next story.
After a few hours of driving, we found ourselves at our destination- Mendocino, California. If you’ve never been to Mendocino, this tiny quaint community sits on cliffs overlooking the ocean. The buildings are colorful, historic, and well cared for. The town reminds me of a fictional town in a movie, or story, a small village set on the East Coast, where a good mystery unfolds or a romance blossoms.
Our main purpose in Mendocino was to attend the screening of a movie. Don’s band, the Hot Frittatas, contributed some of their recorded words for numerous scenes in the movie. They were invited to the screening as guests, as well as entertainment before the screening. Needless to say, they were a hit both live and in the movie!!
As people mingled before the movie, I was taken in by the strong community atmosphere where most people seemed to know one another. At first, I felt a bit like an outsider. Then, strangers began coming up to me, introducing themselves, drawing me into conversation. By the end of the evening, I learned that at least half of the people in the room were somehow involved in the movie. The other attendees were community support for the filmmaker, either family or friends, or support for someone who had contributed to the movie.
When we visited Rockport, Massachusetts last summer, I fell in love with the English style town lining the Atlantic. The dreamer in me yearned to stay, to pretend I could just fall into life on the East Coast, but the realistic part of me knew I had a life to go back to in Santa Rosa. This last weekend, I felt that same yearning, but the realization was different- I’m free to visit Mendocino anytime I want.
One of the best parts of this trip was staying at the quaint motel on the beach in Fort Bragg, a neighboring town. Late at night before sleep, as I listened to the rain, I wondered what secret lived within the history of those walls. For many years, people had come and gone, went on with their lives. What kinds of situations had transpired in that room? Of course, he writer in me imagined a good mystery, leading me right into dreamland….
© 2007 Susan Littlefield