The Gold Standard

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September 9, 2019-

Bill Tracy passed away last Thursday, after a month-long decline, triggered by a fall from the roof of his Palm Desert restaurant.  Bill was one of those rare individuals whose concept of business was primarily as a means of giving back. He had three restaurants in Prescott-The Dinner Bell (ironically, a breakfast and lunch establishment), Bill’s Pizza and Bill’s Grill.  Feeling age, he sold those establishments, in 2015, to a friend who has kept Bill’s vision.  Bill’s Pizza, for example, donated about twenty large pies to the Farmers’ Market Board, yesterday, to feed volunteers and staff at the Farm-to-Table Dinner.

Bill’s philanthropy was where his heart was.  He gave to a variety of causes and regarded the needs of the community, both in Prescott and in the Palm Springs area. He has helped our local Red Cross Chapter, as well as the Farmers’ Market and a local street ministry. Bill hired those who were disadvantaged, and worked with them to develop job skills.  I have eaten at all three of his restaurants, on several occasions over the years.  I never met the man, but I saw his ethic at work and notice that there is a close camaraderie in each of the establishments.

People like Bill Tracy are the gold standard, combining social sense, business sense and deep character.   Many of us strive to develop one or another of these qualities, and make a good effort at it.  Bill had the drive and sense of constancy to keep up with the changes and chances of economic downturns-and was a force in establishing shelters and care programs for the homeless, both in Prescott and in the Palm Springs area.

He won’t return to Prescott, but I daresay his spirit will never leave this community.

A Small-Time Mariner’s Voyage, Day 12: Meanwhile, Back On Land

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Oct. 22, 2014, Newport Beach- Each time I venture out to San Diego, I make a foray into Orange County, and usually try to get up further along the coast.  This time was no different, and I met an online friend and mentor at Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach, in mid-day.  J is always enthusiastic about the California coast, and is a good source of information about the state of affairs in SoCal, which is more crucial to the welfare of the rest of us than we might care to think.

The weather was dry and mild, when we landed in San Diego, two days earlier.  It was a nice Monday and Tuesday in San Diego, as I mentioned previously.  Wednesday morning found me headed north, on a smooth-flowing freeway and with comparatively little traffic on the Pacific Highway, from Dana Point up to Crystal Cove.  There were about a dozen people on the beach itself, being Wednesday of a school week.   As we strolled the beach, the work of a couple of children was in evidence.SAM_3136

Beachcomber Cafe, where we had lunch, is a reliable spot, for good food and entertaining people-watching.  J and I have been here twice before, and spent close to an hour talking of her concerns about California and of my experiences in Honolulu and  at sea.

After lunch,we focused on the troubled north side cottages of the beachfront.  Crystal Cove Alliance is working on restoration of the deteriorating structures, and has largely completed the work on the south side.  The rest of the work on the north will likely begin in December, according to the flyer I read.  These cottages are actually unique for Orange County beaches, which are largely structure-free, aside from changing rooms and lifeguard towers.  Their restoration would be a fine achievement for Newport Beach.

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For more on Crystal Cove, please see my earlier post:  “Back to Crystal Cove”, 4/5/2013.

After, J bid me farewell, I decided to end my northward quest, for now, and headed back towards Arizona, opting to take the back roads from Oceanside to Palm Desert.  It’s a winding route, but traffic is minimal, especially once past Temecula.  I stopped only to wonder at Cahuila Tehanet, just southwest of Palm Desert.

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The rugged outback of SoCal’s Colorado Desert seems to be one of the sub-state’s best-kept secrets. Well, my list just keeps getting longer.  For the moment, though, I felt the homeward tug, and made it to Blythe, and Relax Inn- recharging, before driving back to Prescott, the following day.  Like Arnold, I’ll be BAAHCK.