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Cannery Row, Monterey, painting by Thomas Kinkade

“Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light,
a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.”

And so begins your journey to the place of which John Steinbeck wrote:  “I love the Monterey county out of all proportion to what it is.”

In 1945 John Steinbeck immortalized the one-mile stretch that was Ocean View Avenue in Monterey with his published book “Cannery Row.” The notoriety of the book focused so much attention to the street that in 1953 the city of Monterey formerly changed the street name to “Cannery Row.”

There’s a certain quality and feel to a place that sometimes draws you back to it, if not in the physical sense, at least as vividly in the spiritual.  Just thinking about it brings a sense of well-being and sweet longing for it.  Steinbeck was in love with Cannery Row and the people who brought it to life.  In the course of his writing career, he came back to it time and again. Especially to the moment he called the hour of the pearl, the magical grey time between first light and sunrise, when “the air is cool and fresh’… “a time of great peace, a deserted time, a little era of rest.”

If you haven’t read this little book of Steinbeck’s, stop by your local library or order it here.

It’s a magical trip to a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.  And you’ll be glad you went.

(h/t ThirdWaveDave)

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