Chats about California today reminded me of this. Would love to go back and spend more time out there.
On the drive down the coast from Santa Cruz to Monterey the scenery was stunning, most of the time. The last few miles, we headed inland along Highway 1 across flat, fertile plains, dedicated to agriculture. The fields were full of people hand picking artichokes and sprouts. We saw signs advertising kiwis and strawberries too. These fields stretched out as far as the eye could see, between the sea and the mountains. Despite the obvious fertility, there was something else, the vastness, the intense human labour. This was a place where people worked the land by hand. Unlike the vast corn fields, that glow in the sun, this was not a place of beauty.
I had not then made the link between this valley and John Steinbeck. He was born and raised in Salinas, the town sitting in the middle of this plain. He sometimes worked the land to earn some…
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