Dad's Manzanita Letter Opener
by Karla Locatelli
(Scotts Valley Ca)
Manzanita Letter Opener
Imagine my surprise when I located the Manzanita letter opener and paperweight that I had fashioned while at sixth grade camp; I believe it was called Camp Cuyamaca in the low mountains behind San Diego. It’s hard to remember the details as that adventure in my life was at least 59 years ago. I had made it for my Dad and I guess he or Mom had treasured it away for all these years. It’s rather amazing that it is just as it was when I proudly gave it to my Dad for Father’s Day.
I believe that life is criss-crossed with various Circle Stories. This small piece of beautifully shaped Manzanita is one such small story.
Both my parents died several years ago only a year and a half apart; excruciating for me as I loved them both and miss them dearly. The paperweight was in my Dad’s shoebox which was filled with his only important possessions I surmised.
A series of events recently, set me on the path of this marvelous circle; unrelated yet propelling me forward. Curiosity and a desire to keep learning new things started it all off.
Two years ago I took the leap, plunge or whatever and bought a laptop computer and a digital Canon Power Shot after taking a few Adult Ed classes to learn how to use them. My experience with a computer was very limited and non-existent with a digital camera. My life has been changed forever.
Also during this enlightenment period, my husband
acquired some 80 acres in the mountains of Santa Cruz. This gorgeous property with its various breath-taking vistas is literally covered with my NOW favorite wilderness tree, the Madrone and my favorite shrub or “little tree”…You guessed it the Manzanita! Oh my have I been exploring and photographing these magnificent specimens from every angle; close-up, zoomed-in, far away and at various times of the day during different seasons.
Eager to learn more about these new friends I began exploring the internet. What a wealth of information is available at your fingertips… Amazing.
My search led me to a fantastic website Arbutus Arts.Com. British Columbia, Canada. It is all about magnificent Madrones and Manzanita and the wood carvings Ron Bazar creates on his paradise island. He encourages contributions, photos and questions from everyone interested in these wilderness trees. He also sells gorgeous utensils and just about anything you can carve from these trees.
Eager to contribute and test my new knowledge of the computer and digital camera I wrote an article; then another, and another…..I was hooked in sharing my new passions: Madrones, Manzanita and photography. I’ve always written stories. It’s just so amazing to get them on someone’s website. The natural progression will be a website of my own. Oh the possibilities. Who knew 59 years ago when I fashioned that Manzanita letter opener for my Dad that I would be in this position right now!
Hundreds of photos taken, reviewed and organized and I’m fantasizing about a book on Madrones and Manzanita.