Prescription: Literary Relief

New winter '21 CA-Modern offers upbeat diversions from the serious woes of 2020
  Fridays on the Homefront
The new Winter '21 issue of CA-Modern magazine (above): chock full of soothing subjects—like art, music, architecture, and good old-fashioned friendliness.

Has there ever been a year more serious than the one we just completed?

During those 12 months we've encountered a worldwide pandemic, climate change leading to continued destruction, and political collision and dysfunction that boiled over into droves overrunning the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Yikes! Need we say more? As some politicians are wont to say these days, give me a break!

Well, one break has arrived, gentle readers—in the form of the Winter '21 issue of our CA-Modern magazine. It's chock full of the lighter, more upbeat side of modern American life, those soothing subjects like art, music, architecture, and good old-fashioned friendliness.

Fridays on the Homefront
Riding bikes is a popular pastime in Eichler's original Lucas Valley neighborhood. Photo: Sabrina Huang

Take features editor Dave Weinstein's uplifting lead story about the bonds and common culture fostered in an Eichler neighborhood in Marin County's Lucas Valley.

Specifically, 'Bringing Back 'the Berries'' profiles the Eichler development that is often referred to as 'Lower Lucas Valley.' Some feel the name implies inferiority—no way, we say—noting that Joe Eichler marketed two distinct areas, in upper and lower areas, as simply Lucas Valley in the late 1950s and early '60s.

More interesting is the neighborly camaraderie that has developed on Lucas Valley streets with names like Huckleberry and Appleberry.

Fridays on the Homefront
A Lucas Valley 'Bike Night' social from February 2020. Photo: Steve Conkling

"When we first moved here, for the first couple of years nobody knew each other, and nobody saw each other," Kevin Dusinski tells Weinstein. Then one day the Valentines next door to the Dusinskis decided to dine front yard al fresco. When Kevin saw this, the Valentines immediately invited his family to join them. They did, and the rest is history.

"Then, every single Wednesday night we would have a little 'bike night' to get the neighborhood together, hang out, the kids could run around and play, ride their bikes around, play sports," Dusinski says of subsequent activity in the neighborhood, which has also included annual pig roasts and block parties. "It really made for a little camaraderie."