While on a California vacation celebrating my 40 birthday with my boyhood friend Billy O. we decided to search for our childhood friend Charles C. He had left our N.Y. neighborhood during the second grade when his parents made him move to Carmel. We didn't have his address but only the knowledge that the my mother and Mrs C., Charles's mother, had keep in touch over the years with Christmas cards. We found an address in a local phone book but gave up after a few hours and headed to Monterey to check out the famous tree on the rock.

I was so excited when we got there that I mistakenly locked the keys in the rental car. After taking a bunch of bad pictures of the tree I suddenly realized what I had done. Luckily Billy still smoked and always left one of the windows cracked open. After about twenty minutes of not getting anywhere an Hasidic family walked by and the father got a wire hanger from their luggage and jimmyed the lock.

We walked back toward the tree to get a last look and I saw this image on the back of a tree stump.

Cypress, Monterey
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