Sea Side Stories

By Dave

Who Am I?

By now I suspect some are wondering, ‘Who is this Schmedly Doogle, and what does he look like?’ After all, he’s described various characteristics of others in his area, but he’s kept a virtual Garbo-like cloak of secrecy around himself. So perhaps I should fill you in a little bit on who I am.

My ethnic derivation is, as a savvy linguist / ethnologist / geneticist / genealogist might have already determined, Scottish. Not 100%, though. On my mother’s side there were some heavily redacted rumors of naughtiness that might have brought in some French and perhaps even some Caribbean blood, though that can neither be confirmed nor denied. Wait, it was denied. Anyway, I’m mostly Scottish. My paternal clan, the Doogles—no, not the Doogles, the other, downside Doogles—was a small clan residing on the western shores of Loch Doogle, until the entire clan was forced out by the Clan Wahkenfuss, a larger clan (since extinct) with a more acquisitive nature who, wisely, kept the loch’s original name. A portion of the Clan Doogle then migrated to the interior hinterlands and settled in a very infertile valley, which is why my ancestors eventually said, in essence, ‘screw this starving business, we’re going to America.’ Or so it’s said. I’m suspicious of the timeline, but I’m suspicious by nature.

Now far flung, the Doogles did what many immigrant families did upon coming to America. They scrapped and survived. At some point, the timeline again being somewhat suspicious, some of the clan left the East Coast for the great unknown, and a remnant of them showed up in the central valley. There they did what all immigrant families did upon coming to the central valley. The scrapped and survived.

I’d like to say I was the first one in my family to attend college, but that would be a lie. My older sister was that one. But I was the second, so there. And I was the first one in the Doogle lineage to adventure across the coast range, where I beheld nirvana. I resolved one day to live there, and that I have done. Through savvy investments and pure hard work…not really…through a speck of intelligence and great good fortune and timing (and timing is everything), I was able to snatch a large chunk of coastal land long ago for a great price, and by selling off a piece now and then I’m able to live without worry, which is, I suspect, the goal of every sentient person, whether or not they’ll admit it. I’ve traveled a bit and have an intimate relationship with my Rand-McNally road atlas.

Having now filled the curious in on my background, let me describe myself. Picture, if you will, a just-pre-middle aged Cary Grant. Or a youthful “Lethal Weapon” era Mel Gibson. Or a “Magnum. P.I.” vintage Tom Selleck. Or a Thor-like Chris Hemsworth. If you have these looks embedded in your mind, erase them, because I don’t look like any of these guys.

But I have some of each of them in my appearance. I have the ramrod straight posture of Grant and a bit of his facial features without the cleft chin, the bright, some might say penetrating, blue eyes of Gibson, the infectious Selleck smile, and the muscular physique of Hemsworth. Okay, that last one is just ridiculous. I’m built more like that just-pre-middle-aged Cary Grant. Finishing up, my hair is dark with delightful gray highlights and is usually kept in a Goober-gnawed short pony tail. I occasionally sport a growth of facial hair, due more to sloth than fashion sense. I’m usually seen in quick-dry fishing shirts and zip-off fishing pants, a pair of hiking boots, and some sort of headwear to ward off sun and rain. I like French sunglasses for their optical clarity and endurance, unless Goober punctures the lenses with his teeth.

I like to whale-watch from my deck, accompanied by a glass of Bailey’s or a decent pinot noir, though I can be influenced by a nice Gewürtstraminer. Guests at Teach Mainéir Doogle might expect Crimean lobster, buffalo-faced founder, or Idyllwild sea bass grilled (served with a good pinot grigio) for a dinner on deck, accompanied by equally-grilled (not sea) vegetables.

I’m a flan aficionado but have been known to serve brownies (not augmented, unless my guest is Diego, whom you will meet) for dessert.

My taste in music runs the gamut from the Medieval to the present day, as long as it is actual music and not just drum tracks with chanting. Diego tolerates a wider range of musical styles than I, but I like what I like and make no apologies for it. I read a little of everything but socio-political stuff and enjoy discussing literature with literate people, of which there are a number around here (we may be quirky, but we’re well-read). I watch movies of most genres but tend to gravitate to older stuff with more nuance and less ‘in your face.’

I like old pickup trucks, happy dogs, early morning hikes, exploring tidal pools, and visiting with interesting people.

And there you go: Schmedly Doogle, in a nutshell. Or nut house, depending on how you view our community.

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Finster Follies


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