Friday, August 10, 2007

(Left to right: Carlos, Cole, Ryan, the ever-endearing, Woody Woodpecker, Alfonso dude and Jake)

Here's the question:

I often wonder during the summer months, where my son and his friends are off too. They're at that pre-teen stages -- 12 and 13 -- where you want to give them a bit of freedom, but how far do you take it?

I told my son that he could head off to his good buddy's, Alfonso's house, where all the kids seem to love go. But I gave him the list of could "nots" -- especially the one about not hanging at the old fort wedged in a hillside around the corner from our house. I've heard some disconcerting rumors about kids doing nasty things there like stuffing couches into sewer lines, bringing in crews to fix that peculiar problem for more than a week. But one day in my travels, I spotted Ryan and Alfonso there and I told Ryan he'd be grounded for an eternity if he ever went again. Why? Because I had such a fort to hang out when I was a kid -- and the doings there were simply -- scary -- to say it as briefly as possible. I won't get into particulars, but as much as you want too, you cannot always trust your kid.

Freedom, as they say, is not free. You have to earn it. That's what I told Ryan when I let him go over to the cool-dude Alfonso 's house -- again -- to be with the other "cool dudes." So I have to say, it did make my day this summer when I rounded the bend near the Corner Store and found Ryan and friends walking around the neighborhood. There was a nice gaggle of them -- being boys not knowing what to do with themselves -- they were headed off to the Corner Store for a few treats, a place where it's most safe for kids to hang out.

The best part wasn't just that they weren't at that the fort, it was a very cocky and fun, Alfonso, who with complete-and-utter confidence daringly flashed brightly in this burnt-Woody Woodpecker hat.

It was so peculiar and eye-catching that even, Peggy, the new Corner Store owner, stopped her car to look and couldn't quit laughing.

As the classic-red-feathered-bird-friendly cartoon imp would say: "Hah-hah-ha-hah ha! Hah-hah-ha-hah-ha!" And hopefully, the joke is not on us!

BACK AT IT AGAIN! Tasty Treats and Tasty Times with those Aussie Gals! As Always, Kids Are Welcome...

Susan McKenna (left) and Marisa Guiffre (right) have started all over again downtown San Pedro after owning the popular, community-oriented Corner Store for seven years. Susan decided to open Nosh Cafe (which opened in July -- sort of officially -- and sort of having hours Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 'ish). Susan is the owner and Marisa has agreed to help at this fun-loving, healthy place where quiches, fruit and veggies abound with such sweet deliciousness you don't even know the food is good for you (always a good thing when it comes to kids). Located at 617 S. Centre Street, take the chance to stop by and taste a luscious latte, eat a piece of banana bread or take a bite out of scrumptious bread pudding. And that's just the beginning....Call (310)514-1121 for more information.