I confess. I am sorry. Oh, Lord, forgive me. Oh, state authorities, pardon me this one time. Honest, I didn't know it was the Heron Bird Preserve.
I will never forget what I saw. Sorry for squealing, Michael, I hope they don't extradite.
The next great drama in my love affair with Morro Bay was the creation of the Masterpiece Motel. Every great love story produces offspring, and this was the second one, a beautiful one, perhaps the Masterpiece is a female.
A few years later:
Again, I received a phone call from a marriage broker (well, he was a real estate broker) and this time the story was:
A lovely couple had owned the El Morro Motel at 1206 Main Street in Morro Bay, and it had burned to the ground. I did not receive all the pathetic details and I have no idea whether insurance was involved. But the couple, the gentleman of which was a decorator, rebuilt the building with an exquisite design, Spanish-Moorish architecture, and when I saw a picture of the building I fell in love with it. Bad real estate practice: never fall in love with a property. Anthony and Cleopatra died because they fell in love with Egyptian real estate.
Nonetheless, I had to see it, and again I took beautiful, winding Highway 41, carefully modulating my speed and anxiety, and then again, the three magnificent smoke stacks and the incredible rock came into view, and again I felt as though I were coming home.
The El Morro in person was stunning- the curves, the sinuous cylindrical design, were indeed seductive, and there was no doubt it was female. I have always had a weakness for a good-looking lady. The interior had the mysterious corridors and blank wall after blank wall that I knew I wanted to inscribe with love and caring. It seems to me now as if the inspiration for it to become the Masterpiece was whispered to me by the building itself, for I have no idea where the idea for its new identity came from.
Of course there was some negotiation, but it appears the owning couple had rebuilt the burned-down building, and had run out of money before they could properly furnish it. And financial stress always leads to marital stress.
And so it was that I was able to purchase the El Morro at the right price with funds left over for the re-furnishing and the decoration.
In a matter of days we closed escrow, and then it was time to re-imagine the motel, for it was not then a successful operation. Slowly, as Michelle took charge of the day-to-day, I realized it had to become something else, but what?