In many respects San Onofre is a like a town in American west in the 1880s. In other respects it is set in 2017. The one street is dirt and I never tired of watching cattle being driven down the street to the well to be watered or being moved to or from pastures. Yet at night that same dirt street was light by street lights. Other than walking, horses were the most common means of transportation. When riders visited the store near the house the men stayed, their horses would be tied to a power pole covered with electric meters.
As we installed water filters on Friday morning, the kitchens were filled with smoke from the wood fires boiling large pots of beans. Light would come from cracks in the walls and tile roof or from a single light bulb in the middle of the room. However, nearly all of the kitchens had a crock pot or rice cooker to prepare the rice which would accompany the beans. In one kitchen the beans were already cooked and the women were making corn tortillas for lunch. Always hospitable, the women let us press the raw dough into a tortilla and cook it over the wood fire which was now heating a griddle. (Significant laughter accompanied my efforts to accomplish what for them was a very simple process.)
To make the accompanying coffee, they ground the beans in hand powered grinder very similar to the one that my grandmother used but made the coffee in a Mr. Coffee coffee pot.
San Onofre was truly a village of contrasts.
Written by: Bill Humenczuk