Updated: Apr 20, 2021
One of the more serendipitous elements of a vacation or trip is a chance to meet interesting people. A most memorable encounter took place a few years ago in Carmel by the Sea, California. We had been following the Tour de California until the cyclists turned south to finish the Tour in Southern California. We retreated north and found ourselves at the Tuckbox Inn in Carmel, one of my favorite eateries on the planet. I ordered scones and orange marmalade, with a side of ham., a breakfast favorite.
While I sipped coffee, a distinguished elderly gent shuffled in, parked his quad walker by the wall, and took his seat next to us. He was obviously on his home turf, as all of the staff knew him. Gregarious, affable, full of life.
Our newfound friend pulled up a chair next to us as our waiter brought him a bowl of prunes. Prunes are not my cup of tea, so I slathered a wedge of scone with the exquisite marmalade.
We learned the identity of this delightful man. Stan Spohn. Stan attended UCLA followed by art study at the Los Angeles Art Center School. A neighbor told him that there was a studio hiring artists for a new project. Stan was personally interviewed and hired by Walt Disney. The Project turned out to be Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Stan was a background artist on Snow White. He also painted background art for several other Disney movies, including Fantasia, Bambi, Dumbo and Pinocchio. Subsequently, Walt sent Stan to Pebble Beach to meet with another artist, Salvador Dali.Yes, we were in the presence of greatness! And to think, we had set out on this trip to see Lance Armstrong. Another story for another day.
Initially, I must admit that I was disappointed that Stan wasn't related to baseball great, Warren Spahn. Now, I laugh, because we had breakfast with the Warren Spahn of the art
Stan fell in love with the Monterey Bay area and moved to Carmel permanently in 1963. He designed and built a house that looks like a fairytale house out of a Disney movie.
Oh, by the way,
When you go to the Tuckbox Inn, get the scones with marmalade or boysenberry preserves. The prunes are strictly optional.