It’s funny the connections you find here. I’ve heard the old cliché that, in a small town, everyone knows everyone else, but I’ve never really lived in a small town before. The closest I came was back in the 1980s, when I lived in Tulare in the San Joaquin Valley: Its population at the time hovered just below 40,000. That’s almost as many people as live in San Luis Obispo — the biggest city in our county — these days.
When I lived in Fresno, people called that a small town, too, but it wasn’t. By the time I was born more than a half-century ago, it had already crossed the 100,000 threshold. It wasn’t the Los Angeles megalopolis (I’ve lived there, too), but it was plenty big. My favorite restaurant there was (and is) El Torito, and I still lament the fact that SLO County doesn’t have one.
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