Victoria Gardens is a Rancho Cucamonga mall, one of many in the Los Angeles area where shopping ranks high on people’s to do lists. The day before Christmas, late afternoon, crowds are thinning. By now, most have their shopping complete and are winding home to pack, wrap, tie bows, slip their gift under a tree or drop it into a red sock hanging from fake fireplace mantles. On the outside wall of a mall store, the California Soul Records marquee is a synopsis of California. The surf is here. The palm trees are here. The image of carefree living is here. The surfer is here. The feeling of comfort, washed out shirts and denims, short sleeves and caps is here. The effects of unlimited sun, salt, air, and wind have worked the images on the painted brick wall into something as comfortable as your favorite pair of shorts. There might not have been a California Soul Records, but if there wasn’t, there should be. This afternoon, Chris and I take photos for our future albums with this wall in the background. When you are an imaginary recording star, with California Soul Records , looks are everything. This afternoon I imagine Andy Warhol opening a can of Campbell soup, grasping it with a pair of channel locks,and warming it on a can of sterno by a Christmas tree on Wall Street Finishing 2014 on the road, most of my past year didn’t end up on scotttreks, and that is good. When I tuck a past year into the scrapbook, I’m okay if most of it doesn’t wake up again.  
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