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A happy ending 

There's more to add to The Establishment in SLO's story

New Times recently published a story about the sale of The Establishment, ("Saving community: The Establishment went up for sale this year, leaving stabbies, super stabbies, and extended community members worried about what it might become," Aug. 11). It was a very well written article. I would just like to provide some corrections and add some clarification on things that were omitted.

In 2019, my daughter and I had begun the process to have the property overhauled and fixed up. It needed a foundation and paint, plus other repairs. I was embarrassed by how rundown the outside of the house had become while waiting for bids, reports, and permits, which took months to obtain. Then, COVID-19 hit, which halted the improvements for two more years. This building was owned by me and some family members, and, in the end, when we were ready to go get a loan from the bank, the family decided that they didn't want to carry the loan needed for these repairs. I was the only owner who voted "no" to selling the house, but eventually accepted it. We had no other choice. We either keep it, get the loan, and fix it up, or we sell it. The house needed a foundation!

Jack Kerouac, the famous American novelist and poet, lived in this house around 1953 while working as a brakeman for the Union Pacific Railroad. New Times contributor Kylie Mendonca discovered that fun fact while she was still a tenant at The Establishment, and in my opinion, it just adds more to the historical value of this house.

In the initial version of the story, it was stated that I was unable to attend architecture school in the 1940s. Although the story was updated, I just want to make the correction on that, seeing how in the 1940s, I would've been around 10 years old. It was the mid-1950s when I was not permitted to attend architecture school, because I was a woman.

I would also like to elaborate more on how the tenants throughout the years went on to attain some distinguished and unique careers. Out of a handful of tenant interviews that I received, and chosen at random, I found that there were some who became professors of botany, architects, artists, teachers, nurses, and one who became a circus performer. It was incredible how people from all walks of life came together in a communal living environment, and then went on to do some pretty amazing things. One former tenant went on to create his version of The Establishment in Belgium, and another moved to Thailand and started her own yoga studio.

I feel it's important to make known that almost all of the rooms in the Establishment have a corner sink, which really helped to alleviate some issues that could arise with the house only having four bathrooms.

The original iteration of the story also mentioned that my son's name was Dan, when in reality, his name was Ben Beauchamp. He attended junior and senior high school in San Luis Obispo. His personality would have made him a perfect tenant at The Establishment. His love for nature and creativeness would have made him fit in so well, had he not died at the age of 19. As an example, when Ben was 14 years old, during the summer at our family ranch and after breakfast, he would lie down on his back and place leftover scrambled eggs from breakfast around his lips. A wasp hole was about 6 feet away and he'd wait patiently for the wasps to buzz out of their holes and he'd let them land on his lips. He loved the feeling of their tiny, little feet scurrying around on his lips as they picked up the eggs and flew back to their holes.

Now that The Establishment has been sold, I couldn't be happier that it was bought by former tenants and those willing to keep the house as it is—a community-living home. It's a happy ending to a great story. Δ

Sara McEre co-owned The Establishment in San Luis Obispo, which recently sold to former tenants, for many years. Send a response through the editor at [email protected].

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