Growing up in Oceanside, CA there’s not much to complain about. We’re a small, fairly tight-knit beach community. Within the past six years or so the city has become more gentrified, taking a turn from what it once was; a laid-back beach town, a true haven of surfers, marines, and those looking to bask in the California sun. Though some locals may be frustrated or downright opposed to the idea of their little beach town becoming a tourist destination, one thing we can all agree upon is that Oceanside remains a place with a strong affinity for community. For anyone that is a life-long Oceanside resident, the name Mike Montano usually rings a bell. Who is he, you ask? Well for one he’s my grandpa. He has unfortunately passed away but his name brings back many memories for me and others who had the pleasure of knowing him. He was notorious for his boisterous personality and old-time charm that would leave an impression on anyone he came into contact with.
It has now been one month since I joined the NEXTWERK team. As the Operations Assistant, I spend most days with the Operations Manager, who is another Oceanside local. Out of the blue today, she looked up at me with familiarity in her eyes and said: “I’ve been meaning to ask, are you related to Mike Montano?” Her eyes lit up as I told her he was my grandpa. It was like she knew all along. We both laughed and shared stories, noting that his personality was one in a million. He was cranky in a comedic way which only added to his charm, but he was also a very generous man, lending a hand when he saw that others needed it. I have to say, what a small world, and what a beautiful one at that. My grandpa has been gone for almost eight years now, enough time to pass for fond memories to sometimes fade, but being able to relate to my manager through my grandfather is something very special to have in a workplace, and further makes me thankful for the community that we have in Oceanside. It felt like the perfect time to reminisce and reflect on the good times we all have shared with loved ones who are no longer with us. I encourage you to do the same.
Until next time,