Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw will make introductory historical and literary remarks to visitors during the start of Monterey’s public “Christmas in the Adobes” open house on Dec. 8 at the Steinbeck/Lara-Soto Adobe. Shillinglaw is Director of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, a board member of the Cannery Row Foundation, and a professor of English at San Jose State University. The tours will be repeated on Dec. 9.
The city’s 34rd annual celebration at its historic adobes will be from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec.9. Since the 1990s, the Cannery Row Foundation has hosted the historic Monterey adobe at 460 Pierce St., which is now the Admissions Office of the Middlebury Institute of International Relations (MIIS).
John Steinbeck wrote his famous novel “The Pearl” while living in the Lara-Soto adobe. He bought the home in late 1944 and lived there until early 1945 with his second wife, Gwendolyn, and their first son, Thom, who died in 2016. The late Kalisa Moore, the Foundation’s acclaimed “Queen of Cannery Row,” insisted in the 1990s that the Cannery Row Foundation should host that adobe for this annual event – and they’ve done so ever since.
Other Cannery Row Foundation volunteers, called the “Up-Town Row Rats” by long-time, but now retired CRF founder and President, Michael Hemp, will assist moving visitors through the adobe, passing out Cannery Row Foundation information about its Steinbeck connection.
Founded in 1983, the mission of the Cannery Row Foundation is “to capture, communicate and share the history of Cannery Row and its contemporary relevance.
“We’re creating a bright new path to connect the story and traditions of old Monterey and Cannery Row,” says current CRF president Gregor Calliet, “with the aspirations of those working to build on this foundation to create vibrant historical and cultural experiences for all those who live, work, visit and play here. We see CRF as a vital catalyst for this process.”