TORTILLA FLAT

 

    There are several locations on the Monterey Peninsula purported to be Tortilla Flat, but, as inhabited by John's Paisanos Of The Round Table, there in fact ain't no such animal - exactly.  This has caused quite a lot of perplexity for literary pilgrims.  Thousands of tourists travel millions of miles trying to find the place and most never know for sure if they have.  I will hereby tell you where to go to avoid the milling throng, and you are quite welcome.

 

    John appropriated the name from a spot in Carmel and applied it to a certain stretch of Johnson Avenue on a hill in Monterey.  There, just before you've climbed so far as the Veteran's Hall, you will find the "flat" where stood Danny's houses, and the gulch behind them where he fell to his doom.  From higher up that hill you can view Fisherman's Wharf from the same coign of vantage as did the camera in the 1942 film.  There is a third candidate, but those who hold with the Jesse Street location up on Huckleberry Hill have little more to support their theory than base rumor.  Unless you are a mountain climber, none of these places fall into the category of "easily accessible on foot."

 

    So, this song is all about that; all about those frustrated li'l lost sheep looking for a whole place that only half-exists.

 

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"TORTILLA FLAT"

Larry Hosford

 

Where can it be? Where is it at?

Where will I find Tortilla Flat? Tortilla Flat? Tortilla Flat?

 

I've been to Johnson Avenue,

To take the air and see the view;

But I do not believe Pilon

Would walk that far to get back home

If he was stoned, and all alone. No! Not Pilon!

 

Where can it be? Where is it at?

Where will I find Tortilla Flat? Tortilla Flat? Tortilla Flat?

 

I've been up to Jesse Street,

I climbed so high it hurt my feet;

And knowing Danny had no car,

I can't believe he'd walk that far

Home from the bars, under the stars, it's way too hard!

 

Where can it be? Where is it at?

Where will I find Tortilla Flat? Tortilla Flat? Tortilla Flat?

 

There is a place above Carmel

They call Tortilla Flat as well,

I think that's where we got the name,

But in the book it's not the same,

It's such a pain, and John's to blame, he don't explain!

 

Where can it be? Where is it at?

Where will I find Tortilla Flat? Tortilla Flat? Tortilla Flat?

 

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