The Circles of Carmel Square

Wally-LeValleyWe all have great stories about our very favorite teacher and the “pearl of wisdom” we still treasure today, that this unforgettable character in our past, shared with us. My “character”, and I believe he would appreciate the moniker, is Wally LeValley, the English teacher I had at Carmel High School. The pearl of great wisdom – look beyond the obvious! There are so many layers beyond and beneath the situations and personalities that comprise our day to day lives. Take the time to “get it”.

Flashback to LeValley’s English class at Carmel High in the 1960’s and teaching Shakespeare to a bunch of idiot children – me included. The play was “Antony and Cleopatra” and besides having to struggle through reading the whole play we had to actually present a scene. Wait a minute! Now I have to memorize Shakespearean prose in Elizabethan English; whole paragraphs that I am not sure I understand anyway? Uh-oh, this isn’t going to work. Well, you know what? It did work. I was Cleo’s maid in Act 5, scene 2 where she decides to “shuffle off her mortal coil”, (Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1 , I’m showing off because I want Wally to know that I eventually read ALL of Shakespeare’s work), her choice of demise, poisonous snake bite. This would not have been my first choice, in my sophomoric shallowness, I would have handed Cleo the basket and said, “Go for it, girlfriend” – not in Wally LeValley’s English class. Because this is not a treatise on “Antony and Cleopatra” suffice it to say that I learned to put myself into every character’s situation, into every character’s emotional ill or well-being and into every character’s way of communicating that angst or exaltation. Yes, there are great benefits, sorrows and joys, in looking deeper and seeing beyond; being aware of themes, beginnings, endings and circles that exist around us and are part of us.

Evynn-LeValleyWally LeValley is still part of one theme and circle of my life today. I am honored to include his talented daughter, Evynn LeValley, as part of the family at Carmel Square. Evynn is a beautiful artist, combining her vast natural talent with her post graduate work at Brooks Institute of Photography. Her lifestyle photos radiate her love of natural light and her keen sense of dramatic scenery. She and co-owner, Rachel Short, operate the photography studio, EXPOSED in Carmel Square. The Carmel Square has been in my family since this circle began in the 1960’s and will continue on with my daughter and her daughters, I hope not “coming full circle” (more showing off, King Lear Act 5, Scene 3) for many more generations to come.

Exposed-Carmal-SquareWhen I walk through the courtyard of Carmel Square and see the stunning art and photography of Evynn and Rachel showcased in EXPOSED, I see so much more – I look far beyond the obvious! I get it, Wally! Please accept my deepest appreciate of a lifetime skill that you and Willy taught me. I see the remarkable blessings of this place and the tremendous families that have passed down generationally great passion and talent. I see the Circles of Carmel Square!

Wally LeValley is a native Californian and an ex-Marine, “surviving a 3-year-hitch, avoiding the brig and mustered out in San Francisco in 1961”, when he went back to college, graduated, got a teaching credential and later his Masters. He taught English at Carmel High School for 17 years (1964-1981). He is blessed with a wife and two beautiful daughters and is the author of “Waiting to be Called” and “Common Cords”. Wally currently spends his time between his home in Carmel Valley and a residential assisted living facility in Pacific Grove.