That is Carlsbad

I love Carlsbad. I love the small Denault hardware store in the village because it takes me back to a time when the Village of Carlsbad was more than just restaurants/bars, tourist shops and antique stores. Back when it served the local population and was the center of commerce, shoe repair, hardware stores, appliance stores and pharmacies. Every weekend I end up in Denault’s with my honey-do list because its convenient, and I would rather support local than some big box warehouse where they may have everything, but you can never find anything or anyone to help you. Besides, every time I go to a big box, I manage to find the one item without a sku code and spend half an hour at the register as they try to find it. Or, I purchase an item only to get it home and find someone had already purchased it, opened it and taken out the critical part they needed and returned it; leaving me without the necessary part. Almost every time I go into Denault’s, I run into patients and friends all on similar home improvement missions. It feels like home, small town Carlsbad.


The other weekend I was in Denault’s and here comes Evan Filipovitch with his two young children. He was hopelessly trying to juggle an armful of light bulbs and his daughter, and just dropped them (not the children)as he reached the cashier. Luckily, none of the light bulbs broke. What I love about Evan is that he always has a smile even in the midst of chaos. I have known Evan virtually since he was born. He and my son have been friends forever and both attended UCSB. He works with his father at Filipovitch and Co., an accounting firm and a Carlsbad institution. I know that my son and Evan share stories about the challenges and “joys” of working with their fathers. Both Kurt, Evan’s father, and I are proud of our sons and share the dream come true of working with our sons and watching them become successful.

Dr Brandon Bell DDS playing soccer

As we are standing at the register I notice Evan’s son is proudly wearing his soccer uniform. As Evan put it his “new favorite everyday outfit.” We start talking about growing up in Carlsbad and knowing each other forever. I tell Evan I have a photo of him paying soccer at the same age up on our wall at our house and promise to share it with him. The woman cashier who is listening to our conversation expresses her amazement at our long relationship and history. Evan who has always been good with words said three profound words to the cashier, “That is Carlsbad.” He’s right. In a world of transient indifference, Carlsbad is special because of the small town feel of long-term relationships and a caring community. People stay connected and care about each other and their community. It’s what makes Carlsbad special.

The village area of Carlsbad may be the most mature and established area of Carlsbad, but the recent passion surrounding the Prop A initiative on both sides and throughout Carlsbad would indicate the citizens’ relationship with the community is not limited to the “Old timers.” The desire for a sense of community relationship and a commitment to protect what makes Carlsbad, Carlsbad can be found in every neighborhood throughout the community.

So, I promised Evan a copy of the photo and here it is. Captured in the same photo are Joe Ryon (Taylor Made Golf) and Devon Cook(Gemological Institute),  all still friends and connected to Carlsbad. I can not recognize some of the other players, you may be able to, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t still connected to Carlsbad too.