Jessica Laskey

Journalist

About This Author

Jessica Laskey is a freelance writer and professional actress who has lived and worked in Sacramento, San Francisco, Dallas, New York City and Paris. She is also the co-founder of Theater Galatea and Indomita Press.

Articles by this author

Hello, Neighbor!

You’ve probably driven by it countless times, a Spanish-style building shaded by trees along J Street between 52nd and 53rd streets. You’ve even stopped there at the traffic light on Rodeo Way.

An ornately painted sign identifies the building as A.W. McClaskey Adult Center. It was once El Dorado Elementary School. Today it houses various classes, several focused on adults with developmental disabilities.

When seismic regulations were ordered in the 1970s, the site was deemed too expensive to retrofit for kids but perfect for adults. In 1978, the building was repurposed as the A. Warren McClaskey Adult Center, named for a former Sacramento City Unified adult education director.

“Before legislation desecrated adult education, we used to have 10 apportionment areas,” says Susan Lytle Gilmore, principal at McClaskey since 1992.

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Cheesecake Man

As CEO of To The Bay and Back Gourmet Cheesecakes, Lambert Davis sleeps and breathes cheesecake. He eats his product too, but only “in moderation.”

“Lemon is my favorite,” Davis says. “You have to taste it to believe it.”

For more than 20 years, Davis has headed up one of Sacramento’s tastiest enterprises, a family-owned company with more than 70 cheesecake flavors. The name comes from Bodega Bay, the family’s favorite vacation site.

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Come As You Are

Stacey Johnson has lived with bipolar disorder for close to 30 years. She self-medicated until she received a diagnosis. After recovery and years of working in substance-abuse treatment, she hopes to help others with her life coaching business, Come As You Are, which focuses on substance abuse and mental health recovery.

“I believe that addiction and mental illness are gifts when they’re transformed,” Johnson says. “We experience life in a very different way than the average person. I truly believe it’s a calling. We’re resilient people who’ve overcome a lot. To me, there’s a real strength in that.”

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Circles Of Life

A moody blue dreamscape punctuated by floating golden crescents and shadowy orbs hangs on the wall. Next to it, a small placard with text.

“Golden Moons,” it reads. “There seems to be a price for living with full intention, awake and alive to the possibilities of the world. You two watch me take the risks. Holding light in a dark corner no one wants to look at. And it scares me to see you pivot away from me and on to your own path with the same luminosity. And that action, my golden moons, excites me and scares me. With audacity and flair, telling the world what you need to shine. Where did you learn this? Did I teach you or did you teach me?”

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