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The Hot Cotati's

The Story


     This particular set derives its name from the great little town of Cotati California. Cotati sits in Sonoma County, a rural area just north of San Francisco. Responding to an ad on Craig’s List, I headed there in hopes of purchasing a set of Altec Lansing Valencia loudspeakers. The ad said the cabinets were in fair condition. The asking price was a bit steep, but probably meant to make room for some bargaining. My hopes were that the drivers were intact, or at least all there. We expect to rebuild the drivers anyway so the condition almost doesn’t matter.


     The address brought me to a tidy trailer park of meticulous double wides. I was greeted by a lovely older couple and invited in where the Valencia’s were now standing in the middle of the living room. The short story was that these belong to his younger brother, a musician, who hasn’t had the room to enjoy them for some time. He could use the money, so enlisted the older brother to get them out of his storage shed and sell them.


     The cabinets were actually in pretty rough shape, but after a quick look inside the drivers were all there and looked to be in good condition. My instinct to haggle was tempered by the nice, quiet lady with her hands folded above her stomach, watching the proceedings. The pictures on the mantle indicated she was a certified Grandma, and the smell of things baking in her oven confirmed her credentials. I turned to the guy, sighed, and asked him to remind me how much they wanted. We squared up and hauled them out to the truck.


     The Valencia’s sat in a spare room for some time waiting for the right set of cabinets, and I thought often of that nice couple, and the picturesque town with the cool name. I had an inkling that Cotati would factor in to the name of a set of Homage’s. Later, as the California wildfires raged towards Cotati, we felt a certain relief that at the least, we’d spared the Valencia’s, and prayed for the couple’s safety. The fires came close, and the couple was safe, but the seeds for the name had been planted.


     The finished product turned out well, but it was a difficult build. A series of mishaps pushed us to consider a chain saw and the fireplace as an option, but we persevered. With these being our first cabinets trimmed out in all wood, our reluctance faded as they emerged into something very special.


     Reminiscing on the wildfires, and having once considered these for a bonfire, it only made sense to fit them with a set of the black walnut horns we salvaged from a pile of firewood. At that point the name became The Hot Cotati’s. They are smoking hot indeed.

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