Unmasking PVI’s Signature Drink of the Month for May


PVI’s Phyllis Knight takes our May Drink of the Month for a “spin!”

There is no “T” in mom, we all know that’s true,

But in her honor for the rest of May, we’ve got a “tea” for you.

So stop by Spins and buy this drink and get a treat for free,
It’s refreshingly delicious, and will suit you to a “T!”

Although Mother’s Day is officially over for this year, at PVI, we believe that every day is a great day to celebrate our moms! That’s why our PVI Signature Drink of the Month for May at Spins Coffee Truck was created with moms in mind – the Lavender Iced Matcha!

Ted Hackleman, as usual, puts his own special “spin” on this drink, starting with matcha green tea, mingled with the subtle taste of lavender and then served refreshingly iced. Together, it’s the perfect combination to make you want to sit back, relax and chill for a bit – exactly what every mother right needs now. (Agreed?)

We think it would be hard to improve upon this delicious drink, but getting a treat for free with your drink purchase – compliments of PVI – well, that definitely sweetens the deal!

By the way, if you’re not familiar with matcha, it literally means “powdered tea.” As opposed to when you drink traditional green tea (with the leaves infused into the hot water and then the leaves discarded), with matcha, you’re drinking the actual leaves, which have been highly pampered to deepen the flavor and then finely powdered. So not only is the taste amazing, you also receive more of the natural nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

So a yummy drink that’s also good for you? What more could a mom ask for in a drink, right?

But, remember, you don’t have to be a mom to enjoy this month’s Lavender Iced Matcha! You just have to stop by Spins before the end of May. (And don’t forget to get your free treat!)

So, Valley Center, “Gotcha Matcha? You betcha!”

PLEASE NOTE: Spins Coffee Truck will be open during regular business hours on Memorial Day.

Spins Coffee Truck is open Monday through Friday, from 6 am – 2 pm and is parked at 27932 Valley Center Road (across from Fat Ivor’s / Powerland Equipment). 



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Memorial Day – A Son’s Reflection


Roy Knight, of Valley Center, by his father’s final resting place in Cool, Texas. It’s been a long journey, and he shares his story below.

It is different this year… and yet it is not. For some of us, every day is Memorial Day, the day our nation sets aside to honor those “who gave the last full measure of devotion” sacrificing their lives in battle. For many who lost a loved one, a friend, a comrade, every day is Memorial Day, the weight of loss is ever present. Though no longer “unbearable,” because we must bear it, it is always there.

Maj Roy A. Knight, Jr. April 1966

Maj Roy A. Knight, Jr. 602nd Fighter Squadron (Commando) USAF

I was ten years old in 1967 when I said goodbye to my father, Maj Roy A. Knight, Jr., for what I thought was going to be a year, as he left to fight in his war – Vietnam. He did not return until August of last year, 52 years after he boarded his flight in January 1967 at Love Field in Dallas. As a USAF fighter pilot flying the A-1E Skyraider with the 602nd Fighter Squadron (Commando), his war was intense and over in five months when he was shot down attacking a target in northern Laos, May 19, 1967. He was carried as Missing In Action until he was declared Killed In Action in 1974, along with all other MIA’s who had not been returned at the end of the war (save one who was known to be a POW but who had not been turned over by the North Vietnamese).

Thanks to the efforts of the active duty military personnel and Dept of Defense civilians working in the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, my father’s remains were located, recovered and identified last year. This followed years of interviews, excavations and research, the first excavations being in the 1980’s and 1994. Dad was returned to his beloved Texas and laid to rest underneath the post oaks in a small cemetery near his boyhood home, next to his brothers, mother and father, including his oldest brother, Jack, who was killed in Burma during World War II. (The Knight family has been observing Memorial Day in a personal way for a long time.)

It has been almost nine months since we buried Dad. It is still new and taking some time to get comfortable with. I had given up hope that we would ever complete this journey. I was ten years old when it began.


Maj Knight and his A-1E Skyraider – Udorn RTAFB, Thailand

The last physical sighting of Col Roy Knight by his wingman was when his plane crashed on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in northern Laos. No real way of knowing if he somehow got out of the airplane and survived. Or was he captured and executed? A story without an ending that lasted for 52 years. This limbo condition of the MIA family is rather unique and while I am so very happy that we have brought Dad home, it is somewhat tempered by the knowledge that there are other sons and daughters who continue to wait. There was never the “closure” one usually has when losing a loved one. There was always the unanswered question. What we expected to be temporary lasted for 52 years. And then, through the grace of God, and the extraordinary hard work in miserable conditions of those wonderful DPAA troops, the waiting was over. After a month of removing earth and sifting through it, they recovered human remains at the crash site. Those remains were taken to the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii and after weeks of analysis and peer confirmation, they were identified as my father. Dad was found and brought home

While there is certainly a finality in the homecoming and laying to rest of my father, an ending, as it were, there is not really closure per se.


Roy A. Knight, III being presented the flag from his father’s casket by a member of the USAF 7th Bomb Wing Honor Guard

And in fact, in many ways, it is a beginning. A new paradigm. For the first time, on Memorial Day, I know where Dad is. There is a place that I can go that has carved stone with his name on it. There is a place where my children and their children can go and read his name. And I can tell them, while I still can, about my Dad. My hero. The very embodiment of what a man should be. The journey is over.

Memorial Day is different this year. After decades of grief never fully realized, there is the opportunity to finally lay it all down. But it is also the most heart-swelling, unbelievably uplifting experience. I have decades of working on the POW/MIA issue with people who did not have “skin in the game” as I did, but who worked heroically to bring about a full accounting of our missing men. I have the stories of his recovery told to me by those who were there. I have the image in my heart of a young forensic archeologist gathering the recovery team on Dad’s crash site in Laos on his birthday as they began the search. Those young warriors raised their water bottles to one of their brothers, long lost, and sang “Happy Birthday” to him. There were the unprecedented efforts of both the USAF and Southwest Airlines to allow and facilitate my brother flying Dad on that last leg home to Dallas. There was the motorcade out of Dallas to our hometown of Weatherford that stopped city streets and interstates as we passed.

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Roy Knight and his grandson, Jack, during the funeral service

There were the flags and the firetrucks on overpasses. The USAF Honor Guard and the current generation of fighter pilots who flew over him as he was laid to rest. And there were the people. Those wonderful Americans. They didn’t know who was passing by, but they knew it was a fallen warrior. They came out by the hundreds, lining the streets, pulling over and getting out of their cars, hands over their hearts. There were the people who knew us who traveled thousands of miles on a moment’s notice to be there. And those wonderful family and friends who helped us carry the burden with their love and support for all of those years. Most importantly, I shared these special moments with my beautiful wife who walked this road with me for more than 45 of those years, and our two boys who grew up with this ever presence of a person they never knew, and with my grandchildren who are learning of their legacy.

It is different this year… And yet it is not. My identity for most of my life was the boy, the son of a warrior who was lost. And then he was found. It is different.

Knight Family 1966

The Knight family, Summer 1966. Dad would be missing in action in Laos less than a year later.

Dad will always be the tall, handsome 36-year-old fighter pilot and a large part of me will always be the ten-year-old boy who said goodbye. He is finally home. The physical reminders of him that I still have, the clothes and items he once owned grow old and, sadly, deteriorate no matter how hard you try to preserve them. But what will not be diminished for him or any of those lost on the field of battle, is the memory of those who knew them and loved them, whether son or mother, friend or comrade. They remain a part of us, adding to what makes us who we are. They live on in our hearts and when their name is spoken. And every day is Memorial Day…

(Editor’s Note: Roy Knight is part of the PVI family. His wife, Phyllis, is our Marketing and Community Relations Manager. We thank Roy for sharing his moving personal story with us.)

To read more on the life and legacy of Roy A. Knight, Jr., please check out the following links:





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Summer, Weeds, and Defensible Space – A Very Short Story

jim_davidson headshot story

Well, here we are again on the verge of Summer! We are all watching the hills that have been so wonderfully green work their way into brown. You have all probably read and heard me talk about weed abatement and defensible space before. All of you who have lived in Valley Center for a while, you know what needs to be done!

Today, though, I want to tell you a little story… About the Miller Fire, which happened back in October of 2019. First, I’ll set the scene: It was one of those warm windy October days, where you can feel the crackle in the air, and your brain says “hmmm….. Santa Ana…” For those of us in the fire service, it was a day where we all turn the volume up a notch on our radios, knowing that there is a ‘potential’… And that if something does break, seconds will really count. We’ve checked our PPE (y’all know what that acronym means now!) a dozen times… Everyone looks out at the flags snapping in front of the station and we all feel that ‘itch.’

And so it begins. 9:20 AM. Fire in Ramona. The Sawday Fire, on the Sawday Truck Trail. Our water tender is dispatched down there. Fortunately, the line holds under 100 acres. The winds soften in Ramona, and just as they call off the last fixed wing aircraft, a call comes in from Valley Center. The wind is still blowing pretty hard up here and the fire is moving rapidly. I remember hearing Air-Tac, saying “I’m heading up there, I can see the header.” There were still tankers in the air for the Sawday, so we had aircraft working our fire very quickly. I’m sure you remember the pictures of the pink houses.

Jim pink house

By the time I worked my way back up to Valley Center, there were fire resources all over the place. The winds had died down a little and very shortly the “forward rate of spread” of the fire was stopped. Ultimately, it was 37 acres, with a few out-buildings destroyed and one home damaged. Great work by your Fire Department, our allied agencies and of course CAL FIRE. A good outcome.

Jim rick d

VC Fire Captain, Rick Delaney (foreground), and his fellow firefighter from the Rincon Reservation Fire Dept., are all smiles once the fire is out. A good day’s work!

Now, this is the part I wanted to emphasize with you. Take a look at the outline of the fire. You can see there are some well-defined edges (the straight lines) on the fire perimeter. Yep, those correspond to roads. But, they also correspond to properties where the owners had done their defensible space clearing! Those properties gave our firefighters a cushion, and acted as fire breaks to help contain the fire. How do you fight a wildland fire? By removing the fuel in its path so the spread stops. But that process takes time and manpower. These folks had already done a great deal of the work for us! A fire like that could, with the right wind and fuel conditions, run all the way to the beach. We had luck that the wind subsided a little, but we also had those defensible space properties in position to help us.

Jim miller fire

It’s a well-known chestnut that defensible space can help protect your home. But, what isn’t so well known is that defensible space acts as a sort of “herd immunity” (see what I did there?) and helps to protect an entire community. Every property that is already cleared is a strong line that is already in place and frees our limited resources to work somewhere else.

Here’s where I get back on my soapbox! Let’s get that mowing done! Let’s clear those piles of wood and cut back that brush from the property lines, roads and driveways. Let’s get rid of that stack of old plywood that you’ve been meaning to throw in the dumpster! Anything that we can do together now is something that can make a huge difference when the next fire starts…

We can help you! Please give our office a call: 760-751-7600 and set up a Courtesy Inspection. We will come out to your home, free of charge, and tell you exactly what needs to be done to make your property as safe as possible from wildfire!

Jim Davidson

Fire Marshal / Battalion Chief

Valley Center Fire Protection District

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PVI Says “Bravo to the Brave!” with a Brew

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VC Fire Marshal Jim Davidson enjoying his morning brew.

Our favorite local Fire Marshal, Jim Davidson, is a regular customer of Spins Coffee Truck, stopping by on his way in to work in the mornings and starting his workday off with a fresh brew…of coffee that is!

So you can imagine what a nice surprise it was for Jim when he discovered that his morning cup of joe was compliments of Pauma/Valley Insurance (PVI)! In fact, you could say that his smile really lit up his face. (Although it’s a little hard to see that behind the mask!)

Because PVI loves our First Responders and we really appreciate all they do for our community –  especially during this trying time – it has been our pleasure to treat our local First Responders to a drink at Spins Coffee Truck, another one of our favorites!

If you’re a First Responder, to enjoy a free drink compliments of PVI, just stop by Spins during regular business hours (listed below) and let Ted Hackleman serve you a special “Thank you!” from your friends at PVI!

To all of you, we say “Bravo!”

Spins Coffee Truck is open Monday through Friday, from 6 am – 2 pm and is parked at 27932 Valley Center Road (across from Fat Ivor’s / Powerland Equipment). 

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PVI Toasts Hospital Workers with Dinner and “Drinks”

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Healthcare professionals of Unit 51 at Tri-City Medical Center prove that laughter (and good food!) can be the best medicine!

Even if we are not directly involved in the day-to-day of healthcare, all of us are familiar – to some degree – with what our healthcare workers have been going through during these past few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Oftentimes it’s just from seeing stories on TV or only reading about it, but some of us also have family and friends who are living it.
Obviously, we are limited in what we can do to affect the situation for those we care about, but being able to contribute on any level is a positive thing for all involved! Sometimes, under such dire circumstances, a little thing becomes a big thing that brightens everyone’s day!
With that in mind, PVI’s Barni Strausbaugh, whose friend, Amanda Sanchez, is a nurse in Unit 51 at Tri-City Medical Center, decided to treat the whole unit to dinner and dessert on Wednesday evening. Naturally, since only official personnel are allowed on the unit at this time, Barni and Justina Strausbaugh (who volunteered to help) had to leave the dinner donation at a designated site to be delivered by hospital staff.
Of course, we also know that all businesses have been affected on some level during this pandemic, with small businesses the hardest hit. So we added another aspect of fun to this adventure! In addition to getting to treat Unit 51, PVI was excited to support one of our customers at the same time! That’s why we reached out to our friends at Shane’s Pizza and Pints in San Marcos, who truly came through for us with perfect pizzas and a super salad, which you can tell were a huge hit! Obviously the “pints” were a non-starter, so Barni and Justina provided some bubbly in the form of sparkling cider to toast these dedicated hard-working individuals! Cheers to all of them!
Thank you to Unit 51 for so graciously accepting our offering and then providing us with such great pictures to share since we couldn’t be there in person to celebrate all of you and what do! Also, thank you to Shanes Pizza and Pints for doing such an awesome job with the dinner for these dedicated individuals! Talk about a win/win! We appreciate all of you!
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PVI’S Signature Drink of the Month? It’s Masked in Mystery!

masked ted

The Masked Barista (aka Ted Hackleman) with a tasty toast for PVI’s Brandon Strausbaugh. 

Wear a mask, stay six feet apart,
It’s not only required, it’s just very smart!
Just like Ted in his camouflage mask,
Stay safe and healthy – it’s all we ask! 
Then give our April drink special a try,
And get your free treat  – thanks to PVI! 
Obviously, these past few weeks have brought many changes to our daily lives, including stops to our favorite, neighborhood Spins Coffee TruckBut, thankfully, with a few concessions, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing, we still can get our beloved coffee and other treats!

With keeping these new restrictions in mind, PVI and Ted Hackleman have created the “Masked Mocha” as our PVI Signature Drink of the Month for April. In case you were wondering what makes a Masked Mocha, short and simple, it’s a secret, mystery ingredient camouflaged (like Ted’s mask) in a regular mocha. We could tell you what it is, but then it wouldn’t be a mystery, now would it? But what we can tell you is – it’s delicious!

We also can tell you that we are offering our “exclusive” PVI BOGOFT (Buy One, Get One Free Treat)! Because of social distancing, instead of buying a drink and receiving one free to share, for now, we are offering a free treat instead. Simply order your Masked Mocha from Ted and he will include a free treat to go, compliments of your friends at PVI!

And speaking of PVI, you’ll notice in the picture above that Ted is practicing a little social distancing from his good friend, Brandon Strausbaugh, who is a big supporter of Spins as well as other local businesses. In turn, Ted likes to show his appreciation for the support, and one way he does that is by immortalizing Brandon and other PVI Team Members with their personal signature drinks on his everyday menu. Be sure and check those out some time as well!

But in the meantime, hurry in soon for our special Masked Mocha BOGOFT or you’ll miss out! That’s not a “veiled” threat, it’s just that the offer expires next Friday on May 1st!

(One Free Treat Offer with Drink purchase per person/per day.)

Spins Coffee Truck is open Monday through Friday, from 6 am – 2 pm and is parked at 27932 Valley Center Road (across from Fat Ivor’s / Powerland Equipment). 
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Important Message from Encompass

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Encompass has announced the following programs to assist our customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shelter-in-Place Payback

As we all work together to slow the spread of COVID-19, more of us are at home and driving less, which means having fewer accidents. That’s why we are announcing a Shelter-in-Place Payback for our auto customers. Eligible auto customers will automatically receive (no action required) an average payback of about 15% based on their monthly auto insurance costs during April and May.

Free Allstate Identity Protection

In addition to the Shelter-in-Place Payback, we’re offering free identity protection. An increase in online and financial fraud is an unfortunate reality as families are spending more time online. As part of the Allstate family of companies, we’re making Allstate Identity Protection product free for the rest of 2020 for those who sign up in April and May. For more information and/or to sign up, please click Allstate Identity Protection.

Extended Coverage

Many auto insurance policies don’t cover commercial deliveries. However, in this time when so many neighbors are helping deliver vital supplies to their communities, we’re extending coverage for customers who use their personal vehicles to commercially deliver food, medicine and other goods while a state-wide COVID-19 Emergency Order is in effect.

Payment Relief

Encompass customers experiencing financial challenges can call Encompass or your independent agent to learn how to delay payments without penalty. The Special Payment Plan gives auto and homeowner insurance customers the choice to delay two consecutive premium payments. Customers also can choose to pay what they can afford.

IMPORTANT REMINDER – 24/7 access via MyEncompass Account

Your personal Customer Portal – MyEncompass– is a convenient way for policyholders to manage your policies online. Once registered, customers can:

  • Make a payment
  • See payment history
  • Check claim status
  • Get ID cards
  • Access digital policy documents
  • Contact Roadside Assistance
  • Chat live with a billing representative
  • And more!

While no one yet knows what the full impact of the pandemic will be, we have delivered for our customers through unprecedented times before—and we’re drawing on decades of experience to deliver for you again. Whether you’re sheltering at home or on the frontlines fighting COVID-19, we want you to know we’re here to support you.

Our country is resilient. Together, we will get through this time and emerge even stronger.

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