Ron Batchelor’s memories may shed light on an ugly, new theory………
The Gray Whale Cove Mystery began in October 2007, with this intriguing email from Ken Robertson, who had begun working for the State Parks.
I hope you were serious about my having any other questions. Coincidence has it that, even after three months of taking out the trash at Grey Whale Cove (where I shot that picture of the gun battery)
I had never been down the stairs to the beach. Just wanting to see what the bottom of the stairs looked like I ventured down. Just before the bottom and right over the large culvert there, I looked back up the cut towards the highway and found a trail had been worn half way up, ending at this headstone (being October and so close to Halloween, I thought it might have been a plastic replica that had gotten away, but the trail was obviously to well worn for that).
Closer inspection proved that it was a cement and rebar creation (the cement had come away from its base, revealing two pieces of rebar supporting the rest), with a brass center plate that either had a name and epitaph attached or inscribed, but was now smooth.
I figured it was a relic of the WWII era, but wonder if you know just who is buried there. I am surprised how many of my coworkers are unaware of its existence and no one has any idea of who might be there.
I did not know anything about the “marker,” had never seen it, or heard anyone talk about it before Ken enlightened me. I posted Ken’s message, hoping that someone “out there” had information.
Time passed, and yesterday I received an extraordinary email from Ron Batchelor. Ron had lived with his family at Grey Whale Cove–in a house that no longer exists.
Here’s the message from Ron Batchelor:
Hi June, that could be the grave site of my fathers 4th wife, missing Pat Jolly Batchelor, some time in the late 1940’s. I would have not put it past my father to mark the grave site this way. We lived on the flat 5 acre parcel with a beach next to the gun battery, in the early 1950’s there were 3 homes on the property. I was born in 1951 and my father sold the land 7 years to the day later, that Pat Jolly had gone missing and was never found. Grey Whale Cove had also been known as Match Book Cove for all the match books that Pat Jolly saved. My father drove my mother away by trying to kill her several times, as my mom told me. When my mom was going thru the divorce my dad Robert Batchelor sold the land and split, we never saw him again, the land was in his name only, no money no child support no nothing. I was about 4 or 5 when this happened. My father died in 1977 and my mother in 1998 My father took a lie detector test and passed. He also did one other thing that was noted in the Pat Jolly case, he had the air pressure checked of the spare tire in the trunk of his car just as Pat Jolly went missing and before the trip to Texas that he took. He proved that Pat was not in the trunk. How many men have the spare tire pressure checked? These things are from what my mom told me as I was growing up. My dad also did one other thing once a year and that was to take a hike to some spot and then go back home as if to check on something as my mom put it. So if the remains are of a woman it could be my dad’s 4th wife. I grew up on the coast lived in Montara most of my childhood, and graduated in 1969 from Half Moon Bay High School. Me, I am Ron Batchelor, I now live in Arizona with my wife of 37 years. I still love the coast and return for all class reunions hers and mine.
(Photos: Description of the photos: The top left pic, I am standing there watching my mother gardening. The lower right pic is of the gun battery before 15 to 20 feet of dirt had been removed from the top of the mount. There was going to be a hotel and restaurant there and the owners cleared the top flat. They just dumped the dirt of the edge of the cliff, that made me sick, looked horrible for years. Prop 20 stopped that in the 60’s or 70’s. Courtesy Ron Batchelor.) ——————————————-
WITH ALL THE CONSTRUCTION WORK GOING ON AT THE NEARBY TUNNEL– it’s imperative to check the site out at once, just to be certain that there is not a body buried there.
This is the Odd Fellows Building, 526 Main Street, then & now, top & bottom
(further down) Across from City Hall
next door to the HMB Bakery. M.Coffee and Tokenz are on the ground floor.
The Ocean View Lodge has been active, but many people in town have never seen the upstairs, which remains close to the way it was in 1870.
Before there was a city government, the fraternal organizations ran most towns, including Half Moon Bay. All five of the original city councilmen in HMB were members. The city government was formed right in our hall.
The hall was also the social center of town, hosting dinners, meetings of various groups – Mason, Son of Italy, Scouts, 4-H, etc. I remember quite a lot of activity there as a boy. San Mateo County History Museum Founder Dr. Frank Stanger writes about it in his book, âSouth from San Francisco,â? published in 1963.
The Half Moon Bay lodge was chartered in 1868 (when the town was called Spanishtown), the same year that the first church arrived in town. I have been compiling a lot of information about all of this for some time.. There are meeting minutes
dating back to the beginning- a whole history of Half Moon Bay– still unknown.
During this month, April 2008, Ocean View Lodge celebrates its 140th anniversary.
(Photo: Tony Pera points out items of historical interest.)
In 1978 Mrs. Grace Fruendeling of San Francisco wrote me a letter filled with childhood memories of Half Moon Bay where she lived as a child. What coaxed her to contact me was the publication of “Half Moon Bay Memories: The Coastside’s Colorful Past,” a book I had just put together. She read about it in the San Mateo Times and that consumed the first few sentences of the handwritten letter. She must have been quite old so remember than when reading.
I want to share her words about Half Moon Bay with you:
“…At that time (late 19th century? I was 8 years old & remember many things that had happened. My Grandma was Mrs. Edward Schubert & they had a brewery & also owned a large ranch in Half Moon Bay.
“I also attended the school during my vacation in S.F. My mother’s married name was Mrs. Henry Frank & her sister taught high school there. She married into the famous family by the name of Abbott; they also owned a great deal of land there.
“I knew the Quilian family and many others.”
“I was 8 when I went to look at the wreck (of the ship New York at the beach near Kelly St.). It was a very exciting thing to see. We were told not to take anything but people came from all over, helping themselves, so I have a beautiful Chinese bowl from the wreck, which is still in my possession. I surely think a great deal of the beauty of the bowl.
“I think that I would like to know when your book will be published. I could sell some to my Chinese friends; it is history for them.
Grace R. Fruendeling”
She added this interesting message: “I am the real grandchild.”
(Photos: On left, Half Moon Bay Grammar School, 1908. W.E. Wall was the principal; Mabel Nickels, the teacher; Lansing Griffith with drums; among the students John Miramontes, Ethel and Ella Knapp.
On right: Jefferson Grammar School, Sunset District, San Francisco, 1954. Mrs. McSweeney was the teacher. I am on the far right last row. My friend Lynn Kalajian McCloskey sits in the first row, with black pigtails, holding the sign, at right.]
In the 1954 photo, to the left, there’s a poem about the big blue & gray bus–I still recall the bus taking us to a place called “Fairyland” in Oakland.
Some of the kids in the Jefferson Grammar School photo are: John Marshall, Pete Stein, Phyllis Nicklaus, John Madigan Barbara Robinson, Rosemary Russo, John Aspelin, Phil Lapkin, Rick Watson, Nick Lukash, Jm Nurmi, Terry Pachtner. Cannot remember the rest, my apologies. Notice how all the girls wore dresses? Where are they, today?
…When, in fact, you’re standing in a historic Redwood City courthouse 40-feet up from the street outside.
Mitch Postel, top man at the San Mateo County History Mueum in Redwood City, explains:
……Next up is a permanent exhibit with Coastside interest. We are going to create a computerized, interactive display on the big Maverick’s surfing contest at Pillar Point. The exhibit will include an outlook from one of our windows, 40 feet above the plaza, as high up as a surfer gets when riding that most fearsome wave. Surfing artifacts, videos, and, of course, a virtual ride will be part of the fun. Internationally regarded surfer, Grant Washburn, is our advisor on the project.
I bet you know people on the Coastside who will be interested in this one!
One morning an incredibly nice Carole Allen of New Jersey googled “Let Women Alone,” because a friend of her mother’s, an antiques dealer, had the poster in her garage–and she came upon my blog talking about this “lost” 1920s film, part of which was shot at Princeton-by-the-Sea–an email to me, a friendly back-and-forth exchange, AND two days later, here’s the marvelous poster.
I do admit, however, that I didn’t anticipate a poster promoting “Let Women Alone” photographed on what was a very rural Coastside, to have such a sophisticated flavor. There’s no fishing boats, farmers, or artichoke fields depicted.
Here’s how it all began:
It’s beautiful. I love it.
Tell me, is it for sale?
Wow, so cool. Thank you,
Isn’t it neat? I love that she’s dangling the two men and looking at the viewer. I’m sure the poster is for sale – my mom dropped it off this morning as she went to visit her sister. I’ll call her friend and ask how much – I doubt that it’s much as it is not in the best of condition and should be restored.