Artist Peter Adams Tells an “Orville Story”

Story by Peter Adams

orville — he was singular! i am sorry he’s gone. here’s one story:
we arm wrestled at the miramar beach inn during the days of joe the bartender and his ‘secret sauce’. i won, much to the dismay of orville — he was livid and subsequent threats lasted for a few weeks. upon their dissipation, we became bar buddies again. my largest regret from that episode was that i took off my favorite ring [similar to c.g. jung’s gnostic ring] and forgot to put it back on after such an intense match — orville was a very strong lad!

…have attached a photo of me and my birthday present

“O” is for Orville: Story by Tom Andersen

Story by Tom Andersen
Email Tom (tomandersen@biz.com)
Hi June,
I enjoyed reading in your blog about Richard English. I was so shocked when he died so young, although having some insight into his personal habits, on second thought, it wasn’t such a surprise.

I was a close observer in the 70’s of Richard and Leah’s relationship, the first awareness I had of him. He had a disarming manner, quite by intent..but a great wit, and , I think, a profound intelligence. We were friends, and, mutual old- timey Coastsiders, we shared that, as do you and I…Its a special association, the area having undergone such a transformation from the 1970s, which I fondly look back on as the great years!

Do you recall Horrible Orville (HO)??

My first recollection of “HO” was in 1971. I had recently acquired the “Blue Yonder Coffee Shop” (my name) at the HMB Airposrt, which I bought for $1. Not able to make a living despite- the- only- $15- a- month rent to SM County, I moonlighted as a bartender at the PI (Princeton Inn), having “conned” Ed Tonini, the owner, into believing I knew anything at all about mixing drinks, which I did not. “HO” was a regular, wearing a tank top, and at the slightest encouragement, lifting his arm, and showing off the turtle bite scar near his arm pit. This not getting him the attention he desired, he proceeded to take a bite out of the beer glass, to my chagrin…I informed him he would have to pay for the glass before I served him again…

Much later, Orville got into an honest living doing appliance installation & repair on the Coastside. By this time, I was a couple of years into El Granada Hardware, having started it up in 1976, while still operating Tom’s Market in Montara & Princeton Market & Deli. Orville had become a regular customer, buying brass pipe fittings to hook up the appliances he sold. He spent long sessions standing in front of my brass fitting cabinet, assessing just the right combination of parts. He had a little dog, if I had to guess, a Jack Russell terrier, who was expected to wait in his truck, while HO made his selection. At my checkstand, I observed his pup growing impatient, and leaped out the window of the truck, going across the street to see if Orville was in the post office. Orville, sensing that the dog may have strayed, walked to the door of the store, and called the dog. “Herpes!!! Herpes!!! Where are you??” Of course, anyone within earshot, including myself, was appalled at the word “herpes” being shouted at top volume in “downtown El Granada”. Only Horrible Orville would name his dog after venereal warts…

I liked Orville, he would tell jokes routinely, so hysterically funny, that tears filled my eyes. I wish he had hung around…

Tom Andersen
To read Tom’s story:: “Mavericks Underground”, please click here

Call-out for Jack King…..

[Image: If you are wondering who the hand on Jack’s left shoulder belongs to: it’s Janice’s hand, Jack’s girlfriend.]

The last time I saw Jack King

was at the hardware store in El Granada, when Tom Andersen owned it. That day, more than a decade ago, was very windy and cold. It was winter. We were doing some remodeling on our house, and the blustery winds had snuffed out the flame in the old heater located beneath the house, way back in a dark and scary crawl space.

[Yes, yes, I could have called PG&E but I didn’t think of it.]

On that very cold, winter day I bumped into Jack King at the El Granada hardware store. Jack was a local character. I knew him as an unusual fellow who could spout classical poetry on demand–all the while flashing his generous smile. The way he wore his tousled brown curly hair, combined with the scholarly pair of glasses, helped to give him an intellectual look–and he was smart—

His talented girlfriend, Janice, designed and made original clothing. Jack and Janice lived in different places on the Coastside, near Cowboy’s Surf Shop and near the top of the El Granada Highlands.

Remembering that our heater was down, and that I did not know how to light a flame safely, and that I was afraid to make my way through the shadows in the crawl space…..I asked Jack if he would help us.

Not a moment of hesitation, and, fifteen minutes later, dear Jack wouldn’t take a little gift of thanks from us, as we had much to be grateful for once the rooms were warming up.

That was the last time I saw Jack King. I heard he moved to San Francisco, somewhere near San Francisco General Hospital. Burt and I hope that life is treating him well. We will always remember Jack King by the act of kindness he performed for us on that gloomy day long ago.

—————

Dear June,

I lived with Jack King at 2040 Laguna st. in San Francisco back in the day. Could you tell me if Jack is still around.  If so and you see him give him my Email address and to contact me.

Thanks
Wally Hawkins  walter1937@sbcglobal.net
————-
June: Who is Wally Hawkins?
Wally:We might have crossed paths back then I was a member of the Family Dog(still there in my heart) did backups and played congas with a band call the Initial Shock. I now sing Jazz at the Sacramento Jazz jubillee and at their music scenes every 2nd Sunday at the Dante hall in Sacramento.

….Meet Montara’s Collin Tiura….

Story by June Morrall

Do you know Collin Tiura? You’ve got to meet him. Yesterday he visited us at our home. He’s an adventurer with the best stories to tell—a man who’s done and seen everything and could survive anywhere he wanted to be.

When he was 20, and “this close” to being drafting into the Vietnam War, he asked the draft board how much time he had left before being called up. He was gonna go but he and his two buddies wanted to see Europe first.

He wanted to play by the rules. He asked the Draft Board if he could go on his trip to Europe for

“Two years?”

“No.”

“One year?”

“No.”

“Six months?”

“No.”

Heck, Collin just walked out of there, screw the draft board, and, with his pals, sold what they had, which wasn’t much, maybe $120 bucks of stuff total, so they could hitchhike from California to the East Coast and board a German tanker for Hamburg.

It took a lot of hitchhiking to get to the East Coast. And some of the drivers were, well, I don’t have to tell you that some of the drivers shouldn’t have been driving, and, Collin and the boys were ready to grab the steering wheel should the sudden need for it come up.

This was the mid-1960s, the cultural revolution was upending everything stodgy, and it was fun and Collin and his friends were really free and nobody was going to stop them from having the time of their young lives.

You can imagine the good times a trio of clever, strong “go-for-it” 20-year-olds had in a tanker, the cheapest way to get to Europe, a two week trip by water. There were a total of 9 passengers on aboard, including a couple of pretty American girls—and, when they got tired of looking at each other’s faces, there were enough cases of Beck’s Beer on board to drink as well as squirt at each other, apparently some sort of German tradition.

In Europe they hitchhiked and rode the train to France, to Spain and finally settled down in the Canary Islands, where they got paid to teach tourists to water ski and learn the finer points of underwater diving.

There was just one thing: Only 1 of them had ever water skied and it wasn’t Collin: truth be told, they were learning on the job but you can bet the tourists got their money’s worth.

The boys stayed in Europe a year-and-a-half and when they got back to California, the Draft Board was waiting with orders for them.

I, like Collin, have always enjoyed traveling to places few have seen. In a way, Europe was still like that in the 1960s—the continent was not a place where everybody traveled as if they were commuting to their daily job—as they do today in this global economy.

The only places I can think of that remain mysterious as a travel destination are Outer Space or Beneath the Sea.

I’ve only touched briefly on the flavor of Collin’s stories; we are hoping Collin will share his adventures with all of us in a book, or a movie—. Be sure to ask him about Alaska

The “Three Richards” Redux

A while ago I posted a story called “The Three Richards;” to read it, click here

The story begins: “Three Richards but I have a photo of only one.” At the time the only photo I had and posted was of Richard “the Englishman” Henry. I didn’t have a photo of “Rotten Richard” or of Richard English, not to be confused with Richard “the Englishman.”

Now, I am thrilled to report, I have three photos of “classic” Richard English, a very tall, red-headed charmer who passed away too young, too young (in his 50’s a couple of years ago.)

In the 1970s and early 1980s Richard was always leaving town, which meant there had to be a big, loud and warm going-away party in Princeton-by-the-Sea or Miramar Beach. When he soon came back there was no party but hugs all around.

Richard was ready to make you laugh hard most of the time–but he could also make you cry just as easily and just as hard.

Thank you Joni Keim for the photos. Joni lived in the “Quinta Marta” house in Montara in 1972. Click here for Joni’s website.

(Photo: Classic Richard English, photo courtesy Joni Keim)

(Photo: Richard English with Joni Keim.)

Fragment From A Day In El Granada In The 1970s

Cathy Duncan came by to visit. She was thinking of changing her name to Day Keith. She lives in La Honda with “Peaches” who used to play the piano at the Moss Beach Distillery.

Invite.jpg “In the spirit of love..May the circle be unbroken…” Here’s an invitation to Cathy Duncan’s wedding (to Frank A.) that took place at the Kings Mountain Firehouse on Sunday, April 20, 1980.

“Skyline” in the 1960s: Part IX

tree.jpg

As the “illegal” handmade houses on John Wickett’s land attracted the attention of the local press, reporters made the difficult trek to the 4,400-acre Skyline property. Besides Kendall Whiting’s famous five-story- tall treehouse, reached by a rustic “outdoor elevator”, the men and women carrying reporter’s notebooks jotted down other activities they observed–silkscreening, glass blowing and pottery-making.

“There were lots of babies and children and cats. Lots of construction,” John Wickett told me. He said that the creative builders “ripped up parts of the old sawmill and used the wood to make little houses inside of bigger houses.”

Of course all building codes had been ignored. “Nothing had been done with building codes,” Wickett noted. This only caused the district attorney’s office to redouble their efforts to get the young free spirits off the property.

But time was still on John Wickett’s side.

While searching for a solution, John invited his son, Jim–then a student at Menlo College–to spend a summer on the Skyline land. He told Jim, “You can be helpful and get things a little bit organized. We’ve got all these materials that people are building their houses with…Maybe you could supervise a bit.”

Young Jim Wickett was so successful at his task that he stayed on after the school summer break was over. He still had much to straighten out as publicity about the place had reached far and wide. Strangers continued to arrive in caravans of day-glo painted school buses. Others camped out on the property and what was once pristine was now being threatened.

“It started becoming too much,” John Wickett said.

…To Be Continued…