Many Rains Ago

Many moons ago–A very rainy day in Moss Beach, with flooding. R. Guy Smith’s electrical company building/ real estate office/former post office and the onetime home of the Coastside Comet newspaper stands in the background.. Today, modern homes sit on the hillside behind Smith’s longtime headquarters. :

The Magnificent Artichoke

Isn’t it magnificent? The elegant artichoke?

Not that long ago, using a century as our yardstick, Half Moon Bay was called “the artichoke capital of the world”.

El Granada Diptych (1930)

An Ambitious (Failed) Plan for a Country Club in El Granada in 1930–it’s still Prohibition and the isolated Coastside roadhouses are doing a very good business.
(For More Detail, please click to enlarge)

You Don’t Know What You’ve Lost….

Until you barely recognize it.

Here’s the Ocean Shore Railroad’s El Granada Train Station, built circa 1908. It still stands (well, sort of). On your next walk, try to find it!

Hint 1: It’s in use as a commercial building.
Hint 2: Don’t bother looking for the fields of artichokes.

Gold: It’s Up, It’s Down, What’s Going On?

By Burton S. Blumert*

December 15, 2005

Paul is our regular UPS man and he has been telling his wife that they should own some gold. Finally, with gold in the headlines, they made their decision and bought 5 ounces.

He picked up his order yesterday;

“Sure, the minute I buy something, you can bet the price goes down,â€? poor Paul mumbled as he wrote his check.

I’d like to have an ounce of gold, or even a gram, for how many times I’ve heard that
wail from clients throughout the decades.

The corollary, that the price immediately spikes higher as soon as we sell something, is the other side of the coin (if you’ll excuse the expression).

Few investors have escaped the agony of these experiences. It’s as if there are little gods
who monitor such matters and they whack us every time we decide to buy or sell something.

The dramatic ups and downs of the price of gold in recent days has tested everybody.

Some new gold buyers are disheartened; others are in a state of shock. Even gold professionals have been emotionally wrung out by the schizophrenic price gyrations of the ancient yellow metal.

In case you missed it, here’s a summary of the gold market over the past 2 weeks using prices from the London Metals Exchange as our source;

On Dec. 2, the price of gold punctured $500 per ounce price for the first time in about 20 years.

For the next 10 days the gold price spiked higher almost every trading day and
the inter-day price edged close to $540 per ounce.

Over the last few days gold has dropped sharply, and tomorrow, Thursday, Dec 15, the price could very well drop below $500. *

*This article was written on Wednesday night, December 14. The price touched $500.80 early Thursday morning in London.

Let’s consider these numbers in some prospective;

From its highs of 2 weeks ago gold plunged about 6½%.

I suspect that when we examine the history of gold prices in the years ahead, this recent spasm will register as a mere blip on the chart.

The following figures tell us the real story. I’m using the price of gold for each January since the year 2000 to make my point:

January, 2000 $310 per ounce
January, 2001 275
January, 2002 295
January, 2003 375
January, 2004 425
January, 2005 431
January, 2006 ?? (I predict the price next month will be $500 +)

If you purchased gold recently and you’re worried, phone me and I’ll hold your hand.

If I’m more worried than you, you can hold mine.

I can assure you of this;

When all other monies crumble into dust, the value of gold will endure.

Burt Blumert is a leading gold dealer (almost 50 years) in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also my longtime companion. You can send him email at [email protected]

Coastside Caves

Coastside Caves: You can imagine that during the 1920s, the Prohibition Era, illegal whiskey was hidden or moved through this Moss Beach cave, where the lady in the first image is posing. Or, maybe this tunnel-like cave was a connection between the sea where the booze was sometimes dropped off and one of the roadhouse restaurants in Moss Beach. I was once told that the fellow in the “bird flying” position, center photo, was Fred Simmons, former constable of Half Moon Bay in the 1940s, and, I mention Simmons in my ongoing Montara murder story (“Babes in the Woods”case). I actually met Constable Simmons when he was in old age and quite a character. After his death, Simmon’s home in historic downtown Half Moon Bay was used as an art gallery.