The Memories of Ralph Feusier, Part I

Twice I met and talked with Ralph Feusier, a wickedly funny East Coast Insurance executive who flew west to Half Moon Bay to re-visit his past.

One of my self-defined jobs is to find someone in town who could provide Ralph (or anyone else) with connections, who might know or remember his relatives.

Over the years I have learned that while the “local historianâ€? may benefit from these visits, gaining new information & the always- coveted photographs—there is also a deeply sad side to these visits. Frequently, people go back in time to recapture a magic time from their childhood– when they are old and feel death stalking them.

Ralph Feusier was six-years-old in 1930– and his magical year was spent in a two-story Victorian house on Main Street in Half Moon Bay. The house was filled with wonderful characters, his relatives, the Nelsons, “Great Auntâ€? Flo, Uncle Horace—and Carrie, the “talentedâ€? housekeeper and seamstress.

The Nelsons were not ordinary folks. They had long been recognized as leaders in the close-knit Coastside community.

“Uncle Horace was president of the Half Moon Bank and the water works,â€? Ralph proudly told me. Horace was also known for his civic contributions as a school trustee, a responsibility he held for nearly two decades.

More importantly, Horace Nelson owned a successful cattle ranch in the Purissima canyon, south of Half Moon Bay.

Some of Ralph’s memories were blurred but he remembered visiting the historic ranch in 1930. There was a little covered bridge that impressed him greatly. He was convinced that his Uncle Horace, an accomplished craftsman, had helped build the bridge.
R-Feusier.jpgPhoto: “A Happy Day Beach Picnic at Half Moon Bay, 1928”: L-R: Unknown woman, Aunt Flo, Carrie, Ralph’s mom, Emma, Ralph and his brother Edward.

….To Be Continued…