The Chronicles of Diana….

I’m really into Tina Brown’s (editor Vanity Fair, New Yorker, Tatler, founder of Talk magazine) new book about Princess Diana because, yes, she uses fabulous adjectives throughout–but mainly because it’s not a superficial read…. although Diana cries and sobs a lot, which becomes a big turn-off– the author tries something which is new to me in a “biography”–from time to time she talks to the reader–in a nod to blogs– giving her opinion, for example, on whether and exactly when the Princess had her first extramarital affair (if you are really curious about that sort of thing.) As a lifelong fan of psychology, I enjoy the way Tina Brown digs into her subject. Very smart–and Very Funny. 41udtq-0ml_aa240_.jpg

Peter Kyne: Coastside Author (4)


When, as an adult, he began writing, some of the plots in Peter Kyne’s books included businessmen, the deals they cut and the maneuvering for power that went on in back rooms–all crafted with experience gained working in a Half Moon Bay general store.

East Coast critics never took Kyne’s work seriously, dismissing him as a “local atmosphere writer.” [Jack London, he wasn’t.]

Eventually Half Moon Bay got too small for Peter Kyne and he decided he needed real adventure, lying about his age and enlisting in the army in 1898, in the midst of the Spanish-American War. Off he sailed to the tropical Philippines, with dreams of good plots for stories in his head–but where instead he fell ill with diseases that accompany poor sanitary conditions.

When Kyne returned from Manila and shed his army uniform, he was ready for a quieter life, so he signed up for business school and was hired as a bookkeeper for a shipping firm on the San Francisco waterfront. [This front-row position would prove to be the best choice for finding good plots for stories!] For one thing, he was there when the hardened stevedores came out swinging with their fists when they went on strike for higher wages and better work conditions in 1903.

…to be continued…

Possible Problem?Traffic Light at Capistrano & Highway 1…..


If you have traveled south on Highway 1 intending to turn left at the traffic light at Capistrano & Highway 1 into north El Granada, you will note that there has been a big change.

There used to be one left hand turn lane–going into El Granada (and for those traveling north, one left lane turning into Princeton.) There was no problem with this arrangement, as there was plenty of space for the cars to navigate their turns.

But recently there has been lane changing road construction.

As before there is still one left lane turning into El Granada BUT there are now TWO LEFT lanes turning left into Princeton.

And here’s the potential problem: The newly added second left lane causes cars from that lane to pass dangerously close to the cars turning left from the north. Really close.

We know why they did it: to accommodate the heavy traffic that will be coming to the new hotel/shopping center in Princeton–but the road engineering has left much to be desired–and lives could be at risk.

Please check this out. Come from the north and make the left turn into El Granada at the traffic light. Let me know what you think….and if you share my fears maybe it’s not too late to correct.

Love Painting

lovebowen.jpeg (painting by Michael Bowen, courtesy R.W. Bruch)

Michael Bowen says, “the love panting was painted in 1967 and has been continuously used all over the world since then. there were originally two. one on canvas that I have and one on paper which is in a Euro museum. The 2 originals are about 6 ft tall in oil. The paintings were made a week before I did the human be in of 1967 in golden gate park.”

Peter Kyne: Coastside Author (3)

[Note: I remember meeting Gretchen Drew, a friend of Peter Kyne long ago. Ms. Drew lived in San Francisco, in the Embarcadero, and had some of Kyne’s personal [childhood] papers. I made a Xerox copy of a couple of items….one of them was an algebra lesson showing his perfect penmanship. She also gave me a photo of Peter Kyne which I donated to the historical files of the San Mateo County History Museum.]


The 1897 economic depression called the “Cleveland Panic” was making life difficult for everyone, including the Coastside Kyne family.

“My father,” wrote Peter Kyne, “had owed a bill for a year, and my poor wages wre being applied to its reduction.” The Kynes needed a miracle to get them out of hard times.

At that moment– the soon-to-be-famous oilman from Southern California, the future president of the Pan-American Petroleum Corp– Ed Doheny, drifted into the Half Moon Bay general store where Peter worked. Remember, Ed’s fame and fortune was all in his future so when Doheny met Peter, he was down on his luck.

[In later years when both men were household names, Peter Kyne attached great significance to the crossing of their paths.]

Doheny was drilling for oil on a ranch near Half Moon Bay. Doheny “boarded his crew,” Kyne wrote, “and bought his dry groceries from my employer on credit. The well was a duster, and 10 minutes after I was ordered to kill his credit, he drove into town in his old battered buckboard with a broken leaf in the right side spring, so that when Mr. Doheny got into the vehicle it sagged so low one expected him to be dumped out into the dusty road. A wearing old mare pulled this contraption. When he entered the store and told me he wanted a 50-pound bag of flour I had to tell him his credit had run out and I’d have to have cash for the flour.”

Ed Doheny was embarrassed to be turned down by this young boy but he said nothing and, according to Peter, “he loaded all his gear on Ed Frey’s two big freight wagons and pulled out for parts unknown. The jingle bells on the hames of Ed’s leaders was his requiem and my employer did not sue him and attach the rig.”

…to be continued…