Tom Wolfe’s “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” May Go To The Big Screen

John Vonderlin sent me this info about Tom Wolfe’s “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” moving from words in a book to images on the screen. Former La Honda author Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters are the main characters in Wolfe’s book.

What it made me think about was this: In the late 1950s some unusual and talented Beatniks were run out of their homes around the cafes in San Francisco’s North Beach and headed south where they found a temporary haven at our Princeton, north of Half Moon Bay. There’s a chapter on this in my new book, “Princeton-by-the-Sea,” due to be published by Arcadia on Dec. 10.


The story of the Beatniks, including the famous artist Michael Bowen, who lived at the Abalone Factory in Princeton, is a little known and juicy slice of local history– and I am very proud to have resurrected it, prompted by long ago interviews with Pete Douglas of the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society in Miramar. (Pete’s also in my new book.)

What’s interesting is that these Beats who were in-your-face types, that were harassed by the cops and others, and protested on the spot–also overlapped the period that Ken Kesey was driving his day-glo painted school bus through the redwoods of La Honda.

But guess what? They didn’t get along, the Beats & Kesey. Not only a little generation gap but here’s my ice cream analogy: If the Beats were double chocolate fudge, Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters were definitely vanilla.

I hope Movie Director Gus Van Sant explores that in his new movie.

The Ones That Got Away By John Vonderlin

Hi June,

As I mentioned in an earlier email, a large portion of the non-buoyant marine debris I collect from Neptune’s Vomitorium, comes from the various fishing industries that ply our local coastal waters. In this portion are the majority of items that pose the greatest dangers to various lifeforms that inhabit the coastal areas as well as unwary beachwalkers.

But, because of their great number and astounding variety I’m happy that they have provided me with the raw materials for a sizable number of pieces of artplay. I’ve attached a few pictures of pieces from my series entitled: “Neptune’s Burden: The Ones That Got Away.”

The first two photos are of the original “Neptune’s Burden.”


It’s a work in progress, as I have a large number of small bits of lost fishing gear (hooks, swivels, leaders, etc.) to cut out of the three trash cans full of fishing line balls that I still must process and add to the World’s Largest Fishing Line Ball.

The third photo is a naturally-polished abalone shellabshell.jpeg

topped by a part of a plastic buoy in which the glass sphere full of colorful rubber fish lure remnants rests.

The last photo last.jpeg        is of a fishing pole’s broken remnants entangled with other balls of line and a piece of cloth. I had to do almost nothing to this.

In fact, my beachcombing partner assumed it was a fisherfolk’s homemade grave marker that had washed away when she first saw it. It isn’t, but its appearance and the proportions of its remnants dictated its use in my mind. If you look closely you can see the eyelets that guide the line on a fishing pole entangled in the mess. The mourners are composed of a pareidolic rock and marine debris pieces. Enjoy. John Vonderlin

Email John: [email protected]

What Happened to the El Granada Garden Club?



When I first moved to El Granada, I couldn’t help but notice that some of the median strips–especially the one near El Granada Market–were filled with flowers. A sign told me that the flowers had been planted and were maintained by the El Granada Garden Club.

Garden Club members planted colorful flowers and also pine trees–Daniel Burnham style– (if you don’t know who Mr. Burnham was–he was the renowned architect who, during the Ocean Shore Railroad era, developed the unique street plan for El Granada, you know, the one you can get lost in– and, who, intended that there be vast plots of flowers and trees planted along the broad avenues.)

In the early 1900s, flowers and trees were planted as Burnham indicated in his beautiful plan. But after the Ocean Shore went bust so did Coastside real estate, and, well, there was nobody around to do the gardening.

Being a great lover of flowers and gardens, I can’t help but wonder who was going to water all those plants and trees? Who would pay for the watering? What would happen if there was a drought? Had the Ocean Shore thought it through?

Most of all, I am wondering what happened to the El Granada Garden Club….

1980: In A Nutshell: Coastside Architectural Styles

From “Coastside Cultural Resources of San Mateo County”

Montara..Moss Beach…El Granada…Princeton-by-the-Sea…Miramar

“These communities were established on the Mid-Coast between 1906 and 1909 during the real estate boom that followed the construction of the Ocean Shore Railroad. Speculators quickly subdivided the lands along the new rail line, expecting a real estate boom to follow in its tracks. This never took place. Few of the subdivided lots were developed during the first half of this century.

“By 1950, the Mid-Coast population was only 1,700 residents. During the next two decades, however, the population more than doubled to 4,000.

“As buildable land on the Bayside disappeared, many contractors discovered the abundance of vacant subdivided lots in the community. A small building boom resulted and by 1979 over 6,500 persons resided in the area.

Continue reading “1980: In A Nutshell: Coastside Architectural Styles”

What I’m Reading….Uh-Uh

If you thought the justices at the Supreme Court were brilliant…thoughtful….wise…


They’re just like everybody else, only much worse.


“The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court” by Jeffrey Toobin. Author Toobin is a legal analyst for the “New Yorker” magazine.

Prepared to be enlightened…..and……depressed– sorry to say.

Please try to buy some stuff local: May I suggest Bay Book, Coastside Books or Moon News Bookstore, all in Half Moon Bay. There’s also a used book store on Main Street.