Gray to Tom: El Granada Hardware & The ShoreBird

Tom,My  name is Gray Gardner,I communicate with June ,Time to Time.I lived on the Coastside  1967 thru 1975,I was the first Occupant of  # 4,on top of The El Granada Hardware in 1970,and my friend Farris Wilson ,from Missouri also  ,lived in #3.Up to that we had Studios in Lewis Apts to theEast.Rex and Margaret Thomas were good friends of ours.My friend,Bill Ruth,Who lived in #3 &  later #4 still sees Rex’s Daughter in Chico.June,Bill was building the Sail Boat off the back of the Hardware Store,when you moved to El Granada

Tom,Dean & Dean,who built the Housing Development on the north side of El Granada,also built the Shore Bird,probably in 1972 or  early 1973.I’m thinking that Westinghouse bought the Housing  development and the  “Bird” in 1974.I remember,because ,Westinghouse was Firing the entire staff shortly after that ,and  we had a”Humungous” “ Meal-all the  “Locals showed up the last night,and the Staff kept bringing free  plates of Crab Legs  and Pitchers of Wine all night.We paid a small bill;and left a huge tip.

I’ll get in touch with

Farris,in  Hawaii,and see if he has any photos of the Shore Bird he can E- mail to you.


Gray Gardner

Excelsior Springs,Mo.

Email Gray:

Tom Andersen: From El Granada Hardware to Model Train Kits

Hi June,

I chanced on your web site while trying to find information on the Shorebird’s origins. I read a bit about you seeing Jack King at El Granada Hardware when I owned it. I married Cheryl Parsons in 1968, but my name is Andersen, not Parsons. I can see the confusion, as I employed Cheryl’s brothers, Mark, Brent & John Parsons at various times through the years at El Granada Hardware.

I first met you when I was just getting into riding waves, and John Morrall wanted to teach me to ride a surfboard at the El Granada Jetty. I was riding Boogie Boards. On a day of particularly good surf, we hooked up & paddled out at the Jetty, John, myself, and you. You and I were the novices, and relegated to just watching John & the other capable surfers have a great session.

I went on to open a hardware store in Santa Cruz in 1980 to follow my passion for riding waves. I advanced in the Boogie Boarding pretty quickly, making several trips to the islands riding some serious Hawaiian surf, and in 1984, won the Boogie Board contest at Steamer Lane for men’s age 30 & over division. In 1981 I learned to ride stand up surfboards at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, and by 1985 was riding 25′ wave face surf at Steamer Lane in SC on a 7’2″ board I had made to my specifications. I surfed avidly for nearly 30 years. In the mid-1990s I traveled to Kauai and went surfing with John & his daughter, and John dropped off & picked up myself and my then girlfriend for a back packing trip into Kalalau along the Na Pali coast.

My present wife and myself live on El Granada Blvd. and have started a business creating model kits & trees for model railroading. You can see our stuff on We are actively creating new kits

to market, and Julie wants to market a kit depicting the original Shorebird. If you know of any photos we would love to get them. We can create the model kits from photos. The church in Taos on the web site was done from photos.

Anyhow, sure glad to find your site. I remember Jack King fondly, one of my favorite people to come in the store, as certainly was yourself.

(Image: Model Kit with adobe church in Taox, New Mexico.)

Email Tom Andersen (