Prelude to “The Ladies Home Companion”

Prelude to the “Ladies Home Companionâ€? by June Morrall


(Photo of Michael Powers, circa 1974, by photographer Dennis Swenson).

In the 1970s, Michael Powers’ Miramar home overlooking the surf was an artistic center of gravity.

Outdoors–that’s where Michael could most often be found–carving designs into massive logs, building a unique and steep stairway down to the beach, hosting community events between an eye-catching A-frame with a concrete statute on top and a more traditional geodesic dome.

Michael climbed the nearby mountains and brought back hefty eucalyptus logs to fashion into a one-of-a-kind curvy staircases. He was (and remains) in superb physical shape, a long beach trot was part of his daily regimen– and one day when an abandoned golden retriever followed me home from the post office, it was Michael who made the dog his pet– a dog that loved the unrestrained beach life as much as his new master.

In the 1970s, there was no one like Michael Powers. Smiling, with arms akimbo, he talked enthusiastically about new projects to other artists and photographers that happened by the high energy “scene.”{ Some of them stayed and helped Michael build the dome and A-frame.)

Michael Powers snapped pictures of the colorful flower- filled fields of Half Moon Bay, his young friends riding horses on the beach and playing in the surf in his front yard. Once a year he and his very gracious brother, Pat, also a photographer, packed up their collection of pictures, jumped into the car and drove to the East Coast to sell the images to the big greeting card companies. The annual trek became a signal for some Coastsiders that the summer was over.

Another high energy “sceneâ€? evolved at Bruce Pine’s “Potter Plantationâ€? in Half Moon Bay– an older home on Potter Street with an authentic windmill (all still standing in the middle of a cluster of million-dollar subdivision homes). Bruce Pine’s sundeck became famous for the beautiful, nude bodies that graced it.

According to one story Bruce Pine loves to tell, in the 1970s, neighbors within range, took out their binoculars to see who was tanning themselves on the deck that day. They might catch a glimpse of Jerry, Mark, Flower and many others–all basking. Bruce, himself, was often not at home at his Potter Plantation house, business taking him to cities all over the country.

Separated by four miles, the artists and photographers traveled back and forth between the deck at the Potter Plantation and Michael Power’s tabernacle.

….more to come…

What’s New At Michael Powers’ Ocean Studio..


Dear partners & friends of Ocean Studio,

Yeah, it was a bit of work…

…but now (the exterior) of the new & expanded Ocean Studio is done at last (whew!)


Below: Here’s another image from our building of the new Ocean Studio, of my
son Marc with the burl we are going to cut to make a beautiful
conference table for the new studio – yet another fun adventure!


Michael Powers Plays In His New Dome (1970s)


Where did this come from? Not very clear, is it–but you get the idea…I had old 8mm film transferred onto DVDs but I have a mac and it turned out that the dvd was not supported by my video software. Then I found an interesting free download at the mac site–with “snapshot” capability and that’s what you see here. Blurry photos of some of the frames.

Kirlian Photography

This was the energy field, “the aura” around my fingers a quarter century ago. The aura was captured via Kirlian photography –which allegedly reveals the unique body’s spirit energy at the moment “the picture” is taken.

Earthy photographer Michael Powers of Miramar –and of kyak and geodesic dome and and spiritual fame took the “picture ” using special Kirlian photography equipment 25 years ago.

When I first arrived on the Coastside, Michael Powers was a successful greeting card photographer. He often featured the natural beauty of Half Moon Bay in his trademark picture.

Here’s one Michael took of his former wife, Maria and their daughter, Marika, feeling merry in the lovely local flower fields.

Miramar Tidbit

For years and years at Highway 1 and Medio Road in Miramar there was a tall wooden pole that had obviously been a sign post, advertising something, but what? You couldn’t see anything because the sign had been nailed over with wood.

One day a local decided to take the pole down and when he did the sign beneath was revealed to read: Palace Miramar Hotel. The wonderful photo by photographer Maria Demarest shows the stop-action thrill of the pole coming down–the most exciting event to occur on the ultra-quiet Coastside of the 1970s–but, sadly, I have no visual record of the sign itself.

(Photo: Another view of the geodesic dome that attracted a lot of attention in 1970s Miramar. See earlier Miramar post)