RIP: BIG George Moore

Story by Sam Varela

Dear Friends,

Just to let you know, George Moore’s passing was on August 28th, one week after celebrating his 62nd Birthday (who knew?). Although it was anticipated, it was still accepted with extreme sadness. His memory is a special private place in each of our hearts. However, we all can recall with a smile that special memory that will always remain with us because of the Special person that he was. Though many have tried, none can replace the image of George and his aura and charisma. His Cowboy hat, Hawaiian shirt, BMW, Barrel Chest, Looks the lady’s loved, Pineapple treats, Surfing Legend, and his Class and Style.

There is more, of course, but we can each insert our own special time and incident. What a character, and proud father, he was!

We are currently trying to organize a gathering, to celebrate his life and will keep you informed of when it will occur. It justifies some set-up time, in order to do the quality event he has earned. We are looking at possibly, late October or early November, on a weekend, with no conflict and enough lead time to allow us all to gather together for that date. It will be good to break bread, talk and celebrate our special friend’s life. We are planning to hold the occasion in HMB, probably in Princeton by the Sea, near to Mavericks and to the harbor. Just a place that was close to his heart. (and where they will take the likes of us!)

Everyone will be notified once there is a fixed date,  and in the interim, please lite a candle and say a prayer. Be grateful he passed through our lives with the style he did. Til later George!

With All the Best To You,
From Peter Adams:
oh no — another old friend gone.  here’s a photo of george [at the bar of course!] with beard
during the installation of my stained glass.

From our friends near the Big Sur fire….Sam Varela Reports

Dear Friends and Relatives,

Our Evacuation Orders were lifted Friday night, thankfully. Although this is not a guarantee, it’s still really smoky here with some ash still falling; it is a big step toward saving our home and property.

There is no way to fully express our appreciation for the incredible offers to us of your manpower, trucks, temporary quarters and storage space that we have received during this crises—but mostly the incredible power of your prayers and support in unison that built the wall of protection to stop the fire one parcel away from us.

Although we are still under a cloud of smoke and the fire burned 12,000 acres near us in just 1 day– 3 days ago, the mighty heroes that have taken on the fight know what they are doing and allow certain areas to burn, hence the large burn is still on. ( only happens when you need  them ). Total containment is predicted for the 30th of the month. You won’t find much in the press anymore but its still burning. It is presently at 150,000+ acres and will burn until the rainy season begins. They will allow it to burn in the Ventana Wilderness next to us, which is a part of the Los Padres National Forest because that is the natural order of things in this ecology.

The amazing people who make up the manpower core of firefighters cannot be praised enough for the honorable dedicated proud human beings that they are. God Bless Them All!

This type of fire in the Wilderness is a recurring event, the second one for us, and is God’s way of keeping the forest healthy and vibrant. Folks that live within these areas understand that the forest is not the problem, its human encroachment that creates the threat. I think we can agree that fire has happened A Few Times in the past!

We have taken many things into consideration and have decided that it is time for a new owner to take this beautiful piece of land and log home to its next level, and will be selling, and moving on to the next chapter of our lives. The challenges at this time are still unknown. But for us the VALUE in this fire event is how blessed we are to have so very many true sincere friends and relatives who are there when the Gettin’ Gets Tough.

Please stay in contact as it has been great to hear from all of you. We are all well and safe here and hope you and yours are well too.

The chickens, doves and our things remain evacuated until the smoke clears however, no point in moving them again, in case the fire jumps the line. We will keep you informed if this unlikely event occurs. But we are keeping the faith!

Thanks and we love you all, from the bottom of our hearts. Take good care until we meet again!
All the best from,
and Jocelyn

From Our Friends Caught In the Big Sur Fire…Sam Varela Reports

To You~
Who’s love has come our way at this difficult time. It’s the greatest form of support you can offer, because it’s real.

Well at this point there are many stories and rumors about what has happened here in the Tassajara Area/ Big Sur mountain range, to the best of our knowledge at least 190,000 acres have burned and it’s still moving. Just 2 days ago it broke over a hold line and headed in our direction. It’s now less than 1 mile away. Big Sur is about 8 miles away as the crow flies and is all burned out between us. It is actually the result of 2 fires, the Indians fire (70,000 acres) and the Basin Complex fire (so far 120,000+) acres, they fortunately joined and consumed all the fuel in that area so extinguished the interior but the perimeters are still very active.

We are eternally grateful to the many brave fire fighters here from everywhere (SAMOA even) they are truly a unique breed. Today two huge Base Camps have been combined and are stationed about 3 miles away, about 2000 troops and loads of equipment including 17 Helicopters. They have established a Fire Break line that runs between our home and the fire, we have been told that if it’s possible to contain it they are the best there exist in that effort, if not, then the entire Carmel Valley is being threatened.

There are huge areas under orders to evacuate, and about 75% have refused and are staying on their property, What’s the point here ? A lady we know was halted at the blockade by the CHP; she explained her daughter was home alone and had to be evacuated, she was told she was not allowed back. She said “NOT ALLOWED, MY ASS!” and drove thru the blockade. CHP ended up chasing her up the mountain, but this ALLOWED everyone else to power thru and scatter like a bunch of ground squirrels and are still hiding out. All the authorities are just doing their job the best they can and are to be appreciated.

Suzanne has been awesome in her efforts to help in the evacuation of our important things, deal with Jocelyn and I, and still run her business in the midst of all the confusion. I pray her patience will hold out, for all of us concerned.

It’s a day by day situation, and not a pleasure to pass on dire information, but hopefully the next e- will surely bring good news on a bad situation. So please know that your prayers are reaching and supporting us and with that we will be OK when it’s all over. God Bless You all for being THERE.
Til Then,
and Jocelyn Varela

*Sam Varela was a former owner of the Moss Beach Distillery.

1970s: Sam Varela Remembers the Galway Bay Inn

In the 1970s a fun place to go to for Sunday brunch was the Galway Bay Inn in Moss Beach. The owner himself, Michael Murphy, was often there, serving the customers.

Do you remember the restaurant?

I wish I’d kept the napkins with the four leaf clover logo. The Galway Bay Inn overlooked the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve; we’d get a seat by the windows; it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning. Do you know where it was?

In the early 1970s the low key Galway Bay Inn became the upbeat Moss Beach Distillery when several young, high energy guys bought the historic prohibition roadhouse, among them Dave Andrews and Sam Varela.

(Photo: I believe both Dave Andrews & Sam Varela are standing outside the Distillery; sorry the image is so small.)

Dave and Sam were personable and easy going; they soon had a big loyal following. Such a special, loyal following that every year there is a reunion in Princeton-by-the-Sea.

Here’s what Sam Varela, former owner of the Moss Beach Distillery remembers:

Back in the very late 60’s a drunken Irishman by the name of Michael Murphy, who worked for the Telephone Company, spent so much time drinking in Dominics in HMB, that one day he woke up there, and decided that since it cost him so much to hang out there, he might as well buy the place.

So he did, but not having much money, and being a real tight—– Irishman, he converted it to an Irish restaurant by simply adding an O to the name thus creating O’Dominics. Do you remember ?

After a few years in the business, he sold the O’, and worked out a deal for Vic Torres’ place with Pearl [Torres], a restaurant which was located over a cove that reminded Murphy of Galway Bay ( beats me ). Thus was born the Galway Bay Inn an Irish restaurant.

In early 1973, I was diving for Abs near Flat Rock, right below “Weebies” (Sp ?) place, which I think is where “Goofus, the duck” lived. This is a Sunday about noon; I didn’t live on the Coastside then, so not too familiar with where I was. I was thirsty from diving, and wanted a beer, looked at the building , couldn’t figure what it was, so checked it out, and by golly there was a Bar in there, but not one customer in the whole place.

To make a long story short, 9 months later I was behind the Bar and “Goofus” was in my ice bin behind the Bar with two of my friends, Jerry and Mark, cracking up.

October of 1973 the Moss Beach Distillery was born, as was the world famous “Tamale Jerry enterprise.” As well as a classic Streaker with a very cold butt ! God those were fun times ! The “Still” today is geared for Tourists, not locals and lacks the Color of the early days. There are too many memories to list but I know you can recount many, I did spend time with Fannie and Frank Torres at their home close to the Still and enjoyed their stories. (Photo below: Fanny & Frank Torres; behind them the “lost” painting of Frank Torres wearing suit & tie, with Devil’s Slide in the background, courtesy Millie Muller.)

Does anybody know who “Goofus the duck” was? And what about the Tamale Jerry enterprise? I know Sam is referring to photographer Jerry Koontz,

(Photo: Jerry Koontz & Doug St. Denis in the 1970s.)
and I do remember Jerry selling homemade tamales from a cart.


Sam? Are you there? Peter Adams remembers the good times. He and his wife send you a big hug.