Tom Andersen Says Julie’s Cantina & Dance Hall Kits Ready to Ship


Story by Tom Andersen
Tom’s website:

Hi Everybody,

We’ve been hard at it getting our new kit to market, first one is going to Paris France, ordered sight unseen, pre-paid, by a fellow who bought one of our adobe chapel kits. He said this kit will be the “masterpiece of my layout”.

Julie’s Cantina & Dance Hall is our newest kit, just released! Available in HO, S & O scales, it is our most realistic adobe kit yet! It features about 20% of the adobe surface eroded away to reveal the adobe bricks.

Construction involves a plywood substrate, then fracturing our Hydrocal casting of 400 square feet of adobe brick into shards, gluing the shards to the substrate, then finishing the rest of the wall surface to a grade above the adobe brick.

Also included are the outhouse (bano), Indian bread oven (horno) and an 18′ bar & bar stools.

Visit our web site for more details & photos,
Credit cards accepted.

Tom & Julie Andersen
Andersen Model Kits

Tom Andersen: When it comes to singing the blues, Margie Baker’s “the one” Enjoy her performance Friday, Jan 2 at Cetrella Restaurant, HMB

Story by Tom Andersen

Email Tom ([email protected])

Hello June,

We put up our holiday lights on our deck railing, a 7′ diameter circle of clear lights, with a 4′ colored light star in the center, a giant “O”. We’ll leave it up through January 20th. We took a photo and made it into our holiday cards, adding a rainbow lettered “Hallelujah”. It can be seen while driving the straight stretch of the 400-500 block of El Granada Blvd. and looking straight ahead and up about 15 degrees.

Here is the review of Margie Baker’s performance at Cetrella last week:

Saturday December 13, 2008

Saying goodnight to Margie Baker after her performance at Cetrella in Half Moon Bay, I told her it mattered little what song she chooses, because the essence of her performance is her interpretation of the song.

Born in East Texas, but a virtual lifelong Bay Area resident, Margie Baker is as good as it gets in music. Her phrasing, that is, how she groups lyrics, the emphasis she gives, makes each song uniquely her own, regardless whether it is Ellington, Beatles, or Billie Holiday. She grew up in the Fillmore district in San Francisco which she defines the limits as Franklin to Masonic, certainly not past Van Ness! Margie spent her “day job” career in education, in which she holds a doctorate. But music has been her life long passion, beginning with the blues & gospel in Texas.

She opened the set with “In A Mellow Tone”, saving her usual opener, “Let The good times Roll,”  to liven up the third set, when there were fewer audience members than musicians. Her set ranged from the Righteous Bros.’ “OH! My Love”, which we danced to, to blues in b flat “Real Gone Guy” to “White Christmas”.

She really cut loose on the second set with “All blues”, where she opened up the improvisation with incarnations of Ella, Sarah, Dinah & Billie. She repeatedly sent out holiday wishes a la Jewish, Muslim, Christian & African. Her interpretations of Christmas standards were entirely her own, as hip & jazzy as it gets.

She announced her third set would be all blues: she knows the blues are our favorite, and because, at that point we composed half of the audience, so there you go! Beginning with her signature “Let the Good Times Roll!” (with which she usually opens her show) she continued with “Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man Who Calms the Water” spiritual, at which point an amazing thing happened. After playing most of the evening to an almost empty room, a flood of people arrived, dressed to the nines, including Michael O’Neil. Cetrella is Michael’s gig. He books the players, and is usually the “maestro”. But this evening he was playing a private party down the street at Pasta Moon, and, apparently when they folded their tent there, most of the party came down to Cetrella, right in the middle of Margie’s rousing blues & gospel closing set! Energized, there were whoops, cheers, and clapping along to CC Rider. After an incredibly nuanced version of Sarah Vaughns “Black Coffee” she launched into “Hallelujah! I Just Love Him So”, much more clapping along & whooping support. She then did a great “Georgia”, and a jazz/gospel sounding “Silent Night”. She closed the show with “When the Saints Go Marching In”, Michael having brought his clarinet in from the car, wailing away in classic ‘Nawlins” style.

Once again, Margie had given us an “all time great” performance. Amazingly, she outdoes herself every time. She is an incredible talent, a treasure, and we are so fortunate to have her performing at all, much less once or twice a month at Cetrella, where you can routinely sit within five to fifteen feet of the band.

Margie is as kind and generous a person there is, deeply spiritual, with a great world view and understanding of the human spirit and soul. She is inclusive, like Barack Obama, bringing everyone into the tent.

Her next performance at Cetrella is on Friday, January 2, 2009, 6-11:30. We’ll as always, be there from start to finish. You never know what will happen next these days, so enjoy it while it lasts!

El Granada’s Tom Andersen Goes Global

Hi June,

We sold one of our chapel kits to a fellow in France this week, and took an order for a kit we plan to release in February for a roundhouse (photo attached) to someone in Zurich Switzerland. The roundhouse took over 500 hours, we developed our own freelance design, and drew plans on the CAD program and wrote rough draft instructions included in those hours.

Looks like a stormy week…

Tom Andersen
Email Tom ([email protected])



“O” is for Orville: Story by Tom Andersen

Story by Tom Andersen
Email Tom ([email protected])
Hi June,
I enjoyed reading in your blog about Richard English. I was so shocked when he died so young, although having some insight into his personal habits, on second thought, it wasn’t such a surprise.

I was a close observer in the 70’s of Richard and Leah’s relationship, the first awareness I had of him. He had a disarming manner, quite by intent..but a great wit, and , I think, a profound intelligence. We were friends, and, mutual old- timey Coastsiders, we shared that, as do you and I…Its a special association, the area having undergone such a transformation from the 1970s, which I fondly look back on as the great years!

Do you recall Horrible Orville (HO)??

My first recollection of “HO” was in 1971. I had recently acquired the “Blue Yonder Coffee Shop” (my name) at the HMB Airposrt, which I bought for $1. Not able to make a living despite- the- only- $15- a- month rent to SM County, I moonlighted as a bartender at the PI (Princeton Inn), having “conned” Ed Tonini, the owner, into believing I knew anything at all about mixing drinks, which I did not. “HO” was a regular, wearing a tank top, and at the slightest encouragement, lifting his arm, and showing off the turtle bite scar near his arm pit. This not getting him the attention he desired, he proceeded to take a bite out of the beer glass, to my chagrin…I informed him he would have to pay for the glass before I served him again…

Much later, Orville got into an honest living doing appliance installation & repair on the Coastside. By this time, I was a couple of years into El Granada Hardware, having started it up in 1976, while still operating Tom’s Market in Montara & Princeton Market & Deli. Orville had become a regular customer, buying brass pipe fittings to hook up the appliances he sold. He spent long sessions standing in front of my brass fitting cabinet, assessing just the right combination of parts. He had a little dog, if I had to guess, a Jack Russell terrier, who was expected to wait in his truck, while HO made his selection. At my checkstand, I observed his pup growing impatient, and leaped out the window of the truck, going across the street to see if Orville was in the post office. Orville, sensing that the dog may have strayed, walked to the door of the store, and called the dog. “Herpes!!! Herpes!!! Where are you??” Of course, anyone within earshot, including myself, was appalled at the word “herpes” being shouted at top volume in “downtown El Granada”. Only Horrible Orville would name his dog after venereal warts…

I liked Orville, he would tell jokes routinely, so hysterically funny, that tears filled my eyes. I wish he had hung around…

Tom Andersen
To read Tom’s story:: “Mavericks Underground”, please click here

An evening at the Coastal Rep Theater with Tom Andersen


By Tom Dudzick

Directed by Roxane Ashe

Coastal Repertory Theater

1167 Main Street

Half Moon Bay, CA 94019


November 21 – December 13, 2008

An Evening at the Coastal Rep Theater with Tom Andersen

Email Tom ([email protected]

“Greetings”, a delightful holiday- themed play by Tom Dudzick is currently on stage at the Coastal Repertory Theater in Half Moon Bay. The first scene opens with a young couple sitting on a plane headed for New York City. It’s Christmastime, and they’re celebrating at the young man’s parent’s home. He’s been brought up Catholic, and she’s Jewish, but a horrible family tragedy has driven her to declare that she’s an atheist.

The next scene takes us into his parent’s home where Mom is putting the finishing touches on the holiday decorations, which are hilarious! Nothing is lacking in Christmas ornamentation, including the felt antler headgear and glowing earrings that could power the traffic signal at Highway 1 and 92. Joyously trimming the tree is the young man’s  brother, a mentally impaired fellow, whose high spirits are uplifting–but when he talks, nobody can understand what he’s saying. His speech sounds slurry, unintelligible. Evidenty he has always been that way. Meanwhile the adult brothers fall into their childhood ways, wrestling and roughhousing on the floor.

Enter the father who needs a cane because of his limp. He’s negative, bombastic. Everybody sits down in fear, and Dad meets the young man’s girlfriend. He’s told that she’s Jewish and an atheist, a lethal combination that tests the father’s patience. The father aggressively attacks both her beliefs and lack of. Things get really strained after that and the couple prepares to cut their visit short.

Then, in the middle of all the emotional chaos and noise, the mentally challenged brother blurts out something that, for the first time ever, everybody understands. “Greetings,” he says, which is also the title of the play.

The family is astonished, flabbergasted. Greetings. It seems to express the feeling of the moment; it’s exciting, philosophical, above their heads but what IS that accent? It’s East Indian. He’s got a foreign accent, no, yes, well, let’s just say that a “cosmic entity” temporarily takes over the brother’s body, at the brother’s invitation. This guy has plenty to say, delivered in an East Indian accent, and what follows shakes up everybody’s beliefs.

“Greetings” has many, many very funny one line zingers. The actor who portrays the “impaired” brother & the spirit that possesses him does a terrific job. During the standing ovation, which lasted several minutes, he was the last to take his bows, and the applause and cheers surged loudly!

But when I first sat down to watch this play, the characters seemed so rigid, suffocating and stereotypical that I could not imagine two hours in the presence of these people. This is a first rate production with fine acting. Hat’s off to Roxanne Ash for her excellent direction, and to the Coastal Repertory Theater for choosing such a unique script!

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 (