[Image: If you are wondering who the hand on Jack’s left shoulder belongs to: it’s Janice’s hand, Jack’s girlfriend.]
The last time I saw Jack King
was at the hardware store in El Granada, when Tom Andersen owned it. That day, more than a decade ago, was very windy and cold. It was winter. We were doing some remodeling on our house, and the blustery winds had snuffed out the flame in the old heater located beneath the house, way back in a dark and scary crawl space.
[Yes, yes, I could have called PG&E but I didn’t think of it.]
On that very cold, winter day I bumped into Jack King at the El Granada hardware store. Jack was a local character. I knew him as an unusual fellow who could spout classical poetry on demand–all the while flashing his generous smile. The way he wore his tousled brown curly hair, combined with the scholarly pair of glasses, helped to give him an intellectual look–and he was smart—
His talented girlfriend, Janice, designed and made original clothing. Jack and Janice lived in different places on the Coastside, near Cowboy’s Surf Shop and near the top of the El Granada Highlands.
Remembering that our heater was down, and that I did not know how to light a flame safely, and that I was afraid to make my way through the shadows in the crawl space…..I asked Jack if he would help us.
Not a moment of hesitation, and, fifteen minutes later, dear Jack wouldn’t take a little gift of thanks from us, as we had much to be grateful for once the rooms were warming up.
That was the last time I saw Jack King. I heard he moved to San Francisco, somewhere near San Francisco General Hospital. Burt and I hope that life is treating him well. We will always remember Jack King by the act of kindness he performed for us on that gloomy day long ago.
I lived with Jack King at 2040 Laguna st. in San Francisco back in the day. Could you tell me if Jack is still around. If so and you see him give him my Email address and to contact me.
Dear friends & family,
Today is my daughter Marika’s birthday & I thought you would enjoy the little e-card that I sent to her this morning. We concluded the beautiful day (above) this last Saturday by kayaking and rollicking and having fun at Mavericks, playing some wild three-way frisbee with Michael Murphy until well after a glorious sunset on the low tide beach out front.
I remember so clearly on the morning of October 28, 1974, a few hours after Marika was born, seeing the headline in the San Francisco paper: STATE GETS FIRST BIG STORM. Well, I guess it is true that Marika has been a “big storm” in my life–one that has brought me so much adventure & happiness, and for Marika, I am forever grateful.
[In the image below, Mr. Eugene Pardini’s uncle farms the land, decades ago, near El Granada and the traffic light at Highway 1 and Capistrano Road.]
Today I watched a youtube featuring an interview with well known, successful investor Jim Rogers. In an interview with the Bloomberg channel, Rogers was asked what he was investing in, in these shaky times, and why.
I was surprised to hear him answer: “Agriculture.”
As to the “why” of his unexpected investment choice, Rogers pointed out that most of the farmers working today are old–and there’s no one to replace them. Nobody’s going to farm school. Farm equipment, like tractors, have aged along with what could be America’s last generation of farmers.
Farming has been left behind: so, who will grow our food?
The present dismal economic picture will surely discourage new hammer & nail work for the indefinite future. There’s an irony here. The Coastside earth that has historically produced artichokes, Italian beans, and brussels sprouts, has been, overtime replaced by new homes. Could that change?. Who knows? Farming on the Coastside could turn into the biggest industry we have!
The Borsini-Burr Gallery (1.877.712.2111/ or, for the website, please click here ) has invited master painter, sculptor & llithographer Michael Parkes to Montara-by-the-Sea the weekend of November 7, 8, 9.
Three days he’s going to be on the Coastside, visiting the historic artist’s colony.
A one-man show, says gallery owner Dianne Borsini-Burr. You’ll see his old work, his new work, and learn things you didn’t know before.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday will feature a different creative event, all WITH the master painter Michael Parkes, AND, chances are, you can talk with him, one-to-one. A weekend of fine art; a good time to invite friends and family to the Coastside.
Burt says, “Ask him about the economy.” but Burt asks everybody that. I say:: “Ask him about the future of art in our culture.” Business and art seem like two universes, don’t they?
I own several wonderful, mood-changing, sometimes mind-stretching pieces of Mr. Parkes’ work. I admire his attention to detail like the balloon-sleeved, striped shirt one character wears, the magical themes, the details within details. Maybe he needs to guard his imagination in a creative vault!
For his beloved daughter’s wedding invitation, the artist drew a plump lotus flower with a very long stem. A couple of feet long, that stem was. When used as a fancy card to be mailed, the work of art was folded to fit. Who doesn’t love receiving original art in an envelope?
The titles of his older paintings (“The Swan King,” “Girl on the flying trapeze”) may give you a hint of Michael Parkes’ vigorous artistic spirit and humor.
One last thing: Let me remind you about the history of Montara-by-the-Sea. In the early 1900s, Montara was home to the historic “Artist’s Colony” founded by San Francisco book publisher Harr Wagner. Poets, painters and musicians–and even a graphologist, better known as a handwriting expert, once lived and worked in the rustic cottages that dotted the rural landscape dominated by magnificent Montara Mountain.
I’m happy to report that the tradition of artists living in Montara-by-the-Sea remains. And I wouldn’t be surprised if master painter Michael Parkes decides to settle down right here.
That’s what the shrieking voices say on tv.
If anybody owed you money–or if you have a financial claim (trust fund, lottery or sweepstakes winner) wouldn’t you want it NOW?
Rather than later.
Even if it amounts to a discount, my opinion is to TAKE IT NOW.
But then again, I’m a “girl,” with a short-time preference.
When we entered Wyoming, we were startled to see large billboards advertising the sale of fireworks. Wyoming sells fireworks all year ’round! Not only that, but Michael’s grandmother sold fireworks back in the late 1920s-early 1930s, and shot some off of the roof of their restaurant every “International Day”, which is still celebrated in Wyoming.
More stuff we learned….
In Oregon, you can’t pump your own gas. That is the law. Oregon & New Jersey are the only states in the union where customers are not allowed to pump their own gas. Maybe you already knew this, but we didn’t, when we rolled into our first Oregon gas station. Three young attendants rushed out to the van, to pump the gas and wash the windows, etc. Michael tipped them! We thought that it was some special full-service feature of that particular station.
Washington has huge highway on-ramps, and the best rest areas. Montana is just a huge state, quite beautiful, but goes on forever. At a Chinese restaurant near Butte, we met the owner, originally from San Francisco, who says that it is “very lonely” out there in the vastness of Montana. The people were all very nice. Yes, it truly is “big sky” country. There is a lot of fishing in their many lakes & streams. In fact, during a thunderstorm, Montana fishermen were wading in the water with fishing rods held high. Nothing would keep them from hooking their trout.
Idaho has the most beautiful trees, and the absolute WORST Chinese food ever, if the restaurant we went to is any indication. As far as Utah goes, we have been there before, but the southern end of Utah, which is more stunning, I think, than its north end, which we visited this time. We drove past Salt Lake City, which was the most conjested road of our trip, until we came back to the Bay Area, which was hellish – backed up on the freeway for miles & miles.
Back home, to the “real world”, we had bad news that Michael’s Uncle Calvin died. He was the oldest of the family members who were left who could have remembered many of the things that we learned in Rock Springs, and perhaps filled in some blanks about it all. We had been looking forward to sharing it with him. Just goes to show that we can’t take anything (or anyone) for granted. Uncle Calvin had the full Chinese funeral, along with a parade & band, all over Chinatown, out to Colma & back. That was an experience in itself. I had to bow three times at the grave site after throwing in the flower & dirt.
Need an image of your favorite Coastside beach or lighthouse (Pigeon Point or Montara Fog Signal?) I love Michael’s pre-golf ball shot of Pillar Point.
The Wongs enjoy meeting the customers and they are so very helpful and respectful….Visit them at Spring Mountain Gallery in town, 225 S. Cabrillo Hwy #128c, or click here