Two Coastsiders I loved interviewing for the 1981 “Mystery of Half Moon Bay” documentary were Patricia Erickson and Gene Fleet–two new age, spiritual friends who shared the belief that they lived in a unique, powerful place.
Gene Fleet (GF) worked at HMB Nursery and lived at remote Tunitas Creek near the former historical site, Gordon’s Chute– and the artistic Patricia Erickson (PE) lived in Moss Beach (the house with the big rainbow painted across the garage door) near the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.
It’s 1980 and Pat and Gene speak freely about the power Devil’s Slide and the Coastside.
Patricia Erickson: I think it’s a power point….
Gene Fleet: …that the whole San Mateo Coastside seems to be blocked off by the earth, with Devil’s Slide to the north and on the south where Ano Nuevo is…There’s that whole cliff area which is continually falling in…
PE: …people that live here, I think they’re high energy people….I think people hwo live here are special people, too. I really feel that…And I think that they bring a degree of energy which stabilizes the earth, too.
GF…There is a basic grounded quality about people who come here. In order to be able to be here one can’t be too extravagant. There is a bit of that element coming in with commuter traffic and suburban development of the Coastside—but there is a stronger grounding element. It is expressed through various kinds of people living here…farmers and fishermen and people who are living in the mountains—various nationalities represented here…We’re all sort of in this together. In the fog together. In the anticipation of an earthquake, I mean, it’s constantly with us….
PE: I don’t cope with the fog. I think fog is a very powerful energy…We have a unique weather pattern which drives many people insane. We have a unique list of elements—and force and power here…One of the elements is isolation which Gene was talking about. You just don’t commute to movies every night…So people who live here are centers almost within themselves. People who can also join in the community but also seem autonomous channels of energy. There is a certain kind of person which stays here, which lives here, which thrives on it and which gets off on it and also channels into it….
GF: The Coastside has to evolve at its own rate. It will do so no matter what…As other influences come into the area, commercial ventures or economic things have to do with housing, different things which try to come in which aren’t appropriate just don’t happen….The whole thing of Westinghouse buying property and wherever that’s standing now. The proposed 4-lane highway coming in from the east and north and they have continually been blocked…Even this winter when Devil’s Slide threatened to disappear…
PE: People who need big complexes, all that development, obviously haven’t stayed. Energy’s magnetic. So, energy attracts energy. So the energy that’s here obviously is going to attract an energy. We’re magnets to each other. I feel, too, that part of the reason venture hasn’t occurred here is because that’s not what it’s all about…I think that first of all the earth, which is the very grounded thing here we’re living on on the etheric level is really not supportive of a freeway happening. My feeling is that the mountains themselves have a life essence form, a life energy on an etheric level which is saying “no, this is not going to happen.”
I also think that the people who live here-and I’m really going out on a limb because I know there’s a lot of people who’d like to move out fast or have a freeway but I think, basically, a great many of the people who live here, on the etheral level, support the mountain’s decision.
Those are the two energies that are compatable–the people who stay which keeps bringing in that energy which the mountain, you might say, has the first and last word–because no one’s going to control that mountain.
…To be continued…
Coastside Caves: You can imagine that during the 1920s, the Prohibition Era, illegal whiskey was hidden or moved through this Moss Beach cave, where the lady in the first image is posing. Or, maybe this tunnel-like cave was a connection between the sea where the booze was sometimes dropped off and one of the roadhouse restaurants in Moss Beach. I was once told that the fellow in the “bird flying” position, center photo, was Fred Simmons, former constable of Half Moon Bay in the 1940s, and, I mention Simmons in my ongoing Montara murder story (“Babes in the Woods”case). I actually met Constable Simmons when he was in old age and quite a character. After his death, Simmon’s home in historic downtown Half Moon Bay was used as an art gallery.