Do You Recognize This Gorgeous Man?

Guess who? Guess again.

I’ll give you a clue. Everybody knows him. He’s an accomplished musician and he writes for Half Moon Bay Memories & The El Granada Observer.

Give Up? Look closely– deeply into his eyes.

It’s Fayden Holmboe of Half Moon Bay, circa 1970s.
Do you want to read Fayden’s work? Click here

**** Photo courtesy Joni Keim, a Petaluma resident who lived in the lovely “Quinta Marta” house overlooking the sea in Montara in 1972. To learn more about Joni’s consulting business, click here

Joe “The Bartender’s” Flying Experience By Fayden (5) Conclusion

Before we could get out there to help Joe, we heard him yelling in his
singing voice, “HELP MEEEEE!!!!!! HEELLLP MEEEEEE!”

Magically, the lights came on in the neighbor’s back yard. John, a Jamaican man, who lived with his English wife, emerged from their house in a full length silk bathrobe that only he and David Niven could have worn and gotten away with.

As the lights came on what we saw out of our kitchen window was Joe “the Bartender” lying on his stomach, his belly stuck in the middle of a six- foot high piece of jungle gym equipment that the neighbor’s kids played on.

Joe was waving his arms and feet like he was flying and singing his “HELP MEEEE” song!!

(To get stuck in the jungle gym, Joe would have had to climb over a four-foot fence, roll over a two-foot wide hawk’s cage before he was captured by the complex piece of kid’s play equipment. In explanation, all I can say is, it was really dark out there!)

We all helped Joe out of the tangle of the jungle gym equipment, and listing to the right and left, he vanished into the night. You really didn’t want to stop an emotional drunk anyway and tell them what to do. It did occur to me, though, as Joe disappeared into the night that he was no longer wondering “What am I going to do.”

Four days later Joe called and asked if we had seen his car.
We had wondered whose car it was and were happy to tell him yes it
was here. So you see, there was a happy ending: Joe didn’t get the girl, but he did find his car!

Joe “The Bartender’s” Flying Experience By Fayden (4)

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We were going to move the 55- foot ferro hull down to Princeton so
Chuck and I had to remove the deck; we also removed the five steps leading into the backyard, and it was in this direction that Joe “the Bartender” was heading.

Parrrummmp. We heard him hit the ground, then silence for ten seconds until we heard another parrrummmp and an “owwww.” This was Joe who had stood up and walked face first into the hull of the boat. Yep, ten secons later the parrrrummmp and “owwwww,” he had bumped into th boat again.

It was pitch dark out there and we were laughing and at the same time trying to find a flashlight. This was not an easy task as the cans of beer were almost gone and so was the Wild Turkey.

We didn’t hear anymore “parrrummmps” so we figured he was sitting down somewhere, until we found him. We were mistaken.

…to be continued…

Joe “The Bartender’s” Flying Experience By Fayden (3)

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Back to Birch St. in Montara. One night “Dirty Ernie,”
“Fast Eddy” (a 300- hundred- pound Hispanic friend with a giant
mustache and a Panama hat on his head) and me were drinking Shilitz Malt liquor with wild Turkey whiskey shots poured in the top of the can
where there was room after the first couple of sips.

There was a knock at the front door but nobody ever waited for us to answer. They just strolled on in and on this late night it was none other
than Joe “the Bartender.” Drunk as a skunk was Joe, and distraught
as he could be over his girlfriend who had just broken up with him.

He kept saying, “What am I going to do?”, as he paced from
the dining room where we were trying to sit upright in our chairs
with our aforementioned drinks, into a bedroom through a bathroom,
into another bedroom, rejoining us in the dining room .

“What am I going to do?” he said.

This went on for five or six laps.Then he started heading out of the kitchen towards the back porch. This was a mistake, and we all knew it , and in a slurring voice I said, “Joe don’t!” but started laughing at what was going to happen if he kept going in that direction.

Dirty Ernie shook his head, and “Fast Eddie” lowered his hat over his eyes like he was getting ready to take a siesta but he was really getting ready for the inevitable, and what was going to happen.

…to be continued…

Happy Father’s Day: Joe “The Bartender’s” Flying Experience By Fayden (2)

Joe “The Bartender’s” Flying Experience (2)
Original story by Fayden

This is about 1973 at a house on Birch Street in Montara where “Dirty” Ernie (we called him “Dirty” Ernie because he liked it), Chuck Portz, the “Turtles” old bass player, my first wife and I lived. In this house we played music until all hours of the night and drank like fishes.

We used coal for heat and totally polluted the neighborhood for a week while we used up the big bag of coal we bought in the pot belly stove. We went back to wood when we saw what it was doing to the air. No one ever complained, we assumed, because they all drank like fishes, too (at least. the closest neighbors seemed to).

“Dirty” Ernie was a short little Italian guy, deaf as a door nail, bald on top with a massive mustache. He’d walk into any social situation, yelling, “Hey, no laughing tonight,” and everybody knew it was Ernie and they would laugh and then return to whatever they were doing.

Chuck was a portly man who was building a large ferro craft boat about 55-feet long out in the backyard. He worked in a fiberglass factory that manufactured shower stalls and he was a commercial abalone diver. Chuck owned a black Labrador Retriever that lived in the fiberglass warehouse and he bragged that the dog could actually sit down on the toilet in the restroom to do his business.

Other locals, including Ernie, Don, Gary, Orville and myself were also commerical divers. Problem was we didn’t really like processing the abs, so we’d trade Dwayne, the butcher at a local market, for anything that didn’t taste like fish!

…to be continued..

Joe “The Bartender’s” Flying Experience By Fayden (1)

Joe “The Bartender’s” Flying Experience (1)

Original Story by Fayden

Just after David Greenberg, Mike Mindel and Peter Rogers gave up managing the Spouter Inn that changed its name to the Shelter Inn (I was the music manager, by the way; I booked our acts) two new older, straight-looking guys came in to run things.

Joe and Doogie were their names. Doogie had red hair (kind of a disco cut) and good-sized mustache. Joe was a large man, stood about 5’9″. Joe had thinning hair and gained popularity singing songs like “The Temple Bar at Morys,” like “Crazy” Googinheim did on the Jackie Gleason Show towards the end of his t.v. show. Kind of an A Cappella college glee club voice, or like the buzzard talked on the Muppet Show.

These two were also the people who changed the name of “The Shelter Inn” to “The Miramar Beach Inn.”

Joe and Doogie started having electric bands playing there rather than what had up to this time been a folk or folk/rock genre, leaning aggressively to the acoustical. Admittedly, it was probably a good idea; it pumped everybody up and they bought more drinks. We had encouraged a more coffee house feeling where you could nurse a glass of wine without being pressured into getting bombed.

Ok. Enough about how Joe and Doogie ruined the best folk club on the coast where John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Jose Feliciano, Hot Tuna, me, etc., had played!

….to be continued…

Me & Sally, Manuel, Mickey & Doc..And How We Survived Economically During the 1960s In Princeton By Fayden

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…How We Survived Economically During the 1960s in Princeton….Story By Fayden

There is a little bit of road that runs from the corner of Broadway
in Princeton towards the water. One little cottage surrounded by trees stands on the corner; there is a house on the water with a garage next to it and a large vacant lot.

The house on the water stands across the way from the Harbor House. Before the Harbor House, there was a large hull of a wrecked boat on the spot, maybe one piece forty feet in length that faced the water.

The cabin was water tight, and this is where we used to go to inhale those forbidden herbs and drink our brews that made our words slur while we watched storms blow right on over us and away.

The creek that runs behind all these little houses cuts it off from the store fronts of Princeton, so in some ways it was an island unto itself within the otherwise barbaric mentality of late sixties/early seventies “Princeton- by- the- Sea” (we never called it that though).

This little street was an “intellectual” hub of high living within the otherwise physically and mentally crazed overt nature of fishermen,boat builders, and abalone divers. Now, I have built boats, assisted fishermen fishing, and ran the compressors to the long lines of abalone divers, however I still claim to be one of the terminally unique intellectuals that dwelled on this tiny strip of land off Broadway.

Doc (we called him “Doc” because he used three syllable words a lot) lived in the corner house surrounded by old cypress trees, and worked for United Airlines as a mechanic of some sort. We considered him to be the most stable of all of us because he earned a straight wage every week from a large industry. He was also the only person to have a car without dents and half rusted. Doc was always inviting people in and we appreciated this because except for Doc, Manuel and Sally, we all lived in campers. Small little boxes with even smaller little windows that created large flaring tempers when one got cabin fever.

There was an old black man named Isaac who claimed to be a hundred years old, and he would come over and drink, and tell stories at Docs. Isaac was a local born and lived his life in Half Moon Bay. On hindsight I don’t know if Isaac was a hundred years old but he told really great stories, and it allowed us to sit still and honor him in this way.

He probably just enjoyed watching us get pie eyed and slowly list fifteen degrees as we listened.

Manuel and Sally lived at the other end of the street (across from the old boat, remember) Manuel made beautiful abalone jewelry. He was an older man than us, maybe in his fifties and he rarely wore much more than a pair of shorts. He kinda reminded me of Jacques Cousteau with a pony tail. Manuel would cut the abalone on a water wheel, wearing a scuba tank to breathe with, while doing it. I guess the dust almost killed him doing it without the tank once.

Sally just kind of ran around in the background keeping the house together or chasing her two- year- old daughter who was eternally naked. They were the first San Francisco street vendors I ever met; they’d make the jewelry, then go up to the city around Ghiradelli Square to sell it.

Mickey lived in the two-car garage next to the house that Manuel and
Sally lived in. About a year earlier he had left his wife and kids in Moss Beach. Perhaps Mickey was the most creative man I ever knew;
it seemed he would take on just about any challenge mechanically and
could make it work.

Or he’d already know how to build just about anything wood,or metal, and well, too! He taught me taught me the zen of building, that every project was simply a puzzle, and my job was to make the favorable parts that put it together. It was also mandatory in this “Mickey- zen” to be happy while I/we did anything, or else it wasn’t worth doing.

Mick also was an advocate for beginning the “Royal American Marijuana
Air Force.” The RAMAF plan was to collect all the seeds we could and then
drop them everywhere from a small airplane we would use from the HMB
airport. It never became a reality but we sure loved to muse over
the concept!!

During storms, before the inner break water was built, some of the
boats would lose their moorings and blow up on the shore. The
unlucky ones hit the rocks, shattered and broke up to the point where they couldn’t be repaired, right in front of their unhappy owner’s eyes!

One of these unfortunate crafts came up on a little beach between
Hazel’s restaurant (now Barbaras Fishtrap) and the rocks to the north
of Hazel’s. The wrecked boat had been abandoned for a few months when Mickey discovered it had a solid stainless steel gas tank about
three- feet- tall, nine- feet- wide, and about a foot thick, running the
full amid ship of it. We decided to cut the tank free using some
handsaws and then we’d float it out at high tide. Of course to add
to the intrigue, this all had to be done in the dark as we were never
sure of the legality of anything we did.

And so we commenced, the saws sawed, the water rose, we pushed it out of the now really wrecked boat and it fell on its side into the water. We grabbed two paddles and rowed it over to the end of Johnson pier, hauled it up onto the back of my truck and were now the “new” proud owners of a big, shiny stainless steel gas tank!

And so we commenced, the saws sawed, the water rose, we pushed it out of the now really wrecked boat and it fell on its side into the water. We grabbed two paddles and rowed it over to the end of Johnson pier, hauled it up onto the back of my truck and were now the “new” proud owners of a big, shiny stainless steel gas tank!

We decided to chain it up to a telephone pole in front of Mickey’s
garage facing Broadway and painted on it “STAINLESS STEEL TANK
$150.00.”

A couple of months passed and we didn’t have any takers so we crossed out the $150.00 and painted in a new higher price: $250.00.

Another month went by and still nobody bought it so we crossed out the $250.00 written just below the $150.00 and put an even higher new price of $350.00. About two days later a man came by, looked it over, checked the tank carefully for problems and was successful in talking us down to $300.00. He never asked about the other two prices and we never explained them!

The same day we cut loose the stainless steel tank, we liberated another gas tank in another wrecked boat but this one was only 60 gallons and it wasn’t stainless steel. We couldn’t lift it up the cliff so we emptied the gas into the sand. Mickey didn’t want to pollute the water so once we got to the top of the cliff he dropped a lit match on the newly poured gas. Powwoummmm! The biggest little atomic bomb replica I ever have seen before or since came to life right before my eyes. This flame was followed by a mushroom cloud the height of the twelve- foot cliff and the Eucalyptus trees on top of it.

Needless to say we ran like hell and commenced to watch every Sheriff’s car on the Coastside rolling up and down the streets in Princeton looking for whatever the heck had just occurred.

Needless to say “just another day in paradise”!

Sunday Lunch at Joe’s South of HMB

My dear old friend Fayden (at left) poses with Joe’s owner/Chef Pablo who comes from a family of Mexican chefs. Chef Pablo’s broad experience–translating into a diverse menu–ranges from his years at Joe’s of Westlake and the Fior d’Italia restaurant in San Francisco.
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Good value, good food

Check out these desserts! dscn0904.JPG

On Bill Middlejohn by Coastside Musician Fayden

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Bill Middlejohn is one of the folks who played regularly at the Shelter/Spouter Inn [Miramar Beach Inn] and did live on the coast for a short time.

Bill had a really soothing voice, and a nice finger picking style, a sense of humor in some ways like Arlo Guthrie. I seem to remember he glued a plastic eyeball on the tuning head of his guitar, but maybe that was somebody else. A bunch of us jammed together, Bill being one of them.

There was a brilliant lead guitarist guy, Jimmy or Billy Dean from the Santa Cruz area (I think it was) that o.d.’d while we were all playing, and Middlejohn wrote him a memorial song. There was so much talent under this Shelter Inn roof around 1970 that I am absolutely amazed more people who played there never got acknowledged publicly.

On the other hand as a very wise somebody said once, “We were the only generation that started a revolution, won it, then lost interestand went off to drink beer and play frisbie”.