that the County of San Mateo purchased historic Romeo’s pier and has left it to rot, not making any repairs. Our Coastside’s history of the colorful cannery era, left to rot…What a pity!
Before we could get out there to help Joe, we heard him yelling in his
singing voice, “HELP MEEEEE!!!!!! HEELLLP MEEEEEE!â?
Magically, the lights came on in the neighborâs 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 âthe Bartenderâ? lying on his stomach, his belly stuck in the middle of a six- foot high piece of jungle gym equipment that the neighborâs 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 hawkâs cage before he was captured by the complex piece of kidâs 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.â?
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 didnât get the girl, but he did find his car!
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 âthe Bartenderâ? was heading.
Parrrummmp. We heard him hit the ground, then silence for ten seconds until we heard another parrrummmp and an âowwww.â? This was Joe who had stood up and walked face first into the hull of the boat. Yep, ten secons later the parrrrummmp and âowwwww,â? 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…
Back to Birch St. in Montara. One night âDirty Ernie,â?
âFast Eddyâ? (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 âthe Bartender.â? 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, âJoe don’t!â? but started laughing at what was going to happen if he kept going in that direction.
Dirty Ernie shook his head, and âFast Eddieâ? 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…
Report: Linda Goetz, assistant to Pete Douglas at the 50-year-old Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society in Miramar, confirms that San Mateo County has been contacted about naming a street “Pete Douglas Way.” Pete Douglas founded the “Bach,” as it is called locally, a world-class jazz house overlooking the Pacific, that has been hosting music concerts for decades and is a famous center of culture on the Coastside.
“Yes, I’ve sent a letter to the County,” Linda Goetz says, “asking officials to consider naming the street between Medio and Magellan in Miramar after Pete Douglas. How does ‘Pete Douglas Way’ sound? It’s his 80th birthday next February as well as the 50th anniversary of the Bach Society–and we think a fantastic way to celebrate this special day is by naming a street in Pete’s honor. He’s done so much for the musical arts on the Coastside.”
Neva Reece has a new blog, Writing from Alaska, please click here
Photo: Former Coastsider/Stained Glass Artist Peter Adams
See more of Peter Adams and his recent stained glass pieces: http://flickr.com/photos/zanador
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 (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…