Is This The Work of the Great Andy Goldsworthy? Please tell us…

Hi June,
This one has been bothering me for a while. A few years ago while driving to Southern Cal along the coast we saw the pictured piece of art on the beach at Gazos Creek. A few days later when we returned it had been demolished. We and several other people who had stopped agreed it was probably a work by Andy Goldsworthy. Do you know anything about this? Do you think your readers might? John Vonderlin

A few years ago Goldsworthy was in San Francisco to give a speech at the Herbst Theater, so it makes sense that he might have taken a ride to the beautiful South Coast. It’s Goldsworthy’s style to “create” temporary art with nature, temporary because he lets nature take it back.


Anna, Where Are You? Web Sleuthers Are Looking For You….


Photos: At left, what Anna C. Waters might look like today, [see posts below for more info] and at right, Montara’s Mikie Benedict during a visit to the Greek islands.

I had no idea there was a dedicated group of web sleuthers out there helping to look for the missing. If you want to check out their work on the Anna C. Waters case, click here.

Apologies if I’m wrong, but I believe the head web sleuther in Half Moon Bay is Doug French.

…more coming….

More on Montara’s Artists Mikie Benedict & Howard Gilligan

I was looking into the Fine Arts Colony at Montara when I read in a 1900s issue of the “Coastside Comet” newspaper that a cottage called the Van Suppe Poet & Peasant Cottage was for rent. We’re talking about nearly 100 years ago. The man who took the ad out listed conditions: if you wanted to rent the Van Suppe Poet & Peasant Cottage in Montara you had to be an artist.

The contact person in the ad was Chauncey McGovern.

I knew who Chauncey was–I had come across the locally famous handwriting expert’s name while researching the unsolved murder of wealthy Sarah Coburn in the tiny village of Pescadero in 1919.

The 19th century Austrian composer Franz Von Suppe died in the late 1890s.

I discovered that the Von Suppe cottage still stood and pianist/free lance writer Mikie Benedict lived there. She had inherited the historical home from Howard Gilligan, a unique artist who made Montara his home.


Above: Harold Gilligan self-portrait, courtesy Mikie Benedict.

…to be continued…

1981″Mystery of Half Moon Bay” Documentary is Online

click here to see the show


Above: Gordon’s Chute at Tunitas Creek. What made landowner and Assemblyman Alexander Gordon go to such extreme lengths (circa 1870) to build this homemade engineering wonder?

Gordon’s Chute is not there anymore–it blew away in a wild, windy storm not long after it appeared on one of the most mesmerizing cliffs on the entire Coastside.

During its short life, locally grown potatoes rolled down the chute and onto little steamers waiting to sail with the produce to market in San Francisco.

1973 Vanishing….Mikie Benedict talks about missing daughter Anna C. Waters…


(Photo: Montara’s Mikie Benedict visited Greece in the summer of 2006.)

After the exchange of a couple of emails, Mikie Benedict reminded me that I had written a piece about the historic cottage in Montara where the pianist still lives. That was in the 1990s. Mikie is the mother of Anna [please read post below]–Anna was five-years-old in 1973, the year she disappeared from her home just south of rural Half Moon Bay. She has never been heard from again.

If alive, today Anna would be 40-years-old. Mikie admits that every minute since Anna vanished, since that cruel day in 1973, every angle has been looked at– and looked at again and again.

“I still have no answers,” Mikie said.

What keeps you looking, I asked Mikie.

“…I’m sure many people think I’m crazy to go on looking for her after 34 and-a-half years. However, when a family friend timidly suggested trying some search tactics through the Internet (which of course was not available when Anna disappeared in 1973), I could hardly say, ‘No,’ as difficult as it was to drag out all that again.”

Mikie, an accomplished pianist, told me that while doing some general research, she was excited to learn that the Internet was responsible for six recent reunions in San Mateo County, with now grown-children seeking their birth parents. Why couldn’t it work for me? she wondered.

It’s an old case, and without leads it had gone cold, but now Mikie says the county has reopened it.

….to be continued…