Prelude to “The Ladies Home Companion”

Prelude to the “Ladies Home Companionâ€? by June Morrall


(Photo of Michael Powers, circa 1974, by photographer Dennis Swenson).

In the 1970s, Michael Powers’ Miramar home overlooking the surf was an artistic center of gravity.

Outdoors–that’s where Michael could most often be found–carving designs into massive logs, building a unique and steep stairway down to the beach, hosting community events between an eye-catching A-frame with a concrete statute on top and a more traditional geodesic dome.

Michael climbed the nearby mountains and brought back hefty eucalyptus logs to fashion into a one-of-a-kind curvy staircases. He was (and remains) in superb physical shape, a long beach trot was part of his daily regimen– and one day when an abandoned golden retriever followed me home from the post office, it was Michael who made the dog his pet– a dog that loved the unrestrained beach life as much as his new master.

In the 1970s, there was no one like Michael Powers. Smiling, with arms akimbo, he talked enthusiastically about new projects to other artists and photographers that happened by the high energy “scene.”{ Some of them stayed and helped Michael build the dome and A-frame.)

Michael Powers snapped pictures of the colorful flower- filled fields of Half Moon Bay, his young friends riding horses on the beach and playing in the surf in his front yard. Once a year he and his very gracious brother, Pat, also a photographer, packed up their collection of pictures, jumped into the car and drove to the East Coast to sell the images to the big greeting card companies. The annual trek became a signal for some Coastsiders that the summer was over.

Another high energy “sceneâ€? evolved at Bruce Pine’s “Potter Plantationâ€? in Half Moon Bay– an older home on Potter Street with an authentic windmill (all still standing in the middle of a cluster of million-dollar subdivision homes). Bruce Pine’s sundeck became famous for the beautiful, nude bodies that graced it.

According to one story Bruce Pine loves to tell, in the 1970s, neighbors within range, took out their binoculars to see who was tanning themselves on the deck that day. They might catch a glimpse of Jerry, Mark, Flower and many others–all basking. Bruce, himself, was often not at home at his Potter Plantation house, business taking him to cities all over the country.

Separated by four miles, the artists and photographers traveled back and forth between the deck at the Potter Plantation and Michael Power’s tabernacle.

….more to come…

The Crimes of Half Moon Bay…..? By John Vonderlin


Hi June,

J‘Accuse!,” my friends in Half Moon Bay.

Yes, I accuse your fair city and its residents and visitors of being responsible for the enormous amount of non-buoyant marine debris making the southward “Silent Procession” of which just a small portion is spit out by Neptune’s Vomitorium onto Invisible Beach. Through the carelessness of your industries, your recreational activities, and your improper disposal of no longer wanted items you are turning the ocean into a gigantic trash can. While it was the tracing of the golfballs and their remnants to the Ritz Carlton golf courses south of Half Moon Bay, that established the first point source I was convinced of, there was much earlier evidence of Half Moon Bay’s complicity.

Though the fishing and crabbing industry, both commercial and recreational, contribute a large portion of the debris to my collection, especially of the debris that has the potential of damaging marine life, I’ll leave that for another email. Instead, I’d like to focus on the types of debris that led me to identify Half Moon Bay and possibly its northern neighbor, Pacifica, as the sources of much of the stuff I was gathering.

Kayak shoes and swim goggles were what first piqued my interest and pointed me in the right direction..

Continue reading “The Crimes of Half Moon Bay…..? By John Vonderlin”

After & Before: We hear from stainglass craftsman Peter Adams….

Peter Adams: After (left) & Before (right)

peter adams wrote:
bruce pine, richard english, bryant wollman, joanne [i did all their windows], joni [hi joni!] — all these friends from the past, wow!


(Photo: Peter Adams’ stained glass window at the Harbor Bar, Ketch Joanne. Peter (at right) with friend Edwin Booth.)

Joanne & The Ketch

ketch1.jpg (Image courtesy Jerry Koontz)

I was thinking about the Ketch Joanne today–the no frills, honest homecooking restaurant that has been a friendly place to dine– at Pillar Point Harbor for several decades.

I’ve always admired Joanne Franklin, the strong woman, who, almost singlehandedly, established and turned the Ketch into the popular place it has become. She did everything herself–has anyone given her a gold medal?

In the early years of the business, the entire Franklin family worked there–Wendy, Heidi and Johann. Who can forget watching them all grow up? Anyone who ate there regularly became part of the extended Franklin family.

I just realized I’m overdue for Joanne’s terrific clam chowder!

Bay to Lake: A Failed 1940s Plan Would Have Turned

San Francisco Bay Into Two Lakes by June Morrall

In the early 1940s Redwood City resident Francis G. Hutchinson attended a meeting that featured John Reber, “the man who wanted to remodel San Francisco Bay.”

As Hutchinson listened closely, the author of the controversial “Reber Plan” explained how his “super-colossal” job of geographic re-configuration would effect the Peninsula.

Standing before a small audience in a Sequoia High School classroom, John Reber, a retired actor, pointed at detailed maps and charts, rendered by the eminent San Francisco structural engineer, L.H. Nishkian.

Exuding the polish of a “dignified politician,” Reber described building earth-and-rock-filled dams at the northern and southern ends of San Francisco Bay which would create two huge freshwater lakes, connected by a freshwater ship channel. As causeways, these dams would carry as many as 32 lanes of automobile traffic, as well as railroad tracks.

Continue reading “Bay to Lake: A Failed 1940s Plan Would Have Turned”