Elaine Martini Teixeira joined her good friends for a very special Half Moon Bay High School reunion at Mezza Luna Restaurant, Princeton-by-the-Sea. Mezza Luna is located in the Princeton Hotel an excellent example of Ocean Shore Railroad-era architecture.
Top – on the left: Jack Bettencourt, Dick Picchi, myself, & LaVerne Pacheco, across on right: Sally Lea, Ugo Lea and Fred Cunha.
Next line, left side: Jack B. Dick P. ET, LaVerne P. Wilbur Azevedo, Cecilia Madonna and across table, backs to camera, Frank Ramacciotti, Guido Santaini, in red is Bobbie Pacheco.
Skipped a line, same people, except in one, next to Azevedo’s, the couple are Lina and Kenny Ormonde
Last line, I think, (as find, as I started to write this, can not keep going back to photos and coming back to this email), is Franka Ramacciotti, Loretta Santini, Stacy Teixiera and across table, Frank Ramacciotti and Guido Santini (backs to camera).
You asked me about working in the Farm Advisor’s office.
After I graduated from high school and briefly attended UC and then Heald’s Business College, I received a call from a former HMB High School Business teacher, Mrs. Marie Colwell, asking me if I cared to take a job in HMB. Because of family circumstances, one was my father had recently died in a truck accident, I accepted the job in the fall of 1949. The organization was a Federal agricultural agency, called Triple A, and was housed on Kelly Ave., across from the alley way, behind Cunha’s store. We were on the ground floor with the Farm Advisors office, Patricia Dutra was their office employee and Mr. MacNamara was the Advisor. Upstairs was the living quarters of the Rathborne family.
Eventually, the Farm Advisors staff, which by then included R. H. Sciaroni as the 2nd Farm Advisor, moved to Main Street in the building formerly the office of Dr. Borley, next to the Odd Fellows Hall; our staff, now called Production and Marketing Assoc., moved to a new, block bldg, on Main Street, near the HMB Bakery. Our Agricultural staff joined in with another organization, Soil Conservation Service.
After about five years, I left PMA and worked in Redwood City for the County of San Mateo, and then was asked by Pat Dutra if I wanted to work in her office; so I joined the staff as a part time employee, it was much better than having to commute to Redwood City, especially as I was now married. As Mr. MacNamara had passed away, another gentlemen joined the staff at the Farm Advisors, Bryan Sandlin and later Robert Ward.
The Farm Advisors spent a lot of time out in the field, visiting farmers and flower growers, even those on the Peninsula, as at that time there were various flower nurseries in Redwood City and Palo Alto, When they were in the office, along with phone calls, there were office visitors to see the Advisors. Also, often there were staff people from the UC Extension Office in Berkeley. These fellows either visited the advisors or went out in the field with them, to assist in problems the farmers were having with plant diseases, etc.
The office staff, Pat and I, were also busy with calls, either setting up appointments and/or answering generic questions from the callers. There were lots of pamphlets, available from the UC Extension Service, they were the ones employing the Farm Advisors, the office staff was under the County of San Mateo. Many of the calls were regarding the pamphlets, as they included home advice, regarding: canning, gardening, freezing food, etc. Pat was responsible for more duties than I. Pat had taken a short hand course and was often busy taking dictation from the three advisors. As I worked only about three days a week, I was mostly on the phone, running the mimeograph machine or duplex machine, typing letters and dealing with the public. There were many flyers sent out to the public or farmers, and it entailed sending out hundreds of these flyers to our mailing lists.
We also had office duties related to the 4-H organization as they were under the Extension Service. Robert Ward worked with the various groups in the County.
I worked approximately two years in the office, and left to have my first child in 1956. Pat Dutra and Hank Sciaroni worked until their retirement and Bryan Scandlin and Robert Ward both passed away while they were employed in the office.
The Half Moon Bay I.D.E.S. Society held their annual Esta Das Contas which is a Thank You to the general membership and to those who donated to the organization in this year’s Celebration of the Holy Spirit. The dinner for 300 was held on July 26 at the building on Kelly Avenue, which is owned by the organization.
Eddie Cozzolino, the president of IDES, and his fellow officers, greeted the guests. The officers and members prepared the food and their wives served it from the buffet tables. The guests were served with salad, steak, baked potatoes, and bread. Coffee and dessert were also provided as well as various beverages. The dinner was followed by music for dancing.
Among those attending: Kenny Ormonde, Jack and Dorothy Bettencourt, Bernice Silva, Vernon Cunha, Bob (Buzzy) Meyer, Loretta and Guido Santini, Raymond and Cathy Martini, Jan Miramontes & family, Lorraine Mantoani, Loretta and Guido Santini, Raymond and Cathy Martini, Tony Lourenco, all of Half Moon Bay; Fred (Fritz) and John Cunha, from Sonoma; Joe and Mary Lou Cirina, Elaine and Stacy Teixeira and Gloria Bernardo of Redwood City.
Below: Elaine Martini Teixeira, Gloria Bernardo, Loretta Santini, Guido Santini, Raymond Martini, Jack Bettencourt and Dorothy Bettencourt.
Elaine M. Teixeira recently spoke with Frank Nerli, who resides in Redwood City with his wife, Millie, a native of Massachusetts. Frank is the last surviving immediate member of his family.
The History of the Nerli Family
by Elaine M. Teixeira
Paolo (Paul) Nerli arrived on the coastside in 1889 and joined his brother, Guiglielmo (William) who was farming the “Martini Ranch”, in Montara. He later sent for his bride, Isola Piegaia, He then began farming in Lobitos and the couple resided on the property.
In 1925, they relocated to a farm across from the present airport property, near the northern entrance to Princeton; the house no longer is standing and the land is now farmed by David Lea. Their family consisted of four sons and two daughters: Ida, her first marriage was to a member of the Romani family, Gino, who married Norma Rossi, from Moss Beach, Pia, who married Roy Torre of Moss Beach, Frank , his first wife was Lena Gianelli, of Half Moon Bay, George and Edward, who married Barbara Valladao. In the 1930’s the Nerli son. George, who was operating a fishing boat out of Monterey, was lost at sea; no evidence of what occurred to him or the boat was ever found. His name is listed on a plaque in Princeton, which honors those lost at sea, from the local fishing industry.
In 1928, the family moved to Moss Beach, where Paolo bought property on Vermont Ave., near the current location of Hwy One, across from the Moss Beach Club. On part of the property stood a barn which had been used by the Ocean Shore Railroad. When the railroad was in operation, there was a side track that came to the barn from the nearby main track. The train would pick up produce brought to the barn by local farmers for shipment to San Francisco. Paolo tore down the barn, except for one wall, which was left standing to assist in the building of a blacksmith shop. The remaining lumber he used to build a home on the property. His daughter, Pia, and her husband, Roy Torre, later built a home on Vermont, adjacent to the Nerli property. Later, Isola’s brother, Guiglielmo and Ida Piegaia resided in the home and, after, Albert and Pat Bertolucci.
In 1938, the Nerli’s decided to operate a business in Princeton in a small structure on Petroni property, across the road from a seafood stand which was operated in the 1930’s by the Bettencourt family and later became Hazel’s Sea Food; today, it is the location of Barbara’s Fish Trap. The building had a bar and Paolo added to the structure, a kitchen and dining room. Paolo, his wife and two younger sons lived upstairs. They hired a cook and started up their business operation, serving Italian dinners. Eventually, their daughter, Pia, worked as a waitress in the business, along with several other coastside women, and their son, Frank, was the bartender. The oldest son, Gino, served as a replacement bartender on weekends. They operated the business until 1958. Paolo and his wife sold the business, trading it for a home across the bay, where they resided for a year or two.
They later returned to the coastside to live out their remaining years; both died during the 1960’s. Later the restaurant site remained closed for several years and was finally torn down and the area served as a parking area. Today, it is the site of the Pillar Point Inn.
Corrections from Lorraine Piegai
Corrections; I will have to find records of proof; but, I believe my in-law-parents, Guglielemo and Ida Marie ( Romani ) Piegaia were living in the house, on the Paolo Nerli property you mentioned at the north end of El Granada, across Hiway I, east of the airport from about 1923 – 1942-3. My husbands’ father first came to the Coastside from Italy in 1904; and worked as a farm laborer, with/for his sister, Isola ( Piegaia ‘s ) husband, Paolo Nerli for many years until he retired and the family moved to Moss Beach. Like many others’ he had returned to Italy to marry Ida ( pronounced Eda ) Marie Romani in Jan 1921; and, they came back to the Coastside to set up household, work the artichoke and brussel sprout ranch; and, raised a family of three children, Irene ( who also worked in the Patroni House ); Reno and George.
Also, after the Nerli family sold their restaurant/bar business named, The Patroni ( not P E troni ) House it was operated for a few years as the Harbor House, with lively Saturday night dances many local residents attended and enjoyed, before it was finally torn down.
I agree Frank Nerli the oldest son had served there as a bartender for his father; but, the other bartender mentioned was not an older Nerli son; he was a son-in-law, if it was Gino.
(In this photo you can see the sign for “Dan’s Place which was located on the hill [look for the big windows] overlooking Moss Beach.
Remembering Dan’s Place
Story by Elaine M. Teixeira, with Lena Parks***
The Bortolotti family moved to Moss Beach from Orland, California (approx. 1924) where they owned a turkey farm. Because Dan suffered from asthma, they left to live on the coastside.
Dan and Kina the family first lived in a house, up on the hill, across from the Moss Beach Grocery Store.
Later, they moved into the service station, along side of the grocery store. From there, (in approx. 1930-31) they moved into the structure which became known as Dan’s Place. Previously, in the building, there was a church and a dance hall.
Dan and Kina opened a restaurant and bar, with Kina doing most of the cooking. Dan tended bar and his brother John helped out. Dan’s sister also came from Italy with her son Domenic, but she soon returned to Italy; her son later opened up the hotel and restaurant in Half Moon Bay known as Domenic’s, and which now is known as the San Benito House.
In time, Lena Park’s older sister, Laura, was helping with the cooking, Lena (Parks) waited on tables, and their brother, Barney, helped tend bar.
There were approx. 11 rooms upstairs, which members of the family occupied, though Dan and Kina, also lived in a home, on the room north of the restaurant facing the post office. Later, Mrs. Tyler, a school teacher at the Moss Beach grammar school, lived in the house, and then, Barney and his family. On the other side of the building, below Dan’s, is another house which at that time, faced the grammar school, and was owned by Dan and rented out.
They also opened a grocery store in the corner of the building, near the grammar school, which later, during WWII, became a hamburger shop, run by Lena and husband Kenny Parks, a service man stationed in the area.
On the north side of the building stood an auto repair shop with gas pumps, operated by Tony Claudino, and then Tony Bettencourt. There was also a barber shop on the side. Dan’s Place was enlarged and blue windows were installed to cut down on the sun’s glare.
At some point, Dan had a motel built on the cliff, near the ocean, by the Catholic Church; the motel could be seen from the coast road. It was a popular spot for some of the customers at the restaurant; fishermen wanting to stay overnight, and travelers passing through. Both Laura and Lena had to make up beds and clean the rooms after school. Uncle John would tend to the motel business, and later, a sign was posted to tell customers to sign in at the restaurant.
(Dan’s Motel overlooked the Pacific in Moss Beach; it was an example of the classic 1940s-50s drive- in motel)
In 1947, the parents were in a very bad auto accident, and Dan died a day later in the hospital; Kina was severely injured and never fully recovered. The two older children, Laura and Barney married and their spouses (Laura married Frank Bertolacci ,and Barney married Frank’s sister, Josephine) worked in the business. Frank Bertolacci tended bar, and his sister, Josephine (Tye,) worked as a waitress and cooked in the kitchen.
Laura tended bar sometimes. She was one of the few women who could tend bar. In those days, no woman could tend bar unless her name appeared on the official licenses and if she had an interest in the business.
At some point they hired a cook; eventually, Barney and Josephine were the only ones left running the business. When they retired, their three daughters, Donna Lou, Janette and Debbie ran the restaurant. Their Mom, Josephine, continued to help in the kitchen and Donna’s spouse tended bar until the building was sold. Barney’s son, Danny,opened an auto shop built down near Hwy One, which he ran. Later it was sold and is currently where the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Dept. houses their vehicles.
***Lena Parks is the youngest child of Dan & Kina Bortolotti who owned Dan’s Place in Moss Beach. She was 2 yrs old when they moved to Moss Beach and she atttended the grade school in Moss Beach and graduated from the high school in Half Moon Bay. She married Kenny Parks, a service man, on the coastside during WWII and they raised three daughters. They lived with their family in Redwood City, she is now widowed and lives in the San Jose area.
***Elaine Martini Teixeira says: I worked when Tony and I first married, for about five years or more, until I started a family, lost first child, so returned to work, then was off for about 15 yrs raising the two children. In the early part of marriage, I worked in HMB for a couple of different government, farm organizations, PMA, Soil Conservation and Farm Advisors. I also worked for the County of San Mateo in Recorder’s office and School Dept. When I returned to work after raising family, worked for a laundry rental company and then the County of SM for 22 yrs.
(Photo: Elaine M Teixeira, wearing white, with sister Loretta).
Elaine Martini Teixeira was a kid growing up in Moss Beach during WWII. In a series of interviews, she has generously shared her memories with us.
(Elaine, wearing white, with sister Loretta)
HalfMoonBayMemories (HMBM): There was a movie theater in town, right?
Elaine Martini Teixeira (ETM): The local HMB movie theater, owned by Alvin Hatch, was a big treat for all of us. The first theater was on Main Street, corner of Miramontes, where a cafe is now located. Later, a new one was built, across the street,facing the shopping center on Miramontes St. The movie house is gone; now there are a few businesses, located in the bldg., per my brother, Raymond.
There were special evenings when the movie house people had drawings and awarded money to the general public. One time my brother won but he wasn’t supposed to be out, so he sent me up to claim his prize! Same thing happened with Aunt Lil, who was a bit shy about walking up to the stage. Sometimes they gave out dishes; it helped kept people going on those evenings .
HMBM: What movies did you see?
EMT: I saw so many movies over the years, not easy to list them or recall, I know we all enjoyed, “Gone with the Wind”, saw lots of westerns, and one, “The Cat People”, now a classic, scared the devil out of me. I had dreams about it. June Torre and I had a big crush on Tyrone Power, Aunt Lil was smitten with Robert Taylor and my older sister Gloria was a BIG fan of Clark Gable. We all loved the Bette Davis movies.
We (Gloria, Lil and I) got rides with my brother, Raymond, when he borrowed the car from my dad, an old four door, Chevy. Raymond was a wise one, would get Lil to treat him to the show; Gloria had to treat for ice cream but I was too young to have money, so I got a FREE ride! Raymond was also was able to sit with his girlfriend at the show, his wife in later years, Shirley Joseph, who lived right in town.
HMBM: Did you go see movies in San Francisco?
EMT: The family and most of the locals, did not drive to SF for movies, that I know of, I went with Aunt Lil to see movies and stage shows at the Golden Gate Theater. We took the Greyhound Bus (which was the only one going to SF) which left the Coastside at 6:30 a.m. and returned in the evening about 6:30 p.m. I remember seeing the Harry James Band with vocalist Helen Forest during the “big band era” when she took me to SF. Others we saw, Jimmy Dorsey and Sammy Kaye bands.
HMBM: What about school holidays? You went to the city with your friends?
EMT: June Torre and I met our high school friends on the bus in Moss Beach (the bus was filled with people commuting to SF to their jobs).
We tried to schedule it so we could see two double bills – can you imagine, we ate breakfast on Market Street, then waited for the theaters to open around 10 AM: after the first double bill, we ran like h— down Market Street to make it to the second theater and then ran to catch the bus to come home! If we missed it, were stuck in San Franciso.
Seeing two double bills, with the first the main “A movie and the second a “B” movie, I’m not sure if we remembered what we saw!
The theaters were the Fox, now gone, the Warfield, Golden Gate, and Orpheum, the State Theater and I believe one was the Paramont, no longer there.
I remember seeing “Crash Dive” and “Razors Edge.” At the Golden Gate, we saw stage shows starring Frank Sinatra and Jane Russell, there was usually an I opening act and band.
I do remember on one occasion going to SF with Gloria and her future husband, Russell Bernardo, to an event, maybe a movie, in SF. It was during the war years, there was an air raid, when an air raid alarm sounded, it really scared us, had to pull over on the street and park, turn out all lights. Overhead, we soon heard the motor of an airplane, and there were several search lights shining up into the sky. Eventually, the alarm went off to indicate it was over. Thankfully, it was not a foreign plane.
Other special events in SF were to visit playland, on the beach or swim in the pool, both located near the Cliff House.
In later years, when the movie theater in HMB had closed, people drove over to the Peninsula for movies and special events, including the San Mateo County Fair. In those days, new movies moved up and down the peninsual to the different theaters (most of the cities had at least two theaters) and stayed around for a month or two. Also, Tony and I attended dances held at at Playland, with name ochestras, we would meet several couples from HMB.
We drove to San Francisco, saw “South Pacific” with my husband, Tony Teixeira, and Aunt Eva and her husband, Albert Quilici. Also, we attended dances were held at at Playland, with name ochestras.
At Half Moon Bay High School, if you were a good student, and in the honor society, the teachers would take you to plays or musicals at the Curran and Geary Theaters in the City. The first musical I ever saw was “Oklahoma,” and after I got married, I joined the Civic Light Opera in San Francisco, and with several friends attended many musicals.
Sometime in the first part of 1942, before my brother left for service in the US Army in October, government men came to our home in Moss Beach.
My brother, Raymond Martini, recalls they showed some official papers, but said they were not given to the family to read, and we do not know if they were FBI or what was then called G-Men. My Dad was not a citizen; he was born in Brazil, though of Italian heritage. He came to America from Italy; the family returned to Italy after a few years in Brazil, where they had gone to find work. My dad and one brother were born in San Paolo, Brazil.
I do not know what these men said exactly, but the family was told that my Dad had spoken well of Mussolini. When my Dad came to America at 16, sometime in 1913, he probably did have a good opinion of him. it was much later that Mussolini became more of a controversial, political figure.
When my husband & I toured Italy in the mid-eighties, people said Mussolini had done well for the country when he first came to power; he did similar things as our president had done; he built up the roadways, trains, etc., had tunnels constructed through the mountains and opened up Italy to travel and transportation to France and Switzerland. Additionally, this gave work to the men who were unemployed.
My Dad never returned to Italy after he came to America. I can say, he never spoke to us about the Italian government, or said anything particularly favorable about it. He neither wrote or read in either Italian or English; he probably did not know a lot about the situation in Europe. My father was certainly not a political type of person. He was just a hardworking man raising his family.
I remember being in my bedroom and my Mom came and said we needed to get into the living room as these men had arrived. There were at least 2 or 3 of them, and they wanted us all in one room. They proceeded to search the house. We did not see a search warrant, or anything else, to indicate they had official status to be there there. Maybe, during the war, it was not necessary, and I am sure my parents did not ask about it. We were all rather afraid of what was going to occur.
Additionally, they might have been looking for a shortwave radio. Mainly, they found some rifles that belonged to by brother, as he was an avid hunter. One rifle might have been my Dad’s; he was a farmer, and they were allowed to shoot rabbits that ate the crops. My brother took responsibility for the rifles so they would not cause any additional problems for my father.
Mostly, my older sister, myself and my younger sister were sitting in the living room, and what transpired was related to me, later, by my Mother. She felt that someone who may have been upset with my father over something, probably had reported him to the authorities.
Finally, after quite some time, my brother, who was visibly upset, reminded the ‘G-Men’ that he had enlisted in the service and would be leaving for the army air force. He asked: Did they feel my dad would send messages to the enemy so they could sink a ship that would be taking his own son to Europe to fight?
The government men had no answer for my brother’s question. They left and we never heard from them again.
To view a youtube video that tells more about the LA STORIA SEGRETA (secret story in Italian)
a child at the time. Elaine lived with her family in Moss Beach near Sunshine Valley Road (the lovely “connector” road between Montara and Moss Beach.) Dad owned a bar frequented by the sailors at the nearby naval station. Mom took care of her children and helped her husband.
“I guess the military men came down from SF, on their way to Fort Ord in Monterey. Sometimes only a few drove by, but often, there was a very long convoy, and they had the right of way,” explained Elaine.
“You did not get in between the vehicles. So, if we were coming on to the main road, Highway 1, from a side street, such as we did from our garage on Sunshine Valley Road, we had to wait for the convoy to finish, and it could be a long wait, maybe as long as 15-20 minutes. If you saw them coming, the best thing to do was to get out on the road, ahead of them.”
“There were mainly trucks,” remembered Elaine, “covered with canvas tops, with soldiers in the back, and an occasional jeep, in between. Some vehicles were around because they were stationed at local military installations, such as the airfield and Coast Guard in Princeton.
“On the coast road, at Devil Slide, there was a small army post up on a mountain top. You could see it from the highway. It was rather small; I believe it was there to track airplanes. There was a long narrow stairway leading from the road to the building. I have no idea how the men walked up and down that steep stairway without falling into the ocean, especially if they had been out celebrating!
It was there for several years after the war, and you can still the foundation of the structure. My then future sister-in-law, Hazel Dooley, married one of the fellows who was stationed there, O. B. Dooley.”
Top Photo: (At far right Elaine Martini Teixeria with sister Loretta.)
Elaine M. Teixeira: I received an email from Sharon Bertolucci; not sure if you know her; her dad was my cousin, Albert Bertolucci, Mom was Patricia Ball; Albert’s mother was named Rose (Little Rosie), from Giovannibattista Torre family, further up Sunshine Valley,
Sharon’s family lived on Vermont Street across from the [Social] Club.
Sharon mentioned the Jehovah Witness church people being in the [Social] Club. She may be right, my sister, and, I have since discussed it, and recall they may have rented it. Sharon says they conducted services there and had pews installed, guess in the dance hall area. She also mentioned another family that lived there.
My Dad did rent the Club out to a few people, I think, after or during WWII, as he had moved the bar, and business, by that time, up to the grocery store bldg. I can remember all the sailors from the naval station
coming into the place for drinks, in the section next to the grocery store. Several of the sailors and officers became special family friends, and my Mom would have them for dinner with the family. I will forward her email to you, for more on the Club. I know that two Filipino brothers, married to two American women, lived there with their families. Sharon mentioned the Bebee’s ,and that sounded familiar. My sister, Loretta, thought the Bebee’s lived up on Sunshine Valley, I really do not remember.
June, This is the email from Sharon Bertolucci whom I mention in the first paragraph. It has a bit of information that might fill in the blank spaces in our emails.
Sharon Bertolucci: I now know where Loretta is talking about: I went to school up at the old naval base across the highway from the Montara lighthouse
up on the hill. That’s where Daddy worked and Mom worked. Just the foundations are still left and lots of weeds.
The other school across from the Catholic Church in Half Moon Bay is Cunha Intermediate School now, and, they are fixing it up, and adding more buildings, so it will continue to be a school. [It used to be the high school until the new one was built up on the hill.]
I have an old brochure that I got from Guy Smith, the Moss Beach postmaster.
(Photos: At right, Moss Beach Post Office where Guy Smith, below, was the Postmaster, and everything else in town.)
I wish I had picked up more. I went and got this when I was a little girl. I loved going into the mail and collecting all the stuff he had lying around.
The nun’s houses you [Elaine] spoke of down by the Moss Beach Distillery; they had three, and now they own, I think, two. The Catholic Church sold one about 8 years ago, it had beautiful mahogany railing on the staircase, and, of course, very dark walls, with the high wainscoting, and a shelf. They sold it to a private party which kept the outside looking similar to it natural state but they did work on the inside because there were several little rooms for all nuns/priests to have their own rooms. It was quite chopped up. I love those houses. Talk to you later.
Sharon Bertolucci, Cypress Ridge Appraisal Services, Inc.
Elaine M. Teixeira says: I worked when we first married, for about five years or more, until I started a family, lost first child, so returned to work, then was off for about 15 yrs raising the two children. In the early part of marriage, I worked in HMB for a couple of different government, farm organizations, PMA, Soil Conservation and Farm Advisors. I also worked for the County of San Mateo in Recorder’s office and School Dept. When I returned to work after raising family, worked for a laundry rental company and then the County of SM for 22 yrs.
Elaine asks her longtime friend Rosina Banks:
Do you remember the deliveries from HMB when we were young? I know (maybe cause of the store) we received milk from Alves and Salamone’s Bakery, also the butcher shops. Since my mother did not sell meat, I wondered if they stopped at your place or other houses. One was from Nunes, at a later date, at first, from Fred Marsh, Centoni was the delivery man, Yola’ Dad.
Rosina Banks says:
Alves delivered the milk, remember the cream would always be @ the top of the neck in the bottle, Centoni delivered the meat wagon & Beans would deliver the bread, Beans would always take his break @ our house even if no one was home, my mother always left the coffee pot on the stove & he would always come in & heat the coffee & take his break, the doors were never locked @ that time, oh for the good old days.
Doris Wallace says:
This sure brings back a lot of memories. One of the Beebee boys was in your sister Loretta’s and my class. My aunt taught at the Purissima school before she taught in Moss Beach. I know she had Delores and Leo Mudrich and Herbie Canadas I mainly remembered them because I knew them. I think all of the kids liked to go to see Guy Smith at the post office; he was a nice man.
I am delighted to present Part II of my email conversation with Mrs. Elaine M. Teixeira, a most gracious woman, who shows us Moss Beach, as it was. Thank you Mrs. Teixeira. (Mrs. Elaine M. Teixeira, at right, with her sister, Loretta.)
Half Moon Bay Memories (HMBM): You have family connections to the Torre family of Moss Beach. Are they related to Frank Torres, the deceased owner of the Marine View Restaurant?
Elaine Martini Teixeira (ETM)
Frank Torres is not related to the Torre family, he was from Peru – There is no “s” on our family name. My grandfather’s brother, Giovannibattista (John), had a son named Frank, the family lived above Ottavio Torre’s family on Sunshine Valley Road. That home is still there but boarded up. I had forgotten but, Donald Torre, my first cousin, said the State purchased it for a future bypass, but because of the forthcoming tunnel, the new road will not go thru there.
Frank Torres owned the Torres Marine View Hotel/restaurant
and the Montara Beach Hotel, along Highway 1, on the way to Devil’s Slide. The one in Montara burned down
and Frank Torres rebuilt it. Later it was rebuilt and became for the Chart House, then the Outrigge. It is still there, but closed. The Marine View spot is now the Distillery.
Did you know Fanny Torres?
Yes, I knew Fanny Torres, my Mother worked as a salad lady for Frank and Fanny at the Montara restaurant, knew them even before. No, she was not related to the Lea’s in HMB. They are Italian, she was not.
Please tell my readers a little about yourself.
My full name is Elaine Martini Teixeira. My brother, Raymond Martini, he and his wife Cathy, live in HMB; he used to have Reliable Plumbing in HMB. My older sister, Gloria Bernardo lives four house up from me in Redwood City. My younger sister, Loretta, is married to Guido Santini; they live opn the coast hwy, near Frenchman’s Creek.
I graduated from Moss Beach Grammar School,
and Half Moon Bay High School, the location in 1948 was on Kelly Avenue, across from the present Catholic Church.
My husband,Tony Teixeira, & I married in 1949 in the original Catholic Church, which is now the site of their social hall, behind the current church building. We had two children, Kevin, married with two children and living in Sunnyvale, and a daughter, Stacy, living in Sunnyvale. Tony died about 2 1/2 yrs ago. It is his two sisters, Mary Schuttloffel and Hazel Dooley Cornett, and father, Antone, on the front cover of your Princeton book (“Princeton-by-the-Sea“.) His brother was John, had Captain John’s boats in Princeton.
Why did Italians settle in Moss Beach?
One reason some of them settled there, they had relations that proceeded them, and they came to join family, all immigrants like to join others who speak their language, and, also, some came to get work, on the farms, etc. My Mother’s father and brothers, along with their father, may have settled first up in the gold country, and my Dad and his brothers joined their older half-brother up in Nevada. They all eventually came to San Francisco. My Mom’s father and his brother came to Moss Beach after the earthquake. Had dairy cows and guess the coastside gave them the opportunity to move the dairy down to Moss Beach and get away from the ‘quake area of San Francisco.
Were there any special places in Moss Beach where Italians would go to have fun?
There is another building, down old Highway 1 (originally Etheldore), below the grocery store, owned by my grandfather. There was a bar in there and all the daughters of the Torre brothers would come to the dances, and that is where several found their future husbands. I was recently told they also had movies up stairs, over the saloon area in this building. Later, of course, there was the Moss Beach Club building and there was the structure down on the Moss Beach
below the cliffs believe it was called the Reefs. I am sure there were other places, Dan’s had a bar and restaurant, up the road from our grocery store. Alot of entertaining was done in the homes.
Several of the family members, especially the women, met their husbands, as I said, at the dances. Many of the men worked on the local farms.
Both of my Mom’s cousins from her Mom’s side of the family, Daisy and Angelina Baresoni were quite young when their parents died; they were raised in Ottavio Torre’s family on Sunshine Valley Road. When the two finished grade school, they went to SF to work in the garment industry and lived with their dad’s relations, but they returned to live in Sunshine Valley, after their marriages.
Did you go to Moss Beach Grammar School? What about churches?
Yes, I attended Moss Beach Grammar School, all of my family did – plus various cousins. I, at one time, had six cousins going to school with me – David and June Torre, Donald Torre, Albert Bertolucci, Roy Cardellini and Bob Prouse.
The school building burned down; after it was closed. My younger sister , Loretta graduated from the Moss Beach school, called Faralone View, it was located up on the property above the Light House, part of the former Navel Station from World War II..
While I was in grade school, Montara School was closed and combined with Moss Beach.. Therefore, Rosina Pecoraro – who you knew – my two cousins, Roy Cardellini, Bob Prowse (children of Daisy and Angelina) – Georgina Bettencourt, Gladine and Clifford Harp, and a few others, all came down to Moss Beach to continue their education.
There was a Catholic Church, just a street or so below the Post Office, near the ocean. It was part of the HMB parish and the priests came out to conduct mass at 9 am every Sunday. We had religious lessons and received first communion there. A woman, Mrs. Jordan, who lived in Moss Beach, taught the lessons, and I believe, Margaret Kyne gave them, later.
There were, also, two places, one in Moss Beach (they came down from SF) close to the beach, and another up in Marine View (different order) where there were homes used by the Nuns for vacation.
I saw more of the nuns from Moss Beach, they would come in and shop at our store. It might be that later, priests, also came there for that reason, but not when I was young or living on the coast.
I have heard that Italians, who weren’t citizens had to move from the West side of Highway 1 to the East side during WWII. Is that true?
Yes, all the Italian families and others who were not citizens had to move. We were lucky that we were on the “right side” of the highway. The Cima family had to move, as well as the Benedetti family, who lived down below us on Hwy One, near the current entrance to Seton Hospital.
You certainly come from a large family!
I hope I didn’t misspell any names. AND, if you get lost along the way, I understand. The women that put together my “family book” would get so confused; in the Torre family, three brothers (another brother, Filipo, lived in SF) named a daughter Rose, two name them Lena, two Eva. To distinguish who they wee talking about, it was Little Rosie, Rosie Filipo, Little Eva, Big Lena and Little Lena – guess you get my point! For some reason, the boys lucked out, had more original names, some after past generations, but no duplications within the same generation.