Jon (left) jamming with The Mystic Cowboy
by craig eddy
I went to the La Honda flea market a year ago and met a seller that had a couple thousand music Cd’s for sale. After drooling over his collection I found out he was a bass player. Now, I know most of the musicians in town so I was curious. Playing with anyone, I asked? Turns out Jon Wollf is one of those players that loves playing but never really hooked up with a band. Since then Jon has been coming by my studio and jamming with a bunch of us local players and we are very glad he has joined us.
Jon spent most his early childhood in Long Island and didn’t start playing music until he was 14 or 15 years old. He jammed with friends for the fun of it and as he started college and work he put it down for a few years. He started up again in the 80’s just for fun and made an attempt at a band based out of Palo Alto. They never did much playing out and he continued mostly attending jams. Jon plays the electric bass and mentions the likes of Jonas Hellborg and Ron Carter as the bassists that he admires most. He loves and plays most styles but when it comes to Jazz he claims to be a listener only. I know from jamming at my place he plays Reggae, Rock, Country, Zydeco, Blues and Bluegrass.
When Jon moved to La Honda he seemed to be happy just listening to the wealth of local talent. I asked him to name his favorite local bands. His response? Anything with Bundy in it. He raves about Cryin’ Shame and Jack and The Hitchhikers too . But now Jon is a regular at the jams at my place and we are glad to have him join us in the few performances we do each year in La Honda. I’m sure Jon will become a fixture in the local scene here. It’s a fact that there are many more bands than bass players in this area so if any bass players need a vacation from one of their many bands you might look up Jon.
The lush La Honda School garden
by craig eddy
Upon entering the La Honda School garden I saw a sudden brown streak racing from under the cucumbers and down one of the pathways. In hot pursuit was Scooter a Corgie with short little legs going faster than I would have thought possible. The cute little bunny was not in any danger but when it comes to vegetable gardens there are no ‘cute’ pests. It was a good laugh though.
It has been several years since I visited the school garden. I was blown away by the changes. When Principal Kristen Lindstrom applied for the job, one of her main goals was to revamp the garden and turn it into an outdoor classroom for both school kids and interested adults. Gardener Daniela Liniger is fairly new to the position but with grant money and volunteer help things have really taken shape. Daniela hopes that it becomes even more of a community project.
Each spring they are always looking for extra seedlings and gardening materials the community gardeners might have. I give them a lot of my extra starts as I always begin with more than I can use in case of gardening disasters. It’s hard for them to start from seeds so consider donating starts in the spring as things get going.
A 2007 grant from Recycleworks in San Mateo helped with the expansion of the garden including a chicken coop and a critter proof fence surrounding the area. Whole Foods gave a grant to install a drip irrigation system which cuts down on the need to water as much. The kids love having class in the garden where they spend a little time learning about the process and then they put in some time working the garden. Strangely the strawberries seem to keep disappearing from their bed. Occasionally there are guest master gardeners that come in and give classes on composting, companion planting etc. Now and then when there is a surplus of produce they will have a small farmer’s market at the school to help raise money. If you see a sign on Highway 84 saying Farmers Market, head on up to the school and see what they have! The next project on the list is a shade structure for the seating area where classes are held.
To see the garden and share in the bounty, the school is putting on its annual Harvest Dinner on September 13th in the La Honda Gardens. It is a high end affair with live music, raffles, and a silent auction. There is a garden tour included at 3:30. Much of the veggies at the dinner will be from the garden. The band Zanzibar will be performing their Latin dance music and if you saw them at the La Honda Fair you’ll know to wear something danceable. Info on tickets at Lahondaschools.org or call 650 879-2152. Proceeds from the Harvest dinner go to funding the garden program. If you would like to tour the garden and meet with Daniela with offers of help or donations please go through the school office at 747-0051 and ask for Angie.
When asked what does your garden need most, the list included money, volunteers, seedlings, and manure. Come on… how often do people beg you to give them s..t?
Kristen and Daniela in the garden
SC4 Amateur Radio Club welcomes all to Field Day
This June, La Honda’s fearless ham radio operators once again pulled an all-nighter in the name of emergency communications. You may have noticed the gigantic antenna in the field next to the firehouse, or bleary-eyed operators stumbling into the Market for coffee Sunday morning, but this dedicated group worked all weekend to prove that La Honda is not as isolated as it seems when it comes to emergency communications.
Mobile 40’ Crank-up Tower with antennas
Field Day (seems like Daze) is an annual event, and La Honda’s Amateur Radio Club proved once again that we have some of the most innovative and accomplished individuals around. Some achievements this year include:
- Rigging a 40 foot mobile tower with four very different antennas, controlled with remote switch by radio operators to enable contact with other stations across the United States.
- Using a homemade pneumatic tennis ball launcher to raise other antennas high in the trees.
- Constructing an antenna made from a tape measure and PVC pipe, and using it to contact the International Space Station as it passed overhead.
- Using computers and software connected to the radios to make contacts using digital modes such as RTTY, PSK-31 and CW (Morse code).
- Operating entirely off the grid using generators and solar power.
Tape Measure Antenna built by Jennie KK6DNX at Field Day
An entire village was set up in one day at La Honda Gardens (thank you Charlie C.!!!) that included a radio tent, eight antennas, a food tent, overnight accommodations, a public information booth, and a radio station allowing visitors to “get on the air” and try out ham radio. Then, radio operators worked 24 straight hours making contacts with as many other stations as possible. This is a radio contest, so logging contacts and keeping score is part of the fun. Equally important is to share information with the community about emergency preparedness and communication, and to encourage new hams. It also keeps La Honda’s club in practice for setting up communications quickly in case of an emergency.
Pneumatic Antenna Launcher built by Mike, KJ6VCP
Getting an amateur license is easy, and the cost of your first radio can be quite low. Hand held radios starting as low as $50 allow you to communicate from La Honda to Skyline to Pescadero and even Half Moon Bay and Pacifica from some locations! That can come in handy on the trail or in areas where cell phones don’t reach. La Honda’s radio club offers classes each year to help prepare for the license exam (35 multiple choice questions, 26 answered correctly) and provides training and resources to help you become an effective part of the area’s communications network.
Keep your eyes open for upcoming ham radio events, and get involved! You can also visit the website http://www.sc4arc.org for more information.