out of the salty fog
shadows the sand
along the shore
a driftwood fire
the wind shapes
the sand dune
shapes the wind
by Randy Vail
On Friday, June 25th at 1:30 pm the Use and Management Committee of the Mid-peninsula Regional Open Space District held a special meeting to decide on the development of trails in the Mindego Hill Open Space.
Originally purchased by POST from long time land owners, the True family, Mindego Hill was subsequently purchased by MROSD with the agreement that they would provide public access to the top of the hill by the summer of 2011.
The committee decided to proceed with the first of two options of a planned trail route to the top of the hill from the gate that connects it to the adjacent Russian Ridge Open Space. Several studies of native wildlife, including the protected San Francisco Garter Snake, are underway before further development will take place. However, it seems likely that the Option 2 trail, which includes an existing road on the property, will eventually be opened, and there is the possibility that the two trails will be connected to create a loop around the hill.
Initially, the trail will be open only to hikers, but in a year or so, pending the outcomes of the various studies, the trail may opened to equestrian users and possibly mountain bikers. The process of creating a trail involves the approval of various agencies and various permits and necessitates many considerations of steepness, views of the hill, lines of sight on the trails, views from the trail, trail routes through various vegetation areas and wildlife habitats, and the potentially conflicting interests of public users.
At the meeting, the possibility of eventually connecting the Mindego trails with the Cuesta La Honda Guild trails was raised. Some of the committee members seemed amenable to the prospect of potentially connecting the Mindego Open Space with the La Honda Open Space. However, discussion, decision, approval, and action are lengthy and involved processes that will take years. In the meantime, initial public access to this beautiful and majestic open space - in our own backyard - is now only one year away.
The following is a brief history of Mindego Hill from http://www.gomindego.org/history.php
"People have lived on Mindego Hill since 500 A.D., beginning with the Ramaytush Costanoans, a group of Native American hunter-gatherers. They thrived in the area until the early 1800s, when immigrants arrived to settle the West.
In 1859, Juan Mendico, a Basque farmer and the first non-native settler, established a homestead and cattle ranch here. Historian Bud Foss, in his 1941 book History of La Honda, describes the California Grizzly Bear that once frequented Mindego Hill, and how in 1885 they got away with seven of Juan’s calves. Interestingly, in the Basque language, Juan Mendico’s name means “John of the Mountain”—a prophetic coincidence, considering the property was eventually named for him as “Mindego” Hill.
In 1954, Admiral Arnold True, a World War II veteran and professor of meteorology, and his wife, Corinne, purchased Mindego Hill, where they continued the ranching traditions of the land. In 1977, their son Chris took over management of the ranch and later began raising Brahman and Angus cattle as well as a cross of the two breeds for rodeo bull-riding. Admiral True passed away in 1979, and Mrs. True passed away in late 2006. The couple always treasured the natural beauty of their land and spoke often of preserving it. In honor of their parents’ wishes, the True family finalized an agreement with POST to protect the land permanently. Thanks to our mutual goal of land conservation, we all have a unique opportunity to save Mindego Hill for generations to come."
This book is long out of print. You'll have a hard time finding it on eBay or the used book web sites because nowhere in the Reflections "76" yearbook is "La Honda" even mentioned. It was just so obvious to all...
This copy of Reflections "76" will be placed in the archives of the La Honda Historical Society. Names of students have not been mentioned in order to protect the innocent.
by Neil Panton
Did you know you could read reports and studies done in the San Gregorio watershed online?
The San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center, with help from its partners, have collected and scanned documents going back as early as 1942 and made them available as .pdf files online. The website address of the San Gregorio Watershed Information System is sgreg.stillwatersci.com. The site is hosted by Stillwater Sciences, still an active partner in collecting data in the watershed and adding it to the database.
You will find everything from handwritten reports in small tributaries by Fish & Game to large studies done by the San Francisco Estuary Institute and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. Topics range from fish surveys to road inventories to rainfall and flow data. Scientists, students and interested members of the public can make use of the information in this database for their own projects or studies. Some of it just makes for darn interesting reading!
If you know of scientific studies performed in the watershed, or have data to contribute to this valuable database, please contact the SGERC office at (650) 726-2499, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
35 years ago Joe Cottonwood bought a 600 sq ft cabin in La Honda, with no hot water, no heat, no stove, and developed it into a beautiful home that seems directly evolved out of the Redwood forest. Joe was born in the distant land of Maryland, but around age 7 a young friend moved to Palo Alto and sent back that magical postcard we’ve all seen, showing a car driving through a Redwood Tree; and that was it. He knew then that one day he would live around trees like that.
Joe Cottonwood has eight (8) novels out, and is writing two more right now. That other La Honda novelist, Ken (Whats-his-name? oh, yes, Kesey! of course), only produced three novels. Like Wally, the hero of his recent novel, 'Clear Heart.' Joe is a General Contractor who has put bread on the table primarily by working "over the hill" where money and houses change faster than around here. Unlike Wally, he has never been crucified to a 'King' post by a souped-up, run-away, pneumatic nail gun named "Debbie Doofus", but he has suffered other injuries (including a wooden stake driven into his hand), and has 'walked the walk' of the principled, rural, physically vital working men who he writes about with fascinating insight.
His path to La Honda went through Washington University in St. Louis where he became an English Major, despite being 'programmed' by his parents to become a scientist. By the time he graduated, leaving the student deferment behind, the Viet Nam war was heating up and as sure as he knew giant Redwoods were good, he knew war was not. He traveled to California hoping only for a final look at those BIG Trees, before what he assumed was going to be an ex-patriation to Canada. The massacre at Kent State happened while Joe was en route to California, and he remembers the odor of tear gas in Berkeley, where he stopped on the way.
Joe's daughter was born on a waterbed under a pine tree lit by an August full moon in the backyard of a hippy 'semi-commune' called "Wagon Wheels" on Alpine Road. The midwife was June Witson (RIP), another name from the lore of La Honda, who eventually lured Joe and Barbara (Joe and Barbara first dated in 1964!) to complete the transformation to La Hondans. As well as most of his novels, all Joe's children grew up in La Honda. Joe left his mark on Alpine Road however, by painting signs saying "FAR IN" and "FAR OUT" which exist to this day, to show folks the way to a now different, but similar group of small cabins off Alpine Road. Joe has a novel in progress that takes place up and down that stretch of road, where the suburban life and the truly rural life still find themselves in conflict.
Joe joined, and continues to support the group of local artists that originally formed in the early 1970's around Will Schmidt (another La Honda legend). The group has continued in many forms, recently meeting in the home of local artist and writer, Lynnette Vega. Joe currently co-hosts "Lit Night'" the last Wednesday of each month at Sullivan's Restaurant.
Joe almost received an "F" for his first novel, due to poor class attendance, at Washington University. But when he handed in the manuscript the instructor recognized a talent the likes of other WU faculty, Howard Nemerov, William Gass, Stanley Elkin, and Robert Coover. And though he had been keeping a journal all through High School, and had written his first story in the 4th grade, "A Dog Named Caesar," it took (his future wife) Barbara's encouragement to persuade him completely away from a career in science, into the life of a committed writer. Most writers have a "Day Job," as Joe has his carpentry, but Joe has lived one of the modest dreams all writers aspire to. He actually made enough money from his novels to support some dedicated writing time for a short while.
His novel "Famous Potatoes," first published in 1978, by Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, New York, has been translated into 7 languages. It is still currently available, and selling well as an 'ebook.' You can find it at smashwords.com. The Italian company, Mattioli 1885, brought Joe to Italy in 2009 to promote the re-release of "Famous Potatoes" in translation. The "Famous Potato" hero, Willie Crusoe, is "...on the lam from a spurious murder charge, with an aching heart and broken balls ... from the Mushroom Mountain Sanitarium in the hills of West Virginia, via highways, bus stations, and cheap diners in Philadelphia, St. Louis and points between to a lost gold mine in the sky-high Rockies of Idaho." (from the Famous Potatoes book jacket).
To me, the novel up-dates Kerouac's "On The Road," into a 1960s and 70s rite of passage that is more down to earth and respectful of the "...great many warm, loving, genuinely beautiful people buried (like potatoes) beneath the slickness of a prosperous, straight, suburban America." (from the Famous Potatoes book jacket).
"Clear Heart" deserves as much or more kudos as "Famous Potatoes" in my book because it reveals the exciting, though seemingly common dramas of the independent American tradesman who is as alienated from accounting and tax-discipline as from the arrogant "Snots" who pay reluctantly for the hard, dangerous work. The novel also gives us a glimpse into the lives of folks who gravitate to the trades, at least for some part of their lives - the runaway young woman "Frog Girl," the graduating scholar who already wants out of the parental-corporate complex "Abe", the escapee from a brush with crime, too canny and quick for his own good "Juke." These are the folks who name their tools, find some tools haunted, and learn how to make their work come alive.
Joe's novels are "Quake," "The Adventures of Boone Barnaby," "Danny Ain't," "The Naked Computer," "Famous Potatoes," "Babcock," "Frank City Goodbye," and "Clear Heart." He also has a book of poetry called "Son of a Poet." He is working on two more novels, but his current passion is podcasting. If you want to hear Joe's podcasts, go to iTunes and search for "Joe Cottonwood." Joe has involved some young, local talent to add dramatic voices to his podcasts. Caroline Graham, a student at Pescadero High School, has a starring role in two of the features. Joe also has a blog at clearheartblog.blogspot.com and an official web site at joecottonwood.com.
Take at least a dozen guitars, add as many or more singers, drummers and bass players, add assorted piano players, mix in booth after booth of colorful local art, crafts and jewlery, shake it up well and behold, another great La Honda Fair!
Friends, neighbors, tourists and guests all came down to La Honda Garden to share in the perfect weekend. The new Market celebrated it's opening, and Sullivans provided the BBQ and evening music. It's is such a unique weekend when a little town like La Honda can put together a big time. Thanks to Paula Dennis and Jeff Ring who did the lion's share of the organizing. The raffle was a huge success this year thanks to the many people that bought up the tickets. The proceeds of the Fair go to the La Honda school music and art program. This community event is possible only because of the generousity of the musicians, artists, and volunteers. The real underwriter though is Charlie Catania who lets the Fair take place in the the beautiful La Honda Gardens.
AS MC for the weekend it was a real pleasure to look out and see so many folks having a great time and all for a great cause. Thanks everyone for being part of the fun. Look for info on the upcoming July 4th celebration at Playbowl.
It's all about living in a town where it is so easy to be involved in the community.
There is a newly minted BOOMERANG CD/Download called "The Dirt on Food".
“Several local kids -- Saffron Bowman, Caroline Graham, Roddie and Ian Cardamone, Laura Metrulas, Clodagh Hussey, Hayley & Natalie Strohm -- present the stories…the CD covers a wide range of aspects of the food industry -- from the rise in organic, to food factories and genetic modification…On their AMERICAN JOURNEY, Toby and Gramps grab a bowl of soup in Pescadero, California, then get a personal tour of a nearby organic herb farm (Jacobs Farm)…Downloads ($8) will be available at our website (www.boomkids.com <http://www.boomkids.com> ) shortly, and CDs ($10) hopefully at local stores.”
You can hear the Pescadero section here: http://www.boomkids.com/transfers/03_AmJourneyPescadero.mp3.
( posted by David Strohm at
“San Mateo County has the second-highest mail census participation rate in California as of early May, according to an update which shows the results mimic the turnout of the last count a decade ago.
The county’s efforts focused this year on 19 hard-to-count communities, deemed so based on socio-economic factors like age, education levels and public assistance. Eighteen of the areas — the La Honda/Pescadero region will be included in September — showed an 8 percent increase from the 2000 census, according to the figures provided by Census Coordinator Margot Grant.
While the census update was positive in participation figures, the review also highlighted areas that need fixing for 2020. Coastal communities like La Honda, El Granada and Moss Beach were misclassified which caused approximately 3,0000 census forms being returned to sender. The problem was left unresolved for weeks because postal workers didn’t know who to contact. The mistake is why the data for that region isn’t yet included in the participation rate. […]”
This is a summary of a longer story that should be read in its entirety (http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=131515
“Wesley Tognetti passed away peacefully at the age of 93. … He was active in the formation of the La Honda Volunteer Fire Brigade and acted as their first captain. He was also chairman of the La Honda Junior Rodeo and participated in other early La Honda Day activities.” This obituary was posted in the HMB Review , http://www.hmbreview.com/articles/2010/05/03/obituaries/doc4bd8871919e30739121860.txt
Wes also ran the oil wells in the La Honda area for many years.
Paddy Colgan's Obituary and Memorial Shin-Dig
A potluck celebration of his life will be held on June 5, 2010 at La Honda Gardens.
“It is a potluck, so bring something good to share. Some vegetarian dishes might be nice, … BYOB, and Bring Your Own Plates/Cups/Forks Etc.…Please bring photos, we will have a computer slide show as well as a place to hang up any pictures you might want to share. We will have a scanner on-site for people to copy ones they like to take home…We are inviting people to say a few words if they are so moved. If think you might be interested in saying something please let me know so we can make plans.”
http://stormthoughts.com/philosophy/so-long-paddy-colgan/( for reservation information go to the La Honda message board: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaHonda/message/22154)