The Second Coming of Martin Eden
A Novel by John Gregory Presco a.k.a. John Wilson Rosamond
Yesterday, I discovered I am Martin Eden. I am a Futurian. I will always be a Bohemian Time Traveler. I can trace my Time Line back to Egypt. Why I did not see I was Martin, until recently, is most interesting because it is archeological proof Futurians exist. I am working on the correct term that describes the ability of a Muse to travel into the future and drastically affect someone, who then aspires to be a writer. What came first, the chicken or the egg in regards to Time Line Inspiration, is a very loaded question for a Futurian aimed at hiding, then limiting Time Line Crossovers. We have the ability to be two places at the same time. We experience many out of body experiences. I just had one when I discovered how similar my relationship is to Shell Mound Park, and, Janke Park which was owned and operated by one of my grandfathers.
The Janke dance pavilion was built around a giant redwood, and was a hundred and fifty feet across. The Shellmound dance pavilion was built atop a shell mound Here is what Martin says about this mystical place:
“He noted, one Sunday morning, that the Bricklayers’ Picnic took place that say at Shell Mound Park, and to Shell Mound Park he went. He had been to the working-class picnics too often in his earlier life, and as he entered the park he experienced a recrudescence of all the old sensations. After all, they were his kind, these working people. He had been born among them, he had lived among them, and though he had strayed for a time, it was well to come back among them”
Then there is the Metropole Hotel that was located a block away from where I and the Loading Zone lived. They were close with the Tower of Power. I founded Royal Rosamond Press in order to preserve the Bohemian Art and Culture that Jack London and George Sterling gave birth to. I will employ Martin, as I have employed Ian Fleming to combat Putin and Trump.
What has puzzled me for so long, is why Rena Easton ended up in Oakland, in a backyard, in a tent, with me. Now that I am no longer blocked in every conceivable way – I can see for miles! Everything makes perfect sense. I did not have to die, but, I died.
This is the first installment of my story that I want to appear in the Royal Rosamond Magazine, and/or Quibi.
John Presco a.k.a Martin Eden
Shell Mound Park (presently the Emeryville Bay Street Shopping Center) was originally a Native American archeological site but by London’s time, it had been converted to an amusement park consisting of bars, dance pavilions, a racetrack, etc. In Martin Eden, Shell Mound Park is where Eden goes to try and slip back into the ease of the camaraderie he used to feel with his old working-class colleagues. Ultimately, Eden’s attempt to reclaim his old lifestyle is futile and Shell Mound, and its association with working-class recreation, is yet another space where Eden feels fundamentally left out. He ends up retreating back to the Hotel Metropole (pictured below), a reputable establishment in downtown Oakland, but feels equally alienated from the bourgeois life of luxury and leisure that his sudden and immense fortune has afforded him.
Mr. Morse met Martin in the office of the Hotel Metropole. Whether he had happened there just casually, intent on other affairs, or whether he had come there for the direct purpose of inviting him to dinner, Martin never could quite make up his mind, though he inclined toward the second hypothesis. At any rate, invited to dinner he was by Mr. Morse – Ruth’s father, who had forbidden him the house and broken off the engagement.
Martin was not angry. He was not even on his dignity. He tolerated Mr. Morse, wondering the while how it felt to eat such humble pie. He did not decline the invitation. Instead, he put it off with vagueness and indefiniteness and inquired after the family, particularly after Mrs. Morse and Ruth. He spoke her name without hesitancy, naturally, though secretly surprised that he had had no inward quiver, no old, familiar increase of pulse and warm surge of blood.
He had many invitations to dinner, some of which he accepted. Persons got themselves introduced to him in order to invite him to dinner. And he went on puzzling over the little thing that was becoming a great thing. Bernard Higginbotham invited him to dinner. He puzzled the harder. He remembered the days of his desperate starvation when no one invited him to dinner. That was the time he needed dinners, and went weak and faint for lack of them and lost weight from sheer famine. That was the paradox of it. When he wanted dinners, no one gave them to him, and now that he could buy a hundred thousand dinners and was losing his appetite, dinners were thrust upon him right and left. But why? There was no justice in it, no merit on his part. He was no different. All the work he had done was even at that time work performed. Mr. and Mrs. Morse had condemned him for an idler and a shirk and through Ruth had urged that he take a clerk’s position in an office. Furthermore, they had been aware of his work performed. Manuscript after manuscript of his had been turned over to them by Ruth. They had read them. It was the very same work that had put his name in all the papers, and, it was his name being in all the papers that led them to invite him.
One thing was certain: the Morses had not cared to have him for himself or for his work. Therefore they could not want him now for himself or for his work, but for the fame that was his, because he was somebody amongst men, and – why not? – because he had a hundred thousand dollars or so. That was the way bourgeois society valued a man, and who was he to expect it otherwise? But he was proud. He disdained such valuation. He desired to be valued for himself, or for his work, which, after all, was an expression of himself. That was the way Lizzie valued him. The work, with her, did not even count. She valued him, himself. That was the way Jimmy, the plumber, and all the old gang valued him. That had been proved often enough in the days when he ran with them; it had been proved that Sunday at Shell Mound Park. His work could go hang. What they liked, and were willing to scrap for, was just Mart Eden, one of the bunch and a pretty good guy.
Then there was Ruth. She had liked him for himself, that was indisputable. And yet, much as she had liked him she had liked the bourgeois standard of valuation more. She had opposed his writing, and principally, it seemed to him, because it did not earn money. That had been her criticism of his “Love-cycle.” She, too, had urged him to get a job. It was true, she refined it to “position,” but it meant the same thing, and in his own mind the old nomenclature stuck. He had read her all that he wrote – poems, stories, essays – “Wiki-Wiki,” “The Shame of the Sun,” everything. And she had always and consistently urged him to get a job, to go to work – good God! – as if he hadn’t been working, robbing sleep, exhausting life, in order to be worthy of her.
When Rena and I first kissed on my friend’s floor, a cosmic event occurred. We both found The Other. Cosmic Sparks, flew. The energy we created altered – much! How much?
Let us return to the place of The Kiss. It happened on Congress Avenue in Oakland California after my friend kidnapped Rena, drove down Pismo Beach with her until she demanded he return for me, he having left me standing there, watching him go crazy. He had to have her, just as Paris had to have Hellen.
So jealous was Brian of me, of us, that he locked us out of his apartment and went to stay at his mothers. Rena and I were now homeless. Brian gave us his tent and sleeping bag so we could sleep in the backyard. I went to Map Quest to look at that house again where I once lived. I had just given up my apartment there for a married couple and newborn child. I had gone to LA and considered moving there. I met Rena at the Venice Pier. I have never seen such a beautiful woman hence. Her animal magnetism was off the chart. She was a creature from another planet. The cosmic image above was posted on Facebook by my friend Persephone Rose who post a beautiful woman on her wall everyday. She thinks Rena is my Twin Soul. I concur, for we are both very isolated at this moment, if not most of our life.
Where I am going now will strain my credibility, if I own such a thing. In testing this, loss, I concluded that I am the living Historian of the John and Jessie Fremont History. Here is the history of our kiss, that led to the painting I did of Rena, that Christine beheld, and took up art. If she had done so, she would never had met the muralist, Garth Benton.
Outside the window of my ex-apartment was a small stream. On the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, my friend James Harkins and I cleaned this creek up at my suggestion. Forty-four years later, creek was cleaned up on Earth Day. A cosmic mural was painted on a wall. There are Native American maidens. Here is the movie Avatar. Rena and I did this when we spent our first night in the tent.
After she devoured me with her kiss, we agreed we did not want to fornicate in a backyard. We left our underwear on as we explored each other’s bodies, taking in our energy. Rena had the most beautiful back in the world. My hand sent sparks of energy into the core of her as it sailed about her beautiful contours. I put our blankets half outside the tent so we could see the stars. I talked to her about the new places I have seen. I looked down into her soul as I stroked her face. We achieved spiritual mastery over the flesh, and merged with an energy that bathed us in the perfection of the better design. We were one with The Creative Truth.
Born April 7th. here was the Daughter of Spring, the primal fire of creation. We fell asleep looking at the stars, in each other’s arms. This was the Cosmic Earth Day. when Libra Man and Aries Woman master the polar opposite, come together, and create a new awareness. We could hear the faint language of Courtland Creek that to my horror was covered over with concrete. The larger redwood in the backyard, is gone. The house was denuded, by a monster, who scrubbed all the magic away. Why? He knew. A part of him, knew, and hated The Magic. This house will live forever in my book.
Whatever wonderful genetics Rena’s parents carried before they made love and born four beautiful daughters, was from a superior gene pool. Combined, the results were overwhelming, overpowering. When Rena came at me from the dark doorway and stood feet from me, I had to look away so I could catch my breath. When I looked at this creature, I was a disbeliever. They don’t make human being this beautiful. Then, it spoke;
“Can I walk with you?”
When I saw the movie ‘Species’ I laughed aloud at the urgency of the alien to mate with an earth man and was being very direct. Rena could have been asking me a carnal question. This just doesn’t happen in real life. Why me? Is it because I carry the genetics of Royal Rosamond who gave birth to four beautiful daughters? Did Rena read my genetic material, somehow, and I was fit to be her Knight in Shining Armor?
I found, her. She was lost and forsaken. Rena is a Foundling. For reasons she did not divulge she was sent to live with her grandmother when she was seven. In a letter she sent me a year ago she says she was sexually abused by her father. She did not grow up with her three sisters who became models. She did not get along with, them, her family, that she felt she was not a part of. And now, he boyfriend has disappeared leaving her alone, and without a place to lay her head. Alas, Rena has made manifest her core identity, the way she truly feels most of her waking hours. For seven hours or more she has had time to study her situation, take it all in, her hidden feelings that are concealed no more. This is one of the best things that ever happened to her, for she alone can hone her survival skills, and come up with ‘The Solution’. I was that solution, she chose. She chose me, like a preditor, a Cheetah that has run down a gazelle.
“Sure. I was expecting you!” is the answer I managed to eek out, for I was rendered speechless.
“What do you mean by that?” Rena asked, she moving a step ahead of me in order to head my answer off, get a better look into my eye for the glint of a a hidden agenda.
When we woke that first morning she was very relaxed with me, for I told her the truth;
“I am a harmless romantic. Don’t be afraid.”
We spent two nights in that backyard. Men who met me, now rushed into the backyard to behold her. They didn’t bother to say hello to me, the dude they didn’t know that well, and, didn’t want to know – at all! I was disgusted! They were like dogs around a bitch in heat.
Then, there was Rena’s walk, her gate. We walked through a tough Oakland neighborhood she oblivious and impervious to any danger, or anyone. I was awestruck at how she was taken in. Rena got respect. It was like I had a man-eating beast, on a leash! We walked to a store located on 35th. Avenue in Oakland. When people saw Rena coming their way, they were spellbound. She exuded animal magnetism. She was a Sexy Beast. She put on a show for real cowboys back in Nebraska. Se made grown married men, whimper.
Rena was the most perfectly proportioned woman I have ever beheld, and she was tall, about 5/11. From afar you knew you were going to be treated to a show. She had a walk – the walk! It was like a great cat. Then there was the look in her eyes. This was a powerful human being. I loved to study people’s reaction to her. There were some cool Latinos and Blacks in this hood. Coming from Grand Island Nebraska, this seventeen year old had no idea how cool she was, how she complimented every scene, every stage she walked onto. Everyone parted the way, and got a good look she seemed oblivious to. Irene had animal magnetism – in spades! She was a very rare Royal Flush!
About to go into the store, suddenly Rena backed up. She spotted a magazine in the window depicting a blonde in a bathing suit.
“I think that is my sister. She said. “She was going to be one the cover of a magazine.”
We went inside to get a closer look.
“No. It’s not my sister.”
Now, I am four generation Oakland, and I never dreamed I would hear such words. LIFE magazine had done a pictorial on ‘California Girl’s’ obviously shot on the beach in Southern California. This blonde is emerging from the sea, dripping wet, splashing in the foam. She is a beautiful Nereid. I just found the photos for this article. I suspect Rena’s sister is amongst the group of waders, or, perhaps she is the woman lying on her side with her back to us.
This article precedes the Sports illustrated pictorial. I am sure there was a contest to see who gets on the cover, and Rena’s sisters, lost. This meant, LIFE magazine hired at least one professional model. However, when I first walked on Santa Monica beach at sixteen years of age, I saw model material everywhere.
Marilyn, my first girlfriends, modeled for Sea and Ski when she was thirteen, which happens to be the age of consent in Nebraska. I assume this was because young women were scarce in the barren planes, and young men were want to start family early so as to have sons to work the fields. Rena, and her three beautiful sisters, wanted none of that, and fled. That is Marilyn, the blonde in the black and white photo. The famous fashion photographer did a shoot of Marilyn on the beach siting on a rock like a Mermaid.
I am going to assume Rena’s boyfriend heard about the sister modeling in California, and drove Rena out west to see if she could be discovered and end up in a magazine, or, on the silver screen?
My friend was a good friend of the Stackpole family who lived in the Oakland hills. After the Oakland fire we went and looked at the ruins of the Stackpole home. What a loss. Thousands of negatives were consumed in the inferno. Peter Stackpole shot Hollywood stars for LIFE and was assigned to Liz Taylor. Peter went on a cruise with Errol Flynn who dated two of the four Rosamond sisters who were raised in Ventura by the Sea. Rosemary and Lillian argued forever about whom the Swashbuckler was attracted to the most.
My grandfather, Roy Reuben Rosamond, wrote for Out West and Liberty magazine. I believe he and I were the embodiment of the minor god, Nerites, who was the brother of the Nereids, the only male sibling. Consider the fifty images of the Rosamond Women captured in the gallery in Carmel, a city co-founded by Robert Louis Stevens.
I just noted that the name Irene (Rena’s birth name) is found in Nereid.
I just found out my ex-wife lived on College Avenue – IN OAKLAND – with Thomas Pynchon. They lived in a big apartment building located next to ‘Ye Olde Hut’ where I did a lot of drinking with my friends, including Paul Drake who Mary Ann encouraged to take up acting. Paul claims he based his tough-guy persona on watching me drink, but I believe he is speaking of Richard Swartz who was a bodyguard for Dederich of Synanon. Richard held the world’s record to the fifty yard dash – on his hands!
Mary Ann did illustrations for a rare book about the Symbionese Liberation Army. Her best friend, Joan (who lived right off college) came home for Thanksgiving and found her whole family blown away by the Black Mau Maus. Her father was a CEO of Standard Oil. Patty Hurst was kidnapped from 2803 Benvenue, which is about ten blocks from the Hut. I thought Mary Ann and I were going to be Facebook friends, then she prohibited any more drama. Maybe I will get an Oscar someday – late in my life – when most of my peers are dead, leaving a thousand writers to guess what became of Pynchon? What about Patty? What us olde ones don’t realize, is, that every seven years you get a new generation, thus withholding information from them – is futile!
Laurel Street may have been developed by William Stuttmeister. Rosemary told me they gave the names of trees to the new streets of Fruit Vale. I found the streetcar line that Melba took with her infant son sitting on Joaquin Miller’s lap. There is a street fair in Laurel Village.
The Fruit Vale steetcar would end at the Oakland Ferry that Melba would board to go see the father of her son who was living in the Barbary Cost. This is right out of Steinbeck.
“Will Bohemia arise in Oakland,” was the question asked in an article in the Oakland Tribune on April 22, 1917. The reporter told of the formation of an artist’s club of the East Bay with a membership of more than 30 painters, sculptors and art students including Selden Gile, William H. Clapp and William A. Gaw (1891-1973).”
There is a chance the Victorian Mary Ann Tharaldsen and I lived in on Miles Avenue was brought around the Cape, and may be one of the portable houses my kindred brought to California in 1848. Two of these homes are the oldest in San Francisco and look very similar to the one that may have been moved to Miles, raised up, and a first floor apartment built beneath. Several of these homes were built in Belmont that the Jankes co-founded, one of them becoming the home of William Ralston ‘The Man who built San Francisco’ after it was remodeled by Count Leonetto.
Mary Ann majored in architecture at Cornell. She took an interest in me when she saw my drawings of Atlantis. My friend, Michael Harkins, was very supportive of our marriage because he was very friendly with the Stackpole family. Ralph Stackpole befriended Diego and Freda Rivera. These men have murals in the Coit Tower. My kindred, Garth and Thomas Benton were famous muralist. Add the sculptures at Joaquin Miller’s Woodminster Theatre and the Pre-Raphaelites, one has a Bohemian Renaissance.
I hung Mary Ann’s painting of her friend, Mimi Farina on the side to our Miles home where years earlier, on the lower level, lived a filmmaker I shared my ideas with. Richard and Mimi lived in Carmel near Joan Baez. My late sister had two art galleries in Carmel. Here was the beginning of the New Age Renaissance that had much trouble surviving the tragic death of Richard.
Down the street from the Miles home was a house that was torn down to widen 51 Street. I lived here with Bill’s infant son and Bill’s lover after my dear friend committed suicide when he was nineteen. Bill was a very charismatic artist, poet, and playwrite. Christine came to visit me there. She wanted to see Bill’s baby. She had a crush on my best friend and dealt with his death in a painting she did titled ‘The Crossing’.
What I am going to forth in my next posts is how and why there should be a New Beginning funded by Liberal Artists and Musicians. CNN is going to air a program on the 60s that will concentrate on the British Invasion.
We need to make a model for our future. We can rebuild.
William August Janke, the son of Carl August Janke of Belmont, lived in a Victorian house at 320 Haight St. a a block and a half from Fillmore St. Carl founded what may be the oldest theme park in America that catered to members of the Odd Fellows who lived in San Francisco. Carl Janke hired a special train to bring people to his theme park modeled after a German folk town and beergarten. Carl owned the Belmont soda works and sold a drink that may have contained cocaine. Carl made a jail for his town because folks got out of hand. Consider the Haight-Ashbury that was the haven for the Hippie Movement, that got out of hand. It became a theme-park that attracted folks from all over the world, and was the focal point of the war on drugs.
Consider the rise of the Republican religious-right that has become very powerful by opposing and demonizing the fun time my kindred were having – before California became a state! You could say my good buds and I made them what they are to day, fake political Puritans that destroyed our economy, and spent a trillion dollar on the Bush holy war. Too bad there is no longer a land of the free to go to out west, that is not under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government of the United States, so we can do what we want – and have more fun! Making fun is a huge industry, verses making blue laws.
Google 320 Haight to see my great grandfather’s home (grey-blue) and 2795 Pine St. to see the second story apartment I lived in with Nancy Hamren, Keith Purvis, and Carrol Schurter. Two members of the Jefferson Airplane partied with us, and hung out the bay window while on acid trying to cause an accident – which they did!
Keith, Tim O’Connor, Peter Shapiro, and myself, lived in a large Victorian house in Oakland. That is us on a bridge in Venice California. Peter played with The Marbles that played at the longshoremen’s Hall, and later with the Loading Zone at the Fillmore. Zone members also lived with us in Oakland.
Bryan McLean of Love sang at my wedding, and was good friends of the folks that began the Renaissance Fair, another theme park. Disney studied Fairyland in Oakland for his theme park. Add to this my conection to Elmer ‘Big Bones’ Remmer, gambling, and Tanforan horse racing, then you can say my kindred started the greatest party of all time!
Here is the obituary of William in the San Francisco Call.
JANKE – in this city, Nov. 22, 1902 at his residence 320 Haight St. William August Janke, beloved husband of Cornelia L. Janke, and beloved father of Mrs. W.O. Stuttmeister and Carl and W.E. Janke, a native of Hamburg Germany aged 59 years. Internment, Laurel Hill
“According to Belmont Historical Society records, Dorothea and Carl August Janke sailed around Cape Horn from Hamburg, Germany, in 1848. After landing in San Francisco, they settled in Belmont in 1860″
After the Oakland Hills Fire, my friend Michael took me up to Taurus street and showed me the ruins of Peter Stackpole’s home wherein valuable works of art and photography was destroyed. This was a monumental loss to the art world, and to the creative culture that made the Bay Area a Mecca to Bohemian Souls from all over the world.
Ralph Stackpole was a friend of George Sterling and stayed with him and the artists and poets that gathered at Lake Temescal in Oakland. Ralph befriended Diego and Freda Rivera the famous muralist and artist. Ralph helped design the Paramount theatre and a giant statue for Golden Gate Exposition, a goddess named Pacifica.
Peter Stackpole was a staff photographer for LIFE magazine and spent much time in Hollywood shooting the stars, among them, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor. Peter stayed on Errol Flynn’s boat and was privy to his exploits. My grandmother, Mary Magdalene Rosamond, chased Errol from her home at dawn when he and a friend came serenading.
Michael was a good friend of Jim Morrison and the poet, Michael McClure. He and his wife helped me investigate Christine Rosamond’s drowning, and helped with my father’s Trust. I was good friend with Michael’s mother and his two brothers since 1965.
Lake Temescal in Oakland became a Mecca for Poets and Plein Air Artists. The poet, George Sterling met Ambrose Bierce at a campsite on the lake where the Presco children used to go swimming. These two men would found the Bohemian Club where some of the richest men in the world would come to camp out. There is something to be said for living a frugal existence, a Bohemian life around a campfire, in the good company of creative men and women. These early Bohemian campers would prepare the way for the Hippies that were born in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. The ideal was to live in a little shack, pay next to no rent so one could concentrate on what truly matters.
One could say my grandfather was a Plein Air Poet. He must have taken the photo above of his wife camping on Santa Cruz Island that was also made into a post card. Did Royal try to become a photographer in order to earn monies to support his craft and family? I did three Plein Air paintings in the course of my life, and have plans to make it a big part of my life. This is why I purchased my classic Ford truck.
Ina Coolbrith was the first poet laureate of California. She gave Joaquin Miller ‘The Poet of the Sierras’ his Bohemian look. She encouraged Miller to tour England where he fell in with the Pre-Raphaelites who are cited as the progenitors of Boho Fashion. But Ina is Queen Mother of the Oakland Bohemians who had a hand in the Founding of the Bohemian Club. Ina was good friends with Jack London and George Sterling, members of the Bohemian Club. She took the writer Bret Harte under he wing as did Jessie Benton who held a salon in San Francisco. Bret was the editor of the Overland that became ‘Out West’ magazine that my grandfather, Royal Rosamond, contributed to.
Royal was a poet, a writer, and a true Bohemian. His wife, Mary Magdalene Rosamond designed and made her own clothes. She sold her hats for a living, her creations help raising her four beautiful daughters.
Rosemary Rosamond gave birth to the world famous artist, Christine Rosamond Benton, who married the muralist, Garth Benton, a cousin of the famous artist, Thomas Hart Benton, who rendered what can be discribed as ‘Western Boho’.
Christine took up art in 1972 at the age of 25 after seeing my painting of my Muse, Rena Christiansen, a beautiful young woman from Nebraska whose three sisters were professional models.
In 1969 I discovered the Pre-Raphaelites at the Oakland Library the Coolbrith founded. I let my hair grow long because the Pre-Raphaelite were influenced by the Nazarene-Nazarite Artists of Germany. It was my dream to restart the Pre-Raphaelite movement in the city I was born because our famous artists had taken up the gauntlet. The work of Arthur Frank Matthews is found at the Oakland Museum. Matthews work premeditated the Hippie Movement, his women coming alive in the 60s. Arthur was one of my influences in the painting I did of Rena which I plan to redo.
My first girlfriend, Marilyn Godfrey Reed, made her own clothes and sewed with my famous sister and our mother who also made her own clothes. Marilyn emulated the Bohemian lifestyle, he older sister living in Paris. Marilyn dressed the part when I first met her at fifteen. We were Bohemian Lovers, we founding a Bohemian hot spot in West Los Angeles. Marilyn Reed is an excellent seamstrees and pattern maker, I have encouraged Marilyn to begin her Boho Chic line, or work for my line ‘Royal Rosamond Wear’ that I am founding.
My brother, Mark Presco, described Melba as a ‘Control Freak’. Coming from a master control freak, this is quite an honor. Mark stopped seeing our grandmother, because she put him to work every time he did. That was my experience. Vic was the same way. This is why I almost conclude the Stuttmeisters were Prussian Royalty. Vic and Melba have the look and baring. Hugo could not hang!
Rosemary Rosamond made porno movies for Big Bones Bremmer. Later, she was a high class hooker working out of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Hollywood Stars has seen he infamous movies. Our mother was hardly ever home. I was the family cook. Christine watched me render large canvases in the little studio I built in the back of our home on Glendon.
There are blue-eyed Austrian Jews. I was befriended by one. Hugo had amazing blue eyes. After getting away from the ‘Control Freak’ he moved to the Barbary Coast in San Francisco. When he discovered he was a great poker player, we will never know. He made a living sitting at a table with gamblers. Victor Hugo Presco, was a professional gambler of the Barbary Coast. You can’t get any more Bohemian than this. Did he have a room above the Hippodrome? I would. When evening falls, I would put on my best duds and head for a card room. Who wants to get stuck with a bossy bitch and her spoiled brat – who demand all your attention? Victor Hugo – is my main man! I’m going to hang with his memory – till I die! We would have made great pals. Screw the Hansons!
1849: Badly drawn paintings of nude women adorn the walls of the best cafes in the city. Prostitutes begin to arrive from the east. They are frequently auctioned off from the decks of the arriving ships. Cafe owners often hire them to pose nude in displays in the dining halls. Gambling houses were everywhere. At the El Dorado it was reported that $80,000 once changed hands on the turn of a single card. Liquor and female companionship were often provided free of charge by the house as an incentive to frequent patrons.
This place was the Sin City of the world. It had an international reputation. It made the Capitol of Bohemianism, great. If we were told the truth, then we would know from where the dilemma came that ruined out lives. Melba’s father ran the California Barrel Company and delivered wood barrels to Bootleggers all over America. Rosemary made porno movies for Big Bones Remmer, the only Mafia boss working the West Coast out of Emeryville. Hugo and Rosemary would have gotten along great. Did they ever meet?
Men wanted to get drunk, see naked women, and get laid. There is nothing new under the sun. They also wanted to be bedazzled and entertained. I love the pic of the Bella Union Dance Hall. Looks like an exotic dancer sitting on a crescent moon. Human beings also love to dance. Here is the rebirth of Ancient Rome. Here is the new Hippodrome. Then came Bill Graham and the………..
Then there was the Red Mill, later called ‘The Moulin Rouge’. We Prescos got it covered. The Faux Caretakers have destroyed us. I will sell our True Story to HBO! We will be reborn. We will dance naked again, in the woods with the Woodminster and the Faun. Did Hugo meet any artists?
Interior of the Moulin Rouge nightclub in the Barbary Coast, 1911
555 Pacific was such a place, going through multiple iterations of clubs and dance halls. The existing building is pretty much a reconstruction of a saloon that was there before the earthquake, but was known as the Red Mill, later renamed in French to Moulin Rouge in attempts to class up the joint. The exterior was covered in plaster reliefs of satyrs chasing naked wood nymphs. By the late 1930s, the Hippodrome moved into the spot.
The Story of Rosamnond
When my grandson, Tyler Hunt, and I were doing a painting together, Patrice Hanson, looked on with disgust. This goes back to our conversation at the ruins of Jack London’s Wolf House where I told my wife -to-be, my families creative legacy was falling into the hands of outsiders, the same way London’s legacy almost came to be owned by hostile outsiders. I told Patrice I am authoring a biography, and my rivals are inventing lies in their biogrphy of my famous sister, Rosamond. All of a sudden, Patrice says;
“Are you saying our daughter got all her talent from you?”
I got angry, for this woman, who had two sons by two fathers, did not allow me to be a father for sixteen years, and did her damnedest to have Heather believe she got all her gifts from her utterly un-gifted mother, who never was an artist, poet, or, writer. Why is Rosamond’s biography – got to be all about her? Is she a Narcissist?
In two months she would kidnap our daughter. I would not hear from Heather for two years. She had gone over to the camp of Vickie&Tom so her and her Mommy could be in Snyder’s biography of MY dead sister, Heather&Patrice never met. What the hell was going to be their contribution to ‘The Story of Rosamond’ – after they ditched me?
I did not understand this battle was not over DNA&ART, but, over Dead Betty. At the end of this post, I include the e-mail I found yesterday about ‘Rosemary’s Granddaughter’. I had suspected Patrice was tying to tell me HER daughter was an immaculate conception. If you have never seen Fellini’s ‘Juliet of the Spirits, then I highly suggest you do. Patrice is Mary Poppins on Acid and Steroids. I have not talked to my grandson in five years. He got fill in on the Legend of Dead Betty, who only had one enemy on earth, because, without me, Heather and Tyler would not exist! What a icky concept!
In wounded families there may arise a healer. There are millions of wounded families in America, many of them suffering from the disease of alcoholism. Some of these healers enter organized religion, and declare themselves The Family Healer Via Jesus Christ. Many do not want all family members to be a Christian. They just want their little light to shine so they can be healed, and take revenge on family members who hurt them. When the Christian-right used our two-party system as a religious weapon and tool to divide the Healers from the Destroyers, our nation got very sick, and is getting sicker. We teeter on the edge of Total Destruction!
Why most Christians want Obamacare to be abolished, is to go back to the days of the Protestant Heresy, when Robert Buck’s illustrious ancestors were persecuted by the Catholic Healers, for it was ordained that only they could be Healers. What we got is tens of millions of Haters in the abolition party founded by my kindred, John and Jessie Fremont. These Haters want to hurt twenty million people – for starters! If they get their way, then this will look like the Saint Bartholomew massacre that Navarre family were victims of. This family is at the core of the Reformation.
Beryl Buck appears to have been carrying the spiritual and religious issues in her family. Accounts of Leonard Buck having a drinking problem, are gone, no longer on the internet. Why? Trying to heal people by having them live longer, may not be a religious agenda. Going after makers of alcoholic beverages, may not be a religious agenda. Educating people using secular tools, is not a religious agenda. Giving money to the poor and needy, is a religious agenda. We do not see this agenda standing out at the Buck Trust, and Foundation. Why?
Are the folks that control this Trust, Republicans? Frank Buck was a Democrat who supported the new Social Security program, and, a bill to reduce the tax on wine! Uh-oh! How does it feel Mr. Buck to have your family history put under a magnifying glass? This makes you a very topical public figure when it comes to Alcohol Justice! You can not sue me! I own your ass! I own IMMUNITY! You can not throw me off of Buck Island – again! I am taking back the Family Recovery Program your partner, Sydney Morris, sold to outsiders – after I told he had no right to do so!
“We need it, to save our lives, and the lives of others, for generations to come!”
That said, what about ‘The Legend of Dead Betty? Who is Betty?
When Patrice Hanson moved her two young sons into my apartment the day after we met, and we lay down together, she is telling me she is a Super Hippie from Chicago who gave birth to the son of a Dead Black Panther, and she knows Super Blah! Blah! Blah! of Save The Planets Food Vortex in Berkeley, and she lived on the Blah! Blah! Commune of The Holy Cosmic Waters and………..
“Are you competing with me? Sounds like you just got to win, got to defeat me. Did I tell you my sisters is a WORLD FAMOUS WOMAN ARTIST?”
By the look on matrices’ face – I WON!”
“I always wanted to be an artist, and would have been, if it were not for the sad truth my mother jumped of a cliff in Redondo Beach, and dashed her brains out on the rocks!”
“Oh! How tragic! What was her name?”
“Betty. Dead Betty! She was a schizophrenic. My father beat her black and blue!”
“I see. And this is why you wanted me to rescue your sons from your abusive husband who served time in San Quinton for impersonating Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead?”
These sons loved life at my house. I poured healing upon them around the clock. I surrounded them and their mother in protective light while Randolph DelPiano hung around outside, waving a baseball bat, threatening to dash my brains out.
When Patrice went to talk to him for two hours, and when she said she was considering going back to her ex-con and thug, I asked her to leave. Inside her womb our genetic material was dividing our genes, like crazy. When OUR BABY was born, there was a light around her. The Hippie Witch immediately put OUR BABY in the arms of the man who threatened to kill me, and cried
“Heal him! Drive the darkness out of him. Make him good and full of light and loyalty – to me! Make him mine forever!”
Two years later, Randy is – down the road! Heather is crying. Her family always knew she was my child. And now – the Great Lie Is Dead! The Hanson Family needed a good story, a healing story, in order to keep the healing child – with them! Patrice had felt guilty. She wondered about my mother – and Christine! Would they have felt joy when I announced;
“I’m a father! I will not die childless!”
Surely these Rosamond Women wanted to taste Heather’s Healing Light, and be fixed! This is when The Dark Mother invented the Dead Betty Legend. What you are going to read is what I title ‘Evil Psychiatry’. Rather than see a real shrink, or, attend an AA meeting, a child is employed to make it all work for the mentally ill parent. Patrice and her siblings are devastated by the suicide of their mother. But, rather than get professional help, they start fighting over MY CHILD – before I even know I have a child. Drunken aunt Linda really needs some Super Healing, over and over again, so she can keep on drinking – and feel good about herself. She never gave birth, and never will. My daughter was her surrogate child. She lured my child – with money! She married a drunken millionaire attorney. Heather titled her a ‘Golddigger’.
Patrice was always poor, living on foodstamps and other public grants. She knew she was losing young Heather to Wicked Linda. This is when an angel came to her rescue. Dead Betty looked down from heaven, and blessed the Family Healer, but, that was not enough. She had to find a way back to earth.
SCENE TWO: Vic Presco’s favorite bar on Piedmont Avenue. Patrice has gone there to get away from Randy. She calms her nerves with a drink. She orders another one, and, that’s when she sees me ‘Handsome Jonny’ coming in the door. This is when she hears the angelic voice of Dead Betty – loud and clear!
“Get him, my pretty! Through his loins I will come back to you. His seed will bring me back to earth. YOUR child will be a Holy Healer. She will heal all the Hansons, starting with you!”
“Oh Mommy Dearest! This was meant to be. I was feeling guilty stealing a man’s baby and giving it to the Bad Seed that served time in San Quinton. Now I understand you had a holy plan to cure me of my mental illness. Wait till I tell Linda!”
SCENE THREE: Seventeen years later, Tom Snyder pops open another can of Budweiser. He can not believe what he has just heard. Patrice had recited the whole legend, and is asking Tom if it will appear in his biography about Rosamond.
“Welllll……Ahhh!…….No! You see I got an e-mail from the Heavenly Surrogate Father, who told me he will sue me if he sees any Hanson in my book. He accused me of luring a minor child across State lines in order to have sex with Ryan (Randy) an adult, who got her pregnant – with another divine child – of course!”
“That fucking dark evil bastard! He’s the destroyer of the Holy Healing of Saint Betty! I knew I should have picked the other dude in the bar! What was his name? Joseph!”
“You can call me Joe!”
It was a conference call. Heather was lurking in the background – as usual – because she is the embodiment of Betty. There exist no Plain-born Heather. Imagine laying this shit on a child since she was two! There is nothing there, for me to claim! She’s all Patrice’s, the Blessed Womb Mother of the Twice Born Betty! The Womb of the World went nuts when Heather sang-out ‘Rosemary’s Granddaughter’. It was TOO REAL! It was a monkey wrench in the works. It had to be undone. This is why the real Patrice composed that e-mail posing as my daughter where-in she conducts a theological argument.
Why would any sane attorney bless any biography about a very contentious person and her family, then think they are not going to be sucked in. See Morris smile, believing the conflagration will not consume him and the law firm of Robert Buck. There has to be a good reason. There is. One of Buck’s ancestors gazed upon the Mona Lisa a.k.a ‘Smiling Betty’.
“Alls well, that ends well!”
Here is a video showing the extreme religious abuse of children by their parents and the church. Children can not grasp religious concepts until they are about ten. The parents are running their need for a religious fix through innocent children, who only want to please their parents. They want to behold their children as Little Saints, free of sin. The parents are vicariously living through their children. These are Holy Stage Parents. All they want is Complete Loyalty, because they never got that from their parents! The child must pay!
When I went to Santa Rosa to behold my Wonder Child for the first time, I was shown a stack of videos taken by the many Surrogate Fathers Heather had. Since she was two, she was on stage! No way could she ever be MY CHILD, and, they both knew it! When I tried to explain what my book was about, a look of disgust appeared on their faces.
“How could you, father, even think of betraying my mommy and her holy mission!”
Dead Betty died on the cross. Fuck Rosemary! What great thing did she ever do? As far as I’m concerned, the child in Heather’s unwed arms………..is a Buck Baby! This is what you get when you render THE REAL FATHER powerless, and render non-family members ‘Holy Caretakers’. Heather should have sued Peirrot, slapped a paternity suit on her, because Sydney Morris made sure she wore the pants in the family, he giving her more power than Christine Rosamond ever got, and, Saint Pierrot can not draw a stick figure, or, write a poem. She is the Papacy! The original holy family has been replaced by pretenders and usurpers. When they get stuck in a legal or literary manner, they drive another nail in my coffin, and rewrite the codex. Tom got down on his knees after he talked to Patrice, and thanked me for getting him out of her Passion Play! You owe me Tom!
The Real Bad Daddy is born! His entire family was taken from him – including his mommy!
“That asshole does not deserve a mommy, because – he does not deserve to be born! He owns not gifts, or talent. He’s no healer! He’s the anti-Christine!”
Because I suspect Heather and my family are involved in Julie Lynches evil story, I am going to blog on the legal document Heather signed when she agreed to be my Trustee. Snyder breached my copyright in regards to Bonds With Angels, that resembles Julie’s theme. Patrice, Heather, Dead Betty, Pierrot, Tom Snyder, all agree my real mother deserved what was coming to her, because, all she did was born four children, who gave birth to four grandchildren. She is smeared, and slandered. Lies are told about her – for the sake of some people making money! I can show this is a real court of law!
Lynch conjurs up Rosamond’s kindergarten teacher that had to ninety years of age. How did she find her? What school did she teach in? Here we read about the only good thing Rosemary ever did. She wanted me to be “the family artist“. Yay! That’s my Mom!
“If Christine’s parents had embraced her talent, there might be existing works from her childhood, but this was not to be. Fearing that Christine would steal her brother’s spotlight as the family artist, Christine’s mother, Rosemary, forbade Christine to draw at home. The only time she could express herself was at school or in her closet, by flashlight, when everyone else was asleep. Though we don’t have images to prove it, Christine’s kindergarten teacher has said that, by age five, Christine was already drawing with adult skill. She can remember Christine’s pictures of animals having near perfect detail and perspective.
Before the Wave: The Life Story of Christine Rosamond
Not yet released
When the idealistic artist known as Rosamond defiantly emerges from a dark childhood, suppressed by abuse and alcoholism, and rockets to worldwide fame, becoming the world’s most published painter, she discovers that her road into the light is twisted, wrought with sabotage, and at the tips of her reach.”
Because MY SISTER IN RECOVERY met Clint Eastwood on several occasions, I can communicate with my real sister. What’s that, Christine? Julie is a bloody scum-sucking parasite, the latest Gallery Gargoyle that the treacherous back-stabber, Stacey Pierrot, hired to insult her ex-boss and OUR family?
In 1892, Sterling met the dominant literary figure on the west coast, Ambrose Bierce, at Lake Temescal and immediately fell under his spell. Bierce — to whom Sterling referred as “the Master” — guided the young poet in his writing as well as in his reading, pointing to the classics as model and inspiration. Bierce also published Sterling’s first poems in his “Prattle” column in the San Francisco Examiner.
Sterling also met adventure and science fiction writer Jack London, and his first wife Bess at their rented villa on Lake Merritt, and in time they became best of friends. In 1902 Sterling helped the Londons find a home closer to his own in Piedmont, near Oakland. In his letters London addressed Sterling as “Greek” owing to his aquiline nose and classical profile, and signed them as “Wolf.” London was later to depict Sterling as Russ Brissenden in his autobiographical novel Martin Eden (1908) and as Mark Hall in The Valley of the Moon (1913).
The Society of Six was intensely devoted to a self-imposed set of rough-and-tumble attitudes that they found necessary for the maintenance of the visual purity in their works. They sensed that they were not making new art merely for the sake of newness, but with an exhilaration that was born from an overthrowing of subservient visual posturing over various sanctified art modes. Although they were a part of the San Francisco Bay Area modernist art scene in the 1920s, they had an allegiance primarily to themselves, and they were forced to be their own best audience. Influences upon them ranged from nineteenth century Impressionism to European Abstractionism. Although it is fairly easy to trace the more obvious influences, “The Six nonetheless, managed individually to fashion their own painting styles into fresh and ingenuous outdoor paintings which appear generally American and specifically Californian. They were regional painters in the best sense of the word.
“Will Bohemia arise in Oakland,” was the question asked in an article in the Oakland Tribune on April 22, 1917. The reporter told of the formation of an artist’s club of the East Bay with a membership of more than 30 painters, sculptors and art students including Selden Gile, William H. Clapp and William A. Gaw (1891-1973). Many of the things that made the area seem so desirable to “The Six” were mentioned in that review, such as the picturesque waterfront and the sunny rolling hills above the Bay. Oakland was depicted as “…a Bohemia where kindred spirits meet with art and the great adventures that stimulate art to color its atmosphere.”
Deystvie romana proiskhodit v nachale XX veka v Oklende (Kaliforniya, SShA). Martin Iden – rabochiy paren’, moryak, primerno 21 goda ot rodu, sluchayno znakomitsya s Ruf’yu Morz – devushkoy iz sostoyatel’noy burzhuaznoy sem’i. Vlyubivshis’ v nee s pervogo vzglyada i popav pod vpechatlenie ot vysshego obshchestva, Martin, zhelaya stat’ dostoynym Rufi, aktivno beretsya za samoobrazovanie. Ruf’, vidya v Martine «dikarya», beret pokrovitel’stvo nad ego nachinaniyami. Martin uznaet, chto zhurnaly platyat prilichnye gonorary avtoram, kotorye v nikh pechatayutsya, i tverdo reshaet sdelat’ kar’yeru pisatelya. Martin sostavlyaet programmu po samosovershenstvovaniyu, rabotaet nad svoim yazykom i proiznosheniem, chitaet mnogo knig. Iz mnozhestva dostupnykh proizvedeniy v publichnoy biblioteke, Martin metodom prob i oshibok vybiraet dvukh izvestnykh filosofov kontsa XIX veka: Fridrikha Nitsshe i Gerberta Spensera.
When my grandson, Tyler Hunt, were doing a painting together, Patrice Hanson, looked on with disgust. This goes back to our conversation at the ruins of Jack London’s Wolf House where I told my wife to be my families creative legacy was falling into the hands of outsiders the same way London’s legacy came to be owned by hostile outsiders. I told Patrice I am authoring a biography, and my rivals are inventing lies in their biogrphy of my famous sister, Rosamond. All of a sudden, Patrice says;
“Are you saying our daughter get all her talent from you?”
I got angry, for this woman, who had two sons by two fathers, did not allow me to be a father for sixteen years, and did her damnedest to have Heather believe she got all her gufts from her utterly un-gifted mother, who never was an artist, poet, or, writer. Patrice and her family are the people the Seer saw that come into my being and take – via my newborn daughter who Patrice put in the arms of famous parasite convicted of impersonating Bob Weir – twice!
The Rosemondts owned Wolf House in Brambant, and were part of a restoration of Frankish rule in theat area, which suggests they might be descended from Merovingians.
On April 17, 2013 I will reveal to the world the Norse Grail of Rosamond. My grandson, Tyler Hunt, was born on this day. He was taken from me by my enemies, my own kindred who tried to take over the Art of my late sister, Christine Rosamond Benton. Mark and Victoria Presco, concealed my seventeen year old daughter from me after Heather Hanson betrayed me, disappeared from my life, and entered the camp of the destructive and un-creative ones who were jealous of their creative siblings their whole life.
On April 17th. I will send forth a Crusader named Wolf, and his six sons. They will destory the enemies of The Art of the World. I will reveal the Norse Grail. Some of the Wolfen sons became Knight Templars and owners of the Holy Shroud. In NORSE there is a ROSE – a Northern Rose! No one can defeat, or turn away, the Rose Wolf.
My enemies have turned my grandson against me. It is my hope Tyler Hunt will rebel against the liars who denied him his heritage, he forever reminded in True History, that the Norse Grail is my birthday present to him. Whether Tyler is worthy to own it – is the Story of our True Humanity. Only Lovers of the Truth, and the True Rose, can behold the Beauty in the World, read the Rose Words in the Prose, and pull the Tones from the Sword in the Stone.
Catherine Winnik, who plays Lagertha, may be my kindred.
‘Protector of the Norse Horse’
I just discovered the Dimond District of Oakland is celebrating Oktoberfest a traditional German celebration. The Presco Children spent much time playing in Dimond Park and shopped in Dimond where our great grandfather, William Broderick, and his wife, Alice Stuttmiester-Broderick, lived. Above is a post card addressed to Willie using the Dimond P.O. and the city of Fruitvale that is no more, it becoming a part of Oakland. This is a very rare address. I am going to investigate about donating it to the Dimond Association which saved the Dimond Post Office. I am going to try to make this P.O. a sister P.O. of the Eugene P.O.
I attended several Boy Scout events in Dimond Park where we swam in the pool and the creek. As kids, we built dams up and down Sausal Creek. Dimond Canyon was our backyard. There was a walkway from San Sebastion Avenue that took you to Park Blvd. that travails Dimond Canyon. On the other side is a trail that used to be a Stagecoach road.
Hugh Dimond owned the land where he built a commercial laundry plant that washed linen and clothes brought across the bay from San Francisco that had problems with a fresh and clean water supply. There was a dryng problem with the fog. The clothes were unloaded at a dock in the estuary and brought up 9th. Avenue.
‘The Dimond’ is acquiring a identity if its own. We were an admixture of German families who came to own a fruit farm below ‘The Hights’ the Poet and Artist Colony founded by the Pre-Raphaelite Poet, Joaquin Miller who used to escort my grandmother, Melba Charlotte Broderick to San Francisco on the Fruit Vale Trolly. Mott had plans for Sausal Creek similar to the Woodminster Cascade that was the vision of Jaunita Miller who sponsored a play about the Pre-Raphaelites. Then there is the Janke theme park across the by in Belmont.
Below is a the image of Rena Easton that was made into a poster for the University of Nebraska Oktoberfest. We stayed on Congress Ave. The painting I did of my muse inspired my late sister, Christine Rosamond, to take up art. It takes awhile for a city or place to be branded. My family history is now a huge part of that branding.
President: Royal Rosamond Press.
In recent years, some have started to include the article “the” in front of Dimond, as in “I live in the Dimond” or “Oaktoberfest in the Dimond.” Some long-time residents prefer the usage without the article “the”: for example, “I live in Dimond” or “I went shopping in Dimond today.” For them, saying “the Dimond District” is acceptable, however.
While San Francisco hosted its 118th annual Oktoberfest last week, Oakland celebrated its German heritage with its first-ever Oktoberfest in the Dimond district, centered at MacArthur Boulevard and Fruitvale Avenue.
The Oct. 4th event showcased local bands and breweries, community businesses, Dimond history, German food and dance, traditional “oompah” music and an open-air beer garden reminiscent of the many German American social clubs and entertainment halls that lined MacArthur Boulevard from the 1890s until mid-century.
Although the Dimond is known now for its diverse Asian and Latino influences it was once the center of the East Bay’s German American community. By the turn of the century, the Dimond and much of Fruitvale had a reputation as an area of German beer gardens, fruit orchards, dairy farms and parks, according to the Oakland Heritage Alliance’s newsletter.
I am the third scout from the right. The photo above was taken by Melba Broderick on the Russian River. I am on the left. I look like my grandson, Tyler Hunt.
In 1895 Charles Tepper, a German army captain, bought land along Hopkins Street, now MacArthur Boulevard, just west of Fruitvale Avenue and built a two-story hotel, a dance hall, and garden surrounding these that shaded a picnic area. Nearby Tepper’s Gardens was Neckhaus Gardens, Bauerhofer’s Gardens and the Hermitage, which was famous for its “French dinners and dancing girls,” according to a Sept. 16, 1962 article of the Oakland Tribune.
While this may be the Dimond’s first Oktoberfest, Jean Langmuir, a librarian in the Oakland history room of the Oakland Public Library, also found a 1963 program for “Deutscher Tag,” or German Day, held on Oct. 13 by the United German American Society of the East Bay. The society, which still exists today, celebrated German American heritage with German big bands and patriotic songs on East 14th Street – International Boulevard.
Tepper’s was eventually closed by the enforcement of Prohibition. The Dimond Improvement Association, which sponsored last Saturday’s festival, pored over city archives to pinpoint precisely where Tepper’s beer garden stood in order to build the Oktoberfest garden in the same spot, according to librarian Kathleen DiGiovanni.
There, said the 1962 Tribune article, “gay merrymakers” ate bratwurst and spaetzle, danced German polka and sipped beers from Brooklyn Brewery on East 14th Street. Horse-drawn coaches and double-decker, mohair-upholstered streetcars of the Highland Park and Fruitvale lines delivered loads of revelers to the gardens’ gates and to the many German American businesses along now-MacArthur Boulevard.
Daniel Swafford, who is on the board of the DIA, said the association had been thinking of bringing back the beer hall tradition to the area for many years. After the success of the street festival celebrating the building of Farmer Joe’s on Fruitvale Avenue a few years ago, which he estimated 5,000 people attended, the association decided that an Oktoberfest celebration was a natural fit for the history of the area.
He remembered his grandmother, who had lived in the district since the 1930s, telling him stories of the glory days of the area, when it was an entertainment and shopping hotspot. The building that is now Farmer Joe’s was a vaudeville theater in the ’20s, later a movie theater, and the Dimond also featured an ice skating rink and bowling alley.
The building that was Tepper’s hotel still stands just behind the 2 Star Market on MacArthur Boulevard, which along with the German elderly home Altenheim, established in 1893, are the only surviving landmarks of the old German community of the Dimond and Upper Fruitvale. But with the revival of the neighborhood’s past social and cultural heritage, residents of the Dimond district are strengthening new communities in the area by bringing them together to socialize and celebrate.
It is named after Hugh Dimond, who came to California during the Gold Rush and purchased the land comprising the district in 1867. In 1897 he built a cottage that used the adobe bricks from the Peralta family’s 1827 home. The bricks were used again to build the Boy Scout hut that is still standing in Dimond Park. Oakland’s Camp Dimond was located at the head of Dimond Canyon where the present day Montera Middle School is located.
A flowery description of the Dimond from 1896 titled “Dimond the Beautiful” says “Fruitvale is for beauty one of the notable avenues in this country.” 2
[Found two great old Dimond District photos (see below) from shortly after the turn of the last century. Not sure which of the Dimond District neighborhood entries/pages each of them belongs, but will be happy to move them if some handy map expert points out the correct locale.][this is an ongoing issue that i have never felt like resolving one day! i don’t think your sources made it over though, just the footnote. -gk] [ Just an educated guess, present day foliage changes the skyline but the picture on the left seems to be where present day Lincoln Ave. intersects MacArthur Blvd [Hopkins]. The street at the bottom of the hill on the left, would be Champion St. ] [Hopkins/MacArthur continued up to the hill in the distance but veers left (the hill is Excelsior Ave) around to the front of the tall church looking building, which is (I believe) present day Altenheim Senior Housing as it was in the 1950s to present day. At the very bottom of Hopkins just past Champion St would have been the intersection of then Fruit-vale and Hopkins, the main shopping area for the Dimond District. le]
The name (originally Fruit Vale) comes from the many fruit orchards (largely apricot and cherry) which dominated the area in the late 19th century. After the 1906 earthquake, the onslaught of refugees from San Francisco caused a population boom, and the unincorporated neighborhood was annexed into the City of Oakland by 1909.
The Fruitvale shopping district is located along International Boulevard (formerly East 14th Street), from Fruitvale Avenue to 38th Avenue and is one of the major commercial areas of Oakland.
In an era of severe budget cuts, the Dimond Neighborhood Association has a success story it can happily tell: members led an effort to keep the neighborhood post office from being closed, and succeeded–with what the US Postal Service called one of the best organized campaigns they had ever seen.
A steering committee of 17 neighbors organized residents, who then, collected over 7,000 signatures (in a postal district with 12,000 residents), meet with city council members and lobbied everyone they could think of for help. The outcome: the closure was rolled back and the PO will remain open.
What’s sweet to me is not only how these folks mobilized and made it happen, but how they used their Yahoo groups, email, and tech tools to support the project. The photo album of the party and the YouTube videos are good reminders of how powerful these tools can be to tell a story–and they’re fun to see.
I suspect the Tanforan Cottages are two of the six portable houses that Carl Jake brought about the cape on a Clipper Ship and set of up south of San Francisco. I assumed they were erected in Belmont, but, I just read there was a theme park called ‘The Willows’ in the Mission Dolores that was a retreat as well. With the establishment of the Turnverein on Bush, and another in Redwood City, I believe Janke was part of a movement to bring Forty-Eighter Revolutionaries to the Bay Area in order to make a Utopian State. During, and after WW1, when anti-German hatred was at its peak, these pioneers lost their dream, and all the work they had done. Tanverien became Tanforan, and alleged Spanish name, but, there is nothing Spanish about it. The story of Toribio Tanforan is hogwash. I suspect the old schoolhouse in Belmont is one of the portable houses.
Before the Gold Rush Americans and European wanted to visit and live in California, the last Frontier. Amusement Parks were all the rage. They were Human Be-ins. I suspect my grandmother, Melba Broderick, met Victor Hugo Presco at a theme park.
Tanforan Cottage 1
214 Dolores Street Between 15th and 16th Streets
This is one of a pair of redwood cottages built by the Tanforan ranching family on land that lay within the 1836 Mexican Grant to Francisco Guerrero. Located only half a block from Mission Dolores, the oldest building in San Francisco, these two cottages are probably the oldest residential buildings in the Mission District.
Tanforan Cottage 2
220 Dolores Street Between 15th and 16th Streets
The following is quoted from Here Today, San Francisco’s Architectural Heritage by Roger Olmsted and T. H. Watkins, published by Chronicle Books in 1969:
Two very old houses that have maintained their original appearance can be seen side-by-side at 220 and 214 Dolores Street. The “Tanforan Cottages,” so called because members of the family of Toribio Tanforan occupied them from 1896 to 1945, are simple frame structures with modified late Classical Revival facades. Though very nearly identical in appearance, they were not constructed at the same time; 214 Dolores is said to have been built a little before 1853, 220 not long after that date. This dating is questionable, though, as the first substantiated date is 1866, when Revilo Wells, owner of 214, had water piped in. There is still a small carriage house behind 220 Dolores – occupied as late as 1940 by one of the Tanforan carriages. The large gardens of these houses have been well-maintained and contain many specimens of turn-of-the-century San Francisco taste in flora.
William had married Augustus the daughter of Carl Janke and lived in the city of Belmont California. I then looked for Carl Janke in the catalogue and found an entry in the history of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a encyclopedia of around four books. It said Carl brought six portable houses around the cape and erected them in the city of Belmont that was not incorporated until 1926. About ten years ago I read that one of the Tanforan cottages was moved from Belmont, they on a Spanish land grant that came to be owned by Toribio Tanforan, the grandson-in-law of Jose Antonio Sanchez.
No one can find any history of Toribio. Why then is being honored? Jose Sanchez is very famous in regards to Spanish land grants. There is no Tansforan land grant. One historian says Toribo was a gaucho from Chile, and thus he was a excellent horseman. And, that’s it! This is what conects the mysterious Torribo to the Tanforan race track and Belmont. Give me a break! Why are two houses in San Francisco named Tanforan?
I suspect Tanforan was the name of the German theme park that Charles Janke built in Belmont, it said he modeling it after a German way of life. Tanforan is not a Spanish name. It also resembles Turnverien, who were Forty-Eighters who fled Europe in the ‘Erupecan Spring’. Consider the ‘Arab Spring’ no doubt named after the revolutions that swept Europe, including Italy, that bid Count Leonetto Cipriani to leave his home in Belmont and pretty much rule the United Italy under Garibaldi and Victor Emanuel. Why wasn’t Ciprianis name applied to a race track? I did find a ‘Cipriani Dog Park’.
In his Overland Diaries Cipriani discuss his prefab house that was out together by screws. This is the famous house in Belmont, called ‘Ralston Hall’. Across the bay in emryville Mr. Coggeshall and his wife have screwed together their new home that was shipped around the cape in 1849. Is this yet another of six portable houses brought around the Cape by my kindred, Carl Janke? San Francisco realtors are selling land in Emeryville. What we are looking at is the birth of California Real estate where track homes are built to arrack folks from back east. Did Cipriani invest in real estate? Who financed him if her did?
“The second sale that Vicente Peralta made was for the greater portion of his estate to a group of San Francisco investors for $100,000 in August 1853. These investors then sold off plots within the estate. Perhaps the first American to settle in what later became Emeryville was Frederick Coggeshall, a native of Massachusetts who came to San Francisco in 1849 and purchased a 45-acre tract on the San Pablo road near where 45th Street is today. He and his wife Lavinia assembled a small house, which may have been shipped around Cape Horn, farmed the land, and raised pigs and cattle.”
One so called historian says the Tanforan Cottages were built by ships carpenters from ships that were abandoned in the Gold Rush by 49ers, sailors who jumped ship to look for their gold mine, that were in want of experience carpenters, who were not paid much. One citations said portable houses were built on the east coast where labour was cheap thanks to the Irish immigration. As to the idea that the Tanforan cottages were moved from Belmont to the Mission, after the San Francisco, consider ‘The Vans’ a structure that was moved to Belmont from San Francisco.
It is thought that the Tanforans built 214 and 220 Dolores as farm houses. 214 was built first, and 220 followed a year or so later. The homes are simple frame structures with classic revival facades (an architectural movement based on the use of pure Roman and Greek forms in the early 19th century). Their false fronts, full width porches with square posts, and four-over-four window sashes (four panes of glass on the top frame and four panes of glass on the bottom frame of a double hung window) are common features of the 1890s. The deep-set backyard, another feature of that era, holds a carriage house that contained a Tanforan-owned carriage until 1940.
The houses were originally inhabited by the Tanforans’ daughter Mary and were handed down from sister to sister until 1952. It is not known if Torbio and Maria ever lived in them. They both died in San Francisco in 1884 and were buried in Mission Dolores; the home address listed on their obituary was Well Street.
In the 1860’s, SF had its first amusement park just two blocks away. Located at 16th and Valencia, it was called “The Willows” and its prize exhibit was a Emu. That inspired one of Bret Harte’s early verses (not very well known but maybe better so).
“O say, have you seen the Willows so great,
So charming and rurally true,
A singular bird, with the manner absurd,
Which they call the Australian Emu?”
Well, maybe you had to be there.
The houses were originally inhabited by the Tanforans’ daughter Mary and were handed down from sister to sister until 1952. It is not known if Torbio and Maria ever lived in them. They both died in San Francisco in 1884 and were buried in Mission Dolores; the home address listed on their obituary was Well Street.
The site that The Shops at Tanforan mall is built on has a rich history. Prior to its reincarnation as a shopping center, Tanforan once also served as a racetrack, at various times as an airfield, a military training center, an internment camp, as well as a golf course.
The Tanforan Racetrack was built in 1899. It was named after Toribio Tanforan, the grandson-in-law of Jose Antonio Sanchez, the grantee of Rancho Buri Buri. Horse, dog, motorcycle, and auto races were held year round at the track. One of Tanforan’s most famous residents while it was used as a racetrack was Seabiscuit, who was stabled there for a time. Today, a statue of Seabiscuit may be found on the grounds of the Tanforan mall.
The site found other uses after 1909, when the state of California banned all gambling at racetracks.[
The Willows, a popular resort “out in the country” in the Mission District, in the 1860s. It was near today’s 18th and Mission, and the willows of its name are growing around the now-buried Mission Creek.
Photo: Private Collection, San Francisco, CA
From the Diary of John “Don Juan” Riley Robinson, Silver Magnate of Batopilas, Mexico:
August 18, 1861 I purchased some clothes, as I am about as seedy as I ever was in this life. Was busily employed all the morning in my room, showing [silver] specimens and talking of Mexico. In the afternoon I went to the Willows and spent an hour in looking at the crowds who spend their pleasant times in that beautiful retreat. It is 3 miles from the city by rail, and Sundays the cars run every 15 minutes, and are crowded with happy faces going and returning from this really beautiful place for recreation. It is beautifully fitted up with books and machinery for amusement for the children, and shooting, and innocent games for the grownups.