Waterfront Team

I am a wealth of information and ideas.

John Presco

Oakland A’s unveil plans for new ballpark at Howard Terminal – Athletics Nation

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Waterfront location Photo credit: Courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels GroupSeating will be closer to home plate, eliminating much of the extra foul ground for which the Coliseum is infamous, and the word “intimate” is used multiple times in the press release to describe the layout and atmosphere. According to Matier & Ross of the S.F. Chronicle, there will also be an aerial gondola to transport fans to and from the park, helping account for a lack of BART access. Read the rest of their writeup for more details on the specific features, and also visit the A’s official stadium website.

Sam’s Anchor Cafe

Posted on May 21, 2012 by Royal Rosamond Press

My uncle, James Bigelow, owned the famous Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiberon. After sailing in the regattas, or just being seen in your yacht, folks of means would dock their boats in the cove below the huge wooden deck that took landlovers on a tour of the bay for the price of meal and cocktail. Here, Herb Caen wrote his column for it is said you will run into everyone who is somebody at Sams.

When I was fourteen my brother and I helped our uncle remodel the kitchen of his other famous restaurant in Berkeley, Crustaceans. Jim was a restauranteurs par excellent. When we went to the Bigelows for Christmas dinner we got a glimpse of how the other side lived. There were televisions and golf bags under the tree.

Bonnie Bigelow was my favorite aunt. She had Mark and I stay in her home in San Mateo where we played with our cousin, Michael Bigelow. Like her three sister, Bonnie was beautiful, smart, and had a great sense of humor that was inherited from her father.

One Christmas Eve, while at the table, Jim began to brag on his good friend whose painting he had on his wall. Being an artist, I studied it thoroughly, and concluded it was not – real art! It was all I could do to keep my real opinions to myself when my uncle asked me what I thought of this fake art, he figuring I was not a real artist at the age of fifteen. Besides, Jim was just showing off his new friends that had taken San Francisco’s art scene by storm. We’re talking about the Keane’s who came to sup at the same table you see above where seated is the world famous artist known as Rosamond – when she was fourteen!

Christine’s insecurity as a female was at it’s peak. She was a nervous wreck in search of her identity. How could she compete with the four Rosamond Nereids? She had her father’s genes to contend with.

“She’s big boned, like her grandmother Melba.”

Above is a photo of Vic Presco beside one of his Chris Craft that he docked in Martinez.

What is truly uncanny, is, there was a trial involving the Keane’s. The Judge asked Walter to paint one of his big-eyed waifs in court so as to dispel the claim from his wife that she was the real artist in the family, and she rendered all those – creatures!

Consider the expose that reveals Sara Moon was an old man! If you rearrange the name SARA MOON, you get ROSAMONA. Mona means “moon”.

Christine was going through her Chinese period, she dressed in an oriental jacket. Early Rosamond women were compared to Keane, they were – Keanish. Only I noted that mannequins in fancy store windows began to own ‘The Rosamond Look’. Eyes were bigger, and they looked out into the street, beyond the plate glass windows they were captured behind. It was, haunting. Christine Rosamond Benton found a way – to be noticed! All four Rosamond sisters took an interest, saw my beautiful sister for the first time.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2012

“One of the fun things about operating Sam’s is that eventually everybody comes here,” Sears said.

Launched in 1920 as a watering hole for railroad workers, original owner and namesake Sam Vella bypassed Prohibition until its 1933 repeal by smuggling whiskey through trap doors under the building.

Vella ran the restaurant and bar for 40 years. He sold the property and business to Tiburon resident Eugene Wheary, who sold the business a year later, in 1961, to James Bigelow of Character Restaurants.

Bigelow ran the restaurant until Sears and Wilson, along with a group of limited partners, purchased the business in 1978. The Wheary family owns the property.
Sears and Wilson met in the mid-70s managing the Refectory Steakhouse in Bon Air Center in Greenbrae.

Current ownership continues the flamboyant Vella’s traditional garb of brightly colored Hawaiian shirts.

“That’s part of the deal, the Hawaiian shirt,” Sears said. “It’s part of the fun of it.”

The world famous “Big Eye” paintings had their beginning in San Francisco over 50 years ago, by the artist Margaret Keane. In time they also became known and referred to as “Waifs,” “Keane,” “Sad Eyes,” and many other titles, all depicting the unique styles of this very creative woman. You may be surprised to hear the artist is a woman. You see, for many years she was married to a man who claimed credit for what she painted. To prove she was in fact the artist and not her former husband, she painted in court before a Federal Judge and jury, an original oil on canvas painting. When her ex-husband was asked to paint by the judge, his reply was: “I can’t today, because I have a sore shoulder.” Needless to say Margaret won the case and she continues to paint those Big Eyes we have come to love so dearly.

Sara Moon international artist from Germany.
The creator of the art works that launched the name Sara Moon upon the world during 1976 is actually a male of Persian birth – an artist by the name of Bijan Djamalzadeh who lives in Germany. In 1975 he was commissioned by Red Baron Publishing of Los Angeles to create commercial portraits of the female form in water colour paints and oil paints. Four years later Djamalzadeh parted company with Red Baron and nothing by his hand was released again until the poster and greetings card company Verkerke began to publish his art in 1981. For their part, Red Baron continued to satisfy demand for new Sara Moon work by commissioning an artist known as ‘Christian’ to paint and sign images as ‘Sara Moon’. With Djamalzadeh painting for Verkerke, this led to works by both artists being released as ‘Sara Moon’ art during the years 1980-82.
The artist still owns many of his original works, but it is feared that many of the early pieces were lost when Red Baron Publishing was consumed by fire (c.1983?) at which time the company ceased trading. Djamalzadeh continued to paint as Sara Moon for Verkerke until the early 1990’s when he retired from commercial life to teach at his home on the borders of southern Germany and France. The artist’s works are now out of print.

There is an old Iranian man who has been imitating Rosamond since 1976. He signs these knock-offs ‘Sara Moon’. Everyone thought he was a woman. He kept his true identity a secret for years. Some folks thought I was Moon. Last night I saw how similar the name SARA MOON is to the name ROSAMOND. Drop the D and you have seven of the letters that are in the name Sara Moon.
“For over 15 years he was totally oblivious to the ‘Where are you, Sara?’ calls that echoed around the world from the multitude of devoted fans he had unwittingly left behind.
With his absence and Red Baron Publishing gone too, his quiet ‘disappearance’ in retirement from Verkerke, the varied signatures on the artworks created much speculation over the years that followed. Did ‘Sara Moon’ ever exist? If so, where was this reclusive artist now?”
In 1973, Christine Rosamond offered to teach me her style so I could be rich and famous, too. I turned this offer down. In 1985 I sent some of my work to my old friend, Marilyn, so she could show them to Ira Cohen, the gallery owner who discovered Rosamond, and helped develop her style. Ten of the first paintings she did for Ira, were rejected.
Upon seeing my work, that included a portrait of my Muse, Rena Christiansen, he told Marilyn my work was “Too hard edge.” But, if I soften them up, he could sell them. I got his drift. Cohen wanted more decorative fashion art.
Sara The Man tailor made his art to sell. It’s like painting checks. Mr. Bijan could care less about owning an integral artistic identity, because he loved his bank! I just couldn’t do it! If I had I would be rolling in the doe and my daughter would not call me a Parasite?
Above is a photo of Marilyn on the beach taken by her friend, Steven Silverstein, the famous fashion photographer. Steven’s women are the Real Deal, real Fashion Plates. Steven photographed some of the most beautiful women in the world, included the First Lady of France. Perhaps I should have become a fashion photographer?
It’s never – too late!
One of Moon’s women is titled ‘Hippie’. Marilyn was a Hippie. She was my first Muse who feels the injustice parasitical outsiders have inflicted upon my family.
I understand folks don’t like me because I keep pointing out real fakes, frauds, and parasites. That many of Moon’s fans don’t mind that he hood-winked them – is the real study here! Behold the Republican candidates who are running on the platform Democrats are parasites!
Some of my friends wonder why I gave up wanting to be an artist.
Jon Presco
Copyright 2011

In northern Europe, where the name is much more popular, Mona is interpreted as a diminutive of Monika or, rarely, of Ramona or Simona. It is sometimes associated with the title of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Mona Lisa, although in that context the word Mona is actually a title rather than a name. The word mona also means cute, monkey and doll in Spanish. In Sweden, Mona’s name day is May 4.[3]

The Charlatans of Belmont

Posted on May 9, 2021 by Royal Rosamond Press

I am looking to form a band called ‘Belmont Charlatans’. I am looking for investors in The Rouge Dog Sarsaparilla Saloon.

I awoke from a dream early this morning. I was with Peter Shapiro, Keith Purvis, and, Christine Wandel. Peter was on this balcony hiding something. We confronted him. He accused us of hiding bottles under our shirts. Then, we caught Chris, slinking away. What does she got?

I lie there trying to go back to sleep, but could not. I began to study our history we made. Twelve years ago, Peter told me he used to play with the Charlatans, and considered Mike Wilhelm the guy who got it all started. He was very impressed with his guitar playing – as was Jerry Garcia. Rock Historians are saying the Charlatans set the scene for the Haight Ashbury and the Summer of Love.

All of a sudden, I am looking at the photograph of my kindred in Belmont, running a soda company – and a Summer Fun Theme Park. Look at what they are wearing. My kindred were the real thing, the Real McCoys, who are connected to William Ralston and William Sharon who made millions on the Comstock Load. Sharon built Virginia City. The Red Dog Saloon was built in the home that once belonged to Henry Comstock. You cant ask for better historic ambience – minus the drugs! My generation has grown up. We need a place to go that reminds us of our youth. The scene of the Sober Cowboy ordering a sarsaparilla is a classic and traditional scene that the City of Belmont can Brand.

hub.pdf (belmonthistoricalsociety.com)

What I see, is the building of Sarsaparilla Pier that would look like the building above – that is on the waterfront! Downtown Belmont is Deadsville, and not the good kind of dead. Rock Scully managed the Grateful Dead – and the Charlatans! I see a house band called ‘The Belmont Charlatans’ a take on the name for sellers of medicine oil and other healing drinks – which might have behind the name of this group that experimented with a wonder drug – when it was legal. The Charlatans played jug-band music and modern western. Selling alcohol is down on my list of things to do.

I see Sarsaparilla Pier as a destination for locals, and their guests who come to town. Heading to San Francisco is a chore these days, and, all the old sourdough flavor is gone. I see Belmont Sourdough Bread, Belmont Ice-cream and Yogurt shop, root beer floats, Belmont Sodas, Sushi bar, Belmont Kefir, and – Rougedog Coffee and Teas. Sure, why not Rougedog Hot Dogs!

Lord Hesketh at Belmont | Rosamond Press

This is where you bring your kids at the end of a hot summer day. Teenagers will come on The Date Shuttle that leaves from downtown. There will be a statue of Jack London. How about a statue of The Charlatans who I suspect got their name from the dealing of William Sharon and his gun toting mistress, Sarah Hill, who produced fake papers claiming she was his wife. If true, this would be Belmont’s band.

William Sharon – Wikipedia

Above is a photograph of the Charlatans in front of the Hippodrome that was a showcase for the Barbary Coast where my grandfather, Victor Hugo Presco, was a professional gambler. I would like to see a schooner that sails to Crockett and back. How about a stage coach ride for newlyweds? My kin, Carl Janke, ran the stagecoach line, The Belmont Accommodations Company. William Janke opporated the Belmont Soda Company, and lived at 320 Haight Street for a time. He helped with the Turnverein Hall his Pioneer father built that is a model for Sarsaparilla Pier, as is the Janke theme park that may be the first such park in California – that may have inspired Disneyland.

My uncle owned Sam’s Anchor Café in Tiberon where scenes from the cult movie ‘The Second Coming of Suzanne’ were filmed. The director was in my art class. The Bigalows were good friends with the Keenes. I see a Keene Art Festival held on Sarsaparilla Pier. How many real artists have been tempted to create a historic work of fakery? Sailboats from Tiberon can dock in Belmont, and sailors do some shopping in the new boutiques.

Hey! How about a costume contest with skit?…..Will the real Keenes – please stand up!

I would like to see a Charlatan Court where folks can present their new ideas.

I just discovered there was a Carl Janke Day – and a street that was named after him! I am going to petition the Belmont City Government to get these markers – restored! What are people thinking? Most cities place historic markers – with pride! I have encountered Social Cleansing by certain citizens who labeled their Founding Pioneer Family – a public nuisance! This resembles a young gun slinger going after a famous sheriff. Consider Gunsmoke, and, Miss Kitty. What exactly was her job description? A thousand Westerns have been made where some folks behave badly, and some don’t. To wipe out the history of a Pioneer – put some bad historians – in power! I wonder if there is any un-claimed Janke land? I feel my High Noon Moment, coming! I will be linking this history with Black Mask author, Norbert Davis, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Bad Day At Belmont | Rosamond Press

One rude Belmont historian raves about the Warlocks playing out on the highway near Belmont. This is a big feather in her cap. On this day, with the pulp fiction song ‘The Shadow Knows’ I come home to Belmont to claim my rightful heritage! There is no threat of violence coming from me. Playing the Big Victim is the game of real charlatans.

How about building the afterdeck of the Lancaster Witch and conducting weddings? There can be the Ralston and Janke rooms at the Palace Hotel.

John Presco

President: Belmont Soda Works

Copyright 2021

Fermor, Bond, and Fleming | Rosamond Press

(32) The Charlatans: The Red Dog Saloon, Virginia City, Nevada: The Shadow Knows – YouTube

Blue plaque – Wikipedia

The Charlatans Do Hippies Guns and LSD: The San Francisco Rock Band Too Wild For the Sixties – Flashbak

George Hunter of the Charlatans never shot Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, not even once. But in the spring of 1966, on the grounds of Rancho Olompali just north of San Francisco, Garcia had reason to believe Hunter was gunning for him, causing the great guitarist to royally freak out. The misunderstanding unfolded when Hunter decided to drop some LSD and bring a loaded .30-30 Winchester rifle to a party at the Dead’s new Marin County hangout. Hunter never intended to strike fear into the heart of his genial host, but when he did, he was so high that he began to panic—perhaps he had accidentally shot someone, if not Garcia, after all. It took a long bummer of a night, and three of Hunter’s closest friends, to shake that demon thought from his troubled mind.

“I said, ‘How would you like to be looking down the barrel of this thing?’”

You’ve probably never heard of the “Incident at Olompali,” as no one has called it since, and your awareness of the Charlatans is likely limited to seeing the band’s name on scores of vintage rock posters, alongside more familiar monikers such as Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Grateful Dead.

That’s too bad, because in their heyday, from 1965 to 1968, the Charlatans were a lot of people’s favorite band, thanks to a danceable mix of distinctively American musical genres—from the blues and rock to Western swing and jazz. Around the time of the Charlatans’ first paying gig, in June of 1965, the Grateful Dead were still playing pizza parlors as the Warlocks, Jefferson Airplane had yet to take off, Big Brother was a year away from handing Janis Joplin a microphone, and Quicksilver was not even a gleam in anyone’s eye. By 1966, the Charlatans had a record deal with the same label that had released the 1965 smash hit Do You Believe In Magic? by the Lovin’ Spoonful.

Copyright 2021

Charlatan – Wikipedia

Big Eyes – Wikipedia

charlatan (also called a swindler or mountebank) is a person practicing quackery or a similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame, or other advantages through pretense or deception. Synonyms for charlatan include shysterquack, or fakerQuack is a reference to quackery or the practice of dubious medicine, including the sale of snake oil, or a person who does not have actual medical training who purports to provide medical services.

Hieronymous Bosch paints a scene of a Renaissance mountebank fleecing credulous gamblers.

Sarsaparilla (soft drink) – Wikipedia

Sarsaparilla was popular in the United States in the 19th century. According to advertisements for patent medicines of the period, it was considered to be a remedy for skin and blood problems.[8] Ruth Tobias notes that it evokes images of “languid belles and parched cowboys“.[9]

Sarsaparilla is sometimes considered to be a type of root beer. There are dozens of brands of sarsaparilla made by microbreweries, mainly in the United States.[10]

In the North of England sarsaparilla is produced by Fitzpatrick’s, Britain’s last temperance bar, reflecting its former importance to the temperance movement there. Maine Soft Drinks, based in Northern Ireland, also produce the drink.

Cowboys drank sarsaparilla soda in the Old West! When you first hear “sarsaparilla,” you might think of soda too. This herb comes from the roots of a a woody vine called Smilax, which belongs to the Lily family. It’s still is used as a popular flavoring of cola and root beer in some countries. If you want to pronounce it out loud, just say “Sass-Parilla” to keep it easy. 

Another cola flavoring – aside from sarsaparilla – was the coca leaf, which gives us cocaine. In 1885, Coca-Cola was initially put into marketplaces with trace amounts of cocaine, about 1/400 of a grain of cocaine per ounce of flavoring syrup. Coke wasn’t totally free of cocaine until 1929. That’s how they got the name … it was named it for its two medicinal ingredients, which were coca leaves and kola nuts.  

In an old-time western, the good cowboy never ordered anything at a saloon but “sarsaparilla.”The bad guys would snicker, because it was like bellying up to the bar and demanding a root beer. In fact, sarsaparilla is one of the traditional flavorings of root beer, along with other roots such as pipsissewa, a euphoniously named variety of wintergreen. (True sarsaparilla is a tropical South American vine. The Old West barkeep probably served a drink made from wild sarsaparilla, a North American member of the ginseng family.)

The Charlatans Do Hippies Guns and LSD: The San Francisco Rock Band Too Wild For the Sixties – Flashbak

Loading Zone (chickenonaunicycle.com)

“Trips Festival” (from _Bear: The Life and Times of Augustus Owsley Stanley III_) (relix.com)

Then 24 years old, Scully had grown up in Carmel, Calif. His stepfather, Milton Mayer, was a well-known Quaker activist who had once hosted his own network radio show. After graduating from Earlham College in Indiana, Scully had attended San Francisco State, where he became involved in a series of massive civil rights demonstrations. During the summer of 1965, Scully had begun managing the Charlatans, a psychedelic band, who were doing an extended residency at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nev.

Scully finally saw the Grateful Dead perform for the first time at the Fillmore Acid Test on January 8, 1966. Although he told Owsley that the Dead were “extraordinarily ugly and would probably never make it commercially,” Scully also confessed that he had “never heard a more amazing band musically.”

The Charlatans and the birth of acid rock (livemint.com)

Red Dog Saloon (reddogpioneertown.com)

Red Dog Saloon – Wikipedia

Red Dog Saloon (Virginia City, Nevada) – Wikipedia

Henry Comstock – Wikipedia

  1. The Charlatans: The Red Dog Saloon, Virginia City, Nevada: The Shadow Knows – YouTube

Red Dog Saloon Declared a Nuisance (oklahoman.com)

Virginia City, Nevada – Wikipedia

A San Francisco stock market existed for the exploitation of Comstock mining. The Bank of California financed building the financial district of San Francisco with money from the Comstock mines. The influence of the Comstock lode rejuvenated what was the ragged little town of 1860 San Francisco. “Nearly all the profits of the Comstock were invested in San Francisco real estate and in the erection of fine buildings.”[14] Thus, Virginia City built San Francisco. The Comstock’s success, measured in values of the time period, totaled “about $400 million.”[15][16] Mining and its attraction of population was the economic factor that caused the separation of Nevada territory from Utah, and later justified and supported Nevada statehood.

Through time, the numerous independent Comstock mines became consolidated under ownership of large monopolies. A group called the Bank Crowd, dominated by William Sharon in Virginia City and William Ralston in San Francisco, financed the mines and mills of the Comstock until they had a virtual monopoly. 

Virginia City could be considered the birthplace of the pen name of Mark Twain, as it was here in February 1863[25] that writer Samuel Clemens, then a reporter on the local Territorial Enterprise newspaper, first used the nom de plume.[26] Clemens lived in Virginia City and wrote for the Enterprise from late fall 1862 until May 1864, when he escaped from a potential duel instigated by a local newspaper editor upset at Clemens’ reporting. Clemens returned to the Comstock region twice on western lecture tours, once in 1866 where he was mugged on the Divide.[27] The muggers relieved Clemens of his watch and his money. The robbery turns out to have been a practical joke played on Clemens by his friends. He did not appreciate the joke, but he did retrieve his belongings—particularly his gold watch (worth $300), which had great sentimental value.[28] Clemens mentions the incident in his book Roughing It (1872), apparently still sore about it. Clemens’ second lecture tour in 1868 occurred at the time of the hanging of John Millian, who was convicted of murdering the well-liked madam Julia Bulette.

William Sharon – Wikipedia

His daughter Clara married Francis G. Newlands, who became a Congressman and Senator from Nevada. He was also the father of Florence Emily Sharon, who married Sir Thomas George Fermor-Hesketh, 7th Baronet. His son Frederick married Louise (née Tevis) Breckinridge, the daughter of banker Lloyd Tevis and divorced wife of John Witherspoon Breckinridge (a son of former Vice President John C. Breckinridge).[2]

Love and The Marbles

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Royal Rosamond Press

Peter played with the Charlatans. He told me stories about Mike Wilhelm who he admired. I was aware I was an archetype and my family history was a model for a cultural movement that made San Francisco famous. I spend a great deal of time protecting my history and roots that spawned a great world-wide cultural movement that immigrants played such a key role in sustaining. The idea of going to a new world, and building a new world in light of a new understanding is what made America Great, again, and again!

John Presco


Formed in mid-1964 by amateur avant-garde musician George Hunter and music major Richard Olsen, the earliest lineup of the Charlatans featured Hunter on autoharp and vocals, and Olsen on bass and vocals, along with Mike Wilhelm (lead guitar, vocals), Mike Ferguson (piano/keyboards, vocals), and Sam Linde (drums). Linde’s drumming was felt to be substandard by the rest of the band and he was soon replaced by Dan Hicks, who also contributed vocals to the group.[7]

The Charlatans were known for clothing themselves in late 19th-century attire, as if they were Victorian dandies or Wild West gunslingers. This unconventional choice of clothing was influential on the emerging hippie counter-culture, with many young San Franciscans dressing in similarly late Victorian and early Edwardian era clothing.[4][7]

In June 1965, the Charlatans began a six-week residency at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada, just across the border from Northern California. During this stint at the Red Dog, band members Ferguson and Hunter designed and produced a rock concert poster in advance of the residency to promote the band’s performances. This poster—known as “The Seed”—is widely regarded by critics as the first psychedelic concert poster.[9][nb 1] By the end of the decade, psychedelic concert-poster artwork by artists such as Wes WilsonRick GriffinStanley MouseAlton Kelley, and Victor Moscoso had become a mainstay of San Francisco’s music scene.

Another reason that the Charlatans’ stay at the Red Dog is regarded by critics and historians as significant is that, immediately before their first performance at the club, the band members took LSD. As a result, the Charlatans are sometimes called the first acid rock band, although their sound is not representative of the feedback-drenched, improvisational music that would later come to define the sub-genre.

The Charlatans returned to San Francisco at the end of summer 1965 and, in September, were given the chance to audition for Autumn Records, a label headed by local DJTom “Big Daddy” Donahue. Autumn didn’t sign the band, partly due to conflicts between the group and Donahue over suitable material and partly due to lack of money; the label was on the verge of bankruptcy and was sold to Warner Bros. Records early the following year.

Bohemian Cowboys

Posted on July 12, 2014by Royal Rosamond Press


Peter Shapiro played a short while with the Charlatans before he formed The Marbles. The Charlatans had a Cowboy look that folks in the Height adopted. They were not Country-Western, but more like a Jug Band. My kindred, Mel Lyman, played in Jim Kweskin’s Jug Band. Jim married Jessie Benton who father painted a mural titled ‘The Sources of Country Music’. In CNN’s piece on The British Invasion, it is said these musicians across the pond reintroduced American Music to America. ‘Act Natually’ is CW. Christine Rosamond would have done well to render Country Art. Rena would have been a star as a cowgirl model.

Jon Presco


Rosamond Press


Peter Shapiro and I lived together in two Victorians in the Bay Area. We lived on 13th. Street near downtown Oakland, and a home in East Oakland where I did a painting of Rena Easton in 1971. When my friend, Bryan Maclean, of ‘Love’ died in 1998, I lamented the loss of the three artists God put in this world to accompany me and my gifts. Bryan and I had been the resident artist at University High is West Los Angeles in 1963 – 1964. Marilyn Reed and I created a Beatnik scene, and I drew her at a tea house we found on Sawtell. This became the New Balladeer where Bryan played with his friend, David Crosby. Bryan was also good friends of a Venice Beat named, Sky, who was murdered by my second girlfriend’s father who belonged to the Purple Gang. Bryan dated my sister,

Rosalie Ritz and Upstairs Art Association

Posted on December 9, 2014 by Royal Rosamond Press


I found Rosalie Ritz before her huge easel in and old Victorian office building on Broadway in downtown Oakland. I had come to get some more brass fittings from the old bait and tackle shop, but, they had moved. I was the only model boat sailor in the East Bay. I had rigged a automatic tacking device on my catamaran that would eventually bring it to the edge of the unused model boat lagoon that was built by the WPA located in Berkley’s Aquatic Park. It was all mine, now.  The WPA had built Jaunita Miller’s Woodminster Theater and Water Wonder. I made my model at the time Altamont was being lauded as the West Coast Woodstock. My friend Peter Shapiro asked me if I was going and I told him it is going to be a disaster. I am a prophet.

I was moving away from the hippie scene, and was finding unique things to do, by myself. Exploring Old Oakland was now my cup of tea. Who was this ‘Mad Woman’? Why is she here? Obviously she is crazy, and thus I liked her instantly. In fifteen minutes, Rosalie has set the hook, and I am being reeled in to the most mad cap Alice in Wonderland scene I have ever been a part of.   It would end with Ms. Ritz locking the board of directors of the Upstairs Art Association in a antique room, pulling the fire alarm, and calling the police.

Rosy was a one woman riot who could not understand why these crazy-ass black artists she surrounded herself with, were not on the front page at least once a week. Rosalie had become famous for her courtroom sketches of extremely radical people, and things began to go wrong when we disappointed her, let her down, exhibited over and over again we did not have the right stuff. This woman was a Publicity Stunt. On Halloween Eve, she convinced the television stations to cover an ancient couple from outer space who were going to take thirty UAA artists home to their planet.

After I told Ritz who my sister was, and my mother worked with the woman that headed California’s National Endowment for the Arts, I was made General Manager and put in charge of a painting crew whose job was to restore these vintage offices with a ornate fireplaces in each one. When we put paint stripper on them, we exposed hand-painted tiles from Europe.

One day I walk in wearing an old surplus Norwegian army cap that I found in the greatest surplus store in the world once found on Market Street in San Francisco. It looked a barrette. It had some letters on it.  I think they were RNA. One look at it, and Ritz goes nuts.

“Where did you get that hat!” Rosalie asks as she yanks it off my head.

“In a surplus store in San Francis…..”

“How much did it cost?” she shouts, as she puts it on.

“A dolla……”

“Are there more!”

“There’s a whole big box…..”

Rosalie runs for her purse and hands me a twenty dollar bill and some money for BART. In two hours we are going to have a big social event at the old train station. Walter Dallas and his troupe of actors is going to put on a skit. No sooner do I walk in the door, then Ms. Ritz has grabbed a handful of these foreign army hats, and I insisting these black actors wear them.

Rosalie did the courtroom sketches for Pattie Hurst’s trial, Angela Davis of the Black Panthers. Just then, the crème de la crème of Oakland Society start coming through the door in their tuxedos. I took at the startled look on their faces. Uh-oh! I could see where this was going. Two of my friends who belonged to the Symbionese Liberation Army had been questioned by the FBI. Then, there is a loud “BANG!” as the balloon this beautiful black thespian was blowing up, got lose, hit the ceiling, and exploded!  Let the DISASTER MOVIE….begin!

Here are some images Rosalie rendered of the Upstairs Art Association.




To be continued!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2014



Rosalie Ritz (August 6, 1923 – April 18, 2008),[1] born Rosalie Jane Mislove in Racine, Wisconsin, was an award-winning journalist and courtroom artist who covered major United States trials in the 1960s through the 1990s. She worked with both CBS and Associated Press, and was presented with the Associated Press Award for Excellence in 1972.

The seventh of ten children, Ritz showed artistic talent at an early age. She attended the Layton School of Art, married World War II navy veteran and athlete, Erwin Ritz in 1946 and is the mother of four children: Barbara Bray, Sandra Ritz, Terry Leach and The Environmentalist Publisher and Managing Editor, Janet Ritz.

Early career[edit]

After her marriage to Erwin Ritz in 1946, Ritz moved from Milwaukee, WI, where she grew up, to Washington DC. There, she worked with a group of artists in Georgetown. During this time, several of Ritz’s selected works (oil paintings) won places in national juried shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, and received an honorable mention at the Flower Gallery.

It was during these years in Washington DC, that Ritz first covered US Senate and US Congressional hearings, including the McCarthy Hearings, where cameras were barred. Ritz worked under contract for the Washington Post, CBS, Public TV, and the Associated Press. Selected drawings appeared in the Washington Post from these hearings.

Courtroom Art[edit]

In 1966, at the height of the Haight Ashbury counter-culture era, Ritz moved with her family to the San Francisco Bay Area. Ritz’s sketches of the street scenes were published in the City Magazine and the San Francisco Examiner. Her work in Washington DC brought her to the attention of the local public television station KQED. From there, she began a career covering trials for the local CBS outlet, (KPIX) and for the Associated Press. This included the Patty Hearst trial, the Sirhan Sirhan trial, the Charles Manson trial, the trials of the Black Panthers, including Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver and David Hilliard, the trials of Angela Davis and Ruchell Magee, and the trials of the Soledad Brothers, the San Quentin Six, Mass Murderer Juan Corona, John Linley Frazier, the Presidio Mutiny Court-Martial at Fort Ord, the Billy Dean Smith Court-Martial, Inez Garcia (second trial), Bill and Emily Harris (Symbionese Liberation Army), Russell Little and Joseph Remiro (Murder of Marcus Foster/Symbionese Liberation Army), Wendy Yoshimura, Camarillo State Hospital Grand Jury Hearings, the Hell’s Angels, Alioto-Look Magazine Libel Trial, Alioto Conflict of Interest Trial, the Bonanno Brothers, Stephanie Kline, Larry Layton, Dan White, San Francisco Proposition Hearings, Sara Jane Moore, and Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo/Pentagon Papers.[2]

While covering these trials, Ritz worked with several journalists, including the late New York Daily News reporter Theo Wilson, Associated Press senior trial reporter and special correspondent, Linda Deutsch, and Associated Press chief United Nations correspondent, Edie Lederer.

Ritz’s courtroom drawings of the Angela Davis trial were featured in the 2012 documentary, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.[3]

Ritz continued to cover trials through the early 1980s. In the 1990s, the Associated Press brought Ritz out of retirement to cover the O.J. Simpson civil trial.

Shows and Exhibitions[edit]

Early in Ritz’s career, selected works (oil paintings) went on display at national juried shows at Corcoran Gallery of Art and at the Smithsonian.

During her years as a Courtroom Artist, Ritz’s sketches appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post and various Associated Press affiliates. Ritz’s sketches were also used on CBS news broadcasts and other media outlets.

In 1993, Ritz donated 1,837 courtroom drawings to the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library. Guide to Rosalie Ritz’s courtroom drawings 1968-1982 – Online Archive of California

In 2005, the UC Berkeley Art Museum held an exposition of Ritz’s sketches.

Later that year, the California Senate followed up with an exposition of Ritz’s selected works.


Rosalie Ritz died in California on April 18, 2008, nine months after the passing of her husband of 61 years, Erwin Ritz. She is survived by four children, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.[4]





Dallas, a graduate of Morehouse College and the Yale School of Drama, was based in New York when he accepted the invitation to come to Philadelphia in 1983 to create the School of Theatre for the University of the Arts. He got involved with Freedom Theatre and John Allen Jr., Freedom’s founding Artistic Director. Under Dallas, Freedom has worked with playwrights and artists including James BaldwinDenzel Washington, August WilsonSonia SanchezGrover Washington, Jr. and Glynn Turman.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillygossip/13031937.html#R58hG8ICXf68BScq.99

Dallas, a graduate of Morehouse College and the Yale School of Drama, was based in New York when he accepted the invitation to come to Philadelphia in 1983 to create the School of Theatre for the University of the Arts. He got involved with Freedom Theatre and John Allen Jr., Freedom’s founding Artistic Director. Under Dallas, Freedom has worked with playwrights and artists including James BaldwinDenzel Washington, August WilsonSonia SanchezGrover Washington, Jr. and Glynn Turman.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillygossip/13031937.html#R58hG8ICXf68BScq.99



, and model sailboats glided in the south basin that had been specially designed for that activity. The basin was soon declared to be one of the best model sailing locations in the country.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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