Category Archives: Autumn 2021

Little Cashi True Blue.

Mr Bobby Blue was a master toy maker and his daughter Little Cashi True Blue was the apple of her Papa’s eye.

Cashi Blue loves to play basketball and she also loves the color blue.

Not just any old shade of blue, but that of the beautiful blue of the sky.

Her basket ball shoes were very cool and everyone loved them, all except Cashi, because she dreamed of owning a pair made from the breathtaking blue of the sky above.

Every day she would ask her Poppa to make her some “sky blue magic shoes” but he could not reach the sky. Cashi was so sad and no other color could please her.

He bought her a pair of Elmo slippers which were very close to the cherished Blue-sky, but they were not suitable for playing basket ball.

He found some cool hightops but they still did not achieve either.


Eventually Mr Blue could no longer bear the pain of his little Cashi’s  great sadness.

Late one night he made the biggest ladder the world has ever seen, and early the next morning he raised it to the sky and began the long accent.

When  he  reached the firmament, he took out a pair of scissors and cut out two pieces the size of two little shoes for his beloved Cashi.

The next morning she awoke to find a package tied with a sky blue ribbon at the foot of her bed and she jumped up to see what was inside.

Downstairs Bobby Blue was startled when he heard her jumping for joy and yelling “I got my blue sky shoes”, over and over again.

She came rushing downstairs wearing the brilliant blue shoes snd she seemed to float rather than walk or run. “I love my sky blue shoes Poppa, thank you forever and ever and ever”

She won every basketball game and no-one on God’s green earth could catch her or even keep up with her. She laughed and laughed and laughed and she played and played and played every day until the sun went down.

Cashi Blue awoke to greet the day, donning her sky blue magic shoes ran downstairs. When she reached the bottom a loud banging on the front door shook the house. Mr Blue came a-runnin to see what the noise was.

A squad of Grumbly men were outside wanting to get inside, “We are from the Squash Squad, and we are here to investigate the disappearance of two pieces of the sky, just enough to make a pair of shoes for little girl about the age of your daughter here” They all looked at Cashi’s sky blue magic shoes.

Bobby folded like an  paper origami  sculpture and confessed on the spot.

The shoes were confiscated and Bobby was severely reprimanded then the Grumbly men left.

Cashi Blue fell in to deep sadness again, she went up to her room and cried and cried until the Rain Drop Cops called and said “STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW.

The next morning there was an even louder knock on the front door and Mr Blue was ready to confess all over again,

It was not the Squash Squad this time, it was The Yoopish Delivery Truck and they left a package for Cashi Blue. Bobby Blue ran upstairs to show Cashi.

The shoes had been sent by a famous basketball player and her name was Lorna Lightening. Lorna had heard all about the story of the sky blue magic basketball shoes, So, she had a very special pair made from material that looked exactly like the sky, explain that?

Cashi was over the moon and she ran out in the world to play and play and play and play some more in her sky blue magic floating shoooeez.

The End.

Written by: Crazy Grandpa Al



Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment

My Union Bank Coronado California.

When I say “my Union Bank, I mean that I feel like I am at home with family.

The staff lead by Vice President and branch manager Rudy Maldonado includes Assistant Vice President and  Senior relationship Banker ll Ali Yeke, Michael Brown Assistant Branch Manager/AVP, Elizabeth Dana Gaither, Senior Relationship Banker, Amanda Ruth Donaldson, Branch Service and Sales Officer and Janet Ramirez Mora, Branch Service Specialist.

This team is exceptional in the attendance to the customer, and along with a twenty second century state of the art electronic banking system, makes banking a dream rather than a old fashioned analog system such as the one I spent years in frustration and stress.

I will not mention the name of the crusty old out of touch bank, but is has a B and an A in it.

Today that bank is attended by a skeleton staff, (real skeletons) at least it seems so.

If something goes wrong at the Ready Teller you cannot simply go into the bank and have the issue resolved, because an outside, off site, entity governs it’s function, and they have to be called out for service of any kind.

“We have no control over that machine” a disembodied voice resounded  and echoed from across the spacious wasteland of the bank lobby.

It was a sleepy voice emanating from an half open door to the managers office.

It creeped me out and I will never ever go inside again.

On the other hand the Jetsons, futuristic-like equipment at Union Bank, allows me to make a transaction in less than one minute. Now that is cool.

For an old dog like myself, every second is most precious to me, and I will not waste one billionth of one nano second on the throw-back and moribund systems of yesteryear.

When I walk out of my bank and then have to go into another one to make a

transaction, it feels like time travel, and later on I suffer greatly with Bank-Lag.



Editor: Coronado Clarion







Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment





I love everything about the Uber platform. It is the absolute essence of the Great American en·tre·pre·neur·i·al spirit.

Every King in his own castle, no bosses, no deadlines, no interference, save for the guiding hand of the miraculous function of the Uber platform.

Like the Captain of a ship, the driver is as as free as a wholly owned and utterly autonomous entity.

Like our magnificent early American pioneers, an Uber driver charts his own course when, where and how they choose to do so.

To my utter surprise and great sadness, I must report that my idyllic vision of Uber was marred by a disquieting and deeply troubling incident.

It began in the early hours of the morning when  I discovered that my driver was parked in the back of my house instead of the front. He insisted that the GPS had directed him there. The delay lead to me almost missing my train to Los Angeles.

We arrived at the station with only 2 minutes before the train was to depart and as I attempted to make a mad dash, I told the driver I would give him a maximum tip and place five stars on his account.

As I began to run, the driver rolled his window down and screamed at me, “Hey you! why did you slam my door”. I apologized saying It was an accident but he jumped out of the car and in the blink of an eye was in my face. He offered a pugilistic stance and was ready to throw down right there and then.

In a much younger day, I would have engaged in my defense and he would have been met with an instant dose of retribution to his affront. However, I am knocking on the eighty year old door of life, So, reason prevailed and I simply walked away shaking my head in disbelief.

The belligerent fellow persisted yelling and wildly gesticulating then ending with ” I will kick your Effing ass”.

I fully expected him to escalate, So, I kept walking briskly away his voice still echoing through terminal hallway.

I contact Uber immediately and was met with a swift apology and an instant refund to my account.

During this devastating civid pandemic environment our population is tense, angry and confused, but this does not mitigate this driver’s over-the-top behavior.

Wether or not I drop the Uber service will depend on the follow up to my complaint by Uber management.

I will make an update to this article in the near future.

Al Graham.

Editor: Coronado Clarion


Update: Dec. 20th 2021.

I received a phone call from a very friendly and highly competent Uber representative. We talked in depth about my bad Uber experience and I was quite pleased that my complaint was thoroughly vetted and the I received a follow up message ending with…

While we have already taken the appropriate actions, we are limited in sharing the investigation outcome of another account due to our Privacy Notice.
As I understand your concerns as it pertains to your comfortability in using the app going forward and not having details of the driver’s account status, I can confirm that we have blocked potential pairings between you and the driver.
Please know that we have also notated the feedback you provided.
If you have further questions or concerns regarding this matter, please let us know.
Sent by Nila B. on Monday, December 20, 2021 at 6:08:57 PM




Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment


Once again I took the Amtrak train to Los Angeles from San Diego. This trip was a “BAD TRIP”.
It started to go wrong when I met the conductor Kat Williams, one of the most repulsive persons I have ever encountered.
I showed her the article I had written about my wonderful experience on another train two weeks before.
When I tried to talk about how nice another conductor was, she interrupted me saying “She does not follow the rules like me when it comes to wearing masks.
I told her that the other conductor fully explained the Amtrak rules but she abruptly cut me off.
“Your mask should cover your nose too.”
 I tried to tell her I was eating and I forgot to pull it back up.  She sneered and moved on.
A few minutes later she returned and literally bellowed, “Take a bite, pull it up and chew behind the mask.” 
She was now standing uncomfortably close.  Her stomach was so big that she could not button up her shirt and worse, she had body odor that could stop a stopped clock, combined with breathe so foul, I had to suspend breathing until she left.
Later on, I went to the club car to get a beer, I was greeted by “Mark” who was sitting/relaxing with his jacket opened and was without a mask. 
He was hurriedly gulping down some food, and when he saw me enter, he struggled to get his 300 pound carcass upright then rushed back to his station to don his mask.
I offered him a copy of the article I had written, but he snatched it from my hand and threw it down. “Ill read it later.”  He barked, belched and, gagged all in a single breath.
I tried to tell him about my bad experience with Kat, the conductor, and he went off on a rant about how if I punched him in the face today, I would still be able to ride the train tomorrow, but if he reported me for not wearing a mask, I could be banned for life from riding all Amtrak trains.
He then proceeded to trash Amtrak services finishing with his train is the only one that makes money and that the service I experienced was just good luck because the rest of the trains all lost money every day and there were all kinds of delays, an altogether bleak view of Amtrak services in general.
I insisted that my experience was all good and blew his stack.  Ripping open the door he yelled, “You do not want to listen to what  I am saying So, get out of here and with a mocking “Good Byeee” he hurried me out. I asked if I could have a cup for my beer.  He snatched on up and literally tossed it at me.
The next time I ride my MAGIC CARPET to the City of Angels, I will check to see who the attending crew will be, and if it is either one of those wretched Amtrak representatives, I will refuse to entrain and catch the next one.
These two angry bitter and negative employees, would be better suited serving as prison guards or bounty hunters but certainly not in a position of representatives of any company worth their salt.

UPDATE  December 23rd 2021.

I received this email concerning the awful incident aboard the Amtrak train to Los Angeles to San Diego.

While it is an acknowledgement of the incident, it does not go far enough, because I am bound to run into the same vulgar and disrespectful duo and that will be awkward to say the least.

I will not entrain with those two individuals which means I will be delayed and will have to wait for the next train,

So, this incident is not yet resolved and until then, I will continue to write about my experience until I can be assured that the disregard and outright abuse will abate for me, and every other Amtrak customer. 

Dear Mr Graham,

Thank you for your recent email contact.

Amtrak welcomes feedback from customers, as it helps us to focus our efforts to improve service.  We hope that you will accept our sincere apologies for the behavior of our employees on train 580. 

At Amtrak, we recognize that customer service is critical to the Corporation’s success as a transportation carrier.  We expect every Amtrak employee to treat our customers with courtesy and respect and to perform their duties in a professional manner.  We are sorry that your experience was different.

We have entered your concerns into our customer database.  You can rest assured that information has been shared with the responsible managers for review and any necessary corrective action.

Once again, thank you for contacting us and being a loyal Amtrak customer.  We strive at Amtrak to deliver a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience for all our customers. Our guiding principles are to provide a safer, greener, healthier and better-connected passenger rail system.

We look forward to serving you in the future aboard Amtrak.

Toni S.Amtrak Center of Excellence

Case ID: 05902784

Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment

ROZANNE “ROZI” LOZANO -Elite Wardrobe Stylist, Men’s Clothing

Rozanne “Rozi” Lozano is an Elite Wardrobe Stylist in Men’s Clothing.

She has worked for Nordstrom for  thirty years.

I went there to buy a suit, some shirts, socks, underwear, and a few other items.

Lucky for me that I had the good fortune to find myself in the capable hands of such a professional.

Rozi knows how to assuage the fears and trepidations of a cantankerous, set in his ways, old man like me.

It has been twenty years since I bought a new suit and was so far behind the times that I believed I knew more about what was best for me than she did. I am knocking on the door of  the big 80 and not only has fashion fatigue, that is to say I knew nothing about today’s styles, but I believed I did.

It takes a total professional like Rozi to make a sale to someone as difficult to please as myself, this woman did that and more.

After much struggling to fit me with the right color and style, she found the perfect suit and shirts that I would never have found or picked out on my own. When I stepped out of the fitting room, I was met by a tailor who promptly measured me and would have the alterations finished in a few hours.

I bought two shirts which Rozi also had me try on before leaving and when I returned they had been pressed and looked like that had been freshly laundered.

Like a trip back in time when service was everything, a dying art in today’s hustle and bustle.

During these trying times of shortages and short tempers, Rozi never wavered, she just took the time to wisely gauge a customers needs and this comes from years of experience.

Thank you Rozi, and the entire staff at Nordstrom in Fashion Valley San Diego.

A. R. Graham

Editor: Coronado Clarion.




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The Coronado Artiste

By Kimberley Graham
Meet Peter Hall, the “Coronado Artiste”.  He is a local artist whose passion is painting watercolors.  Many Coronadans as well as the flocks of tourists who don our shores are familiar with this talented man as he has been a staple to the community for decades.  Besides being a noted watercolorist, Peter Hall, spent many years as a caricaturist at our Ferry Landing, painting whimsical, lifelike portraits of passers-by, community members, their beloved pets, and their children.  In fact, in Mr. Hall’s words, “People come back after years. Sometimes they come back with their kids, whose caricatures I did when they were two or three, and now they are teenagers.  They come back to say hello.”

The Coronado Artiste is a proud man and has been dedicated to his craft all of his life.  He has taught the art of painting, lived in Paris where he painted and studied the great impressionists and watercolorists, also spent much time living on the East Coast where he captured beautiful, realistic interpretations of wildlife, homes, and nature scenes.  The paintings are so realistic, they look as if they are photographs.  To see his life’s collection of works is truly an honor and fills the witness with true credibility for his intense pride.

Peter has struggled with serious health issues over the years, yet he still steadies forward forever persevering for his passion.  We should all be so lucky to enjoy this type of zeal and enthusiasm in life.  Recently, after undergoing surgery, he painted a gorgeous portrait of our beloved Frankie dog.  My “healing dog”, Frankie, went missing a couple of months ago.  We searched high and low for him with a huge poster campaign for a month only to find out that he had been struck by a car and killed a couple of blocks from our home the same day he went missing.  Frankie nursed me through my ordeal with breast cancer never leaving my side while I went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments as well as two surgeries.  Our family promised to never forget him and Peter Hall made that promise a reality in his stunning interpretation.  His attention to detail is pure in his portrayals of people’s pets.  Every hair, whisker, and hue is represented.  We will always be grateful to his generosity of spirit with his gift of our Frankie’s portrait.

Peter Hall’s future plans include paying close attention to his serious work which is watercolors.  He submits his work in local exhibitions and is a noted artist for the San Diego Watercolor Society at Liberty Station, where he tries to exhibit every month.  He does many commissions with a focus on people’s pets.  He likes to refer to this side of his business as “Dogs’ Rule” and much of his watercolor work is focused on flowers as well as nature scenes.  The artist’s paintings of the Hotel Del Coronado are vividly brilliant.

The commissioned work has included watercolors of the Hotel Del Coronado, the ferry boats, the view of downtown San Diego from Coronado, flowers, and nature.  Of course, the pets and caricatures are truly part of his forte.Among the notable artists who have been influential in Mr. Hall’s developed talents include the American watercolorists:  Winslow Homer, Don Kingman, Andrew Wyeth with William Preston being a tremendous influence on his work.

Mr. Hall still does the caricatures by mail.  You can send photographs of yourself and family or pets to:

Peter Hall 1226 9th Street, Apt. 6, Coronado, CA  92118 (619) 762-0590

The best time to reach Mr. Hall is in the evenings as he enjoys spending his days out and about in our lovely kingdom by the sea.  His friendliness is contagious.  Peter likes to sit down at the Ferry Landing where he meets and greets not only our citizens but the array of travelers who marvel at the beauty of our town.

The Coronado Artiste is an institution.  He is truly a part of our community and a self-proclaimed “mayor”.  Beyond doubt, we are lucky to have Peter Hall in our midst.

E.Mail Contact,

Posted in Autumn 2021, Premier Issue | 13 Comments

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Jim Morrison Movie


Jim Morrison: Back to the Sixties, Darkly :

Ultimate bad boy’s life story THE DOORS comes to the big screen

Danny Sugerman thought that then-hot disco king John Travolta might make a good Morrison. So he introduced him to the Doors–and he and Manzarek squirreled Travolta around town, taking him to places where the group had hung out. But the other Doors balked. (“John was a nice guy and all that. But he was too nice. He didn’t have Jim’s dangerous edge,” Krieger recalled.) When it became clear that all the rights couldn’t be acquired for Travolta to officially play Morrison, there were talks about Brian De Palma directing Travolta in a fictionalized project, like the thinly disguised Janis Joplin saga, “The Rose.”

Other film makers approached Harari and the Doors–and vice versa. Among them: Jonathan Taplin, Jerry Weintraub, Aaron Russo, Irving Azoff, Michael Mann, Francis Coppola and Martin Scorsese.

As all this was happening, a feature-length Doors documentary was in the works. (It was later abandoned because of efforts to make the feature.)

Morrison’s sister and her husband also announced their intention to make a Morrison movie. But first, stated Anne Morrison Graham and her then-husband, Alan Graham (no relation to Bill Graham), they would stage a rock opera in which seven actors would play various aspects of the Morrison persona. And they planned to make a 90-minute TV documentary.

The rock opera actually happened–at Gazzarri’s on the Sunset Strip, where the Doors had played 16 years earlier. Krieger still laughs about the night that two of the Morrison look-alikes showed up at a club where he was playing and got in a fight with each other.

Though the Grahams have since divorced, Alan Graham remains impassioned about one day making a film about his former brother-in-law. He has a company called Lizard King Productions–so named because of Morrison’s moniker as the Lizard King (from a Doors song). From time to time, Graham sends out announcements of pending projects. Currently in the works: the provocatively titled rock opera, “Who Killed Jim Morrison?”

Harari eventually dropped the option on “No One Here Gets Out Alive,” but he didn’t drop his interest. In 1985, he succeeded in acquiring the rights of the three Doors.

Then Tony Krantz and Tony Ludwig, of Creative Artists Agency, got the idea to bring rock promoter Bill Graham into the project–to deal with the Coursons and the Morrisons.

During the ’60s, the Doors often played Graham’s clubs in San Francisco and New York City. He still remembers their first show at Fillmore West in 1967, in which they were billed with the Jim Kweskin Jugband.

(The Doors were to have other memorable nights at Graham’s clubs–including the time Morrison showed up drunk at Winterland, took to the stage and started throwing the microphone around. At one point, it flew across the room, hit Graham and knocked him down.)

Graham eventually succeeded as a rock ‘n’ roll Henry Kissinger with the estate. “They were not against a movie coming out,” Graham explained. “They’re against the exploitation or the exaggeration of what really went down. After all, those children were reared by those people. The parents want to retain some dignity.

“It’s obvious that this wasn’t exactly Jack Armstrong who was coming through life in that turbulent time. We can’t whitewash Morrison, or Pam. But we want to respect them.”

As it turned out, there was an attempt at a whitewash when the Coursons tried, unsuccessfully, to invoke a clause that would have forbidden any depiction of their daughter using drugs. One stipulation they did get: Pamela Courson-Morrison cannot be depicted as having anything to do with Morrison’s death.

Then there is the contract stipulation involving the Morrisons: With the exception of a pivotal scene involving Jim’s childhood encounter with Indian shamanism, the parents cannot be depicted.

The Coursons and Morrisons also wanted–and got–assurances that the movie would not be an adaptation of “No One Here Gets Out Alive.”

Ironic footnote: eventually, the film makers bought the book’s research materials from co-author Jerry Hopkins. And Sugerman recently came aboard the film, as a consultant.

When all the rights were at last acquired in 1985, Harari put in a call to Oliver Stone’s agent. Would Stone be interested in scripting? On the very day Stone was scheduled to meet with Harari, Stone got the go-ahead to make “Platoon.” The next day he left for the Philippines.

From 1985 until the summer of 1987, the Doors project was at Columbia, under then-chairman Guy McElwaine. But when David Puttnam came to the studio, the project was dropped.

Within 24 hours, Harari got calls from United Artists and Warner Bros. He also got a call from Tony Ludwig, who had left CAA to become the president of Imagine Entertainment.

Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment


In 1968 Admiral Morrison was Commander In Chief of Carrier Division Nine fighting the war in Vietnam. Clara Morrison was visiting the far east at the time and sent back gifts to us including a couple of Happi Coats, I gave one (pictured above) to Lee and we both wore them until they fell apart.

If you lived in San Diego back in 1968, and you listened to the radio, you must remember Lee “Baby” Simms, one of the top DJs of the time.

“This is K. Ceeee B. Q. Theeee number one radio station in San Diego, California.”  Lee jumped out of the radio and into your car with you. He was too cool for San Diego and he was almost part of the hit songs he spun.

Once I called in to request a song, and after a little bantering back and forth, we became good friends. I had asked him to play a Beatles tune, and at that time, I was fresh from Liverpool with a thick accent to match. During the course of the conversation, he said, “You sound like Paul McCartney.” I explained the acute differences or nuances in the degrees of Liverpooleese. John, Paul, and George all had the same accent, which was middle class rather than the distinct working-class brogue of Ringo. If you watch the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” it is a tutorial on the genuinely hilarious expressions used by the lads and the rest of the cast, who in fact to a person all spoke with their real accents rather than an actor trying to sound like one.

For those who remember all of this, you will also remember that it was all on AM radio. FM  was still a thing of the future, and the recordings were decidedly limited when it came to listening quality.

One day Lee called me up and asked me to call in during the show and impersonate Paul McCartney. The next night, Lee made a big deal about how cool the new Beatles’ album was and that he was going to do a weekend-long Beatles marathon of all their songs. 

Together we pulled it off, he asking questions all about Liverpool, the Cavern club, and of course, the Beatles’ early days, which I not only knew, but as a lad of twelve, I saw the boys preform with a skiffle group called The Quarrymen before they even formed the Beatles.

For weeks and months after the show, people in Coronado were still talking about the time Paul McCartney called into KCBQ radio and spoke with Lee Baby Simms for an hour even waiting between commercials. I remained blissfully silent, and even though I wanted to tell everyone, it was more mysterious and exciting to keep the secret.

Ironically, when I did try to tell people that it was I and not Paul McCartney, they just would not believe me.

It saddens me deeply to report that Lee was diagnosed with stomach cancer and became so despondent that he took his own life.

“Goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”

From: Hamlet. William Shakespeare. April 1564 ?April 23, 1616.

Radio stations across the nation issued this sad bulletin.

It has been widely reported that radio legend Lee Baby Simms took his own life at his home in Walnut Creek, California on January 28, 2015. He had reportedly been diagnosed with cancer. Simms was 71.

One of the most colorful air personalities during the heyday of American rock and roll radio, Simms worked at 35 stations in 22 cities and found himself on the wrong side of a pink slip at least two dozen times. 



Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment


All aboard!

Train driver Mike Yacovetti eases his train gently out of Union station San Diego for a trip to Los Angeles Ca.

The conductor C J Hardman and his crew, Oscar Olivas, Scott Wasilevich, Luis Rodrigues, and Paul Wilson, are all about to take me on a magic Carpet Ride made of steel, or at least it feels like that.

Instead of sitting in gridlocked traffic on the freeway and sit in luxury as if I am a VIP attended by an utterly professional and friendly staff who make my journey exquisitely pleasant.

No! this is not a glorious dream that I will soon awaken from, it is real and I am wide awake.

I sit watching the sunrise over the pacific ocean and as I look right, I see miles of cars stalled on the freeway and the faces inside are stressed and even angry as they stew inside their vehicles.

They have to wait to go to the restroom because just to exit takes more than 10 minuets and getting back on takes even longer. Bu contrast I am lovingly attended by people who love their jobs and take great pride in their work.

For the few bucks extra it is worth traveling business class and you might also say “First Class’  because it feels like you are with your family and friends on a trip together to some exotic destination.

When I say “Magic Carpet made of steel” I do so because save for a few bends or curves, the ride is so smooth and silent it feels like I am gliding along on velvet wheels.

I travel every week on the same train and not once or twice, but very single time the service is glorious and I truly am a VIP.

Take my advice and do not drive but take the Magic Carpet Ride Of Steel instead.


Al Graham

Editor: Coronado Clarion.

Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Causes | Leave a comment

Autumn 2021 (Front Cover)

Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment


I went to Los Angeles for a family reunion and to play a couple of gigs with my band The Ghost Cowboys.

My black Stetson hat got beat up in my suitcase and it needed some tender loving care so I want to the nearest Hatter called Baron Hats in downtown LA.

Mark Mejia the owner asked me when I needed it bye and I said, “I have a gig in a few hours”.

Like any cleaning service it takes a couple of days and if you want a rush job it would still be a day.

Mark took the hat back to the workshop and returned in about ten minutes with what looked like a brand new one. He had steamed brushed and shaped it so beautifully, I a was so happy but even happier when he said “No Charge”.

Anyone else would have charged ay least seventy five dollars but Mark did not and he sent me off to do my gig feeling pretty good.

What a kind gentleman he is, and a practitioner of the real old school businessman ethics, it not just all about the money, it’s about treating people like human beings.

If you are in Los Angeles please go by and view all the classic custom made hats.

ALAN GRAHAM  Editor Coronado Clarion.

 546 S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Between 5th and 6th On the third floor.

Phone: (818) 563-3025

Kraig Saito
Local Guide
Visited their new location in Downtown LA and I love their set up! There’s a waiting room in front of the elevator entrance and a walk-around display area for their hats. They’re still moving their inventory from the other location, so there will be more to see in a couple of weeks! The service is excellent and the staff are very knowledgeable. I brought my western hat to get the brim reblocked after a TSA employee (In HOUSTON!) forced my hat (brim-side-down) into a small space of the security bin and bent my brim out of shape. Can’t wait to get my hat restored by Baron Hats. Thank you for your hospitality and service!
Alfonzo moreno
A month ago
Great hat shop. Took my vintage stetson cowboy hat to replace the sweatband and Mark did just that. I was in and out the same day.



Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment


Excerpted from:
I Remember Jim Morrison.
By: Alan Graham.
Countless stories, many of them outrageous, have grown up over the years regarding the reason or reasons why Jim claimed, in his official Elektra publicity biography, that his parents and siblings were dead, therefore he had no past. The real reason, conveniently overlooked for years – perhaps for lack of sex appeal – is that Jim, always willful, was running away from very strict Navy parents who expected great things from him, and to whom greatness meant becoming part of the system they believed in, which was one he had learned to loathe.
It didn’t bother Jim’s siblings, him claiming the family was dead, since they came from the same strict military home and shared an understanding about keeping the wild side dark. They didn’t take it as an insult. In fact, Andy tried to run away from home in London to be with Jim in California, but his parents, with the help of their naval chauffeur, Sid, apprehended him at Heathrow Airport, and brought him home. And when asked about Jim’s statement years later, the Admiral said, “he probably did it to protect the family.”
Unlike the many baseless myths drummed up about him, Jim never treated his family poorly. He just wanted to pretend they no longer existed in his new world. This action ultimately made it easier for him to pursue a lifestyle opposite to their proscriptions – one that was free flowing and creative with no antiquated rules and ideals under which he had to live.
In 1964, when Jim moved to the West Coast to attend UCLA Film School, he hung his potential naval career on the first palm tree he passed on his way into Hollywood. Morrison had always been a literary scholar, ardently passionate about poetry, and drawn to the philosophy of Nietzsche in particular. In film, the budding young student found a new avenue through which to express himself.
After a childhood of strict, repressive parenting, umbilicus soon to be severed, he began to feel the cleansing, first breaths of freedom. There came a great sense of release as the poet began to discover his wings as a filmmaker, “the feeling,” as he put it himself, of a bowstring being pulled back for 22 years and suddenly being let go.”
The 1960’s was an exciting decade for the offspring of the Greatest Generation. This new generation embraced change and openness in direct opposition to their parents’ pragmatism and caution. Jim was to become one of its leaders, pushing for changes, testing the boundaries. From the grave, he has continued to lead, in one form or another, over the past forty years. From the music to his lyrics to his poetry, his greatest love, and fortunately, a strong part of his legacy, if not the greater part.
The Admiral and the Rock Idol
At U.C.L.A. Film School, Jim Morrison found himself. Film was a medium of endless dimension. He decided he wanted to become a director.
Professor Ed Brokaw loved Morrison. In an interview after the singer’s death, he would describe Jim as a genius. Francis Ford Coppola, Carol Ballard, and many more now-famous directors had also attended his classes, but Morrison had much better stuff. He graduated in 1965 with a degree in cinema and fine arts, writing the Admiral a “this is what I’m going to do with my life, Dad,” letter.
Needless to say, he Admiral did a backwards somersault. What, no Naval Academy? No discipline? No Admiral Junior? Jumping Jesus! No son of mine is going to get involved in the Commie, anti-war movie industry! John Wayne movies are fine, but this creative crap is out! How could you study in a field that can’t possibly make you a living? No, film making is not for you! Cut your hair and get a real job. If you don’t, you’ll get no support from me!
Jim lived on the beach in Venice for the next year, scrounging food from a dumpster in the back of a grocery store and sleeping like a rat under an old tarp on somebody’s rooftop. The Admiral searched in vain. He wanted to find his son for one reason only and that was to make him honor his obligation to the draft board.
As ever, Fate would have its mysterious way. Instead of becoming le nouveau realisateur de film extraordinaire du jour (the extraordinary new filmmaker of the day), Morrison became le nouvel idole extraordinaire de roche du jour (the extraordinary new rock idol of the day).
Neither was a fate his father would have chosen for him. Nor did his father have a say. The die was cast.
In 1967, “Light My Fire” was number one in the nation. Morrison finally surfaced, his face peering mysteriously from the front of an album cover. Mrs. Admiral bought two dozen copies, hiding them from her husband (which explains her foreknowledge of her son’s appearance on the Sullivan show). Her first born was famous.
Time Magazine ran an article on The Doors. It was a flattering critique of Jim’s lyrics and singing style. The Admiral’s secretary slipped a copy on his desk with the morning coffee. The naval officer was not amused. It took him three decades to get where he was. Jim had achieved much more in a very short time. Jim’s salary dwarfed his father’s, enraging the materialistic Admiral. “But those aren’t real dollars he’s making,” he reassured himself. “No one could make that much money in one night. It took me 30 years to make a fraction of that and I really had to work hard to do so.” Many sons have died tragically trying to earn their fathers’ approval. The work ethic has its own separate and devastating reality.
The ghost of John Paul Jones entered the Admiral’s Pentagon office. “You realize, of course, that this is the end of your career. Your revolutionary son has made it impossible for you to go any further in this man’s navy. What happened? How did he get so out of hand?”
The Admiral looked directly into the eyes of the first sea lord. “I don’t believe in ghosts,” he said.
Morrison’s lyrics jumped out of the Time Magazine and stuck to the walls.
“Do you know we are being led to slaughter by flaccid admirals and fat, slow generals are feeding on our blood?”
The Admiral rose from his desk and wiped them off the wall with a dirty rag.
“…Moment of freedom as the prisoner blinks in the sun like a mole from his hole A child’s first trip away from home…”
“…We of the purple glove / We of the starling flight & velvet hour / We of Arabic pleasure’s breed / We of sundome & the night / Give us a creed / To believe…” – Jim Morrison  – 1969.

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Jim Morrison’s Scottish Ancestors

Doors legend Jim Morrison’s Scottish heritage uncovered as former brother-in-law  reveals rock star’s striking resemblance to great-great-grandad

The American Poet’s family tree can be traced back to the Outer Hebrides in the 18th century.

Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Rock, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment

Kings Fall Down, Too

By Alan Graham

He wanted to learn to surf in the Pacific Ocean at Coronado Beach.  He, unlike ordinary people, cannot simply grab a board and walk into the pounding surf because he must be escorted wherever he goes.  He is an expert pilot and an excellent horseman.  He is a man, who is both fit and trim, and loves to engage in many different sports.  That day, he had chosen to try his hand at surfing which requires that he be extremely fit so as to endure the pounding waves that were very substantial.

His escorts called the only local Coronado surf shop.  It was run by longtime resident, Bob Duryea, who was an excellent surfer himself.  They wanted to rent several surfboards for the day and requested that they be sent to NAS North Island along with an instructor.

I was in the store visiting when the call came in.  When Bob hung up the phone, he said, “That was the security detail for the Prince of Wales and he wants to learn to surf.”

Commander Bob McNeary was in charge of the Prince’s security.  The personal bodyguard was a bulky Royal marine from the Prince’s own regiment and was highly proficient in the martial arts. When Commander McNeary escorted the Prince and his bodyguard through a hole in the fence, which separated the base and the public beach, he was met by Bob, myself, and several other friends.  Bob even brought along one of his daughters, Debbie.

We were all excited to meet the royal figure and to watch him take on the powerful California surf. Bob had selected six surf boards for the royal surfer.  As they all donned their wetsuits, the Prince picked up one, and began walking toward the surf. Not so fast your highness!  The Prince and his bodyguard would need some expert instruction before he entered the big breakers and had his ego bruised.  For surely, the six-foot surf would smash them before they could even get outside the thundering waves that were slamming down hard onto the sand.

Duryea went ahead showing them how to roll under a breaking wave and then continued paddling out past the break line.  The Limey visitors followed suit and were soon bobbing on their boards as they waited for the first wave to break. The Prince jumped the gun and tried to grab the first wave, but Bob stopped him, and then showed him how the wave dissipated too soon.

It was on soon after that, when a bruiser rose behind them.  Bob yelled, “This is the one!”  All three pulled their boards into position and were soon streaking off under a huge wave.  Bob was pure art as he rode the wave all the way to the shore.  The royals did not make it halfway, as both of them fell off, and were duly bashed down under the foam. They tried again and again, but to no avail, and were soon very, very, tired.  With all the resilience of a tennis ball, they sallied forth only to have their efforts rejected by Mother Nature.

After an hour, they returned to the shore beaten and tired.  As they tried to take off their wetsuits, they found it almost impossible to lift up their arms to unzip the tight-fitting rubber.  The big bodyguard was rendered practically useless if he was needed to protect the Prince.

After a rather embarrassing struggle which only abated when the Prince helped the royal guard get unzipped.  They were both completely out of breath.  When we asked if we could take a photograph with them, they sort of groaned but posed graciously.

We had a cool series of shots of the future King of England as he surfed the golden sands of Coronado, California — one of the most beautiful places on earth. When the Prince was about to leave he posed with us all for snapshots, we recorded a piece of our and British history, a memory which still remains exquisitely indelible in the Hippocampus

We stood watching as the spent duo, now red-faced and duly fatigued, dressed and readied.  Out of thin air and with great swiftness, a heavily armed squad of security personnel burst onto the scene.  They were lead by a very serious looking man who was not military and certainly not an American.  He spoke in a hushed tone with a British accent, “Your Majesty, might I have a word.”  The Prince leaned forward to listen, and in the blink of an eye, was whisked away through the hole in the fence from where he came.

Princess Royal

We stood there looking at each other for a moment.  We were stunned.  It was as if he had been taken away by aliens.  We were in shock.  It was not until the next morning before we understood what had occurred to cause such a royal panic.

Minutes before the incident, and six thousand miles away in London, a mental patient had decided to fire six shots from a gun into the royal limousine carrying the sister of the Prince, Princess Anne.

The failed kidnapping attempt was made on March 20, 1974.  To this day, it remains the closest any individual has come to kidnapping a member of the royal family.  The incident occurred as Princess Anne and Mark Philips were returning to Buckingham Palace from an engagement.  Their chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce was blocked in the road on Pall Mall by another car.  A man, Ian Ball, jumped from the car and fired the six shots, wounding several people on the street.  Anne’s private detective jumped across to shield the princess, and then returned fire, injuring the kidnapper, who at this point had tried to gain entry to the car.  A nearby police officer gave chase and arrested Ian Ball.  He would later be imprisoned in a mental hospital.  In his pocket was a ransom note to the Queen for £3 million.  The incident prompted higher security levels for the royal family.

The intruder was subdued and order was restored, but not before Buckingham Palace issued an alert to all security forces around the world for every single member of the Windsor family to be immediately secured and sequestered until further notice.

When the local paper, which was then called the Coronado Journal, covered the story, they published a photo of the Prince at the beach posing with us locals.


Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Rock | 1 Comment