Fran’s Folly

By Fran Harpst

There are many cute and curious tales in Coronado’s history and it is with much delight and fond remembrances that we embark on the journey into the past. Come along with me on this wonderful and nostalgic sojourn down along “Memory Lane”. — Al Graham, Editor

“Pile of junk hardly a bargain – A declaration of ‘unconditional surrender’ has been signed by a defeated taxpayer – and now the City of Coronado owns a boat.  Not much of a boat, but a boat.

Informed that his boat had broken loose from its mooring in Glorietta Bay and was impounded by the city, the owner threw up his hands and cried ‘uncle’.

He sent to the city the boat’s certificate of number and certificate of ownership – all signed – with a letter hinting that he was being crushed and ‘swindled’ by the preponderance machinery of government.

He concluded, ‘…I hope not to hear another damned single word about that pile of junk…the City of Coronado should bill Mr. Kelly (former owner) for the impoundment and all other fees due, rather than wish that pile of junk upon some other unfortunate,  for it is hardly a bargain at any price!’

So now Coronado has a boat and officials don’t know exactly what to do about it.  In fact, they’re having trouble matching the registered numbers with those on the boat impounded.

The boat, a homemade iron-sided tub of about 30 feet – a ‘stinkpotter’ as yachtsmen call power boats was anchored for years at a city mooring in Glorietta Bay.

This spring it broke loose and went ashore on the rocks but tides carried it in and out and it drifted aimlessly about the area for several weeks, a general menace to other boats.

Attempts were made by the police to have either the former owner, a John D. Kelly, or the present owner, Alarik Walton, take care of the scow.  But nothing happened and it was impounded at Coronado Marine Ways…” — Coronado Journal, Thursday, March 30, 1961 –

“Coronado Rose Adopted at $380 – The ‘Coronado Rose’ has found an owner.  Mrs. Fran Harpst of 930 Bay Circle adopted the boat for $380.  Her bid was the highest of ten offers received by the city, John Halvorsen, assistant to the city manager, said.

Mrs. Harpst has moved the 34-foot, iron-hulled cabin cruiser from its Coronado Marine Ways next door to Rask Boat Building Company.

‘I’m very glad to get rid of it,’ said Foster Bryant, Marine Ways owner who held the boat in storage for the city.”

“Mrs. Harpst was one of the few who turned out for a public auction of the boat, but she did not bid.  They city had put a $300 minimum on the sale to pay for impound and storage costs.

The highest offer made at the auction was $50, turned down by the city.  Halvorsen later called persons he thought may be interested and asked for bids.”— Coronado Journal, Thursday, May 4, 1961–


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