Friday, March 14, 2014

Oh Boy! A Corona Flat Top

A couple of weeks ago I took a chance and submitted a bid based on a blurry eBay ad and a hunch. The thinking was a) I "need" a Corona flat top, b) the poor presentation might inhibit other (smarter) bidders, and c) it's just fun sometimes to let it all out and throw down a few bucks on the whirl of the eBay roulette wheel.

The tidy package arrived yesterday unscathed by its trip from Pennsylvania, and I whipped out my box knife with anticipatory thrill. Anxiously I unwound a few layers of bubble wrap from what turned out to be a pristine case with ("What the heck is that?!) a knob poking from a curved slot in the case. 

Inside a nearly unscathed 1936 Corona Standard flat top, from the second year of production ...


... and those marks it does have represent the patina of years of careful use; the decal on the paper table worn by the passage of many sheets of paper and the wear spot on the front of the frame where someone's right palm had naturally rubbed while hitting the space bar. 

Other than the detached carriage cord, everything seems to work, albeit with the hesitancy of decades of slumber. I'm looking forward to waking it up this weekend. 

Stand by for my first flat top typecast.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

An Island in Time

The Point Reyes National Seashore

Looking north on Tomales Point, with my beloved "Minnie Winnie" and the historic Pierce Point Ranch in the distance. The Pacific Ocean is to the west (left) and Tomales Bay to the east.
From my vantage point on the southern part of Tomales Point is does indeed seem to be an island, with Tomales bay to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. But when the Point Reyes Peninsula was dubbed "Island in Time" in the late 1950's by a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, the sobriquet also captured its transitory nature, and the opportunity to preserve it from the pressures of development.

A pause to look back on Tomales Bay on my way to a hike on Tomales point
A mama elk in the Tomales Point preserve

Tomales Bay from Tomales Point

Where the Pacific Ocean meets California

Papa elk

Despite the apparent scowl, I really am quite happy here
On the Pierce Point Dairy Ranch, established about 1850. The Tomales Point trail starts here.

An 8-mile hike rates a PB&J snack, cup of tea, and a dip into "The Martian", by Andy Weir

Sundown near Elephant Rock

A paddling adventure on Drake's Esterro
Drake's Estero

A break during paddling Drake's Esterro to contemplate a 6-mile upwind paddle to return to the put-in at Drake's Bay Oyster Farm 
A trail to the ocean. 
I think one of life's great pleasures is to experience the sensations of a walk through woods to the ocean. On the Bear Valley and Miller Point Trail you are rarely out of earshot of the rippling of a creek, birdsong, and the earthy dampness of deep woods. Then there is a hint of a breeze carrying salt air, and finally the woods open up to the immensity of the ocean and the rhythmic wash of the surf.

Looking north from Miller Point
On the last day of my visit I decided on a pilgrimage of sorts to Miller Point. California's Congressman Clem Miller was key in preserving Point Reyes from developers. By the time funds were available to purchase the land bulldozers had already plowed up roads and building pads, and homes were under construction. Plans had called for a highway from San Francisco, boat harbor, restaurants,etc.

Even once the land was secured from the real estate developers it was not safe, as the park service had plans for a "theme park" development akin to the Yosemite catastrophe, with a huge campground, boat rentals, snack bars, and shops. Fortunately the preservation movement managed to grab the reins. Now this lovely land of beaches, sand dunes, rocky shorelines, lagoons, open pasture land, and forested mountains is as it was when I often visited it in the 1950's and 60's with aunts and uncles, with high school friends, and later with my children. 
Eric at Kehoe Beach, 1975
On Kehoe Beach