Posted by Editor: FDBobko
February 27,,  2019
Article by  Bill Johnston

Photos by EJ Dieterle 


This program had a decidedly "Chamber of Commerce" bent. First up was Erik Piro. He started with the Rotary club in October 2018. He was not the least bit nervous to be doing his presentation in front of both his current boss, Krystlyn, and his former boss, Charise. Joining the Chamber in April 2017, Erik is the Chamber's Director of Communications.  His job is not only to manage the daily operations of the Chamber, including assisting Chamber members and visitors but also to handle most communications matters. He edits the Coastside Connection, which is the Chambers quarterly publication. He is the voice of the Chamber Podcast. He is the official greeter In the Chamber office.
Growing up on the Coastside in Pacifica, a graduate of Terra Nova High School, Erik has a great appreciation for the various outdoor activities that surround the area.  It's no surprise that you will often find him bike riding, spending time at the beach, or exploring one of the Coastside's many scenic spots.
Erik has a creative side as well that is expressed through his photography.  He enjoys capturing the natural beauty of the Coastside, whether along the Coastal Trail, in Pillar Point Harbor, or along the country roads of Pescadero. It is his photography that adorns the cover of the Chamber map. He has won a number of awards for his landscape photography work.
Erik attended San Francisco State University where he earned his Bachelor's degree in Media.  This launched his career in broadcast media in downtown San Francisco for the past 12 years where he first worked in ad sales and then was promoted to Office Manager. Prior to radio, Erik worked for 4 years in a Disney store and then 2 more years with the Radio Disney street team doing family-style events. He is a huge Disney fan. He says that he has met many interesting radio personalities during his previous career at KGO and KSFO and he counts among his personal friends, Ron Owens.
Liz Schuck asked him to what he attributed his effusive personality. Erik said it was certainly not his older brother who is his polar opposite. Perhaps it was his mother who is very much involved in the community. President Paul asked what Erik like best about being in Half Moon Bay. His response: the scenery and the nightlife. (Nightlife is obviously relative – he was, after all, comparing it to Pacifica).
Charise asked him to tell about his adventure on the ladder. One of his jobs as director of communications was to put up banners promoting upcoming events. While standing on a lower rung of the ladder, on the side of Highway 92 near Spanish Town, he heard a loud bang and looked up to see a careening directly toward him. He leapt off the ladder and sprinted no more than 10 feet before the car crashed into the ladder and demolished it. The driver's vehicle had apparently been struck and knocked off of the highway by an oncoming drunk driver. Almost an hour later the drunk driver was finally located hiding under the very car that nearly killed Erik. Eric's message… If you see them out by the highway putting up a banner, slow down.
Charise McHugh
Charise is our recently retired former Chamber CEO. Her first stop after retirement was to go up to Tahoe and write a book. She comes from a fascinating and historically significant family lineage. She wanted to capture those myriads family stories before they are lost in time. On her mother's side, she contacted the 2nd cousin who was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and who was also writing a family history. They collaborated. She has a great-grandfather who founded Commonwealth insurance company and patented the dial telephone. A grandfather who was partners in the hotel business with Conrad Hilton and who was subsequently murdered by their partner. On her father's side, she has an ancestor who immigrated in the 1600s to New Amsterdam and once owned 400 acres of what is now Manhattan. The family name is on Hale's department stores. Her father was a member of the Bohemian club and in that context, she met many fascinating people.
Charise read excerpts from her book and she was kind enough to simply forward them to me and they are set forth below. Read and enjoy.
Stephen Powers (1820-1902)
Stephen, each spring, would build a long log raft in Ohio and fill the cabin on top with merchandise, he would then sell his wares along the river to New Orleans.  Then he would sell the logs and make his way back up the Natchez Trace to Ohio to prepare for another spring. One year it brought him to Hawesville, Kentucky where he tied up, and let his dog off the raft. His dog was attacked by a big red rooster and a dog-rooster fight developed.  The dog won, the rooster died, and my great great grandfather was thrown in jail.  There he stayed until the water receded, so there was nothing for him to do but set up shop right there in Hawesville.   
(Powers Family Story, by Joshua Bryant Powers (Lucille’s first cousin, his father was Albert (AD) Powers, Jay Clay’s brother)
Joshua was born on August 25, 1892, in a village called Habit, Kentucky. His mother was having trouble progressing in labor so Dr. McWhorter threatened to “Quill” her. They would take a goose quill, fill it with snuff, and blow it up the expectant mother’s nose.  It would cause such a sneezing fit that the labor process was usually thrown into action.  His mother went into labor before the doctor had to administer “the quill”, the threat alone did the trick.
Story given to our minister
We were given a handwritten story by a Juanita Cox after my father died. The letter had no date.  Her parents lived in a tent on Hunters Point, just south of San Francisco on the bay.  There were no houses there then and her father worked in the shipyards. They then moved to a rented house about a mile away and her father wanted to get a better job at the Oyster Point shipyards.  He felt he needed a new suit so he could make a good impression.  So, her mother started out walking to Mission Street to buy him a new suit. It was very muddy and a carriage pulled up next to her and the gentleman said, “What are you doing walking in the mud?  Get in so I can give you a ride.”  She told him she was going to Mission Street and why. The man pulled up to a store on Mission named Hale’s Haberdashery.  He unlocked the door and showed her into the suits.  She chose a nice brown suit, and Mr. Hale wrapped up the suit in a tissue lined box and presented it to her.  He said, “This I give you.”  He would not take her money. “Maybe this will bring me luck.”  Many years later, she guessed it did.  Her father got the job at Oyster’s Point and built a house for his family surrounded by a beautiful garden of flowers.   
My father
Marshal (III) attended Potter School, in San Francisco, where he learned to love poetry and creative writing.  He wrote many stories.  He then attended Stanford University graduating in 1924 majoring in pre-law.  He was asked to join Sigma Nu fraternity as a Freshman, and during the hazing, he had to wear three little bells around his penis for 3 days.  The very young and attractive female Spanish teacher wanted to know what all the jingling was about when he moved in his classroom seat, and demanded he hand over the bells.  Of course, she thought they were in his pocket.  He said he couldn’t do that, and she asked to speak to him after class.  Fortunately, one of his fraternity mates was in the same class and explained to the very embarrassed young teacher why Marshal couldn’t simply hand over the bells.  
While at Stanford, Marshal played Freshman football and then excelled in track and field.  He was captain of the track team in 1924 and went to the Olympics in Paris as one of the favorites to win. He roomed with Dick Highland in a second story flat. They trained all day, and then at night would take a taxi to the famous Montmartre district in Paris.  That was where the best nightclubs were in 1924. At night, the cabbies would put a black hood over the meter and would barter for a higher price.  Parisians would pay double the daytime fee, but the foreigners were held up for whatever the cabbie could extract.  After the first week, my father and Dick got wise.  They would agree to whatever the cabbie requested and then pay exactly double the daytime fee, run into the hotel locking the front door behind them. The taxi driver would yell and scream and bang on the front door waking everyone up.  The boys devised a plan. Before they left for the night, they would each fill their basin (large bowl) with a pitcher of water, since there was no running water in their rooms. They carried the basins out to the balcony and sat them on the corner of the rod iron balcony railing. Upon their return, they would run inside, lock the front door, run upstairs, out to the balconies, and dump the water on the cab driver’s head. He would muter a few obscenities and then go away.  This worked night after night until the bowl slipped!
How my mom and dad met
About 1930, my mother had a movie premiere to go to and needed a dress. She went into her favorite department store, Robinson’s in Hollywood, which my father and grandfather had purchased separately from the Hale Bros. She could not find anything to her liking.  After searching the entire department, she went downstairs and ran into the store manager standing with a young gentleman. She said, “Mr. (Smith), I have always been able to come into this store at the last minute and find the perfect dress I need.  Today, I could find nothing, I’m so frustrated, I wish those Hale’s would have stayed in San Francisco!” With that, the store manager said, “Miss Powers, I would like to introduce you to Marshal Hale.”  Of course, she blushed and felt terribly embarrassed.  At which time, my father said, “Miss Powers, I am going on a buying trip to New York next week, and if you would kindly tell me what you are looking for, I would happily buy whatever you wish.”  Suave guy, my dad. They had a few dates, and my father met my mother’s mother. But, they didn’t really start dating until later, or so we think. 
Bohemian Club
The Bohemian Club, located on Taylor Street in San Francisco, was founded by a group of artists, writers, lawyers, and actors in 1872. All were male, many were journalists who wrote for the San Francisco Examiner. I’m not sure when my grandfather and his two brothers, Reuben Brooks and Prentis Cobb Hale joined, but I would imagine in the 1890s. I know my father got his acceptance letter on July 7, 1925, at the age of twenty-two.  The Grove is located on the Russian River near Monte Rio, and is an unbelievable property with giant redwoods, a lake, and rather steep hills rising from the main floor. There are numerous camps throughout the forest and no permanent 
The encampment (last two weeks of July) opens with the Cremation of Care.  There is a beautiful lake with a large stone carved owl (the club mascot) at one end.  This is where people get the idea it is a cult.  No, folks, it is not, but the ceremony, which I have never seen first-hand since women are not allowed in the camp accept to the picnics, is very ceremonial complete with hooded capes. All the members sit on the grass around the lake, but there are a few Redwood half-log benches. These are reserved for the “Old Guard”, men who have been members for 40 years.  My father, having joined at 22, was the youngest of the Old Guard and had that privilege for many years.  One year a gentleman tapped his shoulder and said, “Excuse me, Sir, is it okay if I sit at your feet here?”  It was former President Gerald Ford. Being the mere President of the United States gets you nowhere at the Bohemian Grove.  
One year, I was getting out of my car with my fiancé, Bud Werner, when Edgar Bergen recognized me.  Now, for those of you too young to remember, other than being Candice Bergen’s father, Edgar was the most famous ventriloquist in the world.  He held that distinction for many many years.  He was on the Jack Benny Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Carol Burnett Show, and every variety show on TV.  He did Vegas, New York, and all the world stages.  He got his start in Vaudeville.  So, in the parking lot, he said to me, “You’re Marshal’s daughter, aren’t you?”  I said, “Yes, Edgar, I am, and this is my fiancé, Bud Werner.”  Edgar said, “then you are going up to Dragons Camp?”  And, of course, I said, “Yes.” He asked Bud if he could carry a large suitcase for him, and Bud agreed. As we are walking along ahead, I said to Bud, “For God’s sake don’t drop it, you are carrying a million dollars in there.  I wasn’t sure if it was Charlie McCarthy or Mortimer Snerd, but I knew what they were insured for! These were the most famous puppets in the world and probably still are. Generations could still name them today.
‘You have heard many stories about the Grove and shenanigans that may or may not have gone on.  I am sure many of the stories are true, but my father maintained until the day he died, he never saw a woman in the encampment.  If the men wanted that sort of entertainment, there were places to go in Monte Rio, and rumor has it they multiplied greatly for those last two weeks in July.  We were privy to the kind of fun grown men can have acting like little boys especially when money is no object.  Aside from never seeing a tree that hadn’t been peed on at one time or another, these men stayed up all hours drinking and telling stories, and sometimes decided on an adventure like this one, that is truly a story to rival Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and the rest of The Rat Pack.  One night a group of Dragon Camp members was sitting around the campfire in the wee hours of the morning and one of them asks where is Dennis Day?  Another says, “Oh, he’s opening in Vegas on Saturday so he is there rehearsing.” Another says, “Really? We should go see how the rehearsal is going, I love his act.” Hernando Courtright says, “Well, I have my plane.” So, a group of them, my father included, and I think Art Linkletter, decide this is a fine idea. After making a phone call to the pilot, they go meet him at the private airstrip.  Now, none of them had the foresight to change their clothing. They land in Las Vegas, have a taxi waiting at 9:30 a.m., this pack of Bohemians, I think there were five of them, go walking into The Sands Hotel wearing their pajamas, robes, and slippers. Their scotches, of course, are still in hand, and into the showroom, they go and sit down at one of the tables.  Dennis looks up and one of them yells, “Dennis, your good buddies have flown down to critique your rehearsal!” You can’t make this stuff up!!
Traveling with my dad
While in Paris, after dinner one evening, Dad was tired and retired to the Hotel de Crillon on the Place de Concorde. Jack had to go back to the hotel, as well, to call his office due to the time difference.  Camilla and I wanted to go to Maxims around the corner.  We told Jack we would meet him there.  Upon entering the restaurant Camilla and I asked for a table.  We were told that we could not be seated unescorted.  We told the gentleman that my husband was coming right along, and he said we had to wait. Quite bristly, I might add.  I was a little put off by this treatment, but Camilla suddenly got a big grin on her face.  She said, “They think we’re hookers!”  I said, “What?”  She started laughing and saying wait until I get home and tell the Bridge ladies at the age of 69, “I was mistaken for a Lady of the Evening! “  It made her night.  Sure enough, when Jack came, we were seated and treated very well.  Up until that time we were persona non-grata for sure. 
One other funny story that happened in Vienna.  Jack wanted mouthwash.  We went to a Farmacia.  No one spoke English, had no idea what he was looking for.  So, I started pantomiming; unscrewing the top off a bottle, taking a swig, swishing it around in my mouth, making gargling sounds, and finally spitting it into an imaginary sink.  Then, they understood perfectly and got him the mouthwash right away.  On the way out of the store, I said, “It’s a good thing I didn’t need Tampons.”  Jack said, “Oh, Charise, that’s terrible! You have such a warped sense of humor sometimes.”  I shrugged my shoulders, went up the street to where my father had the door open to the back seat of the car, smoking a cigarette.  I explained my pantomiming, and he said, “Wow, I guess it was a good thing he didn’t need a suppository!”  I said, “Go ahead, Jack, tell my father he’s got a warped sense of humor because obviously, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!”
Article by Bill Johnston  
Photos by EJ Dieterle 
Greeters: Robin Jeffs was our Past President greeter and Joe Brennan served as Sergeant at Arms.
Pledge of Allegiance: Kevin O'Brien
Inspirational Thought: Joe Brennan

Because the library was closed for a staff training day, we revisited our old haunt, the Portuguese Community Center
Guests and Visitors: Dave Dickson's wife, Marla, was his guest and Liz Schuck introduced her guest and potential new member, Stephanie Cozzolino, who is employed by Farmers Insurance in Half Moon Bay.
smiley Happy News 
Charise McHugh encouraged all of us to join her at Pescadero High School on March 29, 2019, between 9 and 11 a.m. to act as interviewers of the students as pasrt of our  Rotary and Chamber Life Skills program.
Ed Daniels reported on his inspiring experiences at the PETS conference. He also encouraged club members to attend the March 16 District Assembly in Larkspur. Mitone Griffith second that – as a district officer she is involved in putting that event on.
John Evans and Steve Wilson reported on their respective exchange students. Giada's grades might be slipping as she prepares for her role in the spring musical "Mama Mia". Lukas just got back from his first experience skiing. A weekend on the bunny slopes and floundering on the intermediate slopes left him so exhausted that he slept for 18 hours and missed the next day of school.
Robin Jeffs, following our Club tradition on the occasion of his birthday, donated his check in the amount of one dollar for every year -  $79 to our Club Foundation.
President Paul shared humorous emails that had been forwarded to him by Rotarians Rosi and Joe. Joe's contribution involved the tale of a curvaceous young woman who was waiting in line for a bus and when the bus arrived, she found her skirt was so tight she couldn't lift her leg up to get onto the first step. She reached back and pulled her zipper down a bitten tried again and found she still couldn't get up onto the step. After 2 more efforts, each of which involved opening her zipper a bit more, a big Texan gentleman from behind grabbed her by the waist and lifted her into the bus. Deeply offended that he would lay his hands on her she turned and verbally lambasted him. He responded by pointing out that since she had unzipped his fly 3 times he thought they had something going on.
Our major fundraiser, Magic on the Coast, is rapidly approaching and Past President Warren announced that he will have a planning session following our regular Thursday meeting next week. He solicited volunteer sign-ups.
President Paul awarded "Wrubies" to the extraordinary volunteers who hung in there doing cleanup at the homeless breakfast hosted by Rotary. Stacy, Heather, and Rose were all named charter members of "Till the Bitter End Club".  
Marble Draw laughsurprisecrying  No luck for Charise
Our Monthly Rotary Day at the Community Free Breakfast (held at the Lutheran Church will be Wednesday, MARCH 27.  Please sign up with ROSE SERDY for a shift for future days (last Wednesday of each month.)