Joel Bratman: Travel Vicariously

From Joel Bratman


I’ve added a couple pages to my PBase gallery.

Foxen Canyon Road, Santa Barbara County:

Montana de Oro State Park, near Morro Bay:


– Joel

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John Vonderlin: Will he re-enter the “Fordbidden Zone?”

Story by John Vonderlin

Email John ([email protected])

Hi June,
Who knows?, with Larry F. on the mend, we might just mount an expedition into “The Forbidding Zone.” this Fall. This ScreenShot from a high-altitude aerial photo on the California Coastal Records Project website is an interesting view, ever so different from the water level photos I’ve sent you. That tiny gap, shown in Gordon’s Chute’s foundation rock, is the lowspot I’ve sent photos of, and hopefully a feasible route into the cove to the north during extreme low tides. Enjoy. John P.S. I thought you might enjoy seeing some stuff without feeling you need to do some work related to it, so I’m going to send a few things like this,  By the way, could that sinuous road be the old stage road?


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John Vonderlin: Ocean Shore RR Dreamin’

Story by John Vonderlin

Email John ([email protected])


[Image: “The Ocean Shore Railway is developing San Francisco and Santa Cruz  and the country between. It is an enterprise of merit and one which will make business in this section of the state for everybody, and it is entitled to the best consideration on the part of progressive people interested in the welfare of San Francisco. Ocean Shore Bonds are sold on installments–$100 bonds for $97 –$17 down and $10 a month, or $93 for cash.” ]

Hi June,

This large Ocean Shore Railway ad from the January 4th, 1909 issue of “The Call,” has a few interesting things in it. That is besides, the never-to-be hopes of the company’s boosters captured in this drawing. First I noticed in their dreams, I could have stepped off the train at “Coburn’s Hotel,” at Pebble Beach for a pleasant stay. And surely, you could see the vast Purisima (sic) oil fields as you chugged by them. And you could stop at Ebalstone between Vallemar and Rockaway Beach. That’s new to me. You are the only person on the Internet who has written about it. I see that was the Ebalstone and Ransome Quarry. Oddly, “Ebal” is Hebrew for stone.

There is also a ton of well-reasoned text in this ad that lays out the state of the OSR and all the reasons why success is assured for their efforts. This is too nice a drawing to ruin, though. Any railroadman seeing this would know the Coastside was ripe for the Iron Horse’s brand of development. One hundred years later, I can still see why and yet know why not. Enjoy. John


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John Vonderlin: Blocking Power of the Waddell Bluff

Story from John Vonderlin

Email John ([email protected])

Hi June,

This is the earliest description I’ve found of the beach passage below the Waddell Bluffs, that helped to sidetrack development of the Coastside.  This is from the Coast Dairies document I’ve posted about previously.  Senor Veytia wrote the book , “Viaje a la Alta California,” from which this excerpt was taken. Enjoy. John

In 1849, Justo Veytia, a Mexican citizen, set out on horseback for San Francisco via the Nort Coast. Neither of the local residents (both born near Santa Cruz) accompanying him had ever taken this route before, a testimony to the fact that in the 1840s the route of choice was either over the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains directly north of Santa Cruz, or out through the Pajaro River gap and then north up the Santa Clara Valley. Passing the bluff at present-day Waddell:

“Two days of this expedition were the most difficult. The second day on the road one has to travel along the beach very close to the water and this can only be done when the tide is low. The day we passed the sea was quite choppy. Neither Arana nor I knew the road so when we went onto the beach we figured it was all right because when a very big wave came up, it only reached the horses’ hooves. So we rode on about 300 varas 10, experiencing two very bad spots because of some rocks, when the very rough sea began to wash over us up to the pommel of our saddles. We didn’t deliberate in making a decision—to go back was clearly dangerous because the rocks were now under water and we couldn’t see the openings between them so we resolved to continue forward to look for some pass where we could go up, for the waves had us pinned against a fairly high cliff. We went on walking for about 200 varas until we found a foot path to ascend and assoon as we were safe we undressed completely to put our clothes to dry because the waves had knocked us down three times, horses and all, so we had to dismount and pull them forcibly. We got out at ten in the morning and as soon as we finished stretching out our clothing and the saddles, we sat down naked on the grass to lunch on the supplies we brought which were now also soup.”

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John Vonderlin: Whaleman’s Harbor

Story by John Vonderlin

Email John: ([email protected]

Part II: Whaleman’s Harbor

Hi June,

A second feature I found interesting on the Coast Survey Map of Half Moon Bay Harbor from 1863, was Whaleman’s Harbor. You’ll find it just north of Pillar Point in the middle of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. With research I was able to read that the area had been used as an aid to a Shore whaling station in the mid-1800s. Obviously given the map’s date, 1863, it had to have been before that. I’ve overlayed the Survey map over a Google Earth segment to help indicate it’s location. Note the darker water and breaker free area of Whaleman’s Harbor in the Google Earth photo.



Apparently, the deeper waters of the “harbor” are caused by the Whaleman’s Harbor Anticline, just south of it. Those deeper waters allowed a boat towing a dead whale to approach close to the coast, from where the whale could be winched to the beach. While researching this activity, shore whaling, I came upon an amazing online document from 1923 called ” A History of California Shore Whaling” by Edwin Stark or use its title.

Here’s what it says about local whaling stations:

Half Moon Bay Whaling Station

“This station was started about 1860 or 1861, and in a couple of years moved to Pigeon Point, after which another company was organized here. Scammon lists it as existing in 1874, and it was abandoned some time in the eighties. The station was situated on the point known as Pillar Point.

Pigeon Point

The station at Halfmoon Bay moved to Pigeon Point about 1862. It was situated on the point near the lighthouse. Captain J. F. Bennett, landing from a whaling voyage, took command and retained it for many years.

Goode’s “Fishery Industries” supplies the information that Captain Anderson, upon leaving the Portuguese Bend station, came to Pigeon Point in 1877, but whether he brought his company with him or took over Captain Bennett’s company is not stated. He only stayed two years, and then moved with the entire company to Cojo Viejo, near Point Conception.

After this Captain Perry commanded a station here until about 1895 when it was abandoned.

Col. A. S. Evans, in “Sketches of the Golden State,” 1873, describes Pigeon Point station, giving the results of the current year and the one before.

Mr. Noon, of Monterey, stated that the company that had its station at Macabees Beach, on Monterey Bay, later moved to Pigeon Point.”

But, what the document lacks in local details, it makes up for in very detailed descriptions of every facet of this incredibly hazardous occupation. And it has lots of pictures of the stations that ought to shake up any Marine Mammal lover. Having actually visited a whaling station on Hudson Bay, near Fort Churchill in 1968, and watched a small whale be dragged by a cable from a bloody cove into a open air shed where it was processed, I can empathize. The whale could only be converted into canned pet food because of the unsanitary conditions at the station and the smell, caked gore and huge bins of bloody parts, made that a good thing as far as I was concerned.

Here are a few pictures:



and an excerpt of a typical shore whaling expedition from the Shore Whaling paper:

“A Monterey guide book of 1875 gives a very good picture of bay whaling at that time: “At the first streak of dawn the whalers man their boat, six to a boat, and proceed to the whaling ground near Point Pinos. Here they lay on their oars and carefully scan the water for a spout. Suddenly one sees the wished-for column of mist, and cries out, ‘there she blows!’ Then all is activity and the boat is headed for the whale and the guns are made ready to fire. When within a short distance of the animal the oars are peaked and the boat is propelled by paddles so as not to disturb the wary whale. Having arrived within shooting distance, which is about forty yards, the harpoon, connected with a long line, is fired into whatever part of the animal is visible. Down goes the whale, the line, with a turn around the loggerhead of the boat, being allowed to run out for several hundred yards, when it is held fast. The whale generally makes a direct course for the open ocean, dragging the boat with almost lightning rapidity. Soon, however, it becomes weary and comes to the surface to breathe; now is the golden opportunity; the boat approaches as near as possible and a bomb lance is fired. In case this enters a vital part, the animal dies instantly, but oftener it does not, and the same maneuvering as before is repeated until two or three bombs have been shot before the animal is killed. It is then towed to the try works, where the blubber is rendered into oil. Sometimes the whale will sink as soon as killed; should such be the case, a buoy is attached to the line, and the animal is left until the generation of gases in its body causes it to rise, which usually occurs in from three to nine days.”  And to think the oil industry put an end to this nasty business. Enjoy. John

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John Vonderlin: These Guys Saw It First….

Story by John Vonderlin

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Hi June,

These are descriptions of our coast by the earliest Europeans to see the Coastside. This is from the Coast Dairies document. Sebastian Cermeno and Francisco del Bolanos in a makeshift canoe? Now that sounds like an interesting story. I’ll see if I can find it. Enjoy. John


Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, November 1542

Cabrillo’s account includes a brief mention of the North Coast including the fact that they saw “neither Native Americans nor smokes” (Wagner, 1929). Cabrillo’s emphasis that trees came right down to the water at other locations (Point Reyes, Point Pinos) suggests that the coastal terrace near present-day Año Nuevo had few if any trees.

Sebastian Cermeño, December 1595

In December 1595, Spanish explorer Sebastian Cermeño sailed southward along the coastline in a makeshift canoe. He was much more definite about the appearance of the land: “

In going along very close to land, frequently only a musket-shot from it, all that may be seen is bare land near the sea and pine and oak timber in the high country. No smokes or fires appeared .” (Wagner, 1929)

Francisco de Bolaños, 1603

Spanish pilot Francisco de Bolaños was with Cermeño and returned with Captain Sebastian Vizcaíno in the 1603 passage that was the occasion to name Año Nuevo. Bolaños wrote the description that would be the guide for all Spanish ship captains for the next 150 years. His description of the coastline south of Point Reyes: “

From the Punta de los Reyes about fourteen leagues southeast a quarter south there is a point [probably Pigeon Point]. Before reaching it the country consists in places of sierra, bare to the sea and of medium height with some cliffs, but soon the country inside [inland] becomes massive and wooded until you reach a point of low land in 37 ½ degrees named the ‘Punta de Año Neuvo.”

To emphasis the distinctiveness of Point Pinos on the south side of Monterey Bay, Bolaños noted that the forests there covered the land “ down to the sea itself.” (Wagner, 1929)


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John Vonderlin: 1864: All About William Waddell

Story from/by John Vonderlin

Email John ([email protected])

I forget where I got this newspaper article, but it has more detailed information about William Waddell’s efforts then I have seen before. I had heard about the frustrated first attempt to build a wharf at Waddell Creek, but wasn’t aware it was almost done, before abandonment.

$50,000 was a huge sum of money back then, but at least he got some use out of his second wharf, before he was fatally chewed by a grizzly. Mr. Waddell’s sad demise is often mentioned in early accounts of the Coastside, often as a reminder of how wild it was back then. Oddly, on a website that tries to detail every bear attack in North America, his was the only one documented in the 1870’s. I suspect that their records don’t include the many other solo travelers or hunters, whose only sign of passing was a colorful bit of flannel in a bear scat, as happened several times in Mendocino County when I lived there.

By the way, the “Casa Del Ursa”  as herein mentioned, or “Valle Del Ursos” as I’ve read elsewhere, was the early name for Waddell Valley. It got that moniker because it was the area where  bears were often caught to be transported to Santa Cruz, for the mind-boggling, but fairly common entertainment of a bear and bull fight.

Enjoy. John

Santa Cruz Sentinel (April 16, 1864) stated that:

W. W. Waddell & Co. of Santa Cruz have been engaged, for more than two years last past, in extensive preparations for manufacturing lumber. Their situation is below New Years’ Point on the Casa del Ursa, more familiarly known as Waddell’s Creek. There are fine bodies of timber around the sources of all streams that flow into the Pacific between Santa Cruz and Pescadero, but the belt of timber upon Waddell’s Creek is more extensive and compact than any other. This enterprising firm commenced by building a steam mill, about two and a half miles from the coast, and an expensive road between these two points. They also constructed a wharf, into the ocean, which they intended should be a thousand feet long. After this wharf was nearly completed but had not yet reached a depth of water sufficient to admit of loading vessels it was found that a ridge of rock prevented driving piles any farther out into the ocean, and the wharf was abandoned. They then built a road from this wharf along the coast two and a half miles, and from this point commenced the construction of another wharf about 700 feet long. In the construction of these wharves and roads they have used 100,000 feet of lumber, and have expended about $50,000. The lumber was sawed at their mill. The W. W. Waddell & Co. of Santa Cruz has the most extensive lumbering establishment south of San Francisco.

To convey his lumber to the wharf, Waddell built a five mile horse tramway between the mouth of the creek and Punta del Año Nuevo (New Year’s Point), designed in as straight a line as possible. This followed the course of the stream, with twelve bridges crossing its meandering channel. The mill was located on high ground between the confluence of the east and west forks of the creek, known from then until now as Waddell Creek. A large number of men were employed

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Adventurer John Vonderlin Discovers Peacock Rock and Ice Plant Arch

Story by John Vonderlin

Email John ([email protected])

Hi June,

With my opportunities to explore the Coastside so limited these days, I was quite pleased on a recent trip, when I discovered some of the more interesting  geologic, coastal mini-wonders I’ve seen in quite a while. Included in these were a new type of sea arch, a wonderful tafoni-etched concretion, mounted like a jewel in a sandstone setting, and a rock, fillegreed with the deepest tafoni-within-tafoni I’ve seen.

But, what was most satisfying about my discoveries was that they were all hiding in plain sight, just yards from a very popular blufftop trail. In fact, it was that blufftop trail that had brought me to the area this time. I had heard the Pebble Beach to Bean Hollow Beach blufftop trail had been renovated recently, with repairs to footbridges, lots of new gravel and erosional control features on the paths, and new interpretive signs. And so it had been.

This trail is already popular with tourists, as well as native plant and flower enthusiasts, because of its great diversity, ease of access, and the stunning background of the rugged coast, with its small seal rookery.  For those not familiar with this area, the California Coastal Records Project website has great pictures of the Bean Hollow to Pebble Beach stretch,  (Pictures #6278 — #6281) with #6281 encompassing the area of the mini-wonders I’m describing.

If you wish to explore this series of oddities you need to pass “Sandy the Seal,” a pareidolic sandstone seal, that guards the northern access to them, in the cove furthest to the left in Picture #6281.

Sandy the Pareidolic Seal


Just beyond Sandy, as you climb across the precarious cliffside, is Peacock Rock, a large spherical concretion, filligreed with a complex of tafoni holes in a peacock-tailspread imitation. Note in the picture from behind how the concretion is almost like a gem mounted in a setting. Note too, the strange ripples in the dark material that forms the base under the concretion. It reminds me of some confectionary event, that I can’t quite recall. I believe the weight of the concretion as it formed in a saturated layer of sand created the squishy look of it, but I’m not sure why this feature is so rare.

Peacock Rock PeacockRock Peacock Rock close-up CloseupPeacockRock Peacock Rock Rear View (below)rearviewpeacockrock

and Close-up base of concretion closeupconcretion

Just south of Peacock Rock are strange slabs of hard, brown rock that seem to be of volcanic origin, in contrast to the sandstone found everywhere else along this stretch. Just a few feet further along, a layer of this type of rock forms a type of arch I’ve never seen along our coast.  It is the hard capstone, lying atop the softer sandstone that has been eroded away beneath it, that forms the arch.  Note the ice plant dangling across the arch’s opening. This is the only coastal sea arch I know of that has this feature. Because of that I’m naming it “Ice Plant Arch.”

plantarch underplantarch

Along with all of these oddities in this stretch are numerous other tafoni structures and a few other concretionary features. Amongst those are deep, tafoni-in-tafoni specimens and a simple example of the rare boxwork type. All things considered, this certainly rates as one of the best fifty feet of coastal geology I know of, and the relative ease of access to it, makes this a two-thumbs-up destination. Enjoy. John

Close-up Tafoni-in-Tafoni Tafonicloseup


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1960s: Writer Dave Holleman: I Knew Tunitas Creek Painter Sheri Martinelli

Story by Dave Holleman

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I knew Sheri Martinelli during the early sixties.  A couple of friend’s of mine had been renting a cabin overlooking the ocean near Tunitas Creek.  For some reason or other they decided to give it up and asked me if I would be interested in renting it.  They arranged for me to meet the owner in a hotel on Mason right off Market.  His name was Clark and I agreed to rent the place for $20.00 per month.

When you turned off the hi way you came down a slight incline and there were cabins to the right of the entrance road and cabins to the right.  The ones on the right were a bit more upscale than the ones on the left where my cabin was.  I believe there were six cabins on that side.  Mine was the second from the right and Sheri and Gilbert’s was the last one.  However, time may have clouded my memory about this.

Sheri and I visited together many times and I also became friends with Gilbert.  I am going to compress the recollections of our meetings into one narrative.

These cabins were rustic to say the least as there was no power or water.  Sheri and Gilbert were the only full time residents of our little enclave.  I only went down to my place on the weekends as I was busy trying to keep myself together running a very small trucking company I owned.  One Saturday morning she and I almost literally bumped into each other on our way to the community toilet.  There was a side for men and one for women and both were blessed with power and water.

Sheri was probably in her early forties.  She was wearing a very loose dress that went all the way down to her feet.  She had no makeup on and her hair was pulled back and held together somehow at the back of her head.  She was not unattractive at all and excluded a presence about her that was captivating to me.  I was in the bathroom facilities for a few minutes and when I came out she was there waiting for me.  She introduced herself (her name meant nothing at the time) and asked me my name.  Then she asked me if I would like to come down to her place for tea.

My cabin consisted of only two small rooms, but hers was about twice the size.  Our cabins shared one thing in common though and that was the manner and style of the furnishings.  Early Salvation Army!  Sheri had a little two burner stove furled by propane and she soon had water boiling for our tea.  While the water was heating she gave me  a tour of her place and she was most proud of a huge montage hanging on the wall.  It must have been about 4’x4′ and was a cork board with a cheap wooden frame around it to hold it together.  The montage consisted of at least two hundred various photos and cut outs from magazines and newspapers. After making tea she returned to the montage and began pointing to certain pictures and then relating a vignette about the person (s) in the photo.  There were pictures of Pound, of course, and many who were the cadre of the beat generation whose names I recognized.  She was extremely proud of her creation and told me that she continued to add to it from time to time.

There was a small alcove where she kept a sort of duplicating machine which produced blue letters.  It was not a mimeograph as it didn’t use ink but I cannot recall the name.  Anyway she occasionally printed a little newsletter which she mailed out to a lot of people.  She told me that she mailed her newsletter to people around the states including some in Mexico.  I believe she mentioned Bowen as he was a painter like her.

We spent a lot of time in her back yard near the precipice of the cliff with the ocean a couple of hundred feet below.  She had many little items she had placed in the crooks of branches in some of the Cypress trees, such as little bronze Buddhas or miniature tea sets, and she had a story to tell about them all; just like the pictures in the montage.  Sometimes we would drink tea but usually it was wine.  I have read accounts of Sheri by a couple of people and they say she was a loud and obnoxious drunk, but I never say any of that and goodness knows we drank enough to get there.  If anything, it seemed to me, she would be a little melancholy, especially talking about her earlier life.  I think she was particularly proud of her kinship with Pound and told me several times that he called her “La Martinelli.”  She showed me a passage from a biography of his where she was mentioned and it referred to his nickname for her.

Many times, during our wine drinking, the subject of sex would arise. She was very free about discussing it on vivid terms. I was about 25 at the time and was attracted to her and I think she was attracted to me, but neither of us ever made a move, although I am sure it would have happened had one of us had initiated it. There was a lot of mutual respect and friendship between us and I think we both felt that clandestine sex would have spoiled it, and we were probably right

Gilbert was working as a mechanic and commuted six days a week so I did not spend as much time with him as I did Sheri.  He was a handsome man and tended to be on the quiet side.  I never heard a cross word pass between them.  Sheri related a tale to me that is worth passing on about Gilbert and her painting.  I don’t know how but she had been commissioned to do a painting of St. Xavier for Xavier University in Cincinnati and she used Gilbert as a model.  The university made a show about the unveiling having the painting hung behind a velvet curtain and Sheri was in attendance along with her mother.  When the curtain was pulled aside her mother exclaimed, “why, it’s good old Gi…” but catching herself in time went on: “good old St. Xavier.”

She was an accomplished and talented painter, and I admired her work very much.  One day we were sitting in her back yard, drinking white wine when she told me she had a surprise for me.  She walked into the house and for a minute I thought she was going to come out sans her mu mu.  Instead she came back with one of her paintings and gave it to me.  It was about 3 1/2′ by 3′.  It was beautiful, a picture of houses across a street as seen through a gauzy lace curtain, on a window, that was caught in a gentle breeze.  The houses were like those seen in Pacific Heights, and she told me that was the case.  She had painted it when they lived in S.F.  The picture was unframed with the canvas just tacked to the frame.  I loved it.  But like so many things in my checkered life I let it slip away.

Soon after that I moved on to Alaska and many other places of the world trying to satisfy the wanderlust that I knew.  I never saw her again.

Many years later I was living in Washington state and was driving down to Southern California to visit friends.  I made it a point to stop around noon time at the Cliff House to enjoy a great lunch, a bottle of white wine and the magnificent view.  I continued down the hiway and stopped at the entrance to the cabins near Tunitis Creek.  There was a huge barrier across the road and I could go no further than the side of the hiway.  I think the cabins were still there but I could not be sure as the Cypress trees had grown so much.  I felt a great wash of nostalgia and I thought of Sheri and all of the pleasant times we had spent together.

June, I hope this has been of interest to you.  I enjoyed brushing away the cobwebs of my memory about Sheri.  She was, in may ways, quite remarkable.

I was on the periphery of some things in S.F. of note.  I briefly managed a band called “Teddy and George and the Condors.”  They played at the famous (infamous) Condor club in North Beach where Carol Doda exposed her boobs.  She and I knew each other for a brief interlude.  I also knew Marty Balin, and Ralph Mathis.  By the way Marty Balin, while a great musician, in my opinion, was a better artist.

I am a wannabe writer.  I am working on a memoir and a novel.  I also write country songs and a few poems.  Haven’t tried to get anything published and am sure I lack the talent to do that.  But it is fun anyway.

My best to you.  I enjoy reading your work.


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A Little History of Hewlett-Packard/Plus Terman’s IQ Test

[Image: L-R: Bill Hewlett & Dave Packard after WWII.]
HPA History of Hewlett & Packard

An old-new story by June Morrall

In 1963 William R. Hewlett and David Packard made Fortune magazine’s list of America’s “Centimillionaires,” millionaires 100 times over.

The enormous success of the former Stanford University electrical engineering students began in a modest one-car garage in Palo Alto in 1939—the birthplace of Hewlett-Packard Co.

Born a year apart—Hewlett in 1913 and Packard in 1912—the pair met as classmates who tinkered with devices in the engineering department laboratories at Stanford. Playing varsity football sharpened their sense of competition and teamwork.

After graduation, Hewlett entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Packard took a “safe” job with General Electric at its Schenectady, New York labs.

Stanford engineering professor Frederick Terman acutely felt the loss of Hewlett and Packard as he had taken a special interest in the two young men. Terman, son of the developer of the famous Stanford-Binet Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test, tired of losing so many of his gifted engineering students to the East Coast, where employment was more readily available.

Committed to stemming the “brain drain,” Terman obtained electrical engineering fellowships for Hewlett and Packard in 1938, successfully luring them back to Stanford.

In an electrical engineering seminar led by Terman, Hewlett designed the circuitry for an audio oscillator, an electrical instrument that tested sound equipment. Although other oscillators existed, Hewlett’s model surpassed them all in every respect.

For these reasons, the visionary Terman saw great commercial potential in the new oscillator, urging Hewlett and Packard to manufacture the devices in Palo Alto.

As the course of their lives changed, Packard, who hailed from Colorado, met Lucile Salter on the campus and the couple soon wed. Hewlett, the son of the dean of the Medical School, married graduate student Flora Lamson.

Encouraged by their mentor, Professor Terman, Hewlett and Packard started their business on a part-time basis in the one car garage behind the apartments they rented on Addison Avenue in Palo Alto in 1939. Lucile Packard pitched in as the company’s secretary.

Terman had a surefire test on the progress of his students’ business enterprise.

“If the car was in the garage,” Terman said in a 1973 interview, “there was no backlog. But if the car was in the driveway, business was good.”

By 1940 the new firm expanded into part of a cabinet shop on El Camino in Palo Alto. At the outset, HP, as the company was called, focused on developing high-tech products sold mainly to other companies, rather than directly to the consumer.

One of the engineering student’s first big was to Walt Disney Studios, which purchased eight audio oscillators for the soundtrack of the 1940 Academy Award-winning animated film, “Fantasia.”

Terman, later vice president of Stanford, initiated the practice of exposing young scientists to the world of commerce, and promoted collaboration between the university and fledgling high-tech companies.

In the 1950s  hundreds of acres of farmland owned by the university were leased to high-tech companies on very favorable terms. HP, manufacturing electronic test instruments sold worldwide, led the parade into the newly developed Stanford Research Park.

Terman stopped the “brain drain,” demonstrating that the university’s most promising students could find work close to their homes on the beautiful Peninsula, free of sooty smokestacks and old factory buildings, symbolic of decaying East Coast industrial areas.

William and Flora Hewlett chose to reside in Palo Alto with their five children. David and Lucile Packard , and their four children, lived on acreage in the Los Altos Hills, surrounded by luscious apricot orchards.

An outdoorsman, Hewlett enjoyed skiing while Packard chugged around his orchards atop a trailer, or puttered in the vegetable garden.

The Peninsula’s easy lifestyle carried over to HP’s workplace, contrasting with the East Coast’s rigid formalities. At HP, there was a sense of openness, office dress was casual and everybody was on a first name basis.

Both Hewlett and Packard became trustees at Stanford University. But David Packard was singled out for government service when he accepted the nomination as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense in President Nixon’s first administration in 1969—a time when the Vietnam War bitterly divided the country.

Before the Senate confirmed Packard, Tennessee Sen. Albert Gore challenged the appointment, charging that Packard’s $300 million worth of HP stock presented a conflict of interest, as the company did business with the Pentagon and defense contractors.

Following precedent, Packard placed the stock into a charitable trust: the dividends benefited the Castilleja School Foundation in Palo Alto, Menlo College, the Stanford Children’s Convalescent Hospital and other worthwhile institutions.

Packard’s tenure as deputy defense secretary during the Vietnam War was rocky, and he resigned three years later. Bill Hewlett was also a target of the anti-war movement. Then president of the electronics firm, Hewlett faced death threats in 1969; his Palo Alto home was firebombed two years later.

While Packard gave speeches at local Republican political events in the 1970s, often heckled by anti-war protestors, HP was becoming an important manufacturer in the exploding area of mini-computers and calculators.

In 1972 HP introduced a sophisticated handmade calculator with a $395 price tag; every young accountant and engineer yearned for one and the product had no serious competition for two years. What followed was a pattern the consumer has grown accustomed to: the price of calculators dropped to $20 or even less.

Co-founder David Packard died in 1996; William Hewlett passed away 2001.


[In the story above I mention Dr. Frederick Terman. Terman’s father was Dr. Lewis Madison Terman, credited with developing the IQ test. Below is his story.]


Before the work of Dr. Lewis Madison Terman the two letters IQ meant little to anyone. But by the time of the psychologist’s death in 1956, the world-renowned intelligence test expert had so popularized the abbreviation of intelligence quotient that it was a household expression.

As part of his legacy he launched a pathbreaking continuing long term study of 1,528 super-bright California school kids in the early 1920s. With the assistance of teams of researchers, Terman’s project was the first of its kind. His ambitious goal was to track the ups and downs in the lives of precocious kids with IQs above 135, from age 10 through maturity and beyond.

Terman’s educational background prepared him well for what became his life’s work.

He was born in Indiana in 1877, attended Indiana University and received his doctorate from Clark University in Massachusetts in 1905, the only place in America where Sigmund Freud, the famous Viennese psychiatrist, visited and spoke.

Clark University was in the forefront, staying abreast of the latest ideas in psychology, especially child psychology. This exciting atmosphere helped shape Terman’s future academic career. It was there that he was most likely influenced to debunk the widely popular belief that brilliant children tended to be sickly and anti-social.

Young Terman was deeply interested in the work of 19th century French psychologist, Albert Binet. The author of a book of 35 tests published in the early 1900s, Binet was credited as the founder of intelligence tests.

But the two men approached intelligence testing from opposite directions. While Binet hoped his tests would ultimately be used to detect slower children needing special classes, Terman was setting his sights on the study of gifted kids, believing they needed accelerated programs.

Before coming to Stanford in 1910, Terman taught at high schools in Indiana and Southern California. Four years later he was named an associate professor of education at Stanford and a professor of psychology in 1916.

That year, Terman’s book, “The Measurement of Intelligence,” was published, quickly becoming the “bible” of child psychologists everywhere. “The Measurement of Intelligence” showcased 90 different tests whereby the child’s performance could be judged against a mental age. For example, a 6-year-old who scored at an 8-year-old’s mental level, graded high.

Scores above 135 represent the top 1 percent of the population, often considered genius.

Terman’s book inspired the famous Stanford revision of the Binet Intelligence Test used throughout the country to determine a child’s IQ.

The important book brought Terman welcome recognition, and during WWI he served as a major with the surgeon general’s staff, helping revise the Army’s intelligence testing program.

It has been said that Alfred Binet gave his own children the IQ tests he was developing, and years later when Terman had settled down to academic life at Stanford he had done the same with his offspring.

Regarded by all as a good-natured fellow, Terman once joked that his own children were always a bit bored with the tests.

“The would say, figuratively speaking, Terman recall in a 1937 interview, “Ho hum! Here comes Daddy with some more of those nutty questions! We’d better humor him, though.” He quipped that he had better luck with his grandchildren who came running and begged for more tests.”

Certainly Terman’s son, Frederick, who was born in 1900, was prototypical of the precocious lad who grew up in the privileged university campus environment. He knew the names of all the birds, a challenging feat for older boys, and by the time he was a teenager demonstrated a strong talent for science, especially radio, constructing his own set enabling him to communicate with ships at sea. (During WWII, he operated a radio lab at Harvard mandated to confuse enemy radar.)

Terman was proud of his son, Frederick, who received degrees from  Stanford and  the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before joining Stanford’s electrical engineering faculty in 1925. Later, Frederick became chairman of the engineering department and provost of the university.

He encouraged students like William R. Hewlett and David Packard to develop their innovative ideas. Considered the prime mover behind Northern California’s place at the center of the electronics revolution, Terman helped students turn their scientific theories into real-world products –and to locate their facilities at Stanford Industrial Park, close to the university’s classrooms and labs.

By 1937 Lewis and Frederick Terman were one of the few father-son members of the National Academy of Science. Lewis Terman’s study of gifted kids was first born at Clark University but later kindled at Stanford where the psychologist became known as ‘the man who measures minds.”

The long term he started up in the early 1920s involving the 1,528 California schoolchildren with IQs above 135 closely monitored the lives of the “Termites,” as they were sometimes called, and would evolve into a record-breaking project.

The timing was right for Terman’s study. In the 1920s Americans were mesmerized by everything scientific, and psychology, the youngest “science,” seized their imaginations.

A regimen of regular testing and personal interviews, conducted by researchers, followed the “Termites,” eliciting information about their careers, health, marriage, social life and more. When the study began, no one could have anticipated that this group would live through both a Depression and WWII.

Although the names of the test subjects were kept under lock and key, over the years there were rumors that among them numbered a famous movie star, a science fiction writer and an Academy Award -winning motion picture director.

When Terman became professor emeritus in 1942, his experiment had set a record for a long-time study of schoolchildren. In a speech before members of the National Vocational Guidance Center in San Francisco, he divulged the following data collected about his “kids.”

1. Basic intelligence has little to do with the ability to make money–some with the highest IQs had relatively little earning power.

2. The divorce rate of 11 percent is perhaps a little below the average of comparable age in California.

3. The unemployment record throughout the depression was low for this group. Those who could not find the kind of jobs they wanted nearly always managed to get something to tide them over.

4. Housewives and women who are in the job market differ little in intelligence scores, those doing office work rate no lower than those in professions.

5. After school days were behind them, the vast majority of women ceased to compete with men in intellectual pursuits. Women who accepted employment outside the home wanted cash more than a career.

Five years following Terman’s speech, “The Gifted Child Grows Up,” the fourth book in a series, was published by Terman and Melita H. Oden. Terman concluded that gifted children had a much better chance of an effective life upon maturity, both socially and economically, but that there was little tendency for them to get rich or attain celebrity status.

While 90 percent of the gifted group entered college and 70 percent graduated, their average income was not “spectacularly superior,” according to newspaper accounts.

As to the state of their health, they were healthier and had a lower death rate than average.

In an interview, Terman said he had discovered no Newtons, Galileos or Darwins among the 20 or 30 young scientists in his group.

“The group includes several authors of promise,” he said, but no prospective Shakespeares, Goethes or Tolstoys. Nor were any future Rembrandts detected among the artists or an Lockes or Kants among the philosophers.

As time passed, Terman’s unshakeable belief in the special status of his gifted kids and the intelligence that defined them was often challenged. He sharply disagreed with Allison Davis, a professor of education at the University of Chicago, who insisted IQ tests were invalid, meaningless and no representative.

Terman was working on the fifth volume in the series on his study when he fell ill and died at age 79 in Palo Alto in 1956. Since Terman’s death, his monumental thesis continues to be monitored at Stanford. [As of 2000.]

Lewis Terman was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Philosophical Society. He was an honorary member of the British Psychological Society and a fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland.

An article by Daniel Goleeman in the February 1980 “Psychology Today” magazine, and his later blockbuster book, “Emotional Intelligence,” together bring focus and controversy to the subject of testing.

IQ tests remain a hot button issue and continue to be widely criticized for being invalid in determining ability and future intellectual accomplishment. Some educators and psychologists have also contended that IQ tests create rivalries between race and the sexes.

Today, there is a tendency to treat the subject of intelligence testing with extreme caution.

However, these criticisms do not detract from Terman’s work at Stanford, and the “granddaddy of all life-span research” may yet provide greater insights into intelligence when the last “Termite” dies and the final are written (unless they have already been written.]

[more coming later]

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