Tuesday, December 25, 2007


IVANO FRANCO COMELLI SAYS; Bryan Robinson sent me the above copy the 1859 Hatch Map which depicts 'La Nostra Costa' . ('CLICCA' ON PHOTO FOR ENLARGED IMAGE) Look closely and you will see the route of the 'Old' Coast Road What follows below is the e-mail correspondence between Bryan and 'LaNorma', who has recreated the route of the 'Old' Coast Road on a map of her own. Norma's map is in color and shows some of the old ranches along the coastal route. I have used Norma's map on several of my presentations. It is not, as 'LaNorma' suggests, "crude and amateurish".


Here is a copy of my email to Mrs. Wilson yesterday. Thought you might like to see the copy our correspondence and the attached 1889 Hatch map of the coast. I hope to keep in touch, and hopefully meet in person after the holidays.

I imagine you must know lots of the people--if not all of them!--interviewed in the video taped interviews by Alverda Orlando, "Davenport Oral History Series". I've seen almost all of them now, except those that haven't been available. You may also know my former neighbors in Santa Cruz, John and Marie (Stagnaro) Amin and John Sandes. My daughters used to go next door when they were little to "visit" John or Marie (while she was living--what a sweet lady!), and always got cookies!

Thanks again, Bryan

Dear Bryan:
How wonderful that a young person as yourself is so interested in the Coast (La Costa). Are you from this area?
Would love to know little bit about where you are from, etc. It does our hearts good – people like Ivano and myself
That were born and grew up on the Coast to know that a younger generation is interested in it also. Would love to
Talk to you and also share the map I put together. We could not find a map of the old road anywhere either – only
The internet journey of the new road and coastline. Therefore I did make a map myself although it is rather crude and
Amateurish as I am not a map drawer – however, Ivano and I know the road within our mind with our eyes closed. We
Were on it every day on the schoolbus,etc. I lived further up at 5420 Coast Rd. just before Laguna. So glad you know
The person that lives at Laguna – maybe in the future we can check it out. As you will read in the book – there is such
A history with Laguna and the old Italians and ranchers.

Also would love to see a copy of the map of l889 Hatch map from UCSC that you have a copy of – would you be willing
To share it with us? Anyway – would love to get together with you and Ivano and answer questions and work on the old
Road, etc. – maybe after the holidays in early January 2008?!

Yes I do know but not related to Esther (Frizza) Wilson. She is truly a wonderful, one-of-a-kind person. She and Ivano
Graduated in the same year from SCHS. It truly is a small world and again so happy that you are interested in LaCosta.
So be in touch by e-mail until we can further pursue this in the new year.

Thanks – Norma Dinelli Wilson

Hi Mrs. Wilson,

Thank you for your wonderful message!

I've attached a pieced-together copy of the 1889 Hatch map, which I found at the following link:
I've also seen the actual map in the map library at UCSC. It's huge, about 5 feet by 5 feet.

From your address on Coast Road, it appears that you lived in a house that was formerly "Sarafina's", according to Ivano's book! Wow, I've stopped to look at that house and compared it to the photo in the book!

I don't care how amatuerish your map drawing is, I'd love to see it, and possibly even drive along with you and Ivano to hear your descriptions of the old road's path as well as any other comments you would have!

To answer your question about where I am from, I was born in Palo Alto and "moved" to Mtn. View when I was one day old, the youngest of three boys. My mother grew up in Mtn. View also. Her parents came from N. Dakota and descended from families in Holland, Norway, Germany--some were Mennonites. My father came via San Francisco from Utah. His father came out in 1936 to work as a carpenter on the Golden Gate bridge. His people were primarily Austrian, German, French. I warmly remember working with my paternal grandfather and hearing him talk about working in the fields with the horses and what not. He when it was lunch time, he would say, "Time to put the nose bag on", referring back to when he would put a nose bag on his working horses.

I came to Santa Cruz out of college to work at County Bank. Left town later, then came to regret it. So felt lucky to come back in 1990, worked at S.C. Adult School, now working as a high school counselor in Salinas. And learning about and experiencing the north coast has become a great interest. I feel thoroughly enriched by my adopted connection to the area and its people. Maybe the heart connection I feel relates to my relationship with my grandfather who was living in an era when he worked in the fields, then later worked in plastering--probably used cement from the plant at Davenport! Yet my grandfather relationship must be only a part of what pulls me; there is something that is just very special about LaCosta...

I've enjoyed watching the video taped interviews by Alverda Orlando, "Davenport Oral History Series". I imaging you know most of the people who were interviewed. What a wonderful thing to listen to them talk about people and how things used to be.

I look forward to talking with you and Ivano!

Great to hear from you,



ivano said...

Bryan: Thanks for the 'auld' map. When you get Norma's map, you will have quite a set for 'La Costa'. BTW: Bob Piwarzk, who contriubuted quite a bit to the book re: the limestone Kilms, said that it was quite helpful for him to follow the telephone & PG&E poles .. According to Bob, the poles,for the most part, were not moved when new roads went in.

Norma's house was located next door to Serafina's (Beltramis). The last time I was there (Serafina's), the occupant was a young lady named 'Carrie'. She got all excited when I showed her the Chapter in the book about the very house she was living in. She even allowed me a look see within. Of course it has been remodeled inside and it didn't look much like I remembered it. No bar, no jukebox. The thing that struck me was that the bar area was so small. Angie Beltrami (who has recently moved back to Santa Cruz) told me that they used to hold banquets there. Hard to believe, now. Simply amazing.

I don't know if you have come across the article by Gino Campioni on the 'Blagga' entitled 'IL Dumpo Di Santa Cruz'. If you haven't you can access it in the archives by typing the title in the 'search blog' space at the top left corner of the Blagga. Another great article by Gino is the 'Itanglish Dictionary'. Read that one and you will be 'fluent" in 'Coastal Eyetalian'.

Sempre Avanti, Ivn0

'Il ferruccio said...


Auguro a tutti Voi Buone feste ed un felice Anno Nuovo

Un bacione ed un forte abbraccio a tutti i miei amici de “ La Nostra Costa” negli USA

Da parte di Ferruccio e familia