Thursday, February 26, 2009




"Dear Ivano:
My name is Laura Neri Gularte. My parents were Quinto and Elvira Neri. I am "LaNorma's"cousin. Going through some old photos, I came across the picture I am sending you, taken at the Santa Cruz Beach. It is Elio Rodoni, your brother John, you, your mom, myself and my mother. I don't know what year it was taken, however; I'm thinking sometime in the middle 1940s. Norma thought you might enjoy having it. I do remember your mom often picking us up to go to the beach. (Ed: Probably in the "Old Carrettone".) Norma and I had a great time going over these old pictures.

I have your book and have enjoyed reading it.

Laura Neri Gularte

Thanks Laura. I really appreciate you sending me the photo and letter. Life was really a "beach" back then.....or was it? Judging by the expressions on "Bebo's" and my face we were wishing to be elsewhere. BTW: The other photo was also taken at Cowell's Beach circa 1957. Sitting from left to right: Bruce Hansen and Jim Ceragioli. Standing left to right "Charles Atlas" and Jerrill (The Old Professor) Kerrick. ('clicca on foto for enlarged image.)

'Con Un Bacin D'Mor Ivano


Ivano Franco Comelli said...

I was in Santa Cruz this week and I took a walk on West Cliff Drive.
It had just rained and some scattered storm clouds still hovered over the Warf and Monterey Bay. The view from the Cliffs was fantastic. I had the wharf, Cowell's Beach, the Dream Inn and the Boardwalk all in my sight. At these times Santa Cruz at the Beach can really be beautiful. Of course the views of the beaches really brought back some fond memories (as shownin Laura's photo).
BTW: I noticed that they are doing some re-furbishing at the Dream Inn. That certainly is a plus.

sc-19 said...

Hello :) just stumbled on youre blog here and had to say hello after seeing mention of Ray and Minnie Pollastrini in a May 30 2008 entry.

My father was Larry Walker, brother of Raymond Walker [ Ray and Chris Walker ] It was always a treat to go visit Ray and Minnie while growing up, some of the nicest people I have ever known.

Its pretty neat to see someone is keeping a record of sorts of people who made Santa Cruz a great place to be that has since been forgotten or never known bye most.
I always loved living there as a child and have fond memories of how it used to be.

Take care
Raymond Walker [ yep another one :) interestingly enough my older brothers name is Larry :) ]

Anonymous said...

'BLAGGA TRAIN' RAYMOND WALKER. Thanks for your kind comments. I hope you stay in touch. Let my 'blagga' people know where you are now and if you attended SC schools. The name Walker rings a bell, but I can't quite place the family. I attend High School with a Cora Walker, who passed away several years ago. She was married to Richard Hawkins of SCHS Cardinal Football fame (1953-55). Were you related? ivn0

Ivano Franco Comelli said...


Ciao Ivano,

Good to see the latest photo of you and the others at the beach.

Since getting a Google taskbar, I have made use of Google maps. I was astounded to be able to not only find my old house on Bay St., but to see a full front view of it and all the surrounding houses! The Dogliotti house is still there, looking exactly as it did 40 years ago. The same for the Olsen house. Some changes I note are a chain link fence around the place across the street where the Clarks lived, and the former Mellis Market is now a surf shop. Wow!

The entire street is now lined with trees, which were not there before. Even our old house has about 6 small palm trees in front and a larger one in back. But the color of "our place"! An ugly terra cotta!

Ivano, I did find your old house and that of the Gemignani, but there is no front view of that. Thus, I can't be certain I saw the right two houses at the address on Bulb Ave. you gave, but I think I saw the roofs of the two.

Aint modern technology great? (when it works)

Saluti e migliori auguri.


THANKS GINO. Re: The two old family houses now located at 1505 Bulb Avenue in Capitola: The Gemignani house is in front and faces Bulb Ave. The Comelli house is directly to the rear and can be accessed via a long private driveway. Our old kitchen window faces the rear of the Gemignani house just like it was long time ago "su per la costa". ivno

Anonymous said...

I haven't E-MAILED you for a while (basically nothing new). However, I have to tell you that
thanks to you (and the 'blagga',) I have gotten to know DORIANO (The Canadian Furlan) real well.

He e-mails me quite often. What amazes me about this young man is how steeped he is in the Furlan traditons and its language . Of course he is living in an area (East Canada) where there are a lot of people from our part (Friuli) of ITALY .

In fact I told him about a VIDEO,I rented called THE GOLDEN DOOR. It tells the story of a family from SICILY that migrates to AMERCIA.
Nothing really new, but what I really liked was that it shows the hardships of the trip and (most important)the step by step process (the immigrants had to take going) through ELLIS ISLAND. (My DAD spent one week there while waiting for his sponsor's letter. While waiting he had to sleep on the floor.

This movie was presented by MARTIN SCORSESE and
supposely was the story of his grandparents coming to AMERICA .

For me it was a very meaningful movie . I mention this movie to DORIANO , and I even bought him a
copy so that he could use it in one of his classes
> Click here to find the perfect picture with our powerful photo search features.


Internal Virus Database is out of date.
Checked by AVG -
Version: 8.0.175 / Virus Database: 270.10.25/1957 - Release Date: 2/17/2009 7:07 AM

Ivano Franco Comelli said...


I saw the "Golden Door" a few months back. I agree with you that the most interesting part was the voyage and the step by step process that was mandatory to get through Ellis Islands. The part where the women had to actually get married on site in order to be admitted to America was really something.

I didn't like the fact that the dialogue was in the dialect of the Napoletanos. It made it hard for me to follow without reading the subscripts. Also I could have done without the surreal dream sequences which I thought detracted from the movie.

Other than that ... Good stuff.
Ivan "Roppa Doppa" at the Movies.

sc-19 said...

Sorry if this is a bit long winded

As the familly goes my Father and his brother had one sister, Barbara Pepper of Salinas Ca. I believe they were orogionally from Fillmore Ca and moved to SC sometime before or during High School.

Pretty sure they went to SCHS.
My father worked for Southern Pacific and later worked as a Civil Engereer for Cal Trans for about 35 years, my uncle had a couple of car lots in SC and was really into Hot Rods, Muscle Cars etc.
He had a 60's 427 Corvette named "Captain Sunshine" he and Chris were Corvette Club members in the area and went on alot of rallies.
Aunt Chris used to sell Antiques and I think they had shop in SC ?

Later on Ray became a general Construction Contractor, he was a member of the "Cam Snappers" car club early on. They had two boys Dale [ La Selva Beach ] and Gary [ Boulder Creek ] Chris and Ray lived many years in the house that sits on the edge of the cliff off School Street above the clock tower on the Pacific Garden Mall.

Dale drag raced for Coast Hinda for many years and broke several World Records over the years in Motorcycle Drag Racing. He started Holeshot Performance out of his garage and its still going strong today

I think there may be some pics of Ray on his site in his Bio section ?

They also lived a few doors down from the parking lot of SCHS.

For many years my uncle used to have Sunday breakfast with Jack Oneil and a bunch of retired local Cops, pretty sure he went to SCHS with most of the guys. My Father spent a few years in the Army at Fort Ord.

Over the years we lived over off of Morissey Blvd, 17th Ave and Calabasas Road in Watsonville.
I attended Calabasas School and Watsonville High, my brother went to Delaveaga and Watsonville.

I graduated in 1989 [Im currently 37] my brother Larry in 1986 [hes 40] My father passed on in 1990 at 56 and my Uncle just a few years ago, not sure of his age ?

Chris is living in Yuma Arizona and stays with Dale part of the year in La Selva, my mother is Jeannette Walker formerly Mcgeorge from Salinas ca [ Charles Mcgeorge of Mcgeorge communications in Salinas was her Father ] She workd for Silvania for many years. Mom is doing great at 73 she retired from Bookkeeping several years ago and lives in Arroyo Secco down bye King City.

My brother had a long carrer with Lucky foods and now lives in Goodyear Arizona. As for me I spent six years in the USMC leaving as a Lance Corporal,Im currently living in Marina Ca and Im a medically retired California Highway Partrol Officer.

Again sorry if this is a bit long.

I think pretty much sums up the Familly as I know it :)

LaNorma said...


Love the foto of you and everyone at the beach from Laura. Yeah – guess you

And Elio had some other idea and were outvoted. Precious memories.

Per ora – ciao - LaNorma

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Thanks sc-19 (Raymond Walker) for your family bio. I am sure that someone on the"blagga train" will remember your family and maybe even you. Interesting to know that you are a retired CHP and currently living in Marina. I am a retired San Jose Police Officer and I lived in Carmel, Carmel Valley and off Hwy 68 for about 15 years. I am currently living in Morgan Hill but I do visit Monterey County quite regularly. Maybe we can get together on one of these trips. ivno

Anonymous said...

Today I finally finished reading your book. It is fantastic. The last several chapters are very moving and caused me to recall similar event in my life. On many different levels you have really captured life as it was in our growing up and made it available to many. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for the commitment and dedication to complete it.

sc-19 said...


That would be cool. I see youve had a carrer that far exceeds most officers, my hats off to you Sir :)

I actually applied to San Jose PD back in 1995 upon coming out of the USMC. I already started the hire process with CHP and decided to go to the academy at gavilan College in the event that didnt pan out.

Pretty much all of the staff were current or retired SJPD, most notably was the "Chief" so to speak Mr Keith [ first name of Gerrin maybe ? ] a retired SJPD officer. He talked alot about "Pucker Power" since they had no radios back when he started and used call boxes with very little equipment to help.

I have alot of respect for officers of that era, you guys are tough as nails. Anywho I ended up getting hired bye the CHP about halfway through Gavilan and off I went to the CHP academy then on to LA where I learned more about people than I ever really wanted to know :)

LA was a blast to work in though.

I will have to get with you via email.