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Lomond Terrace, Memories of the Way it Was
by Heather MacCurdy

When I was doing a deed search on my property (I bought 20 acres with Paul Lawton in January 1979--25 years ago!), I learned that Katherine Harrington had bought most of the mountain "for 50 gold pieces" years before. So when we needed to name our driveway (which is now Fiddlesticks), I submitted the name Harrington, thinking it was full of history (and early feminism!) but the county said there was already a Harrington in Watsonville and they didn't want emergency rescue crews to get confused--like we don't have a zillion Redwood Way/Court/Drive/Circles, etc. to confuse them already.

Lo and behold,
they installed a telephone in my refrigerator!

My sister owned a log cabin directly next to my current property at the end of Flintlock; she bought it in 1972, I believe. The windows were that wavy old glass. It had high ceilings but was "unfit for human habitation" when my sister bought it, although she and her husband and 3 children lived there for years. I lived in what was a little blacksmith building on that property--it was very tiny, maybe 10 x 10. It had an old anvil in it when she bought it! The Bollingers owned the property before my sister but didn't use it year round. I think Mrs. Bollinger died so Mr. Bollinger never wanted to step foot on the property after that (too many memories, he said) and left the place with clothes in the closet, a filled garage, etc., including a Model T or Model A Ford that was reconfigured as a saw of some sort! Then Todd and Teresa tore down the log cabin and built a huge lodge-type place.

We bought our 20 acres from a partnership; one of the owners was John. It wasn't for sale but Paul and I hounded them mercilessly until they sold it to us. John lived on and owned many parcels on the hill; he had been married to a woman who died of TB (it was deadly in those days). He lived in a 12 x 12 cabin (I think) straight down the hill below the hairpin turn below Valley View. No water, electricity, etc. He once baked me a chocolate cake on his woodstove! He was very shy and had a terrible stutter so he didn't socialize much. But we got a long quite well. Unbelievably, he was a world-class ballroom dancer! One day I was driving down the hill toward Highway 9, and out pops John -- hiking up the path from his house dressed in a tuxedo, on his way to a competition! He didn't drive a car at all, but rode his bicycle everywhere.

I guess we have a long history of weirdoes on the hill! I like to think I'm in good company! I lived in a tent (with my 12-year-old son) for the first year I owned my land, then built a 12 x 14 lincoln-log cabin. We had no water or electricity for 8 or 9 years, no roads, etc. The land wasn't cleared at all; we had to park on Valley View and walk up.

Artists conception.

I do have a funny story about getting a telephone. I had dug a trench down the middle of my road for water pipes, so I called the phone company and asked to have a phone installed in the same trench. Why not, I thought. I was a single mom and needed to be able to keep in touch with my son. A phone fellow came out to the property and looked around (I didn't even have the tent at that point, just a campfire, sleeping bag, etc.!) and he refused, saying with outrage, "This is a campsite, not a home," and that he couldn't install a phone outside. I asked him why not, arguing that pay phones are outside all the time. He was flustered and mumbled and said yes, well, sure, but pay phones were in waterproof containers. Well, as it happened I had an old propane refrigerator on the property at the time that didn't work, so I pointed to it and said, "There is a waterproof container!" Lo and behold, they installed a telephone in my refrigerator! Of course, I immediately took it out of the refrigerator and hung it on a redwood tree. It was a princess wall phone and it looked lovely with the redwood bark.

I had this outdoor shower that was a flash heater. It had a curved copper coil in the middle that carried water to a shower head (again on a redwood tree!). I connected it to a 5-gallon propane tank, lit the burner, and had unlimited hot water for my shower and shampoo! I put down a palette to stand on and a little rack for my towel and soap and showered al fresco! My sister used to tease that Bambi would hand me my towel! Of course the road was so impassible at the time that I didn't have to worry about visitors disturbing my privacy! Ah, those were the days!