For this episode of Stories from The Point, we hear from Mid Dornan.
At 90 years old, Mid is living history. She is a woman who has lived here in The Point since 1946. She has also written a book on the history of the Methodist Church in Point Richmond. Her in-laws had lived here since the early 1900s and owned and operated one of Richmond’s oldest and longest running businesses. To be sure, I got many great stories. And I will get those stories out at some point, but you will not hear them in this episode. Rather, I was so touched that Mid also shared with me some personal stories about meeting her husband and his untimely death that I really wanted to share them first.
Here is a more personal audio postcard from Mid. Perhaps next time you drive through the Ferry Point Tunnel, which immediately exits onto Dornan Drive, you will have a stronger connection to its namesake and take pause.
Please, after listening, be sure to leave a reply below.
Nathan Trivers came to Point Richmond to open his first restaurant – the rugby themed pub, the Up and Under. Okay, before you go rolling your eyes at the idea of a sports bar, give this episode a listen and then come down and visit the Up and Under.
Nathan opened the pub in 2010, and within two years it has become a fixture in the area. I don’t think his success can simply be attributed to the community’s love for locally owned, small businesses. Rather, Nathan’s hard work and effort made it an ultimate success. He turned a once run-down, smelly, unwelcoming bar into a place that even your mother would be happy to eat at. It took some major effort and vision to flip the establishment into what it is today.
What has also made the Up and Under so successful? Perhaps it’s that from the get-go, Nathan has been intimately involved in the community and has started such things as an annual event that raises money for our local elementary school. Or perhaps it’s the $1 oyster night on Thursdays. Or the pub quiz night on Tuesdays. Maybe the karaoke on Saturday nights. Or the under four dollar 20 ounce draft beer pints all day Sunday. Seriously, that last one is pretty awesome. However you break it down, Nathan and the folks at the Up and Under really do a great job in creating a place where a diverse group of people – sports lovers or not – can go and have an honest to goodness good time. No pretense. Just honest pub faire.
Now it’s your turn. Take a listen to this episode of Stories from The Point and leave a comment after listening. Better yet, meet me at the Up and Under one Sunday for a beer! Cheers!!!
How does the saying go? “Good art is subjective”? Well, for pin-up and erotic art illustrator, Vincent Stephens, so is beauty. Vincent uses line drawing in a comic book style to celebrate his love of “big beautiful women.” He does this with humor, but also with a passionate message that big women are indeed beautiful! While his art may not be for everyone, Vincent is an extremely friendly and approachable guy who you will find most days at the Refined by Fire Gallery in downtown Point Richmond. Stop by there and chat him up and you’ll see what I mean. Better yet, come on down for one of the Point Richmond Art Walks – every third Thursday of the month – and you’ll get to see/hear Vincent playing bass along with other local musicians in the courtyard of Refined by Fire. Matter of fact, that’s them you hear in the background of this episode!
Yes indeed, Point Richmond has a lot of artists. I don’t know the percentage as compared to other places, but for such a small town, we seem to have lot of creative folks with a diverse body of works. With the erotic art of Vincent Stephens, the art clocks of Steve Hurst, the photo-realistic tattoo work at Iron & Brush, the fine art and sculpture at the Point Richmond Art Collective, and the many, many other artists who show work at all of the studios, shops and galleries in town; the Point Richmond art scene definitely represents the general attitude of the area: friendly – accessible – unpretentious – approachable.
Now, let’s join up with Vincent at the Point Richmond Art Walk. Remember, I’d love to hear from you and I’m sure Vincent would too. So after listening, be sure to leave your comments and/or questions.
Point Richmond has a strong and growing community of artists living here. While there are several noted photographers in town, Hugh Shurley’s work is really very unique. In a world where the digitally mastered image is taking over, Hugh’s work is painstakingly and passionately done in a manual tradition. As Hugh says, he’s more of a photo-collagist than “just” a photographer. Instead of digital layers, Hugh physically layers from 4-8 images printed on Plexiglas on top of each other with bits of ephemera in-between. Looking at a digital scan of one of these pieces of art is impressive; however, the physical pieces hold a more profound experience that could never be duplicated digitally.
Hugh’s work is quite special to witness firsthand, and Hugh himself is also an inspiration. His mantra could likely be summed up with: if you’re not creating art, you’re not living and if you’re only living to make a living then you aren’t living at all. It was those words of wisdom he shared with me during a New Year’s Day breakfast that got me going with the Stories from The Point project. Thanks, Hugh!
He and his partner Isidro are also responsible for starting one our neighborhood’s most cherished block parties. Once a year we all get together for a potluck and live music that now attracts around 150-200 people. My wife and I had been to it before moving here and it was definitely one of the selling points. In regards to the annual block party Hugh shares, “I really get the feeling that when we first moved here everyone kind of stuck to themselves. And it didn’t take much to get people out and to relate to each other.”
What has developed is a much stronger cohesion amongst neighbors and a real sense of community. “I see how, given the opportunity, most people want to be part of community. And when people come together in a community, they may not all agree politically or any other wise, but if you can find some common thing that you can all share; it just makes your life richer,” says Hugh.
Give this episode of Stories from The Point a listen and please leave your comments. Headphones are encouraged. Also, be sure to check out Hugh’s artwork when you get a chance…even if it just means stopping by his web site.
When my wife and I first moved to Point Richmond, we kept hearing stories about this guy named Steve who had lived here since the early 1940s. People wouldn’t say much about him except that he was quite the character and that you just had to meet him. Well, I finally got the chance to sit and talk with him – I didn’t want to leave.
I don’t know for sure but I’d say Steve Wyrick is probably the oldest member in the Point Richmond community. Besides living a long and healthy life, Steve’s enthusiasm for it is one of the things that really stands out for me.
First of all, for much of his life Steve was a prolific gardener. For years he shared with his surrounding neighbors the bounty from his garden. He grew carrots, peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, string beans; he has 3 different types of lemon trees, an orange tree and a prized pear tree.
In his aged, Texas-rooted voice, Steve told me, “I always started with Early Girl tomatoes. I’d get them first. [I’d] always buy at least six of those. I’d plant in the same spot every year but I put in old 10-10 fertilizer, you know, and then you’d chew it down into the ground. That makes everything grow good!”
I’ve met more than a few neighbors that have exclaimed just how good and truly amazing his garden was. But at nearly 97-years old he’s had to stop gardening. Now his garden is tended to by some of his family members who plant a few items but mainly keep the grounds clear of weeds. When talking about the gardening help he now gets, Steve said, “They’re very good but they don’t understand the basic stuffs for gardening, you know?! I try to teach’em.” Adding with his wonderful and sly laugh, “But they don’t listen to me. Ain’t that something?! Yes sir, boy.”
As you’ll hear, Steve has lived a full life and you can still hear the zest he has for it in this episode of Stories from The Point. Once you’re done listening please feel free to leave a comment. I love to hear from you!
For this week’s edition of Stories from The Point, we meet with one of our neighbors, Dee Rosier, who has lived in Point Richmond for 53 years. In her audio postcard we get a glimpse of Dee’s sense of humor, her caring personality, and learn a bit about her background. It was a pleasure to listen to her stories, but they left me with a bit of a challenge – which stories do I share!? I opted to do a little of everything, just like a postcard from a friend would be. We will most likely hear from Dee again because she is a wealth of Point Richmond history. Actually, Dee does volunteer with the Point Richmond History Association and you can visit them online at: www.alkos.com/prha. I hope you enjoy this week’s episode. I love to get feedback so please be sure to leave a comment after listening.
There are so many wonderful people who live and work here in Point Richmond. And really, that is the inspiration that started this project – I want to share these voices with you! And for episode 1 of the Stories from The Point podcast, I could not have been luckier to get the time to speak to a couple of very talented local musicians, Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan. They do a lot for the community here and one of those things is producing the annual Point Richmond Acoustic Concert Series at the First Methodist Church. If you are nearby I strongly encourage you to attend. Claudia and Bruce epitomize the neighborly and supportive way of thinking that I have found in so many people in Point Richmond.
So, go on, give this episode a listen and learn a bit about The Point along with Claudia and Bruce’s take on this unique place on the San Francisco Bay. Don’t forget to leave a comment.