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Pedro Valley in the '50s

I grew up on Shamrock Ranch, [and now live in Missouri] and am searching for current pictures. Everything I read about the proposed bypass shows it going through my back yard :) I'd like to find a pic that shows the house (if its still there) next to the lake (if ITS still there) I can trade many pictures taken in the 50's and 60's tell me what you'd like to see from the past, and I'll attach it :)
Jim Evans

Shamrock Ranch, 1953

I moved to Shamrock Ranch when I was 9 years old (1953) and found the perfect lifestyle (for me) Even though we only had 2 TV stations we were NEVER bored. In the 50's "the ranch" was milking 76 head of cattle, boarding dogs and horses, raising a few hogs, and this kept several people busy full time, and provided lots of fun for "us kids".

In the name of "helping" I got to drive the tractors and jeeps. By age 10 I could run a front end loader, and would happily interupt the current game to go clean out the holding pen just for the opportunity to drive something. :) When not "helping" (which was most of the time) we had several long running

"things to do" .

  1. "Play in the hay". All kids like to hide, and we were masters at it. When the barns were filled with bales for the winter we would carefully shift them around creating tunnels rooms and passageways that we could crawl through (not recommended for claustrophobes). One year we got a little to good,and the ranch was short about 10 tons of hay that turned out to be a hollow shell around one of our rooms. Also "play in the hay" included JUMPING into it. A 4 ft thickness of good oat hay could absorb the landing shock of a 12 foot drop even if you got fancy and landed on your back or jumped off a rope swing at the high point of its arc. ( Caution a 10ft pile of chafe leftover from thrashing does NOT absorb the impact of a 20 foot drop because it compresses to about 6 in thick , and then you have to dig out before you can breathe.....)
  2. "swing on the ropes"This does wonders for your grip. we had ropes everywhere we could find a suitable tree. the favorite being one hooked to a willow tree about 12 ft up that let us swing across the creek. we took off from an angled stump about 6" diameter, swung in a circle over the creek, and landed on the same stump. a miss meant that you got wet, because the rope was in the MIDDLE of the creek and you lose momentum rapidly :) As we gained skill we wanted "higher and longer" swings. I remember one time taking off from a point 6 ft HIGHER than the anchor point of a 20 ft rope (heavy emphasis one the ONE TIME) fortunately I had "cheated" and put my foot in the loop, my grip would not have held the shock or even the second bounce.
  3. Hide and Seek: this was our longest running game with all its variations like "kick the can" "cops and robbers" etc. Our boundarys covered about 60 acres of the 300 available with an unbelievable number of hiding spots. Note: no one ever looks UP...if you can swing up into the rafters they'll run right under you :)
  4. Of course there were horses to ride and care for, dogs to play with, lizzards and snakes to capture and tame etc. we were never bored.
As I grew older and Linda Mar was built, I expanded my operations. Little known fact: The creek that originates from a small spring so far up the valley that its almost devils slide flows through the entire ranch and UNDER the school through a tube big enough for a 12 year old to walk through. We explored the tube with candles,and had a platform built to keep us dry almost before the grass needed mowing in the baseball field :) This little creek joins into San Pedro creek just a few yards from Peralta rd, and during the rainy season gets big enough to be dangerous. Are the engineers allowing for that when designing the bypass?? It does drain the whole valley...

I remember one year when I was about 17 a tree blocked the bridge under the highway and flooded the Linda Mar shopping center with me in it. As the water rose, we moved the things from the lower shelves in Johnny Pino's shoe repair shop "just in case" and went to drink coffee (5 cents a cup and free refills). Finally it stopped rising, and we decided to WADE out. it was up to my shoulders in the deepest part with no suprises on the bottom (unless it was a shopping cart) so we figured it was safe. After we got out, Jacks sister said she wanted to get out too (signalling from across the way), so we walked back in. She was too short to walk and breathe both, so we came out a second time with her holding my shoulders and floating behind. As we neared L.M.blvd. a rather LARGE man in a very SMALL volkswagen came down the street at very high speed....pulled a "love bug crossing the river" skip across 50 or so feet of flood water and wound up floating in 5 feet of water, drifting slowly toward the roof of a ford. We exchanged signals (he may have wanted us to push him to shore :) But I was already towing a friend) so with a VERY disgusted look on his face he opened the car door.....BLURP!! sunken VW :)

Later in the 50's

When Pacifica was first incorporated, it had very little effect on me. As a 12 year old, I barely noticed the difference. My uncle (Myrl Evans) became the custodian for the new City Hall and other public buildings, but my personal world was no bigger than the valley.

As Linda Mar grew and familys moved in I gained a lot of new friends, some from as far away as Pedro Point. I'd see them in school, but unless they lived in walking distance I'd only see them on Wed. night at the shopping center (the weekly merchants drawing gathered hundreds of people trying to win prizes...good stuff too ). A few names I remember, Ted Hayes, Roger Alverado, Veronica Domingo, MaryJane Steed, Tommy Berowski, Celleste(Ski)Randall, Johnny Morello, and many others.

One time Ted Hayes and I waded the creek from Peralta rd. to very near the trout farm. It took most of the day. A lot of work for 1 little fish :-) When Linda Mar developed it also developed trash. I always envied the garbage men. They got "first pick" of the good stuff that some people thought was trash. We would walk up to the dump and find lots of stuff that no one wanted, but was real treasure to kids. Of course if the pickin's was too slim we could always find coffee can lids to sail. (later someone made them out of plastic and called them "frisbees". you didnt have to bend a thumb hole in THEM )

My father (Virgil Evans) loved to walk the beaches. Sometimes to fish other times just to walk. We would always examine every piece of kelp that drifted in. When he moved away he left behind several hundred pounds of lead sinkers, most still usable, but he fished with a tobacco sack full of sand. I still carry the pocket knife he used to cut them out of the seaweed. The ocean washes up everything sooner or later. some of the things we found in the surf: Fishing tackle (of course) Rings, watches, a $10 gold piece, glass floats (the things Japaneese fishermen used to hold up the top of their nets), one snub nosed 38 special with two bullets fired, hundreds of dollars in change (most too corroded to spend) etc. you never knew what tomorrow would bring.
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