From the diary of Clinton Bennett Hale Hollister
(first known entry)
November 19, 1955
I am sitting here with Janie. We have had a day, Janie being with me all day. I was very mad at Father because he mussed up my plans. So I called him up and of course he hung up before I could hang up. Next time I’ll hang up on him before he hangs up on me. And then we will be even.
Well, anyway I got up there during the…last night when I came in I called Dusty [Weber]. Dusty had made some arrangements with the men and I told him I did not want them that way.
He said he would talk to Father and Father told him to go ahead. So I called Father and asked him why he called me —and that is when he hung up on me.
This morning, I decided to go out and see what I could do to muss up everything today. I went out and found out that Dusty had decided to do it my way and take his chances with Father rather than me.
It seemed rather amusing when I went out and met them, both Mickey and Dusty raised up their hands and said “we surrender.” I accepted the surrender and we went on and did our job.
But I tipped-off Dusty that Father was well-in-hand, because Janie had arrived this morning. So Father was pretty well grounded and would not be on our trail—and it turned out that way. I had to make some arrangements to get some one–inch plastic hose for Frank and get the water program going for the Gato steers. That hose will come in Monday morning. The lighter hose makes it easier for Frank, and he is happy about it too.
I went up to Las Cruces, figuring that Dusty and everybody would be up there doing this flood-control job at Santa Ynez. I checked with Cliff Weber, who is supposed to be the big boss up there; he likes it but, when Bero gets in, he will find there is another boss. He is still with us, and we have several men up there—including Frank Hollister, who is our cousin—and he is sitting around joshing and telling how much he works. He is kind of sheepish about accepting the pay he is getting up there, as he is not being put to work. I guess they are going to get along alright up there.
I want to get Woody into the woods and take him up to the Santa Ynez River because as I want to get some information about the handling of the trees up there. We are using these trees as stop-gaps for the fast water flowing, then by allowing the silt to settle….and they had a good start and we started cutting trees and got acquainted with what the problem is up there.
Like everything, you start some place and wind up some other place, but if you don’t start you just sit and talk. Dusty does that all the time. I didn’t hear what he had done, but unfortunately he had to untangle the cable and large wheel. He didn’t want to do it but I wouldn’t let him get out of it.
There happened to be a bee hive in that cable, so I let him have that fun and I sat around and looked pretty, down there in the Santa Ynez River getting the trees placed where they should be.
While we were doing this, I saw a car coming along but prior to this point. Dusty said that the old man was going to take his head off for doing this because that isn’t what he told me to do. I said that is all right, we’ll take a chance. And so here came this car and Dusty said, I’m glad he came now because we’ve got a good start and it looks nice and I think he like it. Well, I hadn’t thought of that, but by gosh if that wasn’t true. He gave one or two grunts and that was all.
And Janie was down there, and first thing I knew Janie was taking pictures as usual; I don’t know what she was taking, but it will probably show where the trees used to be— after flood comes. Well, we got started. I was polite to Janie and kissed as I should to my sister. So we went up and had lunch with Father. Now, Janie is right here and I want to get her point-of-view about it. Janie says about what I will leave that up to Janie.
Janie: To tell the truth I don’t know anything about flood control. It seems to be an argument whether trees should be cut at the top of the bank and dropped over the bank to the bottom or whether they should be dragged up from the bottom with a cable and haul them half way up the bank and shove their but t ends into the bank. The point being as I would as I could vaguely gather, if you had the trees a little way from the bank it would deflect the water away from the bank and would not undermine the bank. It is sometimes like that, I think…..Do you think Father was a little annoyed at me. Not badly. I think he was wondering if it was a good idea or not and he was not going on what he had considered had worked in the past. After talking with him I think we can do both, we can bring those trees up to protect the far bank and get the cable up the bank attach the trees from the top of the bank and drop them on the same cable because the same cable holds the two trees one tree next to the bank and I think that it be quite satisfactory.
Janie and Father left and I went down and talked to the men.
This being Saturday, it is a short day. I sent Dusty to get those bridges fixed up. He had to do some welding over there. And I took Avila down to the Gaviota area to see whether the Wards’ sister had left. I couldn’t find anyone there and I did not go in. So we went down to Gaviota and I tried to locate some of the Wards, but couldn’t find anyone. While I was there Eddie Hames came in. He has been running around at Solvang trying to get the skip loader fixed, he was still in a quandary not knowing what to do with himself. So I sent him up to the Alegria to meet Dusty and help him trace this Ward girl and find out
where she was. He promised he would and find out where she was or get word to her. The word was that she should call me by six this evening. So I left Avila at his home and he was going up to see if she had returned to her house and if she wasn’t there he would go back in the morning and he his to call me about seven in the morning.
Since I have been home, I took a short nap and watched the USC and UCLA game. UCLA won 17 to 7, so, UCLA will be in the Rose bowl.
The telephone started to ring and I was looking for a call from the Ward girl. After several calls a call came through from Eddie Hames and he said he had gotten into contact with one of the Wards and sent the message and that she would call before six. But she didn’t call. Tomorrow is the 20th and tomorrow is the date line at which time the house should be vacated. Avila is packed and ready to go and he is ready to move on Sunday the 20th. So now I’m stuck here and I don’t know who is going to get where at what time.
When I left the Gaviota store, I happened to see those six little motel cottages there, which we own. It seems like two or three of them could be put together and made into a nice little house—maybe a four- or five-bedroom house. I called Father, seemed to like the idea; Janie says that Father seems to think that those houses wouldn’t stand up under the transportation. I think I’ll have to disagree with Father about that. I think they will stand up ok with transportation. They are frame houses they are stable and can be moved quite easily.
I think they are much better than those chicken coops they have down there. Incidentally, I am going to have some chickens. These would be a lot superior to the ones he has got now.
…The bridge didn’t look too well so I went around it. Obviously, Dusty had been working on it, and evidently it has a lot of dry rot in it. We arranged to meet there at the Beros house so we went in there and Elizabeth wasn’t there so I went to the… When I was there I found out that Mrs. Beros had a stroke during the night and Elizabeth was rather upset. However, I got the keys and we went on through the house and arranged to have the washing machine hooked up and the power pumps fixed and so forth and so on. The plasterer was also there to see what he could do about the cracks in the walls of the house.
This was arranged, so we went up to the hotel. I made arrangements to change the fixtures in the so-called maids’ room in the hotel, and have the little porch sitting room in the hotel, and have the little porch sitting room fixed in with the better walls. We also went on through the top of the house and up the second story and saw some of the tile that had to be done on the hearths and Mr. Negy was worried about the drainage of the porch. The rain and blown in and was tending to rot the wood. Maybe the whole porch should be painted. There is not too much damage to the tiles on the roof, as the water will
drain off and the tiles are more for looks than protection.
We are going to have the corner fixed that was damaged when the olive tree blew down. From here, we went on to Mickey’s house where we wet through the place and it was quite simple matter in getting the fireplace fixed up. I want the plumber to get the heater hooked up to the system as well as a place where Barbara can have a washing machine hooked up. The drainage is causing a little difficulty, but I think we can get around that. Adjacent to Mickey’s place is a store-room of which the paint is all coming off and Mr. Negy said he would find out from the painter how much it would cost to paint that house. I think some paint should be put on that house if for nothing more than to preserve that place. From here we went up to Louie’s place which is really a mess. The wash basin that was bought second hand from Otts didn’t have its proper fixtures and it no use in using it. It would seem better to use the old basin from the hotel which will be taken out of there when it is fixed up for whoever may stay up in that area. There are a lot of draw panels and windows that need to be fixed in Louie’s house and just the bare necessities will be done. Then we went to the Quonset hut and met Dusty. We talked of the possibility of fixing that Quonsaet hut where the cement is broken down by the wind. The cement laying there would cost approximately $175.00 and would complete the jobl He thought the best thing was to build a new wall and then drop the Quonset hut back on the wall and bolt it down. Of course there is a three day limit there where the cement has to settle. This is kind of rough because with the wind out there it is liable to take the whole hut off the foundation. Naturally, to prevent this they would have to tie it down and then after the cement had dried they could attach the metal part of the hut on to the cement foundation. While I was there I didn’t get in on all of the conversations, mainly because Bero came through and I had to arrange to meet him up there at the Hotel and get his mother to the Hospital. I wanted to contact Dr. Wentz, which I did later on because he knew no physicians in Santa Barbara. As it turned out, he took her in his car to the Saint Frances, where I understand he is doing quite well, although not recovering too fast, which is not too good. Following this I met Negis at the Ward’s house, after he had lunch at Gaviota, it was the first time I had been through the house and he thought that it would be an impossible job and quite expensive. He did not think that it would be worth the money to do anything to the house. The best thing to do would be to have the person who lived in the house to put the house together as they saw fit, in other words if their expectations were high they would have to do quite a bit of work and if they did not care, they would not have to do so much. While living in it they could do the things that were needed to put this house back in order. It is a crummy house and it would be cheaper to rejuvenate this one and call it a house. From here I went up to Las Cruces and while going through Gaviota I thought I would try and spot the East West fence line, which on the west side of the pass, there is an old fence there which supposedly runs on the original boundary, the East west boundary of the original land grant. I climbed up on that west side and sighted down the fence line and made a mark on the east side of the Gaviota Pass up in those high rocks. There is a moment up on the second peak from the road going west and this fence line hit that point smack on the nose.
So I think I’ll ride up there and find a monument there and from there you could sight due east to the north east corner pipe that I have described before when up there at the
head of the canyon up there in the squat area. From there I went on up to Lompoc to see how Frank and Dan were getting along with their water problem To get the water from the Colliers tank to the opposite side of the Santa Rosa road, where the weaned calves are. While I was on the way over I met Dan and Frank coming back and we had a chat. He had just finished hooking it up and turning on the water and was rather disappointed because he only has two gallons a minute running into it. However, two or three feet down or up make quite a difference in the volume of water that comes out of that 2 inch plastic hose. Maybe it would be perfectly feasible, rather than having to connect it up to that pump and put it under pressure, we could lower the trough, bulldoze out an area and get it down two or three feet and thereby have enough water to fulfill the requirements that we want. Having this information there was no need to go on to Salsipuedes, so I turned around and went up to Las Cruces.
There I had Father’s level and I was anxious to see how the cold springs up on the east side of the Las Cruces leveled out as far as the Las Cruces Canyon and the walnuts were concerned but, sighting on the rock across the canyon going down to the bottom then going back up, I found that the tank side originally just above the silo area was plenty low as compared to the cold springs side. We can fill that tank easily from the spring area. Sighting from the tank area above the silo field, the level hit just about the northern end of the walnut orchard reservoir; right over in the corner where the sycamore trees are. So we have plenty of elevation. It is curious, but that red tank across the canyon, on the other side where the barns are at the Las Cruces, is just a shade lower than the tank side is. It is almost on the same level, so if you fill that tank it might have to pressure from the up- side of the canyon—say—from Joe’s well down.
As I went on down to Las Cruces, I met Cliff; he was seeding the hay fields with oats and barley and doing quite a good job. Dusty came along and we discussed the bridge situation. He wants to get lumber from the Winchester, so he is going to take all the crew —Mickey and Art, Dusty, himself and Eddie—and they are going in to the Winchester with trucks and chain saws and cut the lumber to their needs. There is some lumber at the entrance to Winchester canyon that is being offered at $60 per thousand feet. Dusty figures on 4,000 feet for those bridges. So it would cost about $240 to get that place fixed up.
However, Father wants to go out and see the place before anything is done, but I don’t know if he will be well enough before we have to get things done, but we will see. This heavy timber is quite cheap at $60 a thousand especially if we have to use it quite often, as we have other bridges—namely the Santa Anita and Pinoches River—which are really in poor shape. So we can afford to have extra lumber but, as I said, it does cost money and I would like to get a good stock pile of this lumber on hand as I can see we are going to have quite a bit of trouble with those bridges, in the future. There is an awful lot of dry-rot up there. These things will have to be done.
When I came home—my home that is—I met Dennis Bero there, and we had a little chat about the cattle, the head that he is feeding up there.
He has some good ideas about shuffling them around various ways so the feeding program will be much easier as well as more efficient and accomplish the same thing.
For instance, he can put the steers in the Gato Mesa, Put the old cows in the Las Vujas Mesa. And take the young black bulls from Las Vujas And put them in the horse pasture. And so forth And so on.