October 31, 2017

Redman House ~ a ghost story

Redman House - 2017
photo by Styrous®

There is a house I have seen for decades in the Pajaro Valley, west of Watsonville, California, and I have been intrigued by it. The last time I was there (link below) I decided I finally had to find someone who could give me information about it. I did and apparently it is haunted.      

The house is located in the middle of a strawberry field right off of highway 1 and Riverside Drive. It is fully boarded up, but I was told there are noticeable hot spots on the roof of the house that shine blue, as well as many orbs that surround the house. There were murders in the house, and people say it is indeed, haunted. Doors slam and open on their own, people hear things happen in the house from far away. Screams of a little boy are heard as well as adults yelling for help. It's a strange spot; could there be a better topic for Halloween?   

I wanted to get inside to take interior shots but it is well protected by a fence and couldn't. Maybe it's haunted, maybe it's not; I never got a chance to find out.    

The Victorian, classic Queen Anne house was designed by architect William H. Weeks, in 1897 for James Redman. The building contract was let to the local firm of Lamborn and Uren, at a negotiated cost of $3,368. The interior of the home was finished in eastern oak, birds eye maple and natural hardwoods. It was outfitted with all the conveniences for modern (at that time) housekeeping.   

Redman was a farmer who became a rich sugar beet king from the crop he grew on the 14 acre farm; he died in 1921, When the Redman family died out in the 1930s, the Farmstead was sold to the Hirahara family. In 1937, it was sold for $69,575 to J. Katsumi Tao, a naturalized citizen and relative of the Hiraharas. Tao sold it to Fumio Hirahara (age 16) in 1940 for $10.00.    

Pajaro Valley Japanese Americans were removed in 1942 under Executive Order 9066; the property was confiscated and the Hirahara family was sent to Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas. As many as 10 percent of the population of Watsonville were bused to various internement camps during WWII.     

The Hirahara family returned from Arkansas on June 4, 1945 and with the help of Watsonville citizens who had loved the family, reoccupied the property. Additions to the carriage barn on the property were made in order to provide housing for other Japanese American's who did not have homes to which they could return.    

After it was damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989, the house and land was sold to Green Farm, a partnership of investors. The land was leased for commercial strawberry farming and the house left to deteriorate. There were “profitable development plans” at that time, much to the dismay of locals.     

In 1998, a group of Pajaro Valley residents formed The Redman House Committee to determine what could be done to save the neglected and vacant 100-year old Victorian house. The Committee added the house to the National Registry of Historic Places to prohibit demolition, leased the now pallid land and abandoned farmstead, and designed a conceptual master plan to transform the site into a landmark Visitor and Cultural Education center.

In February of 2005, the property was purchased by The Redman-Hirahara Foundation with borrowed funds for $1.9 million. The surrounding 10 acres of farmland now produces colorful organic crops year-round.

In 2013, Naomi Hirahara, a mystery writer, describes the badly damaged house as the Stem House in a book titled Strawberry Yellow.      

Viewfinder links:       
Redman House ~ forlorn mansion         
Pajaro Dunes ~ October 2017     
Pajaro Vallery articles       
Net links:       
Naomi Hirahara website      
Trick or Treat!

Styrous® ~ Halloween, Tuesday, October 31, 2017 

Redman House ~ a forlorn mansion

photos by Styrous®


Viewfinder link:       
Redman House ~ a ghost story            
Pajaro Vallery articles       
Styrous® ~ Halloween, Tuesday, October 31, 2017 

October 26, 2017

Pajaro Dunes ~ October 2017

photos by 

Viewfinder link:                    
Pajaro Vallery articles            
Styrous® ~ Tuesday, October 24, 2017     

October 24, 2017

Pajaro Valley articles

Pajaro Dunes ~ 
          October 2014          
          April 2016         
          October 2017 
          April 2018     
          November ~ 2018     
Redman House ~  
          a forlorn mansion     
          a ghost story     
          @ the Gray Loft Gallery     

Into the Light
My thanks to Barbara 
for making these articles possible

October 23, 2017

20,000 Vinyl LPs 112: "Weird Al" Yankovic ~ UHF

vinyl LP front cover 
photo by Styrous®

Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic (/ˈjæŋkəvɪk/ YANG-kə-vik;) was born on October 23, 1959. He is an American singer, songwriter, parodist, record producer, satirist, actor, voice actor, music video director, film producer, and author. He is known for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts, original songs that are style pastiches of the work of other acts, and polka medleys of several popular songs, featuring his favored instrument, the accordion.          

vinyl LP back cover 
photo by Styrous®

UHF (released internationally as The Vidiot from UHF) is a 1989 American comedy film starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, David Bowie, Fran Drescher, Victoria Jackson, Kevin McCarthy, Michael Richards, Gedde Watanabe, Billy Barty, Anthony Geary, Emo Philips and Trinidad Silva; the film is dedicated to Silva who died shortly after principal filming. The film was directed by Jay Levey, Yankovic's manager, who also co-wrote the screenplay with him. It was released by Orion Pictures on July 21, 1989, and is currently owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.   

The title refers to the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) analog television broadcasting band on which such low-budget television stations often were placed in the United States. 

It is a satire of the television and film industries, the film starred Yankovic as George Newman, a man who stumbles into managing a low-budget UHF television station and finds success with his eclectic programming choices. It brought the floundering studio Orion their highest test scores since the movie RoboCop. Although the movie made slightly over US $6 million domestically — out of a budget of $5 million — it was considered unsuccessful.    

UHF - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff, featured songs (and commercials) from the movie as well as his own new, unrelated studio material.  

Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies is a great cover of the song by Dire Straits with some nice anime.  

vinyl LP, side 1
photo by Styrous®

Spam is an excellent parody of the song, Stand, by R. E. M. The lyrics are hysterical! I'm not sure Spam liked it, however.        

vinyl LP label, side 1
photo by Styrous®

vinyl LP, side 2
photo by Styrous®

vinyl LP label, side 2
photo by Styrous®


Side 1:

A1 - Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies, written by M. Knopfler*, P. Henning*, Sting - 3:10
A2 - Gandhi II - 1:00
A3 - Attack Of The Radioactive Hamsters From A Planet Near Mars - 3:29
A4 - Isle Thing, written by A.T. Smith*, M. Young*, M. Dike*, M. Ross*- 3:38
A5 - The Hot Rocks Polka, written by M. Jagger & K. Richards* - 4:51
A6 - UHF - 5:10

Side :2

B1 - Let Me Be Your Hog - 0:17
B2 - She Drives Like Crazy, written by D. Steele*, R. Gift* - 3:42
B3 - Generic Blues - 4:35
B4 - Spatula City - 1:08
B5 - Fun Zone - 1:45
B6 - Spam, written by W. Berry*, J. Stipe*, M. Mills*, P. Buck* - 3:00
B7 - The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota - 6:48

Companies, etc.

    Record Company – Scotti Bros. Entertainment
    Manufactured By – CBS Records
    Distributed By – CBS Records
    Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Records Inc.


    Arranged By – Al Yankovic*
    Producer – Rick Derringer
    Written-By – A. Yankovic*

Barcode and Other Identifiers:

    Barcode: 0 7464-45265-1
    Other (Side A label): AL 45265
    Other (Side B label): BL 45265

Band members and production:
Other personnel:

"Weird Al" Yankovic ‎– UHF Original Motion Picture Soundtrack And Other Stuff
Label: Rock'n'Roll Records ‎– SZ 45265, Rock'n'Roll Records ‎– Z 45265
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1989
Genre: Rock, Stage & Screen
Style: Parody, Soundtrack

Net links:        
UHF Plot
UHF Cast           
YouTube links:        
Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies       
UHF movie poster 


October 21, 2017

Dizzy Gillespie ~ trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (/ɡˈlɛspi/) was born on October 21, 1917. He was an American jazz trumpeter who did it all: bandleader, composer, and singer. A trumpet virtuoso and improviser, he built on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but added layers of harmonic complexity previously unheard in jazz. His beret, horn-rimmed spectacles, scat singing, bent horn, pouched cheeks and light-hearted personality were essential in popularizing bebop.

all photos from the Internet



Gillespie got his start on the "Golden Strip" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the 1930s. "The Strip" was Columbia Avenue, now Cecil B. Moore Avenue, between 12th and 19th streets. The stretch was home to independent businesses, but it was most notable for the dozen or so small clubs that dotted it.

Gillespie had his twisted trumpet; it was his trademark, and it happened by accident. Gillespie wrote in his autobiography, "To Be or Not to Bop," that backup dancers Stump n' Stumpy were "fooling around on the bandstand," when one of them pushed the other into his trumpet.

In the 1940s, Gillespie, with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz.

He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Chuck Mangione, balladeer Johnny Hartman, and one of Gillespie's final pupils before his death, Robert Stewart (saxophonist).   

AllMusic's Scott Yanow wrote: "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up being similar to those of Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis's emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated [....] Arguably Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time".

A longtime resident of Englewood, New Jersey, Gillespie died of pancreatic cancer on January 6, 1993, aged 75, and was buried in the Flushing Cemetery, Queens, New York City. Mike Longo delivered a eulogy at his funeral. He was also with Gillespie on the night he died, along with Jon Faddis.      

There is a video he did with Louis Armstrong of Umbrella Man by James Cavanaugh, Larry Stock and Vincent Rose. It is fantastic! In it he and Armstrong demonstrate scat at its finest and Armstrong gives Gillespie a run for his money. It 's a bunch of fun to watch (link below)!       

There are WAY too many songs, albums, etc. by Gillespie to mention, so, there is a link to various songs by him on YouTube below.        

Viewfinder link:           
Dizzy Gillespie articles/mentions            
Net links:    
Encyclopædia Britannica ~ Dizzy Gillespie bio     
Smithsonian ~ Dizzy Gillespie and His Bent Trumpet     
New York Times obit       
NPR ~ Dizzy Gillespie On Piano Jazz       
Time/Life ~ 
LIFE With Dizzy Gillespie: Rare and Classic Portraits of a Playful Genius   
YouTube links:    
Dizzy Gillespie links         
Umbrella Man        
"Men have died for this music. 
You can’t get more serious than that."
                          ~ Dizzy Gillespie 
Styrous® ~ Saturday, October 21, 2017