"I Wanted to do what I could to get
involved. I offered to paint protest banners for the Rainforest Action
Peter Stewart with
Primatologist Dr. Jane Goodale at the "March for the Animal's" Gala in
Washington D.C., 1996
Peter Stewart, a Berkeley California native, adorned the exterior
walls of the Emerald Forest Restaurant building -located at the ferry landing- in 1994 with his beautiful murals,
he had no idea his art would outlive him in his fight to protect
endangered animals and the environment.
Peter's murals surround the walls of the
Emerald Forest building
Peter first became
interested in the craft of air brush art in San Diego, just after he got out
of the Navy. An employee of a shop that air brushed T-shirts, let Peter try
his hand with an air brush. The owner liked Peter's work so much he hired
him, and after a short time they were partners.
A chimpanzee adorns an elevator door.
While in the Navy during the
Viet Nam era, Peter fell in love with the forests and animals of the
Philippines. In 1990 Peter was at a slide presentation where he discovered
that over 40% of these forests had been decimated since he had been there by
international corporations such as Mitsubishi. "It struck a nerve inside of
me," Peter recalls, "So I wanted to do what I could to get involved. I
offered to paint protest banners for the Rainforest Action Network."
This gorilla and birds mural adds to
the restaurant's interior
Peter reflected his
concerns in the murals that he's painted on the building's walls. The
murals depict 14 endangered rain forest animals surrounded by plants and
waterfalls all the way around the building.
Peter continued his work
with environmental groups until his death at the age of 41 in 1997 from a
pneumonia type infection. Many felt his premature demise was brought on by
all the years of air brushing and spray painting without a mask.
Words Of Wisdom
Dogs have owners, cats have staff.
A New Balboa
Want to see what the new Balboa is
going to look like after all the dust has cleared?
Click on to the
official Balboa Merchants / Owners Association web site for all of the
latest information, including the artists renderings and construction timetables.
Then And Now
Balboa Fire Station No 2
No longer a Fire Station, the building is still standing and in use as a
My mother's double cousin was Joe Beek and she and her three sisters
(the Upton Four) spent summers on the Island in the early 1920's where
my grandfather, T. Park Upton built a house on the Bayfront. Also living on the Island was my
mother's Uncle, the Rev. Harry W. White. He was a Methodist minister
and had a little storefront church on the ferry street in the early
40's; the family lived on South Bayfront. I sang the little choir when
I was about 8. Uncle Harry was also a local painter and I still have an
oil painting that I watched him paint on the pier at the end of Apolena
St. My brothers and I grew up on the
Island in the late 1930's and 40's, moving away in 1946 or so.
lived variously on Diamond St, Topaz St, and Apolena. In addition, my
father's Uncle Ralph Dimmitt built many of the Dutch colonials on the
Island. We spent all summer participating in the swim, dive, row,
paddleboard, sail program of the Balboa Island Yacht Club; I still have
a really nice trophy I won in 1944 for swimming. and I used to crew in
the Flight of the Snowbirds for my cousins. I have many fond memories
of the Monday night spaghetti and watermelon feeds put on by the parents
for the BIYC at the boathouse near the ferry. I actually have a number
of photos of the extended family (Beeks/Whites/Uptons, et al.) in front
of the old boat house.
We also used to participate in the annual
Tournament of Lights; in the mid-40's my Dad built a whale on top of our
dinghy complete with a bicycle pump "spout" and he and I were towed in
the parade. First grade for me was in Newport
Beach, but second grade and maybe third grade were in barracks on the
Little Island. Then I think we went to school in Corona del Mar. We
used to ride the waves in Corona del Mar using bedsheets my mother would
stitch up into large pillowcases; you got them wet and then spun around
to fill them with air, tied a knot and then swam out with them and rode
them in on the waves. I have an old book that I think was written by Joe
Beek about even older tales of Balboa. If you are interested, I see if
I can find it. Just thought you might be interested in hearing from a
real "oldtimer" from Balboa.
Pat Hofmann Heaton