Early San Francisco Bay Area


After Mexico Phyllis had an Aunt Sarah who lived in the Hollywood Hills. They stayed with her for several months, but John was getting messages from friends that the San Francisco scene was buzzing with activity.

They found a flat at 613 19th Avenue, San Francisco, but after about six months the cold Western Addition was too much for them. They packed up, and moved north to Marin County and rented a house on Boardwalk #1 in Larkspur. Let’s hear what John says about that move.

John writes:

“Our introduction to the boardwalk was rather involved. In 1949, Phyllis and I were living in San Miguel Allende, Mexico. I was doing graduate work supposedly at the art school there. We met and became friends with a couple, Ray and Mariam Rice who had been art teachers back in the states. Ray wanted to study mural painting with Sequeros who was teaching there at the time. The Rices had two small daughters who came down with dysentery and were advised to leave Mexico as soon as possible. We kept in touch as they moved around the West, and eventually when we arrived in San Francisco had a reunion with them in Fresno...

Saturday Phyllis, Ray and I were in Larkspur. We stopped in a small real estate office run by the Culpeppers to see if there were any vacancies.  They said, “yes.” They had a rental on the boardwalk and brought us down to “Ward B”, now the Greengate... (They rented it.)

Phyllis found employment as a lab technician, and I went to work as a draftsman for a title insurance company...”

(Read the entire piece under “Marin County” menu.)

Art and Artists

by Earl Thollander

from ACTIVITIES, guide to bay area activities

July 1960

The Painter, John Lynch

Generously helped by good neighbors, the Lynchs’ built a home on a tributary of Corte Madera Creek and expect to spend the rest of their lives finishing it. This locale, with boating, fishing, and swimming at the front door seems to them a pretty close approximation to the “good life”.

Lynch, a former president of the Marin Society of Artists, works as a draftsman in San Rafael. He teaches one evening a week at the College of Marin; and between painting, boat fixing, and house building has few problems about what to do in his spare time.

His painting ranges from “representational” to what can be called “Abstract Expressionism” and reflects his desire to do what he pleases without too conscious a concern for a “style” or single philosophy. He works with the hope that this variety will ultimately coalesce, with maturity, into something unself-consciously personal and perhaps important.

A large representative selection of John Lynch’s work (from Mexican and European motifs to the purely abstract) MAY BE SEEN THROUGH THE MONTH OF JULY AT SUTTER TOWERS HOSPITAL, Sutter and Divisadero Sts., San Francisco.

Seldom do pictures have so pleasant a setting for display, for light and space are here in generous amounts in this quite modern building.

They will be a most enjoyable exhibit for you to stop and see.

Mexico to Marin County



Philadelphia Studio

World War II

European Theater

Peoria, Illinois

San Miguel Allende Mexico City

Larkspur, CA


  1. 1.James Kelly

  2. 2.Sonia Gecthoff

  3. 3.Vera Borzy

  4. 4.Harry Crotty

  5. 5.Harry Wood

  6. 6.Frank Milner

  7. 7.Ray Rice

  8. 8.Bill Zachas

  9. 9.Charles Safford

  10. 10.Gurdon Woods

  11. 11.Earl Thollander