November, 2011 Thanks Evan, I just read your entry. It's only been 3 years. I don't even know if you're still around or emigrated to cyber space, but I feel I should update my digital presence. Here goes:
I came to Davis, first in 1969, for Peace Corps Nepal training at Cactus Corners (98 & Russell) after 5 years at Brown University and a summer job on Martha's Vinyard. After 3 years as a volunteer and staff of Peace Corps, I came back to Davis. I thought I wanted to go to UC Berkley Graduate School and wanted to establish residency in California. My Peace Corps buddies, Bob Morgan, and Peter Brown, were here in Davis and had rural rental house. Some of our roomates were David Gaines, one of the founders of the Save Mono Lake group, and an avid bird watcher, and Sally, his future wife. While living there, we hosted a party for (what's is name)'s class at the Experimental College (Breathing and Relaxation?). He was faculty at the Medical School.
After that, Bob and I moved to the corner of RD 27 and 113 before it was made a freeway. Next door was an artist Coop, can't remember the name, but Phil Kitchen and Tosi Marcelene lived there, though not together. We converted this commercial space to a Fixit Shop and created our living space in the back. Bob Morgan and I became partners in Ganesh Fixit in the fall of 1972 and began trying to fix whatever came in the door. BTW, Bob came up with the name, Ganesh. He also made a Unitrans Bus sign that said ""Those who say don't know and those who know don't say"".
In 1973 we moved into Davis, where most of our customers lived, and rented 1063 Olive Dr, next to the barber shop and former location of the Natural Food Works. For a while, I lived in a loft in the back of the shop, and Bob lived in Slatters Court with his Nepali wife, Saraswati. I soon found a spot across the street in a treehouse vacated by Peter Gunther, later to be cut down by one of the landowner's sons. I lived there two winters. Tom Harter, a legend of the 70's (see Blue Mango), also lived in the house adjacent to the treehouse where I plugged in my extension cord and used their facilities. After we were evicted for "development plans" I moved into a house on 7th street where there was a red barn used by many Davis artists (Julie Partansky, Phil Gross, Keith Cary, Ken Kemmerling, to name a few).
It was there I was introduced to Heidi Bekebrede and Frank Fox at a party and sang with them. I then became part of a doo wop accapella group called Full House, which included Frank and Heidi, plus Wayne Gottlieb and Antoinette Zakim-Rouh (sp). We performed locally (Blue Mango, Fox and Goose) for 5 years or so. After recording Heidi's famous "Davis Song", Full House folded and I became part of another accapella group called Two Tone Shoes, lead by Christine Martin from Sacramento. We performed for 15 years, but when our amazing bass, Rudy, died, we never really recovered, and finally dissolved.
East to West Olive
So, Ganesh Fixit moved from 1063 Olive Dr, to 720 Olive Drive after a few years. We started selling woodstoves and ceiling fans as well as doing repairs. Our business, early on, shifted to home repairs and we spent more and more time out of the shop. It wasn't too long before Bob Morgan, my partner, decided to move on and I bought him out (he lived on that money for many years until the unfortunate accident with cardboard compacting machine behind Davis Lumber. Though his physical stature has been somewhat reduced, he still is a giant to me).
Ganesh Moves back East
In 1995, my landlord for the business, offered to sell me the old Pac Tel building at 1606 Olive Dr, and with a little help from family, I bought it. At the same time, I remarried, and started a family with Sabrina O'Hanleigh. In 2002, I incorporated the business as Ganesh Works, Inc. licensed as general and electrical contractors. I got a redevelopment loan from the City of Davis to refurbish and add onto the building. Chuck McGinn was my architect. Anton Bereaux, a former employee, fabricated the metal awning and sign for the building.
Tidbits for those who have read this far
If you haven't read this far, please ignore this. Just a few of my contemporaries from the 70's and 80's whom I knew, and who are still around: Phil Gross Phil Kitchen Tosi Marcelene Peter Brown Cynthia Martin Peter Gunther Steve Scott Rod McDonald Ken Kemmerling Robert Crumb Bob Armstrong Keith Cary Diane Stumbo-Cary Barry Parker Bob Johnston Patti Green Tim Cordis Steve Tracy Donna Billick Chuck McGinn Bruce Guttin Bill Kopper Steve Scott Mary Burke Valerie Jones Phyllis Beals Jessica Brown Your name here Chis Lambert (still works for Ganesh) Glen Davis (and his brother Davis Davis) Glenn can be seen at the exits from parking lots with handwritten signs. He used to be the guy dancing with silk scarves at Whole Earth. Bill Kopper Steve Kaltenbach Jamie Madison Bob Dunning (found floating in a large basket on Putah Creek)
2008-10-13 11:41:49 Howdy Bill, and Welcome to the Wiki! My name's Evan, pleased to meet you! Thanks for the great writeup about Ganesh Works. It sounds like you really know a chunk of Davis history — it would be fantastic if you'd share some of that with the Davis community by adding to the wiki. If you have a historical story about any topic on the wiki, feel free to edit any entry on the wiki directly: just click the "Edit" icon and start writing in the entry itself. Once again, welcome to the wiki! —Evan 'JabberWokky' Edwards
2011-11-05 10:03:04 Ganesh is awesome, I've seen them in town forever —StevenDaubert
2012-03-11 10:26:04 Bill, "what's his name" in the first paragraph is Jim Polidora. Barbara Sommer —BarbaraSommer