Contact Donald McPhail at:

Two New Funds for Friends and Alums:

Friends and alumni from San Francisco State and Palo Alto High School can help create scholarships and pay tribute to two beloved coaches, Allen Abraham and Clem Wiser. Contact me at for additional information.

Allen Abraham: Coach Abe is a dear friend, and was one of my coaches on our championship Gator team of 1965. A disciple of two great SF State coaches, Vic Rowen and Joe Verducci, Allen is a true renaissance-man. A hard-nosed all-conference defensive lineman, he was also a nationally recognized wrestler at State. After earning his Masters at State and Doctorate at Columbia, he continued with his football coaching career and was inducted into the SFSU Athletic and Gridiron Halls of Fame.  As a respected mentor and wrestling coach, he was also enshrined in the NCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame. Academically, he was Associate Dean of Kinesiology at State, and is still an active teacher there. You can join us at a tribute to Allen Abraham on April 28, and you can donate to the new scholarship that has been established in his name. Check here for details after February 10.

Clem Wiser: Coach Wiser was Paly's winningest coach in any sport, with 401 basketball victories. He joined Paly in 1955 and brought a championship era to the Viking basketball program with nine league championships, and was named CCAA coach of the year in 1983. Coach Wiser died in 2017, a beloved member of the Palo Alto community. You can donate to the Clem Wiser Memorial Fund, that will create a fitting plaque in his honor at Hod Ray Field at Paly High School. Check here for details after February 10.

Artists & Authors:

It is a rare treat to refer visitors to other web sites, that belong to people I admire -- some of whom I have never met, but whose work I respect. You will see writers, musicians, radio personalities, educators, book stores. All are artists in their own way, guides and observers of cultures. Here's to friends, or just people I admire. I do hope you take the time to visit their web sites, and come back to this page to see some new ones. Donald McPhail July 2015

DW Buffa, Author & Sportsman Extraordinaire. Buffa's NY Times best sellers include "The Legacy" and "The Defense", and his more recent works, "Evangeline" and "The Dark Backward". His original and provocative Joseph Antonelli courtroom dramas place him at the top of the genre, alongside Grisham and Turow. A criminal lawyer, university professor, and former senate insider, Buffa recently turned to writing scholarly novels on Machiavelli and ancient Greece. He recently released "Helen", an adroit and moving love story that presents an original and riveting take on Sophocles and Pericles as their era approaches its end:

Dick Fregulia, Jazz Pianist & Sportsman Extraordinaire.  An avid runner and hoopster, and a fine writer, Fregulia attracted fans to San Francisco's Washington Square Bar and Grill for three decades, while holding down the shortstop slot for Les Lapins Savages! He was awarded the 2013 Milley Award by the Mill Valley Arts Commission, as a treasured artist, teacher and musician. Quite a jazz historian, too:

Rick Helin and California Pioneers Historic Association. Rick is an independent historian, videographer and transplanted kanaka from Kailua town. His surprising work in a parallel universe -- the history of the millionaires cruise -- has brought energy and enrichment to my novel. Rick's determination and research skills have uncovered valuable films, photographs, diaries and personal recollections from descendants of the 1929 cruise:

Glynnis Hayward, distinguished author of "Light On A Dark Secret" and other wonderful novels. Her compassionate and human descriptions of life in South Africa, during and following apartheid bring clarity and understanding to a complex and troubling culture. She also brings to life the equally complex nature of adoption, from the perspectives of birth-parents, adoptive parents, grandparents and, most important, the adopted child. Glynnis's writing is caring and loving, with thoughtful, intelligent insights:

Michael Krasny, Radio Host and Guide, Writer, Critical Thinker & National Treasure. Krasny continues to be a beacon of clear thinking and solid reportage, within a culture that is filled with clutter and static. His topics range from today's social, political and economic hot-buttons, to eternal challenges, gentle and provocative books, and spiritual paths that have been taken or are in progress:

Michael McClellan, Sculptor & Sportsman Extraordinaire. After many years as a restaurateur and observer of people and places, Mac turned to his art and passion a decade ago. Working from his Santa Cruz workshop, Mac's original and creative sculptures are much appreciated by owners of fine art:

Karin Mellberg, Award-Winning Filmmaker, Mentor & Spiritual Guide. As she has traveled a unique path, Karin has created two deeply moving documentaries, nurtured friends and loved ones, and changed the lives of countless people, many of whom she has never met. She is a healer and an advocate; a lover of nature, and of her spiritual home in Oregon, where she has been a friend and housemother to visiting Tibetan monks. This web site will lead to several others:

Laura Mellberg, Imaginative Blogs, Spectacular Photos & Really Good Advice. Laura continues her innovative and informed commentaries about life in and around the colonies, that were begun a decade ago in Great Britain. Her unique perspective is pertinent, refreshing and always interesting.

Duncan O'Brien, writer, videographer, seafaring man and author of the elegant, definitive history of Matson Lines, "The White Ships". His books are limited editions, and often hard to find. I was fortunate to begin my Malolo research with an edition that was made available at Filoli, the estate formerly owned by the Roth (Matson) family:

Nan Phifer, Author & Memoir Guide and Teacher. An insightful and compassionate teacher and guide, Nan provides real-world guidance to the highly personal art of memoirs and writing. Anyone who would like to put thoughts into writing, or to create a family narrative, or to stretch their capacity for thought, will be well-served to read Nan's work:

Ron Simpson, Radio Host & Musical Sage at Tantara Records since 2004. A legendary voice within many musical communities, Ron interprets and explains unique musical topics that range from local to international, from folk to rap to Hawaiian slack-key and jazz. He's a musical treasure who brings insights, observations and a wealth of personal knowledge:

Book Stores:

Book Passage, Corte Madera & San Francisco. Tucked away in Marin County, and within San Francisco's Ferry Building, Book Passage brings the world's top authors to Bay Area audiences. With its unique "Path To Publishing" program, Sam Barry and his Book Passage team also create new literature and non-fiction by providing hands-on guidance to new and aspiring writers:

Books Inc., Palo Alto, Mountain View and Bay Area locations. With brick-and-mortar stores around the Bay Area, Books Inc. provides authors -- both famous and obscure -- with a platform to speak to readers, and a welcoming place for readers to browse and buy:

Schools & Non-Profit Organizations:

CHAC (Community Health Awareness Council). CHAC is a community asset, as a nonprofit mental health services agency in Mountain View, California, offering counseling, therapy, support groups, classes, and psychoeducational programs to local children, adults, and families. They work at 33 local elementary, middle, and high schools, providing no-cost counseling, therapy, and a variety of programs to students and their families. They also offer services at their clinic in Mountain View, where fees are based on a sliding scale, so no one is turned away for inability to pay:

Hanna Boys Center & Archbishop Hanna High School. For seventy years Hanna Boys Center has provided education, support, compassion and inspiration to boys whose lives have been shattered by childhood traumas. Nearly every one of the brave boys who chooses to enter Hanna's program for middle-school and high school students has been crippled by childhood adversity, including split families, physical and emotional abuse, loss of a loved one, and other damaging events. Through Hanna's faith in them, and through loving, compassionate and grounded care, over 75% of Hanna's boys become healthier, more motivated and competent young men. Archbishop Hanna High School, a fully accredited catholic high school, provides a rigorous, varied and thoughtful education. If you know a boy or family who need help, contact Hanna Center. Hanna Boys Center exists because of private donations, without acceptance of government funds. Through the generosity of ordinary people like us, and under the guidance of a skilled and dedicated professional staff and volunteer board of trustees Hanna Center and Archbishop Hanna H.S. continue to improve our culture by improving the lives of talented young people:

San Francisco State University. A leading university for both undergraduate and graduate students, SFSU is a local treasure for motivated students of all ages. With alumni who are prominent in education, the arts, engineering, hospitality & tourism, athletics and many other fields, common threads are woven through generations of students: creativity, independence, determination, compassion and a willingness to lead: