This very talented and artistic family has contributed to the Smith family off and on for years. Carl “Pop” Abel moved his family to Laguna Beach from Denmark. Pop Abel’s high school friend soon followed. Eiler Larson lived in a basement next to the Abel’s adjoining courtyard. The 1939 directory shows their address as 1757 which means they lived just south of the Coast Inn. With only a population of 4,500 back in the ’40s, it was easy to find friends. What did Pappy and Pop have in common? They both had 5 kids, both bought Olympic Cottages and they embraced the spirit of community. Pop’s oldest son, Mogens, is the one holding the first makeshift statue of Eiler. I also added a carving of Mogens so you could see up close his outstanding work of art. The beautiful murals Mogens did for the Coast Inn don’t show so well in the photos in the South Seas bar. My parents were especially close with Mogens, and in my mind he was my second dad. He was always greeted by my big 5 year old bear hug, legs and all. Pop’s second son, Chris, took his talent by way of becoming not just an architect, but a famous architect. Chris helped my family design the front of the hotel after the fire and the original Coast Inn Liquor Store in 1956. To top off all this talent, Chris gifted my parents with plans for their first home on TOW in 1949. In my last photo, you can see some of Chris’s famous wood work in my home behind my dad and Uncle Karl.
Next in the line of Abel talent is Chris’s son, Gregg, and Gregg’s son Tristan. Tristan and Gregg will be replacing my dad’s signage on TOW, a wood carving Mogens did some 40 years ago. They will also create a sign recognizing my dad for the new pathway to the fire road. So three generations of friendships doing some business together with community in mind. Always works for me.