Juanita Musson

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In the 70s, Juanita Musson was a colorful San Francisco restauranteer, who had restaurants in Port Costa, Sausalito, etc. What ever happened to Juanita?

-- Deborah RIpley (dripley@artnet.com), August 11, 2001


I remember Juanita in Port Costa then and earlier in Sausalito on the ferry boat (in 1960's). She was a true local character. She would demand that if you were eating near the front counter you had to take the just cooked meals to the other customers tables! Right in the middle of your meal! She could yell!!! She wore huge flower mumus. She seem to mellow when I went to her Port Costa place...

-- Craig Smith (palmedo@aol.com), August 12, 2001.

My first visit to one of her establishments was in Saualito in an all night diner down on the flat in 1961. I missed Port Costa and Sonoma but I ate at a place she had in Winters (Yolo County) in about 1983. This may have been her last restaurant. She was shut down by the local fire marshall for not being up to code. By this time her age and hard living were beginning to catch up with her. There is a book about her titled: "Juanita : The Madcap Adventures of a Legendary Restaurateur" by Sally Hayton-Keeva. It's out of print but Probably available used.

Good luck-

-- Don Martinich (dutchm@dcn.davis.ca.us), August 12, 2001.

I had been to Juanita's at Port Costa in the late 1970's or early 1980's. Twice with a group and a couple of times with close friends. One had to be brave to go by one's self! Port Costa (what little there is of it) is forgettable, but Juanita is a person one will never forget in their lifetime. There are hundreds of stories about her, but the one that I find quite funny was her "Juanita Boob Muffin Wrap." Juanita would sneak up from behind on her male restaurant customers, grab her - ahem - boobs and wrap them completely around the head leaving each victim gasping for air. There were lots of laughs, of course, but the loudest laugher was Juanita, herself. It was an "honor" to get "boobed" by Juanita. At her restaurant you dined from mismatched dishes, drank from Mason jars and served yourself at the salad bar where the vege's were placed in hospital bedpans. Last, was her famous prime rib ... so thick that she wouldn't allow anyone to order just for themselves. It had to be for two. It came (if you weren't ordered to get it yourself) to the table with a super-sharp butcher knife in which one would cut it into two, 2 inch thick pieces. Good! I understand she's living in The Valley Of The Moon (11-01), has lost one hundred of her three hundred pounds and is still just a cantankerous as ever at age 79 (at least that's what she admits to). If you ever get a chance to encounter Juanita you're in for a real treat and an unforg

-- Craig M. Herman (Cmarherman@aol.com), November 09, 2001.

Here's news dated Friday, July 12, 2002.

-- Gary Morphis (fhd@vom.com), July 14, 2002.

She just celebrated her birthday on 10/16/02. According to the San Francisco Chronicle (10/23/02) about 3 months ago she was evicted from the cottage she was renting in Agua Caliente. It was being demolished by a developer, but she wouldn't leave until all her cats and chickens were placed in homes. She lived miserably for awhile in a motel in Santa Rosa but has since moved in with friends in town. She dreams of returning to Sonoma Valley someday and to help realize her dream, a get-together and silent auction hosted by the Sausalito Historical Society raised $1900.00 and established a fund for contributions. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to: The Juanita Musson Fund, c/o Sausalito Historical Society, PO Box 352 Sausalito, CA 94966.

-- Jerry Willar (jwillar@webtv.net), October 28, 2002.

i have recently devleoped a way of telling if someone is funny by three sentences they have written. so, what im wondering is, am i funny? by the way, my name doesnt count.cos this really is my name. dont worry, im not thinking about a lawsuit. im thinking about cheese. yes, so id really preciate it if one or many people came up with some sort of funny test. i anticipate questions to which humourus or unhumourus aswers must be given. and u lot remind me of rhebus monkeys.

-- Scott M. Hall (ivecrashedtheserver@hotm ail.com), October 30, 2002


真 真真真真真真真真真真真真真真真真真真@greenspun.com), October 30, 2002.

-- sameasabove (sameasabove@greenspun.com) , October 30, 2002.

It is an interesting fact that Scott Hall is my uncle.

-- King Sean M. Hall I (sanfranciscofanclub@g roups.msn.com), October 30, 2002.

-- Sean M Hall (sean@mhall.eternity), October 31, 2002.

My earliest memory of Juanita was of her standing on the south side of the Industrial Building in Sausalito, Ca. in 1959 (her resturant was across the street on Gate five road). She was talking with a policeman and a reporter and I thought there was going to be trouble as she was carring her famous rolling pin (3 ft long?) but it turned out to be a publicity photo of some sort and they were having a wonderful time. I never had any direct contact with her but I did enjoy following her colorful exploites through the news. This world is a richer place because of people like her.

-- will (willstaiger@yahoo.com), April 07, 2003.

Ah Juanita's. I first met her in the early 70's when she was in Glen Ellen. I had the opportunity of waiting on tables because she was not there yet. I made $4 and when she got there she chewed me out bad!!! In only a way Juanita could chew someone out. I was a CHP officer and she did love cops. Her residence(?) in Aqua Caliente was on my beat and I would stop in and see her once in a while with all the ducks. She moved to Vallejo, then I want to say Fairfield (?) and then to Port Costa. PC was also on my beat and we stopped many times for coffee after our briefing but you could not walk in and just have coffee...she fed you like a king and made you take food home! As I recall from a conversation we had one starlit evening in PC, she was from Oklahoma and moved out here to Sausalito. She started feeding some fishermen in the morning before they went out. Then it got so big she opened the restaurant. I still have a pic somewhere's of her lying tummy down in a four legged bath tub full of bubbles with her tiara on and her large fanny sticking out of the water, and an autographed copy of her book. She was the Martha Stewart/Emeril of her day and if you ever had her prime rib (the size of a cow) dinner you would know. I could write a book on her! DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE SHE IS? Lee Pratt(Usuallysometimes@aol.com)

-- Lee Pratt (Usuallysometimes@aol.com), August 14, 2003.

Lee Pratt was looking for Juanita. Well, as fate would have it, an office worker was telling us that he talked to a lady who he met at the Chevron gas station at the corner of Cleveland Avenua and Gueneville Road in Santa Rosa, California on Thursday, January 1, 2004. This lady asked if he knew who she was. He replied that he did not. That drew the observation from the lady saying "you aren't from around here are you." The lady proceeded to inform the young man that every one knows Juanita Musson and she had restaurants in San Francisco, Sacramento, Sausalito, and Sonoma. The informative conversation, including information about being an "Okie" and the circumstances about her tush showing in a photo, lasted approximately 20 minutes at the pumps, and following a good bye, they went their separate ways, leaving my coworker in awe and this meeting further stimulated our office conversation on Friday morning January 2, 2004. Another co-worker knew who Ms. Musson is, also knows her history from San Francisco and Marin County. Of some help might be the information the lady gave about now living (with someone??) in Sebastopol, California. Incidentally Mr. Pratt, there is no phone listing for Juanita Musson in the SBC Directory for the area. If this was really the Juanita Musson known and loved by millions, then rest assured she is alive and well and enjoying life as she always has. Bill

-- Bill Morgan (bmorgan@sonoma-county.org), January 02, 2004.

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