How can CRA member Howard Brunn
be described in one brief article?
deserves a full book.
Wartime bomber pilot with many decorations, former actor, successful businessman, environmental activist, public benefactor, former City Council member, long-time Carmel resident, Howard Brunn
seems to have done it all.
Born in San Francisco in 1923, but raised in Carmel when his
father opened a garage here in 1926, Brunn
has been successful in just about every endeavor he
life story is closely entwined with the history of the village he
Howard attended the Sunset Grammar School, then went to the newly opened Carmel High and graduated with its second class.
favorite subjects were English and dramatics, and he
developed a taste for the theater.
He acted in school plays, and, a natural leader, was elected president of the student body.
Then, while in high school, he
attention to aviation, an interest that has never left him.
In 1941 Howard
passed the exam for Aviation Cadet and graduated from school shortly before Pearl Harbor.
went directly into the Army Air Corps
Stationed in Corsica during the war, he
flew seventy missions piloting B-25 bombers in the Mediterranean and European Theaters.
earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with eleven oak leaf clusters, the European Theater Ribbon with four battle stars, and his
outfit won two Presidential Unit Citations.
After separation from the Air Force, he
returned to his
first love, the theater, and on the G.I. Bill studied drama at the Gellar Theater Workshop in Westwood and the Oliver Hillsdale Studio
returned to Carmel in 1949.
found that rehearsals took too much time from his
family, so, ever versatile, he
gave up acting and turned his
talents to business, opening Howard Brunn's
Men's Shop in the Pine Inn.
"We specialized in traditional clothing," he
talents for business with community service.
what the mainstream press likes to call an "activist," concerned about habitat preservation and the environment.
As a member of the Carmel City Council from 1978 to 1982, he helped organize OLAF, the Odello Land Acquisition Fund, which kept the artichoke farm near Point Lobos from being sold to developers.
was a leader in the fight to keep supertankers out of Monterey Bay.
For thirteen years he's served the Hatton Canyon Coalition as board member and treasurer, and celebrates the fact that "it will never, never become a freeway.
Howard helped in the early days of the Big Sur Land Trust and was a member of its initial Advisory Committee.
serves on the boards of the Carmel Preservation Foundation
and the Carmel Valley Forum
The Brunns live in a strikingly beautiful home near the mouth of Carmel Valley
, contemporary in styling, with a marked feeling of openness.
explains that when they bought it, it was considered a "tear-down," but Courtney went to work, and thanks to her
, it's a thing of beauty.
As for his
early interest in the stage, he
has no time to be active.
"We go to plays here and still go to New York every year for the theater.
Furthermore, an active interest in jazz has led to his
becoming the president of the very successful Monterey Jazz Festival.
"After all," he
grins, "isn't the Festival really a form of theater?"
A few years ago, he
missed the joys of flying.
So, in his
went to Hollister to take up gliding-powerless flight.
"Mostly for the challenge of doing it right," he
And, like everything else he
did it right.
So very right that he
gave it up because it became "boring," "Not enough of a challenge."
once told a reporter, "I love every minute of what I'm doing."
That sounds like Howard Brunn