"In 1935, Gay received a federal commission for the Pacific Grove High School Library, called by the Brutons 'one of the most ambitious art projects ever attempted in the area.' The 10×150 foot mural depicted the Monterey coastline in the thirties from the Point Pinos lighthouse to the Custom House, with Monterey's Cannery Row its focal point. Bruce Ariss, who was fresh out of the University of California, Berkeley, worked with Gay on the project… Ariss recalls Gay's highly unorthodox approach to painting: 'He had to have wine for fuel while he was working, but he couldn't drink in a school library with the students around….Several times when I was about to pour some turpentine into my paint pot, he'd grab my arm and say, 'No! Don't use that can.' Hw had filled the turpentine can up with wine.'
…The Pacific Grove mural, which took three years to complete and was meant to last for 500 years, was completely destroyed in forty minutes by a fire at the school in December 1946. Having been cemented to the wall, it was impossible to rescue."
Nancy Boas. The Society of Six: California Colorists. University of California Press, 1988: 162.