The Ronnie Wilhelm memorial bench

Ronnie Wilhelm was a local’s local. Born in this small town, he was a fisherman, hunter, carpenter and lover. Ronnie was always smiling, always made people feel good. He partied hard and famously. He had tons of friends and people who loved him dearly. A few weeks ago Ronnie died of a brain tumor. He spent his last days surrounded by friends. This bench is just outside Ronnie’s house, with a view of the ocean and San Francisco across the bay. it was chain-sawed out of a downed cypress tree by one of Ronnie’s friends (who wishes to remain anonymous). Scenes from Ronnie’s life are inset on the right side — hunting, fishing, a jumping salmon—carved out of walnut. Last time I went by, on my way down to the beach, about a dozen of Ronnie’s friends were there with a bottle of whiskey, visiting and looking out to sea.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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