My America

This political nightmare we’ve been going through for some months now may have led me to choosing the subject for my next book,

I’ve been  trying to figure out what to do after Small Homes:

• 50 Years of Natural Building

• A book on my trips

• A book on barns

Some kind of context for the 10,000+ photos I’ve taken over the years.

The idea about a book on the USA popped into my head a few days ago. This would be my version of America. It would start with me riding the rails and hitchhiking from San Francisco to New York in 1965, along with a copy of Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous — seeking enlightenment, if you will, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life — as the cultural revolution of the ’60s-’70s unfolded. (Upon return a month later, I quit my job as an insurance broker and went to work as a builder.)

I would show the America that I love, the people in every state who were kind and friendly and helpful, Pop’s Diner in Page, Arizona; press men at Courier Printing in Kendallville, Indiana; squirrel hunters in Tennessee; the waitress in an Oklahoma diner serving me coconut cream pie with coffee at 2:30 AM; farmers, surfers,  skateboarders, lawyers and bankers (yes–there are some good ones); book lovers, musicians, builders; makers…This just may be the next book. The glass-half-full take on America.

Photo above: on a trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in 1989

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:

11 Responses to My America

  1. Looks like a mid-80's Toyota Hilux 4×4 extended cab with a 22R engine! (or is it the 22re fuel injected model?) My 1986 is still running strong after 250k miles and a recent month long trip to Baja. Good times in a great truck.

  2. Good idea. Make it a novel punctuated with plenty of photos. Could be your masterwork. Then get Brad Pitt or Ron Howard to do the film adaptation.

  3. That would be absolutely awesome!
    It would make a fascinating book.
    With the amount of photos you have, make sure you call it Book One!
    … "The America that I Love" Book One… Sounds pretty nice.

    Thanks for everything that you do Lloyd

  4. You picked the perfect title! "My America" is great! I would definitely buy a copy. Your glass is always more than half full of awesomeness and we all need more of that. Take care, you inspire others more than you know!

  5. Lloyd, I'll say it every time– I will happily buy any book you feel like writing! But I love this idea. Because it's been my experience too that people across this country are good and kind and decent. Everyone should know that!

  6. I hope you follow through on this. Yes, your building books are great, but you've shown the path on those – others can follow. No one else has lived your life, and I'd love reading about how you travelled to where you are now. – Naomi

  7. I would love to read a book about your life experiences, your stories and the 60's, 70's! It's all so fascinating to me…as are yours and Lesley's lifestyle…! I would love a book on all of it!

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