history (19)

Old Victorian House in Watsonville

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This old beauty along side Hwy. One in Watsonville, surrounded by 10 acres of organic strawberries and vegetables. Neglected, but the bones are still good. Called the Redman House, it:

“…was constructed in 1897 and designed by William H. Weeks, who was responsible for the design of hundreds of unique buildings throughout California. It was a classic Queen Anne — it featured a rounded corner tower with a turret, gables with meticulously carved panels, Palladian windows and dentil molding. The intricate detailing that Weeks designed for the exterior of the home could also was found inside — expensive and decorative wood, including eastern oak and bird’s eye maple, were used for doors, mantles, and window casings.”

-Wikipedia

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Whole Earth Catalog’s 50th Anniversary

Here’s a video made for the occasion. I was the shelter editor for several incarnations of the Catalog, including The Whole Earth Epilog.

“Meet the creators of the Whole Earth Catalog and the community they inspired. This video history of the Whole Earth culture covers 50 years of collective innovation in just 38 minutes.

“Whole Earth Flashbacks” takes you on a dazzling journey through time, from the first Whole Earth Catalogs to the Co-Evolution Quarterly, the Whole Earth Review, the Hackers Conference, the Well, Cyberthon, Wired, Burning Man and the 10,000 Year Clock, to name but a few.

These projects have one thing in common: they gave access to tools and ideas to help people bring their dreams to life — and change the world together.

This video retrospective features many creative minds and thought leaders: Stewart Brand, Jay Baldwin, Stephanie Mills, Lloyd Kahn, Ted Nelson, Doug Adams, Steven Levy, Andy Hertzfeld, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, Wavy Gravy, Kevin Kelly, Larry Harvey, Danny Hillis and Steve Jobs, in order of appearance.

Whole Earth Flashbacks was created by Fabrice Florin, with the help of over 60 community members…. Our video premiered at the 50th Anniversary of the Whole Earth Catalog on October 13, 2018, at Fort Mason in San Francisco.…”

https://vimeo.com/album/5479545/video/294878432

(In the 2nd row of the above collage, 2nd from left, is a fisheye shot of me in my dome at Pacific High School in 1968.)

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Ohlone Indians of Santa Cruz

Last week I took my two grandsons (ages 5 & 7) to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, which they loved. On the wall was this lovely painting depicting what life was like for California Indians before the Europeans arrived. If you are ever in Santa Cruz I highly recommend visiting this unique little museum, which is at 1305 East Cliff Dr.

“Ohlone people were hunters and gatherers who followed this seasonal cycles of the natural world around them — the salmon runs, the maturing of acorns, the ripening of berries and bulbs, the migrations of waterfowl. The abundance of food in this region created a relatively stable society. Some village sites were occupied continuously for thousands of years.”

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What the ’60s Wasn’t

1960, me (at left) and my Stinson beach lifeguard friends in Mill Valley about to take off on a surfing trip to the Point Reyes Peninsula in my 1937 Chevy (with square-cut gears) truck. This was a few years before everything started to change.

Getting It Wrong…

In 2017, there was a media blitz on “The 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love.” There were TV shows, magazine and online articles, and museum exhibits on what supposedly took place in San Francisco in the summer of 1967.

I read all these stories and articles, watched the films, went to the exhibits, and was puzzled. This wasn’t the way I saw it, and I was there. There were a bunch of things wrong with all this coverage:

What the ’60s Wasn’t

  • The “summer of love” was a disaster. An estimated 100,000 kids trekked to San Francisco, most of them looking for drugs, sex, and rock and roll. A lot of them inspired by the lame song about wearing flowers in your hair if you came to San Francisco. The city wasn’t prepared for the inundation; the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood was overwhelmed. There wasn’t enough food, housing, or sanitation for the influx. Things deteriorated rapidly.
  • Secondly, the Haight Ashbury district wasn’t the ’60s.

    “The Haight-Ashbury was a neighborhood. The ’60s was a movement.”
    –Ken Kesey

    Kesey nails it here, as he did so often. The media has focused on the Haight-Ashbury, since it’s been so well documented, and it’s easy to interview people who were there.

    But the ’60s was about much more than the Haight, it was about a lot more than rock and roll and smoking pot and living in old Victorians in San Francisco.

    It was nationwide, arguably worldwide, and it encompassed a staggering variety of subjects and events and changes.

  • Most of the books, films, articles, and exhibits about the ’60s are by people who weren’t there — second-hand accounts.

My first thoughts were that these versions didn’t reflect what really happened.
Read More …

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Stop, Children, What’s That Sound…

Photo of me in 1965 in Providence, RI, shot with my Nikon by Linda Connor. I was on a 30-day cross-country hitchhiking trip — a “vision quest.” When I got home, I quit my job as an insurance broker and went to work as a carpenter.

I started out to write a book about the ’60s because most of the media coverage (TV documentaries, books, exhibits) in 2017, prompted by “The Summer of Love” theme, didn’t coincide with what I saw happen:

1. in the ’60s
2. in San Francisco

I began by making a list of the ideas and concepts that I learned about in the ’60s. A lot! It was surprising.

Then I thought that if I’m going to take people on a trip — my trip — through those years, I should explain who I am, my background, so readers will know “…where I’m coming from.”

I’m starting with scenes from childhood. Focusing on the past is fun. It’s opening up a suitcase of memories and I’m having a good time remembering good times.I recall scenes from past years, then I run out to the computer and type a few paragraphs about the ’40s, the ’50s, a few about Pacific High School in the ’60s, a few about the Haight-Ashbury district — in no particular order. It’s not an organized way to write a book, but as I go along, the book is taking its own form.

A builder I know once told me, talking about each house he builds, “I fire the bullet and then try to catch up with it.”

I’m starting by describing growing up in San Francisco, what the city was like then, grammar school, summer vacations, high school (in the Haight-Ashbury district) and college and surfing days….

This will be the way I saw the ’60s; I’m not trying to be comprehensive or complete about the era. You can’t make a cohesive narrative about the times because the times weren’t cohesive. It will be purely what I saw happen.

If any of you experienced the ’60s directly, your memories are welcome here…

Note: I’m going to publish the book, bit by bit here. I’m not ready to make a real book out of it yet. I have two other books to get done first.

The posts will all be available under “THE SIXTIES” tab at the top of the blog, so if you want to read about the era, they’ll all be in one place.

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Wells Fargo Stagecoach

This is in the Wells Fargo headquarters in downtown San Francisco.

Wells Fargo began in San Francisco during the gold rush. It acted as a bank and delivery service for miners looking to strike literal gold.

It cost quite a lot of money to transport goods before railroads. In 1867, it would have cost $300 — $7,352 in 2015 dollars — to ride the stagecoach from Sacramento to Omaha, according to an advertisement from the era.

Wells Fargo was able to transfer money and goods quickly and reliably using the stagecoaches. The bank claims that its coaches were made using only the finest materials of the time.

The main builder of these stagecoaches, Abbot & Downing Co., hand assembled the coaches from a variety of woods and rimmed the wheels with iron. It created a suspension system of leather to make the ride more comfortable for passengers crossing deserts and mountains.…

When workers were done with the stagecoaches, they would weigh 2,500 pounds, about as much as a 2016 Toyota Prius C.

The stagecoaches covered 3,000 miles from the West Coast to Nebraska. Once railroads spanning the width of the country were introduced in 1869, stagecoaches began falling out of fashion. They continued serving areas not reachable by rail after that, and Wells Fargo spun off its delivery company in 1905.…

From www.businessinsider.com/…

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