Doing California in Memory and Fact
by Art Goodtimes
Nov 07, 2010 | 1071 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LOST COAST … What a grand hoot. Flying into San Fran and meeting up with my old Barbary Coast beatnik buddy, Steve Clark. Having drinks with my daughter Iris and her significant other Bert on a Mission District sidewalk café. Driving a rented Prius up along Highway One in an astounding fall sunset. Camping at Ft. Ross, not far from the creek where my oldest daughter was conceived three decades ago. Breakfast at Timber Cove, making the obligatory pilgrimage to see Benny Bufano’s Palm Pillar. Walking the boardwalk and buying obscure poetry books in Mendocino on the bluffs of the blue Pacific. Having a tasty dinner to live music in Shelter Cove’s Cove restaurant. Taking the shuttle up to the mouth of the Mattole River and traipsing off into the beach wilderness on a lovely sunny day. Spending four days and three nights backpacking the wildest stretch of coastline in the lower 48 – saw five people the whole time we were out there. Slogging home in the dark under a driving rain, the surf licking at our heels. Finding a warm bed in a Garberville motel and the best organic breakfast in town the next morning at the Woodrose Café. Coming back to the City to spend a night with Steve’s wild friend Jim Tassano in his beautiful home and formal garden in the inner Sunset. Catching a freebie jazz ensemble in Golden Gate Park, playing their hearts out for passersby … What a way to celebrate past and present in the autumn of one’s life.

WEEKLY QUOTA ... “Interrelatedness is a common-sense observation. We should remind ourselves that ordinary working people, traditional people ... notice that things are connected. What's not common is the mind-body dualism that begins to come in with monotheism. And the alliance of monotheism with the formation of centralized governance and the national state, that's what's unnatural, and statistically, a minority on earth. The most common human experience has been an experience of Animism. Only a small proportion of people on earth have been monotheists ... Everybody else in the world is a multifaceted polytheist, animist, or Buddhist who sees things in the world as alive.” – Gary Snyder

HEADWATERS … Last year was the first one of Western State’s annual conferences that I missed (coincidentally, the first one not run by my old Gunnison friend and writer/curmudgeon George Sibley) … So, no way I’m gonna miss Number 21 on Nov. 12-14. Topic this year is “A Resilient Headwaters: Skills for Re-inhabiting Place.” While what we talk about is always important, but more important thing is the chance to cross-fertilize ideas and trade thoughts with the likes of Sibley, Maryo Ewell, Ed and Martha Quillen, Laura McCall, Devon Peña, Butch Clark, Aaron Abeyta, Alan Wartes, Issa Forest and more …. And this year will be a chance to commemorate Randy Russell, a Headwaters elder (and former Tellurider) who passed away a year or so ago. Russell was a brilliant thinker, a planner of great vision, and a dear personal friend … For more info, go to www.western.edu/academics/headwaters/headwaters-conference

WORLD SERIES … It’s a great time for the West Coast’s premiere city of liberal politics with their hometown boys playing such championship ball. As a native son myself, it’s fun to root for a patchwork Giants team of freaks, castoffs and youngsters who’ve stepped up to the plate (so to speak) and knocked the stuffings out of a Texas team so closely associated with the former (disastrous) presidential administration … Even the Niners won the NFL’s London game against our poor suffering Broncos. The late great Herb Caen would be ecstatic.

KANSAS CITY … An added plus in flying out to Missouri for the Corbin wedding last month was getting to know KC better – especially the Westport district (I stayed at KC’s great eco-hotel, the Q). Got to stand at the spot where the Santa Fe and California trails began. Admired a cityscape with fascinating architecture of all kinds. And yes, had some delicious ribs … The only downside was the number of people who smoked tobacco – almost everyone! One gets spoiled in Colorado, where smokers are heavily outnumbered by their clean air-breathing fellow citizens.


Extinction Denial

-written just before Halloween

Dumped in the curled leaf
of our empire’s autumn
in a sky that smells

like snow

Rushing around in a whirl
Trying to solve the sacred
messiness of life

No time to waste

But all the time in the world
for our luxurious
always-summer tastes
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