Egret and crab

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Four Days Gone

Leaf study, Arcadia

Los Angeles County Arboretum

Ken and I played hookey yesterday and traveled to Burbank to attend a meeting of our photography group, Clickers and Flickers, which just celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. An amazing assortment of film and photo enthusiasts.

Stopped in Lake Elsinore and had a great lunch at Don Jose's and then tooled up north. I lost a piece of a tooth or a crown somewhere along the way and that was sort of aggravating but I wasn't going to let it ruin my day.

We usually plan a photo diversion before a meeting and yesterday we stopped at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia, Lucky Baldwin's old spread.

It had been a long time since I had been there and it was more beautiful than I remembered. In fact I am ready to go back! A lot of stuff in bloom. The grounds were immaculate. 

I was messing around with the Nikkor 85mm 1.8d, trying to shoot as close as I could to wide open to hone my craft. Manually focussed all day. Shot the new Bower 14mm 2.8 a bit too, getting ready for my astrophotography session next week.

It is going to take some time to process the shots but I am generally pleased. Meeting was good up at the Castaways, people's presentations of their work was better than ever. Long day  but worth it.

Fast lens's are cool. Just got the 55mm f1.2 and am looking forward to using it as well, need to send it off for an ai conversion.

Didn't bring a macro but still had fun playing with selective focus and flattened depth of field.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Big Business/I Zimbra

Outtake from the legendary concert film by the Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense. I don't believe Big Business was ever released on a TH record. The Talking Heads were one of the best things about the seventies for me. True artists.

Evening sun, Death Valley

Grandmaster John Leong (梁崇)

This is Hung Gar Grandmaster John Leong from the oldest Kung Fu Club in the United States, the Seattle Kung Fu club. Leong is my old Kung Fu teacher's (Sifu John Vihillidal) teacher. He wrote the first comprehensive book on Hung Gar, a southern five animal style, characterized by low stances and kicks, for the western world. Here he is performing the Tiger Crane form or suk em chuk.

I am told that Sifu Leong was never flashy but that he was hard as nails and brilliant. I miss kung fu very much.

Keye Luke

I recently purchased two beautiful prints out of an estate. Once again I knew nothing about the particular artist, in this case a man named Keye Luke. Upon inspection, what an interesting fellow he was!

This particular estate had a lot of material from the late Hollywood columnist Louella Parsons.

Parsons herself is quite a story, her rise in popularity a direct result of publicly praising the acting ability of William Randolph Hearst's mistress, Marion Davies.

The print above was a gift to Parsons's daughter, Harriet, often referred to as Baby Parsons in the movies she acted in.

"To my friend Harriet Parsons with felicity --- and ten thousand thanks," signed Keye Luke and bearing a Chinese pictogram.

The piece on the right was a gift to Louella with a much less florid greeting. Classical sylphs cavorting are always good...

So who is this wonderful artist Keye Luke, a man who seems to be channeling Aubrey Beardsley with his amazing prowess with ink and paper?

Besides being a marvelous artist, known for his fine pen and inks and prints, he was a very successful actor. The Chinese American is best known for playing Kato in the original Green Hornet, Number one son in Charley Chan and Master Po in Kung Fu. You remember, snatch
this pebble from my hand...

He was on Broadway in the Flower Drum Song and in the film Alice for Woodie Allen.

Born in Guangzhou in 1904 he grew up in Seattle. An artist, he eventually worked on the murals at Graumann's Chinese Theater and illustrated several books, a task that paved the way for his acting career.

A short film about Keye Luke's life and work premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

I searched around the internet for more information but largely drew a blank, even my print dealer friend in Seattle had never heard of him. I found an obit and several interesting links like this one Chinese American Eyes, that allows us to see more of his artwork. Or this wonderful blogpost from Silver Scenes, the Art of Keye Luke.

Here Keye shows Loretta Young his illustration of her in The Farmers Daughter in 1947. The Oscarssite pertaining to Luke has some fantastic photographs.

Howard Berlin
I look forward to learning more about and seeing more work from this incredibly talented artist. I will be offering these two pieces for sale at the Blue Heron Gallery when I figure out how to fairly price them.

Rock salt & nails

The late Steve Young.

Another two bite the dust...

Our childhood icons are dropping off like flies. Patty Duke died today. What preteen didn't think she was boss during the 1960's? I sure did. Excellent actress, later a tireless mental health advocate. Thanks Patty, you let a wonderful imprint. From Ballet Russe to Crepes Suzette...

I also somehow missed the news that Joe Garagiola had passed away last week. For a kid like me born in the fifties, Joe was part of our national fabric. The first Roy Hobbs in this country for me, the superstar athlete who was bigger than life, was Mickey Mantle, then later Willie Mays.

Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek were the guys calling the games for these titans. The national announcers. And I think there were none better than that pair. Ever. I will miss his infectious enthusiasm and love of the great game. These guys will always be the voice of baseball for me.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Charly Garcia - Aguante la amistad

Guillermo Portabales - El Carretero (canción original)

Fidel letter to Barack

I am not sure about the crude computer translation but you get the gist.

Brother Obama

We do not need the empire to give us presents. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because of our commitment to the peace and brotherhood of all human beings living on this planet.

Author: Fidel Castro Ruz | internet@granma.cu
March 28, 2016 1:03:16

The kings of Spain brought the conquerors and owners, whose fingerprints were on the circular bundles of land assigned to the prospectors in the sands of rivers, an abusive and shameful form of exploitation whose traces can still be seen from the air in many parts of the country.

Tourism today largely consists of showing delightful landscapes and savoring the food delicacies of our seas, and always to be shared with the private capital of large foreign corporations, whose profits if they do not reach the billions of dollars per capita, are not worthy of some attention.

Since I was forced to broach the subject, I should add, especially for young people, that few people realize the importance of such a condition in this unique moment in human history. I will not say that time has been lost, but do not hesitate to say that we are not sufficiently informed, neither you nor we, knowledge and consciences we should have to face the realities that challenge us. The first thing to consider is that our lives are a historical split second, you have to also share with the vital needs of all human beings. One feature of this is the tendency to the overvaluation of their role, which contrasts with the other hand the extraordinary number of people who embody the highest dreams.

No one, however, is good or bad by itself. None of us is designed for the role it should take in the revolutionary society. In part, the Cubans had the privilege of having the example of José Martí. I wonder even if they had to fall or not in Dos Rios, saying "it is time for me", and charged the Spanish forces entrenched in a solid line of fire. I did not want to return to the United States and no one who did return. Someone plucked a few leaves from his diary. Who bore the perfidious fault, that was certainly the work of some intriganteinescrupuloso? differences between the bosses are known but never indiscipline. "Whoever attempts to conquer Cuba will only gather the dust of her soil soaked in blood, if not perish in the fight" said the glorious black leader Antonio Maceo. It is also recognized in Maximo Gomez, the most disciplined and discreet military chief of our history.

Looked at from another angle, how not to admire the indignation of Bonifacio Byrne when, from the distant boat that brought him back to Cuba, at the sight of another flag next to Lone Star, said: "My flag is one that has mercenary ever been ... "to add immediately one of the most beautiful phrases I never heard:" If undone in small pieces becomes my flag someday ... our dead raising his arms to defend know yet ...! ". Nor do I forget the words of Camilo Cienfuegos lit that night, when several dozen meters bazookas and machine guns of American origin, in counter hands, pointed to the terrace where we were standing. Obama was born in August 1961, as he himself said. More than half a century would pass from that time.

Let's see how today however thinks our illustrious visitor:

"I came here to leave behind the last vestiges of the Cold War in the Americas. I came here extending the hand of friendship to the Cuban people. "

Immediately a flood of concepts, entirely new to most of us:

"They live in a new world colonized by Europeans." US President continued. "Cuba, like the United States, was founded by slaves brought from Africa; like the United States, the Cuban people have inheritance in slaves and slaveholders. "

Native populations do not exist at all in the minds of Obama. Nor does it say that racial discrimination was swept away by the Revolution; that retirement and salary of all Cubans were enacted by this before Mr. Barack Obama fulfilled 10 years. The odious and racist bourgeois habit of hiring thugs to black citizens were expelled from recreation centers was swept by the Cuban Revolution. This would be remembered for the battle fought in Angola against apartheid, ending the presence of nuclear weapons in a continent of more than one billion people. That was not the goal of our solidarity, but to help the people of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and other fascist colonial rule of Portugal.

In 1961, just two years and three months after the triumph of the Revolution, a mercenary force with cannons and armored infantry, equipped with aircraft, was trained and accompanied by warships and aircraft carriers in the US, raiding our country. Nothing can justify this premeditated attack that cost our country hundreds of killed and wounded. Pro-Yankee Brigade assault, nowhere has there could have evacuated a single mercenary. Yanks warplanes were presented to the United Nations as rebels Cuban teams.

It is well known military experience and power of that country. In Africa also they believed that revolutionary Cuba would easily put out of action. The attack southern Angola by the racist South Africa motorized brigades leads to the vicinity of Luanda, the capital of this country. Hence a struggle that lasted not less than 15 years starts. I speak not even this, unless he had the elemental duty to respond to Obama's speech at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso.

Nor I try to give details, only to emphasize that there honorably page of the struggle for human liberation was written. In a way I wanted Obama's behavior was correct. His humble origins and his natural intelligence were evident. Mandela was imprisoned for life and had become a giant in the struggle for human dignity. One day I got my hands on a copy of the book in that part of the life of Mandela and oh, surprise !: was prefaced by Barack Obama is told. I flipped through quickly. It was amazing the size of the lowercase letter stating Mandela data. Worth having known men like that.

On the episode of South Africa I must point out another experience. I was really interested in learning more about how the South Africans had acquired nuclear weapons. Only had very precise that did not exceed 10 or 12 bombs information. A reliable source would be the professor and researcher Piero Gleijeses, who had drafted the text "Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington and Africa 1959-1976"; an excellent job. I knew he was the safest source of what happened and so I communicated; I replied that he had not spoken about the matter, because the text had answered the questions of teammate Jorge Risquet, who had been ambassador in Angola or Cuban partner, close friend of his. I located Risquet; and other important occupations was finishing a course which was missing several weeks. That task coincided with a fairly recent trip to our country Piero; He had warned that Risquet this was some years and his health was not optimal. A few days later it happened what I feared. Risquet worsened and he died. Piero came when there was nothing to do except promises, but I had already made about what was related to that weapon and help that racist South Africa had received from Reagan and Israel.

I do not know what Obama has to say on this story now. I do not know what or did not know, although it is very doubtful that I knew absolutely nothing. My modest suggestion is to reflect and do not try now to develop theories about Cuban politics.

There is an important question:

Obama delivered a speech in which he used to express the most honeyed words: "It's high time to forget the past, let the past, look to the future, let's look together, a future of hope. And it will not be easy, there will be challenges, and these will give it time; but my stay here gives me more hope for what we can do together as friends, as family, as neighbors, together. "

It is assumed that each of us risked a heart attack upon hearing these words of the President of the United States. After a merciless blockade that has lasted almost 60 years, and those who have died in the mercenary attacks on ships and Cuban ports, an airliner full of passengers detonated in midair, mercenary invasions, multiple acts of violence and strength?

No illusion that the people of this noble and selfless country give up the glory and rights is made, and spiritual wealth he has earned with the development of education, science and culture.

also warn that we are able to produce food and material wealth we need the effort and intelligence of our people. We do not need the empire regale us nothing. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because it is our commitment to peace and brotherhood of all human beings living on this planet.

 Fidel Castro Ruz

Are Friends Electric?

some color stuff

 Celestial Buzzsaw


Geisha Girl

Colored Fish

Saguaro Moon

Wall builders

Helen Redux

Helen sent this to me years ago. It is so beautiful I thought I would reprint it.

Walking straight.
A challenge? Who would guess?
The brilliance of our gyroscope -
Its praises unsung, is a quiet miracle. 

I stagger now and list left-wise.
Loopily, my destinations reached. 
But I see eyebrows raised…
My aura broadcasts “Oddball” 

Aging brings gifts in its wrinkled basket.
Becoming invisible was an unexpected pleasure.
Different again - I’m sticking out.
Looking crazy, looking drunk.

What did you say? I can’t hear you either.
Whisper something in the good ear.
Something kind.

© Helen McHargue 2016

Zipper - © Barbara Finwall and Robert Sommers 2016

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

More of you is always good.

It is the start of a whole new week. Thought I would work in the yard one more day but the weather is pretty drizzly so I need to retool and try to get productive at the office. Maybe even clean this dump up a bit. But first a little blog housekeeping.

Jeff and Gena sent these pics from their home up in Alaska. Not high res but you get the idea.

 This pics are from their daughter, basking in the Northern Lights.

This one just says Nome. Their daughter has turned into quite the photographer by the way. Very talented girl.

Jeff and Gena are two of my more conservative friends but I have learned not to judge people by their political leanings. Gena is a native Alaskan and we all are the product of our individual worlds and our worlds are really not entirely the same.

They recently sent me this letter from an Alaskan fisherman defending Sarah Palin. The knee jerk, reflexive reaction would be to just say she is a twit and be done with it but I found it interesting and worth considering. Healthy to consider alternate points of view.
Dewie Whetsell, Alaskan Fisherman. As posted in comments on Greta's article referencing the MOVEON ad about Sarah Palin. 
The last 45 of my 66 years I've spent in a commercial fishing town in Alaska . I understand Alaska politics but never understood national politics well until this last year. Here's the breaking point: Neither side of the Palin controversy gets it. It's not about persona, style, rhetoric, it's about doing things. Even Palin supporters never mention the things that I'm about to mention here.
1. Democrats forget when Palin was the Darling of the Democrats, because as soon as Palin took the Governor's office away from a fellow Republican and tough SOB, Frank Murkowski, she tore into the Republican's "Corrupt Bastards Club" (CBC) and sent them packing. Many of them are now residing in State housing and wearing orange jump suits The Democrats reacted by skipping around the yard, throwing confetti and singing, "la la la la" (well, you know how they are). Name another governor in this country that has ever done anything similar.  2. Now with the CBC gone, there were fewer Alaskan politicians to protect the huge, giant oil companies here. So she constructed and enacted a new system of splitting the oil profits called "ACES." Exxon (the biggest corporation in the world) protested and Sarah told them, "don't let the door hit you in the stern on your way out." They stayed, and Alaska residents went from being merely wealthy to being filthy rich. Of course, the other huge international oil companies meekly fell in line. Again, give me the name of any other governor in the country that has done anything similar.  3. The other thing she did when she walked into the governor's office is she got the list of State requests for federal funding for projects, known as "pork." She went through the list, took 85% of them and placed them in the "when-hell-freezes-over" stack. She let locals know that if we need something built, we'll pay for it ourselves. Maybe she figured she could use the money she got from selling the previous governor's jet because it was extravagant. Maybe she could use the money she saved by dismissing the governor's cook (remarking that she could cook for her own family), giving back the State vehicle issued to her, maintaining that she already had a car, and dismissing her State-provided security force (never mentioning - I imagine - that she's packing heat herself). I'm still waiting to hear the names of those other governors.  4. Now, even with her much-ridiculed "gosh and golly" mannerism, she also managed to put together a totally new approach to getting a natural gas pipeline built which will be the biggest private construction project in the history of North America. No one else could do it although they tried. If that doesn't impress you, then you're trying too hard to be unimpressed while watching her do things like this while baking up a batch of brownies with her other hand. 5. For 30 years, Exxon held a lease to do exploratory drilling at a place called Point Thompson. They made excuses the entire time why they couldn't start drilling. In truth they were holding it like an investment. No governor for 30 years could make them get started. Then, she told them she was revoking their lease and kicking them out. They protested and threatened court action. She shrugged and reminded them that she knew the way to the court house. Alaska won again. 6. President Obama wants the nation to be on 25% renewable resources for electricity by 2025. Sarah went to the legislature and submitted her plan for Alaska to be at 50% renewable by 2025. We are already at 25%. I can give you more specifics about things done, as opposed to style and persona. Everybody wants to be cool, sound cool, look cool. But that's just a cover-up. I'm still waiting to hear from liberals the names of other governors who can match what mine has done in two and a half years. I won't be holding my breath. By the way, she was content to return to Alaska after the national election and go to work, but the haters wouldn't let her. Now these adolescent screechers are obviously not scuba divers. And no one ever told them what happens when you continually jab and pester a barracuda. Without warning, it will spin around and tear your face off. Shoulda known better.  You have just read the truth about Sarah Palin that sends the media, along with the Democrat party, into a wild uncontrolled frenzy to discredit her.I guess they are only interested in skirt chasers, dishonesty, immoral people, liars, womanizers, murderers, and bitter ex-presidents' wives. 
So "You go, Girl." I only wish the men in Washington had your guts, determination, honesty, and morals. I rest my case. Only FOOLS listen to the biased media.
Now I am not a Palin supporter, I consider most of her policy positions anathema to me, but know many of her fellow Alaskans love her. Dewey's letter helps explain why. Hard to resist the urge to turn people into cartoons, we all do it. Sometimes there is more to the story.

I love my friends from Alaska.

Jeff sent this video yesterday, said he just did two 25,000 lb. loads on his lake. Not sure what that means but he was sure happy.


Tom Pecore is sharing a picture of a Morning Glory butterfly. I shepherded one of these guys from chrysalis through first flight as a kid and am man enough to tell you that it was an emotional moment for me when it flew.

Brett sent this celestial masterpiece and I have no clue but it is pretty.

Jonathan Hill sends a very interesting link. Disabled musicians continuing to create with brain waves.

I have been reading Camus' book The Myth of Sisyphus. I don't read much philosophy, truth is I'm not that deep and quite easily confused. But this series of essays is interesting, Albert considers the reaction of suicide in a world of the absurd. And after reading it, I believe I understand the mind of a jihadi suicide bomber a little better. Will share some pithy quotes for you later.

Sisyphus was the iron fisted King of Ephyra (now Corinth). Obeying Zeus, he chained Thanatos, the god of death and freed mortals from mortality. This pissed Ares and Hades off to no end. It was even said that he was craftier than Zeus himself. As a penalty he was made to endlessly push a boulder up a hill. We've all been there.

Speaking of absurd, I thought that the story of CIA backed militias shooting at Pentagon backed militias was pretty priceless.


Leslie and I live on a pretty secluded section of the river. We took a walk midday and I went skinny dipping in a large deep section. Beaver dams sealed off the western edge like a modern horizon pool. Lovely secluded pond on a gorgeous weekend.  I am just getting down in my best Woodstock/Easy Rider pond mode when we hear a voice up on the elevated trail. "Hi Leslie." A guy we know named Daniel is enjoying a hike and espies us as I quickly submerge in the murky water.

"Hippies, huh?"

blue heron at mach 2
Leslie and I treated ourselves to the best sushi in these parts, Hana in Temecula. The poki and sashimi salads are pretty epic at Hana.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Be Well

I had a client friend come in today whose husband is battling cancer and it has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse. My heart goes out to the both of them. As my long time readers know, I got cancer in my mid twenties and fought it for a long time. I thought that I had it beat but it raised its ugly head about eight years ago. Cancer survivors are always sneaking these little looks over our shoulders.

And it has touched most of us, or I daresay, all of us.

My friend Heidi Minga is a principal at a local non-profit called Be Well. Be Well is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation specializing in helping those living with cancer, their caregivers, & everyone else living stress-filled lives, which is pretty much all of us.

Heidi and her partner have teamed with City of Hope to put on The Retreat, a two day rejuvenation experience at Pala Casino benefitting the City of Hope and their mission to fight cancer. The Retreat is a two-day yoga event held at Pala Resort Casino and Spa (who graciously donate the space and the food). San Diego's top teachers are volunteering their time and skills to lead the classes. Each time slot has an active and a gentle choice. They also have noted guest speakers that will speak on Ayurveda (sister science of yoga) and do cooking demo's as well as a Ted Talks speaker (Sara Cameron).

Be Well is a proud supporter of City of Hope's Comprehensive Cancer Center which offers over 150 complimentary care services (such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, dance therapy, counseling, etc.) to the patients and caregivers of Hope at no charge.

Heidi, Traycie Mitchell and Mary Baker raised over 10k for City of Hope last year. They hope to double that number this year. On a sad note, both Heidi and Mary have lost their mothers to cancer.

Take a look at the links and think of either attending or donating to their worthy cause. Space is limited to 300 participants.

Thank you!

Tommy Bolin

Life is good.

I know thanksgiving is in November but I have a lot to be grateful for right now. I hope that you all feel the same way this fine Easter weekend. Say what you want about the diminishing quality of life in Southern California, crime, traffic, cost of living, what have you, this has been the most remarkable two weeks of weather. Warm, but not too warm, the perfect light breeze. Absolutely incredible.

It really is heaven right now. This is the reason I live here, weeks like this. The reason I never want to leave my beautiful Santa Margarita valley until the day I die. I was born in San Diego County and it is deeply ingrained in my blood and dna.

I have a new bird feeder up, they haven't taken to it yet but there is a continuing cascade of loud and colorful birds in the yard. We found an excellent Guatemalan worker who spiffed up the yard last week and is coming back on Monday. You feel better when the yard starts looking good.

I had one of the greatest California paintings I have ever handled come in to the gallery this week, word of mouth from an old customer that I treated right and I am certainly happy for that. I love to handle great material.

I am married to the best wife I could ever imagine. I have never doubted that once in the last 26 years. Beautiful, inside and out and as far from a diva as you can get. Total team player. Smart as heck.

I have been managing my time more effectively. Haven't played my guitar for a year nor taken time to visit the gym, both of those failures are certainly awful but I have been definitely more productive and I have managed to pay the bills. Lots of singles, an occasional k, not a lot of home runs but I am managing to keep swinging the bat and that is what you have to do sometimes. Tony Gwynn made it to the Hall of Fame hitting singles and an occasional double.

My basketball team, SDSU, is still playing, albeit in the NIT. Went to the game against Georgia Tech with Kent and Heidi and they kicked ass playing to a sold out crowd. The one team that has beat Kansas at home. A few teams in the NCAA tourney are lucky not to be playing them right now.

Got a good estate recently, have a nice photography exhibit up, figuring out how to use a camera finally, have a wonderful set of friends, some going on thirty and forty years, still have my hair, my heart is still beating, my car is still running, people are still reading me.

I have been blessed with wonderful teachers in my life. I want to thank them too. Mrs. Gershon, my phonics teacher. Mrs. Bingham in the fourth grade in El Paso. Mr. Reagan in high school. Doug Durrant in college. So many great teachers along the way. Where would we be without our teachers?

Life is good.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lowell Naeve

Sometimes the narrative is equal to, if not more interesting than, the artwork itself.

Steve and I bought this impressive large woodblock print recently. I have been doing this a long time and this might be the biggest woodblock I have ever handled, short of the Baskin anyway, about 18 x 30". Signed Lowell Naeve, titled Red Barn. Numbered, 28, edition of 100. Modern regionalist, Paul Sample meets Ben Shahn.

I went on Askart.com, Artprice, nothing, no info, no auction record. Hmmm. A quick search on google and the man unfolded before my eyes.

The very print. Created in 1968. But it gets more interesting.

A conscientious objector, Naeve had two stints in jail. From Molly Fair's Justseeds:
Naeve objected to all forms of oppression, and his personal identification as an anarchist resulted from his own observations from every day occurrences. He was opposed to the indiscriminate killing of animals for sport or so called necessity, the celebration of war in children’s schoolbooks, and US control over foreign resources, which he learned of from his travels in Mexico. After registering for the draft, he refused to serve, and was subsequently imprisoned twice, serving a total of four and a half years in nine prisons.
While serving time, he continued to engage in political activity, and protested against censorship, poor food quality, and the segregation of black prisoners. He also wrote a prison newsletter called The Clink. Naeve resisted through his artwork, created by wiping ink off of copies of Life magazines and drawing with whatever tool he could find.
While serving a year long sentence in Danbury Prison, he decided to ask the warden for art supplies. Surprisingly the warden agreed, but with the ulterior motive of making an example of Naeve as a model prisoner to visiting authorities. In addition the warden tried to make Naeve produce portraits of his family. Naeve refused to comply and said he will instead draw lots between the prisoners and officials to see who will get a portrait painted, refusing to place the oppressors on a pedestal.
He published his books with David Wieck, an anarchist he met in prison and life long friend. Together they later formed the anarchist group WHY?. I’ve had trouble finding out more info on Naeve, but know that he continued to be involved in activism with his wife, and his son, who was later accused of resisting the draft during the Vietnam War.
He died in British Columbia in 2014. See his obit here.

More later...

Dear Mr. Fantasy

Stills and Nash

Sorry, so sorry.

I, for one, am glad that we have finally made apologies for whatever complicity we may have had in the dirty wars in Chile and Argentina.

It was a nasty piece of business and some say that Kissinger and many higher ups in the U.S. Military agreed to look away while Generals Pinochet and Videla did some of the most vile things imaginable, murdering innocent students, teachers and priests among others.

Next, why don't you make a clean sweep of things Mr. President and visit every native american tribe in the country and tell them that we owe them one for stealing their land. Contrition begins at home. Great picture with Che, by the way.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Who - Join Together

Eagles and doves

I was talking to a friend last month who knows about my interest in birds and has the fortune of owning a rather good sized holding up on Palomar Mountain. He said that it was an extraordinary spring. He regularly has large numbers or raptors at his ranch, all manner of hawks and eagles. This year he said there were gigantic doles of doves and kits of pigeons, ginormous flocks and the raptors really went to town.

I was looking through my prized copy of a very hard to find book, A thousand years in the Temecula Valley by Tom Hudson, illustrations by Ralph Love when I glanced at the section on Palomar Mountain. Hadn't looked at it in a while. Those of you who have never been to Mt. Palomar are still probably aware that it is the site of a famous observatory which first became operational January 26, 1949.

It is really more of a ridge line than a peak. I hiked all the way from the bottom at Dripping Springs to the top when I was young and a bit more fit. Kicked my ass then.

Palomar means mountain view of the sea in Spanish. But perhaps this is not why this particular mountain range got its name after all? The book says that the native american name was Paaua, which means Mother Mountain in the Cupeño or local Mission Indian tongue.

When the Spanish came they would ascend to its heights to cut timbers for the roof of the San Luis Rey Mission and the surrogate Pala and Las Flores Assistencias. They also gave it its name, which also happens to mean dovecoat or place of the pigeons in spanish. Paloma is the spanish word for pigeon or dove.

So it makes sense that there were huge flocks of birds this spring. The same thing has probably been happening since time immemorial.

Palomar has had its share of characters, the most famous being the famous freed former slave Nate Harrison, for which the east grade is named. He settled on Palomar in 1848. Palomar also had a resident named Joseph Smith aka Jo Largo or Long Joe. When the Butterfield Stage ran through the area in 1859, Jo Largo established a hay farm on the east side of the mountain. Hay was sold to all four of the stage stops, from Warner Ranch to Temecula.

Eight years later, Largo befriended an itinerant in Temecula who ended up murdering him. A posse was formed and the killer was strung up on the spot. Nate Harrison was part of this posse. The mountain was renamed Smith Mountain in honor of Long Joe and remained that way for fifty years until it was changed to Palomar.

View of Palomar, Maurice Braun
I always feel better up  on the mountain, breathing clean air, drinking clean water, hiking around Doane, staring at ancient conifers. I look forward to seeing one of the giant dove flocks one day.

Woman in purple