Posts Tagged ‘hippie’

Magic Mushroom Visions: Original Potatoshop Creations by Purple64ets… Legalize Medicinal Psychedelics: Let Doctors and Patients Decide for Themselves…

July 4, 2018
Bubble Up – Psychedelic Art by Greg Vanderlaan
Rainbow Gathering Utah – Psychedelic Art by Greg Vanderlaan
FireDance – Psychedelic Art by Greg Vanderlaan
BoinkFest 2025 – Psychedelic Art by Greg Vanderlaan
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“What IS a Rainbow Gathering?” To me it is Woodstock with amateur musicians and I’m in the band.

April 9, 2018

Every year about 10,000 hippies and freethinkers go backpacking for a week on July 1st thru 7th. The location is always different and not revealed until about two weeks before it starts. Visit https://www.welcomehome.org/ to see where and what it is. I have attended four Rainbow Gatherings. The first gathering I attended was in Pennsylvania in 1987 then Idaho, California and Utah.

http://gvan42.blogspot.com/p/what-is-rainbow-gathering-to-me-it-is.html

This is a description about my trip to The Rainbow Gathering in California 2004… I wrote this to help me remember…

Thousands of People chant OM. This photo was snapped just before I decided it was time to put away the camera and experience the event… Yes, it’s important to remember to LIVE LIFE instead of DOCUMENTING LIFE.

http://gvan42.blogspot.com/2017/06/rainbow-gathering-idaho-2001.html

I went to the gathering with a goal in mind. I wanted to play my guitar and sing in public. Yes, mission accomplished. Living in Chico, California and working at the plastics factory when there was a layoff, my wife suggested that I borrow the car and drive over to the gathering. My friend Mike Jensen wanted to go and so we checked the oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid and water and set out on a classic American road trip. We made it as far as Reno the first day and slept by the side of the road.


http://gvan42.blogspot.com/2017/06/rainbow-gathering-712014-heber-city.html

Main Circle: I feel positive with the meeting between

 the Mormon Youth of Salt Lake City and the Rainbow Gathering…

http://gvan42.blogspot.com/2017/06/rainbow-gathering-photographs-utah-2014.html

Greg Vanderlaan in Heber City, Utah

Often, there is a divide between performer and audience…

It’s better when the audience is the performer.

http://gvan42.blogspot.com/2017/06/grateful-deadhead-art-and-mystory.html

My experiences following the Grateful Dead…

It became apparent that there was something ELSE going on in addition to “rock and roll/show business”. Some times I would not bother to buy a ticket to the concert at all but was happy to play music in the parking lot. Many people DID NOT attend the concerts. They went to experience the scene that surrounded the DEAD. There was a philosophy that the band was not the center of attention.

Dancing at the Rainbow Gathering in California… Dun Dun Village…

The Rainbow Gathering is the logical outgrowth of this feeling. The people from the audience (and other like minded individuals) meet in a National Forest and have a wonderful camping trip. At this level, the band does not even attend at all.

http://gvan42.blogspot.com/2017/06/grateful-deadhead-tribute-webpage.html

In 1972, a friend of mine went to San Francisco and went to the Fillmore West and came back to our high school and said… LET”S BUILD OUR OWN.

That was the beginning of Forbes Mill in Los Gatos California… We had a light show and electric rock music every weekend at an abandoned stone flour mill in the center of town… On Wednesday nights we performed folk music. My band performed… I was the head of security and did advertising posters.

Since we had Town sponsorship of our “Teen Club” thru the organization Youth Unlimited, we had to make sure no laws were being broken or the police would shut us down. Certainly no drinking or illegal drug use or housing of runaways. My take on law enforcement was to direct potential lawbreakers to the nearby hole in the fence that lead to the wooded area next to the freeway.  I admit that a lot of laws were broken on State of California property, but that was NOT MY CONCERN. I was responsible for making sure that OUR property was crime free.

The light show was created by using four slide projectors and two spinning wheels with variable speed motors that blocked the light from reaching the white wall behind the bandstand. Each cardboard wheel had holes cut into it so that the slides would be projected in a stroboscopic manner.  Some slides were abstract art created by “crystal craze” paint and others were photographs.

We also owned a strobe light and I learned to not point it at the electric organ player because the blinking light made it impossible to see which keys were black and which were white…

One of my favorite synthesizer performances was when I took a battery powered analog synthesizer [SH-101] to the banks of the Potomac River in Alexandria, VA in the middle of the night and made “spaceship taking off” sounds…

April 9, 2018

I was right across the river from DARPA and my goal was to FREAK THEM OUT. DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and they are most famous for inventing The Internet. They also invented Agent Orange and that was pure EVIL but… you can’t win them all. I had battery powered speakers and I made a really loud noise… might have been audible at the Lincoln Memorial… The basic idea behind “Spaceship” sounds is to turn the resonance of a band pass filter all the way up. That causes a sine wave with the frequency determined by the center point of the filter. Analog synthesizers have a Modulator that changes that center point. The note selected on the keyboard also determines the pitch… You have probably heard this sound on the Beach Boys song “Good Vibrations” oooh ooohhh oooh oh oh… Or Emerson, Lake and Palmer [the ending to “Lucky Man”].

Another performance was outside a Mickey Hart Concert at George Washington University. A few hours before the show a group of Deadheads formed a drum circle on the street. I brought a set of Chamber Chimes and made tinkley sounds in time to the beat. Usually a Chamber Chime player keeps the wooden bar horizontal but I held it vertical sometime to cause a more focused clank-clank… I did not have a ticket to the show so I walked over to the White House and Lafayette Park… amazing the tourists…

I took my acoustic guitar to Lafayette Park often. One song that got a good reaction from the crowd was “Deal” by the Grateful Dead. After I was finished singing a man complemented me on my song about a DEER. I also played outdoors at Wolf Trap and sang “Me an Bobby McGee” with all the La-di-ye-has sung correctly at the end of the song… At Merriweather Post Pavilion at the Grateful Dead Concerts. I had a 12 string and was sitting on top of my car strumming away when a passerby said that it was the most beautiful sound he had EVER HEARD… about 15 minutes earlier he had heard Jerry Garcia… I was honored. He was probably tripping on acid…

Read more of my autobiography at: http://gvan42.blogspot.com/2018/03/growing-up-in-los-gatos-california-in.html 

Growing Up in Los Gatos California in the 1960s – Chico, Santa Clara, Washington DC and Eureka by Gregory Vanderlaan

March 30, 2018

Born in 1954, I moved to Los Gatos in 1960 and lived there until graduation from LGHS in 1972… an Ideal Childhood… Then I Went to West Valley Jr. College, learned electronics drafting and got a job at System Industries in Santa Clara… I feel blessed that not only did I grow up in a great location but I also grew up at a great time. I missed the Vietnam War by ONE Year.

Gregory Vanderlaan

Starting first grade in 1960 I experienced President Kennedy’s Challenge of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. We were trained in school to become astronauts or rocket scientists. At NASA and Lockheed. Eventually I did end up designing computers that were flew on USAF jets. So my early dreams were fulfilled. I always wanted to design Spaceships but USAF Jets is as close as I got…

…and… during the late part of the 1960’s I got to participate in Anti Vietnam War protests. We were successful as eventually the vast majority of the American People grasped the concept that the war was Pure Evil. Nixon ended the war AND ended the draft. Saving countless American lives, including Mine. Thank You! Richard Nixon,.. and Joan Baez, Jane Fonda, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Daniel Ellsberg and millions of unsung heros…

…and… I had the opportunity to go to Grateful Dead Concerts High on LSD. Including the concert at Winterland where they filmed “The Grateful Dead Movie”… THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT!

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One peak experience in Los Gatos was attending the Tower of Power concert outdoors at the Chateau Liberte… In the Redwoods near Summit Road…  I remember going with my friend Rich Field to the Concert. We saw how The Tower achieved the flute to trumpet blending on “Diamonds Sparkling in the Sand”. One man walked towards his microphone while the other walked away… both were playing the same note… This amazed Rich as he was a jazz band member at school and this effect was a mystery to him until we saw it done… I also remember that the Hell’s Angels and The Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle clubs both arrived at the concert at the same time and I was concerned that there would be violence… so I walked to the other side of the concert as far as possible away from them…. Years later I learned that they OFTEN partied together at the Chateau and my fears were unjustified…

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I remember playing my harmonica at a school play with Barry Hill. It was called “Sneaky Fitch is Dead” and I had a great time performing… We also performed “Hippie from Olema” by the Youngbloods at a talent show in the high school gym. Rich Field and Nancy King and Rachael Ludlum were also in the band. Washtub Bass, Jug, Guitars and Washboard…

Many of the LGHS students performed as “Spearchuckers” and Slaves in the Opera “AIDA” at the San Jose Civic Auditorium. There was a touring opera company that filled the stage with locals from high school drama departments… They instructed us to move our mouths BUT DO NOT SING… They had a choir that did the singing and we would have just been annoying and off key. Since the big scene we were in was when the hero came back from the Middle East with the spoils of war (an elephant and a tiger). We had to cover our bodies with dark brown stage paint… We were supposed to be playing the part of black people but there were no Actual black students at LGHS… I had long blond hair but they just tucked that up under a hat… Big Fun… My girlfriend Liz Dunbar was in the Opera also…

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I remember going to a wonderful natural hot spring in Pfeiffer Big Sur State park. We hiked 12 miles into the Ventana Wilderness along the Big Sur River to get to “Sykes” Camp. The Park Rangers kept the Hot Spring maintained so that about 6 people could bathe at the same time. I went with my high school friend Joe Franck, his older sister Peggy and their cousin Katie. At our campsite a raccoon started to eat our food and Peggy went to shoo the raccoon away… The raccoon turned and hissed at her and bared it’s claws… She screamed really loud and in the end, we fasted for a couple of days… Wild animals win any fight… I also remember reading a Carlos Castaneda Book and tying a rope around my waist to act as a belt because I lost weight while fasting.

Another time in Big Sur I saw a cat that was about the size of a toy collie… I guess it was a Bobcat, not a mountain lion… There were also wild pigs that ran around at night… In my imagination, they were as big as “Wonder Warthog!”.  On the Big Sur River close to the Pfeiffer Campground was a swimming hole with a waterfall at the upstream end. Very popular and private… perfect for skinny dipping. I sure hope that the hot springs are still being kept in good repair. It was Well worth the 12 mile hike in… I also went to the campground on the day that President Nixon resigned. I took LSD and had to go lie down in the woods when the hallucinations peaked so I missed the actual resignation. (oops, got stoned and I missed it.) There was great celebration at the campground that night.

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My family took a vacation every summer. Often we drove in the car and camped out. I remember great trout fishing in Manning Park, Canada. Another time we were in the tent in Canadian Glacier Park when a bear came into our campsite and broke open our Coleman Ice Chest. He just picked it up and threw it down on the ground until the latch failed. He ate the bacon and the butter but ignored the whipped honey. The Park Rangers had warned us in advance to lock all food in the trunk of the car… However we felt that leaving an Aluminum Ice Chest on the picnic table wouldn’t be a problem… OOPS! We also went to Banff Lake Louise and visited the giant Canadian Railroad Hotel there. Really Elegant. Actually, my first memory of my entire life was the sound of a steam whistle on a Ferryboat going from Seattle to Victoria. Really loud and scary. We visited Butchart Gardens and Had TEA at the Hotel. Every Business had a Picture of the Queen on their walls. The queen of ENGLAND!

One summer we flew to Hawaii. On Kawaii, dad rented me a surfboard from a guy on the beach. I rode the surfboard down a big wave. I did not stand up because there was a lot of coral underwater and I was too scared. However, it was really fun to slide down a big wave on my belly.  On the island of Hawaii we went to a black sand beach in the Kona area. My brother and I swam out to a big underwater cliff and explored it with mask/snorkle. I saw a Moray Eel hiding in the cliff. There were Thousands of Tropical Fish. I could swim down as far as I wanted… and that was a long way… I experienced Bliss.

Years later Martin and I went snorkeling off Key Largo, Florida. We saw Hammerhead Sharks and Barracuda. We bought tickets on a boat and the Captain took us to a great place to Scuba Dive. He said that we were not to worry about the sharks because that seldom bothered divers… At the end of the day we watched the sunset into the ocean and I saw the Green Flash.

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My favorite beach in Santa Cruz was Manresa. It was about ten miles south of town and It always seemed to be sunnier and warmer. It’s a very long beach and you can walk far away from other families. No need to listen to their loud children… I also liked the Boardwalk. In the late 1960’s there was a Funhouse with wooden slides and a giant record player that threw the kids off due to centrifugal force. I also loved the Merry Go Round and the automatic music box. (Calliope)

My dad reached his limit when we rode the Wild Mouse. He swore that he would never go on another ride ever… and he never did. The Giant Dipper was a classic wooden roller coaster and vastly superior to the more modern ones that are made of steel (Like Great America). When we went to the beaches North of Santa Cruz we walked thru a Brussels sprout farm. We always ate the fresh sprouts but it was important to remember to wash off the poison in the ocean first. To this day I like Brussels sprouts and artichokes due to growing up near the farms. We grew Apricots at home (4 trees) and cut cots at a neighbors smokehouse. They let us use the sulfur smoker if we worked on their farm cutting cots. There were a lot of prune orchards in our neighborhood. The most famous was on Daves Ave and had the Billy Jones Railroad. We rode the train for a penny… just throw it into a jar… Later they moved the train to Vasona Park.

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I participated in “The Moratorium” anti-Vietnam War protest march in San Francisco. We had protest marches that day in every city in the USA. At my high school we chartered a bus and many students rode from Los Gatos, California to San Francisco. The march ended at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park.There was a vast sea of people and The Beatles song “Come Together” was playing on the public address system when I walked over the hill leading to the field. I felt a feeling of “Oneness” with the crowd. It’s emotionally valid to be in favor of good and opposed to evil. The Vietnam War was pure evil. We cut school to participate in this protest march but the principal of our High School did not assign any punishment for our missing class. He told us to figure out for ourselves the meaning of not getting assigned detention. (he was proud of us for risking punishment in support of

our beliefs.)

I participated in a Candlelight March down Main Street in Los Gatos with my parents. I also collected signatures on an Anti-War petition from passers-by in front of the Post Office in Los Gatos. One man who was in favor of the war gave my father a book for me. “You can Trust the Communists” was the title and it’s contents explained the justification for the war.

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Ecology became popular when I was growing up. I participated in the “Youth Walk for Survival” at UC Berkeley. It was a fundraising benefit for Ecology groups. We asked people to sponsor us for a few cents per mile walked. We started at the Football field on campus, walked around Lake Merritt in Oakland and then back to the football field. Then there was a concert and Malvina Reynolds sang “Boxes, little Boxes”.  I also worked for the Sierra Club in the Action Clean Up project at the Little Kern River… We camped out for two months and picked up garbage, burnt it in a campfire and packed out the remaining waste to a big dumpster at the trailhead. I got a fine Peace of Mind living in the woods with some other kids for a couple of months. One night I was walking in the moonlight near the trailhead and a bear that was sleeping on the hood of a car jumped up and ran away… I’m sure glad that he ran away…

That summer I also worked for the Saratoga Drama Group painting sets and as a stagehand. We Performed “My Fair Lady”. Our family went to many stage musicals including some that were performed at an outdoor theater in the Oakland Hills. My brother Martin recommended that we go see the musical “Hair” that he had enjoyed on Broadway in New York City. Yes, it was epic.

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I went to visit Martin when he was at NYU. He lived in rural New Jersey in a student apartment building on a lake in the forest. He put me on the PATH train so I could visit Manhattan. I wandered around New York City on my own and admired the tall buildings.

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I’m glad that I never played football in High School. Many of my friends and co-workers have developed severe spinal pain due to old football injuries. I was on the team for one week in 7th grade but quit because David Morera and Brett Mannon hurt me every day. Not Fun.

I was a swimmer. We had an AAU team at The Swim and Racquet Club on Oka Road and then there was a the team at LGHS. I won sixth place in breaststroke at the “Far Westerns” held at Foothill Junior College. Anyone from West of the Mississippi could enter. My swimming career peaked at 12 years old and went down from there… sigh… The pool at the Swim and Racquet club was 100 feet long and that was slightly longer than the standard 25 yard pool. That gave us a slight advantage over other swimmers because we had the endurance to complete a long lap. Of course, swimmers that trained in an Olympic size pool, 50 Meters, REALLY had the advantage. I remember racing a 200 meter individual medley at Foothill and completing a lap of Butterfly was grueling…

We competed with other swim clubs and I remember that Almaden had a pool on a hill overlooking Santa Clara Valley. Years later I got to swim at the Santa Clara International Swim Center during long lunches when I worked at System Industries. Our Boss, Edwin Zschau, was studying the Japanese style of factory management and all of us were encouraged to exercise at lunch. On family day Mom and Dad got a personal factory tour lead by Ed. He later became a Congressman in the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. One secret to the success of our computer factory was Large Quantities of Immigrants. He recruited the best and the brightest from around the world. Mostly Orientals.

I also played basketball but was bad at it. Always sitting on the bench while the skilled players took the court. My Coach was Isidro Maytorena. My Idol in 8th grade.

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I went to Isla Vista, CA to visit my brother at UC Santa Barbara. I remember that there was tar on the beach and when we came back to the apartment there was a can of gasoline to be used to clean the bottom of our feet so we wouldn’t track the oil into the home and ruin the rug. There has been oil on those beaches since the dawn of time… Also, companies were drilling for oil offshore and it was leaking onto the beach. California outlawed offshore oil drilling to fix this problem. Now, in 2018 our President Trump wants to start drilling again off ALL the coasts of the USA… That would increase the chances of an ecological disaster like BP had in the Gulf of Mexico. Trump’s Policy often benefits the super rich at the expense of the American people… and at the expense of Animals and Fish.

We also went to a nightclub that had a color organ attached to the record player. The lights would flash in time to the music. Bass notes would trigger red lights, mid-range was green and high frequency sound was blue. By combining Red, Green and Blue equally you can create white light.

This machine blew my mind. Visual Music… Synesthesia…  Seeing Sound…

During the years my brother was at UC Santa Barbara, the students burned down the Bank of America to protest the Vietnam War. My brother says he was not involved with this arson as being outdoors on the streets was way too dangerous. Too much possibility of having your head bashed in by a cop.

One time when we were hiking in the mountains behind Santa Barbara I saw a Condor. They are amazingly large birds… It impressed me.

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I really enjoyed riding a skateboard at Daves Ave Elementary School. They had concrete hallways that formed a circle and we kids would race. I was also really interested in baseball and marbles. The school was within walking distance of home so I always walked to school. President Kennedy was assassinated when I was in third grade… I didn’t really know who he was or why the teachers were upset.

All my friends really enjoyed riding bicycles around town. Los Gatos is small enough that we could go anywhere on a bike. Barry Hill and I raced down the hill from the Novitiate and I had a bicycle accident. I ran off the road at a sharp curve, plowed into a short stone wall, flipped over my handlebars and landed on my back in a bush. No real injury except for cuts and scrapes. Had to replace the front wheel but we were able to bend the forks back into shape. One time a bunch of us decided to ride all the way to Big Sur but I got tired and quit before I got to Summit Road. Going uphill all that way didn’t seem like a real fun trip after all. Years later I lived in Chico, CA and enjoyed bicycling everywhere for years… Especially in Bidwell Park.

One time I rode my bike all the way to the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose. I always loved that museum with it’s Egyptian Pyramid displays. We could go down in a tunnel into King Tut’s Tomb… Across the street was a magical bookstore that also sold paintings by Joe Parker, a surrealist/psychedelic painter. He did mandala sunsets in magical landscapes. His paintings were also sold in a record store on North Santa Cruz ave.

My whole family rode bicycles on Highway 280 before it was opened for cars. Thousands of people rode in a one day celebration. We started near the Winchester Mystery House and rode towards downtown San Jose. I’ve always loved 280 as it was a fast and beautiful way to go visit San Francisco. We had friends that lived in “The City” and would go visit them often. One took me to the Fillmore West in 1969 to go see a band called The Youngbloods. The big song of the night was “Get Together” a classic Hippie Anthem. There were light-shows on the walls of the concert hall. Squishy Water (like the album cover of Iron Butterfly’s In a Gadda da Vida Album) and many movie loops. There were blacklights and people were painting each other’s bodies with fluorescent paint. Big Fun.

We also went to The Exploratorium. That museum allowed the visitors to play with the exhibits. My favorite was the custom built musical jam session where a half a dozen people plated synthesizers that were designed to never play a wrong note… with strangely shaped keyboards… that way visitors that had no musical training could experience the joy of playing without the pain of making noise that was not pleasant. They also had a virtual reality experience where I was flying thru a tunnel and my spaceship traveled in the direction that I looked. It was a game where the goal was to crash into floating cubes that moved randomly. The cubes had people’s faces on them and one was Jerry Garcia. This was long before VR games became available to the general public.

We visited the Winchester Mystery House when I was a child. I was not impressed as I was expecting something more like Disneyland. In retrospect, I am admire the giant house and appreciate the story of Sarah Winchester being haunted by the ghosts of all the men that died from gunshot wounds caused by her husbands rifle. She employed carpenters to work around the clock so that their sounds would keep the ghosts away. And if she did have any nightmares she had strong men to protect her.

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As a child I loved the Books by Jules Verne and H G Wells. Later my favorite author was Asimov. I’m surprized that Hollywood has never made a movie out of the Foundation Trilogy. It would be as epic as Lord of the Rings… An invention foretold in Foundation was the Encyclopedia Galactica. It now exists as Wikipedia… I still believe there is a possibility of predicting the future using computer modeling… (PsychoHisory)… Be sure to see the movie “Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Rick Wakeman and an Orchestra… They have a narrator reading the Jules Verne story and then the band plays a song about that chapter. Quite Remarkable. Yes, Rick plays two Moog synthesizers at the same time. Got two hands? Play two Moogs.

Everyone read “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut. We practiced the transference of Our Souls thru the Soles of our feet… lying down on the High School Lawn in the Sunshine… Yes, we were goofy.

MAD Magazine was my favorite. They did satire including a silly poem called Jabberwacky… (On Dreaming, After Falling Asleep Watching TV) based on Lewis Carrol’s Book Alice in Wonderland and Thru the Looking Glass. “Twas Brillo and the GE Stoves did Proctor Gamble in the Glade. All Pillsbury were the Tastee Loaves and in a Minute Maid. Beware the Station Break My son…” etc. etc. etc.

I found some engineering plans in Mad Magazine that allowed us to turn off the sound of the TV during commercials. I took apart my parent’s TV and installed a switch on the end of a long wire. We had a “Mute” button long before remote controls were invented. Amazingly, I did not get electrocuted nor did I wreck my parent’s TV.

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I remember hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains behind The Novitiate. I often went with my dog, Prince, a toy collie on that trail that went all the way to Lexington Reservoir. I caught a terrible case of poison oak by petting the dog. However, one time made me immune forever. I collected sprouted buckeyes and planted them in the backyard of our home on Bruce Ave and one of them grew up to be a giant tree. For years we collected the buckeye seeds and burned them in our fireplace. They POP at random times and that’s fun when watching a fire. I also walked trails up and down Los Gatos creek from Campbell percolation ponds to Vasona to Lexington. It was fun to swim at Vasona. We would dive in from the dam and swim until the Park Ranger approached in his boat. It was illegal to swim there and so we had to keep an eye out for the law. Another good swimming hole was the Almaden Reservoir. That one was supposed to be so polluted with Mercury that it was dangerous to swim there… However, Both of my parents and I swam there with no ill effects… Go Figure…

My dad lived in Los Gatos as a Jr. High School and High School Student and Mom was from Willow Glen [near San Jose]. Dad moved to Los Gatos to cure his Tuberculosis at the Top of the Hill Sanitarium off Kennedy Road. When I went to my Dad’s Funeral at the Unitarian Church on Blossom Hill Road I could see the “Top of the Hill” from the deck out behind the church… I felt comforted in being able to see the beginning and the end of his Los Gatos residency. Dad and I became friends during his last few years of life. He came to visit me in Eureka and was happy that I was married, had a good job and had quit drinking and smoking dope.

In 1976 I went with my wife to Wine Tasting at the Novitiate. They were a major supplier of wine used in Communion Services. I remember that they had a cave used for aging the red wines that had a crack in the ceiling caused by the 1906 earthquake. They used giant redwood barrels that absorbed the wine and the outside of the barrels was wet. The air in that cave could make you drunk from breathing the alcohol. Los Gatos is famous for Almaden Wine and Saratoga has Paul Masson. One of my in-laws worked at Paul Masson and another worked at Sebastiani. When we went wine tasting at Sebastiani they brought out the “good stuff”, wines that were for family, not sold to the general public. Yes, it really was good quality. Especially the brandy.

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We had really High Quality Public Schools in Los Gatos. In Elementary School at Daves Ave we were taught the “New Math”. I don’t actually remember how that was different than the “Old Math” but at least they were trying to help us learn. They were trying to create rocket scientists to work at NASA… After all, The Russians were ahead of us in the “Space Race”. We also studied the Spanish Language all through school. I didn’t really get good at it until I was an Adult working at Radio Shack on Branham Lane. It’s a commissioned salesman job and many of my customers spoke Spanish as their primary language. Yes, I got good when my Paycheck depended on it. Hector Sianez was the store manager and people from all over the Bay Area would drive to our store because we had the advantage of being Bi-Lingual.

We were taught Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math at LGHS. A college prep curriculum… After I graduated from LGHS I went to Chico State for two years and the West Valley JC (an outstanding school to learn Electronics Drafting). One class at West Valley was scale model building. I took blueprints of a cabin my Dad was having built at North Shore Lake Tahoe and built an accurate scale model. I still have that model because Dad liked it and made sure it never got accidentally damaged.

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I have actually fired a gun. Really! At Camp Campbell [YMCA Summer Camp] in the Santa Cruz Mountains we learned how to shoot targets with a .22 rifle. I enjoyed it. Quite similar to playing Darts or Archery. Another time I fired a large pistol at cans. ONCE. My dad’s lawyer owned the pistol. It had a “Helluva Kick” and was really loud and scary. I’ve never actually owned a gun or had one in the house… Thankfully… as on occasion I have had arguments and none became fatal…

Camp Campbell also had a zip line. I got into a swing seat, jumped off the cliff and whoooooosh went down to the ground. At that time we were responsible for our own actions and staying safe. I suppose I could have fallen out of the zip line seat but I made sure I held on tight. BIG FUN.

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After high school I went to Chico, California to attend college. My major was biology and I found out that I had no interest in studying that subject or ANY subject AT ALL… I spent a lot of time smoking marijuana, drinking and playing music with my friends. After two years I flunked out. However, I did get to experience swimming in Upper Bidwell Park where the Black Lava Flows from Mount Lassen are. I swam thru a Lava Tube at “Bear Hole”… That tube has been closed by the Park Rangers after a student drowning…  I really enjoyed swimming at One Mile Pool, Day or Night. Not many Parks are open all night long but Bidwell is so long and thin that a fence is impractical. Plus, a fence is, like, totally opposite to the culture of the Chico-Freako! It was super fun to go swimming nude with my girlfriend… Last Year I read her Obituary on the internet… So Sad…

I remember Tubing on Butte Creek. During the Spring it was a wild ride due to melting snow coming down from Mt Lassen. During my second time living in Chico my wife and I swam at Oki Dam.

I remember riding my bicycle everywhere because Chico is a totally flat town and parking is difficult to find near campus. In general, automobiles were expensive and unnecessary too. However, some students DID own them and they were handy for visiting San Francisco (Like the time we went to hear Led Zeppelin at Kezar Stadium).

I got to go on a Magic Bus Ride with a many other students to go hear The Grateful Dead at UN Reno. My friend Jimmy played his guitar and I played the Harmonica while everyone else sang along… Then we stayed at a cabin on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe and the next day I ate some LSD and went to hear the legendary “Wall of Sound” at the University of Nevada football field. The Dead had a lot of trouble making that absurdly large public address system work but… we all had fun anyway… Especially playing slot machines after the show and driving down that street where they have giant sculptures of Showgirls.

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In the springtime Chico State has a week long celebration called “Pioneer Days”. My friends and I decided that the last place we wanted to be was in town when it was invaded by drunken strangers. We went camping at Yosemite, took LSD and climbed the trail to the top of Yosemite Falls. The higher we got in elevation the Higher We Got… By the time we arrived on top of the mountain it appeared to be moving wildly… as if the granite was dancing. I lay down on my belly and crawled to the edge… That’s a great view but really dangerous because it’s a tall cliff with no guard rail. We walked down to the valley floor and rode the double-decker bus around… sitting on the top, with no roof… bliss… we also walked to the base of Vernal Falls on the mist trail. I looked at my arm and it looked like a bear, with claws… I went fishing in the river and slapped a fish out onto the shore… just like a bear would. That evening we were playing guitars and my harmonica around the campfire when a ranger ran out of the darkness and tackled me… We were passing around a joint and I was holding it. He gave me a ticket for “Disturbing the Peace” and told us that we had to leave the park the next day or he’d change the charge to possession… In my humble opinion, The Ranger was the one “disturbing the peace” by tackling me…

The next Year we took a camping trip to Hetch-Hetchy reservoir. Another beautiful granite mountain near Yosemite. We took LSD and went free-climbing up a chimney and then hiked around above the tree line. I went down to the edge of the river to admire the bubbling water and accidentally slipped in. Could have died as there was a large waterfall downstream. The water out powered me and took me to the bottom of the pool. I gave up, accepted death and bubbled up to a place on the far shore where I climbed out. A cosmic near death experience… Hey Kids, Don’t Do This!

I lived in Chico in 1973 and 1974 and then for a few years in the late 1990s early 2000s. I Joined AA and quit drinking Alcohol. Chico has a big active AA community. Since Chico is Famous as a “Party Town” it makes perfect sense that it’s also Famous for being an AA Town too. Going to meetings at Campfire Council Ring behind Caper Acres, Bidwell Park is an experience I will always treasure.  I spent one summer “Rent Free” camping outdoors at Picnic Area 37 in the grove of 13 Redwood Trees.

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And Then… After flunking out of Chico State I moved back into my parent’s house. Mom got me a Job at the San Jose Art, Paint and Wallpaper store in Valley Fair shopping center working as a stockboy and then as a clerk. Three Years… I met JoAnn at the KarmelKorn Shop next door where she worked.

One summer, JoAnn and I rode bicycles from New York City to Washington DC. It took 2 months and we camped at private campgrounds in rural New Jersey and Maryland. First, we had listened to the stories of a co worker about their fabulous bicycle trip all winter long and that inspired us to do a similar voyage. JoAnn sewed a tent and a sleeping bag for two on her sewing machine. We outfitted two ten speed bicycles with saddlebags, disassembled then and put them in cardboard boxes. Rode a Greyhound Bus for three days from Santa Clara to NYC. A friend of my brother’s picked us up and we stayed in his home and rested from the bus ride. After three days on a bus JoAnn’s feet were so swollen that she couldn’t put her shoes on. I assembled the bicycles (wrong) and we started out. The rear wheel on JoAnns bike rubbed against the brake pad… After an hour she convinced me that something was wrong and I fixed her bike. We rode from 20 to 50 miles a day and often stayed a few days at particularly excellent campgrounds. The owners of farms in rural New Jersey often had campgrounds with swimming pools on their farms in order to pick up some cash. They would make reservations with friends of theirs down the road and we enjoyed a guided tour… I remember that the road towards the Delaware River was downhill for 60 miles… Quite fun to zoom, zoom, zoom at a rapid speed… And then thee other side of the river was UPHILL for 60 miles… Grueling torture. We stayed a week near Washington DC and rode the bus downtown to visit the Smithsonian. Somehow we had enough money to survive without working for two months… I don’t remember how…

She recommended that I go to West Valley Junior College and study Electronic Drafting. After ONE year of school I was able to get a job in Silicon Valley. We got married on July 4th, 1976 in the Mission Santa Clara. JoAnn was a student at Santa Clara University and all students were allowed to get married in the Mission on Campus. We lived in Santa Clara and JoAnn worked graveyard shift at National Semiconductor and I worked days at System Industries.

When I was working at System Industries in Santa Clara, California (1976) the owner of the company (Dr. Edwin Zschau) went to Japan to learn how to run a business. The Japanese were doing very well in comparison to USA companies and there was a lot of interest in learning why. So we adopted many oriental concepts and implemented them in our business. One thing was that we had a company song. We had a birthday meeting every month and we would all sing the company song.

Lyrics:

“System, System Industries, Here we go, Hand in hand.

Solving Data Mysteries for the betterment of man.”

Another thing we did was take a two hour lunch so we could exercise. I swam at the Santa Clara International Swim center with my wife. She was working the Graveyard shift at National Semi-conductor so we met twice a day. Lunch and evenings.

We had many people from foreign countries working there. When Dr. Zschau went to Japan he hired many Japanese people. Immigrants made our company better. That was a universal fact of life about Silicon Valley… The brightest engineers worldwide came here for work. I had a neighbor from Nicaragua who came to work at IBM. And another Engineer I knew came from Germany at the end of WW2 to work at Lockheed. Very Common.

Another time in Santa Clara we partticipated in a “Car Rally”. Everyone would meet at a starting location then we were given a series of clues as to where to go next. One clue was “Go to a street named for a part time orchestra leader.” We were supposed to figure out the puzzle and navagate to checkpoints. The answer to that clue was “Semi-conductor Blvd”… semi meaning part time and conductor is the leader of an orchestra. This was all part of the California Car Culture.

JoAnn graduated with a degree in Spanish and got a job as a Russian Transcriber at the NSA, Fort Meade, Maryland.  We moved to Columbia Md and I went to Howard Community College and studied Computer Programming. Columbia is a planned community halfway between Baltimore and Washington. In my humble opinion a Planned Community is vastly superior to an UN-Planned community like San Jose. Everything required for survival was within walking distance of our Apartment. VERY handy during snowstorms. After One year of college, we didn’t have enough money for me to continue school so I got a Job as an Electronics Draftsman.

My first job in Washington DC was at Analytics Communications Systems, a very small custom electronics design firm in McLean, Virginia. We built electronics devices for the Air Force and Banks. Our company was lead by Major Paul Jones, USAF retired. He bid on Pentagon contracts and we built them. There were 20 people total that worked there. We had no time clock and just did what was needed to get the job done. I worked as a draftsman/designer taping printed circuit card artwork and drawing sheet metal mechanical drawings for enclosures. When it came time to actually ship the products I also soldered together wiring on power supplies… Actually, everyone did whatever needed to be done when we were facing a deadline… and aftr it was done we had a party! I stayed there for six years. It require a confidential clearance from the Department of Defense. I became friends with another employee named Ken and we played music together at his townhouse in Manassas, Virginia. My wife JoAnn and I were living in a condo in Oxon Hill, Maryland. At first we lived in Columbia, Maryland in an apartment but then she had the “brilliant” idea that we should buy a “starter home”. She went shopping and selected the condo. It turned out to be an idiotic decision. 12 years later I could not sell the condo and simply gave it back to the mortgage company. Her plan was to buy real estate, live in it, sell it for a profit and get a single family home. OOPS! Then she decided to rent out the condo and buy a “Cape Cod” style home near Tysons Corners, Virginia. We rented out the condo to a woman on government subsidized housing and she stayed there until she had another child and she had to move to a larger place. At this time JoAnn and I got divorced, we sold the house for a profit, split the money and I moved back into the condo… and she moved to Korea to take a government job at a military base. She worked at the NSA for two years. One year as a student learning how to transcribe phone calls in the Russian Language and one year actually transcribing them. Transcribing was astonishingly annoying, boring and depressing. Most of the calls were civilians complaining about living conditions in Russia. Then she took classes at night at the Computer Learning Center and was able to get a better job as a computer operator with a Top Secret Clearance. The clearance itself was worth about $20,000 and so she was very employable…

At Analytics we played Hearts every day at lunch. It’s a card game sort of like bridge. Major Jones taught me to never sort my cards by suit in numerical order but to keep my cards in random order. If you sort your cards, the other players can guess what cards you have… For example: if you play the King of Hearts from the second position of your hand it is likely that the Ace is in the first position. I guess that he had a lot of time to play cards in thee Air Force…

Everyone we knew either worked at The Agency (NSA) or Analytics. We had a lot of fun going to Discos in Baltimore. One had a flashing Light Floor just like the one in the Movie “Saturday Night Fever”.  Most of the Women that worked at the Agency were looking for husbands and they had many parties where they invited the Engineering Department from Westinghouse Defense Systems near Baltimore… Since we were already married I often acted as a chaperone on visits to the Disco.

The actual work of Transcribing Russian Phone Calls is incredibly boring and depressing so many of JoAnn’s co-workers quit and went back home… I remember one time we were visiting a lady in NYC and she suggested that we go to the Top of the World Bar. When we got to the World Trade Center the Maitre-d insisted that men had to wear neckties. We had no neckties. There was NO dress code for women. SO, the ladies went up to the top while Bob and I waited on the ground level. An opportunity missed… Later, two airplanes flew into the buildings and they fell down. Now, no one can go get a drink at the Top of the World.

JoAnn and I took a whitewater rafting trip down the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. It’s a long gentle ride with one waterfall/rapids. You go past Harpers Ferry where the Rivers meet. There is a museum of the rifle factory that was Very Significant to the Civil War. “Rifling” is the process of machining a spiral inside the gun barrel. That spins the bullet and allows it to travel farther. The Northern Soldiers could stand safely out of range of Southern Soldiers and shoot them. This invention probably won the war for the North.

Luray Caverns are in the Shenandoah Valley. We visited them and heard the Stalactite organ. Hammers hit Stalactites that have been trimmed to vibrate at the exact frequency of musical notes. They have a keyboard that controls the hammers. Creating Music. They have a player piano roll that automatically plays the song… Shenandoah… Often people get married there and have a musician play the wedding march etc.

Near the Shenandoah Valley there was a State Park that allowed people to go chainsaw fallen down logs for firewood. Often we would go there and fill up our Dodge Omni car with logs for our woodburning stove. Sometimes I would eat Heavenly Blue Morning Glory seeds (a legal psychedelic) before chainsawing. That’s an interesting experience…

We bought a Condo in Oxon Hill, Maryland and then a Cape Cod style house in Tysons Corners, Virginia. When we got divorced, we sold the house and I moved back into the Condo.

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I spent a total of 12 years total living near Washington DC. I often visited friends in Manassas, Virginia and we played music on Synthesizers and Guitars. Music Non Stop – TechnoPop. aka Outer Space Whoosh Whoosh Music like you hear in Science Fiction Movies…

I also visited the Smithsonian Museum countless times. It was on the way home from work and quite convenient to stop for a few hours and let the traffic jams dissipate. I really enjoyed the National Art Gallery. I posted xerox copies of psychedelic drawings I did on the walls of the museum when the guards were not looking. So, yes, my art has hung in the National Art Gallery.

My favorite painting at the National Art Gallery is “The Last Supper” by Salvadore Dali. It is located in a room by itself that is cool and dark. I found that when I was visiting the Smithsonian I often felt the desire to go look at that painting again. I noticed that many of the other visitors to that room were frequent viewers themselves… I kept on seeing the same people! I concluded that it was an unofficial Church and people found that prayer and meditation there was relaxing and healthful… A fine antidote to the high stress lifestyle of Washington DC.

One day I took an LSD trip to the Modern Art Gallery building and found to my surprise that “The Tragedy” by Piccasso was my favorite painting. It shows a thin man, woman and child standing on a cold beach. I felt the temperature in my own body go cold. I had expected that Roy Lichtenstein or Andy Warhol would be impressive on LSD but they just seemed trivial. Later that day We all went to a Tangerine Dream Concert at the Elegant Warner Theater. My friend bought ten tickets so everyone I knew went together. I was concerned during the show when the FOG spilled off of the stage and covered the audience. Stage Fog is made from CO2 and it seemed possible that we would not have enough O2 to breathe… FYI: Tangerine Dream plays German Techno Pop Music on Analog Synthesizers. Very MODAL and relentless rhythm played by computers.

A few months earlier I went to the Kraftwerk Concert at the Elegant Warner Theater. I read a review of their hit record “Autobahn” in the Washington Post Newspaper and was intrigued. I bought the record at Tower and Liked it. This was the “Computer World” tour. The Synthesizers were arranged on stage to resemble the bridge of a spaceship. In the audience there were many people from Germany… College students and diplomats children. Kraftwerk Invented the style of Music called Techn Pop. Music Synthesizers and Drummers playing machines. At the end of the show, they programmed their machines to continue playing and the musicians walked off the stage… We continued dancing to the computer music… At that time I did not know that such music was POSSIBLE. Programable Dance Beats…

We often went to a fancy movie theater called The Uptown. I saw Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” there and it really scared me. The theater had a giant screen and LOUD music. Rock concert levels of Distortion Free sound. We also saw “Koyaanisqatsi” there… Philip Glass music and a dialog free Ecology film with many slo-mo and time lapse scenes. A classic!

I went to anti-war protest marches near the White House. Played the drums and acoustic guitar often in Lafayette Park. I Met Daniel Ellsberg and Dick Gregory at a Protest against the war in Iraq by George Bush the Father. The idea was that we would play the drums so loud that it would interfere with his sleep…

There were some very interesting people that had permanent protests on the street in front of the White House. One was a Retired Nuclear Engineer protesting against Nuclear Power and Atomic Bombs. I met a man from Los Gatos High School that was living at the DC Homeless Shelter because he was being chased by the IRS. He ran a computer software company in San Jose but failed to pay withholding taxes for his employees… He owed the IRS $100,000 so he could not take a job because they would trace his location using his Social Security Number. SO, he worked for cash doing computer user training people who worked for Trade Associations… This happened before the invention of the Windows Operating System so there was a big demand for DOS training… I took him home with me, convinced him to make peace with the IRS and co-signed on a job driving a car to San Jose… Years later I found out that he was successful relocating to his mother’s house and did make an arrangement to pay off the IRS… And then he started another computer company… So, I did make a difference. I helped a homeless person regain his life.

I went to the Fourth of July Events in downtown DC. Some years over 500,000 people attended. The Beach Boys played at the Washington Monument while Henri Mancini played at the US Capitol. There is a certain Madness in large crowds. Especially at Large outdoor concerts by the Grateful Dead. In the Summer it was very Hot and Humid and at Sundown there would be an INTENSE Thunder and Lightning Storm that drenched the crowd and turned the lawn into mud. Yes, it was a lot of fun to dance in the mud… Once the power went out on stage and the concert became a drumming duet with Thunder accenting the fills…

Since we lived near Washington DC, we became host for all our families to visit the tourist attractions. This had the unexpected benefit of requiring me to guide my family to many shows that I had no knowledge of or interest in. It expanded my horizons. When Uncle Harry, Aunt Roberta and Mother in Law Helen came we visited the silent marching exhibition at the Marine Corps Headquarters. Normal marching has a soldier chanting commands to the men like “Hup, two three four” and “March Left”. This gives the soldiers clues as to when to turn, spin a rifle or stop marching. The beauty of THIS Marine Corps marching was that hey did it silently… and perfectly…

Then we went to the White House. Roberta sits in a wheel chair so we got a special tour. We were escorted to the front of the line of tourists waiting and saw elevators and back corridors that were not on the standard tour. We also went to Colonial Williamsburg. I never would have gone there on my own.

One time my brother in law came to DC for the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. There was a stage at the Lincoln Memorial and Jesse Jackson gave a speech. There were a series of public address speakers all along the reflecting pool towards the Washington Monument. These caused so many echoes that what words he was saying became impossible to understand however, the rhythm of the speech was inspiring.

There were many musical performances that were unique to Washington DC. The “Airmen of Note” and “The Marine Band” performed often for free. DC has a thriving local band scene. There were frequent free concerts at the Washington monument… and a number of Bars… I saw “Betty” at the washington Monument at a show with many other bands and after her performance Betty came out into the crowd and danced herself. She is a giant sexy black woman.

I got to hear John Cage perform an orchestral piece at the National Academy of Science. Their concert hall is shaped like an egg. The music was composed by drawing curved lines around round objects on music staff paper. Like tracing a coffee cup or dinner plate… It was performed on cellos and prepared piano.

One time I got to hear “Music for Unitards” at an art gallery. Abstract Synthesizer Music on Synclavier with cello and emotional punk poetry. You don’t see stuff like that every day. Avant Garde! Ballet Dancing in One piece Leotards (Unitards).

I went to a concert in the woods of Quantico Marine Corps Base. A bunch of hippies hauled a generator way off the road and performed in the dirt. Invitation only…

I continued working as a Draftsman/Designer and built computer equipment for the USAF, the NSA and Banks. I saved my money and took big vacations whenever I was laid off. Once I drove to Key West, Florida and then to Niagara Falls, Canada… looking for the best beach. I spent 5 days at EPCOT/Disney World. I took LSD the first day I was at EPCOT and rode the ride at Space Mountain. They had a show by Kraft Foods featuring dancing food… Like a Zap Comix Cartoon.

That Year I attended a Rainbow Gathering in Pennsylvania. It was a week long camping trip for hippies. About 10,000 people attended… I ate peyote, met a woman who asked me to sing a song on stage for the crowd… Just like the Native American Religious Ceremony. Supposedly, you meet “Mescalito” and he teaches you your song. Then you sing it for the tribe. We had a brief affair. We went to visit her Guru, Dar San Singh, in rural Virginia. I did not like the scene at the ashram so she stayed there and I came home. The Guru has such a thick accent that I couldn’t understand what he was Saying.

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One time when I was laid off I was offered a Job at Domino’s Pizza as a delivery driver. I worked there for 5 years at a Parlor run by Black women. Met a woman named Betty-Lou and we lived together raising her daughter. Eventually I quit that job due to Murders of Delivery Drivers at work. I delivered in Fort Washington, Maryland. It’s a suburb that is populated by Black government workers and other Black professionals. After the first Murder I switched to delivering in Mount Vernon, Virginia and Fort Belvoir. Delivering to the Secret Army base was interesting. On sunny days they enforced security protocol and I was not allowed into certain buildings. However, if it was snowing, the guards just ignored security because it was cold outside… After the Second Murder I drove to California… Crack Cocaine caused insanity among the residents of Washington DC and there was a lot of Gun Violence. I abandoned the Condo and the Mortgage company foreclosed.

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I worked at Radio Shack in San Jose during the 1990’s. After I left Maryland I drove to my parent’s house and started working at the Shack. I was there for Six Years. I learned a LOT about electrical engineering and corporate marketing. It was a very social job and I was paid commission to sell electronic stuff. One technique for selling more stuff was to draw diagrams for the customers who wanted to set up cable TV systems. The local cable company had two wires entering the house… some channels were on cable “A” and others were on cable “B”. In order to distribute the cable TV signal to different rooms in a house was a rather complicated system. However, I knew how and could draw diagrams for the customer to follow… and… I just went around the store and collected everything they needed, took it to the cash register and rang it up. These people would tell their neighbors and friends to go see me and I got a lot of business that way. My years playing guitar and synthesizer music also lead to increased sales as I could recommend equipment that would allow customers to accomplish their dreams. It was fun to work there, sort of like an endless party. I drank a lot of booze during those years. A relaxed and friendly salesman sells more stuff.

We sold the most advanced personal computer at the time. It was called “The Sensation” and it had the first CD-Rom disk drive in a PC. I sold one system to a fellow that made computer games. He wanted to test drive his CD-Rom game product. Another self made millionaire to shop at our store bought a hundred magnets every year to give away at his lectures to third grade students. He hoped to give them a lasting remiinder of the wonders of science… hopefully to inspire future engineers. Another customer bought a Sensation Computer in order to write a product review for the Silicon Valley Computer Society Newsletter. That society originally was called The Home Brew Club and was started by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniac. This customer also created a talking dictionary on a CD-Rom. The first of it’s kind.

Wozniac built a museum in downtown San Jose and it was fun. Designed to appeal to elementary school students it had many interactive games and toys. One was a TV time travel device that randomly filmed the patrons of the museum and them merged those films into a kaleidoscopic show.

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In Chico during the late 1990s I camped out for an entire summer in Bidwell Park and rode a bicycle all over town… I ate at the “Jesus Center” a free meal and attended a couple of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a DAY for about a year. I made a lot of friends in the program and Married One. She helped get me a job at the WREX plastic factory making injection molded parts and I held that job for a year.

During my second stay in Chico I enjoyed playing my guitar and singing on the streets and in the park downtown. Busking. Once I teamed up with a college girl and we performed on Main Street. We earned about $10.00 and I let her keep it. We performed “Witchy-Woman” by the Eagles and when she sang, I expected her head to spin around like Linda Blair did in The Exorcist. That song has a lot of lyrics that are simply… AAAAAOOOOOO!

I also performed at our AA meetings. While the meetings were in session I would be quiet but before and after the meetings I would lead group sing-a-longs. I had 3 spiral notebooks with the lyrics and chords to all my favorite songs and people would search thru them and make requests. Big Fun.

A friend from AA and I took lessons on how to play the drums from the Adult Education Department. We had classes in Paradise and a dozen students would play together. Some playing big drums, some playing small drums. We performed at a Farmers Market in Downtown Chico. After that performance the teacher wanted us to go pro and tour… The students had no interest in that so we disbanded.

We attended a 5 day Christian American Indian Tent Revival Meeting. It was called the 206 drum meeting because they had six Father Drums and 200 frame drums. I got to play the Father Drum (BOOM boom boom boom – repeat). Later on a song appeared in my head and I took my guitar out into a field at sunset and wrote it down. It’s very rare that I write a song but that meeting was inspirational. We got invited to this event because we became friends with a lot of Native Americans that were in our AA club. We also went to a Pow-Wow in Paradise and I got to dance. I had a set of sleigh bells that I strapped to my foot and “Danced those Bells” (infused the bells with spiritual power). Years later I used those bells to signal the end of the workday at my office job in Eureka. When I retired I gave the bells to a co-worker so she could ring them at 5 PM every day for the rest of time.

Once while performing “White Rabbit” on Main Street  a lady showed me how to do a flamenco strum to simulate the Military rhythm of the drums on the Jefferson Airplane Record… Big Fun learning while Busking.

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Then I got Government Loan from the Department of Education and attended Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA for four years. I got a BS degree in Computer Information Systems and immediately got hired at the County of Humboldt in the Welfare Department as an Eligibility Worker. Safe, Clean Work in an Office Cubicle. I One thing I learned at School was how to USE a computer and that’s what I did at work. I interviewed people applying for Food Stamps, Medi-Cal and Welfare and the typed their information into a computer system to determine IF they were eligible and for How Much. I met over a thousand people that were in desperate situations… Veterans suffering from PTSD, drug addicts, homeless people, ex-convicts, unwed mothers, physically disabled people, mentally disabled people and battered women… We did what we could to help those people… Often teenagers would travel across the country to work Trimming Buds at the Illegal Marijuana Farms… When the harvest is over, they all are laid off… Since this is an Illegal Business, often they were let go without getting paid MONEY for their labor but being paid with a big bag of weed… So these kids from Tennessee or Alabama were wandering around town stoned and lost and hungry… We got them a Greyhound Bus Ride Home.

My dad took a bus ride with the senior center to visit me, The Bear River Casino and the Lolita Cheese Factory. It was one of the last visits we had. We met at the casino near Eureka (where I lived) and I drove him around in my Ford Windstar Van. It was a great visit and we had long chats by the fireplace at the Casino… A good ending to a long and involved life. He was proud that I was sober, employed, married and taking care of myself.

During the last few years of my working at the County of Humboldt, I really got into playing Farmville on the computer… My job was stressful and depressing and it was wonderful to go visit a totally artificial world… Actually, it reminded me of the legendary “Perky Pat Layouts” of the Philip K Dick Story “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch”.  Total Escape from my Bleak Life…

I kept that job for 7 years until my Dad died. Then I inherited money and a house in Eureka and did not have to work. I had my pension from the County, Social Security and a Trust Fund. I spent a lot of time driving around and visiting the western United States. Including a trip to Beautiful Utah for a Rainbow Gathering (10,000 hippies camping in the woods – big bonfires every night) and a Trip to Seattle Washington to eat the Cannabis Cookies, drink powerful coffee and ride the Monorail to the “Experience Music Pavilion” next to the The Space Needle. There were custom made musical instruments designed to be payed by visitors to the museum. An array of tubular bells that were whacked by a pool ball whenever a tourist wanted… random noise? or abstract soundscapes…

One thing I really  wanted to do when I retired was to become free from time. Sleep when I was tired, awake when I’m rested. Do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it… I’ve spent a lifetime under time slavery. Get to work ON TIME. Stay there until QUITTING TIME. Pay the rent ON TIME… etc etc etc… Well, as a retired person I found that the Internet was open 24 hours a day and Taco Bell was open 24 hours a day and WINCO foods was open 24 hours a day… So I totally lost track of time. When I looked out the window sometimes I didn’t know if it was Dawn or Sunset… I was really interested in doing art on the computer and blogging my opinions and travel pictures… I did notice that after midnight many people online were living in Europe and about dawn the Australians appeared. In the morning people from the East Coast of the United States joined the conversation… I did have one task a week. I had to take out the garbage every Thursday night so they could pick it up Friday Morning. The bins were located right in front of the house and I had to go up 5 steps to reach street level. No problem until the time I slipped and fell backwards and hit my head on the concrete. It was raining and I was holding onto the handrail as I pulled the bin up the stairs… After that I moved the location of the garbage bins to street level on the side of the house. Lucky Me… No Brain Damage!

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Then the State of Oregon legalized Marijuana and I spent 7 months VERY stoned. I Ended up at a Mental Hospital with Cannabis Psychosis and after 15 days got released to an Old Folks Home near Sacramento where I have lived for a year and a half. That’s where I am right now.

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Starting in 1997 I have been creating websites to display my Words of Wisdom and original Art created on the computer. I started by visiting the San Jose public Library and using the free public computers. I built websites on Yahoo Geocities… Other patrons at the library taught me how to code…

to be continued, same Bat time, same Bat channel… but first I have to live some more life and have some more experiences to document!

Growing Up in Los Gatos, California in the 1960s – and then Chico, Washington, DC and Eureka. by Gregory Vanderlaan

March 19, 2018

https://gvan42.blogspot.com/

Born in 1954, I moved to Los Gatos in 1960 and lived there until graduation from LGHS in 1972… an Ideal Childhood… Then I Went to West Valley Jr College, learned electronics drafting and got a job at System Industries in Santa Clara… I feel blessed that not only did I grow up in a great location but I also grew up at a great time. I missed the Vietnam War by exactly ONE Year.

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Starting first grade in 1960 I experienced President Kennedy’s Challenge of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. We were trained in school to become astronauts or rocket scientists. NASA and Lockheed. Eventually I did end up designing computers that were flew on USAF jets. So my early dreams were fulfilled. I always wanted to design Spaceships but USAF Jets is as close as I got…

…and… during the late part of the 1960’s I got to participate in Anti Vietnam War protests. We were successful as eventually the vast majority of the American People grasped the concept that the war was Pure Evil. Nixon ended the war AND ended the draft. Saving countless American lives, including Mine. Thank You! Richard Nixon,.. and Joan Baez, Jane Fonda, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Daniel Ellsberg and millions of unsung heros…

…and… I had the opportunity to go to Grateful Dead Concerts High on LSD. Including the concert at Winterland where they filmed “The Grateful Dead Movie”… THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT!

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One peak experience in Los Gatos was attending the Tower of Power concert outdoors at the Chateau Liberte… In the Redwoods near Summit Road…  I remember going with my friend Rich Field to the Concert. We saw how The Tower achieved the flute to trumpet blending on “Diamonds Sparkling in the Sand”. One man walked towards his microphone while the other walked away… both were playing the same note… This amazed Rich as he was a jazz band member at school and this effect was a mystery to him until we saw it done… I also remember that the Hell’s Angels and The Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle clubs both arrived at the concert at the same time and I was concerned that there would be violence… so I walked to the other side of the concert as far as possible away from them…. Years later I learned that they OFTEN partied together at the Chateau and my fears were unjustified…

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I remember playing my harmonica at a school play with Barry Hill. It was called “Sneaky Fitch is Dead” and I had a great time performing… We also performed “Hippie from Olema” by the Youngbloods at a talent show in the high school gym. Rich Field and Nancy King and Rachael Ludlum were also in the band. Washtub Bass, Jug, Guitars and Washboard…

Many of the LGHS students performed as “Spearchuckers” and Slaves in the Opera “AIDA” at the San Jose Civic Auditorium. There was a touring opera company that filled the stage with locals from high school drama departments… They instructed us to move our mouths BUT DO NOT SING… They had a choir that did the singing and we would have just been annoying and off key. Since the big scene we were in was when the hero came back from the Middle East with the spoils of war (an elephant and a tiger). We had to cover our bodies with dark brown stage paint… We were supposed to be playing the part of black people but there were no Actual black students at LGHS… I had long blond hair but they just tucked that up under a hat… Big Fun… My girlfriend Liz Dunbar was in the Opera also…

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I remember going to a wonderful natural hot spring in Pfeiffer Big Sur State park. We hiked 12 miles into the Ventana Wilderness along the Big Sur River to get to “Sykes” Camp. The Park Rangers kept the Hot Spring maintained so that about 6 people could bathe at the same time. I went with my high school friend Joe Franck, his older sister Peggy and their cousin Katie. At our campsite a raccoon started to eat our food and Peggy went to shoo the raccoon away… The raccoon turned and hissed at her and bared it’s claws… She screamed really loud and in the end, we fasted for a couple of days… Wild animals win any fight… I also remember reading a Carlos Castaneda Book and tying a rope around my waist to act as a belt because I lost weight while fasting.

Another time in Big Sur I saw a cat that was about the size of a toy collie… I guess it was a Bobcat, not a mountain lion… There were also wild pigs that ran around at night… In my imagination, they were as big as “Wonder Warthog!”.  On the Big Sur River close to the Pfeiffer Campground was a swimming hole with a waterfall at the upstream end. Very popular and private… perfect for skinny dipping. I sure hope that the hot springs are still being kept in good repair. It was Well worth the 12 mile hike in… I also went to the campground on the day that President Nixon resigned. I took LSD and had to go lie down in the woods when the hallucinations peaked so I missed the actual resignation. (oops, got stoned and I missed it.) There was great celebration at the campground that night.

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My family took a vacation every summer. Often we drove in the car and camped out. I remember great trout fishing in Manning Park, Canada. Another time we were in the tent in Canadian Glacier Park when a bear came into our campsite and broke open our Coleman Ice Chest. He just picked it up and threw it down on the ground until the latch failed. He ate the bacon and the butter but ignored the whipped honey. The Park Rangers had warned us in advance to lock all food in the trunk of the car… However we felt that leaving an Aluminum Ice Chest on the picnic table wouldn’t be a problem… OOPS! We also went to Banff Lake Louise and visited the giant Canadian Railroad Hotel there. Really Elegant. Actually, my first memory of my entire life was the sound of a steam whistle on a Ferryboat going from Seattle to Victoria. Really loud and scary. We visited Butchart Gardens and Had TEA at the Hotel. Every Business had a Picture of the Queen on their walls. The queen of ENGLAND!

One summer we flew to Hawaii. On Kawaii, dad rented me a surfboard from a guy on the beach. I rode the surfboard down a big wave. I did not stand up because there was a lot of coral underwater and I was too scared. However, it was really fun to slide down a big wave on my belly.  On the island of Hawaii we went to a black sand beach in the Kona area. My brother and I swam out to a big underwater cliff and explored it with mask/snorkle. I saw a Moray Eel hiding in the cliff. There were Thousands of Tropical Fish. I could swim down as far as I wanted… and that was a long way… I experienced Bliss.

Years later Martin and I went snorkeling off Key Largo, Florida. We saw Hammerhead Sharks and Barracuda. We bought tickets on a boat and the Captain took us to a great place to Scuba Dive. He said that we were not to worry about the sharks because that seldom bothered divers… At the end of the day we watched the sunset into the ocean and I saw the Green Flash.

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My favorite beach in Santa Cruz was Manresa. It was about ten miles south of town and It always seemed to be sunnier and warmer. It’s a very long beach and you can walk far away from other families. No need to listen to their loud children… I also liked the Boardwalk. In the late 1960’s there was a Funhouse with wooden slides and a giant record player that threw the kids off due to centrifugal force. I also loved the Merry Go Round and the automatic music box. (Calliope)

My dad reached his limit when we rode the Wild Mouse. He swore that he would never go on another ride ever… and he never did. The Giant Dipper was a classic wooden roller coaster and vastly superior to the more modern ones that are made of steel (Like Great America). When we went to the beaches North of Santa Cruz we walked thru a Brussels sprout farm. We always ate the fresh sprouts but it was important to remember to wash off the poison in the ocean first. To this day I like Brussels sprouts and artichokes due to growing up near the farms. We grew Apricots at home (4 trees) and cut cots at a neighbors smokehouse. They let us use the sulfur smoker if we worked on their farm cutting cots. There were a lot of prune orchards in our neighborhood. The most famous was on Daves Ave and had the Billy Jones Railroad. We rode the train for a penny… just throw it into a jar… Later they moved the train to Vasona Park.

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I participated in “The Moratorium” anti-Vietnam War protest march in San Francisco. We had protest marches that day in every city in the USA. At my high school we chartered a bus and many students rode from Los Gatos, California to San Francisco. The march ended at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park.There was a vast sea of people and The Beatles song “Come Together” was playing on the public address system when I walked over the hill leading to the field. I felt a feeling of “Oneness” with the crowd. It’s emotionally valid to be in favor of good and opposed to evil. The Vietnam War was pure evil. We cut school to participate in this protest march but the principal of our High School did not assign any punishment for our missing class. He told us to figure out for ourselves the meaning of not getting assigned detention. (he was proud of us for risking punishment in support of

our beliefs.)

I participated in a Candlelight March down Main Street in Los Gatos with my parents. I also collected signatures on an Anti-War petition from passers-by in front of the Post Office in Los Gatos. One man who was in favor of the war gave my father a book for me. “You can Trust the Communists” was the title and it’s contents explained the justification for the war.

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Ecology became popular when I was growing up. I participated in the “Youth Walk for Survival” at UC Berkeley. It was a fundraising benefit for Ecology groups. We asked people to sponsor us for a few cents per mile walked. We started at the Football field on campus, walked around Lake Merritt in Oakland and then back to the football field. Then there was a concert and Malvina Reynolds sang “Boxes, little Boxes”.  I also worked for the Sierra Club in the Action Clean Up project at the Little Kern River… We camped out for two months and picked up garbage, burnt it in a campfire and packed out the remaining waste to a big dumpster at the trailhead. I got a fine Peace of Mind living in the woods with some other kids for a couple of months. One night I was walking in the moonlight near the trailhead and a bear that was sleeping on the hood of a car jumped up and ran away… I’m sure glad that he ran away…

That summer I also worked for the Saratoga Drama Group painting sets and as a stagehand. We Performed “My Fair Lady”. Our family went to many stage musicals including some that were performed at an outdoor theater in the Oakland Hills. My brother Martin recommended that we go see the musical “Hair” that he had enjoyed on Broadway in New York City. Yes, it was epic.

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I went to visit Martin when he was at NYU. He lived in rural New Jersey in a student apartment building on a lake in the forest. He put me on the PATH train so I could visit Manhattan. I wandered around New York City on my own and admired the tall buildings.

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I’m glad that I never played football in High School. Many of my friends and co-workers have developed severe spinal pain due to old football injuries. I was on the team for one week in 7th grade but quit because David Morera and Brett Mannon hurt me every day. Not Fun.

I was a swimmer. We had an AAU team at The Swim and Racquet Club on Oka Road and then there was a the team at LGHS. I won sixth place in breaststroke at the “Far Westerns” held at Foothill Junior College. Anyone from West of the Mississippi could enter. My swimming career peaked at 12 years old and went down from there… sigh… The pool at the Swim and Racquet club was 100 feet long and that was slightly longer than the standard 25 yard pool. That gave us a slight advantage over other swimmers because we had the endurance to complete a long lap. Of course, swimmers that trained in an Olympic size pool, 50 Meters, REALLY had the advantage. I remember racing a 200 meter individual medley at Foothill and completing a lap of Butterfly was grueling…

We competed with other swim clubs and I remember that Almaden had a pool on a hill overlooking Santa Clara Valley. Years later I got to swim at the Santa Clara International Swim Center during long lunches when I worked at System Industries. Our Boss, Edwin Zschau, was studying the Japanese style of factory management and all of us were encouraged to exercise at lunch. On family day Mom and Dad got a personal factory tour lead by Ed. He later became a Congressman in the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. One secret to the success of our computer factory was Large Quantities of Immigrants. He recruited the best and the brightest from around the world. Mostly Orientals.

I also played basketball but was bad at it. Always sitting on the bench while the skilled players took the court. My Coach was Isidro Maytorena. My Idol in 8th grade.

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I went to Isla Vista, CA to visit my brother at UC Santa Barbara. I remember that there was tar on the beach and when we came back to the apartment there was a can of gasoline to be used to clean the bottom of our feet so we wouldn’t track the oil into the home and ruin the rug. There has been oil on those beaches since the dawn of time… Also, companies were drilling for oil offshore and it was leaking onto the beach. California outlawed offshore oil drilling to fix this problem. Now, in 2018 our President Trump wants to start drilling again off ALL the coasts of the USA… That would increase the chances of an ecological disaster like BP had in the Gulf of Mexico. Trump’s Policy often benefits the super rich at the expense of the American people… and at the expense of Animals and Fish.

We also went to a nightclub that had a color organ attached to the record player. The lights would flash in time to the music. Bass notes would trigger red lights, mid-range was green and high frequency sound was blue. By combining Red, Green and Blue equally you can create white light.

This machine blew my mind. Visual Music… Synesthesia…  Seeing Sound…

During the years my brother was at UC Santa Barbara, the students burned down the Bank of America to protest the Vietnam War. My brother says he was not involved with this arson as being outdoors on the streets was way too dangerous. Too much possibility of having your head bashed in by a cop.

One time when we were hiking in the mountains behind Santa Barbara I saw a Condor. They are amazingly large birds… It impressed me.

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I really enjoyed riding a skateboard at Daves Ave Elementary School. They had concrete hallways that formed a circle and we kids would race. I was also really interested in baseball and marbles. The school was within walking distance of home so I always walked to school. President Kennedy was assassinated when I was in third grade… I didn’t really know who he was or why the teachers were upset.

All my friends really enjoyed riding bicycles around town. Los Gatos is small enough that we could go anywhere on a bike. Barry Hill and I raced down the hill from the Novitiate and I had a bicycle accident. I ran off the road at a sharp curve, plowed into a short stone wall, flipped over my handlebars and landed on my back in a bush. No real injury except for cuts and scrapes. Had to replace the front wheel but we were able to bend the forks back into shape. One time a bunch of us decided to ride all the way to Big Sur but I got tired and quit before I got to Summit Road. Going uphill all that way didn’t seem like a real fun trip after all. Years later I lived in Chico, CA and enjoyed bicycling everywhere for years… Especially in Bidwell Park.

One time I rode my bike all the way to the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose. I always loved that museum with it’s Egyptian Pyramid displays. We could go down in a tunnel into King Tut’s Tomb… Across the street was a magical bookstore that also sold paintings by Joe Parker, a surrealist/psychedelic painter. He did mandala sunsets in magical landscapes. His paintings were also sold in a record store on North Santa Cruz ave.

My whole family rode bicycles on Highway 280 before it was opened for cars. Thousands of people rode in a one day celebration. We started near the Winchester Mystery House and rode towards downtown San Jose. I’ve always loved 280 as it was a fast and beautiful way to go visit San Francisco. We had friends that lived in “The City” and would go visit them often. One took me to the Fillmore West in 1969 to go see a band called The Youngbloods. The big song of the night was “Get Together” a classic Hippie Anthem. There were light-shows on the walls of the concert hall. Squishy Water (like the album cover of Iron Butterfly’s In a Gadda da Vida Album) and many movie loops. There were blacklights and people were painting each other’s bodies with fluorescent paint. Big Fun.

We also went to The Exploratorium. That museum allowed the visitors to play with the exhibits. My favorite was the custom built musical jam session where a half a dozen people plated synthesizers that were designed to never play a wrong note… with strangely shaped keyboards… that way visitors that had no musical training could experience the joy of playing without the pain of making noise that was not pleasant. They also had a virtual reality experience where I was flying thru a tunnel and my spaceship traveled in the direction that I looked. It was a game where the goal was to crash into floating cubes that moved randomly. The cubes had people’s faces on them and one was Jerry Garcia. This was long before VR games became available to the general public.

We visited the Winchester Mystery House when I was a child. I was not impressed as I was expecting something more like Disneyland. In retrospect, I am admire the giant house and appreciate the story of Sarah Winchester being haunted by the ghosts of all the men that died from gunshot wounds caused by her husbands rifle. She employed carpenters to work around the clock so that their sounds would keep the ghosts away. And if she did have any nightmares she had strong men to protect her.

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As a child I loved the Books by Jules Verne and H G Wells. Later my favorite author was Asimov. I’m surprized that Hollywood has never made a movie out of the Foundation Trilogy. It would be as epic as Lord of the Rings… An invention foretold in Foundation was the Encyclopedia Galactica. It now exists as Wikipedia… I still believe there is a possibility of predicting the future using computer modeling… (PsychoHisory)… Be sure to see the movie “Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Rick Wakeman and an Orchestra… They have a narrator reading the Jules Verne story and then the band plays a song about that chapter. Quite Remarkable. Yes, Rick plays two Moog synthesizers at the same time. Got two hands? Play two Moogs.

Everyone read “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut. We practiced the transference of Our Souls thru the Soles of our feet… lying down on the High School Lawn in the Sunshine… Yes, we were goofy.

MAD Magazine was my favorite. They did satire including a silly poem called Jabberwacky… (On Dreaming, After Falling Asleep Watching TV) based on Lewis Carrol’s Book Alice in Wonderland and Thru the Looking Glass. “Twas Brillo and the GE Stoves did Proctor Gamble in the Glade. All Pillsbury were the Tastee Loaves and in a Minute Maid. Beware the Station Break My son…” etc. etc. etc.

I found some engineering plans in Mad Magazine that allowed us to turn off the sound of the TV during commercials. I took apart my parent’s TV and installed a switch on the end of a long wire. We had a “Mute” button long before remote controls were invented. Amazingly, I did not get electrocuted nor did I wreck my parent’s TV.

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I remember hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains behind The Novitiate. I often went with my dog, Prince, a toy collie on that trail that went all the way to Lexington Reservoir. I caught a terrible case of poison oak by petting the dog. However, one time made me immune forever. I collected sprouted buckeyes and planted them in the backyard of our home on Bruce Ave and one of them grew up to be a giant tree. For years we collected the buckeye seeds and burned them in our fireplace. They POP at random times and that’s fun when watching a fire. I also walked trails up and down Los Gatos creek from Campbell percolation ponds to Vasona to Lexington. It was fun to swim at Vasona. We would dive in from the dam and swim until the Park Ranger approached in his boat. It was illegal to swim there and so we had to keep an eye out for the law. Another good swimming hole was the Almaden Reservoir. That one was supposed to be so polluted with Mercury that it was dangerous to swim there… However, Both of my parents and I swam there with no ill effects… Go Figure…

My dad lived in Los Gatos as a Jr. High School and High School Student and Mom was from Willow Glen [near San Jose]. Dad moved to Los Gatos to cure his Tuberculosis at the Top of the Hill Sanitarium off Kennedy Road. When I went to my Dad’s Funeral at the Unitarian Church on Blossom Hill Road I could see the “Top of the Hill” from the deck out behind the church… I felt comforted in being able to see the beginning and the end of his Los Gatos residency. Dad and I became friends during his last few years of life. He came to visit me in Eureka and was happy that I was married, had a good job and had quit drinking and smoking dope.

In 1976 I went with my wife to Wine Tasting at the Novitiate. They were a major supplier of wine used in Communion Services. I remember that they had a cave used for aging the red wines that had a crack in the ceiling caused by the 1906 earthquake. They used giant redwood barrels that absorbed the wine and the outside of the barrels was wet. The air in that cave could make you drunk from breathing the alcohol. Los Gatos is famous for Almaden Wine and Saratoga has Paul Masson. One of my in-laws worked at Paul Masson and another worked at Sebastiani. When we went wine tasting at Sebastiani they brought out the “good stuff”, wines that were for family, not sold to the general public. Yes, it really was good quality. Especially the brandy.

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We had really High Quality Public Schools in Los Gatos. In Elementary School at Daves Ave we were taught the “New Math”. I don’t actually remember how that was different than the “Old Math” but at least they were trying to help us learn. They were trying to create rocket scientists to work at NASA… After all, The Russians were ahead of us in the “Space Race”. We also studied the Spanish Language all through school. I didn’t really get good at it until I was an Adult working at Radio Shack on Branham Lane. It’s a commissioned salesman job and many of my customers spoke Spanish as their primary language. Yes, I got good when my Paycheck depended on it. Hector Sianez was the store manager and people from all over the Bay Area would drive to our store because we had the advantage of being Bi-Lingual.

We were taught Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math at LGHS. A college prep curriculum… After I graduated from LGHS I went to Chico State for two years and the West Valley JC (an outstanding school to learn Electronics Drafting). One class at West Valley was scale model building. I took blueprints of a cabin my Dad was having built at North Shore Lake Tahoe and built an accurate scale model. I still have that model because Dad liked it and made sure it never got accidentally damaged.

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I have actually fired a gun. Really! At Camp Campbell [YMCA Summer Camp] in the Santa Cruz Mountains we learned how to shoot targets with a .22 rifle. I enjoyed it. Quite similar to playing Darts or Archery. Another time I fired a large pistol at cans. ONCE. My dad’s lawyer owned the pistol. It had a “Helluva Kick” and was really loud and scary. I’ve never actually owned a gun or had one in the house… Thankfully… as on occasion I have had arguments and none became fatal…

Camp Campbell also had a zip line. I got into a swing seat, jumped off the cliff and whoooooosh went down to the ground. At that time we were responsible for our own actions and staying safe. I suppose I could have fallen out of the zip line seat but I made sure I held on tight. BIG FUN.

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After high school I went to Chico, California to attend college. My major was biology and I found out that I had no interest in studying that subject or ANY subject AT ALL… I spent a lot of time smoking marijuana, drinking and playing music with my friends. After two years I flunked out. However, I did get to experience swimming in Upper Bidwell Park where the Black Lava Flows from Mount Lassen are. I swam thru a Lava Tube at “Bear Hole”… That tube has been closed by the Park Rangers after a student drowning…  I really enjoyed swimming at One Mile Pool, Day or Night. Not many Parks are open all night long but Bidwell is so long and thin that a fence is impractical. Plus, a fence is, like, totally opposite to the culture of the Chico-Freako! It was super fun to go swimming nude with my girlfriend… Last Year I read her Obituary on the internet… So Sad…

I remember Tubing on Butte Creek. During the Spring it was a wild ride due to melting snow coming down from Mt Lassen. During my second time living in Chico my wife and I swam at Oki Dam.

I remember riding my bicycle everywhere because Chico is a totally flat town and parking is difficult to find near campus. In general, automobiles were expensive and unnecessary too. However, some students DID own them and they were handy for visiting San Francisco (Like the time we went to hear Led Zeppelin at Kezar Stadium).

I got to go on a Magic Bus Ride with a many other students to go hear The Grateful Dead at UN Reno. My friend Jimmy played his guitar and I played the Harmonica while everyone else sang along… Then we stayed at a cabin on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe and the next day I ate some LSD and went to hear the legendary “Wall of Sound” at the University of Nevada football field. The Dead had a lot of trouble making that absurdly large public address system work but… we all had fun anyway… Especially playing slot machines after the show and driving down that street where they have giant sculptures of Showgirls.

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In the springtime Chico State has a week long celebration called “Pioneer Days”. My friends and I decided that the last place we wanted to be was in town when it was invaded by drunken strangers. We went camping at Yosemite, took LSD and climbed the trail to the top of Yosemite Falls. The higher we got in elevation the Higher We Got… By the time we arrived on top of the mountain it appeared to be moving wildly… as if the granite was dancing. I lay down on my belly and crawled to the edge… That’s a great view but really dangerous because it’s a tall cliff with no guard rail. We walked down to the valley floor and rode the double-decker bus around… sitting on the top, with no roof… bliss… we also walked to the base of Vernal Falls on the mist trail. I looked at my arm and it looked like a bear, with claws… I went fishing in the river and slapped a fish out onto the shore… just like a bear would. That evening we were playing guitars and my harmonica around the campfire when a ranger ran out of the darkness and tackled me… We were passing around a joint and I was holding it. He gave me a ticket for “Disturbing the Peace” and told us that we had to leave the park the next day or he’d change the charge to possession… In my humble opinion, The Ranger was the one “disturbing the peace” by tackling me…

The next Year we took a camping trip to Hetch-Hetchy reservoir. Another beautiful granite mountain near Yosemite. We took LSD and went free-climbing up a chimney and then hiked around above the tree line. I went down to the edge of the river to admire the bubbling water and accidentally slipped in. Could have died as there was a large waterfall downstream. The water out powered me and took me to the bottom of the pool. I gave up, accepted death and bubbled up to a place on the far shore where I climbed out. A cosmic near death experience… Hey Kids, Don’t Do This!

I lived in Chico in 1973 and 1974 and then for a few years in the late 1990s early 2000s. I Joined AA and quit drinking Alcohol. Chico has a big active AA community. Since Chico is Famous as a “Party Town” it makes perfect sense that it’s also Famous for being an AA Town too. Going to meetings at Campfire Council Ring behind Caper Acres, Bidwell Park is an experience I will always treasure.  I spent one summer “Rent Free” camping outdoors at Picnic Area 37 in the grove of 13 Redwood Trees.

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And Then… After flunking out of Chico State I moved back into my parent’s house. Mom got me a Job at the San Jose Art, Paint and Wallpaper store in Valley Fair shopping center working as a stockboy and then as a clerk. Three Years… I met JoAnn at the KarmelKorn Shop next door where she worked.

One summer, JoAnn and I rode bicycles from New York City to Washington DC. It took 2 months and we camped at private campgrounds in rural New Jersey and Maryland. First, we had listened to the stories of a co worker about their fabulous bicycle trip all winter long and that inspired us to do a similar voyage. JoAnn sewed a tent and a sleeping bag for two on her sewing machine. We outfitted two ten speed bicycles with saddlebags, disassembled then and put them in cardboard boxes. Rode a Greyhound Bus for three days from Santa Clara to NYC. A friend of my brother’s picked us up and we stayed in his home and rested from the bus ride. After three days on a bus JoAnn’s feet were so swollen that she couldn’t put her shoes on. I assembled the bicycles (wrong) and we started out. The rear wheel on JoAnns bike rubbed against the brake pad… After an hour she convinced me that something was wrong and I fixed her bike. We rode from 20 to 50 miles a day and often stayed a few days at particularly excellent campgrounds. The owners of farms in rural New Jersey often had campgrounds with swimming pools on their farms in order to pick up some cash. They would make reservations with friends of theirs down the road and we enjoyed a guided tour… I remember that the road towards the Delaware River was downhill for 60 miles… Quite fun to zoom, zoom, zoom at a rapid speed… And then thee other side of the river was UPHILL for 60 miles… Grueling torture. We stayed a week near Washington DC and rode the bus downtown to visit the Smithsonian. Somehow we had enough money to survive without working for two months… I don’t remember how…

She recommended that I go to West Valley Junior College and study Electronic Drafting. After ONE year of school I was able to get a job in Silicon Valley. We got married on July 4th, 1976 in the Mission Santa Clara. JoAnn was a student at Santa Clara University and all students were allowed to get married in the Mission on Campus. We lived in Santa Clara and JoAnn worked graveyard shift at National Semiconductor and I worked days at System Industries.

JoAnn graduated with a degree in Spanish and got a job as a Russian Transcriber at the NSA, Fort Meade, Maryland.  We moved to Columbia Md and I went to Howard Community College and studied Computer Programming. Columbia is a planned community halfway between Baltimore and Washington. In my humble opinion a Planned Community is vastly superior to an UN-Planned community like San Jose. Everything required for survival was within walking distance of our Apartment. VERY handy during snowstorms. After One year of college, we didn’t have enough money for me to continue school so I got a Job as an Electronics Draftsman at Analytics Communications Systems in McLean, Virginia. We designed Computer Encryption Equipment for the military and for banks. I got a Secret Clearance and JoAnn had a Clearance So High that the Name of the Clearance was classified…

Everyone we knew either worked at The Agency (NSA) or Analytics. We had a lot of fun going to Discos in Baltimore. One had a flashing Light Floor just like the one in the Movie “Saturday Night Fever”.  Most of the Women that worked at the Agency were looking for husbands and they had many parties where they invited the Engineering Department from Westinghouse Defense Systems near Baltimore… Since we were already married I often acted as a chaperone on visits to the Disco.

The actual work of Transcribing Russian Phone Calls is incredibly boring and depressing so many of JoAnn’s co-workers quit and went back home… I remember one time we were visiting a lady in NYC and she suggested that we go to the Top of the World Bar. When we got to the World Trade Center the Maitre-d insisted that men had to wear neckties. We had no neckties. There was NO dress code for women. SO, the ladies went up to the top while Bob and I waited on the ground level. An opportunity missed… Later, two airplanes flew into the buildings and they fell down. Now, no one can go get a drink at the Top of the World.

JoAnn and I took a whitewater rafting trip down the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. It’s a long gentle ride with one waterfall/rapids. You go past Harpers Ferry where the Rivers meet. There is a museum of the rifle factory that was Very Significant to the Civil War. “Rifling” is the process of machining a spiral inside the gun barrel. That spins the bullet and allows it to travel farther. The Northern Soldiers could stand safely out of range of Southern Soldiers and shoot them. This invention probably won the war for the North.

Luray Caverns are in the Shenandoah Valley. We visited them and heard the Stalactite organ. Hammers hit Stalactites that have been trimmed to vibrate at the exact frequency of musical notes. They have a keyboard that controls the hammers. Creating Music. They have a player piano roll that automatically plays the song… Shenandoah… Often people get married there and have a musician play the wedding march etc.

Near the Shenandoah Valley there was a State Park that allowed people to go chainsaw fallen down logs for firewood. Often we would go there and fill up our Dodge Omni car with logs for our woodburning stove. Sometimes I would eat Heavenly Blue Morning Glory seeds (a legal psychedelic) before chainsawing. That’s an interesting experience…

We bought a Condo in Oxon Hill, Maryland and then a Cape Cod style house in Tysons Corners, Virginia. When we got divorced, we sold the house and I moved back into the Condo.

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I spent a total of 12 years total living near Washington DC. I often visited friends in Manassas, Virginia and we played music on Synthesizers and Guitars. Music Non Stop – TechnoPop. aka Outer Space Whoosh Whoosh Music like you hear in Science Fiction Movies…

I also visited the Smithsonian Museum countless times. It was on the way home from work and quite convenient to stop for a few hours and let the traffic jams dissipate. I really enjoyed the National Art Gallery. I posted xerox copies of psychedelic drawings I did on the walls of the museum when the guards were not looking. So, yes, my art has hung in the National Art Gallery.

My favorite painting at the National Art Gallery is “The Last Supper” by Salvadore Dali. It is located in a room by itself that is cool and dark. I found that when I was visiting the Smithsonian I often felt the desire to go look at that painting again. I noticed that many of the other visitors to that room were frequent viewers themselves… I kept on seeing the same people! I concluded that it was an unofficial Church and people found that prayer and meditation there was relaxing and healthful… A fine antidote to the high stress lifestyle of Washington DC.

One day I took an LSD trip to the Modern Art Gallery building and found to my surprise that “The Tragedy” by Piccasso was my favorite painting. It shows a thin man, woman and child standing on a cold beach. I felt the temperature in my own body go cold. I had expected that Roy Lichtenstein or Andy Warhol would be impressive on LSD but they just seemed trivial. Later that day We all went to a Tangerine Dream Concert at the Elegant Warner Theater. My friend bought ten tickets so everyone I knew went together. I was concerned during the show when the FOG spilled off of the stage and covered the audience. Stage Fog is made from CO2 and it seemed possible that we would not have enough O2 to breathe… FYI: Tangerine Dream plays German Techno Pop Music on Analog Synthesizers. Very MODAL and relentless rhythm played by computers.

A few months earlier I went to the Kraftwerk Concert at the Elegant Warner Theater. I read a review of their hit record “Autobahn” in the Washington Post Newspaper and was intrigued. I bought the record at Tower and Liked it. This was the “Computer World” tour. The Synthesizers were arranged on stage to resemble the bridge of a spaceship. In the audience there were many people from Germany… College students and diplomats children. Kraftwerk Invented the style of Music called Techn Pop. Music Synthesizers and Drummers playing machines. At the end of the show, they programmed their machines to continue playing and the musicians walked off the stage… We continued dancing to the computer music… At that time I did not know that such music was POSSIBLE. Programable Dance Beats…

We often went to a fancy movie theater called The Uptown. I saw Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” there and it really scared me. The theater had a giant screen and LOUD music. Rock concert levels of Distortion Free sound. We also saw “Koyaanisqatsi” there… Philip Glass music and a dialog free Ecology film with many slo-mo and time lapse scenes. A classic!

I went to anti-war protest marches near the White House. Played the drums and acoustic guitar often in Lafayette Park. I Met Daniel Ellsberg and Dick Gregory at a Protest against the war in Iraq by George Bush the Father. The idea was that we would play the drums so loud that it would interfere with his sleep…

There were some very interesting people that had permanent protests on the street in front of the White House. One was a Retired Nuclear Engineer protesting against Nuclear Power and Atomic Bombs. I met a man from Los Gatos High School that was living at the DC Homeless Shelter because he was being chased by the IRS. He ran a computer software company in San Jose but failed to pay withholding taxes for his employees… He owed the IRS $100,000 so he could not take a job because they would trace his location using his Social Security Number. SO, he worked for cash doing computer user training people who worked for Trade Associations… This happened before the invention of the Windows Operating System so there was a big demand for DOS training… I took him home with me, convinced him to make peace with the IRS and co-signed on a job driving a car to San Jose… Years later I found out that he was successful relocating to his mother’s house and did make an arrangement to pay off the IRS… And then he started another computer company… So, I did make a difference. I helped a homeless person regain his life.

I went to the Fourth of July Events in downtown DC. Some years over 500,000 people attended. The Beach Boys played at the Washington Monument while Henri Mancini played at the US Capitol. There is a certain Madness in large crowds. Especially at Large outdoor concerts by the Grateful Dead. In the Summer it was very Hot and Humid and at Sundown there would be an INTENSE Thunder and Lightning Storm that drenched the crowd and turned the lawn into mud. Yes, it was a lot of fun to dance in the mud… Once the power went out on stage and the concert became a drumming duet with Thunder accenting the fills…

Since we lived near Washington DC, we became host for all our families to visit the tourist attractions. This had the unexpected benefit of requiring me to guide my family to many shows that I had no knowledge of or interest in. It expanded my horizons. When Uncle Harry, Aunt Roberta and Mother in Law Helen came we visited the silent marching exhibition at the Marine Corps Headquarters. Normal marching has a soldier chanting commands to the men like “Hup, two three four” and “March Left”. This gives the soldiers clues as to when to turn, spin a rifle or stop marching. The beauty of THIS Marine Corps marching was that hey did it silently… and perfectly…

Then we went to the White House. Roberta sits in a wheel chair so we got a special tour. We were escorted to the front of the line of tourists waiting and saw elevators and back corridors that were not on the standard tour. We also went to Colonial Williamsburg. I never would have gone there on my own.

One time my brother in law came to DC for the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. There was a stage at the Lincoln Memorial and Jesse Jackson gave a speech. There were a series of public address speakers all along the reflecting pool towards the Washington Monument. These caused so many echoes that what words he was saying became impossible to understand however, the rhythm of the speech was inspiring.

There were many musical performances that were unique to Washington DC. The “Airmen of Note” and “The Marine Band” performed often for free. DC has a thriving local band scene. There were frequent free concerts at the Washington monument… and a number of Bars… I saw “Betty” at the washington Monument at a show with many other bands and after her performance Betty came out into the crowd and danced herself. She is a giant sexy black woman.

I got to hear John Cage perform an orchestral piece at the National Academy of Science. Their concert hall is shaped like an egg. The music was composed by drawing curved lines around round objects on music staff paper. Like tracing a coffee cup or dinner plate… It was performed on cellos and prepared piano.

One time I got to hear “Music for Unitards” at an art gallery. Abstract Synthesizer Music on Synclavier with cello and emotional punk poetry. You don’t see stuff like that every day. Avant Garde! Ballet Dancing in One piece Leotards (Unitards).

I went to a concert in the woods of Quantico Marine Corps Base. A bunch of hippies hauled a generator way off the road and performed in the dirt. Invitation only…

I continued working as a Draftsman/Designer and built computer equipment for the USAF, the NSA and Banks. I saved my money and took big vacations whenever I was laid off. Once I drove to Key West, Florida and then to Niagara Falls, Canada… looking for the best beach. I spent 5 days at EPCOT/Disney World. I took LSD the first day I was at EPCOT and rode the ride at Space Mountain. They had a show by Kraft Foods featuring dancing food… Like a Zap Comix Cartoon.

That Year I attended a Rainbow Gathering in Pennsylvania. It was a week long camping trip for hippies. About 10,000 people attended… I ate peyote, met a woman who asked me to sing a song on stage for the crowd… Just like the Native American Religious Ceremony. Supposedly, you meet “Mescalito” and he teaches you your song. Then you sing it for the tribe. We had a brief affair. We went to visit her Guru, Dar San Singh, in rural Virginia. I did not like the scene at the ashram so she stayed there and I came home. The Guru has such a thick accent that I couldn’t understand what he was Saying.

~~~~~ (~);-} ~~~~~

One time when I was laid off I was offered a Job at Domino’s Pizza as a delivery driver. I worked there for 5 years at a Parlor run by Black women. Met a woman named Betty-Lou and we lived together raising her daughter. Eventually I quit that job due to Murders of Delivery Drivers at work. I delivered in Fort Washington, Maryland. It’s a suburb that is populated by Black government workers and other Black professionals. After the first Murder I switched to delivering in Mount Vernon, Virginia and Fort Belvoir. Delivering to the Secret Army base was interesting. On sunny days they enforced security protocol and I was not allowed into certain buildings. However, if it was snowing, the guards just ignored security because it was cold outside… After the Second Murder I drove to California… Crack Cocaine caused insanity among the residents of Washington DC and there was a lot of Gun Violence. I abandoned the Condo and the Mortgage company foreclosed.

~~~~~ (~);-} ~~~~~

When I got back to San Jose I worked at Radio Shack. I was there for Six Years. I learned a LOT about electrical engineering and corporate marketing. I ended up renting a room in beautiful Almaden. I drank too much alcohol and smoked too much weed. I got fired from work and went to Chico again. Luckily I had embezzled $6,000 from the company to take a needed vacation.

~~~~~ (~);-} ~~~~~

In Chico during the late 1990s I camped out for an entire summer in Bidwell Park and rode a bicycle all over town… I ate at the “Jesus Center” a free meal and attended a couple of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a DAY for about a year. I made a lot of friends in the program and Married One. She helped get me a job at the WREX plastic factory making injection molded parts and I held that job for a year.

During my second stay in Chico I enjoyed playing my guitar and singing on the streets and in the park downtown. Busking. Once I teamed up with a college girl and we performed on Main Street. We earned about $10.00 and I let her keep it. We performed “Witchy-Woman” by the Eagles and when she sang, I expected her head to spin around like Linda Blair did in The Exorcist. That song has a lot of lyrics that are simply… AAAAAOOOOOO!

I also performed at our AA meetings. While the meetings were in session I would be quiet but before and after the meetings I would lead group sing-a-longs. I had 3 spiral notebooks with the lyrics and chords to all my favorite songs and people would search thru them and make requests. Big Fun.

A friend from AA and I took lessons on how to play the drums from the Adult Education Department. We had classes in Paradise and a dozen students would play together. Some playing big drums, some playing small drums. We performed at a Farmers Market in Downtown Chico. After that performance the teacher wanted us to go pro and tour… The students had no interest in that so we disbanded.

We attended a 5 day Christian American Indian Tent Revival Meeting. It was called the 206 drum meeting because they had six Father Drums and 200 frame drums. I got to play the Father Drum (BOOM boom boom boom – repeat). Later on a song appeared in my head and I took my guitar out into a field at sunset and wrote it down. It’s very rare that I write a song but that meeting was inspirational. We got invited to this event because we became friends with a lot of Native Americans that were in our AA club. We also went to a Pow-Wow in Paradise and I got to dance. I had a set of sleigh bells that I strapped to my foot and “Danced those Bells” (infused the bells with spiritual power). Years later I used those bells to signal the end of the workday at my office job in Eureka. When I retired I gave the bells to a co-worker so she could ring them at 5 PM every day for the rest of time.

Once while performing “White Rabbit” on Main Street  a lady showed me how to do a flamenco strum to simulate the Military rhythm of the drums on the Jefferson Airplane Record… Big Fun learning while Busking.

~~~~~ (~);-} ~~~~~

Then I got Government Loan from the Department of Education and attended Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA for four years. I got a BS degree in Computer Information Systems and immediately got hired at the County of Humboldt in the Welfare Department as an Eligibility Worker. Safe, Clean Work in an Office Cubicle. I One thing I learned at School was how to USE a computer and that’s what I did at work. I interviewed people applying for Food Stamps, Medi-Cal and Welfare and the typed their information into a computer system to determine IF they were eligible and for How Much. I met over a thousand people that were in desperate situations… Veterans suffering from PTSD, drug addicts, homeless people, ex-convicts, unwed mothers, physically disabled people, mentally disabled people and battered women… We did what we could to help those people… Often teenagers would travel across the country to work Trimming Buds at the Illegal Marijuana Farms… When the harvest is over, they all are laid off… Since this is an Illegal Business, often they were let go without getting paid MONEY for their labor but being paid with a big bag of weed… So these kids from Tennessee or Alabama were wandering around town stoned and lost and hungry… We got them a Greyhound Bus Ride Home.

I kept that job for 7 years until my Dad died. Then I inherited money and a house in Eureka and did not have to work. I had my pension from the County, Social Security and a Trust Fund. I spent a lot of time driving around and visiting the western United States. Including a trip to Beautiful Utah for a Rainbow Gathering (10,000 hippies camping in the woods – big bonfires every night) and a Trip to Seattle Washington to eat the Cannabis Cookies, drink powerful coffee and ride the Monorail to the “Experience Music Pavilion” next to the The Space Needle. There were custom made musical instruments designed to be payed by visitors to the museum. An array of tubular bells that were whacked by a pool ball whenever a tourist wanted… random noise? or abstract soundscapes…

~~~~~ (~);-} ~~~~~

Then the State of Oregon legalized Marijuana and I spent 7 months VERY stoned. I Ended up at a Mental Hospital with Cannabis Psychosis and after 15 days got released to an Old Folks Home near Sacramento where I have lived for a year and a half. That’s where I am right now.

~~~~~ (~);-} ~~~~~

Starting in 1997 I have been creating websites to display my Words of Wisdom and original Art created on the computer. I started by visiting the San Jose public Library and using the free public computers. I built websites on Yahoo Geocities… Other patrons at the library taught me how to code…

to be continued, same Bat time, same Bat channel… but first I have to live some more life and have some more experiences to document!

Things I remember growing up in Los Gatos, California in the 1960s – Autobiography of Greg Vanderlaan

March 4, 2018

I feel blessed that not only did I grow up in a great location but I also grew up at a great time. Starting first grade in 1960 I experienced President Kennedy’s Challenge of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. We were trained in school to become astronauts or rocket scientists. NASA and Lockheed. Eventually I did end up designing computers that were flew on USAF jets. So my early dreams were fulfilled. I always wanted to design Spaceships but USAF Jets is close enough…

and then during the late part of the 1960’s I got to participate in Anti Vietnam War protests. We were successful as eventually the vast majority of the American People grasped the concept that the war was Pure Evil. Nixon ended the war AND ended the draft. Saving countless American lives, including Mine. The draft ended just as I turned 18 and I was not asked to go to Vietnam. Thank You, Richard Nixon…

and then I had the opportunity to go to Grateful Dead Concerts High on LSD. Including the concert at Winterland where they filmed “The Grateful Dead Movie”… THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT!

Ecology became popular when I was growing up. I participated in the “Youth Walk for Survival” at UC Berkeley. It was a fundraising benefit for Ecology groups. We asked people to sponsor us for a few cents per mile walked. We started at the Football field on campus, walked around Lake Merritt in Oakland and then back to the football field. Then there was a concert and Malvina Reynolds sand “Boxes, little Boxes”.  I also worked for the Sierra Club in the Action Clean Up project at the Little Kern River… We camped out for two months and picked up garbage, burnt it in a campfire and packed out the remaining waste to a big dumpster at the trailhead.

~~~~~ (~);-} ~~~~~

I’m glad that I never played football in High School. Many of my friends and co-workers have developed severe spinal pain due to old football injuries. I was on the team for one week in 7th grade but quit because David Morera and Brett Mannon hurt me every day. Not Fun.

I was a swimmer. We had an AAU team at Pete Denevi’s Swim and Racquet Club on Oka Road and then there was a team at LGHS. I won sixth place in breaststroke at the “Far Westerns” held at Foothill Junior College. Anyone from West of the Mississippi could enter. My swimming career peaked at 12 years old and went down from there… sigh…

I also played basketball but was bad at it. Always sitting on the bench while the skilled players took the court. My Coach was Isidro Maytorena. My Idol in 8th grade.

~~~~~ (~);-} ~~~~~

I went to Isla Vista, CA to visit my brother at UC Santa Barbara. I remember that there was tar on the beach and when we came back to the apartment there was a can of gasoline to be used to clean the bottom of our feet so we wouldn’t track the oil into the home and ruin the rug. Companies were drilling for oil offshore and it was leaking onto the beach. California outlawed offshore oil drilling to fix this problem. Now, in 2018 our President Trump wants to start drilling again off ALL the coasts of the USA… That would increase the chances of an ecological disaster like BP had in the Gulf of Mexico. Trump’s Policy often benefits the super rich at the expense of the American people…

We also went to a nightclub that had a color organ attached to the record player. The lights would flash in time to the music. Bass notes would trigger red lights, mid-range was green and high frequency sound was blue. By combining Red, Green and Blue equally you can create white light.
This machine blew my mind. Visual Music… Synesthesia…  Seeing Sound…

During the years my brother was at UC Santa Barbara, the students burned down the Bank of America to protest the Vietnam War. My brother says he was not involved with this arson as being outdoors on the streets was dangerous. Too much possibility of having your head bashed in by a cop.

One time when we were hiking in the mountains behind Santa Barbara I saw a Condor. They are amazingly large birds… It impressed me.

~~~~~ (~);-} ~~~~~

I really enjoyed riding a skateboard at Daves Ave School. They had concrete hallways that formed a circle and we kids would race. I was also really interested in baseball and marbles. The school was within walking distance of home so I always walked to school.

All my friends really enjoyed riding bicycles around town. Los Gatos is small enough that we could go anywhere on a bike. Barry Hill and I raced down the hill from the Novitiate and I had a bicycle accident. I ran off the road at a sharp curve, plowed into a short stone wall, flipped over my handlebars and landed on my back in a bush. No real injury except for cuts and scrapes. Had to replace the front wheel but we were able to bend the forks back into shape. One time a bunch of us decided to ride all the way to Big Sur but I got tired and quit before I got to Summit Road. Going uphill all that way didn’t seem like a real fun trip after all. Years later I lived in Chico, CA and enjoyed bicycling everywhere for years… Especially in Bidwell Park.

One time I rode my bike all the way to the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose. I always loved that museum with it’s Egyptian Pyramid displays. We could go down in a tunnel into King Tut’s Tomb… Across the street was a magical bookstore that also sold paintings by Joe Parker, a surrealist/psychedelic painter. He did mandala sunsets in magical landscapes. His paintings were also sold in a record store on North Santa Cruz ave.

My whole family rode bicycles on Highway 280 before it was opened for cars. Thousands of people rode in a one day celebration. We started near the Winchester Mystery House and rode towards downtown San Jose. I’ve always loved 280 as it was a fast and beautiful way to go visit San Francisco. We had friends that lived in “The City” and would go visit them often. One took me to the Fillmore West in 1969 to go see a band called The Youngbloods. The big song of the night was “Get Together” a classic Hippie Anthem. There were light-shows on the walls of the concert hall. Squishy Water (like the album cover of Iron Butterfly’s In a Gadda da Vida Album) and many movie loops. There were blacklights and people were painting each other’s bodies with fluorescent paint. Big Fun. We also went to The Exploratorium. That museum allowed the visitors to play with the exhibits. My favorite was the custom built musical jam session where a half a dozen people plated synthesizers that were designed to never play a wrong note… that way visitors that had no musical training could experience the joy of playing without the pain of making noise that was not pleasant. They also had a virtual reality experience where I was flying thru a tunnel and my spaceship traveled in the direction that I looked. It was a game where the goal was to crash into floating cubes that moved randomly. The cubes had people’s faces on them and one was Jerry Garcia. This was long before VR games became available to the general public.

We visited the Winchester Mystery House when I was a child. I was not impressed as I was expecting something more like Disneyland. In retrospect, I am admire the giant house and appreciate the story of Sarah Winchester being haunted by the ghosts of all the men that died from gunshot wounds caused by her husbands rifle. She employed carpenters to work around the clock so that their sounds would keep the ghosts away. And if she did have any nightmares she had strong men to protect her.

http://gvan42.blogspot.com

http://gvan42.blogspot.com/2018/02/things-i-remember-growing-up-in-los.html

http://gvan42.blogspot.com/2018/03/things-i-remember-growing-up-in-los.html

Free Psychedelic Art by Greg Vanderlaan

January 10, 2015
psychedelic art

Ghost Over Misty Mountains

http://vandergreg.blogspot.com/search?q=ghost

psychedelic art

Floating over Rainbow World

http://vandergreg.blogspot.com/search?q=floating

psychedelic art

Pyramid Power

http://vandergreg.blogspot.com/search?q=pyramid

psychedelic art

Space Colonization is our destiny

http://vandergreg.blogspot.com/search?q=space

Gregvan Tutorials Image Manipulation

May 10, 2011
Create a Winged Heart from any Picture. Or a HEART. Photoshop.
https://gregvan.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/potatoshop-tutorial-winged-hearts-from-any-picture/

Create a Rainbow Squiral using Photoshop Actions. 
https://gregvan.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/photoshop-tutorial-create-a-rainbow-squiral-using-actions/

Make people look more beautiful: Really!
http://taxhemp.tripod.com/photoshop-tutorial-beautiful-people.html

Letters in a circle: Handy for making Buttons with words. 
http://gregvanderlaan.com/letters.aspx

Photoshop Tutorial: Winged Hearts from any picture.

February 6, 2010
Sunset over the Mall in Eureka, California

example of mathematical Winged Heart

The winged heart shape is created in Photoshop by using EDIT-TRANSFORM: PERSPECTIVE: and then moving the lower corner all the way to the opposite lower corner creating two pyramid shapes… one right side up, the other upside down… then… FILTER- DISTORT- POLAR COORDINATES- RECTANGULAR TO POLAR… then…  LAYER- STYLE- INNER BEVEL…

To get a heart shape without the wings… when you are doing the perspective transform, bring the lower corner to the center of the picture at the bottom… Have Fun!


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