Saturday, February 02, 2008

Walking Backward Into The Future

Some people believe the past is in front of us because we can see it and the future behind us because we can't. So when I think of Star, Luna, SuperJoel, Groovie Bewildered Dead, Vanessa, Kathy Soliah, the Ziprins, Smacky Beary (Jackie Leary), Henry and Clover and all the people of 1976 Berkeley ... I think I'm walking backward into the future.

Of course I want to talk to all of them again. Some I can't because they're gone and I'm still here. Some I have spoken with and others I cry to. But to answer Annelise directly I do not know what happened to Catherine Star, I wish I did. I hallucinated her while I was walking on a beach a year ago. That in combination with other events led me to quit smoking pot after forty years of doing so.

But in 1976 on Oct 2nd in Berkeley, California there was to be a party, a birthday party. It was to be a mix of different group young and older; gay and straight; drugies and drinkers with the guest of honor being Luna.


Friday, February 01, 2008

1976 - Berkeley Photos

1976 - Berkeley

1976 in Berkeley was strange in that I can remember the flavor of bi-centennial year on the main street of a counter-culture's capital city. I can remember the color of the marbleized fabric I sold on the Fourth of July on Telegraph Avenue. I remember the long summer of urban living without a chance for escape. I was spending time making art, doing drugs and getting hit on by all manor of people.

I was underground and had not spoken to my family in five years. I lived off of Grove Street which was a mostly a black middle-class neighborhood. My home which was actually a hand made structure we called the "rocket ship” was in a Olaf's backyard on Ward street. For a while I had a store called Paradise Cove that was on Grove Street on the other side of University Avenue. I had friends who had a store down the street and another friend lived right around the corner. Her friends, that introduced us, had lived with Tim Leary in Millbrook, NY and my friends were then living with Jackie Leary, Tim's son.

Luna’s father was close with Tim Leary and in what was really a small town there were little and few degrees of separations.

As you can see I will write about anything; go off in any tangent or direction; describe connections, name drop or pretend I am a writer just to avoid telling you how I actually felt about some of my friends and what happen to Luna.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Star and Her Friend Luna

I must have tried a thousand times to write the story of the last time I saw Star.

Just as this blog brought the news of SuperJoel's passing to me, the posting of a comment by Annelise here is somehow driving me to look at a moment in my life that was so powerful and meaningful as to make me question all of how I lived my life.

Star was young girl I met in Berkeley. She originally was a friend to an extended family that I was part.

Annelise, I too was in the play you mentioned and your comment started me looking for pictures and writings I have saved that were about that time, my friendships, my loves, and my work as an artist.

I have for years looked for a certain photo of Star, Luna and I talking on Telegraph Avenue. It is gone but I see it.

Telegraph was a universe unto itself. I would sell my art and humanity would pass by.
"Programs, Programs ... You can't tell the agents without a Program, Program", I would say to nameless people going on their way.

Beside the homeless kids and the Red Rockets, a group of young teenage children of Berkeley radicals that were called the Mini-Mob, there were more middle class kids who
hung out on the "Ave." One of those kids was Star and another was her best friend Luna.

Luna was the 15-year daughter of writer Robert Anton Wilson. She worked part time at a little clothing store just down the corner from where I sold my art on the fence in front of the vacant lot where the old "Telegraph Hilton' once stood.

I will not be able to tell you in one, two, ten ...a hundred sittings the story of that one day, what had occurred before and after. I struggle out of love and respect for the young ladies and what after almost 35 years still would have to be trauma for Star and loss for everyone. But I will try.

(continued tomorrow)


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jail for SuperJoel

So when SuperJoel's sister told me in a comment on this blog that he had died it started my mind connecting to the true feeling in me and a need to express what ever connection that came up.

There are branches from the streams that leads from one memory to another. As with Kathy Soliah to Joe McDonald to SuperJoel and back to Country Joe.

Country Joe McDonald sits with daughter Seven at the Cafe Mediteranian in Berkeley (approximately 1975).

When SuperJoel took the rap for the whole community after the People's Park protests Joe did a benefit for Joel.

When to sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste;
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
From precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe,
And moan th' expense of many a vanished sight.
And I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think of thee, dear friend,
All losses are resored and sorrow ends.

NGC 4594 - Colors & Cove Marbling