- Rude Cops
- Zutler Exit
- Bee Keeping
- Ellen Missing
- Point Arena
- Candidate Coffee
- Polyamarous Zells
- Yesterday's Catch
- Trump Team
- Spelling Exemptions
- Little Dog
- SNWMF Thanks
- Mime Troupe
- Nursery Strolls
- Summer Wildfires
- Legalization Reality
- Feed Thyself
WE WERE AMONG the eight persons watching the Supes live when, during public comment of the pending mental health initiative, a fellow named Stephen Howard stepped forward to say he wanted police officers to be more polite. Howard said he was bipolar and that rude cops might set him off. He said he'd previously lived in Florida where the homeless were treated with respect. Having watched local cops deal with the deranged I've found their tact unimpeachable and their forbearance darn near saintly. Not to disrespect Mr. Howard, but Bruce McEwen's account of a recent court appearance by Howard, suggests that he hides behind his mental illness, if that's what ails him, to menace people, that his unhappy encounters with law enforcement are his own fault.
SAMANTHA ZUTLER'S contract as Fort Bragg City Attorney has not been renewed. Always seemed odd that a San Francisco attorney was tapped to represent FB, especially an attorney of Ms. Zutler's background in civil rights suits. She was on the team that conducted an internal affairs investigation into the infamous officer-involved shooting of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station a few years ago, for instance, and how she got from there to Fort Bragg is not known. Pure speculation, but probably on the buddy plan. Pretty nice gig for a legal eagle. Drive up every few weeks to spend a few days on FB's tab, advise the Council on how to say "No Comment" like they mean it, toss out a few errant opinions and drive back to Frisco. Seems like an in-County lawyer could handle the job for much less money.
BZZZZ. We're very happy with our four bee hives brought to us by Patrick Kalfsbeek, a multi-faceted farmer out of Arbuckle. Like everyone else, we understand that bee populations are way down. We want to do our part to restore them, if it's not already too late to restore them. We simply provide the one square yard the hives are placed on.
We are also slowly sowing our place with bee-friendly plants. Patrick's crew does everything else. All us hosts have to do is welcome the hives. Patrick's guys were just in Boonville today to have a look at how the Boonville and Philo bee consignments are doing. Our honey bees are, the beekeepers announced, "doing great." (Probably the good vibes we emanate here are a big help.)
If you want a bee farm at your place, contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530/908-1311.
MISSING: GARBERVILLE TRANSIENT HASN’T BEEN SEEN IN NEARLY TWO WEEKS
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:
At about 3:00 in the afternoon on July 3rd, Lila Temple reported that her 71 year old mother, Ellen Cameron Temple (DOB 03/20/1946), was missing. Ellen is a white female, 5’4” tall, 135 pounds, blue eyes, and long straight brown hair. Ellen is a transient by choice in the Garberville area. Ellen hasn’t been heard from since 06/30/2017. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputies have conducted an extensive search for Ellen in the Garberville area with no success in locating her.
If anyone has seen Ellen and/or knows of her whereabouts, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or (707) 923-2762, so we can contact her family members.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CITY OF POINT ARENA!
109 years ago, Point Arena officially became a city this date in 1908 in order to establish greater political freedom from the County of Mendocino, inspired by a controversy over whether Point Arena could sell alcohol or go “dry.” The town at the time had 14 liquor licenses and wanted to protect them in case Mendocino County went dry. By becoming a city, Point Arena could regulate and issue its own liquor licenses, as well as collect a larger share of the local taxes instead of relying on the county to share its revenue. Happy Birthday, Point Arena!
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According to local history lore about the Mendocino Coast at the turn of the century: “Point Arena was the only considerable town on the south coast, and the main shipping port for agricultural products, supplemented by bark, ties, posts, etc. It was a town of 476 inhabitants by the census at the time it was incorporated on July 11, 1908. The town boasted nine saloons, three general stores, three confectionery stores, a harness shop, two blacksmith shops, two barbers, one livery stable, one hardware store, three hotels (all under one management, one closed, and one used only for lodging purposes), a butcher shop, and a millinery establishment, a fire company, a water works and electric lighting, three churches, a grammar school and a high school. Steamers ran to the port regularly twice a week and sometimes oftener, Wednesday being Steamer Day when the town was full of teams bringing farm produce, butter, eggs, chickens, and travelers to or from the city of San Francisco. The port and harbor was not a secure one, and in boisterous weather it was sometimes missed by even the regular steamer. There was a long wharf and also a chute with a crane for shipping ties, lumber, etc. This latter was of the cable variety and used only by the L.E. White Lumber Co. Asphalt exudes from the ocean bluff west of the town, and two attempts were made to obtain oil, but the casing was pulled out of the last and deepest, at 1600 feet, and there was no prospect of another attempt for years to come. The crude asphalt has been hauled and dumped on the street and lasts for years.”
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So here’s a bit of Point Arena incorporation history which we originally ran back in 2008 on the occasion of Point Arena’s 100th Anniversary.
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At a current population of around 450, some people have said that Point Arena is the smallest incorporated city in California. But that honor goes actually goes to a town named “Vernon” in eastern Los Angeles County which has a population of 85. Four other incorporated California towns are smaller than Point Arena — Tehama, Trinidad (Humboldt County), Amador, and Sand City.
According to an interesting story by Jo Rouse in a 2008 Independent Coast Observer, itself based on information from Mendocino County Historical Society chief Steve Oliff’s fascinating book about the history of Mendo’s south coast, around 1900 Point Arena’s town fathers started thinking about keeping liquor sales taxes coming in to town when Mendocino County was considering alcohol prohibition during the early days of the temperance movement (aka Mendo was “going dry”). Other motivations mentioned for the eight-year effort to incorporate included California’s famous, but much more mythical, “independent spirit,” or “greater political freedom.”
But since the town’s economy depended heavily on booze — there were at various times in those days between 9 and 14 saloons in town — it’s pretty obvious that Point Arena’s booze lobby (“alcohol community”?) was the primary motivation for the drive to incorporate.
The town needed a minimum of 500 voting citizens to even be eligible to apply for incorporation under the state’s rules at the time. Since the population included women (who couldn’t vote) and immigrants (who couldn’t vote) and Indians (who couldn’t vote), the 500 threshold was a challenge. Incorporators first decided to arbitrarily enlarge the town’s boundaries. But that didn’t add enough voting citizens either. So they — mostly the town’s tavern owners and operators — got the local hotels to board upwards of 40 area loggers for the minimum 30 days to meet the minimum residence requirements for voting.
Having finally qualified to cast their ballots on Point Arena, Wet or Dry, by an underwhelming vote of 66 to 56 when election day finally arrived, Point Arena came up Wet.
William Hanen, then the editor of the Point Arena Record, and a leading advocate for incorporation, wrote that “very reluctantly, the Board of Supervisors passed favorably on the election returns and declared Point Arena entitled to incorporate.”
History does not record the reason(s) for the Board of Supervisors’ “reluctance,” but one can safely assume it had more to do with booze than with principled objections to incorporation.
Coincidentally, among the initial ordinances issued by the newly formed town council were rules for obtaining liquor licenses and a prohibition of public drunkenness. This was before such things were turned over to state regulation after prohibition was subsequently repealed years later.
That’s the more or less official version that available recorded histories of Point Arena tells us.
But there was more to the story.
In 1996 my late uncle, former Fifth District Supervisor and former Point Arena Mayor Joe Scaramella, who was ten years old at the time of Point Arena’s incorporation, recalled those days more vividly.
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“Point Arena was incorporated in 1908. In those days there was the big temperance movement by the lady in Chicago named Carrie Nation who, armed with an ax, led assaults on drinking establishments, hence the term ‘battle axes’ to describe formidable women. Mendocino County was voting dry. The town of Mendocino was dry. The saloonkeepers in Point Arena felt that if the County went dry and Point Arena was not incorporated, Point Arena would be dry like the rest of them.
“My father was not a saloonkeeper then. He was involved in other things like road grading and tie-making. But he was totally sympathetic with the notion of incorporation. He wasn't a citizen yet, so he couldn't vote or participate politically or officially. So they started from that basic fact that some of the residents in Point Arena were not voting citizens so they got the idea to bring in some people who hadn't lived in town previously.
“They circulated the required petition. They got everyone who was sympathetic to sign up. Mendocino County did go dry a few years later. As a result, there were no saloons in the unincorporated areas of Mendocino County. So if you wanted a drink you had to go to Fort Bragg or Point Arena.
“I think we came out ahead with incorporation overall, even though the reason for incorporation was unusual, because we have been able to maintain a degree of independence that ordinarily would not be allowed.
“I always supported it myself. There were some people here a while back who thought we ought to disincorporate. I guess we ought to listen to them, but I hope it never comes to that. I always felt that, damn it, we can manage our own affairs. If we simply have the mind to do it, we can do it.
“While I was supervisor I was invited to talk to some people in Anderson Valley about incorporation. There are pros and cons a lot of different ways. I said that one thing you've got to recognize is that if you're going to have a fractured community you'll have nothing but trouble. You better not incorporate because you won't get anything done. Because if it's fractured, one group will want to do something, the other won't. So you better let headquarters in Ukiah handle it because it's a little more remote and they can do it somewhat dispassionately. Anyway, that was my suggestion at the time. In addition, Anderson Valley is a much larger area whereas Point Arena is only about one square mile. So that's a difference.
“Historically, Mendocino County had always been a fairly hard-drinking area, especially Fort Bragg and Point Arena. I can remember that there were at least nine liquor establishments here when Point Arena incorporated. So, of course, there had to be some drinking.
“Once the County went dry enforcement of prohibition became an issue. The attitude that was prevalent then exists today: selective law enforcement. I had the impression that certain people who were enemies, or on the outs, would be targeted by law enforcement. Sheriff Byrnes was thought to be a ‘wonderful’ Sheriff. I certainly didn't think so. His supporters liked to say that he got things done. But in order to get things done he would trample over everybody's rights. That's what makes the difference. Hell, might makes right, and he had the might. It was rumored — it's beyond proof I suppose — that there were certain people that he would ignore. It was a difficult time.
“Lots of people made bootleg liquor. But it's hard to say how much was just for drinking and how much was for making money. It was profitable for a lot of people and some of them made good money. Afterwards, after prohibition ended, they moved on and out to bigger and better things. Very little bootleg booze was exported to my knowledge. In fact, there is still some moonshine made ‘out back’ for personal consumption around here.
“There was a man who went to Fort Bragg with his meat from his butcher shop. He'd take the moonshine which he hid down amongst the meatstuffs he was taking to Fort Bragg. Nobody ever bothered him. One time the Feds got suspicious and went out there to check him out. They went into his cellar. In those times you were allowed to make 200 gallons of wine for home use — not for sale. So he had a bunch of barrels around there. He had a whole barrel of grappa right under the tree and they passed on that one. So that's as close as they ever got to him. And there was a dairyman who had a bunch of milk cans that he’d modified with false bottoms. You could lift the lid and see milk like usual, but beneath the milk the bottom four-fifths of the can was very good brandy. He delivered it to Fort Bragg in those clever cans that looked like a milk delivery.
“There was also some smuggling, of course. As a matter of fact there's a spot down the coast they call ‘Smuggler's Cove.’ There used to be liquor from Canada which would come down and be brought ashore there. It landed all along the coast here.
“Some of those smugglers were not highly moral characters. The characters involved in that kind of thing had very few scruples that you and I would recognize today. If you got into trouble with them, you were in serious trouble. Hell, they killed one man down here, about a mile south of town. He was coming up with a load of stuff and they thought he was a squealer or something. The man was not a local. He was shot and left for dead. All we knew was that he was involved in whatever alcohol transaction was transpiring.
“There were a number of Italians bootlegging in the Yorkville hills who were well known to us. But that was all small scale. I don't think they broke even. To get their product you had to go and get it — it was quite a trip from the coast in those days and they only sold to people they knew. It was never really big money — mostly home-made wine and its potent byproduct, grappa. That stuff would knock you over if you weren't familiar with it.”
CUKES & COFFEE KLATCHES
To the Editor:
I remember the editor of the Ukiah paper years ago stating that he had sent two dollars to the Boonville pinko sheet as his contribution for the purchase of a bus ticket for shipping Bruce Anderson out of the county.
Now there you have the solution to Ukiah’s homeless situation. The Ukiah homeless asks for a bite to eat or a warm place to sleep on a cold December evening. Oh, sorry. There are no homeless services, public or private anymore. It was decided that the most humane thing to do would be to transfer all of the resources available to the bus ticket fund.
Would you like a bus ticket and where would you like to go? Lozenges? Fine. We will buy you a ticket to Lozenges and here is a cucumber (organic) sandwich to eat during your trip. Goodbye.
Well, now the 2018 Third District supervisor campaign has started with weekly coffee times in Willits and Laytonville to meet the candidates. My guess is that there is not a whole lot of interest in county government around here. That could change if a certain weekly paper would have a reporter present at these coffee times to listen to the concerns of those attending. I'm sure Jim Shields will cover the Laytonville meetings. After a few weeks these reports will be the most popular part of the newspapers.
In recent years half of the graduates of Willits high school have Hispanic surnames. It will be interesting to know if the Latino community is happy. Well the candidates for supervisor be able to address their concerns? Congratulations to Mark Scaramella who has been named civilized engineer of the month for his interest in the Willits Bypass.
SORRY FOR ASKING, WHERE ARE THEY NOW? No sooner had we popped the question along with our photo of Mrs. Zell and the couple's tortured goat, the piece below pops up on the Brit tabloid, The Daily Mail. As I recall, the Zells were widely regarded, even by other creeps, as creepy. They were very close to mass murderer Leonard Lake, whom they met at Greenfield Ranch northwest of Ukiah, circa '72. Greenfield was a local hippie hotbed back in the day, but as of July 2017 it's as sedate as any other suburb, albeit a 'burb with large parcels and panoramic views of Mendocino County's golden hills. Lake was expelled from the old Greenfield Ranch as being too weird even by weirdo standards. Having been told to move along by the Greenfield "collective," Lake settled in Philo from where he went on to establish himself as a world class maniac. The psychotic killer was, however, community-minded. He belonged to the Anderson Valley Fire Department where he may still be regarded as among the best recording secretaries in the department's history. As a contemporary put it, "Yeah, he turned out to be totally nuts, but he had the best darn handwriting you'll ever see."
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The Family That Inspired The Word Polyamorous:
by Anna Hopkins
How a witch coined the phrase to describe her relationship with her wizard husband and their lover as they raised their young children in a VERY unconventional way.
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and his wife Morning Glory, known as the 'Wizard and the Witch', were married for 40 years and engaged in relationships with a number of men and women during that time.
After Morning Glory wrote a poem to describe their romantic pairings, the Oxford English Dictionary approached her for the definition of polyamory.
Oberon and Morning Glory were married to a woman named Diane for ten years, and together they raised their three children, each from previous marriages, together as one family.
Diane's son Zack and Morning Glory's daughter Gail told DailyMail.com they believe their unconventional upbringing contributed substantially to who they are today.
Oberon now runs a wizarding academy called the Grey School where he and his staff teach courses in magic.
Oberon told DailyMail.com of his adventures throughout his life which include founding a pagan religion, patenting the process for breeding unicorns, and solving the mystery of mermaids.
Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart knew the first day they met that they would be together forever.
The two, better known as ‘The Wizard and the Witch,’ were married for 40 years, during which time they traveled the world solving the myths of mermaids, breeding unicorns, and explored the world of polyamory – introducing many husbands, wives and lovers throughout the four decades, and raising all of their children as one family.
Morning Glory, who passed away from cancer in 2014, described their relationship as ‘polyamorous’ – the first time the word had ever been used – in an article titled ‘A Bouquet of Lovers’ which she wrote for the Green Egg, a pagan newsletter that they published together for many years.
The Oxford English Dictionary later approached Morning Glory for the definition of the word, which she gave as: 'the practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.'
Throughout their marriage, they were often asked what the secret was to maintaining their newlywed glow, to which they always enthusiastically responded: ‘We’re polyamorous!’
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart first saw his wife from across the room at a pagan conference in Minneapolis in 1973 where he was a keynote speaker – invited to discuss his theory that Earth was a ‘single vast living organism’. Six months later, at the same conference, the two were married.
Morning Glory had hitchhiked the nearly 2,000 miles from her hometown of Eugene, Oregon to attend her would-be husband’s workshops – which were all named after rock ‘n roll songs.
‘She’d actually had a dream about going to some kind of magical gathering or festival and meeting a wizard who would carry her into the life she was seeking. She was a very vivid dreamer,’ Oberon told DailyMail.com.
Two years after that fateful dream, Morning Glory sat in the front row watching Oberon speak, growing more enamored with each word he spoke. After he was finished, he took her hand and led her away from the crowd that was quickly approaching him – and they found a secluded area behind some potted plants to have a conversation that would change both of their lives forever.
‘We turned to each other and it was like the whole rest of the world just vanished – it was only looking into each other’s eyes,’ Oberon continued.'
Sitting on that bench in a Minneapolis conference hall, they had their first discussion about polyamory – though the terminology wouldn’t be invented by Morning Glory for many years.
Morning Glory told Oberon that she would dedicate herself to him, and that if he wanted to be monogamous she would try her best, but that it wasn’t in her nature.
His reaction was ‘as if he’d just seen the Holy Grail,’ Morning Glory used to say.
At the time, Morning Glory was still married to her first husband Gary, with whom she had a daughter named Rainbow. Oberon was living in St Louis, Missouri and had recently divorced his first wife Martha, who he shared a son with named Bryan.
Morning Glory returned to St Louis with Oberon, where he introduced her to the community he was living with there. The memory is somewhat painful for Morning Glory’s daughter Rainbow, who now goes by Gail.
‘My mother left my biological father and me for him when I was three years old, so there’s always been a fair amount of resentment there,’ she told DailyMail.com. ‘She literally came back and said “I fell in love with someone – I’m gonna move out there to be with him”.’
In Oberon and Morning Glory’s St Louis community in 1973, polyamory was second nature.
‘She started finding people to connect right away and I already had lovers there too, so it [polyamory] was pretty much immediate,’ Oberon continued.
In the years that passed, Oberon and Morning Glory went on to found the pagan religion Church of All Worlds, which was inspired by the 1961 novel by Robert Heinlin, Stranger in a Strange Land. They were also both heavily influenced by the ideals of polyamory that were present in the novel.
The couple and their followers of more than 100 families settled on a 220 acre space on a ranch in Mendocino County, California, which they called Green Field. They lived for free as caretakers, spread the word of their religious practices through their pagan publication, and even solved the mysteries of mermaids and unicorns.
On the Green Field ranch, they established the foundation of their first and most significant relationship with another person – a woman named Diane who Oberon met on a field trip during a pottery class he was taking at a local community college.
By the time the field trip ended, Diane and Oberon were cuddling on the bus, and a spark had been ignited. He couldn’t wait to introduce his new love interest to his soulmate – who matched his joy with the introduction of a new member to their relationship.
‘Of course I introduced her to Morning Glory right away, and they properly hit it off and became real sisters,’ Oberon said.
Eventually, the three participated in ‘handfasting,’ which is a pagan marriage celebration dating back to the 16th century. They later reintroduced Morning Glory’s first husband Gary, who hit it off with their new lover Diane, and the two were later married.
Together, they all lived on the Green Field Ranch and raised their three children, all from different marriages, as one family. Diane’s son Zack, Morning Glory’s daughter Rainbow, and Oberon’s son Bryan grew to be extremely close – and bonded for life through the extraordinary childhood they shared.
Oberon said: ‘It was great – the kids all grew up as brothers and sisters. They had been only children before so they were delighted to have each other and were all very close, and still are.’
Oberon’s son Bryan unfortunately passed away in October of 2016 after battling mental and physical health issues for a number of years – which Gail said was ‘very heartbreaking for our family.’
Gail, now 45, lives in Oakland with her husband and 11-year-old daughter. She told DailyMail.com that despite feeling a lot of angst towards her mother and Oberon as a child, becoming a parent herself has allowed her a greater understanding of the complexities they faced raising children while trailblazing the frontiers of paganism and polyamory.
Her relationship with Oberon, she said, has been ‘up and down’ her entire life – but she views him as a father figure who was always very fun and active. Of the three children, she spent the least amount of time on the ranch, as the majority of her life was spent living with her biological father in their home town of Eugene, Oregon.
This was not for lack of trying. Gail recalls moving to the ranch with her mother and Oberon at the age of three, before a horrific incident took place, leading her father to take her back home with him.
‘They let me go off with a friend of theirs to some freaky commune and some nutter showed up – a Jim Jones kind of guy – who dosed me with an insane amount of LSD, shaved my head, told me my parents were dead and I belonged to God. I was three years old,’ she said.
“As soon as they were told – a friend of a friend said “Hey, you’d better go get your kid, this is going down” they showed up, and they were mortified. Oberon got in a huge fight with the guy, the guy pulled a gun, Oberon pulled the gun from him – I mean, it was a big deal,’ she continued.
Gail said she was aware from a young age about the ‘poly’ aspect of her parent’s relationship, though she wishes that her parents had been ‘a little more discreet, but their whole attitude was shove it in everybody’s face - me included.’
‘It was a bit more than I think I would’ve liked to have been exposed to. Kids don’t want to know all of that.'
Becoming a parent was a life-changing element to Gail's perception of her own mother, and her relationship with Oberon. She also found that she was able to recognize how her upbringing had shaped her into the person she is today.
'It took that, [parenthood] because I was pissed. How she left, they exposed me to all this crazy, crazy, crazy drug use, parties, orgies, all of it. But, you know, it is what it is. I had a really unique upbringing – I’m a really open minded person because of it, so it has its gifts.'
‘I think outside the box. I don’t stereotype people, I don’t judge them – I pretty much communicate with all walks of life, which makes me a pretty good hairdresser because I don’t judge people. I’ve kind of seen it all, in a way.
Diane’s son Zack now lives near Gail in Northern California working as a CEO (which he calls Chief Eternal Optimist) of his own creative company, and DJ-ing at music festivals.
Diane was later married to Gail’s father Gary in a handfasting ceremony – and they became somewhat of their own family unit, while living next door to Oberon and Morning Glory.
‘On the outset I know it sounds a little incestual, but it really wasn’t,’ Zack told DailyMail.com.
Diane’s son Zack now lives near Gail in Northern California working as a CEO (which he calls Chief Eternal Optimist) of his own creative company, and DJ-ing at music festivals.
Diane was later married to Gail’s father Gary in a handfasting ceremony – and they became somewhat of their own family unit, while living next door to Oberon and Morning Glory.
‘On the outset I know it sounds a little incestual, but it really wasn’t,’ Zack told DailyMail.com.
‘I remember one day my mom got in a car accident. It wasn’t a bad one, but it was enough to realize what flashes in front of your face and you realize what’s important to you. And she realized that her connection with Gary was profound and she decided that she needed to see what was there and they fell in love.
‘We went from being this three party family, single family, to being two separate families living side by side in the community. My mom and Gary got married, and Gary was a different father figure to me throughout high school and my teen years.’
Oberon proudly says that Zack introduces him as the best father he ever had, a fact that Zack doesn’t dispute. Zack’s relationship with his biological father is labored – they’ve only spoken ‘three or four times’ throughout his life. Oberon home-schooled Zack for a number of years on the Green Field ranch, and taught him biology, geology and other scientific topics.
As unconventional as their home life was, so were the lessons that Zack learned from Oberon over the years. Zack reflected on experiences with wildlife they would often have on the ranch: ‘We would frequently come across deer who had been hit but weren’t fully killed, so we would always carry a knife in our glove box and a tarp in the back of our cars,’ he said.
‘A number of times we’d come across a deer that had been hit and was in pain, so we’d put it in the back of the car and take it home and bring it out and we would cut its throat and then sing to it - and sing it to places of green pastures away from cars and hunters – then we’d string it up and gut it.
‘And for me – a kid that was being home schooled – one of the best biology lessons I ever got was when Oberon and I gutted the deer and learned about the body. There were four fetuses in it and we looked at it and understood them. Those kinds of lessons – you can’t get that kind of stuff in public schools these days.’
Both children developed a strong connection to animals that sprouted from their upbringing. Gail worked as a veterinarian for many years, and Zack originally went to school for zookeeping before taking a different route working in music and creative pursuits.
‘We lived in a menagerie,’ Zack said. ‘I went through one time and I counted every single animal that we had and I counted 67. Granted that was counting every rat we were raising to feed the owl or the pythons and boa constrictors. We had ferrets, chickens, iguanas, tarantulas, pheasants, doves, goats, and unicorns.’
It was during their ten-year marriage to Diane that the conversation about polyamory came about in 1990, and Morning Glory decided to write a piece about their lifestyle for the Green Egg publication – their pagan newsletter.
Despite the fact that it had been normal to them for many years, there had never been a concrete discussion about the concept of their polyamory.
‘That’s where Bouquet of Lovers came from – and that was the first time we ever said anything about it publicly because it wasn’t really our focus. Our focus was other things – raising unicorns and the church and all that stuff,’ Oberon said.
Together, Diane and Oberon continued to make pottery, which Morning Glory painted and sold, and the three launched a successful business selling their figurines. They argue that one of the positive aspects of polyamory is the ability for each person to fulfill a need for another that might go unattended to in a monogamous scenario.
Oberon and Morning Glory, for example, took to breeding unicorns, which was one of their most notable adventures in the early 1980s. They also traveled to a remote island in New Guinea to explore reports of mermaid sightings - leading them to solve the mystery of the famed creatures.
He and Morning Glory graced news stations, television shows, books and in-flight magazines with their exciting discovery.
‘It was truly amazing. We discovered the true history of unicorns. Most people don’t even know that there ever were unicorns,’ he said.
Their successful stint as unicorn breeders was unfortunately marred by scandal in 1985, after one of the most prolific serial killers of the 20th century, Leonard Lake, was photographed alongside one of their beloved animals.
Lake had been Oberon and Morning Glory’s next door neighbor at their Green Field ranch for some time before he tortured and killed an estimated 25 people.
A photo of Lake was circulated in the media when his crimes were revealed after he committed suicide in custody: which pictured Lake’s searing grin as he stood alongside one of Oberon and Morning Glory’s unicorns.
‘It was staggering,’ Oberon said. ‘We had to come to grips with the nature of evil. Up until that point we hadn’t believed in evil, exactly. We thought that evil is only an absence of good and all of that.
‘He was a farmer, he loved his animals. He regarded people as animals – we regarded animals as people,' he continued. ‘It was very, very painful all around. We only considered ourselves lucky that we weren’t among the many victims.’
Shortly after the closing of the unicorn chapter in their lives, Morning Glory and Oberon went on one of their most famed adventures: to a remote island near New Guinea to solve the mystery of mermaids.
After receiving some funding from a circus deal, their interests took them to an island off the coast where residents had reported the frequent sighting of mermaids.
One local even drew a photo of what he had seen for Oberon – a crude sketch of a woman with a fish tail.
Their revelation led to a scientific discovery, but not the one they had hoped.
As it turned out, what the locals had been reporting was sightings of Indo-Pacific dugong. Their term for the animal, which they call the “fish-woman” is similar to the English word ‘mermaid’.
Oberon uncovered that fisherman in the village would sometimes capture the animals and have sex with them, then release them back into the ocean – spurring the legend of the fish with qualities of a woman.
The group produced a zoological report on their findings, and dejectedly returned home, having lost their savings and some of their morale.
The decade spent trailblazing the mysteries of the deep and unknown provided a lasting legacy for the group, though the closure of Morning Glory and Oberon’s relationship with Diane in 1994 proved that not all things can last forever.
‘It was awesome – it was an amazing relationship,’ Oberon said. ‘We raised unicorns and we undertook the value of the Church of All Worlds and of course relaunched Green Egg and made it phenomenally successful.'
He continued: ‘Then with the polyamory we started going out and being invited to go to polycons and presentations and workshops and stuff, because there’s a whole community of people who are trying to grip the complexities of relationships, especially the marriage things.
‘When Morning Glory came up with the language for that – she proclaimed the terminology – polyamory and polyamorous and stuff – it galvanized the whole thing. We were very much involved in that stuff. And because we were ritualists as well – we designed a lot of ceremonies and rituals for these events so there was another whole range of cool stuff that came out of that.’
When Morning Glory and Oberon parted ways with Diane, it marked the end of the first serious relationship that Oberon and Morning Glory had taken on together.
‘She was the only one who was really a partner in that sense – we joined our lives and our children and our destinies. Other people were people we saw or visited or met on the road and they were wonderful relationships. I went to Europe and eventually Peru with this woman Donna that I met at the Texas Renaissance festival – there was a lot of that – but it didn’t involve merging households and lives and destinies in the same way.
‘She’s a wonderful person and I love her dearly, but sometimes things come to a head and they don’t work anymore – and that’s okay,' Oberon said.
Zack says that he felt somewhat disconnected from his mother’s split from Morning Glory and Oberon – as he was enrolled at zookeeping school in Florida at the time.
However, the breakup was particularly painful for his mother – though there has been ‘a bit of healing’ in the years since.
‘It was heartbreaking for her and it broke her in a lot of ways. It was difficult because they ended up so polarized that I had to make a choice to support my mother or be there for my god parents – or my goddess parents as I call them. It’s one in which I’ve really had to navigate for many years since then.
‘My mom felt abandoned. After everything she invested in the experience with them – in the Green Egg magazine – there were other people involved in the magazine who got involved who tried to take it away from her and it was really hard for her. She didn’t get the level of solidarity and support that she needed and had always thought would be there. It was kind of a tragic end to an amazing story.’
Despite the difficult circumstances surrounding the breakup, Zack says that his time with Oberon and Morning Glory provided the foundation for who he is today – and wouldn’t change it for anything.
Although he did feel some judgment from the community surrounding his paganism, he didn’t feel the same pressure about having polyamorous parents – perhaps because it wasn’t something he often shared. To this day he credits it for allowing him to be an open-minded person when it comes to relationships in his own life.
‘That’s the thing about polyamory is – it’s all about the heart. It’s all about love,’ he said.
‘Like the pioneers of polyamory, my folks were breaking new ground and learning the ways people could love eachother unconditionally in a variety of different family dynamics. And for me, I never saw it as weird or messed up – I didn’t have a lot of judgement about it.
‘What I saw was just an abundance of love.’
He muses about what his life would have been like had his mother not left his biological father in Minnesota nearly four decades ago.
‘Had my mom stayed with him I would just be, you know, a Midwestern dude with a job and a pretty average life,’ he said. ‘Instead, by my mom doing something really crazy and moving out to California and joining hippie communes and finding the goddess and joining the pagan movement and falling in love with Morning Glory and Oberon – I got one of the most extraordinary upbringings anyone could possibly imagine.
‘I was raised by witches and wizards.’
Oberon and Morning Glory went on to form another significant family unit beginning in 1995 – which they titled themselves under the communal surname ‘Ravenheart’.
That relationship unfortunately went sour as well around 2005, ending with Oberon and his beloved wife, and her mother Polly, living in a small home together in northern California.
Polly later passed away in 2006, and while Morning Glory was collecting an urn for her mother’s ashes, she slipped and fell and was taken to the hospital.
Doctors did a biopsy on Morning Glory while she was in the hospital, and the results were life-altering: bone and blood cancer.
A combination of magic, prayer and medicine granted Morning Glory eight years of life after her diagnosis. And then, in 2014, she died – 40 years after she married her Wizard.
‘That mortality thing can be a real b****,’ Oberon said. ‘Those of us who live the longest have to bury the ones we love the most – our closest friends – we have to deal with losing them. It’s just the way it is – the price of mortality.’
Although Morning Glory is gone from this earth, Oberon still feels that he communicates with her frequently – and he’s not the only one.
‘As most religions have taught, we don’t die exactly, we just go on to the other side of the veil somehow. But we’re still there, and it seems very much that Morning Glory is still there.
‘She often comes to me in dreams that are so vivid that in the dream itself I’ll say: “Hey – you’re dead actually – this is a dream.” And she’ll say “Yes, yes, I know I’m dead this is a dream but I’m here anyway and we’ve got work to do".'
While Oberon has committed to moving forward one step at a time without the love of his life, he concedes that it’s a strange experience to sleep alone after all these years.
‘It’s not the same. Sitting side by side, sleeping together, cuddling, sex, adventures - it’s not the same when your partner isn’t physical in the same way.’
Oberon said he’s also heard from children who had Morning Glory as their imaginary friend, and a number of people who have been able to ‘conjure’ Morning Glory and talk to her, or had visitations from her in some sense.
One of those people is Oberon’s new lover Mia, who is 36 years his junior. As a lifelong poly, he says he is involved with three women significantly at the moment, and isn’t quite sure where those relationships will go.
Mia, who lives in Reno, Nevada, appeared on Oberon’s doorstep a few months after his wife died. She told Oberon that although it sounded strange, she’d had a dream that Morning Glory sent her to care for him in his time of need.
This was not of significant surprise to Oberon, who had been promised by his late wife also in a dream that she would ensure that he found a source of healing.
‘Interestingly enough I’d had a visitation from Morning Glory in one of these amazing dreams and I was just totally broken. And I said: “When will I ever know love again?”
‘Then she said: “Don’t worry – I’ll send someone to you”.’
Now based in Santa Cruz, California, Oberon spends a lot of his time working at the Academy of Arcana, where he pioneered a Museum of Mysteries. It contains his personal library of mythologies and anthologies of secrets unknown to much of the world.
In the three years since Morning Glory’s passing, Oberon, now 74, has thrown himself into his newest adventure: The Grey School. It’s an online wizarding academy hosted on the internet platform Second Life that has more than 300 students currently enrolled from 50 different countries.
Students can take more than 400 classes on topics such as dark magic, sorcery, beasts, and lore.
He lives with a couple, Ann and James, who are the Dean of Students and Dean of Faculty of the Grey School. Ann was also a lover of Oberon’s at one point, and he stays in what was formerly an Airbnb room at the couple’s home in Santa Cruz – called the Quantum Keep, which Oberon refers to as ‘The Castle’.
Through all of his new endeavors, he hopes to keep alive the memory of his and Morning Glory’s love that has remained in this life and onto the next.
‘I’m trying to somehow to continue the legacy of what we had – and all the people who believed in us and loved us deserve that. I can’t just give up,’ he said.
‘Our lives were so bound to each other even though we were poly.
‘What I hope to see come through is the profound, cosmic and prophetic love story that we shared. Our adventures, our passion and our love was beyond a fairy tale or storybook – we really did have a happily ever after.’
Through all of the supernatural he has experienced in his life, finding his soulmate was the most remarkable.
‘As everyone will tell you in the whole magic realm – love is the most powerful magic there is.’
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 11, 2017
BRANDI JO ADKINS-CASEY, Clearlake/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JOSEPH BALLARD, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance for sale, transport, offenses while on bail.
HEATH JARVIS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
CLEMENTE MAGALLON, Ukiah. Pot possession for sale, pot sale, probation revocation.
SHI FRANK MARTINEZ, Redwood Valley. Fugitive from justice.
KRISTA MITCHUM, Lucerne/Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MARTIN PAGE, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
SCOTT WALKER, Lucerne/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
DOUGLAS WHIPPLE, Covelo. Community supervision violation.
Build a new bunch of guillotines.
Make the blades heavy and sharp.
Set them up in the town square.
Trump Team Treason
shouldn't go unpunished.
Make Mike Pence
pull the string
on his own guillotine.
Let Bernie rule benignly.
New Bedford, MA
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I was surprised to learn that right now, in my state anyway, students are being given ‘exemptions’ for spelling in papers they write. In other words, a child who turns in a paper with misspellings galore will receive the same grade as a child who meticulously checked the spelling, as long as the kid has the proper exemption. What’s worse? – a child who doesn’t write his paper at all, and merely tells an aide want he wants the paper to say, can get a higher grade than the student who labored over her own paper. No, I am not making this up.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “There's plants all over the place here. Me, being an orderly kinda canine, I prefer order over chaos. The Boss claims he has a plan, but if you see any evidence of one please let me know.”
GIVING THANKS FOR SNWMF 2017
Hot Musical Performances Sets Boonville On Fire
The Sierra Nevada World Music would like to extend a Humongous Thank You to all those involved in making our 24th annual summer solstice and world peace celebration one of the best ever. The artists really got things heated in Anderson Valley, but the vibes were high and the music was great. All of that could be witnessed by the smiles to be seen on everyone's faces throughout the weekend.
Epiphany Artists 25th Annual Summer Solstice & Peace Celebration, June 22, 23, 24, 2018!
Mark your calendar for SNWMF 2018 at the beautiful Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, CA! Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Anderson Valley, The Mendocino County Fairgrounds is the perfect setting for our gathering that unites music and nature lovers from throughout the world.
SNWMF is an annual family reunion for many and is known as being one of the most positive festivals with an incredibly irie vibe. 2018 will mark our 25th annual gathering and Epiphany Artists promises something extra sterling for our silver anniversary, which will include another outstanding lineup of the best in roots reggae and world music on two stages and in our late night Dance Hall.
SNWMF 2018 is just one summer solstice away, so please come sing, dance! Welcome the summer sun and embrace the sweet sounds of reggae and world music!
Soak in the beautiful streaming colors and irresistible aromas of our festival village of global arts, crafts and food. Join in the festivities at both the Solstice Stage and the Kids Zone which features a special lineup of performances and workshops for children of all ages!
SNWMF is dedicated to nurturing a world family peacefully united in celebration of the universal spirit of music. We look forward to celebrating with you!
Peace. Love. Music.
See You Next June!
Warren Smith and Gretchen Franz
Sierra Nevada Music Festival
THE SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE IS BACK AT ARENA THEATER!
Showtime:Wednesday, July 12
Show Starts: 7:30 p.m.
Doors Open: 7 p.m.
$20 General Admission, $2 off for Arena Theater members at outlets
$10 youth (18 and under)
Support the show and get a reserved seat: buy a sponsor ticket! $30 sponsor tickets
Online tickets here:
San Francisco's legendary theater company, the Tony Award-winning SF Mime Troupe, now in its 58th season, will bring their new play, "WALLS" to Arena Theater on Wednesday, July 12. The evening will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a 30-minute music set with Patrick Byers, Andrew Niven, and Daniel Savio, and the play will start at 8 p.m. The Arena Theater Bar and the snack stand will be open. Inspired by true events, WALLS asks the question: How can a nation of immigrants declare war on immigration? The answer: FEAR! L. Mary Jones (Velina Brown) knows all about fear. As a top agent for I.C.E. - Immigration and Customs Enforcement - she knows how to stoke fear to keep her country safe. Fear of people like Bahdoon Samakab (Rotimi Agbabiaka), a Somali refugee escaping oppression, fear of Cliodhna Aghabullogue (Lizzie Calogero), an Irish woman yearning to be American, and fear of Zaniyah Nahuatl (Marilet Martinez), whose family comes from... here.
Arena Theater, 214 Main Street, Point Arena, 707 882-3272
DIGGING DOG NURSERY'S FREE 2017 EVENTS
Digging Dog Nursery's Free Saturday Strolls & Plant Chats
DATES: July 15, 2017
HOURS: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (Saturday tour at 2:00.)
THEME: Stroll with Horticulturalist Deborah Whigham - Sip iced tea & nibble on tasty snacks - We'll chat about: Garden Rooms • Soil Preparation • Hedging Pollinator-friendly Plants • Water-wise selections • Garden Maintenance • Design Concepts • Dynamic Plant Combinations and many more helpful gardening tips & tricks!
COST: FREE admission
LOCATION: 31101 Middle Ridge Rd., Albion CA 95410 (Wheelchair accessible)
CONTACT: Deborah Whigham/Digging Dog Nursery
PHONE: (707) 937-1130
Digging Dog Nursery's beautiful gardens in the redwood forest near the Mendocino coast. Choose from an abundance of easy-to-grow garden plants. Digging Dog Nursery has been featured in The Garden Conservancy’s Outstanding American Gardens, "Martha Stewart Living," "House and Garden," "Vista" and other publications.
UP-COMING STROLLS: July 29, August 19, and September 16
PD AREA FIRE SUMMARY:
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY 2
THE STATE OF THE GREEN RUSH: It’s over, everybody. Sorry to break reality to you. Look in the land sale pages and see many properties for sale with 3 acre permits about to be granted. Then look at Salinas Valley and see much bigger scenes going in. Then look at Oregon. Do some simple math and logic. It is over for you. Why would you bother spending your last $$$ to jump through hoops for permits you can never use or sell because your scene is far from competitive? Don’t fall for the regulators and supervisors and those parasitic consultants and lawyers and other bullshit artists trying to seperate you from your money. They don’t care about you. And you will need every dollar you have to create a new income or at least to withstand this coming economic depression that is ….pretty much already here! Have you paid off your mortgage yet? That would be a good place to start! Protect what you have because in approving this sham “legalization” we only allowed all the deep pockets to take over and run the little guy under. Congratulations on your “freedom”!!
GREAT INVENTIONS OF HUMANITY
by Juan José Millás
Translated by Louis S. Bedrock
History in synchronic although we manage to perceive it as successive.
Such is the function of agendas, alphabets, and four stroke engines. But everything happens at the same time. At this very moment, the Holocaust is unfolding, for example, and so is the ancient slave trade, and the Stone Age, and The Age of Metals.
We live simultaneously in the present and in medieval times, in the uterus of our mothers and in the coffin. The success of Borges’ short story, “The Aleph”, is connected with this revelation. You and I are here in the same way as the fly which we smash with the newspaper in the living room and which reappears two minutes later in the kitchen. We were here before and we were kings, footmen, beggars, and princes; and we continue being them all at the same time. We are alive and dead at the same time. We are happy and unhappy simultaneously.
But since such accumulation of facts provokes a lot of anxiety, we have invented succession—in the same way as we have invented causality to defend ourselves from fate.
And the invention works. The pronoun “I’ frees me from being “her”. “She” is the owner of that patch of skin in the photograph upon which a pimp has printed a bar code indicating her price. “She” is a Romanian woman who is being exploited in some highway dive whose neon lights we observe from the car, unaware that without ceasing to be outside the brothel, we are also inside it.
Otherness, another great invention, has desensitized us to this barbarity. I am not Rumanian, nor a woman; they have not tattooed my wrist; so I can continue on my way carefree.
In the tradition of the Clintonometer and the Trump Apocalypse Watch, the Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same. It makes sense why coverage of the meeting that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort held last June with a Russian lawyer who had promised to pass them damaging material about Hillary Clinton has focused on Trump Jr. The oldest Trump son is the one who set up the meeting and has been publicly (and ineptly) defending his decision to do so in recent days. Manafort's involvement, though, is perhaps more consequential for the overarching question of whether the Trump campaign actively "colluded" with Russia. Though Trump Jr. made media appearances on his father's behalf last year, he did not have a formal management role with the Trump campaign. If he had been the only one at the Russian-lawyer meeting, perhaps it could be brushed off as the inconsequential venture of an overeager family member. But at the time of the meeting, Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman. There is no plausible way the White House can distance itself from this meeting with a well-connected Russian who—per the New York Times' reporting—had promised to reveal dirt about Hillary and seemed to be doing so in the hope that an eventual Trump administration would pursue more Russia-friendly policies. At the same time, I can't keep raising the likelihood of Trump's impeachment every time some piece of damaging news about his campaign's conduct and/or dishonesty comes out, because pretty soon the meter would be at like 700 percent. So, in the spirit of Zeno's Paradox, I am declaring a semi-arbitrary rule that the meter can't go over 60 until 1) rank-and-file Republican politicians start admitting that the Trump campaign may have engaged in collusion or 2) any official investigative body (special counsel, congressional committees) issues a report that says as much. Until that point, each scandalous news item will only get us halfway there.
HOW TO SHOP & COOK FOR YOURSELF!
Friday, July 14th 2 pm
How to shop for groceries, read labels, & cook for yourself on a budget! Teens and new adults (16-25) are invited to the Ukiah Library to learn everyday life skills in a hands-on, interactive fun atmosphere to better prepare them for the adult world of adult. Get ahead this summer and learn some tips and tricks for making it on your own in the world.
105 N. Main St.
Ukiah, CA 95482