Making Money Writing a Century Ago

As an historian nearing the end of writing my first draft of a history of Mendocino County from 1852-2002 I can’t help but being intrigued by some of the people I’ve researched — like Aurelius O. Carpenter of Ukiah. First, let me say that anyone wanting to know more about this person can go to […]

Finding A Home For History

Primary resources, in a historian’s world, are original materials upon which researchers can study to begin writing books or articles about any person or subject. If someone collected my handwritten draft of this newspaper story and saved it they’d have a primary resource. Once the Anderson Valley Advertiser printed it that article would become a […]

Saying You’re Sorry at Burning Man 2018

Sometimes at Burning Man you just really screw up. You say something to someone, or do something that is really inexcusable and you’re mortified. But Wait! There’s a classy solution! Go to Camp Playapology!  What? In the thousands of camps at the Burning Man event in Nevada north of Reno there is a single camp […]

A Solution For Homelessness?

Did you ever have that neighbor you’ve known for years offer a proposal for solving a societal problem that just blows you away? Practical or not, this person looked at the problem of homelessness and gave serious thought about what to do and how to do it. My praise, for what it’s worth, goes out […]

Prohibition Shenanigans

Ever heard of a wine block or a grape brick? While working on the history of Mendocino County I’m writing I was trying to establish if any wineries in this county tried producing these objects. It does not seem so but they were made in Sonoma and Napa counties and their story is fascinating.  Prohibition […]

Elders Wandering Ireland

If we’re lucky in our lives we get those few very precious days when Everything. Is. Perfect. You couldn’t ask for more. It could be a combination of location and travel companions and weather and your inner spirit, but everything clicks together for an unforgettable few hours. For perhaps the second time in my life […]

The Climates Of Mendocino County

As a historian in the midst of writing a 150 year history of Mendocino County I spend a lot of time reading the first county history printed in 1880. In this tome there is nothing in this county that is NOT worth lavish praise, including the weather, no matter how extreme it is. When this […]

Deciphering Lumberjack Lingo

My father-in-law Andrew Tahja started his working life as a whistle punk. What does that mean? On a logging show often workers cannot see each other and someone off to the side, who can see everything, used loud mechanical whistles to start actions. He was called a whistle punk. A book called “Lumberjack Lingo” by […]

Mendocino County Schools In 1880

As an author in the midst of researching a new book on Mendocino County history I found myself perusing the “History of Mendocino County, California.” Written in 1880 by Allen, Bowen & Co. it’s an 800-page tome with 300 pages given to “Early & Prominent Settlers and Representative Men.” My sarcastic and feminine mind thinks…representative […]

Lost In The Mendocino National Forest

Like all misadventures this one started simply enough. In the process of research on the 150-year history of Mendocino County I am writing I decided I should visit the four geographic corners of the county. The northwestern corner is in the Kings Peak Recreation Area off Chemise Mountain Road, which is north of Usal Road […]

Mendocino Mineral Madness

While researching Mendocino County’s geology as I prepare to write a 150-year history of Mendocino County I was re-reading “Mineral Commodities Of California” published in 1957. It’s a 736-page treasure with charts, maps and photos and I paid a whopping $1.00 for it at a yard sale. Hey, you get research books wherever you can […]