Dear Friends,

My photographer (and carpenter and Zen) friend Ko Blix has just posted a great bunch of photos from my recent house-leaving party, where we gave a fond and rousing farewell to the venerable ex-windmill cottage in Berkeley where I had lived for the last 48 years. We've added into the mix a few photos of the place from earlier years and a few from after the party when I had totally stripped and cleaned it. And since it was also my birthday party, we decided to include a few vintage non-cottage-related photos of me that people seemed to get a kick out of.

For simplicity's sake, we haven't labeled any of the photos, but I think you'll be able to figure out which are from the party and which are not, because the latter mostly date from times when the house interior was arranged differently and had fewer bookshelves, or when I had more facial hair and fewer wrinkles. Note the rather dramatic contrast at the very beginning of the album: a current photo shows two large trees in front of the house, but an earlier photo (1972) shows me and my girlfriend of the time standing in front of the house before either of those trees were twinkles in their parents' pinecones!

The friends at the party -- far too numerous to mention here individually -- are a truly wonderful and varied assortment of people. Some I know from Shimer College in Illinois (lots of Shimer alums moved to the Bay Area, especially during the sixties, and we still get together for brunch/discussion parties every few months). Others I know from various radical adventures, from the situationist scene of the 1970s to the recent Occupy movement. Many are from Berkeley Zen Center, where I practice regularly in addition to organizing BZC's twice-yearly backpacking retreats in Point Reyes. Some are neighbors; others are people I've worked with. One is my long-time car repairman; another is my new landlady. Many are fellow folk musicians with whom I play in various old-time jams and jug band parties; others I know through the French music connection, including the surprise guest with accordion whom some of you will recognize from her local appearances over the last twenty years with the wonderful Baguette Quartette. Several are people I know from various literature discussion groups (Proust, Shakespeare, classical Greeks) or because they are fellow Rexroth enthusiasts. A few are former girlfriends; others I've met more recently via online dating. Many are close friends; others are new acquaintances I hope to get to know better. In many cases we share several interests -- a Zen friend is also a folk musician, a radical friend is also into classic literature, etc. -- which means that many of them also know each other through a variety of serendipitous and sometimes surprising connections.

Even more than the Bay Area's many natural and cultural amenities, these people and others like them are the number-one reason I've chosen to live in Berkeley all these years, and why I'm so grateful that I will be able to continue living here.

Ko and I tried to get photos of everyone who came to the party, but in all the hubbub we missed a few. Apologies to those of you who slipped in and out without getting immortalized.

I hope you enjoy the photos, whether you were there or not.


243 photos · 1,757 views
1 3