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OJAI 04 21 D I S C O V E R M O N T H LY Real Estate & Visitors Guide

THE WAGNERS: IN TUNE WITH OJAI BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GARDENING HIKING AROUND OJAI Cover Photo: Patty Waltcher, LIV Sotheby’s • 805-340-3774, See Page 2 For More Information

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Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM

Co ve r on Fe at ur ed

ORGANIC DESIGN ON 45 ACRES This unique and ex tremely private custom home on Sulphur Mountain is a luxurious natural sanctuary, where the buildings might have grown out of the earth to enjoy the sweeping views. The non-linear architectural design emphasizes space and light, creating a flowing, organic interior. The exposed, arched beams that grace the spacious great room are a theme that repeats itself throughout the main residence, the guest house and the studio/meditation room. A magnificent chef’s kitchen includes a large butler’s pantry. Floor to ceiling windows help dissolve the boundary bet ween interior and ex terior, while the flagstone floors bring the earth element into every room. At the top of a gated, private driveway, the property also includes a pool, a spa, an outdoor BBQ, and a t wo-car garage. 1571KenewaStOjai.com

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PEACEFUL OJAI OASIS On a 2½ acre lot with spectacular views, this completely renovated luxury home is a peaceful oasis ideal for family, entertaining or retreat. The light-filled interior features wide-plank wood floors, French doors, high-ceilings, designer lighting and a modern palette. The completely remodeled chef’s kitchen opens to a dining room/living area with a large fireplace. The master bath includes a steam shower, jacuzzi and an infrared sauna. A pergola covered porch takes full advantage of the view and a pool complex includes a spa, a cabana, and a covered outdoor kitchen/dining area. There is an attached one-bedroom guest suite with kitchenette. The grounds feature mature oaks, citrus, rose and lavender gardens. Only minutes from downtown Ojai, this unique property offers Ojai living at its best. 11089EncinoDrOjai.com Offered at $2,875,000


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OM — April 2021

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This 3 bedroom/1.75 bathroom, 1,210 sq. ft. home sits on a .31 acre lot and features wood & tile flooring, a newer roof and HVAC system, and a large back yard - complete with garden beds, a detached studio and an Endless Pool swim-spa. Come see the warmth and charm of this home for yourself!

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836 Monte Vista Dr., Santa Paula - $899,000

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Sale pending

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611 Emily Street, Ojai

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OM — April 2021




APRIL 2021


Editor’s Note


Calendar of Events


Featured Pros: Making Music With the Wagners


Climbing the FICO Ladder

20 Beginner’s Guide to Gardening 21

Ojai Founding Fathers & Mothers


Who’s Who in Real Estate


Dine Ojai — Restaurant Guide


Chef Randy: Lentils Made Delicious



Top Hikes Into Ojai’s Backcountry

Editor & Publisher / Bret Bradigan Uta Ritke / Creative Director David Taylor / Sales Manager Liz Spiller / Social Media Manager Ross Falvo / Distribution Manager Cover: Team Deckert / Keller Williams Contact Us: 805.798.0177 editor@ojaiquarterly.com The contents of the Ojai Monthly may not be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written consent of the publisher. 6

OJAI o3 21 D I S C O V E R M O N T H LY Real Estate & Visitors Guide

THE DOCTOR IS IN THE HOUSE, ON THE STAGE GROWING YOUR OWN HERBAL TEA GARDEN OJAI’S BEST HIKES Cover Photo: Nora Davis, LIV Sotheby’s Realty • 805-207-6177, See Page 30 For More Information

Visitor Information




Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM

OM — March 2021


OM — April 2021





WILLIE LYNCH & OJAI “Divide and rule, the politician cries; Unite and lead, is watchword of the wise.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Bret Bradigan The story goes that in 1712 a group of plantation owners along the James River in the Virginia colony hired another plantation owner, from the British West Indies, to help quell restive slaves who they feared were on the verge of rebellion. His name was Willie Lynch, and his message was simple. Divide and conquer. Set the slaves one against the other, young versus old, housekeeping staff versus field hands, by emphasizing their differences — “Color, intelligence, size, sex, sizes of plantation, status on plantation, where they live in a valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, coarse hair or is tall or short,” he wrote. It worked, he explained, “because distrust is stronger than trust and envy stronger than adulation, respect or admiration.” He concluded, “Let us make a slave.” It’s a distressing fact of human nature that Willie Lynch, if ever he actually existed and was not invented as a parable to prove a point, isn’t wrong. It is far easier to separate people into squabbling factions than to unite them. We’d love to believe in Ojai that such lower vibrational energies aren’t part of our nature, but we’d be wrong. The bike lane project along Maricopa Highway, the suspicion of visitors and new residents, uninformed ramblings about water issues or steelhead, Facebook flame wars, etc, are all proof positive that we can be just as divided, and divisive, as anyone else. This is not the space to posit solutions, because there are none. The goal is bring awareness. Fear and suspicion are just as much a part of our character as love and kindness, empathy and compassion. In fact, they are much more easily accessible. The unfortunate tendency to “other” people is ingrained and unavoidable, especially around election time. But in Ojai we have many examples going back to our founding of people who came here specifically to seek out a higher sense of purpose. In a community whose identity in large part centers around mindfulness, of reflection amid our astonishing natural beauty, we have the opportunity to take a breath and stand back from the keyboard before we post a snarky comment, to understand the hardships that turn some people mean and cynical, to find the hidden beauty that lies beneath the most mundane of encounters. As we slowly shake off the pandemic torpor, we see signs that Ojai is getting back to normal. The streets are teeming with quarantine refugees, the restaurants are starting up inside dining, the hotels are beginning to book groups. An encouraging recent signal was the Ojai Music Festival’s announcement that they will postpone the festival from June until October, at which time it could or should be possible to pack Libbey Bowl. I can’t wait to see headliner Rhiannon Giddens, a prodigy whose range of mastery of musical styles is unsurpassed. It’s been more than a year since the lockdown began and the world shifted. It appears to be shifting back, but let’s hope not before we take inventory on what we’d like to improve, about ourselves and about Ojai. If there’s ever a place where we can be stronger together, it’s here. After the Thomas Fire and through the pandemic, our bonds of unity have been both strained and strengthened. I’d like to think, perhaps foolishly, that in Ojai the Willie Lynchs of the world would be run out of town. OM — April 2021




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OM — April 2021

Design and Supply for Your Living Spaces

OM — April 2021







Explore Ojai Valley’s History, Art and Culture 130 W. Ojai Ave. 805 640-1390 OjaiValleyMuseum.org

805 272 8760 www.firestickpottery.com Open Daily 10 - 6 Gallery Open to the Public 1804 East Ojai Avenue

6 Feet of Connection | Back to Our Roots


April 22nd-25th 2021 We invite our Ojai community to participate in creating art and contributing to this Earth Day event featuring local artists, International guest artists, free workshops, and more. Visit our website for updates, event information, and to submit your Earth Day art!

Marisa Caichiolo, multidisciplinary artist and Flourish Ojai fellow.

Land Art Landscape Interventions with Andrea Juan - Discover the artists’ 15-year Antarctic exploration.

‘Decorating Skin’ - a workshop by Marisa Caichiolo on theoretic and practical exploration of natural art.

*Mock Up* The Rose River Memorial installation at the Ojai Retreat Cultural Center - help us create it!



OM — April 2021

Photo Courtesy of Gerdi Alvarado, Ojai Artist & Community Member.



THROUGH APRIL “Together/Apart” Dates: Tuesdays through Sunday Time: 12 noon to 4 p.m. Nine Ojai artists exhibit work made during 2020, and the put on display the effect this challenging year made on their creative process. A colorful, uplifting exhibit now through April 2021. The Ojai Art Center is presenting a group exhibition of Ojai artists Mark Thompson, Carlos Grasso, Peter Fox, Bruce Tomkinson, and Gayel Childress Location: Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery APRIL 7-22 Ojai & Rosendal Climate Park Art Exhibition and Auction - Ojai Earth Day 2021 Times: Varied, check OjaiChamber.org Location: Ojai Woman’s Club, 441 East Ojai Avenue Tied to the Earth Day celebrations in Ojai and its sister city Rosendal, South Africa, will be simultaneous physical and online art exhibits in both cities. The Ojai art show will be safely held in the Ojai Woman’s Club. This exhibition in Ojai April 7 will support the development of Ojai Climate Park. Exhibiting 21 local artists, the show will also coordinate with 19 artists in Rosendahl, South Africa where they are also building a Climate Park. The exhibit is a way to raise funds for our park. GlobalGreen.org is the organization supporting this project, Bjorn Heyerdahl is a key personality in the project. Tara Saylor and

Certified Farmers Market

Every Sunday Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact: 805-698-5555 Location: Matilija Street city parking lot behind the Arcade. Open air market featuring locally grown produce, as well as plants, musicians and handmade items.

Jamie Fleming are the point people in Ojai. Our artists and the artists in South Africa will be dialoging via recorded Zoom calls to discuss contemporary issues relating to the pursuit of art making at this moment in time, how our work is informed by nature and how we are re-examining the materials we use in our practices. THROUGH MAY “Insight 20/20” - Ojai Studio Artists Dates/Times: By appointment Artists have taken creative notice of the changes that have been forced upon all of us. This sampling of work by the Ojai Studio Artists is their response to a scary and surreal 2020. Location: Ojai Valley Museum Contact: info@OjaiValleyMuseum.org APRIL 11 Flourish Ojai’s “Rose River Memorial” Time: 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. This FREE workshop is presented by artists Marcos Lutyens and Marisa Caichiolo as part of 6 Feet of Connection, an International Earth Day Event. APRIL 15 “Cocktails & Crafts Night” Time: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Location: The Vine 308 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai Creativity and drinks will mix at the new monthly Cocktails and Crafts Night at The Vine in Ojai. OM — April 2021

EVERY DAY Farmer & The Cook Location: 339 West El Roblar Avenue, Meiners Oaks Times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This popular farm-to-kitchen destination has reopened, with usual precautions in place to reduce exposure to coronavirus.

APRIL 22-25 Flourish Ojai’s “6 Feet of Connection: Back to Our Roots” Times: Online Location: Flourish Ojai, 214 West Aliso Street The Center invites the Ojai community to create art and contribute to this Earth Day event, which features artists, both local and international, as well as free workshops. Contact: FlourishOjai.com/EarthDay THURSDAYS “Ojai: Talk of the Town” Podcast New episodes come out Thursday evenings through OjaiHub.com newsletter. Sign up at OjaiHub.com STAY TUNED Tierra Sol Institute’s “Muses on the Mount” The institute is curating shows for the benefit of Meditation Mount, which recently re-opened its doors after the Thomas Fire. Recent Muses on the Mount performances included RyX, Orpheo and Rachel McCord, and also painter Vera Long and sound bowl artists Trinity of Sound. Contact: To be notified of events in April and May, go to tierrasolojai.org and meditationmount.org.







“Love is friendship set to music.” Jackson Pollock

Anna Cho was born in Culver City, California, the former home of MGM Studios, the magical movie lot that housed “more stars than in heaven,” but she was raised, along with her younger sister, Irene, in Walnut, a suburb of L.A. County. Anna’s dad, Samuel Cho, a graduate in foreign languages from a university in Korea, found work in the U.S. outside his field of expertise at a machinery factory. Her mom, Charlene, who had studied accounting and vocal performance in Korea, worked to put her husband through community college and later had a career in administration 12

OM — April 2021

for a Korean supermarket. Both parents loved to sing and they passed that love on to their girls. Anna spent a majority of her youth studying piano (“which I hated!”) and singing in many choirs (“which I loved!”). Most of the family’s singing was done in church. “I loved singing in group settings because of the blended harmonies, shared emotions, and, since I’m an introvert, not standing out,” claims this Ojai standout.

Bill Wagner, the son of Dorothy and John Wagner, was born in Illinois, but grew up in star-studded Hollywood not far down yellow brick road from MGM in Culver City. He

nurse and administrator at Kaiser Hospital. Music was part of Bill’s family life as well, influencing both him and his brother, Bob, more so than his sisters, Lynne and Joy (Bob eventually went on to Juilliard in New York City and is now the principal bassoonist for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra). Bill began learning the trumpet in elementary school, and, as his expertise grew, started playing in church, school ensembles, youth orchestras, even a marching band, and spent ten summers working at the Hollywood Bowl, where he was able to see the rehearsals and performances up close. After high school, Anna attended University of California Irvine, and studied vocal music, then went on to the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music to continue her training. Masters in hand, she had no desire to perform professionally and moved back home to look for music-related work, but ended up in Pasadena as a fundraiser at a school for children with special needs. A colleague


dreamed of becoming a baseball player or, perhaps, an architect. His dad, a Lutheran minister, served as a church pastor for a year in New Jersey before his ministry led him to work with social service organizations, including the National & World Council of Churches and serving as Executive Director of the Lutheran Social Services in Southern California. Dorothy was a music major who studied the organ at Oberlin College in Ohio before becoming a OM — April 2021

who had left to work for the Ojai Music Festival (OMF), told her that a position had opened there. Anna had never heard of Ojai, but after meeting with the Festival team and exploring the valley she leaped at the chance and is now the festival’s Director of Development. Two of Bill’s fondest childhood memories 13

are “sitting around the piano singing with my family —my mom is a wonderful pianist, still playing and composing at 90…” and, “… watching my brother play in local orchestras when I was just beginning trumpet.” These moments, plus his playing with music groups in high school (and, later in college) ignited Bill’s passion for music. After attending Hollywood High, Bill went to California Lutheran College for two years, then transferred to Oberlin, his mother’s alma mater, finishing his education with a Bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance and a Masters of Music Education. He worked for the International Music Festivals in Kalamazoo, Michigan, organizing festivals for high schools and colleges, where he traveled and worked closely with college music professors. After four years, Bill returned to California and worked in banking administration, though he continued to play with several orchestras and small ensembles, and scored some recording gigs, including playing trumpet for the television movie, “Studs Lonigan.” While working with the Merenblum Youth Orchestra in L.A., Bill heard of an opening in Ojai for a high school music teacher at Ojai Unified. “I had actually performed in Ojai with the Cal Lutheran Orchestra and really liked the area” he says. “I knew it would be a great community to be teaching in — especially with the local Ojai Music Festival.”

With Anna now ensconced in her position at the OMF and Bill teaching music at Nordhoff High, the two were bound to meet. Anna saw Bill at the annual OMF Imagine Concert for the BRAVO education program. She had noticed him at the concert the year before, but he’d never approached her and she was too shy to approach him. But, not this time. She waited until the evening wound down, then said the only thing that sprang to mind: “Hi.” They chatted, but the evening ended with no mention of a future meeting. “I don’t know what made me then send an email to ask if he was interested in hanging out,” she said, but she did. Bill suggested they go for a bike ride and without thinking it through, Anna said yes. Later it dawned on her … she hadn’t ridden a bike since she was 16, didn’t own one and, more importantly, she had no “biking clothes!”As their date drew near, Anna confessed and suggested they meet for coffee. That was in 2009. They married in 2010. And, a year later, their daughter, Charlotte, now a student at Mira Monte Elementary School, was born. Anna’s Masters’ program had been difficult for her. She lost confidence in her ability to sing and stopped for seven years, though she was able to stay connected to music when she began her work in arts administration. But it wasn’t until she started attending Holy Cross Lutheran Church (now closed) with Bill that she began to sing again. The church needed a singer and Anna volunteered. “I sang that first 14

OM — April 2021

song, and it was a homecoming for me,” she says. As the Director of Development at the OMF, Anna has also volunteered at the Ojai Education Foundation and the Ojai Women’s Committee. Fighting her stage fright, she now shares her vocal gift in concerts such as the Ojai Performing Arts Theater (OPAT) holiday shows where Bill serves as the musical director. Bill manages MAESTRO, a non-profit that supports Nordhoff’s music department and serves on the OPAT board. He was also a founding director of the Ojai Summer Band, director of Ojai Camerata, and a founding member of the Ojai Brass Quintet. Like many American families, the Wagners have sequestered at home through this pandemic. Anna works in their bedroom. Charlotte Zooms school in her room. And Bill teaches and works from the dining room. Mom and Dad are thankful their daughter is thriving and that they are still employed and able to work from home. Teaching music on the internet, however, is not easy. “I’m proud of my students for hanging in with this whole Zoom thing.” Bill says. “We are definitely working on presenting a musical this year, although it will be a little different because of Covid-19. This year’s show is ‘The Theory of Relativity’ and will be live-streamed in mid to late May.” As for the OMF? Anna is excited and overjoyed that the Festival is returning — live — from September 16-19th! In addition, there will be small music gatherings in June, during the time the Festival normally takes place. All Covid protocols will be in place, of course, but the prospect of having a live festival again is music to her ears. “To miss the arts for this long is so difficult and we need to bring back the heart of our society soon.” Love, friendship and music all strike beautiful chords in Anna and Bill’s relationship and Ojai is all the better for their shared harmonies.


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Donna Sallen

WOW, Sitting on over three acres in the prestigious Persimmon Hill area of downtown Ojai. This five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom sprawling ranch-style home showcases open-beamed vaulted ceilings, a stunning great room with a massive brick fireplace, formal dining room, hardwood floors and a large master suite. The magical meandering pathways will lead you to an Artist’s studio where you can once again find your creative soul. Living off the grid is easy with your own private well and solar panels. This slice of Country living offers a prime location all within walking distance to Libbey Park, shops, restaurants, and the Ojai Bike/Hike Trail. Horses welcome.

There’s no place like home ... Let me find yours. 16

OM — April 2021

A hidden little gem! Very private, quiet, respite right in town. Bright, light-filled modern turnkey home that features ease of indoor-outdoor living with a modern kitchen with Viking stove and Subzero fridge, outdoor shower, bike and surf shed, and ample shade from a multitude of fruit trees including persimmon, fig, mulberry, apricot, plum and pineapple guava. This home is zoned residential and commercial. Come experience this unique in-town Ojai oasis where views of the Los Padres and a sense of peace will surround you.

Beautiful, flat useable lot, just under an acre located in the City of Ojai. great views from this lot. Zoned commercial — come build your dream!

If you are looking for a quintessential downtown cottage with a guest house ... then look no more. Located in the heart of downtown Ojai.

Located in the Golden West neighborhood of Ojai downtown, this incomegenerating home is very warm and welcoming. The backyard is a gardener’s delight.

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Raising Your Credit Scores Does Buying a Home Raise Your FICO Score?

By Therese A. Hartmann

A good credit score is like money in the bank these days. In previous articles we’ve covered what to do to raise your score pre-purchase but what about after the close of escrow? The short answer is that credit agencies will penalize for mortgage debt initially. Yet, in as short as five months, you’ll get a nice boost to your score as long as payments are made on time. The “boost” is why mortgage debt is considered “good debt.” Installment credit, like a mortgage, eventually helps your credit history through consistent payments that whittle down the balance. On the other hand, credit card debt can continue to climb, so it is more likely to impact your credit negatively. Here are how creditors consider these various types of debt: • Debt is categorized as “installment” or “revolving” credit • Installment debt is fixed involving a finite number of monthly payments and include student loans, personal loans and mortgages • Revolving credit has a line of credit that’s open with payments that fluctuate each month to include new charges. Credit cards are an example and they typically don’t have a definite pay-off 18

date. And now, for some bonus material, here is how long your score is negatively impacted when credit mishaps occur: • Bankruptcy – will take around 6 years to overcome • Foreclosure – takes around 3 years • Mortgage late – one is OK but ONLY one in a year • Closing a credit card account – 3 months recovery • Applying for a new credit card – 3 months recovery • Maxing out a credit card – 3 months recovery The best scenario is to pay off — or down — your credit card monthly, make all payments in a timely manner, don’t max out credit cards, don’t apply for new cards, pay extra principal on your mortgage (and credit cards) and don’t buy something if you can’t afford it. Check your credit once a year to see what’s been reported and, if erroneous, challenge it. Improve and preserve your credit as part of your financial goals for 2021! OM — April 2021

Therese A. Hartmann has 20 years’ lending experience. She is a Licensed Broker, California Dept. of Real Estate #01048403, NMLS # 298291, affiliated with C2 Financial Corporation. For a free consultation, call Therese today at (805) 798-2158.

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Your Ojai life awaits in this 4,314 square-foot, 5-bedroom, 5-bath home amid the orange blossom-scented air of the legendary East End. With 2.38 acres, you’ve got plenty of room for gardens and projects. Perfect for entertaining and hosting friends and family in the guesthouse, cottages and writer’s studio, this two-story Victorian will open your sense of possibility and wonder.

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There’s no place like home ... Let me find yours. OM — April 2021


Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening By Aimee Jo Davis-Varela

Spring is here, and if you did not already start a vegetable garden while you were stuck at home for the last year, now is a great time to do so. Food you grow at home is fresher and more nutrient dense than grocery store produce. Plus, you cannot get any more local than your backyard, which means you can reduce your carbon footprint while enjoying the added benefit of knowing exactly how your food was grown and what products were used to grow it. If you are interested in growing some of your own food but have not yet dabbled in backyard vegetable gardening, here are six tips to get you started. 1. Choose the right spot: Most food plants do best with at least six hours of sun each day. It is best to choose a spot that receives morning sun but has a bit of shade to protect your plants from the afternoon heat. If possible, also choose a spot that is protected from the wind. 2. Choose your garden format: Choosing raised garden beds or container gardening allows you to better control the structure and content of the soil. These options generally also mean less weeding and may make gardening a little easier on your body. Or, if you have furry family members like mine, growing in raised beds and containers will keep your dogs from peeing on your food plants 20

all the time. Alternatively, growing in the ground does not require purchasing planters or materials to build beds and may ultimately allow for more gardening space. 3. Determine what to grow: Growing food in a typical backyard garden is not going to replace trips to the grocery store or farmers market to stock up on produce. So, the best plan for beginner gardeners is to grow something that you eat a lot of or that is more expensive at the grocery store. For example, I like to grow some foods that are significantly more expensive when buying organic, since I can grow everything organically in my backyard. If you have never grown food before, start with something easy, like tomatoes, peppers, radishes, carrots, or just about any herb. For each of the plants you grow, you will need to research common pests and diseases, how best to care for them, what kind of support or protection they need, and whether it is best to start that particular plant from seeds or opt for seedlings. Therefore, it is best to start with just a few varieties while you are learning the basics of vegetable gardening. 4. Put it on paper: Making a garden plan helps you determine which and how many seeds and plants to purchase and where you are going to plant them. This is OM — April 2021

an opportunity to research which plants grow well together, how much space each plant will need, and the best time to plant different types of food plants. You can also use this planner to record planting dates and can refer to it next year to make sure you are rotating your crops properly. 5. Label the rows: Labeling your plants or rows of the same plant will help you easily identify them, know how much water each row needs, know the planting date, and know when it is time to harvest. I use paint stir-vsticks for this, since they are biodegradable and you can purchase them inexpensively in bulk. Write the type of plant, planting date and prospective harvest date on the row marker, and then stick it in the soil to mark the row. 6. Learn from local gardeners: As things begin to open again, keep an eye out for local gardening classes and workshops offered at the Ojai Community Demonstration Garden behind City Hall, Ojai’s Center for Regenerative Agriculture, Quail Springs Oasis & Permaculture Farm in Cuyama Valley, UC Hansen Agricultural Center at Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula, or Ventura College. You can also call the local Master Gardener Helpline at (805) 645-1455 with gardening questions and to learn about available gardening classes and resources.

FOUNDING FATHERS & MOTHERS While Edward Drummond Libbey is rightfully regarded among Ojai’s chief benefactors — having been behind the buildbing of such Ojai landmarks as the Ojai Valley Inn, St. Thomas Aquinas Church (now the Museum), Post Office Tower and the Arcade — others have been very influential in shaping Ojai’s identity. Here’s a few: Annie Besant. Free-thinker, feminist and noted Theosophist. Though she only spent a few days in Ojai, she brought Krishnamurti to Ojai, and helped buy hundreds of acres of property in Ojai, (now the sites of Besant Hill School and, along with A.P. Warrington, the Krotona Center) which she called “the smiling vale.” She is considered one of the pioneers of introducing Eastern mystical thought to the West, and was an early advocate of India’s independence. and the labor movement. Jiddhu Krishnamurti. The spiritual teacher and writer, came to Ojai in 1922, sponsored by the Theosophical Society, though he later broke with that group (“The Leaderless Path.”) He gave talks to many thousands of people each year, in the Star Camps in the oak groves west of Ojai (now the site of Oak Grove School. He once held the Guinness Book of World Records for having spoken to the greatest number of people.

Weather in Ojai Jan Feb March April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Ave. High (°F) 67 67 70 74 78 83 89 91 87 80 73 66

Sherman Day Thacher. After coming West to farm and care for an ailing brother, the Yale-educated Thacher realized that he was going to need another source of income. So he founded The Thacher School in 1887. Now one of the most prestigious preparatory academies in the country, its founding creed was “teach a boy to ride, shoot and tell the truth.” Also, in 1896, his brother William founded “The Ojai,” the country’s oldest amateur tennis tournament. Among Thacher’s more illustrious students were industrialist, aviator and film producer Howard Hughes and three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder, who wrote his first play while a Thacher student.


Ave. Low 36 38 41 43 48 51 56 55 53 47 40 35

Precip. 5.04 5.24 3.35 1.22 .47 .12 .04 .005 .2 .98 1.69 2.95

Average Annual Rainfall:


Record High Year 115° 2018



Valley: (est.)


Record Low Year 16° 1990




Beatrice Wood. The famed ceramicist’s (“The Mama of Dada”) greatest work of art may well have been her life. The irreverent, avant-garde Wood lived and worked in Ojai for decades until her death in 1998 at age 105. She inspired two classic movies, Francois Truffaut’s “Jules et Jim,” and James Cameron’s “Titanic.” She attributed her longevity to “chocolate and young men.” Her autobiography was appropriately titled, “I Shock Myself.” Many of her distinctive, whimsical, luminous luster-glazed pieces are on display at her former home, now the Beatrice Wood Center, in upper Ojai.


The name “Ojai” is believed to be derived from the Ventureño Chumash word ‘awhaý, meaning “moon.” In 1837, Fernando Tico received a land grant and established a cattle ranch. Thomas A. Scott, who had financial success with oil and railroads, bought the Ojai Valley in 1864 for oil exploration. By 1868, Scott, through his agent Thomas Bard, began selling properties to homesteaders. By 1874, R.G. Surdam plotted out the town he would call Nordhoff, renamed Ojai in 1917. Ojai is about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 30 miles east of Santa Barbara. The valley is about 10 miles long by 3 miles wide, surrounded by hills and mountains; the rare east-west orientation with a slight southward tilt gives the valley an extraordinary sun exposure; Ojai’s citrus and avocado crops are highly prized. This orientation also gives rise to Ojai as a spiritual destination. It was due to the resources and organizing energy of Ohio glass manufacturer Edward Drummond Libbey that Nordhoff was rebuilt and renamed Ojai, inspired by the City Beautiful Movement. By 1917, with the construction of the Arcade and Post Office Tower, the town took its present shape. The city’s self-styled nickname is “Shangri-La,” based on the story that Ojai was the backdrop (later left on the editing room floor) from the 1937 movie as the mystical sanctuary of James Hilton’s novel “Lost Horizon.” OM — April 2021






Logan Hall Logan Hall Photography 805-798-0337 loganhallphotos. com

Clinton Haugan LIV | Sotheby’s International Realty 727 W. Ojai Ave. Ojai, CA 93023 C: (805) 760-2092 O: (805) 646-7288 chaugan@livsothebysrealtyca.com DRE# 02019604

Therese A. Hartmann is a local loan consultant affiliated with C2 Financial Corporation, and is a Licensed Broker, California BRE #01048403. NMLS # 298291. Call Therese today at (805) 798-2158.

Vivienne Moody LIV Sotheby’s International Realty 805-798-1099 vmoody10@ sbcglobal.net OjaiLifestyle.net

Larry Wilde LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Wilde-Wilde. com 805-640-5734

Kristen Currier LIV Sotheby’s International Realty 805-798-3757 thehoffgroup. com

Donna Sallen Remax Gold Coast Realtors Donna4Remax@aol.com DonnaSallen. com 805-798-0516

Amanda Stanworth LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Phone: 805-2188117 • E-mail: amandastanworth77@gmail. com Web: Rooney-Stanworth.com

Patty Waltcher LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Call me for your Real Estate needs. 805-340-3774

Team Deckert Keller Williams Realty Ray Deckert, Broker Associate ContactUs@ TeamDeckert. com 805-272-5218

Dale Hanson Ojai Valley Real Estate 211 E. Matilija Street, Ste. J, 206 E. Ojai Ave. 805-646-7229 dale@ovhl.com

Ross Falvo Keller Williams Realty “The Ojai Real Estate Guy” RossFalvo.com 805-207-5094

Dennis Guernsey LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

Nora Davis LIV Sotheby’s International Realty OjaiValleyEstates. com 805-207-6177


OM — April 2021

Erik Wilde LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Wilde-Wilde.com 805-830-3254

Don & Cheree Edwards RE/MAX Gold Coast Ojai’s Top Selling Team LivinginOjai.com 805.340.3192 805.350.7575

Dawn E. Shook - Executive Officer, Ojai Valley Board of REALTORS

simplifying through the pandemic Kirk Ellison LIV Sotheby’s International Realty KirkEllison@ me.com 805-340-5905

Hildegard Tallent CalBRE# 02047013 Keller Williams Realty, 109 N. Blanche Street Tel: 805-7981872 email: hildegard.tallent@ kw.com

Hi! I have cleaned every closet, every drawer, even under the bed storage, and more in the past year, than I have ever accomplished. The other day, I was showing my husband how shiny I had made the kitchen sinks… Another accomplishment! He thinks we need a vacation of some sort.. Staying at home for so long has shown me many aspects of myself, and what I can accomplish when I have time and energy to do so. I am sure you have similar stories to tell of what you have been doing since the pandemic hit us. At first, I was in shock, and operated on auto pilot, doing what I thought was best, working from home, and going through the motions. As time has gone by, we are all feeling our way through these tough times, and doing the best we can. I find simple tasks bring rewards, and I reflect on a simpler kind of life. I am grateful for each little thing now, like being with my grandkids on a walk, having cheese and crackers with my husband after work, working in my garden, and today, finally getting an appointment for a Covid vaccine! For all the stress and negative thoughts and actions we have endured this past year, I hope for a better year for all of us. Keep positive, keep well, keep safe, and keep helping others! We will get through this, and hopefully learn a simpler way of life, to bring us a better future. Hope to see you all soon! OM — April 2021


AGAVE MARIA Fresh, wholesome Mexican food & drink 106 South Montgomery Street (805) 646-6353 agavemarias.com

JIM & ROB’S FRESH GRILL Mexican-American & regional favorites 214 West Ojai Avenue #100 (805) 640-1301 jimandrobsojai.com

AJ EXPRESS CHINESE EXPRESS Gourmet Chinese food to eat in or to go 11566 North Ventura Avenue (805) 646-1177 ajchinesecuisine.com

JJ’S SPORTS ZONE The go-to place for food & sports 820 North Ventura Avenue (805) 649-4655 jjssportszone.com

OJAI PIZZA COMPANY 331 Ojai Ave. (Downtown Ojai) 545-7878 TheOnlyGoodPizza.com OJAI ROTIE Rotisserie, sourdough, winebox 469 East Ojai Avenue (805) 798-9227 ojairotie.com

AZU Spanish & Mediterranean comfort food 457 East Ojai Avenue (805) 640-7987, azuojai.com

HIP VEGAN Vegan sandwiches, salads & bowls 201 North Montgomery Street hipvegancafe.com (805) 669-6363

PAPA LENNON’S Family owned, original & Italian cuisine 515 West El Roblar Drive (805) 640-7388 papalennons.com

BOCCALI’S Pizza & Pasta, from our farm to our tables 3277 Ojai-Santa Paula Road (805) 646-6116 boccalis.com

HOME KITCHEN OF OJAI Breakfast and lunch in a warm space 1103 Maricopa Highway (805) 646-5346 HomeKitchenofOjai.com

RAINBOW BRIDGE A community gathering place 211 East Matilija Street (805) 646-6623 rainbowbridgeojai.com

BONNIE LU’S COUNTRY CAFE Traditional American breakfast & brunch 328 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-0207

KNEAD BAKING COMPANY An artisanal family bakery 469 East Ojai Avenue (310) 770-3282 kneadbakingcompany.com

THE RANCH HOUSE An Ojai culinary destination for more than 60 years 102 Besant Road (805) 646-2360 theranchhouse.com

CAFE EMPORIUM Locals’ favorite breakfast and lunch 108 South Montgomery Street (805) 646-2723 ojaicafeemporium.com CASA DEL LAGO Ojai’s original Mexican restaurant 715 E Ojai Avenue (805) 640-1577 THE DEER LODGE An Ojai legend since 1932 2261 Maricopa Highway (805) 646-4256 deerlodgeojai.com

MANDALA Pan-Asian Cuisine 11400 North Ventura Road (805) 613-3048 THE NEST 401 East Ojai Avenue (805) 798-9035 thenestojai.com NO SO VITA Ojai’s social cafe 205 North Signal Street (805) 646-1540 nosovita.com

FARMER & THE COOK The best of organic Ojai 339 West El Roblar Drive (805) 640-9608 farmerandcook.com

OAK GRILL @ THE INN Al fresco dining under vine-covered pergola 905 Country Club Road (805) 646-1111 ojairesort.com

FOOD HARMONICS Nutritional Love 254 East Ojai Avenue (Arcade) (805) 798-9253

OJAI COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY Salads, sandwiches & superb service 337 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-4478


OM — April 2021


SAKURA OJAI A locals’ favorite for Japanese food 219 East Matilija Street (805) 646-8777 sakuraojai.wix.com SEA FRESH Serving Ojai for 30 years 533 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-7747 seafreshseafood.com SOULE PARK GOLF COURSE BAR & GRILL Patio & indoor dining with Ojai’s most tranquil views 1033 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-5685 soulepark.com Check websites for specific information, due to the pandemic, hours, offerings and on-site dining options may change frequently.

CHEF RANDY’S LIFE OF SPICE cold lentil salad I like this recipe because it is different, it is flavorful, and it is nutritious. It’s a wonderful addition to my spring and summer picnic fare. The combination of lightly seasoned lentils, cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives, and a fresh vinaigrette dressing can’t be beat.

INGREDIENTS: 2 cups cooked lentils (I use Trader Joe’s steamed lentils) 1 cup diced English or Persian cucumbers (no need to peel) 1 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)  1/4 cup red onion (chopped fine)  1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (chopped) 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives (chopped)  1/4 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives (chopped) 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese 

Randy Graham is a noted chef and writer and has been a lactoovo vegetarian for over 38 years. Chef Randy has written and published a series of seven cookbooks with original recipes developed over the period 1975 through 2020. He writes for the Ojai Quarterly, the Ojai Monthly, and the California 101 Travelers Guide. His vegetarian recipes are published in newspapers throughout Central California under the header, Chef Randy. He and his wife, Robin, live in Ojai, California, with their dog Cooper. Robin and Cooper are not vegetarians.

VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegars 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice  2 teaspoons yellow mustard  1 teaspoon agave nectar 1 teaspoon dried oregano (crushed between the palms of your hands)  1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

D I R EC T I O N S : Place all of the lentil ingredients (lentils through cheese) in a large bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Place all of the vinaigrette ingredients (oil through pepper) in a medium bowl and whisk until well mixed. Pour over lentil mixture and gently stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. I like to serve this on a bed of chopped crisp lettuce and to bring a loaf of crusty French bread to the table (or to the picnic blanket).


Spring / Summer

Quick + Easy

Tip for vegans: use vegan feta and this is a completely vegan recipe!


OM — April 2021


a moment of silence

oakgroveschool.org/silence 26

OM — April 2021

Dale Hanson

Ojai Valley Real Estate (805)646-7229

B.R.E. 01229522 Notary Public

dale@ojaivalleyrealestate.com Call me for your real estate needs. Residential, commercial, or business opportunity.

Great location for commercial business or restaurant. Large parking in back. The building is updated and very clean. Forced air and heating, 3 private offices. A bath room and small wet kitchen. Separate attached unit with 3/4 bath and private entrance and address. $775,000

OM — April 2021


Gorgeous townhouse in Ventura. Great location near mall and freeway access. The home is a spacious 1,550 sq. ft., has lots of light, and is multilevel. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. Two of the recently remodeled bathrooms are located upstairs with the bedrooms. Great master suite with walk-in closet, full bath with his and her sinks, and built-ins. The living room is cozy and inviting and features a gas fireplace. Two lovely outdoor living spaces add to this bright and airy home. Lots of storage space and an attached 2 car garage. Sports and leisure facilities include two tennis courts and a swimming pool/spa.


805.207-5094 DRE # E 01504988


OM — April 2021


SHELF ROAD 3.5mi EASY | Elev. Gain: 200 ft | Overlooks downtown Ojai.


520 ft (Wills-Rice). Trailheads at end of Meyer Road, South Rice Road and Baldwin Road. Great for birding.

5 HORN CANYON 5.5mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 1,600 ft.

Trailhead near Thacher School’s gymkhana field. Goes to shady stand of 80-foot tall pines.

8 ROSE VALLEY 1mi EASY | Elev. Gain: 100 ft

Trailhead at Rose Valley Campground. Leads to a spectacular 300-foot, two-tiered fall.



PRATT TRAIL 8.8mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 3,300

GRIDLEY TRAIL 6-12mi MODERATE | 3 mi to Gridley Springs



COZY DELL 2.2mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 740 ft |

MATILIJA CANYON 12mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 1,200 ft |

ft | Trailhead off North Signal Street. Goes to Nordhoff Peak. Clear day? See forever.

(Elev. Gain: 1,200 ft) 6 mi to Nordhoff Peak. Trailhead at north end of Gridley Road.

Trailhead 8 miles north of Ojai on Maricopa Highway. Short, intense hike that also connects to trail network.

Middle Fork. Trailhead at end of Matilija Road. First 1.5 miles of trail well-maintained, the rest a scramble.



SISAR CANYON 22mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 4,800 ft to

SULPHUR MTN. 22mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 2,300 ft |

Topa Topa Bluffs. Trailhead at end of Sisar Road. Trailhead on eastern side of Sulphur Mountain Road. Only for experienced, f it hikers. Views are unsurpassed. OM — April 2021


We know Ojai.

2020 Remodel on 17 acres with gated entry, lighted tennis court, approximately 15 acres of avocado orchards, multiple outdoor living areas, outdoor kitchen, 3,000-square-foot shop, two fireplaces, multi-room master suite, amazing views, and much more. www.2871MaricopaHwy.com $5,900,000


Rancho Tranquilo is located on 5+ acres in Upper Ojai with five bedrooms, flex rooms, two fireplaces, pool, tennis court, caretaker’s quarters, horse facilities, solar, RV garage, views and more. www.12605HighwindsRoad.com $3,375,000

Corral Canyon Ranch in Cuyama Valley is a 277+ acre ranch with five recently renovated houses, equestrian facilities, pastures, hay fields, beautiful views set against the stunning Sierra Madres Mountains. www.29443hwy33.com Price Upon Request

The Davis Group ojaivalleyestates.com

Nora Davis

BRE License #01046067



We’re lifelong residents.

Marc Whitman design on approximately 7 acres with two master suites, five fireplaces, pool, outdoor kitchen, avocado orchard, RV parking, amazing views, and much more. www.1911MeinersRoad.com $3,485,000

Seven Palms offers four bedrooms, three baths on 1+ acre with dual-sink vanity, jetted soaking tub, large deck, several recent upgrades and mountain views. www.1744CountryDrive.com $1,375,000

Little Creek Ranch offers four bedrooms, two offices, gated entry, arena, covered corrals, on-grid solar, separate workshop, oversized garage, and mountain views on one acre. www.9972CreekRoad.com $1,529,000

Kellye Lynn

BRE License #01962469


G a b r i e l a Ce s e ñ a T H E N E X T L E V E L O F R E A L E S TAT E S E R V I C E S Re a l t o r ® | L u x u r y S p e c i a l i s t Unwavering commitment to my clients’ satisfaction. D R I V E N B Y PA S S I O N F O R T H E W O R K I D O !

805.236.3814 | gabrielacesena@bhhscal.com LIC# 01983530

Gabrielacesena.bhhscalifornia.com © 2020 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. 32

OM — April 2021

Profile for Ojai Quarterly

Ojai Monthly - April 2021  

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