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ING 202 R 0 SP

SMALL TOWN, BIG LIVES Kim Family’s American Dreaming





Chavez Family’s Ojai Triumphs

The Music at The Heart of Ojai

From The Ocean to Matilija


Larry 805.640.5734

Erik 805.830.3254

Modern Ranch in Downtown Ojai $7,900,000

Rancho Matilija | 3500 SF+ | Open Floorplan 2.3 Acres | $1,495,000

Classic East End Contemporary | Recently Renovated Private Location | $3,250,000

Arbolada Classic | One plus acre Guest Suite | $1,695,000

Ojai Church For Sale | Half Acre | Approximately 4000 SF Steps to Ojai Downtown | $1,295,000

East End Six Acres | Very Productive Water Well Grand Avenue | $1,200,000

2+ acre Oak Studded lot with water in Rancho Matilija | $549,000

East End Ojai Craftsman | $1,800,000 |


25+ Acres | Thacher Road Well Water | $1,750,000


Nine Cottages | Thacher Road Five Acres | $2,750,000

Light-Industrial | Bryant Circle | 2450 SF Solar Electricity | $959,500

Commercial Lot in Ojai $375,000 727 W. Ojai Ave. - Ojai - CA 93023 - Larry - 805.640.5734 - Erik - 805.830.3254 - - Larry Wilde DRE:#15216270 - Erik Wile DRT:#01461074

Ojai Avenue Lot For Sale $350,000

Donna Sallen

Fabulous and charmingly inviting, this two-story Victorian estate is nestled in the magical East End of Ojai. Surrounded by organic orchards and meticulous landscaping, this home is filled with Southern Charm. The wraparound porch looks out to the gardens, as the country kitchen and breakfast nook looks out to the pool and tennis court. Perfectly situated nearby are the spacious guesthouse, separate cottages, and a writer’s studio creating plenty of living space for friends and family.

El Viaje was inspired by architectural design of an Italian Luxury Villa where Old World Charm and the modern conveniences of every day life come together perfectly. As you enter through the gates to a private, secluded yard you will love the mix of mature trees, the rose gardens, and the cozy seating areas.

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

Located on the edge of the Historic Arbolada of Ojai, this ranch style home and guest house is gated and private. You are welcomed into this light-filled home with vaulted ceilings, large windows and an open, spacious floor plan with gleaming hardwood floors throughout.

WOW, two houses — one lot ... Located in the heart of downtown Ojai, there are two homes on one oversized lot to give you a flexible lifestyle. The main home has hardwood floors, nice open kitchen to the dining room and has been tastefully updated. There is a bonus room in the main home allowing for a third bedroom or recreation room, or an in-law suite.

Donna Sallen

805-798-0516 w w w. D o n n a S a l l e n . c o m D o n n a 4 re m a x @ a o l . c o m


CAL BRE# 01983530 Realtor | Luxury Specialist Berkshire Hathaway

Unwavering commitment to my clients’ satisfaction. Driven by passion for the work I do 805.236.3814 |

You can feel the Love! This blissful, vibrant 1930s California Bungalow, conveniently located in the heart of Ojai, is close to the renowned Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, restaurants, & shopping. Local farmer markets & wineries

are steps away. Graced with stunning views of the Topa Topa mountains, this meticulously renovated 2 br, 2 bt, plus guest/bonus room home is infused with delightful spaces & bright, natural light. Offered at $949,000

Experience a life of ultimate luxury in this thoughtfully designed downtown Modern Hacienda infused with romance and beauty at every turn. Close to the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, bike trails, Libbey Park, ultra-hip coffee shops,

restaurants, & wineries, this sophisticated home lives like a dream. This inspired residence offers the ultimate sense of relaxed country living in perfect harmony with the natural beauty of its surroundings. Offered at $1,395,000


OQ / SPRING 2020




GIFT (805) 646-1441

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Jes MaHarry Store 316 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai California 93023 L ov i n g l y h a n d c ra f te d i n O j a i , C A ~ 877.728.5537 ~ jesmaharryjewelry OQ / SPRING 2020


As a fourth generation native with over twenty years of experience, I’ve built a team that shares my great passion for Ojai. We have closed hundreds of sales together—embracing a commitment to honesty, integrity, and hard work. Take advantage of our comprehensive knowledge of the buying and selling process, and you’ll quickly learn why our team is voted “Best [Realtor] of Ojai” and “Top Team” again and again. “The Peralta Team gets the deal done. We could not recommend an agent more. Absolutely phenomenal experience on every level.” –Erik & Jessica Haney Uniquely qualified to help you achieve Real Property Success.


OQ / SPRING 2020

East End Estate, 6 acres, Pool $7.125M

16 Acres in Ojai’s East End $3.5M

Chic & Stylish, Call for Price

Ojai Foothills with Pool $1.85M

Ojai Foothills with View $1.75M

Upper Signal, Guest House, Studio $3.425M | (805) 794-7458 OQ / SPRING 2020





COVER STORY Big Lives, Small Town Story by Robin Gerber Photo by Betina LaPlante



RING 2020


RABBIT’S RUN ‘Harvey” Called a ‘Play for Our Time’ By Richard Camp

SMALL TOWN, BIG LIVES Kim Family’s American Dreaming





Chavez Family’s Ojai Triumphs

The Music at The Heart of Ojai

From the Ocean to Matilija


Photo by Betina LaPlante, cover design by Uta Ritke





TD Lind’s New Record Goes Big By Seamus Morrison

The Music Collective at the Heart of Ojai By Daron Hope


FEATURES THROUGH & THROUGH Running the Ridge From the Ocean To Ojai






OJAI’s sweet spot


Finding Ojai Paths to Higher Purpose By Betty Nguyen

Finding the Perfect Recipe for Gelateria By G. Lev Baumel

The Chavez Family’s Long Road to Now By Mark Lewis


+a s s o c i a t e s O J AI




Luxurious Ojai compound Twenty-Three Palms

With unparalleled privacy, views & quality; this elegant 3000 sq ft villa, 2 bedroom guest cottage and separate luxurious artists studio will make you feel like you’re living at the finest Aman resort!    Whether it's your primary sanctuary or a getaway retreat you're seeking; this incomparable compound with infinity pool & spa, solar and 4 car garage offers a lifestyle and experience you won't forget!


A Slice of Ojai Paradise This impeccably renovated 1928 East End cottage designed by Austen Pierpont enjoys a most magical 1.1 acre setting and unparalleled privacy for the 3 Bedroom 2.5 Bath main residence plus newer 1 Bedroom guest cottage. The enormous renovated kitchen with Wolfe, Miele & Sub-zero appliances will inspire any chef and the remodeled baths are absolutely classy! Relax by the Saltwater Pool or retreat to the very cool 1920’s vintage stone outbuilding: a perfect hideaway for your wine cellar and tastings with friends. Come enjoy the magic!


Char Michaels (805) 620-2438 DRE# 00878649

S P R I N G 2 02 0

Adventures in Fashion

O P E N DA I LY 1 1 - 5 : 3 0 | 3 2 1 E AS T O J A I AV E N U E | 8 05 . 6 4 6 . 1 92 7


Ojai Notes


Playwrights, Ram Dass and Trebek By Bret Bradigan

p.30 Editor’s Note


p.32 Contributors

Detective Writer’s Dream Work

p.36 Ojai Notes

The Rule of ‘Ten’ By Kit Stolz


Food & Drink Ojai’s ‘Maids of the Mix’

p.41 Animal Neighbors p.48 Artist Spotlight

By Ilona Saari

p.63 Ojai Reads


p.72 Artists & Galleries

Chef Randy Vegan Eggrolls By Randy Graham


Ask Dr. Beth Whole Food First Steps By Beth Prinz, M.D.

p.90 Ojai’s Wine Trail Map p.92 Ojai’s Gems p.114 Beyond the Arcade Map p.120 Ask Dr. Beth p.122 Healers of Ojai


Nocturnal Submissions Upper Ojai Lowdown By Sami Zahringer

p.126 Top Ojai Hikes p.140 Calendar of Events

Specializing in unique and unconventional engagement rings, as well as custom orders. Visit us in Ventura or at Human Arts in Ojai.

805.652.0484 451 East Main Street, Ventura, CA, 93001

985 FORDYCE ROAD — $5,495,000 37+-Acre Citrus Ranch Presented by Ojai's finest Real Estate Team

Lisa Clark & Cameron Clark

Cameron Clark: Realtor Associate and Lisa Clark: Realtor Associate at Keller Williams Luxury. Each office is independently owned and operated.


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1101 N. Montgomery Street - $1,289,000

1054 / 1056 Bath Lane, Ventura - $1,899,000

3 bedroom/2 bathroom, 2,180 sq. ft. home on .50 acres with gorgeous mountain views, sunrises, and sunsets. Updated kitchen and bathrooms, located in a quiet neighborhood and just a mile to downtown Ojai!

Located just 550 feet from the beach at Pierpont Bay, this modern 2,690 s.f., 5 bed/5 bath property (built in 2002) features ocean and mountain views. Two units, plus parking for 7 vehicles. Great rental $$ potential!

501 Vallerio Avenue - $769,000

1442 S. Rice Road - $1,299,000

3 bedroom/2 bathroom, 1,893 sq. ft. home on .34 acres w/Venetian plaster walls, a huge family/entertainment room, “Pink Moment” sunsets, remodeled bathrooms, and room for a pool or large garden. Turn-key!

Spacious 7 bed/5 bath, 6,484 sq. ft. home on 1.17 acres. Separate permitted 1 bed/1 bath guest suite allows for potential rental income. Gorgeously landscaped grounds. Horses allowed!

Sale pending

Sale pending

1674 Ladera Road - $1,750,000 5 bedroom/3 bathroom, 2,409 sq. ft. home with detached guest house on one acre on Ojai’s East End. Refinished wood floors, new paint inside and out, one level, views, pool - this one has it all! Sale pending

DRE# 01761150, 00780642, 01877842

Phone: 805.272.5221 ~ Email: ~ Web: 22

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Š2020 Ojai Valley Inn

The magic of a California moment has never been more tangible than at Ojai Valley Inn. It’s a place where time slows down, memories are crafted, and life itself has the space to hit its highest notes. Come explore THE FARMHOUSE at Ojai, a brand new one-of-a-kind epicurean and event destination designed to connect you to world-class food culture. Reserve a moment today.


D ow nt o wn Bu ng a lo w

Vivienne Moody CA DRE Lic. # 00989700



Ask about pocket listings

O jai Co nt e m p o ra ry

Elegant Country Living

Riki Strandfeldt

R es id en ce o n 1 / 2 a cr e+

CA DRE Lic. # 01262026



Your call is always welcomed.

Search all Ojai Valley & Ventura County MLS Listings (no sign-in required)

1 .1 2 ac re ~ H o r s e P rop e rt y

Includes additional 1/2 acre+ vacant land Back porch vistas


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OJAI QUARTERLY Living the Ojai Life

SPRING 2020 Editor & Publisher Bret Bradigan

Director of Publications Ross Falvo Contributing Editors Mark Lewis Jerry Camarillo Dunn Jr. Jesse Phelps Creative Director Uta Ritke

Columnists Betty Nguyen Chuck Graham Dr. Beth Prinz Ilona Saari Kit Stolz Sami Zahringer Circulation Target Media Partners

CONTACT US: Editorial & Advertising, 805.798.0177 The contents of the Ojai Quarterly may not be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written consent of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTIONS: To subscribe to the OQ, visit or write to 1129 Maricopa Highway, B186 Ojai, CA 93023. Subscriptions are $24.95 per year. You can also e-mail us at Please recycle this magazine when you are finished.

#OJAIQUARTERLY Ojai’s Ellen Bain upside down on top of Meditation Mount IG: @peakpoweryoga

© 2020 Bradigan Group LLC. All rights reserved.

OQ / SPRING 2020


THE ONLY KNEE REPLACEMENT BUILT JUST FOR YOU Now Available Right Here in the Ojai Valley

Robotic Intelligence

Industry-Leading Implants and Materials

2D X-ray to 3D Bone Modeling

Predictive Outcomes

Personalized Surgical Procedures

Discover ROSA Robotic Technology Now Available EXCLUSIVELY at Ojai Valley Community Hospital ROSAÂŽ Knee robotic technology allows your surgeon to tailor a knee replacement to your unique joint anatomy. As the surgeon restructures your knee, the ROSA robot uses 3D bone modeling and real-time data to guide the process. This helps eliminate many of the problems associated with traditional knee replacements, eases your recovery and gets you back to your life faster!

1306 Maricopa Hwy., Ojai

EMERGENCY CARE in the Ojai Valley

When an Emergency Occurs, Time is Critical • Open 24/7 • Six Private Treatment Rooms • Board Certified Physicians • Imaging On-Site Including X-Rays, CT Scans, and Ultrasounds

1306 Maricopa Hwy., Ojai

• Latest Technology and Equipment


Dennis Guernsey 805-798-1998

State Licensed Appraiser, General Contractor

Ojai homes, Ojai ranches, Ojai commercial real estate. Experienced and knowledgeable Realtors serving the Ojai Valley for more than 30 years.


RARE FIND IN OJAI Spacious duplex in the heart of downtown Ojai, steps from Libbey Park and walking trail. Set amid towering oaks, the front unit A is a 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath, recently remodeled amd currently vacant. Unit B is a two-bed, 1.5-bath with rent of $2,050 per month. Tenants pay all utilities and owner pays gardener. Granite kitchens, wood floors, laundry rooms, patios, storage and central air. Won’t last — Buyer to cooperate with seller in 1031 tax deferred exchange. $995,000 BEST LAND BUY IN OJAI Buyer to verify. Completely flat, interior location, mountain views, adjacent to walking and riding trails and includes one Casitas water and sewer hookup. Seller has conceptual plans for Mediterranean-style home — Must See! Zoned for horses. $350,000

COUNTRY CHARMER Immaculate 3-bed, 2-bath single story house on 1/3-acre in prime Ojai area. Includes legal second unit with separate entry. Great entertaining backyard with pool, mountain views, barbecue area and firepit. Includes oversized garage, new roof, remodeled kitchen solar panels (owned) and low maintenance landscaping. $1,295,000


Dennis Guernsey, Cell: 805-798-1998 • Office: 805 646-7288

EAST END ACRE Rare find in East side of Ojai — Flat 1-acre lot just minutes from town. Utilities at street — buyer to verify. Buyer advised to check with City or County about possible development. Perfect for mini estate, horses, planting etc. Great mountain views. Reduced $50k! $375,000

LIV Sotheby’s Realty Ojai 727 W Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023 • • 28

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For Beauty Home Nature Arts •

Investment Community Lifestyle Everyone •

Award-winning local architect Marc Whitman Craftsman design and remodel magically transformed this spacious 3+2 into one very special home! This home was almost completely redone with open concept design. Newly designed kitchen with stainless appliances, Corian counter tops, breakfast bar & soft close Shaker cabinetry. Solidly built with newly installed windows, doors, drywall & finish, roof, electrical & panel. Expanded Master bedroom with en-suite bath... the list goes on and on! Craftsmanship and attention to detail inside and out, including gorgeous customized outdoor patio with beautiful hand-hewn wood beams, all nestled on a beautiful deep lot with majestic Oaks ...Uniquely Ojai and designed for outdoor living year round! $789,000



Ojai’s Top Real Estate Team living and working in Ojai Valley for 30 years! Platinum Club, Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement RE/MAX GOLD COAST REALTORS 21 W. Baldwin Rd. Ojai, CA 805.340.3192 805.340.7575 DRE # 01053877 DRE # 01823802 OQ / SPRING 2020 2001 & 2017 Ojai Valley Realtors of the Year!



GETTING THE JOB DONE “What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you’ll never get to see.” — “Hamilton”

At Team OQ, we are now in our 11th year, still hustling to bring light to Ojai, our history, our culture. It’s fun, while also being a daunting challenge. But mostly fun. Someone once told me, “I learn something new about Ojai with every issue.” Me too. A lot of things, especially this issue. In “Hamilton,” (the musical about the ten dollar founding father without a father who got a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter, by being a self starter,) the title character says, “Immigrants, we get the job done.” That’s the American story and also Alex Kim’s story. The managing director of the Ojai Valley Inn started as a humble non-English speaking kitchen worker, and has now worked his way up to become the LeBron James of the hospitality industry. Robin Gerber’s vivid tale shows how the American Dream — as represented by Alex, his lovely wife Jai and their talented trio of children — flourishes right here in our front yard. At the other end of that spectrum, the Chavez family — one of Ojai’s founding families — has been a key part of virtually every major Ojai moment for the past 10 decades; enduring racism, discrimination and hardship, emerging stronger and wiser, still shaping our Ojai story. Mark Lewis brilliantly pays tribute to this first family, on the eve of their being honored by the Ojai Valley Museum. And where would Ojai be without its spiritual activism — opening hearts and minds into a view of the future that’s kinder and more inclusive, more awake and gleaming with possibilities. That’s Betty Nguyen’s personal take on acting local and global, through the lens of her Ojai experience, where the silence we seek speaks eloquently. That prism of contemplation extends to Gay Hendricks’ provocative and page-turningly readable “Rule of Ten,” detective novels about a half-Tibetan detective who solves crimes while pondering the meaning of life, through Kit Stolz’ profile of this compelling character and his equally compelling creator. This issue is again brimming over with Ojai energy. There’s a girl squad of mixologists in Ojai who are making waves and adjusting attitudes with their frothy concoctions, as Ilona Saari surveys our liquor landscape. The incomparable Sami Zahringer takes on the upper Ojai glitterati with her razor wit and antic wordplay, giving us a comic and insightful glimpse of ourselves. Theater impresario Richard Camp brings us another top-notch production, more timely than ever, about society’s disregard and active fear of those who march to the beat of a different drummer. In that sense, “Harvey” is more timely than ever, and speaks to the spirit of Ojai, a place where creativity and nonconformity are key components. Another example of Ojai’s creative “juice” is TD Lind, whose new recording comes courtesy of music industry legend Glyn Johns. And there’s another entrepreneurial effort afoot; a new gelateria is about to launch in Ojai, giving our small town a sweet infusion. The purpose of this magazine is connection. That metaphor takes on a reality with the new trail that links Santa Barbara’s network of trails to Ojai’s. This 18-mile hike rides along the ridgeline that separates the Pacific Ocean from the Matilija backcountry, the splendor within and without. There’s plenty more inside, but don’t take our word for it. Instead, read on and craft your own Ojai story.


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Dr. Drew eggebraten, DDs

general & family dentistry... “We specialize in biomimetic principles. Biomimetic dentistry is the reconstruction of teeth to emulate their esthetic and natural form and function. It is the most conservative approach to treating fractured and decayed teeth — it keeps them strong and seals them from bacterial invasion. By conserving as much tooth structure as possible, we can eliminate the need for many crowns and root canals.” Dr. Andrew Eggebraten, USC Graduate

Dr. Drew eggebraten, DDs

...for a better smile! 805-649-1137 110 E Portal Street Oak View, CA 93022 Fax: 805-649-1919



began drawing for Mad Magazine in 1963 and he has drawn tens of thousands of cartoons since. He is regarded as among the world’s most distinctive and prolific cartoonists.


received the 2011 Gold Award for best travel column from the Society of American Travel Writers. His latest book is “My Favorite Place on Earth.”


is a writer and editor based in Ojai. He can be contacted at mark


has lived and worked as a doctor in New York, London and locally. If she were president, she’d make fruits and vegetables free for everyone, and end chronic disease. Until then, she hopes to persuade with words. askdrbeth@




a mother, writer, language and writing teacher, an MFA-candidate, potion maker and an avid doodler based in Ojai. She is happiest when she knows her next travel dates.

Ojai pixie tangerine peelin’ native and an editorial and destination wedding photographer. Check out her work at



is the Executive Director of the Agora Foundation, a non-profit committed to providing educational opportunities for adults. In addition, the Agora Foundation produces the Ojai Chautauqua panels, intended to promote civil discourse on complicated subjects.

Junior at UCSB, where he double majors in Writing and Literature and Spanish. He was born in Los Angeles but calls Ojai home: the perfect place to write poetry and watch birds in the meadows.



portrait photographer whose work has garnered international acclaim for the soulful and emotional subjects. Instagram @betinalaplante —

works as a creative consultant to help clients rebrand., offering fresh copy, engaging photos and impactful marketing strategies. Follow @chironhouse



is a writer, music-lover, herb-enthusiast, skincare chef and founder of EarthTonics Botanical Skincare & Spa. Find her at and @earthtonics on Instagram.

a writer who’s worked in TV/film, rock’n’roll and political press, and as an op-ed columnist, mystery novelist and consultant for HGTV. She blogs for food: mydinnerswithrichard.

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KIT STOLZ is an award-winning journalist who has written for newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and online sites. He lives in Upper Ojai and blogs at


is an independent artist, designer and curator. She is a member of Ojai Studio Artists and runs and


has appeared in Outdoor Photographer, Canoe & Kayak, Trail Runner, Men’s Journal, The Surfer’s Journal and Backpacker.

OJAI HUB Your Central Source for Events, News


an Ojai writer and award-winning breeder of domestic American long-haired children. She has more force meat recipes than you.

& Living the Ojai life. WWW.OJAIHUB.COM


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functional medicine acupuncture holistic beauty yoga meditation herbs

RESTORING THE HEART OF COMMUNITY CARE seasonal wellness programs, wellness weekends


www.a lquimia . life 445 west

el roblar drive

& special events 805-798-9011

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furniture & art • custom upholstery • rugs window coverings • interior design

250 E. Ojai Ave. Ojai, CA 805.640.7225

Ojai Valley

Trail Riding Company



OQ | OJAI NOTES Ojai was first developed in the early 1870s by Royce Surdam, after purchasing the land from railroad baron Tom Scott. Surdam relentlessly promoted the town sites, naming it Nordhoff, after Charles Nordhoff, author of a popular book extolling California for its salubrious climate. OJAI PLAYWRIGHT TAKES HER ‘SHOT’ ON THE ROAD

Join award-winning actor Sharon Lawrence as she presents a reading of Robin Gerber’s new onewoman play, “The Shot,” at the Ebell playhouse in Los Angeles about the iconic Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. The play is being directed by Michelle Joyner and produced by Laurie Bernhard. For more than 20 years, Katharine Graham was a self-described “doormat wife,” secretly enduring years of domestic abuse from her husband. After his suicide, and in the throes of deciding whether to publish the Pentagon Papers, “The Shot” explores Katharine’s determination to understand her volatile memories of Phil. Tickets are $20 per person with a light reception to follow. Parking is free. Call 323-931-1277 x131 or email: tickets@






BABA RAM DASS FOUNDATION SET TO OPEN IN OJAI The Love Serve Remember Foundation (LSRF) is set to unveil its first headquarters in the Ojai Valley. The organization, dedicated to preserving and continuing the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass, has plans to build a library. The Foundation’s Executive Director Raghu Markus and Development Director Rachael Fisher have a modern, technologically driven vision for their curated collection — akin to a lab space or test site. The foundation’s forthcoming mobile and interactive library and exhibit will be a pop-up immersive experience with plans to travel to cities and towns across the nation, where the foundation will host dharma talks, kirtans, recorded lectures, films, 360 experiences, shared meals and more. The exhibition’s content will be inspired from preserved memorabilia and archived material of the late teacher — known for his humorous and poignant theological book “Be Here Now” published in the 1970s after the author, then Dr. Richard Alpert, a Harvard Professor of Psychology and collaborator with LSD titan Timothy Leary, traveled to India. There he met the mystical and saintly

Neem Karoli Baba who transformed his life and granted him the name Ram Dass — servant of God. Lakshmi Cianciulli, a Maharaji devotee and owner of Ojai’s Hanuman Gardens — a private residence that for many years held gatherings in honor of the guru— offers this perspective, “Love is stronger than electricity, love is stronger than technology. For us, it’s all an illusion that eventually fades away. I don’t know what generations from now will be needing to learn. It’s just a dream.” According to Raghu, the decision for Ojai to be the foundation’s headquarters was largely inspired by Hanuman Gardens and its Satsang (community) — which came into being with remarkable harmony despite the severe disrepair of the 8-acre property when Lakshmi and her husband Hari bought it.




ONE: The longestrunning game show host in history, Alex Trebek, recently announced that he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He made this announcement prior to commencing Jeopardy!’s “Greatest of All Time Tournament,” featuring top game and money winners Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holhauzer.

Baba Ram Dass’ teachings will be preserved and perpetuated through an Ojai foundation.

TWO: During the final bestof-five game, Ken Jennings was given the answer, “Artist Beatrice Wood was known as the Mama of what?” Jennings, phrasing it in the form of a question, replied “Who is the Mama of Dada?” Jennings went on to win the game and became the Greatest of All Time Jeopardy! contestant. As Ojai residents are well aware, Wood, who lived to age 105, was a fixture in Ojai for many decades. OQ / SPRING 2020

In the Winter 20192020 issue of the Ojai Quarterly, it was reported in Mark Lewis’ story “Ojai Pilgrims” that nearly all, but not all, of Annie Besant’s visions for Ojai organizations came into being. According to James Voirol, “Mark Lewis wrote that all of Annie Besant’s institutions are found here except a Co-Masonic Lodge. This is incorrect. A Lodge has been here continuously since Annie Besant consecrated it ca. 1926. The correct name is now Ojai Valley Lodge #551, International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women Le Droit Humain.” 37


OQ / SPRING 2020

Refined Country Living on 10+ Acres | $3,295,000

Provence in Ojai | $1,695,000

Ojai Redevelopment Opportunity | $1,595,000


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The Turtle Conservancy, located in Ojai’s East End, is dedicated to protecting threatened turtles and tortoises and their habitats worldwide, and to countering the illegal trade in such animals, which is decimating their numbers. Working with partner organizations, they’ve purchased land and established preserves for endangered turtles in Africa, Asia and Mexico. They’ve established a captive breeding center with the ultimate goal of re-wilding species to their native habitats when it is safe to do so. The Turtle Conservancy depends on donations to fund its programs, and welcomes volunteers to help out with numerous projects at our Ojai facility.


The Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC), founded by Dr. Lorin Lindner and Matt Simmons, offers a therapeutic work environment for returning combat veterans and a “forever home” to wolves, wolfdogs, coyotes, horses, parrots and other animals. Located on a 20-acre facility with a 3,000-acre buffer, we offer both the veterans and animals an opportunity to heal and thrive in a back-to-nature setting. “Though not open to the public, we cater to veterans suffering from trauma, and are welcome to participate in our work therapy program. We offer an immersion program for veterans to stay and participate, and to learn basic skills for caring for animals and self healing,” Dr. Lindner said.

3 OJAI RAPTOR CENTER phone: 805-649-6884

ORC was founded and is directed by Kimberly Stroud, who started her training at the Raptor Rehabilitation and Release Program in 1992. In 2000 she went on to found Ojai Raptor Center. First and foremost, Ojai Raptor Center is a fully functional and permitted wildlife rehabilitation center, specializing in birds of prey. Every year they take in 500 to 1,000 sick, injured or orphaned birds (including many non-raptor birds, and a small percentage of mammals) with the hopes of rehabilitating them and releasing them back to the wild. Our four-acre campus is comprised of a medical room and hospital, as well as outdoor flights, aviaries and mews. The center also features the largest flight in California.

4 HUMANE SOCIETY OF VENTURA COUNTY phone: 805-646-6505 or 805-656-5031

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Ojai Valley lies a 4.4-acre hidden haven for wayward animals. Founded in 1932, the Humane Society of Ventura County has been serving not just the animals of the Ojai Valley, but all of the animals in Ventura County. Traditionally, an animal shelter is thought of as solely a place for animals to seek refuge until a permanent home can be found. While here at the Humane Society of Ventura County they provide this safe refuge, they also strive to remedy the greater problem of animal overpopulation, abuse and neglect.

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Gojai Organic proudly supports the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy & Nordhoff seniors through our annual Gojai College Scholarships program. Gojai Organic gives 1% of our profits to OVLC and is a Topa Topa Business Sponsor.

OQ / SPRING 2020




Join the

Club members receive exclusive benefits including discounts on the community fee and first month’s rent by moving in within the first 45 days of opening

Call today to arrange your personal tour

805.798.9305 RCFE Pending #197609506



OQ / SPRING 2020



52 Rule of ‘Ten’



The Dream Origins of Tibetan Detective Novels

Rabbit’s Run

Bluesman’s break out

“Harvey’ Production Called ‘Play For Our Time’

Famous Producer Gets Behind TD Lind’s New Album




Echo Magic

Spirit in action

artists & galleries

Musicians Going Back To the Garden

Ojai’s Opportunities for Healing Ourselves, the World

The People, Places That Make Ojai An Arts Destination





OAK GROVE SCHOOL The Art of Living and Learning

living & learning Oak Grove’s expansive, 150-acre campus is reflective of its academic approach: A college preparatory DAY and BOARDING High School with an intimate, home-style boarding program. A rich academic curriculum, emphasizing depth over breadth, spanning PRESCHOOL through HIGH SCHOOL. Engaging OUTDOOR EDUCATION courses that include camping, backpacking, international and domestic travel. This approach prepares students to function with excellence, care, and responsibility in the world.


Prekindergarten to 12th grade

College Preparatory Boarding & Day School Ojai Valley School offers a challenging academic program led by dedicated teachers who encourage critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, creativity, and collaboration. Across the grade levels, students enjoy an educational experience that extends beyond the classroom. Campus life is enriched by participating on sports teams, camping trips, community service projects, robotics, performing arts, equestrian, and more. OVS enrolls day students in grades PK-12 and resident students in grades 3-12.

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Tenzing Norbu, better known as Ten, the star of a series of detective novels written over the last eight years by an Ojai writer named Gay Hendricks, looks nothing like the traditional trenchcoated Humphrey Bogart private eye. He’s half-American, half-Tibetan, for one, with a brush of black hair that won’t lie flat, a sleek, compact physique, and olive-colored skin. After the passing of his mother, a free-spirited young hippie who died of an overdose a few years after her fling in Tibet with his austere father, a monk, Ten grew up in two worlds. He has one foot in the West in Topanga Canyon, where he settled as a young man after coming to Los Angeles to teach meditation, and one in the East, where his two closest Tibetan friends from childhood still live in the monastery where he grew up. His split existence continues even after he settles down in Los Angeles, and even after he leaves the Los Angeles Police Department to work as a private eye. For his detective work, he drives a battered, unremarkable Toyota. For enjoyment, he revels in his ‘65 Shelby Mustang, a prized sports care he found all but totaled in a crash while working as a young recruit for the LAPD, and which he restored on his own. In his private life, despite his ability to communicate with his Tibetan friend through psychic imagining, he mostly chooses to talk via Skype. As a child, amusingly, he identified as much or more with Sherlock Holmes as with the Buddha. On his first case as a private eye, after a mysterious and somewhat strange woman who comes to see him turns up dead, Ten works to ease her soul’s passage from this world to the next. At home, he takes her memory through a “bardo ritual,” sprinkling water on a photo of her with a hawk’s feather, praying for her to pass through the “six realms” of light and dark, to peacefully ease her way to the other side. He’s a caring, thoughtful, even spiritual individual, in other words, not without flaws, but with a striking lack of the 52

wise-cracking cynicism characteristic of the Bogart-style tough guy private dick. For Hendricks, this compassion — not cynicism — is the point of the character. “Cynicism works to cover up authentic feelings, often of fear, or sadness, or anger,” says Hendricks in an interview at the home he shares with his wife, Dr. Kathlyn Hendricks, in the Arbolada. “I wanted to create a character open and alive to his authentic feelings. He does have defenses that will kick in at a certain point, but I wanted him to be emotionally transparent, rooted in the past but open to the present.” This reflects the personal experience of Hendricks himself, who — after graduating from Stanford with a doctorate in psychology in the 1970s — taught psychology at the University of Colorado for over more than 20 years. Along the way, with his wife, he wrote more than 30 books on relationships and partnering. Their best-known book, “Conscious Loving,” became a nationwide bestseller after Oprah featured the relationship guide on her show in the early 1990s, making them recognizable celebrities for a time, and allowing them to leave academia for writing. “BEING ON THE BESTSELLER LIST ELIMINATES YOUR NEED TO BE A PROFESSOR,” Hendricks says matter of factly. He admits that he took up detective writing because -- like his character Tenzing — in his youth he fell in love with Sherlock Holmes, and read nothing but Sherlock Holmes stories for a couple of years. At school was even nicknamed “Sherlock.” “I think it’s a sacred genre,” he says now. “That’s because it resembles life. Life presents you with a problem, and you need to invent a solution. If you don’t, you will face that problem over and over again.” OQ / SPRING 2020

Despite his abiding affection for the genre, Hendricks says he didn’t set out to write mysteries — the character of Tenzing came to him in a dream. “THE WAY (TENZING) CAME TO ME WAS SO DIFFERENT — UNLIKE ANYTHING I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED,” He said. “One night I woke up about 2 a.m. I had a mystery novel next to the bed on the floor, but I didn’t want to turn on the light and wake up my wife. So I thought, since I can’t read a mystery, let me make up one of my own. Who would be the hero of this mystery novel? I got an image of this part-Asian man standing on the Pacific Palisades, looking out towards Asia, across the Pacific. I said, “What are you doing?” “Well,” he said, “I’m trying to figure out if I’m Asian or American now.” In a half-conscious dialogue with the character he came to call Tenzing, Hendricks found himself drawn towards a character that came to him from the depths. In the first five “Rule of Ten” novels released to date, the detective finds himself bouncing between his hopes for an enduring relationship and the puzzle-solving that is his work. He’s better at his work, in many respects, than he is at committing to a romantic partner. For Hendricks and his co-writer Tinker Lindsay, a screenwriter with many screen credits of her own, the real questions are less about solving crimes and more about solving real-life issues. “This gets into what I’ve discovered as a therapist,” he said. “Often if you sit with a problem or an issue or a person, a realization will bubble up from the mystery of our creative self, and a spontaneous solution will present itself. Often I will ask people simply to be with an issue. What does it feel like? Where do you feel it in your body? A lot of times as a therapist

we have to trust the deep creative powers of the body, and find ways to help people tap into that power.” Tenzing, despite his self-doubts, turns out to be a clever detective, able to put together a coalition of unlikely allies — a computer wiz, a crusty waitress, a friend still at the LAPD, among others — to solve the mysteries that his clients bring him. He’s not so sure he will be able to solve his own problems, but he has his beloved, watchful cat Tank to keep him company while he searches for a woman to whom he can commit, and he has his meditative practice to calm his spirit. Hendricks estimates he has spent approximately 14,000 hours of his own life in meditation. He first began practicing in 1972, hasn’t missed a day for many years, and believes it saved him from a life of stress and potential illness. He believes wholeheartedly in the practice, and has continued to explore the spiritual roots of Buddhism. With a group of 11 other mountain bikers in 1986 he toured Tibet and parts of China, the first such group permitted to do so. After leaving academia, he and his wife lived for a time in Montecito but says they’re much happier in Ojai. “We lived for a number of years in Montecito, but we haven’t missed it,” he said. “There’s a lot going on here, enough to be interesting socially, but not a constant pressure to attend fundraisers. Ojai is the best place for a writer to live that I’ve ever discovered. We have good friends who are writers, and it’s a nice little artistic crucible — a quiet, meditative space.” Hendricks believes passionately in creativity, both psychologically and artistically. “There is no problem you can’t wonder your way to the solution of,” he says. “Einstein wondered about a problem he identified in physics every day for 27 years until he worked it out.”

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Institute of Theosophy An international center dedicated to understanding, harmony, and peace among all peoples, comparative studies in religion, philosophy and science, altruism and the ideals of a spiritual life.

Library and Research Center Quest Bookshop School of Theosophy

2 Krotona Hill, Ojai 805 646-2653

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How many white rabbits does it take to fill a theater? Just one, if the rabbit is named Harvey. Yes, Harvey, that lovable, mischievous shape-shifter of a Pooka in the guise of an invisible white rabbit will set foot (and ears) in Matilija Auditorium as the first production of 2020 from the Ojai Performing Arts Theater (OPAT). Oh, you mean “Harvey,” that whimsical, light-as-air movie version that afforded Jimmy Stewart a star turn as the lovable Elwood P. Dowd, whose best friend is that over six-feet tall invisible rabbit? THAT Harvey? Well, yes and no. Yes, this is Mary Chase’s play, on which that film was based, but one that Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune writes is “one of the most underestimated plays of the 20th century.” He further compared it to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Next to Normal,” two plays about “society’s perennial need to crush individuals who do not conform to majority thinking. It is also about our inability to listen to our fellow humans.” Really? Heady stuff, indeed, if your only experience with the story is that puff piece of a movie. But, consider this: “Harvey” won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama over Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.” Part of the story takes place in a mental institution, where Elwood P. Dowd’s family wants to give him an injection that will take the spirit out of him, in more ways than one. Elwood is a kind, considerate man who likes to drink, and often does, resulting in him seeing, not pink elephants, but his Pooka, in the form of that white rabbit he’s named Harvey because, well, “that’s his name.” Ms. Chase did not make up this idea of a Pooka. Rather, it’s a traditional Celtic spirit that’s been conjured for centuries and is said to take the shapes of various animals. In this case, a white rabbit who occupies Elwood’s own universe, where imagination takes him to a world that is always kind, with a friend who never lets him down. And, really, who doesn’t love an invisible friend that you can talk to whenever you feel down? One who is there for you at any time of the night or day? As Elwood says, “I wrestled with reality


for 40 years and I am happy to state that I finally won out over it.” Pooka or Xanax … name your white rabbit. Joan Kemper, the CEO of OPAT, has some strong reasons for choosing this play. “When Harvey opened in New York in 1944, the country was in the angst of war time,” she says. “The Pulitzer-winning comedy brought much needed laughter to the public, and became a big hit show. We hope this will again be the prevailing attitude in 2020.” The play is directed by Craig Anderson, who directed “On Golden Pond” on Broadway and won a Tony Award as Producer of Broadway’s “Da.” He has also produced more than 40 television movies, including a version of “On Golden Pond” that reunited Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer for the first time since “The Sound of Music.” His other productions include “O, Pioneers,” with Jessica Lange; August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson,” which starred Alfre Woodard; “True Women,” with Angelina Jolie; and “Return of the Native,” with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Clive Owen. “Harvey” is co-directed by this writer (Richard Camp), the Artistic Director of OPAT and a new board member of the non-profit foundation. Rounding out the members of the Board are Bob Kemper (CFO), Esther Wachtell, Stuart Crowner, Kathleen Kaiser, Michael Addison and Bill Wagner, professional media artists, all. OPAT has produced more than 45 dramas, comedies and musicals, including “She Loves Me,” “I Do, I Do,” “Twelfth Night,” “Black Comedy,” “Grand Hotel,” “Macbeth” and “Man of La Mancha.” After all costs are covered, profits from tickets are donated to a local charity. Since its inception, OPAT has raised more than $175,000 for local charities and donated approximately $85,000 to the Ojai Unified School District to restore performing arts education in the middle and high schools. OPAT’s production philosophy centers on taking full advantage of the remarkable pool of award-winning performing arts profes-

sionals from theater, television and film who live and work the Ojai Valley. The non-profit also prides itself in mentoring young people in the creative and technical aspects of theater, including acting, singing, dancing, directing, choreography, sound and light design, set design and construction, prop mastering, costuming and stage management, as well as other crew positions. Future plans include the development of new works, the active cultivation and use of the area’s professional artists, the increase of ticket subsidies for OUSD students and their families to make the performances more accessible to Ojai’s low-income population, and the revival of classic works that have resonance with contemporary audiences. “Harvey” fits very snugly into that last category. “Harvey” is a classic of the American theatre,” says Director Craig Anderson, “due primarily to its symbolism of a man having an invisible best friend, and perhaps because of the widespread reputation of the wondrous Jimmy Stewart movie. But, our production will also highlight how forward-thinking playwright Mary Chase was in her ability to deal with the serious subjects of delusion and alcoholism in a way that’s gentle, humane, and gloriously funny as well.”  “’Harvey’ is the perfect example of the high-quality theater OPAT will continue to offer the community,” says Joan Kemper. “It is funny, it has heart, and has something to say about how we treat other people in this volatile world where kindness is sometimes in short supply.” As Elwood says: “In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.” This production runs for only two weekends (see poster for ticket information). Get your tickets now, don’t be late, or you’ll be quoting another White Rabbit who lived in a very different Wonderland … “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!”



ABOUT THE ARTIST Pamela Grau has been active in the Southern California art scene since 1980. She moved to Ojai in 2012, where she quickly became involved with the Ojai Studio Artists, (and is the current President) infusing the organization with new energy and purpose. Primarily a painter, she moves seamlessly between two-dimensional work and three-dimensional installations. From 2004 to 2010 she was the Exhibitions Director at Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana, and was sited by Rivera Magazine as one of seven museum treasures in Southern California.

ABOUT THE ART: My series titled “Collective

Consciousness in a Unified Field” began as play on words. The concept of a Unified Field is something I have been meditating on for almost 50 years in my practice of daily Transcendental Meditation. As an artist I have been exploring found objects since 1992. The collection and repurposing of leisure-based waste was commentary on residing in a consumptive culture. The results are quiet contemplative pieces that evoke nature.

HOW’D YOU BECOME AN ARTIST? I grew up in a Hollywood family where everyone was creative. Since both my folks were visual artists (as were most of their friends were in the arts — musicians, painters, actors) I really did not know that people did other things. I think I was 5 years old when I declared in front my friends and family that I was no longer going to be a ballerina — I would be a painter and I have stayed with it for about 60 years. I emerged from art school in the mid-1970s and it was a hard time to be a female artist unless you could speak to the changing culture. Around age 40, my desire to create could no longer be suppressed, nor could I be the obedient wife, child, mother that had been. I was watching my newer self emerge into my artwork with -fury and vengeance and it scared everyone including me. I volunteered at an art collective in Orange County. Eventually I became a key player in helping emerging artists and directing exhibitions. To make a long story longer, 2009 was a tough year, my Dad died, my 30-year marriage ended, I got cancer and a new boyfriend. My children were angry with me, I was 55 and I had no hair (chemo), yet my artwork 58

suddenly shifted from “angry woman art” to quiet, Zen-like work and I was happy — really happy. I moved to Ojai and continued to pursue my love of helping emerging artists. Today, I am the President of the Ojai Studio Artists, which is a collective of 80 artists in the Ojai Valley. My passion for art making continues to drive me. It has been a long road but I have maintained my course for 6 decades. TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIO PRACTICE: I paint daily. I use my whole house as a studio. I listen to music, audio books and podcasts. A perfect day begins with an hour of meditation, a long walk and then uninterrupted time in my studio. Working within an art community is very empowering. Much of what we do as visual artists is very isolating, so having kindred spirits to connect with is really valuable. Having friends who get excited by the same things I do is very special. In Ojai Studio Artists we have a wonderful support system, sharing resources, information and connections. OQ / SPRING 2020

Sadie with Swans, 36” x 24”

DUANE EELLS Mar. 12-May 10: BOUNDLESS • DUANE EELLS AND JAMES PETRUCCI Fox Fine Jewelry, Ventura • Receception: 3/14, 6-8 PM April 11: OPEN STUDIO • Ojai Studio Artists Second Saturday Gallery: OVA Arts, 238 Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA

Studio visits by appointment.


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BY SEAMUS MORRISON “My head’s so full of ruin, my heart’s cold and empty, I’m the dimming of the light behind their eyes, the last train for redemption leaves tonight.” The man wearing a chimney sweep hat vigorously taps his foot as he plays through his set. His reflective lyrics remind me what music is really about: making people aware of why they make art, and why they share their stories with others. Last week, I had the privilege of seeing TD Lind perform. Lind is the grove manager at the Ojai Olive Oil Company, and performs every Wednesday night at the Vine in Ojai, as well as regularly in Ventura and Los Angeles. Growing up on a small farm in Buckinghamshire, England, Tim Arlon, known in the music world as TD Lind, stayed up past his bedtime gazing through the floorboards woven with horsehair, watching his grandfather play piano on the first floor of his childhood home. It was his portal into another world, one 60

he knew he wanted to be part of. His grandfather, Victor Betts, was a swing and stride musician, and, at the time, Lind didn’t consider that style to be much of an influence, but it ended up being one; much of the music that Lind listens to is from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, and the rhythms of the swing era can be heard in his music, with its upbeat tempos and passionate chord progressions. However, the music that Lind plays is more in the realm of Blues. At age 12, Lind was sent to boarding school, where he remained until he was 18. While his teachers lectured, Lind wrote poems and songs in his workbooks. He was never the academic type, and always dabbled in theater and music. But even in music school, Lind wouldn’t do the homework. He couldn’t read music, and would put an original spin on the assigned pieces by playing them in a different key, so the teachers could tell he hadn’t really learned them. Lind was intent on letting his voice shine even OQ / SPRING 2020

through the work of others. After a certain point, his teachers refused to teach him. As a teenager, Lind put together a band and toured across Scotland, Wales and France for two years. He enrolled in the Sorbonne College in Paris with a friend. He took a few classes, but he always had music in his head. At that time, he was reading a lot of Kerouac, Bukowski, Burroughs and Hemingway. He went to Jazz clubs on Monday nights, bought a saxophone, and taught himself to play it in his room. Lind had a pet mouse named Dexter that he kept in his jacket pocket. He would go to the market to buy carrots for Dexter, and put a sock over his head to keep him from coming out. One day at school, the sock popped off, and a girl sitting next to him saw Dexter’s head and screamed. The teacher asked him to leave the class, and Lind defiantly left the college. Lind’s father, Deke Arlon, was a music manager, and worked with Glyn Johns, superstar record producer of such iconic bands as the Eagles, the Who and the Rolling Stones. Lind vividly remembers the time when, as a child, he visited the studio where Johns was working with one of his father’s artists. Johns became

close friends with Deke, and was always available to the family. Record labels wanted Lind to mimic styles of other bands. “They would say, can you sound more like the Black Crowes?” Lind took issue with their demands, as he recalled saying, “Why don’t you sign the Black Crowes?” “The whole point of art is creation, not stealing. There’s a difference between stealing and paying a tribute to. That’s what I wouldn’t agree on, is ‘change yourself.’ I mean, ‘improve yourself ’ would’ve been a different statement. ‘Change yourself,’ eh, but ‘improve yourself,’ I think I would’ve taken that a lot better, because we all need improvement. For branding purposes, you’ve got to create one thing. But life changes constantly. The whole point of being an artist is to try different things.” In 1997, Lind and his band Edenstreet, based in Kentucky where he lived, were signed to A&M Records. They were gaining popularity at the time and were scheduled to be featured on the Conan O’Brien show and the David Letterman show. They went home for Christmas, and got a phone call saying that A&M had been bought by another company: Interscope. The last record they made with A&M would never be released. Lind remained in Kentucky with his band until his visa ran out. After arrival in the UK, it took him awhile to build up the

confidence to return to business in the music industry. He kept writing songs and playing while he worked in pubs, restaurants and as a landscaper, and he had the opportunity to open for James Blunt, the Zombies and Sting. He was signed to Sanctuary records and released two albums: “Let’s Get Lost” and “Call Me Sinner,” both to critical acclaim. The songwriter and record producer Rupert Hine heard his demos and developed an interest. He flew Lind out to LA in 2005 to produce a record that was meant to take six weeks to finish. It ended up taking six months, and Lind just so happened to meet his wife Sarah during that time. Together, they would spend the next decade traveling from England to Los Angeles, where his son Wilder was born, to France, and back to Kentucky. In 2017, Lind played “Gimme More Time,” a record he was working on with his band, for Glyn Johns, who loved it. Two years later, Lind asked Johns to produce him and was shocked when Johns said he had been waiting 25 years for Lind to ask. Both men were thrilled to finally be working together. Screamin’ John and Lind’s latest album, Mr. Little Big Man, was produced by Glyn Johns, and released on Down in the Alley Records. The album has been met with international acclaim and high praise. ‘I was raised on the blues, the boogie woogie too, so I started up a traveling band... well I’ve played thru chicken wire, set a bar on fire, won a fight using only one hand... they call me Mr Little Big Man’ Lind’s music is a surprise for the heart; once you hear it, you think of a man that has been places, and seen the best and the worst of humanity. Themes like travel, love and loss bring that character to his music. “Songs are like a diary, and you use as much or as little artistic license as you want within that song. If you sing it from your personal point of view, it has limitations, whereas if you put it into the life of a character that you make up, the experience can be broader and wilder and weirder… sometimes songs won’t write themselves, but they will lead you down a path that you weren’t expecting to go on.” In Lind’s early career, he went through four different record companies because he felt they were pushing him to be something other than the bluesman he is. The most important thing for Lind has been to discover who he is as an artist, and stay true to that. Lind has spent much of his life searching for the place where he can truly be at home as a musician. Disappointments with record companies led him from Europe and back to the United States three times over. The landscaping he did in England in the nineties proved to be a new way for him to express his artistry, one that makes new room to grow. Living in the beautiful Ojai valley, playing regular gigs and enjoying his best life with family and friends, Lind has found redemption. As Lind would put it, “I wouldn’t change a damn thing.”

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CHAD SMITH artistic director | MAT THIAS PINTSCHER music director

“Ojai, a Musical Utopia.”– New York Times An immersive experience of music, community, and discovery

Single tickets and passes available Ask us about the Free Sunday Concert Finale! | 805 646 2053

Ensemble Intercontemporain | Calder Quartet | LA Phil New Music Group | Tamara Mumford | Della Miles | Andrew Staples 62

OQ / SPRING 2020


Of Resilience & Escapes BY SAMI ZAHRINGER

NANCY HORWICK is a long-time Ojai resident, a former schoolteacher and a respected valley artist of many years whose work may be seen throughout town in — among other places — the OVA Artists store in the Arcade, Poppies Art & Gifts. Nancy reads widely but historical fiction is a great favorite: “Both of my recommendations, while fiction, have a sound basis in historical fact. All three use the device of alternating stories in shifting time frames, which reminds me of the resilience of the human spirit. Living in these trying times, it helps to realize we are not the first to face what may seem like overwhelming odds.” “Where The Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. What It’s All About: The first timeline details the life of an isolated young girl, Kya, “The Marsh Girl,” growing up in North Carolina whose mother has deserted her, whose father is abusive and whose family is disintegrating. The second follows the investigation into the murder of a handsome local celebrity. Misunderstood and discriminated against for her wild, marshland origins, Kya becomes the main suspect. Why It Matters: Based on true events, this Bildungsroman manages to capture the “voice” of Kya — a young second-class citizen — and her struggle to stay true to what she’s been taught in the face of crushing odds. It also presents to the reader some fascinating insights into the past landscapes of American culture. “The Book of Air and Shadows” by Michael Gruber What It’s All About: Jake Mishkin is a lonely and troubled lapsed Catholic intellectual property lawyer, generally assumed to be Jewish-American, despite having a grandfather who served in the SS. He teams up with a young man, Albert Crosetti, who works in an antiquarian bookstore in order to support his studies at NYU film school. Together they hunt for a lost Shakespearean manuscript. Why It Matters: The alternating settings (21st century America and early 17th century England) keep the stories fresh. It is perhaps more technical than “Crawdads,” delving into the intricacies of Shakespearean letters and encrypted diaries, but lively characterizations and twisting subplots keep it all moving, not to mention kidnapping, mystery, thrills, and gun battles.

RAIN PERRY is a popular local folk/rock singer and documentarian. In April she released a well-received song and video called “Vapor” featuring a dozen neighbors who lost their houses to the Thomas Fire. She reads primarily for escape and to open up new worlds to herself. But her favorite escape reads are mysteries and memoirs. “Inferno” by Dan Brown What’s it About? In Dan Brown’s bestselling thriller, a Harvard symbolist races to solve a mystery based on Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Along the way he faces a warped geneticist who, worried about human overpopulation, wants to let loose a human-gamete-eating virus on mankind to cull its numbers, Black Death style. Why It Matters: It addresses the extremes some people are willing to go to in their misguided attempts to re-shape mankind. The rogue geneticist believes Europe’s Black Plague was one of the best things ever to have happened to humanity and that it ushered in the age of the Renaissance. As morally repugnant as his solution is, a brief search of the internet uncovers quarters in which these sorts of ideas have currency. The counter to this argument in the novel comes from a doctor called Sienna.“We as humans have a moral obligation to participate in our evolutionary process . . . to use our technology to advance the species, to create better humans — healthier, stronger, with higher-functioning brains. Everything will soon be possible.” “I Never Met a Story I Didn’t Like: Mostly True Tall Tales” by Todd Snider What it’s About: Todd Snider is an American country-folk singer in the vein of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and John Prine. This memoir catalogues his wild times on the road, his friendship with Prine, and his struggles with drugs and alcohol. Why it Matters: Snider is part storyteller, part performer, and part stand-up comedian and this memoir is for more than just fans of his work. He’s as much Will Rogers as he his Bob Dylan and it all works into a very particular flavor of Americana. It’s humorous, poignant, self-deprecating, and anecdotal; sharp, sweet, and rich, like key lime pie. Reading this book tells you as much about America as it does about Snider. OQ / SPRING 2020



instruments and a group of world-class producers, songwriters, musicians, and sound designers buzz with creative energy as they work on songs for an eagerly-awaited album from an emerging independent artist, one which falls into a uniquely Ojai genre.

It’s happening on a relatively quiet street, aside from the exuberant giggles of a child, in Meiners Oaks. Isla is the wily giggling golden child of four years, and despite her favorite morning routine of perusing the sleeves of her dad’s favorite albums (this morning it’s Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger,”) the depth of what’s happening in her own backyard is mostly lost on the pint-sized music lover. A stone’s throw away, a soundproof door open to reveal a pulsing, creative world from inside the repurposed garage. A jungle of

These horticulturists of song call themselves Echo Magic. In their own words, they’re “a collective, a recording studio, a house band, a creative think tank,” and — quite simply — friends obsessed with creating music and sound. Their goal is simple: facilitate artists in pure expression. “The act of making records, writing songs, of expressing and being fully seen as yourself — apart from the (music) business — is one of the most profoundly transformational things you can do,” says Erin Sydney, songwriter, drummer, producer, and one of the four pivotal members of the Echo Magic collective. “We want to disinfect an artist’s experience in the music industry and re-invigorate it.”

fresh crop of musical talent is taking root in the Valley of the Moon. Homegrown players melding with escaped billboard artists, weary of the industry rat race, have found fertile ground together — composting the highs and lows of their convergent musical careers into a rich creative soil. They’re getting back to the garden — the exhilaration of pure expression and the lost art of making great records.


Echo Magic: Back


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Echo Magic, whose other members include Scott Hirsch (Hiss Golden Messenger), Daniel Wright (Radio Skies), and Brendan Willing James, offer a holistic, collaborative approach for artists looking to bring creative vision to life through sound. Their process requires a certain vulnerability of its participants; a sort of “hold on to your Truth” methodology, so prevalent in the community they’ve chosen to work and raise their families. The producers — all of whom are accomplished artists themselves — hold space for playful experimentation balanced with empathic insight, breaking for walks in Matilija Canyon and a home-cooked meal, before entering back into the creative feedback loop. What eventually emerges in their echo chamber is the “emotional resonance” of a piece — what the group believes to be the essence of any great work of art. Everything else is informed by and takes shape around that frequency. “Our vision is to make a few really special records every year, that have some long lasting imprint … a real contribution to the music world we all get so much from,” says Daniel Wright.

The collective’s debut is coming Spring 2020 from artist Brendan Willing James, whose seedling demos were transformed via Echo Magic into a vibrant aural tapestry of cuttingly honest poetry, addictive melody, and exploratory instrumentals by the EM family band, featuring their extended musical family (in this case Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen, Jesse Siebenberg, and horns from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Karl Hunter and Andy Rowley). The experience was so rewarding for all involved that James was invited in as a permanent fixture of the EM team, offering his clients the benefit of both his musical guidance and design firm, assisting in content creation, album art and video production to support the release of Echo Magic-made records into the great wide open. As they find their home in music making, Ojai looks more and more welcoming. A hearty musical soup spanning genre, gender and generation percolates on medium heat, bubbling up in “listening rooms” like Ojai Arts Exchange and Greater Goods. These spaces offer an active listening experience — one in which storytelling and sound, rather than cocktails, are front and center. Echo Magic curates a handful of these con-

ck to the Garden STORY BY DARON HOPE • PHOTO ON LEFT CREDITED TO ECHO MAGIC GROUP PHOTO BY MARC ALT certs, blending together evenings of incredible local talent with visiting Echo Magicians, busy by day in their studios. Vaughn Montgomery, the director of Greater Goods (its own warm and funky community art space, coined “Ojai’s living room”) shares this about the current music scene: “Some of what pleases me most in regard to concerts at Greater Goods is the pairing of local artists with touring ones and watching new connections being made, or old connections being strengthened. The guys who make up Echo Magic very much live up to their name. They’ve brought amazing artists like Kelly McFarling, Mia Dyson, and Greg Loiacono to the space, often playing both lead and

supporting roles on the same night. They also do a great job of rallying friends to come out, which is a big help both to Greater Goods and for the out-of-town (artists).” He says, “I hope that support for these kinds of places will continue to grow. At a time when overwhelming heaps of information and potential doom are regularly being broadcast, it seems important to have analog spaces where we can connect with neighbors and share in the gift of live music. Though I’m consistently amazed with the variety of high-quality offerings going on around town, I also think there’s much in the way of untapped potential.” The Echo Magic crew is tapping into its gifts and tuning out the static of an outdated paradigm that exploits artists and requires that great musicians starve. As the fruits of artists’ deep-diving, gut-wrenching, soul-searching work comes to harvest, Echo Magic is there, preserving the joy on vinyl. Says Daniel, “We’re finding a life that we all want, that we all came here for.” 

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In the year 2020, there is absolute peace in the universe. No stars collapse. You can sleep through the night without waking up to scroll Instagram. No one is turned away for lack of funds. Everyone learns how to grow their own food. Natural resources are protected. Bicycles overtake cars. Public transportation is free. Every business is a worker-owned cooperative. Everyone feels safe. “Self-care” is a mandatory course at colleges. Environmentalists are seated on City Councils. Healers are paid a living wage. Everyone is an artist. We can shape the world we want to live in with a shift in consciousness. When things are seemingly out of our control, we can hold psychic space. But what is spirituality and do we really need it to thrive? The definition of spirituality, since its inception, has evolved. It’s like an adaptogen that gives us what we need in a particular moment when called upon. Wikipedia describes it as the “deepest values and meanings by which people live, a quest for an ultimate or sacred meaning, and an encounter with one’s own inner dimension.” The Valley of the Moon’s geography is endemic to its spiritual vortex. Quartz, known to amplify energies, is embedded in our transverse mountain ranges compounded in layers of Matilija sandstone; the sulphuric springs dotted along the Maricopa Highway are vitamin baths providing sacred healing; our contemplative “Pink Moment” at sunset stops us in our tracks; varietals of medicinal plants sprout up in the canyon where there is stress; the gift of the Channel Islands, referred to as the “North American Galapagos” is home to more than 150 species endemic to the islands Whether you are spiritual or not, by default of living here, one inhabits its aura. The vibrations can be channeled by its people. Chumash elder, Julie Tumamaite-stenslie, tells the story about how “Hutash, the Earth Mother,” created the first Chumash people on the island of “Limuw,” known today as Santa Cruz island. They thrived there until it became overpopulated, so Hutash created a rainbow bridge for them to cross over to 68

Carpinteria and eventually migrated over to the valley. Her story is available on the Channel Islands National Park website. Ojai has enchanted its visitors, who most often end up laying roots here because they want to find peace and manifest their own spiritual connections. This spirituality can take shape visibly in creative acts. Like Krishnamurti who came here in 1922, influencing artists like Beatrice Wood, the “Mama of Dada” and Indra Devi, the “Mother of Modern Yoga.”

AS THE FACE OF OJAI IS CHANGING RAPIDLY, IT IS FINDING ITS VOICE AS A CONTEMPORARY COMMUNITY. Several artistic platforms have become safe and supportive places to showcase works. Greater Goods, known as “Ojai’s Living Room,” is a nonprofit space that hosts documentary film workshops, sharing circles for discussion, open-mic comedy and is open to just about anything that’s good for community-building.  Basic Premise Gallery programs art events, classes and happenings that are free to the public alongside their fine art exhibitions. Harvest Moon Cafe opens its doors in the evening for dance parties in its side room and acoustic music can be found in its courtyard. The parking lot adjacent to it, has transformed into a stage activated with poetry readings and children singing and playing guitar for the first time in front of friends and peers. The Ojai Valley Brewery offers its locally foraged, intensely knowledgeable and delicious beers at an affordable price in a beer garden in Libbey Park supporting local causes. California Solar Electric company produced its first music festival at a campsite off of Creek Road, curating night-time ambient electronic performances while people lie on bean bags in a hexagonal room decorated with an altar made by local artists, Joel Fox and Jennifer Jordan Day.  Repurposing spaces inspires surprising ways to gathering. OQ / SPRING 2020

RIT IN ACTION Screenwriters hole up here to try new things. The Oscar-winning film, “Green Book (2018)” was written in a little cottage in Ojai by renowned director, Peter Farrelly and his co-writers, Brian Hayes Currie and Nick Vallelonga. The director was previously known for his quirkier movies like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Something About Mary,” but it was Ojai that gave him the space to write a film that went on to win the accolades of Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor at the Oscars. In the lineage of Beatrice Wood, artisans take time for making pottery outdoors. Local artisan Mark Churchill has not only bestowed us with iconic cups that say, “Keep Ojai Lame” and my favorite, “I Believe Anita Hill,” but also takes on youth apprentices who continue to experiment with this passion of throwing clay into fire.

ENTREPRENEURS OPEN UP SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS HERE BECAUSE WE ARE TOO SMALL TO FAIL. Folks can pull things together through friends that donate their sweat equity to the cause. It’s this kind of versatility, support and openness that makes Ojai an incubator for trying new things that feel genuine and connected.

WHAT GOOD IS SPIRITUALITY IF WE’RE JUST STUCK IN OUR HEADS AND IN OUR HOMES ALONE IN REST POSE? In the book, “Braiding Sweetgrass,” we learn that out of all the animals, humans are blessed with the gift of storytelling. It can empower us, connect us to others and spark the imagination. Kim Maxwell directs an incredible writing workshop and hosts a night of spoken monologues. It’s an impressive range of shared works by locals that emote all the feels from hilarity to tears. It gives us validation that even the slightest instances that we question, can

be significant and heard. Stories don’t always have to be serious or dramatic. As varied as films, podcasts or stand-up comedy, what we have to share and how we share that, reflects our complexities and sophistication as well as our performance chops and comedic lightness. We are all here writing the next chapter of our lives.  To process some of these experiences, Ojai offers an escape from all the pressures built up from daily life. Intentional immersion in natural places — and specifically hiking long distances on trails through wilderness areas — can be interpreted as a form of modern pilgrimage in which people temporarily disengage from their daily life activities, enter a liminal period of attempting to complete a journey for personal reasons, and then re-enter the outside world, often with a changed perspective as a result of spiritual or personal growth gained during the experience. “All that is necessary to make any landscape visible and therefore impressive is to regard it from a new point of view, or from the old one with our heads upside down. Then we behold a new heaven and earth and are born again, as if we had gone on a pilgrimage to some far-off holy land,” said John Muir, one of the world’s most renowned naturalists and preservationists. By simply breathing, navigating and feeling present in nature, one can slow down reactions, allowing anger to dissipate. According to “All Trails,” there are 58 trails in Ojai from Portrero John Creek to Rose Valley Falls, Cozy Dell to Gridley, and you can bet that there are some spiritual seekers out there.

SCIENTIFICALLY, SOIL HAS MICROBES THAT CAN STIMULATE SEROTONIN PRODUCTION, WHICH IN TURN MAKES US HAPPIER AND MORE RELAXED. There are people who practice geophagia, eating dirt to detoxify and find relief from stomachaches. The practice was first mentioned by Hippocrates and in European medical texts from the

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16th and 17th centuries. For all of us non-dirt eaters, events like the Annual Seed Swap in Ojai can encourage us to get up close and personal to dirt as amateur gardeners. Placing one’s hands in soil can be felt as a spiritual gesture, reconnecting us to land and our roles as caretakers of Mother Earth. It’s a miraculous event to witness your own plants create food. The spirit of a gift economy at the seed swap encourages people to plant for the first time and, because the seeds are local, you know that they’ll grow here. If you’re a mysophobe, you can always just look up at the sky to find relief.  Spirituality can also be found in a gift economy. Before currency took such great importance, people traded milk for fabric, flowers for chocolate, beads and shells for baskets. Here at the Ojai Farmer’s Market, you can witness a bartering among vendors. You can also work trade at some properties in exchange for shelter. The spirit of exchange is one that began with tribes and tradesman, and between people who practiced communal living. At the root of spirituality is spirit. Whether it takes the form of worshipping an ancient deity or a selfless gesture, spirituality is the call to help others. Living in Ojai is a step towards disconnecting from the rest of the world, and can be a wonderful place to connect to self and community. People have said that when they moved to Los Angeles, they weren’t sure who their real friends were. In Ojai, everyone eventually knows your name. This place can act as a mirror to who you are at this very moment. Spirituality finds itself in every facet of life. It can become a cliché of crystals and incense, but what guides us is already here. If we aren’t bogged down with ornamentation, a simple smile, letting someone turn into your lane or not having negative thoughts can be very powerful. We are all on this path to find one’s self but altruistic service generates love like a limitless miracle. Self-care, being a little bit softer, the spirit can move through these channels easier. When asked what my friend Ron Finley, the “Gangster GardenOQ / SPRING 2020

er” does for a living, he simply replies, “I breathe.” Breathing is the key to recharging our cells, stimulating the immune system and letting stress move through us. We all breathe and that is the start to this thing called meditation, to prayer and chanting. When a little girl in Kerala, India named Mata Amritanandamayi began to help others selflessly, this is when she was named, Amma, meaning mother. Thousands line up to receive a hug and spirit water from her when she arrives in Los Angeles, but it is her selfless work to help others that drives us to donate to her causes. We know that our spirituality has deepened because we want to give. When we give to others freely, that is when our community is strongest. We can all breathe, stretch and go to yoga but the act of dharma, or duty, is the true calling that sees our meditation activated. As we receive our ballots in the mail, may we check a box for, not the person that we relate most to or admire, but the one who aligns with our heart space and gives us hope. There are three hearts carved into a sign on the grade to Upper Ojai where people stop to admire the view of the Ojai Valley. Next to the hearts, are the words, “We Rise Together.” It was an unsanctioned act by a group of people who took it to their own hearts to help people in time of dire need. No one gave them permission. It is exactly this sentiment that makes the Ojai Valley special. Amma’s work began in India where she was scolded for

giving away family items to others in need. Giving hugs to men suffering when women traditionally weren’t allowed to come near them. Like Jesus, who was also seen as controversial in his time, sometimes our acts of defiance are necessary to shift the consciousness in bleak times. Amma says that love expressed is compassion, and compassion means accepting the needs and sorrows of others as one’s own. There is hope for our future if we can befriend ourselves, be kind to each other and take care of the earth for our children. Ojai leads by example as a place for spirit in action. Not only on Fridays in front of the Arcade, when we honk for our community, but every time we show up for one another.

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OQ | V I S UAL ARTI STS Perhaps it was potter and “the Mama of Dada” Beatrice Wood’s influence, going back nearly 90 years. Maybe it even goes back further, to the Chumash people’s ingenious and astounding artistry with basketry. It’s clear that Ojai has long been a haven for artists. The natural beauty framed so well by the long arc and lush light of an east-west valley lends itself to artistic pursuits, as does the leisurely pace of life, the sturdy social fabric of a vibrant community and the abundant affection and respect for artists and their acts of creation.


Mysterious equations of abstraction, nature, architecture, and illumination rolled into the stillness and clarity of singular, psychological moments. “Thought Form #1: Clearing.” Oil on canvas, 48” x 36.” Contact: or visit 323-806-7995


Photojournalist and editorial photographer, specializing in portraits, western landscapes and travel. 805-646-6263 798-1026 cell

clear glass with kilnfired enamels, mapping unpredictable rhythms of thought. Custom commissions for art & architecture welcome. SusanAmend@pobox. com She is also on Facebook.


DUANE EELLS In his portrait commissions, Eells captures the essence of those he paints. His paintings are about empathy and connections. Bold strokes are tempered with classical drawing principles. Visit 805-633-0055

Painter and Printmaker of People, Places and Things. Media: oil on canvas and printers’ ink on paper. 805-646-8877




is an artist who expresses herself in two strikingly different mediums: soft pastel and rich encaustic. 805-649-3050

Original Landscape, Figure & Portrait Paintings in Oil. Ojai Design Center Gallery. 111 W Topa Topa Street. marc@whitman-architect. com. Open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Intuitive, visionary artist, inspired by her dreams and meditations. It is “all about the Light.” Her work may be seen at Frameworks of Ojai, 236 West Ojai Ave, where she has her studio. 805-6403601




Inspired by medieval chain mail — stainless jewelry, scarves, purses, belts and wearable metal clothing. 805-646-4877

Original botanical paintings: birds and insects, scenes of cottages and gates inspired by Ojai and travels. Watercolor+Ink and Acrylic. Paintings, Cards, Prints at Poppies, 323 East Matilija Street



Working in acrylic and mixed media, Mary Neville builds her large scale canvases into rich layers where there’s much more than meets the eye. For more information about the the studio go to: www. 805-798-4269

Rich oils and lush pastel paintings from Nationally awarded local artist. 805-895-9642

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40+ LOCAL artists with a unique selection of contemporary fine arts, jewelry and crafts. 238 East Ojai Ave 805-646-5682 Daily 10 am – 6 pm


Firestick Pottery provides classes, studio/kiln space and a gallery abundant with fine ceramics. 1804 East Ojai Avenue. Open from 10 am to 6 pm every day but Tuesday. 805-272-8760


Featuring local artists, including William Prosser and Ted Campos. American-made gifts and cards, crystals, new and vintage goods. 304 North Montgomery 805-640-1656


An arts destination for 43 years! Featuring a colorful, diverse, often whimsical collection of hand-made furniture, art, jewelry, glass, clothing and sculpture. 246 East Ojai Avenue. 805-646-1525


A non-profit exhibition space showing paintings and drawings from the 20th century and earlier in thematic and single artist exhibits. Hours: Thursday – Sunday noon – 5pm 311 North Montgomery Street


Contemporary Art in a Historic House. 310 East Matilija Avenue 805-620-7589 IG: PorchGalleryOjai


Working with reclaimed, organic, local materials such as bones, clay and drawing on fabric and newsprint. “Datura / Kanye” (2019)

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POPPIES ART & GIFTS You haven’t seen Ojai until you visit us! Local art of all types, unusual gifts, Ojai goods! Open daily 10-6. Closed Tues. 323 Matilija Street


Plein air landscapes, figures and portraits in oil by nationally-acclaimed artist Dan Schultz.  106 North Signal Street | 805-317-9634


Exquisitely handcrafted bags. 305-G East Ojai Avenue New Location! 805-798-2221



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Ojai’s sweet spot

The Mixologists Who Are Shaking Up the Ojai Experience

Research Pays Off For Gelateria Makers on Bryant Street




oq wine map

Eggrolls & Sweet-and-Sour Sauce: Vegan Deliciousness

Local Wineries, Breweries & Tasting Rooms OQ / SPRING 2020


Ojai Cafe Emporium Ojai’s favorite gathering and eating place for over 30 years.

Voted Best Bakery, Breakfast & Lunch Place ‘10 ‘11 ‘12 ‘13 ‘14 ‘15 ‘16

805 646 2723

108 S. Montgomery Street / off Ojai Ave BREAKFAST Served All Day Every Day LUNCH Served Daily11am-3pm BAKERY & COFFEE BAR Open Daily 6:30am-3pm 76

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Imagine a platinum blonde in a white, satin slip dress sitting on a bar stool in an Erté art deco cocktail lounge sipping a gin martini as her tuxed-up companion savors a Rob Roy. Down the street in a seedy, dark saloon, hardboiled gangsters and hardnosed cops in felt hats slug back amber whiskey cocktails in stemless glasses. Images of a bygone era… a Manhattan nightlife steeped in cocktails and mystery. Back in the day, bartenders across the country served up Highballs and Manhattans, Old-Fashioneds and Brandy Alexanders, Gibsons and Gimlets. But, who created these drinks? Some mad scientist in a cocktail lab pouring liquids into beakers as smoke wafts out into the air? Nope. Mixologists… those with a passion for combining elixirs to create new drinks. Now, almost a century later, a new breed of mixologists are mixing things up, and Ojai has some great ones adding their skills to this modern-day cocktail renaissance. Whitney Page has worked for years in the restaurant/bar business — from server to hostess to bartender. A single mom, she writes music, sings and dances, and moved from LA/Ventura to Ojai to raise her children. As bartender and mixologist for Sage Restaurant, her drink creations have become another artistic outlet. Her “Get Toasted” is a cross between a white Russian and a s’more with house-made Cacao, St. George Coffee liqueur, coconut cream, Graham crackers and a toasted vegan marshmallow. 78


Who needs a campfire? Whitney changes her drink menu with the seasons, serving lighter drinks in the summer and heavier drinks in winter. “Winter in New York” is served hot with house-made spiced cider, Henry McKenna whiskey and Sage’s house red wine. A shoutout to Ojai is Whitney’s “Lavender & Velvet” made with Ventura Spirits’ own Wilder Gin, organic lemon juice and Sage’s housemade lavender tonic. This drink promises to leave you feeling rejuvenated and in the pink for more than a moment. The Sage lounge lends itself to a unique speakeasy feeling, hinting of intrigue and mystery with its hand-painted floor and Far East art. Think beaded curtains and exotic women dressed in tight brocade sheaths and men wearing turbans. It’s a great place to meet a friend or lover for a drink. Sage hopes to have the bar/ lounge open till midnight in a few months, for an after theater or concert night cap… or a clandestine tete a tete. Over at the Ranch House, Zandra Lilly, daughter of Ojai artists Zuben and Shahastra Levy, is a mom, musician, bartender and mixologist. She’s worked in the restaurant business for some years, including a gig at Ojai Harvest, but found her creative “calling” when she began working at the Ranch House, known for its signature champagne cocktail made with champagne, orange bitters, verbena leaf and fresh lemon peel, and its lavender martini, made with Empress gin. OQ / SPRING 2020


Zandra has expanded on this drink menu, often adding new seasonal “garden to glass” cocktails. “Ojai Traffic” is made with 33 Bourbon, mint fernet and fresh mint from the restaurant’s garden. The “New Fashioned” is another bourbon drink with cube sugar, orange bitters, muddled cherries and Ojai pixes, topped with a roasted orange peel. To complement the Ranch House’s “Zodiac” vegan prix fixe menu, Zandra creates cocktails for each Zodiac sign, including her “Slow & Low, Rock & Rye” cocktail with rock candy, navel orange, raw honey and bitters. She also creates non-alcoholic cocktails such as her twist on a whiskey sour made with distilled Seedlip Garden 108 Herbal, lemon and lime juice, egg white and rosemary. The Ranch House plans to open its cocktail lounge for happy hour in the spring with a lounge food/non-prix fixe menu where you can try one of Zandra’s creations and have a nibble or two. The Wallace Neff Heritage Bar at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a favorite watering hole for Ojaians and tourists alike. It’s a stunning art deco lounge with a long bar and comfy seating areas. That platinum blonde in the satin slip dress and her tuxed-up companion would be right at home, sipping one of the bar’s signature drinks created by mixologist Sam Gay. But, this is 2020 Ojai where casual jeans and yoga pants rule the resort zeitgeist. There’s also a new mixologist at the Neff bar who’s mixing up some creations of her own. Amanda Lee grew up in Palmdale and, after turning 21, went to work behind the bar, eventually

ending up as the drink curator at The Tavern in Ventura. Since joining the Neff bar team, she has donned a virtual lab coat to invent new ways to mix whiskeys and fresh Ojai flavors. A fan of Mezcal, her recent creation is “Paloma,” a salted, half-rimmed drink made with Alipus Mezcal (the agave plant is smoked before making the Mezcal), equal parts grapefruit and lime juice, simple syrup and egg white. A frothy and smoky mixture for Mezcal lovers. Older, signature cocktail favorites include “Easy A,” named after the movie shot here in Ojai. It’s a play on a “Negroni,” with its blend of Ventura Spirits’ Wilder Gin, Aperol, Chamomile Infused Vermouth and cardamom bitters. For vodka lovers there’s “Neff ’s Nectar:” Hendry’s Vodka from Santa Barbara, grapefruit and lemon juices, local sage and honey syrup (tastes of Ojai), and Angostura Bitters. It goes down easy, and gets an A+. The most popular Neff signature drink is “Smokey & The Bandit” a shout out to another movie filmed in Ojai. This smoking (literally) drink mixes the flavors of the Ojai Valley Inn’s private label Whistle Pig Rye, Jerry Thomas Bitters and Cinnamon Smoke poured over ice stamped with the word Ojai. Watching the smoke fill the crystal liquor decanter is akin to a science experiment created in the “beaker” of the house. It really is smokin’ good. Next time you’re in the mood for a cocktail drop in on these “maids of the mix” and try a concoction from these three women who have certainly passed the bar in creative mixology.

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healthy food

Sage features local, organic and sustainably-farmed ingredients, craft cocktails, artisan beer & wine and powerful elixirs. Come enjoy our globally-inspired menu in three distinct dining areas serving lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and late night happy hours.

Streetside counter & ELIXIR BAR

Patio under under the Sycamores

hip & cozy Sage Lounge



217 E Matilija St.


(805) 646-9204




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Ojai is a well-known destination for transformation and healing, but how often does that journey involve dessert? When Sanders Marvin, founder of Sanders & Sons Gelato, a new, local, small-batch gelato company in town, underwent his own life changes, his priority was his three sons. A former aerospace and medical device manufacturer, it took him a while to find his footing after the family moved to Ojai, almost nine years ago.

Inspiration struck when Sanders and his sons were unexpectedly forced to extend a family trip to New York City. Because it was unplanned, they found themselves stuck in a tiny airbnb studio in Manhattan with nothing to do. He knew it wouldn’t be long before the boys got restless and rather than wait for tensions to rise, Sanders took them on a city-wide ice cream crawl.

“Nobody smiles when you deliver a wing spar,” Sanders (his first name) says, wandering through what will be his first brick-andmortar gelateria, located just off the Eastern end of the arcade, next to Bonnie Lu’s and across from Ojai Pizza. “I wanted to do something that would make people smile, but at the same time, I was worried that I might need to leave the valley in order to make a living. The most important thing was staying close to my boys,” he says, “so I started searching for something they could do with me.”

Over the coming days, Sanders and his sons visited every ice cream shop they could find in the five boroughs, often ordering everything on the menu. They compared flavors, toppings, presentation and pricing. By the time they returned home to Ojai, a plan had started to form: “Ice cream has always been a serious business in our family,” Sanders says, “so why not make a business out of it?” Sanders imagined a small scoop shop in the Arcade, with some outdoor seating, where Ojaians and visitors of all ages could enjoy a wholesome, made-from-scratch treat, but

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83 Sanders & Sons Gelateria 334 Ojai Avenue, Ojai 93023 Projected opening: May 2020 he assumed the cost would be prohibitive and worried that even if a rare spot opened up, it would likely be snapped up by someone from out of town. Instead, Sanders focused on getting the wholesale lab, a state-of-the-art certified dairy in Bryant Circle, permitted and built. The family is originally from Minnesota, and despite what one might assume, ice cream is popular there yearround — in fact, Sanders’ first job in high school was scooping at Sebastian Joe’s, a Minneapolis institution. Ice cream seemed like the natural choice. Soon enough, howeer, he realized that gelato is better suited to Ojai’s rich produce and climate.

The differences between ice cream and gelato are both minute and enormous: ice cream is served frozen and hard.

It is eaten with your teeth. Gelato is softer, easy to eat with your lips. Also, gelato is lower in fat than ice cream and has less air whipped into it, which means gelato is higher in flavor, creamier and more dense, so we tend to be satisfied with less. “Gelato is as much a science as it is an art,” Sanders specifies, “the 84

flavors need to be balanced, the texture soft and silky. Icy gelato won’t do.” He traveled to the Carpigiani Master Gelatiere course in Bologna, Italy, to perfect his skills. Once back from Italy, he connected with a local business partner who shared his vision, and embarked on the research and development phase of Sanders & Sons’ flavors. From Valrhona chocolate to Cereal Milk, from Serendipitous Strawberry to a crisp, mezcal-based sorbetto he named Pinche Gringo, Sanders delivered pints all over Ojai. He requested feedback and friends were happy to oblige. Often they would open their front doors before he rang the doorbell, partly because they were excited about the gelato, and partly because the blue 1987 Vanagon in which he delivered it is hard to miss. The boys were, of course, his best customers as well as his most honest critics; on average, his sons devoured at least two pints of gelato a day. They also learned to measure, blend, and serve it. Their friends loved to stop by for a bowl. Sometimes kids showed up even when the boys weren’t home, blushingly admitting they were there for the gelato. One evening, a female friend called begging for Cheeky Chocolate, an indulgent, OQ / SPRING 2020

“One thing I’ve learned in the last six years is that you never know. One day, you think you’re going in one direction, and the next you’re heading down a path you had no idea existed.”

vegan flavor that combines three different cacao sources. “It’s all I can think of,” she declared, “You have to call it the PMS special. “With the lab close to completion, Sanders had started reaching out to the restaurant community when, fortuitously — as often happens in Ojai — the perfect location fell into his lap. “It was exactly where I originally hoped I might open the first Sanders & Sons shop, but I didn’t think it would happen so soon,” he says, watching workmen adjust wooden beams outside the gelateria. “One thing I’ve learned in the last six years is that you never know. One day, you think you’re going in one direction, and the next you’re heading down a path you had no idea existed.” The gelateria, truly a family affair, will feature dairy and nondairy, rotating seasonal flavors as well as constant staples like Beacon Espresso, Follow your Passionfruit and the kids’ favorites. Earl, the oldest, is a fan of Creamsicle, a unique blend of Pixie and raspberry in a creamy, white base. Hayes, Sanders’ second son, is partial to Topa Topa Tin Roof, a recomposed sundae complete with chocolate-covered peanuts and a fudge ripple. Quinn, the youngest, likes Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

Vida, whom Sanders refers to as his “bonus daughter,” and who has since joined the team, loves Vanilla so much, it was renamed Vida’s Vanilla in her honor.

One Sunday a month will be designated “grandparent day” where grandparents who come in with their grandchildren will eat free. Pints and ice cream cakes will be available for purchase, as well as catering. Sanders is meticulous about sourcing ingredients as locally and organically as possible. “I can honestly say this is something I wanted for my own kids, but also for my community,” he says. When asked about all he has learned in the last few years, Sanders smiles, “There is a lot of talk about self-care in this town. It’s such a vague and wonderful notion that can take on many forms. I count gelato as part of that too. The look on people’s faces — it doesn’t matter whether they are six years old or sixty, everyone is happy when they get handed a beautiful scoop of fresh gelato.”

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P F o

Love is greater than everything.

205 Nor t h Signal Street LoveSo cialCafe. co m


Dail y 7am -2pm Mo b ile Orders

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Photo by Fran Hogan on Unsplash





These vegan egg rolls are easy to prepare and explode with flavor when eaten. As an added bonus, the sweet and sour sauce is also vegan and ready for dipping in about ten minutes. Randy Graham is a writer, author, and private chef. He enjoys cooking for friends and family using ingredients from backyard vegetable and herb gardens. His food is often called “vegetarian comfort food.” He and his wife, Robin, live in Ojai, California, with their dog, Willow. Robin and Willow are not vegetarians.

INGREDIENTS: FILLING 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin 1 onion, sliced thin 2 carrots, cut into thin sticks, 2 inches long 4 leaves of cabbage, slice into ribbons 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 2 tablespoons tamari sauce 6 sheets of egg roll wrappers Water SWEET-AND-SOUR SAUCE 2 Tablespoons ketchup 2 teaspoons tamari sauce 4 tablespoons rice vinegar 1/2 cup agave syrup 2/3rd cup water

DIRECTIONS: Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, cabbage, ginger and tamari sauce. Cook for about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Place a wrapper on a cutting board and place two tablespoons of filling near one corner. Tightly roll the wrapper, fold over the left side, fold over the right side, brush a little water along the edge and close it up tightly. Do the same for the other seven wrappers. Add plenty of extra virgin-olive oil in the skillet on medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the egg rolls and cook for about 30 seconds and each side or until golden brown. Remove the rolls from the pan and place them on the cutting board. Cut them in half and bring them to the table on a large platter. Mix ketchup, tamari, vinegar, and agave syrup in a small mixing bowl. Dissolve the cornstarch in water. Stir into ketchup mixture. Cook the mixture in a saucepan over high heat until it just begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until it thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat so the sauce can cool to room temperature. Pour into small, individual dipping bowls and bring to the table along with the egg rolls.

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Celebrating 32 Years Breakfast



Open Daily 8 am to 10 pm (Call for summer hours) Home of the $2.50 Mimosas and $4 Bloody Marys and Margaritas. All Day, Everyday.

Sea FreSh SeaFood

Restaurant, Sushi Bar and Fresh Fish Market



• 533 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai

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For over 60 wineries & 250 wines, more than 35 craft brews, Lakefront VIP Lounge with Hors d’oeuvres, a selection of local restaurants, fine artisan vendors, silent auction, fine crystal souvenir wine glass, free boat rides and all-day entertainment!

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OQ | OJA I W I NE MA P CASA BARRANCA ORGANIC WINERY & TASTING ROOM Historic Downtown Arcade. Stop by and relax in Casa Barranca’s Craftsman style-designed tasting room. Taste our award-winning wines made with organically grown grapes, also our USDA certified wines containing no added sulfites! Join our Wine Club!. 208 East Ojai Avenue, 805-640-1255. OPEN DAILY: Sunday — Thursday 1 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday until 1-7 p.m. or

VENTURA SPIRITS Ventura Spirits is a California Craft Distillery specializing in distilled spirits inspired by the native and cultivated flora of California’s Central Coast. We offer distillery tours and tastings of our award winning spirits in our new onsite tasting room. For more information or to contact us please visit:, email to: info@ or call us at: (805) 232-4313

TOPA MOUNTAIN WINERY Topa Mountain Winery offers handcrafted wines made from grapes grown on its estate in upper Ojai and sourced from other premium vineyards in the region. Located on two acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, Topa Mountain Winery has been voted Ventura County’s best Tasting Room two years in a row, is family and dog friendly and offers live music every Saturday and Sunday.

OJAI OLIVE OIL Ojai’s no. 1 rated visitor experience, our Olive Mill & Tasting Room is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for free tastings and shopping. We also offer free guided tours on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Visit an organic family permaculture farm and learn everything about extra virgin oil. We also have balsamic vinegars, olive trees, skin care products and more. No reservations required, pets welcome. 1811 Ladera Road ,, 805-646-5964.

BOCCALI VINEYARDS & WINERY is a family-owned and operated winery located in the scenic Upper Ojai Valley. Father and son winemakers DeWayne and Joe Boccali are the driving forces behind the label. Boccali Vineyards produces 100 percent estate wines; grown, produced and bottled at Boccali Ranch. Visit us in Ojai’s East End on weekends for a tasting at 3277 East Ojai Avenue in Ojai. Visit us on the web at


OLD CREEK RANCH WINERY Old Creek Ranch Winery is Ventura County’s only rural winery situated on an 850-acre ranch in the Ojai Valley. A tasting room as well as lawns and guest areas with handcrafted chairs and couches, surrounded by lush landscaping, have been designed for relaxing and enjoying fine wines. Pack a picnic, gather up the kids and dog, and head to the Ranch! A selection of 25+ red and white varietals are available for wine tastings and purchase. Check for a schedule of live music and food trucks. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Located at 10024 Old Creek Road, Ventura, CA 93001. 805-649-4132. OQ / SPRING 2020

MAJESTIC OAK VINEYARD Hidden in the stunning Ojai Valley, the Majestic Oak Vineyard is deeply rooted on land our family has held for decades. As fifth generation Ojai-ans, we had a dream of bringing you the quintessential Ojai experience — something as beautiful and unique as the Valley itself. We believe a great bottle of wine represents the hard work that goes into it. From the land, to our hands, to your table, we are proud to offer you our labor of love. We invite you to be part of our legacy. 321 East Ojai Avenue (downstairs), 805-794-0272,

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OJAI ALISAL’S handcrafted wines are made only with grapes we grow in Upper Ojai. We grow Syrah, Grenache, Malbec and Viognier in our beautiful vineyards dotted with California walnuts and sycamores (or Alisal in Spanish), bringing the spirit of the Rhone region to California. Please visit our Weekend Tasting Room at Azu Restaurant, 457 East Ojai Ave, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m.. For more information 805-640-7987 or online at and



JES MAHARRY Artisan and famed Sundance jeweler Jes MaHarry has teamed with her sister Wendy MaHarry to create the perfect space for their magical creations. Walk into the boutique and you will instantly feel surrounded by beauty. 316 East Ojai Avenue 877.728.5537



Ojai’s most interesting and eclectic contemporary jewelry by nationally known artists, plus exciting new ideas for custom designed wedding rings by owner and resident jeweler Hallie Katz. 246 E Ojai Avenue. 805.646.1525


Hand forged jewelry inspired by nature and brought to life with old world techniques. Customize an extraordinary piece for everyday use or special occasions such as engagements and anniversaries. 432 E Main Street, Ventura 805.652.0484



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106 Hidden History The Chavez Family & The Origins of Ojai By Mark Lewis



Small Town, Big Lives


Living the American Dream in Ojai’s Front Yard By Robin Gerber

Street Map & Landmark Businesses

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2144-2150 BALDWIN ROAD OJAI Private Estate 85 plus acres 6 legal parcels $5,000,000

1615 McNELL Casual Farm House in Ojai's East End. This open floor-plan includes a great room with vaulted and beamed ceilings and a massive rock fireplace, and an open kitchen with custom mahogany cabinets.$1,800,000.


CLDRE 01173283 In the Real Estate Industry Since 1986 (805) 798-0960 • cathytitusojai@gmail.comOQ / SPRING 2020

4821 GRAND AVENUE Ojai East End. Highly desired area of Ojai Valley. The spacious living room offers a La Cantina folding door, floor to ceiling rock fireplace, wood-beamed ceiling and wood floors. $2,395,000

1133 EL CENTRO 1939 Farm House on 1+ Flat Acre. Affords Sustainable Living; Front and Rear porches, open floor plan with fireplace in living room, large dining kitchen area that includes an island with work area sink, built-in appliances, walk in pantry, granite counter tops, Roomy master suite including a walk in closet, jetted tub and dual sink areas, $1,120,000

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KIM FAMILY’S 12 RULES FOR LIFE 1. Life is not fair. 2. The cup is always half full. 3. Be grateful for everything. 4. Find the lesson in every disappointment. 5. You are responsible for your own happiness. 6. Always tell the truth. 7. Do It Afraid. 8. Take personal responsibility, don’t make excuses. 9. Reflect. Don’t react. 10. Take initiative. Do more than what’s expected. 11. Don’t aim for Success. Do what you love and have passion for it and you will be successful. 12. Give. In giving you receive more. 96

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Alex Kim, Managing Director of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, has an early memory that brings a smile to his face. He’s a boy in Seoul, South Korea, and it is Sunday morning. He jumps out of bed and races into the shop that’s part of his family home. He runs through his parents’ Western-style bakery, heading straight for the kitchen to get a fresh, hot donut. Alex’s father left the bakery in Seoul when Alex was 10 years old to work his way up to Executive Chef for Royal Caribbean Cruise line. While his father traveled the world for most of the year, Alex grew up in Seoul’s mandatory military-style education system. He went to a boys-only school, where a buzz-cut and uniform were required, as was learning to use a gun and march in formation. He was being trained for mandatory military service, but when Alex was nineteen-years-old, after three years of trying, his family got their green cards. They immigrated to Miami, home to Royal Caribbean headquarters, to be with his father.   Alex’s forte in school had been math and science, but when he arrived in the U.S. he wished it had been languages. He spoke no English but was determined to get an education and a job. He

enrolled at Miami Dade Community College, and took an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. job cleaning rooms at the Hyatt Regency Miami for $5.75 an hour. Alex smiles, “I thought that was a pretty good wage.” He took English courses, and spoke English every chance he got, or every chance he could create. “I took a bus from North Miami to the college, and every day I waited about 30 minutes for the bus. I noticed a homeless man sitting at the bus stop, so I paid him a quarter to have a conversation with me.” Alex laughs. “He was my first English teacher. An intelligent guy, a college grad, who also was schizophrenic.”  Six months after starting the cleaning job, Alex became a busboy at Benihana. “I thought I’d get to speak more English there,” he said. From bus-boy he moved to stock-boy at Publix grocery store, then waiter at Masa Japanese restaurant. By that time, Alex had graduated from Florida International University with a degree in Hotel Management, and he dreamed of opening his own restaurant.  When an opening came up in Hyatt Hotel’s corporate training

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program, Alex applied and got accepted. When he finished the course, he was given three Catering Manager jobs to choose from. One was in New York City, one in Honolulu, and one in Indianapolis. Alex chose the Midwest. “Everyone said, ‘are you crazy?’” Alex remembers, “but it was the best decision I ever made. I felt that to be as successful as I could be in the long term, I would need to learn everything I could about America.” Alex admits that he looks for opportunities to do things that are not easy. He says, “To be a diamond you have to have pressure. When I’m too comfortable, I get uncomfortable.”  Alex encountered plenty of uncomfortable situations at the Hyatt in Indianapolis. As Executive Steward he was in charge of food and beverage cleaning, including all of the dishwashing and care for kitchen equipment. He needed to hire people for entry-level jobs, but he couldn’t find applicants for such lowwage work in downtown Indianapolis.   Alex found his solution after making friends with an Indianapolis police officer who specialized in gang activities. Alex remembers, “He was a good person, who cared about the gang members and tried to get them jobs. If he thought they had a hope, he got them a job, so he fed me staff.” Alex grew close to these troubled young men, sometimes bailing them out of jail. “Can you imagine it?” Alex recalls, “I hadn’t been in the U.S. for ten years, but I knew the ways that gang members would wear their hats to signal if they were looking for a fight, or if they were at war.”  After Alex moved on, he got a call from one of his busboys from the Indianapolis Hyatt, Demetrius Nibbs. “He called me to say that he’d opened a motorcycle repair and design business,” Alex says, “and he wanted to thank me for helping him in his life and his time of need.” That call came at a moment when Alex was wondering whether his work had meaning. Thanks to Demetrius, he realized that it did. “In the hospitality industry, I touch a lot of people,” Alex says, “When I die, if I can say I helped one person, that’s good enough for me.”  After Indianapolis, Alex gave up his dreams of owning a restaurant. He realized that he loved the hotel business. Soon he headed back to Miami for an opportunity at the Sheraton Bal Harbour as Banquet Manager. It was an all-consuming job, but on Sundays, Alex went back to the Korean church he used to attend. One day, during the service, he saw Jai Kim. Jai (pronounced “J”) was more than beautiful. She was a talented musician, on scholarship at FIU getting a masters degree in Music Education.  Jai’s mother had insisted that she find a Korean church to attend in Miami. She had found the church in the Yellow Pages, and Alex had found his wife. “I saw her playing the piano at service, and I pursued her relentlessly,” Alex laughs. Jai was a great match 98

for Alex’s intelligence and drive. After only seven dates over the course of a year, they married in Jai’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina in 1995.   Soon, Alex got head-hunted to La Quinta Resort near Palm Springs. He quickly moved up to Food and Beverage Director. But his father had cancer, and Alex wanted to be closer to him. He took a job at the Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. In less than two years, he was Vice-President of Operations for their luxury hotel within The Atlantis, The Cove. From there it was a short walk, literally, to the One and Only Ocean Club, and James Bond.  Alex became General Manager at Ocean Club, one of the most exclusive and beautiful hotels in the Bahamas. He found himself with a unique management challenge when the hotel was chosen for some iconic scenes in the remake of the Bond movie, “Casino Royale.”  The movie team was there for a month, and took over the hotel, inside, outside, on the beach, by the pool. Everywhere Alex turned, they were setting up equipment, filming, breaking down sets. What was it like to manage a small hotel with a big crew, major stars and paying guests to please? “Although each scene might take less than a minute,” Alex recalls, “it took all day to film. The biggest problem was the other guests, but we got the film makers to agree that we could tell guests in detail about the scenes being filmed.”  If you’re a Bond fan, that meant you could have been on the beach to watch James Bond (Daniel Craig) pop up from a swim in the Caribbean in all his buff glory to spy Solange (Caterina Murino) on the beach, just as she leapt off her magnificent white horse.  The plan worked. The guests were happy to feel like movie insiders, and the film was a boon to the hotel. Bond fans flocked to the fifty-year-old, colonial-style hotel that had been struggling to brand itself. “It made the hotel very popular,” Alex says. “It was well worth the inconvenience.”  Meanwhile, Jai had built a very successful career in the Bahamas as an educator. She had a thriving private studio, and was music director at many schools in Nassau. She led a 112-member show choir, and a 4- piece championship steel drum orchestra.  Jai didn’t want to leave the Bahamas, and neither did their three children, who considered the Bahamas home. But after his father died, Alex convinced his family to move from the silky sands and turquoise waters of the Bahamas to a very different luxury hotel.  The Meadowood in Napa Valley is a 5-star property with three Michelin restaurants, and an abundance of upscale rustic charm, all set amid towering Douglas Firs. But after three years, Alex’s OQ / SPRING 2020

family grew tired of the isolated spot. It was then, in 2015, that Alex discovered Ojai. The Ojai Valley Inn Managing Director’s job had gone unfilled for six months. Alex and his family came to Ojai to explore the Inn and the town. They fell in love with the Pink Moment, and local people.  For Alex, the biggest selling points about the job were the uniqueness of the property, its history, and the huge potential to become one of the leading luxury resorts in California. Alex learned that in 2000-2005, when 80% of the Inn closed for renovation, the owners offered employees the chance to stay on and help in various ways with the construction, even teaching them skills in the building trades. After the Thomas Fire, the Inn’s commitment to its employees remained. “All 900 Inn employees were paid their wages when the Inn closed for six weeks for fire cleanup,” Alex says. “We value and support our employees and work hard on a healthy, good culture. That’s key to going through difficult times.”  Alex and his family live in a house on the Inn property. These days, his two teenage daughters, Catherine and Isabelle, are away on scholarship in a Canadian boarding school pursuing their passions in dance and musical theater. They are musically talented, like their mother. Alex’s youngest son, AJ, attends Ojai Valley School, and is a brown belt in Taekwondo.  No one can question Alex’s work ethic, but it pales beside his family values. As he and Jai get ready to celebrate 25 years of marriage he says, “My favorite thing to do is be with my family. My goal in

my life is not how much money I make, or the jobs I had, but are my children better people than me?” Jai, who now says that she’s “a retired music director and aspiring Tiger Mom,” agrees. To that end, the Kim’s have raised their kids with a set of family ‘rules’ that Alex and Jai developed as they worked through the challenges of parenting. The rules reflect, in part, an immigrant’s journey, one that required determination, optimism and love. The Kim children are fortunate to have been given these rules early in their lives, but they are not just rules for children:  1. Life is not fair. 2. The cup is always half full. 3. Be grateful for everything. 4. Find the lesson in every disappointment. 5. You are responsible for your own happiness. 6. Always tell the truth. 7. Do It Afraid. 8. Take personal responsibility, don’t make excuses. 9. Reflect. Don’t react. 10. Take initiative. Do more than what’s expected. 11. Don’t aim for Success. Do what you love and have passion for it and you will be successful. 12. Give. In giving you receive more. Alex believes there are two types of immigrants. The first type are those that come to America to earn money, send it home, and eventually return to their homeland. They live near others from their country, and never assimilate.  The second type come to America to make this land their homeland. To build a career, a family, a future. To become an American citizen, as Alex has done, and sing our National Anthem, and laugh and clap at July 4th parades, and honor our Constitution. And on occasion, to smile at a childhood memory of a hot donut from a mother’s hand on a Sunday morning in a faraway bakery in Seoul. 

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CAFE EMPORIUM: Ojai Cafe’ Emporium, a turn key, well established breakfast and lunch restaurant , located in the heart of downtown Ojai . Prime location steps away from all of Ojai’s events and attractions. Ojai Cafe’ Emporium has for over 34 years addressed the need in the

community for a warm and friendly dining experience for family, friends and business. A family tradition for every generation serving high quality, fresh and healthy food. And if you crave something sweet, there is an adjoining bakery producing fresh baked goods every morning. Take advantage of this prime piece of commercial real estate with a fully operational up and running business. $2,200,000

TOM WEBER Broker 805-320-2004 CalDre# 00805061

952 EAST OJAI AVENUE: Excellent exposure on Ojai’s main street. Just a short few blocks walk to downtown. This was the Ojai Surplus Store for more than 30 years. Free standing building of appx. 2758 Sq. ft. with a detached 800 Sq. Ft. storage building with roll up door. With proper approvals you may be able to divide into two or more smaller units. apx. 7+ parking spaces. Alley access behind for ease of shipping in and out. $1,099,000

15% Discount Restrictions apply. Not to be used with other offers or discounts.

Call for free design consultation


the art of organization

closets | garages | home offices | entertainment centers | wall units | wall beds pantries | craft rooms | laundry rooms | mud rooms | wine rooms ©2019 Closet Factory. All rights reserved. CA Lic. #937353


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DRE # 01438966

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W W W. 8 0 5 P R O P E R T I E S . C O M


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Ojai valley oasis Prepare to exhale when you arrive through private gates to this .76 acre, tree-studded, in-town sanctuary within walking distance of hiking trails & Farmers Market.  Preserving the 1940's architectural character, the home's integral systems have been updated while the warm and super inviting remodeled interior boasts fireplace, rich wood flooring, exposed beam vaulted ceilings in kitchen & dining room, gorgeous spa-like bathrooms & oversized picture windows. Mature trees shade the expansive flagstone patios, curving rock walls create seating while pathways lead to sunny raised garden beds.Words fall short to describe this fully fenced sanctuary: this is truly a property you'll want to experience!

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We know Ojai.

Custom Spanish Revival Home in the East End on 7.5 Acres with Gated Entry, Courtyard, Multi-Room Master Suite $3,599,000

Hacienda-Style Upper Ojai Ranch on 5+ Acres. Caretaker’s Quarters, Horse Facilities, Pool, Tennis Court and Gorgeous Views. $2,649,000

Three-Bedroom, two-bathroom with covered porch, fireplace, breakfast bar, gated parking, barn, corral, and shared well. $899,000

Custom Four-Bedroom Home on 5.43 acres near Downtown with Formal Living & Dining, Butler’s Pantry and Much More. $1,650,000

The Davis Group

Nora Davis

BRE License #01046067


We’re lifelong residents.

Four-Bedroom Arbolada Home with Guest House, Pool, Four Fireplaces & Mountain Views $2,199,000

Meticulously renovated three-bedroom, two-bathroom oasis with pool, cabana and views on large lot one block from downtown and adjacent to Ojai Valley Trail. $1,900,000


This remodeled farmhouse perfectly blends traditional style with modern convenience. The upgrades include custom paint, crown molding, new interior and exterior light fixtures, wood floors, a central vacuum and a tankless water heater. $1,479,000

Rare opportunity to buy Gateway Plaza! Oak View shopping center with long-term occupants, large parking lot and great location. $1,300,000

Kellye Lynn

Ramiro Martinez

Jan Lewis




BRE License #01962469

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H DDEN HISTORY For almost a century, Ojai’s remarkable Chavez family has played an unsung role in the building of this community. Now, the Ojai Valley Museum plans to recognize their contributions.


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Turning 90 is a big deal, so when Ojai native Helen Chavez Peterson celebrates that milestone on June 7, she plans to do it in style, with a big family gathering at the Banquet Room at the Soule Park Golf Course clubhouse. The location is apt, given Helen’s longtime interest in Ojai history. Soule Park is named for the pioneer Ojai family that once owned the ranch acreage that now comprises the park and the golf course. The last of the Soules, sisters Nina and Zaidee, refused all offers from developers who wanted to subdivide their ranch and build houses. Instead, the sisters gave it to the county for everyone to enjoy. Nowadays, only a few old-timers remember who the Soules were. But Helen and her sister Rose Chavez Boggs remember them well. Zaidee Soule was the town librarian during the 1930s and ‘40s, when the Chavez siblings were regulars at the library — which, then as now, was located at the corner of Ojai Avenue and Ventura Street. “We all knew them,” Rose says. “Especially Helen, who went to the library all the time.” Like the Soule sisters, the Chavez sisters are the custodians of a rich family legacy. Unlike the Soules, Rose and Helen have no ranch to donate for a park that would immortalize the Chavez name. But they will share their family stories with the community in May 2021 when the Ojai Valley Museum opens “Founding Familias II,” the follow-up to last year’s exhibit about Ojai during the Rancho Era. “The idea with both these ‘Familias’ exhibits is to foreground the contributions of Mexican-American families,” says Wendy Barker, the museum’s executive director. “Too often, the roles they played are overlooked in the history books. You shouldn’t have to

donate a park to be honored by posterity.” THE CHAVEZ STORY begins with Rose and Helen’s parents, Daniel and Hortense Chavez. Dan’s family had deep roots in New Mexico as early Spanish settlers there, but after New Mexico became part of the U.S., Dan’s grandfather moved south of the border and settled in the state of Michoacán. Dan was born there in the mid-to-late 1890s (the exact year is uncertain). He was still a young boy in the early 1900s when his parents moved the family north of the border, settling first in East Los Angeles and then in Hueneme (now Port Hueneme). Hueneme was surrounded by Oxnard, home of the sugar beet and the lima bean, and of the people who milled them. Dan trained to be a chemist in a sugar-beet factory, but his duties also included making deliveries to local farms and ranches. “He would deliver stuff to the Friedrich ranch in Oxnard,” Helen says. “My mother was working for the Friedrich family as a kitchen helper.” Hortense Lopez y Carrillo was born in Hueneme in 1900 to parents who descended from several prominent Californio families — folks who had trekked to California from Mexico in the late 1700s, and were among the founders of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Hortense and Dan married on July 21, 1919. Then Dan went to Mexico on a job, which kept him away from his new bride for several months. “Sweetest girl wife,” he wrote her that December. “... My own, I had to stop for awhile and cry, you are so far away Darling. But only you and I know that I did cry. Told you once that I couldn’t love you more than I did at the time but absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder. Now I really know what love means and can see how much I love you.”

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Their first two children, Dan Jr., and Anita, were born in Hueneme in 1920 and 1922, respectively. Then, opportunity beckoned from the Ojai Valley, where Dan’s brother Max was the caretaker at the upscale Foothills Hotel. Dan suffered from asthma, and Hortense also had lung issues, so both were attracted to the valley’s hot, dry climate. When Max wangled Dan a job at the hotel in 1923, the family pulled up stakes and moved to Ojai. DAN SOON moved on from the hotel and became the caretaker of Civic Center Park, now known as Libbey Park. The wealthy philanthropist Edward Libbey was using Spanish Colonial Revival architecture to reinvent a previously unassuming frontier village as a picturesque Mission Era relic. Libbey’s right-hand man was Ojai real estate promoter J.J. Burke, and Burke’s righthand man was Dan Chavez, at least when it came to managing the park. The Chavezes rented a house on a Matilija Street lot that backed up to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Their second son, Frank, was born in that house in 1924, followed by his sister Maxine in 1926. (That house is still there today, as is the former church building, which now houses the Ojai Valley Museum.) 108

When Dan decided to buy an empty lot on Lion Street and build a house for his growing family, he ran into a problem. In that era, restrictive deed covenants prevented most Ojai parcels from being sold to people of color. Dan got around that by telling the lot’s owner that he was of French descent, and pronouncing his name “Cha-vey,” a la Francaise. The ruse worked, and Dan bought the lot and built the house himself. It was there that he and Hortense welcomed a fifth child to their growing brood. “I was born on Lion Street on Jan. 12, 1928,” Rose says. “It was a dirt road back then.” Helen, the baby of the family, was born in the same house two years later. Dan and Hortensia now had six mouths to feed, which was not easy during the Depression years of the 1930s. The Ojai Civic Association paid Dan only $56 per month to maintain the park. To make ends meet, Dan moonlighted as a carpenter; pulled night shifts at Bill Baker’s famous bakery; and spent his weekends tending other people’s gardens and building rock walls. He also formed his own orchestra, which played private parties. OQ / SPRING 2020




“He worked around the clock,” Rose says. “No vacations. I’m not sure he ever had a day off.” Even so, money was tight. The kids all did their bit to bring in more. “I milked the goats, took care of the chickens, ducks and rabbits when we had them,” Rose says. “Sometimes we would gather watercress at Camp Comfort and I would go sell it door to door for five cents a bunch. Sold honey, Dad was a beekeeper. Anything to make money.” Nevertheless, Dan found time to perform in plays and play music at the Ojai Art Center, which he had helped build. He kept the house on Lion Street well stocked with books and musical instruments. And he was a card-carrying member of the Theosophical Society. “He was really a Renaissance Man,” Helen says. Hortense, too, was culturally inclined. She wrote poems that were printed in the local newspaper under her pen name, Jasmine. And in her later years, she took up painting.

During the ‘30s, the family did not own a car, so once per year, Dan rented a limousine from Hunt’s Auto Livery to take his children to Los Angeles to attend ballets, L.A. Philharmonic concerts, and opera performances. The Chavez kids became highly accomplished musicians and singers and bandleaders; they played tennis at highly competitive levels; they participated in plays and folk dancing at the Art Center. And they all did well in school, despite having to endure occasional racial taunts from white classmates. “There were kids that called me ‘dirty Mexican,’ and it annoyed me because my mother was so clean you could eat off the floor,” Rose says. “She scrubbed them on her hands and knees!” Anti-Hispanic prejudice did not deter the Chavezes from setting ambitious goals and achieving them. All six siblings graduated from Nordhoff High School and went on to Ventura College and then to four-year colleges. Frank became a World War II hero as a radio-gunner for the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater. (He later served in Korea as well.) Dan Jr. was elected president of Nordhoff ’s senior class in 1939, and went on to earn a doctorate at Penn State.

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But prejudice did at first keep Dan Jr. from getting hired as a professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “He changed his last name to Chase, and then got the job,” Helen says. The three eldest siblings — Dan Jr., Anita and Frank — did not return to Ojai to live after their college days were over. But Maxine, Rose and Helen — and their parents — would continue to play important roles in the ongoing Ojai story. THREE major institutions that helped put Ojai on the map — the Music Festival, the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament and the Ojai Valley Inn — would not exist today, were it not for key decisions the community made in the aftermath of World War II. The Chavez family was involved in all three projects. Rose discovered tennis as a child visiting the downtown park. Maintaining its courts was one of her father’s jobs as caretaker, especially during the last weekend of April when “The Ojai” tournament was held each year. “I would sit there all day long, watching the tennis balls go back and forth,” she says. Rose went on to become a very talented and successful player. She competed in The Ojai as a teenager, until the advent of World War II when the tournament shut down for the duration. The war ended in 1945, but The Ojai did not resume in 1946. For various reasons, the tournament was not sustainable without strong community support — and the community stepped up to save it. Rose was among the volunteers who refurbished the neglected courts and generally did what it took to ensure the tournament’s survival. Play resumed in April 1947, and The Ojai has not missed a year since. At the time, Rose and Maxine comprised the No. 1 doubles team at Ventura College, and when Rose went on to UC Berkeley, she was the No. 1 singles player there. In later years she continued to compete in The Ojai and elsewhere, often paired with her longtime doubles partner Norma King. (At The Ojai one year, Rose and Norma lost a match 6-3, 6-2, to a doubles team that included the future legend Billie Jean King.) “I played tennis for 70 years,” says Rose, who has been a fixture at The Ojai since 1932 as a spectator, player, coach and volunteer. Rose, Maxine and their father also were involved in another key project that made its debut around the same time that The Ojai sprang back to life. During the war, the defunct Ojai Valley Country Club had been taken over by the Army as a training 110

camp. When the Army moved out, the Navy moved in. When the war ended and the Navy pulled out, the property seemed likely to be sold to a developer and subdivided for houses. But local golf enthusiasts saved the course by lining up investors to erect a hotel on the site. The manager and lead investor was Don B. Burger of Beverly Hills, who brought in movie-star investors such as Loretta Young and Irene Dunne, and thus ensured that the new hotel would be a popular destination for Hollywood celebrities. When the Inn opened in May 1947, Dan Chavez was the maintenance man, and Rose and Maxine were among the waitresses in its restaurant, serving meals to the likes of Jack Benny and Charlie Chaplin. “And I worked there as a nanny for Don Burger’s son,” Helen says. Helen played a bigger role in the third big project that made its debut during that epochal spring of 1947 – the Ojai Music Festival. As a budding opera singer, Helen naturally gravitated to a project that involved classical music. “They asked for volunteers at Nordhoff, and I was the only one who went,” she says. “I worked in the festival office as a gofer.” When the festival welcomed its first concertgoers on May 4 at Nordhoff Auditorium (now Matilija Auditorium), it was 16-year-old Helen Chavez who greeted them. “I was the head usher,” she says. “I was standing in front of the doors, in a formal gown.” The next day, the Ventura County Star-Free Press ran a photo of Helen in her gown, to illustrate a story about the Music Festival’s inaugural concert. OQ / SPRING 2020

taught at Ojai Elementary, Summit, Topa Topa Elementary and Meiners Oaks Elementary schools. Maxine worked in administration at Nordhoff before later becoming a caregiver. Meanwhile, Helen married Roy Peterson and had a son of her own. In the mid 1960s, all three sisters were involved in the founding of the Ojai Valley Mexican Fiesta, which sponsors an annual community party (usually in Libbey Park) to raise money for scholarships for local students of Latin American heritage. Rose and Helen were longtime volunteers at the Ojai Valley Museum, as was Helen’s son, Vincent. Rose also served for three decades on the City of Ojai Historical Preservation Commission.

The festival was an indoor event in its early years, until the day its co-founder John Bauer asked Helen for suggestions about how to sell more tickets to local residents. “He said, ‘Helen, you’ve lived here all your life. What would you like to see us do?’ I said, ‘Well, I’ve always wanted to go to a concert in the park.’ He took it and ran with it.” For the 1952 festival, Bauer moved some of the concerts to an outdoor setting in Civic Center Park. The experiment was a success, and Bauer’s successors built the open-air bowl that remains the festival’s main venue today. Helen was very serious about her singing career. She went to Europe to take voice lessons and remained there for six years, supporting herself by working as a teacher in England, Spain, Turkey, Germany and France. “I studied voice at La Scala one summer,” she says. But at the time, young opera singers needed wealthy patrons to support their careers, and Helen did not have one. By the mid ‘60s she was back in Ojai, teaching at San Antonio School. Later she moved to Mira Monte Elementary. “I taught a total of 50 years,” she says. She also continued to sing, sharing her beautiful contralto voice with her fellow parishioners at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. “I sang at all the weddings and funerals, and Maxine played the organ,” she says. Maxine had returned to raise her four children after the early death of her husband, Joseph Tempske. Rose and her husband, Ben Boggs, were already here, raising their four children. Rose

By doing community service, the sisters were following in their father’s footsteps. For example, after he was no longer employed by the Civic Association to maintain the downtown park, he continued to spruce it up as a volunteer before The Ojai tournament, the Music Festival and other events that took place there. “He worked like a dog,” Rose says. “I don’t remember him ever getting a thank-you.” Dan Chavez Sr. died in 1981, and Hortense in 1983. Eight of their direct descendants still reside in the Ojai Valley — Rose and her sons Michael and Dan Boggs; Helen and Vincent; and Maxine’s granddaughter Jazmin Tempske Charlesworth, and her young sons Cayden and Shepard. (Maxine died in 2017, at the age of 90.) Many cousins from out of town will join them at the Soule Park Banquet Hall on June 7 to celebrate Helen’s 90th birthday. It should be quite a party. The clan will convene again at the museum in May 2021 for the opening reception of “Founding Familias II,” the exhibit that will highlight the history of their family, and other local families of Hispanic descent. None of Dan and Hortense’s surviving descendants has Chavez as a last name. But all are proud of their heritage. When the Ojai City Council last year honored Rose with a Lifetime Achievement in Historical Preservation Award, she was disappointed to note that the plaque omitted her maiden name, which she often uses as her middle name. It just called her Rose Boggs. “If they had contacted me,” she says, “I would have insisted that they put ‘Chavez’ in my name.” Research contributed by Laurie Browne.

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For your breath of fresh air

Your home is more than a building or an address. It’s where you experience life, family, connection, growth. Your home should be as exceptional as you are, and as you are going to be. Only LIV Sotheby’s International Realty offers a lifestyle inspired by your potential. | Ojai, California | Property ID: M86P4J 727 W Ojai Avenue, Ojai • 805.646.7288 Cal DRE 01904034


© c s o



7 Beds • 6 Baths • 6,999 SF • $13,500,000 Patty Waltcher | DRE 01176473 805.340.3774

3 Beds • 3 Full & 2 1/2 Baths • 5,200 SF • $3,599,000 Nora Davis | DRE 01046067 805.207.6177





5 Beds • 5.5 Baths • 3,973 SF • $2,795,000 Tyler Brousseau | DRE 01916136 805.760.2213

4 Beds • 2 Baths • 2,479 SF • $839,000 Clinton Haugan | DRE 02019604 805.760.2092

3 Beds • 2.5 Baths • 2,043 SF • $1,495,000 Tyler Brousseau | DRE 01916136 805.760.2213

5 Beds • 4 Baths • 2,468 SF • $695,000 Jonathan Riddell | DRE 01997142 805.798.3001

LIV Sothebys International Realty | 727 W. Ojai Avenue Ojai, CA 93023 © 2020 LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. All rights reserved. All data, including all measurements and calculations are obtained from various sources and has not and will not be verified by Broker. All information shall be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. LIV Sotheby’s International Realty is independently owned and operated and supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act.


1. Azu Restaurant & Ojai Valley Brewery 457 E Ojai Avenue 805-640-7987 2. Bart’s Books 302 W. Matilija Street - corner of Cañada Street. 805-646-3755

3. Besant Hill School 8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Road 805-646-4343

The TheRanch RanchHouse House 15 15 15 15

4. Ojai Music Festival 201 S Signal 805-646-2094


5. Boccali’s Restaurant 3277 Ojai-Santa Paula Road 805-646-6116 6. Emerald Iguana Inn Located at North end of Blanche Street 805-646-5276


7. Genesis of Ojai 305 E Matilija Street 746-2058 18 18 18 18

8. OVA Arts 238 E Ojai Avenue 805-646-5682

14 14 14 14 8888 18 18

9. ROTI 469 E Ojai Avenue 310-770-3282 4444

10. Ojai Art Center 113 S Montgomery Street 805-646-0117


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11. Nutmeg’s Ojai House 304 N Montgomery Street 805-640-1656

12. Ojai Café Emporium 108 S Montgomery Street 805-646-2723

Olive Ojai

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13. Ojai Valley Electronics & Hobby 307-A E Matilija Street 805-646-7585 14. Ojai Valley Museum 130 W Ojai Avenue 805-640-1390

15. Ranch House 102 Besant Road 805-640-2360 11 11

16. Sea Fresh 533 E Ojai Avenue 805-646-7747 19 19

17. Studio Sauvageau 332-B E Ojai Avenue (Inner Arcade) 805-646-0117

13 13 88 77


17 17

STAY ON HWY 150 for about 2.2 miles 11

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18. Treasures of OJAI 110 N Signal Street 805-646-2852

19. Porch Gallery 310 E Matilija Street 213-321-3919

20. Ojai Olive Oil 1811 Ladera Ridge Road (off Hermitage) 805-646-5964

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Pr ic e ffe ri n g O Ne w

EAST END CONTEMPORARY This newly remodeled and completely renovated contemporar y masterpiece on the bucolic East End exemplifies good taste and quality construc tion. Clerestor y windows, French doors and vaulted ceilings with exposed beams create a light and spacious environment. The floors are beautiful white oak and the k itchen counters are Statuarietto marble. I t has been built with the finest quality doors, appliances and fix tures. The bathrooms have mosaic traver tine floors and Cararra marble -tiled bath and shower. The master bedroom balcony has mountain views in two direc tions with decorative Granada wall tiles, Porcelanosa floor tiles and an outdoor shower. Offered at $2,885,000


25 years matching people and property in the Ojai Valley


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SIGNAL STREET SPLENDOR Peace and serenity welcome you to this incredible compound on almost 8 acres in one of the most desirable areas of Ojai, Nor th Signal Street. The main house is perched on a hill, with expansive views of the valley, from sensational sunrises to pink moment sunsets. The proper ty has multiple struc tures, including two finished guest houses and a third waiting for your magic touch. Two other buildings could ser ve as a yoga or recording studio, R V storage, a workshop or a secluded writing cabin. The grounds include pepper, bottle brush and fruit trees. I t is walk ing distance from town and only moments away from some of the most spec tacular hik ing in Ojai: Pratt Trail, Shelf Road and the Ojai Preser ve. Don’t miss this amazing proper ty in a secluded countr y setting that has not been on the market for over 40 years. $3,100,000


(805) 340-3774


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ask dr. beth

healing as we age

Ojai’s Hiking Map

From SAD to HAPPY, the plant-based switch made easy By Beth Prinz, M.D.

Healing Arts Practitioners By Joan Englander

Our Top Trails Art by Colleen McDougal




through & through


nocturnal submissions

Running the Ridge From the Ocean to Ojai By Chuck Graham

It’s Busy Time in Ojai with Premier Spring Events

The Lowdown on Upper Ojai By Sami Zahringer

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OQ | A S K D R . B ET H


How to change from the Standard American Diet to a Healthy Animal/Plant/People-Years-Added Diet With Ease

News flash! The Standard American Diet is officially CRAP: Calorie-Rich And Processed. No big shocker. We are pleasure-seeking creatures living in an obesogenic environment: engineered to make us eat more and get fatter. As Homo Sapiens in the 21st century, we are simply fulfilling our biological imperative (hoarding calories to survive), right? There is another way. Cut the CRAP and get HAPPY (Healthy Animal/Plant/ People-Years added)! If you haven’t tried a whole-food-plant-based diet, and cannot imagine how to start, that’s ok. Just try it. Do it for a week. Do it for a month. And this is not a diet in the sense of “a pause from my customary food plan that gave me the results I am now regretting.” This is a lifestyle, as in a sustainable, optimal, life-extending, health-spanprolonging, chronic-illness-preventing, obesity-deterring, cancer-avoiding, energy-producing, mind-clearing, animal-sparing, planet-saving, satisfying, delicious, permanent way of eating. What are you waiting for? 1. Set intention — Visualize having more energy, experiencing less pain, 120

enjoying better sleep. It may be hard to believe your diet is making you feel lousy, because you’ve always felt this way or eaten this way. Trust in the healing power of real food. 2. Eliminate temptations — Our weakest moments are usually at home when we are comfortable and revert to old habits. Keep your house free of lowquality, impulse-foods. You’re less likely to choose that ice cream if you have to drive somewhere to get it and eat it. Ask family to keep their junk food hidden or better yet, invite them to participate in your new lifestyle. 3. Fill the fridge — with fresh, madein-advance soups, salads, veg, pasta. Some call this “batch-cooking.” My favorites are chickpea salad, three-bean bean salad, and napa cabbage salad. 4. Keep a list – Your grocery shopping will look different than before. A list of your favorite whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes will serve as a reminder at the grocery store. 5. Forget about perfection – Any shift away from the Standard American Diet (SAD) toward WFPB is better than none.

The Food Doctor M.D. – Dr. Beth Prinz is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and passionate about preventing disease through healthy living and a whole-food plant-based dietary approach to health.

You don’t have to give up everything at once to succeed. As soon as we feel we can’t have something, we immediately want it. Plant-based eating is about abundance, not deprivation. Forget calorie counting, portion control, or denying hunger signals! No guilt. Focus on the big picture: healing your body. When you choose whole plant-based foods, filled with fiber, your appetite starts to regulate itself. Cravings disappear. 6. Experiment – Have you ever cooked a whole grain like barley? Have you ever used flax as an egg substitute, or made avocado toast for breakfast? Ever tried whole wheat pasta or vegan kale pesto from Trader Joe’s? There’s so much out there to try. Have some fun with it! 7. Substitute – It’s easier than ever to find exceptional alternatives to your familiar cheese, butter, beef, chicken, or pork. Ojai Pub is now serving the Impossible Burger as a menu item! Also available in grocery stores, the Impossible Burger handles and cooks exactly like ground beef without the saturated fat, cholesterol or risk of contamination with e coli or salmonella. (Note: meat OQ / SPRING 2020

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Photo by Unsplash.

substitutes are processed foods and not as healing as whole plants, but are a great way to transition while one is learning recipes and techniques for plant-based meals). Other notable substitutes: Miyoko’s butter and cheeses and Treeline nut cheeses made from cashew nuts. 8. Connect with like-minds for inspiration – There are countless resources for plant-based eating. (Vegan Recipes for Beginners, How To Vegan, Vegan Outreach, New Vegan Support, Million Dollar Vegan). The Ojai Valley Inn is offering a Vegan Cuisine cooking class at the farmhouse. 9. Knife skills — There’s no way around this truth: a plantbased diet requires getting comfortable with chopping, slicing, peeling, dicing. Unless you have your own chef or only buy pre-packaged, pre-sliced produce (which is possible, but not as fresh or ecological/economical), there is going to be more food

prep than you were used to if fast and processed foods were your game. Some tips: prep food in bulk, in advance, invest in a food processor, mandolin, or other device. Keep your kitchen knives sharpened. A sharp chef ’s knife is the key kitchen tool for your health. 10. One meal at a time — When I was starting out with plantbased-eating, it would have been overwhelming to think what am I going to eat for the rest of my life? I found it easier to think one meal at a time. “What could I have for breakfast today instead of eggs and bacon?” “I wonder if I can get through lunch without eating meat or cheese.” “What would be one thing I can make for dinner tonight?” Gradually, a repertoire grows, and plant-based eating becomes second nature. Dr. Beth Prinz is available by appointment at SBNC in Goleta: 805-617-7878

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h eal in g as we age


Healing is about growing our souls, growing an awareness of beauty and purpose. The Persian poet Rumi showers us with the hope that if all the harps in the world should break, inside our hearts hidden music would still be playing. No matter how much our lives break physically, emotionally, or mentally, we all have this hidden music within us. We have the ability to choose joy even when we don’t feel like it. When times get tough, we may rebirth ourselves into happiness, if only for the present moment. One key to wellness is to focus our thoughts away from suffering while at the same time embracing it into wholeness. Whether we are a retiree or an elder in need of care, our soul

will remind us that we are more than a failing physical body, or a mind full of chaos. With an in-breath exercise we can say to ourselves, “I am a dancing soul” and breathe out, “joy is my birthright.” Do this when walking, ill or suffering a loss. Avena moans in her nursing home bed. “Are you in so much pain?” I ask. “I hurt all over, that’s all I do. Hurt.” Avena never complains. This must be bad. “Does your spirit hurt?” I ask. “Of course not, this pain has no business in my life!” Her exclamation elicits a song I hear in my head about wellness of spirit which I sing to her, encouraging her to recall happy memories. Avena smiles, taps her toes. Next day, I ask

her about pain. “What pain? I don’t have any pain.” Singing is not our only avenue. Spontaneous body movements, walking in nature, poetry, and sacred text can elicit a reconnection with spirit. Lectio Divina, divine listening, is also a powerful tool for contemplation. What does this passage tell you about your life? Here is sample from my book, ‘Joy in the Evening of Our Lives’: “When I open myself to receive the rising light of dawn, every cell in my body… trembles with light. I am rising on this new day with the vast breath of the universe breathing into me health and wholeness. A sea of splendor opens to the sunrise within me … I know my birthright — joy and peace.”

LAURIE EDGCOMB Lic. Acupuncturist since 1986, voted best in Ojai! Natural medicine including Microcurrent, nutritional and herbal consultation, Facial Rejuvenation. 805-798-4148

JUDY GABRIEL Energy Landscaping Using intuitive vision and energy dowsing, Judy brings the health of your body, land, business, or home into balance to support your highest potential. 805-798-4111

ASHLEY BERRY Offering whole-being healing through Holistic Health Coaching, Reiki, Breathwork, AromaTouch, and Intuitive Card Readings. Available for private sessions, group gatherings, workshops, & events 310-775-1765


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SOMATIC SANCTUARY Welcome to Somatic Sanctuary — a somatic-based healing and movement arts center. Explore healing treatments, group movement sessions, workshops and community events. 410 W. Ojai Avenue 805-633-9230

NUTMEG’S OJAI HOUSE Functional Art for Heart & Home - American Made Fair Trade - Psychic Tarot and Astrology Readers, Energy and Crystal Healings daily by appt. Walk-ins welcomed: Open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 304 N. Montgomery Street | 805-640-1656

NATHAN KAEHLER, MA, LAC Nathan Kaehler (Best of Ojai 2014). Licensed Acupuncturist, MA Psychology. Gentle acupuncture, 14 years experience Personalized herb preparations Large onsite herb dispensary | 805-640-8700

NAN TOLBERT NURTURING CENTER Pre-birth to 3; pre/post-natal wellbeing; infant/toddler development; parent education/support. 805-646-7559

BIRGIT JUNG-SCHMITT Anat Baniel Method (R) NeuroMovement (R) Practitioner for children & adults. Brain injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, autism, ADD/ADHD, developmental delays. In Ojai & Los Angeles. bjungschmitt@ 520-369-5460

HEALING WITH ALISON EAKIN Healing sessions for the mind, body and spirit. Guided breath work meditation opens the flow of energy from the universe. Get help with insomnia, anxiety, depression, trauma, anorexia, and addiction. 970-208-7733

LAUREL FELICE, LMT Offers Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, reiki, cranialsacral and pre and post natal massage with a reverent and joyous balance of hands and heart. 805-886-3674

LESLIE BOUCHÉ, C.HT. Cert. Hypnotherapist Find your calm center. Release negative thinking, emotional reactivity, anxiety, fear and unhelpful behaviors. Improve sleep and comfort. Safe, loving, rapid change. It’s time to feel better! | 805-796-1616

ALAN CHANG, L.Ac 2nd generation Acupuncturist who brings 13 years of Meditation, Tai Chi and Kyudo Zen Archery experience to his healing practice of Functional Medicine and TCM. | 805-486-3494

JACALYN BOOTH Certified Colon Hydrotherapist Ojai Digestive Health With more than 30 years of experience in healing modalities, Jacalyn brings a deep level of caring to the art of colon hydrotherapy. Professional, nurturing, experienced. 805-901-3000

MICHAEL D. FREDERICK Master Teacher, Alexander Technique - Feldenkrais Method. State-of-the art in stress management. “Life Just Got Easier.” More than 40 years of international teaching experience. Free 20-minute consultations. 310-880-7700

ALARRA SARESS Gong Meditation and Acutonics Sound Alchemist. Master Bodyworker. Founder of Harmonic Earth — sacred space for healing arts and performance. Call or text. 107 W. Aliso Street | 720-5303415

JULIE TUMAMAITSTENSLIE Chumash Elder Consultant • Storyteller • Spiritual Advisor • Workshops Weddings & Ceremonies 805-646-6214


please call or email

ROSS FALVO or 805-207-5094

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DR. JOHN R. GALASKA Dr. John R. Galaska, PsyD, BCN, Cht, university professor of Psychology, Neurofeedback, biofeedback, hypnosis for past troubling experiences and enhancing subjective life experience. 805-705-5175



Stephen Adelman “Your Family Man Realtor”


805.640.5563 | | DRE# 01786486



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*Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 1/11/20–4/6/20 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Bonus PowerView® rebate is only available when making a qualifying purchase. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 4 weeks of rebate claim approval. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. See complete terms distributed with reward card. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2020 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 20Q1MAGSOC3

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7 WAYS TO GET LOST By Bret Bradigan

1. SHELF ROAD Directions: From Ojai Avenue, head north on Signal Street until it ends. Length: 3.5 miles return trip. Difficulty: Easy. It takes about an hour at a brisk pace to walk the length of the trail and back between the trailheads at either North Signal Street or Gridley Road. This hike is perfect for visitors or residents to get “ the lay of the land” in Ojai. It is also one of the most “dog friendly” walks around.

2. VENTURA RIVER BOTTOM TRAILS Directions: From Highway 150, there’s a trailhead just east of the Ventura River bridge. From South Rice Road, there’s a trailhead just north of the intersection with Lomita Road. Also from South Rice, take a right on Meyer Road to the Oso Trailhead. Length: Varies. Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. Three trailheads lead you into the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s 1,600-acre Ventura River Preserve. This three-mile stretch of the Ventura River offers a spectacular glimpse into old-growth oak canopy, splendid vistas from rocky ridgelines, deep swimming holes, lush fern grottoes, rare wildflowers and many miles of trails to choose from.

3. PRATT TRAIL Directions: From Ojai Avenue, turn north on Signal Street and drive about 1.2 miles until you see the Forest Service sign on the left. The trailhead is a further half-mile. Length: 4.4 miles to Nordhoff Ridge. Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous. The Pratt Trail criss-crosses a seasonal stream through the backyards of private properties before opening onto a natural bowl formed by the slope of Nordhoff Ridge. Follow the signs through about two miles of dry and dusty switchbacks until you reach the ridgeline. From there, it’s another two steep, dusty miles to Nordhoff Peak, 4,426 feet above sea level.

4. GRIDLEY TRAIL Directions: From Ojai Avenue, turn on the Gridley Road.

Photo by Caitlin Petersen

Follow it to the gated end, about two miles. Length: 3 miles to the Gridley Springs, 6 miles to Nordhoff Peak. Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous. Elevation gain: 1,200 feet to the springs. This trail, at the north end of Gridley Road just to the left before the gates to Hermitage Ranch, begins with a steep climb, then follows an orchard road through avocado trees before making a northeastward turn along the rocky western flank of the mountainside. The trail winds along the steep flank of the mountain until it enters the cool, dense side canyon wherein lies Gridley Springs.

6. COZY DELL TRAIL Directions: Head east on the Maricopa Highway (Highway 33) for 3.3 miles. The turnout is on the left, just before and across from Friend’s Ranch packing house.. Cross the street to the trailhead. Length: 1.9 miles to Cozy Dell Creek. Difficulty: Moderate. The trail begins along a seasonal creek and quickly climbs about 640 feet in elevation along a well-forested and wild-flowered canyon to a ridgeline knoll with spectacular views of the Ojai Valley.

7. MIDDLE FORK OF MATILIJA CANYON Directions: Head east on Highway 33 for about 4.7 miles to Matilija Canyon Road. Follow the road to the end — about another two miles. Length: Up to 7 miles (14 miles return). Difficulty: Moderate. Follow the trailhead at the end of Matilija Canyon Road through the gated property to the west side of the creek. The trail, more of a one-track road at this point, heads towards the gates of Blue Heron Ranch, a historic farm with orange and lemon groves. The trail then clambers through thickening chaparral scrub for another 1.5 miles until you can see tilted slabs of weathered granite and a long, green pool to the right. The trail descends back into the creekside sycamore and willow forest through a series of campsites, swimming holes and geologic marvels. The shifting and often-concealed trail eventually leads you to the fabled Three Falls of the Matilija.


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.



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One Day Through-Hike from the Coast to the Matilija Wilderness. Straddling the coastal spine of the Transverse Range, I hiked (and sometimes ran) the sandstone sea serpent that rises and falls east to west all the way from the idyllic Gaviota Coast to the stunningly breathtaking Matilija Wilderness, a stone’s throw away from Carpinteria and in Ojai’s backyard. The chaparral-choked Santa Ynez Mountains are one of the main gateways with several front-country trails leading to the backcountry wilds of the Los Padres National Forest, and the Cenozoic range is one of just a few in the U.S. trending east-west. One of the most unique aspects of living in close to the national forest is standing on its prominent coastal spine, gazing out across the Santa Barbara Channel to the Channel Islands National Park, the isles also part of the Transverse Ranges.

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The 7.9-mile Franklin Trail — reestablished following fires and mudslides in 2018 — is the newest route into the National Forest. Ascending and weaving from the Carpinteria Valley to the narrow ridge of the Santa Ynez Mountains, it’s only natural to connect the dots, run the spine of the range and descend alongside all the soothing, gurgling tributaries that feed the Matilija Wilderness.

Darkness Calms There’s something to be said for hiking on a cool winter’s night. There are no bugs to speak of. It’s refreshing. T-shirt, shorts, beanie, trail shoes, the head is warm, but the cool air feels just right and enhanced my pace up the Franklin Trail. With my headlamp burning bright, it’s one foot in front of the other, and for a few hours the distance was forgotten. Lost was how far it was or how steep the route got in The Franklin’s upper reaches. Visibility carried only as far as the brightest beam from my headlamp. Drifting off into a meditative state was easily accomplished and settling in for the first several miles before sunup was simple. Of course, all that went out the window once the initial, significant rustle of coastal sage scrub occurred, thus heightening my senses. Megafauna or just another spotted towhee sounding larger than it really was? Timed on a setting full moon and greeted by a new dawn, I stopped and gazed in 360 degrees. Heaven would have to wait. As orange and pinkish hues swept across the horizon, it had to be one of the best panoramas on the entire West Coast. A light frost crusted over the dense chaparral and a wisp of northeast wind wafted down the steep, narrow canyons to the Carpinteria Valley below. The shimmering Santa Barbara Channel was flawless, and those ever-present isles continue to beckon. Once on top of the ridgeline though, there’s a magnetic pull


toward rugged backcountry bliss. As the spine continued to gradually veer eastward, the ocean became a little more distant, but with the sun rising over the channel, a clear day can mean striking visuals of land and sea. It’s not every day, even from 4,000 feet above, that one can see San Nicolas and Santa Barbara Islands, the canyons of the Northern Channel Islands, Point Mugu, Sandstone Peak, the high summit of the Santa Monica Mountains, the daunting Topa Topa Mountains and even the Santa Ynez Valley smothered in Tule fog. Those were the possibilities revealed while standing atop the rambling spine of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Backcountry Transition My map is old. It’s over 20-years-old. It’s not tear-proof. It’s not tatter-proof and some things have changed out here in the backcountry or remain unmaintained over the past two plus decades. Having said that, I couldn’t locate the Monte Arido Trail, the connector between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Murrietta Divide. At 4,707 feet, Divide Peak is four miles west of the Franklin Trail connector, resembling a ragged rib rolling toward the coast. Once at Divide Peak the OHV route bends to the northeast, then east climbing and rolling toward the Matilija Wilderness. Certain features came into play walking eastward. The vein of the upper Santa Ynez River snaked west from shimmering Jameson Lake. East of the lake, Juncal Canyon converged with Murietta Divide, Rincon Creek and east of the boulder-strewn creeks and above was Old Man Mountain. No Monte Arido, no problem. Locating what appeared to be an

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old bulldozed track down a steep, rolling ridge that maybe led to Jameson Lake, I took it. A steep descent into a loose, rocky thrashed-through remnants of burned out Thomas Fire snags and low-lying new growth, slipping and sliding in earth made thick and soggy by recent rains and snow. Converging with the Murrietta Divide was a maze of oak tree groves, willows, boulders and creeks before reaching the road leading up Murrietta Canyon. Every now and then fallen trees covered the road. Recent rains left soft, compacted mud revealing a myriad of defined wildlife spoor; black bears, bobcats, mule deer, gray foxes and striped skunks, heaps of activity relying on a nearby water source.

The Good Luck Bug However, while I enjoyed a burrito break, one of the smallest yet most popular residents of the forest quickly cluttered my map. A few dozen ladybugs soon led me to a busy colony of thousands

along Murrietta Canyon. They were enjoying the soggy earth, clustered on all leaves and branches within the near vicinity. Their black spots stood out against their bright red wings. In many cultures they’re considered good luck. There are about 5,000 species of ladybug in the world. The most common, the most notable, is the seven-spotted ladybug. They use their black spots and a secretion oozing from their joints as deterrents against potential predators. Plenty of those lurking in the dense chaparral. Beyond the ladybugs, I rounded the last bend in the muddy road and the Matilija Wilderness eventually opened before me. Fall colors still clung to the North Fork and the rhythm of the creeks led me to my shuttle back to Carpinteria.

Photo by Tylar Harrison

Together, our community will help protect Ojai’s trails and open spaces for everyone to enjoy, forever. Visit a participating Wild About Ojai business today and take part. A Taste of Ojai

Ojai Quarterly

Alojai Creations

Greyfox Investors

Rowsie Vain

BeCalm of Ojai

Jennifer Keeler, Hair Stylist

Chamber on the Mountain

Lorraine Lim Catering

Sol Haus Design

Char Man Brand Hot Sauce

Mary Nelson Skincare & Massage Studio

Dogs Fly Design The Glass Man Professional Window Washing Company 132

Tobias Parker, General Contractor

Meridian Design Construction

Tonya Peralta Real Estate Services, Inc

Mooney Creative

Watercolors by Patty Van Dyke OQ / SPRING 2020


Personalized, 24-hour Board & Care Family-like setting Located in peaceful Ojai

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U-Haul 805-646-5334 404 Bryant Circle Ojai Self Storage 805-646-8742


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Meet Your

New Pharmacist,

Fred Farkhani

Get your pharmacist recommendation on flu shots!

WALK-IN IMMUNIZATIONS Most Vaccinations Available

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960 E. Ojai Avenue Call: 805.646.0106 or visit us at

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Grand Avenue Park Road

AA Relaxing Station


Signal Street

Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm (Tuesday 11 am to 8 pm)

Bamboo Creek Spa

Ojai Avenue

AA Relaxing Station - our downtown Arcade location Phone (805) 302-1166 - 323 E. Matilija Street, #112

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The Annual CREW Barbecue, Auction, Trail Ride & Hike Doors open 5 p.m.


Join us for the annual Western BBQ & Auction, benefitting The CREW! Catering by local favorite Dearmore Bar-B-Cue, along with locally crafted beer and wines. Sing and dance along to live cowboy tunes and catch up with longtime friends among The CREW’s extended family. You’ll meet and visit with CREW members, and learn about all the good work CREW does throughout the community, and hear firsthand about the impact of your support. The silent auction features gifts and packages from many of our favorite shops, artists, venues, restaurants, vacation spots, and much more. Dinner tickets ($75) include dinner, drinks, fine fiddling music, and great company. Find tickets and information at, or call 805-649-8847. The CREW is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing fire prevention, ecological restoration, and backcountry trail services. All proceeds from the Western BBQ support The CREW’s environmental and staff development programs. The CREW is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Proceeds can be used for Fire Mitigation, Trail Restoration and Environmental Rehabilitation.

Please contact the C.R.E.W. Office at (805) 649-8847 for tickets

Sponsorship Opportunities Available: Contact the Executive Director, Jennifer Berry.

OJAI TENNIS TOURNAMENT The Ojai Tennis Tournament celebrates its 120th year with tennis and tea and tradition all set in historic Libbey Park in downtown Ojai. Events include: Men's and Women's Pac-12 Championships, Men's and Women's Open with more than $30,000 in prize money, as well as collegiate and junior events.

Fundraising Dinner Friday, April 24th, 6pm 1190 El Toro Rd, Ojai


PATRICK McENROE and Tracy Austin


for tickets & info: 138

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We’llOjai,get you there! Meiners Oaks and Mira Monte From and to: For Just $1.50!

ADA and Medicare Card Holders .75¢, Seniors 65 and up .75¢, Children under 45” tall and Seniors 75 and older (with ID) FREE

The Ojai Trolley Service The Ojai Trolley Service, established in 1989, is owned and operated by the City of Ojai. The Trolley provides daily fixed-route transportation to approximately 9,000 riders per month throughout Ojai, Meiners Oaks, and Mira Monte. The Trolley is a well-known feature in the Ojai Valley, and in addition to the daily fixed-route services, participates in many local community events, fund raising activities, community service, and educational functions. Photo: Michael


Trolley A Services

Whispering Oaks & East End


Check out the smartphone app GoVCBus for stop-time arrival predictions.

Trolley B Services

408 South Signal Street, Ojai, CA 93024 • Phone: (805) 272-3383 • trolley Stops/ Paradas

major holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. Effective 1/1/18

The Ojai Trolley is a Service of the City of Ojai & the County of Ventura

(805)272-3883 •


Transfer to and from Gold Coast Transit at this location

Timed Trolley Stops/ Paradas Mayores

El servicio de Ojai Trolley opera diariamente, excluyendo los siguientes días feriados: Día de Año Nuevo, Día de Conmemoración de los Caídos, Día de Independencia, Día del Trabajador, Día de Acción de Gracias, y Navidad.

Ojai Trolley Route Legend

Transfer Locations/ Punto de transbordar

Ojai Valley Inn



Can we of the ne on their time arri called G

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to 4.5



MARCH 15 CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT: WITH PIANIST NATASHA KISLENKO Time: 2 p.m. Location: Ojai Art Center 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: 805-640-1158 On Sunday March 15 at 2pm Moscow born pianist, Natasha Kislenko, returns as soloist to the Ojai Art Center to present an all Russian program. Featured composers are Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Alfred Schnittke.

Contact: gm@ranchogrande. com Kitasuna, Little League World Series Champions from Japan, will hold a baseball skills training clinic at Rancho Grande. All local 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls are invited to join them in this two-hour workout. Admission is free.

THROUGH APRIL 5 OPAT’S “HARVEY” Location: Matilija Auditorium 703 El Paseo Road Times: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. on Sundays. Contact: 805-646-5433 This is the first play of the 2020 season for the Ojai Performing Arts Theater. The production will run weekends March 2729, April 3-5. MARCH 29 RANCHO GRANDE HOSTS LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS Location: 7674 Rose Valley Road Times: Varied 140

APRIL 4 “TOMATOMANIA!” Location: Topa Mountain Winery, 821 West Ojai Avenue Times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact: One of the region’s premier events for tomato growers, for general enthusiasts as well as master gardeners of rare heirloom varieties. APRIL 11 & MAY 9 OSA SECOND SATURDAYS Location: Check out map on website, Contact: 805-640-1158. Times: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. These free mini-tours give our visitors a monthly opportunity to explore our rich artist community one area at a time. THROUGH APRIL 11 “MENDING THE DIVIDE” — OJAI STUDIO ARTISTS



TO 4.19


GROUP EXHIBITION Location: Ventura County Museum, 100 East Main Street Times: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact: 805-653-0323 We live in divided times politically, culturally and personally. This exhibit asks Ojai Studio Artists to depict the divide and determine how can it be healed. The Ojai Studio Artists is a collective of 81 artists. Its mission is to encourage and support the development of art in the Ojai Valley. OSA encourages emerging artists, raises funds to award local educational scholarships and introduces the public to the talents of professional artists at work in their studios, vibrantly reflecting the meaning of community. THROUGH APRIL 12 VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE Location: Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery Street Times: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays Contact: 805-640-8797 Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play this


playful Chekhov parody from the offbeat mind of Christopher Durang offers siblings who bicker and dicker, drink liquor and snicker in an old farmhouse on a Bucks County, Pennsylvania cherry orchard. Movie-star-sister Masha dresses as Snow White and Spike stripteases to the delight of (almost) everyone! Directed by Linda Livingston. THROUGH APRIL 19 OJAI MUSEUM – “22 MILES: OJAI VALLEY LANDSCAPES” Location: 130 West Ojai Avenue Times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact:, 805-640-1390 “22 Miles: Ojai Valley Landscapes” was co-curated by two well-known local artists, Jennifer Moses and Gail Pidduck. The title refers to the distance between their two homes on opposite ends of the valley. APRIL 22-26 THE 120TH OJAI TENNIS TOURNAMENT Location: Varied, including center court in libbey park Times: Varied Contact: 805-646-7241

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Started in 1896, “The Ojai,” as its affectionately known, each year hosts more than 1,250 players with more than 600 local volunteers assisting. The men’s and women’s Pac12 Championships are the signature event, as well as the men’s and women’s professional money Open event taking place during the week at the Ojai Valley Inn. Patrick McEnroe, pictured above, will be honored.

atre, Culver City Time: 5 p.m., VIP Supper, 7 p.m. the show, 9 p.m. reception. Contact: Leading American writers will engage, provoke and inspire us with poignant and dramatic insights into where they believe America is and where she is heading. Proceeds support OPC’s mission to develop ground-breaking new plays for the American theatre.

MARCH 12 – MAY 31 WORKS BY ROGER DE LA FRESNAYE, GIORGIO MORANDI AND BEN NICHOLSON Location: canvas and paper, 311 North Montgomery Street Times: Thursday – Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. Contact: canvas and paper is a non-profit exhibition space showing paintings and drawings from the 20th century and earlier in thematic and single artist exhibits. MAY 2 OJAI PLAYWRIGHTS CONFERENCE BENEFIT — “IMAGINING AMERICA” Location: Kirk Douglas The

MAY 17 OJAI COMMUNITY CHORUS CONCERT — “FUN ... UNDER THE BIG TOP” Location: Ojai United Methodist Church, 120 Church Road Times: 7 p.m. on May 16, 3 p.m. on May 17 Contact: ojaichorus.wordpress. com, 805-798-4791 The Ojai Community Chorus concert will feature music about circuses, clowns, a baby elephant, and more, oh my! Many Ojai artists, both vocal and instrumental, will be featured in this fun and entertaining concert. JUNE 11-14 74TH OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL Location: Libbey Bowl, 210


South Signal Street and others Times: Varies Contact: 805-646-2094 The renowned Matthias Pintscher will take the baton as music director this year as open-minded audiences gather in the idyllic Ojai Valley to experience a four-day curated music festival. Each Festival’s narrative thread is guided by a different music director, who offers a wildly distinctive style and point of view. JUNE 14 34TH ANNUAL OJAI WINE FESTIVAL Location: Lake Casitas Recreation Area, 11311 Santa Ana Road Time: 12 noon to 4 p.m. Contact: For 34 years, the Ojai Wine Festival has served as the primary non-profit fundraising effort of the Rotary Club of Ojai-West Foundation and its numerous philanthropic endeavors. From the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to Girl’s Empowerment Workshops, proceeds from the Ojai Wine Festival have donated more than $1,400,000 to Rotary’s charity efforts around the world.

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CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET Every Sunday Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact: 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. HISTORICAL WALKING TOURS OF OJAI Every Saturday, October through June Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Location: Departs from the Ojai Valley Museum, 130 W Ojai Avenue. Contact: 640-1390 FULL MOON MEDITATIONS Dates: To be announced. Check website. Location: Meditation Mount, 10340 Reeves Road Contact: 646-5508 ext.103, Open meditation at the Full Moon. ‘EATING OJAI’ FOOD TOUR Date: Call to schedule Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Location: Varies Contact: 295-8687 OJAI SEEKER’S BIKE TOUR Date: By reservation, 48 hrs in advance Time: Varies | Location: Varies Contact: 272-8102 or email Ojai bike tour features agricultural, artistic, culinary, cultural, and historical landmarks in Ojai. Riders are guided to eight stops where they answer questions about each place. OSA SECOND SATURDAYS Free, Self-Guided Studio Tours Every Second Saturday 10-3 For maps & directions:


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Explore Ojai Valley’s History, Art and Culture 130 West Ojai Avenue (805) 640-1390

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Life/existence is a lot to take in. The shock of being born is so traumatic it takes us three years before we can even string together a coherent sentence. Years later, and some of us still are barely making any sense.

OJAI LOWDOWN SHOWDOWN Little Neddy stood at the door to the kindergarten classroom, one hand on his plastic gun, waiting for the jeering to start from the boys with the sensible jumpers. He knew he could lasso any one of these pansy-ass fools any time he wanted to. He just didn’t want to yet. They seemed to be distracted this morning though. Prolly looking at one of their towny-ass skateboard magazines, thought Little Neddy. He sneered to show his disdain for their Postman Pat lunchboxes and slouched epicly past the reading-corner not caring one way or the other whether Karen-Pam MacQuorqhodale at the red table was watching. Noticing in the the window’s reflection that she didn’t appear to be following his nonchalant, bouncy-kneed progress to his seat at the blue table, Little Neddy frowned a little. He spun on his red gen-yoo-ine leather boot-heel, inadvertently clonking Karen-Pam’s best friend Monica on the head with his holster. “Hey!” she cried. “That hurt!” But Little Neddy had no use for her squawling. Did she think that was sore? Hah! He’d been to Sore and back and laughed at head-clonking the way dusty heroes laugh at the comforts of a reasonably-priced hotel. Still, he thought, Karen-Pam didn’t like it when he wounded her friends. He pulled up a plastic chair, put his foot on it, leaning his weight over the raised leg with the assurance of a fellow who knows his pants, though form-fitting, won’t rip. From his pocket he pulled out a yellow, cornstalk-like straw and chewed it manfully. “Beggin’ your pardon, little lady” he said to Monica. “Forgive my rough and clumsy ways.” Little Neddy tipped his hat towards her, then turned to her cuter friend. “Sure are looking purdy today, Miss Karen-Pam, if you’ll pardon my sayin’ so,” he drawled. Then, with fingers crossed behind his back, he continued with his well-rehearsed speech. “Looks like there’s rain a-comin’ in from over Lake Casitas way, this day. You want I should walk you home later, holding a large tarpaulin over your head?” 144

“Stop being so weird, Little Neddy,” said Karen-Pam, lovelier than ever in a dress of yellow roses. “Where would you find a large tarpaulin anyway?” How he loved the way she pretended to despise him! “Mysterious guns-for-hire always carry tarpaulins” explained Little Neddy allowing himself a knowing chuckle. He’d been hoping she’d ask him this. That was why he’d spent the hour before sun-up this morning wrestling the one he’d spent all his pocket-money on into a Westridge reusable bag, cursing at his misfortune at not having a jolly-but-less-handsome side-kick to do these things for him. “Yessiree, a man can sure find a lot of uses for a tarpaulin out on the lonesome trail. It comes in mighty handy as a blanket and, when the need arises that I should have to construct a rude shelter? Well, right about then a tarpaulin’s worth more than all the Transformers in the world.” He paused to look mysteriously into the mid-distance, which in this case was just beyond the blackboard. “Gotta travel light, see?” he continued. “A man never knows when he’s gonna have to skip town fast leaving nothing but sore jaws and broken hearts to remember him by.” Little Neddy gave a deep chortle as if, dangit, he were remembering all those times. “Little Neddy, just go and sit down, will you?” said Karen-Pam. “The mangy old rabbit pelt on your belt gives me hives when it’s dangling in my face like this. My mother’s already spoken to your mother about that.” “Yeah, I reckon my rough, country ways prolly do offend you, Miss, and for that I’m truly sorry … but …” said Little Neddy, looking past the Valentine’s Day collages on the rain-streaked window … past the Robin Hood themed play-structure, to the high rocky places where men were made and flinty characters hewn … past all that to the supermarket building site on the hill… “…but, I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em, ma’am, and them’s the only ways I know how. I wudn’t brang up to talk fancy like you townsfolks. My language is the old gnarly language of the trail, of the coyote and the rattler, and of a burning soul-thirst that OQ / SPRING 2020

can never be quenched.” “What in Ariana Grande’s name are you on about, Little Neddy?” cried Monica scornfully, still rubbing the back of her clonked head. “You’re dad’s a quantity-surveyer and your mom’s the headmistress. The only burning soul-thirst you have is to be allowed out to play after dinner-time on school nights.” There was some snickering from the other table and annoyance flickered in Little Ned’s piercing blue eyes. He loathed snickerers and, outside of emergencies, never snickered at all himself if he could help it. He looked down at Monica doing the best sneery lip-curl he could manage. “Hey Little Neddy!” called some fool-ass boy, from across the room, “How much of the lonesome trail did you drive in the back of your mommy’s ß Sunny today?” The snickering became intolerable sniggering. “That’s just the sort of dumb-ass question I’d expect from someone that sits at the yellow table,” spat Little Neddy turning to face his new tormentor. Just then, Mrs. Jamieson came into the classroom. “Why aren’t you in your chair, Little Neddy? Sit down, there’s a good boy. Oh and before I forget, well done on your extraordinary picture of a coyote ripping out the throat of a bunny! The art teacher said she’s never seen such an anatomically correct rendition of a trachea from someone so young! Now if you’d only pay that much attention to Reading Module 3 you could be learning all the more about the Nature’s pitiless ways, wouldn’t you?” She smiled fondly at him. Little Neddy, never comfortable with praise, pulled his three-gallon hat down low over his nose. He slouched off to his seat and waited for the morning of cruel teasing about his hat behind the teacher’s back to begin as usual. An eraser bumped off his head from the direction of the fool-ass boy. But what did he care?! he sneered inwardly. These boys were jackasses, aimin’ to make him look like a fool in front of Karen-Pam. But one day … one day he would take Karen-Pam by the hand, he would! And they would step out and go a-walkin’

together. And he would tell her the ways of the old cowboys; share with her beans straight from the tin and show her the complicated pistol-twiddles he’d perfected over Christmas. And then, if things were going well, then maybe he would take her to the hidden place near the disused end of the quarry; the little cave with the songs of love for her he’d scored on the wall, and the 17 dead cats hanging across the entrance to keep strangers away. The morning dragged on. The rain poured on the storm-darkened school-yard outside. At last the bell rang for recess. In the playground, once Mrs. Jamieson had gone into the staffroom, Jordan Kinsey knocked off Neddy’s hat, sending it flying into a puddle, and Jenny Crawley pinged his rabbit pelt. Karen-Pam looked on in horror at their cruelty. Filled with sudden outrage, she pinged Jenny’s hair scrunchy with all the ping-power she could muster, but Little Neddy could take it no more. With unseeing eyes, blind to Karen-Pam’s hair-accessory-based retaliation on his behalf, he grabbed his soaking hat and ran. He ran to the far side of the school-yard, climbed up onto the highest limb of the old oak tree and, with tears running down his cheeks, he sneered, he sneered at them all — such sneery, curly-lipped sneers of snotty contempt as no rugged cowboy has ever sneered before! From over by the swings, Karen-Pam watched his small, heaving back in the tree, and vowed that one day, before First Grade, she was gonna kiss that boy. How was she to know that the very next day she would be whisked off by her mother to a new life in Santa Paula where she would become famous for her preternaturally gifted accordion playing and embark on a long, fulfilling life of professional acclaim, financial self-sufficiency and fairytale marriage, never to think about Little Neddy again? And so it was begun, in the foothills of the great Topa Topa mountains, that a new TV minor-character-actor, whose real dream it was to direct, set out on his very own trail of tears … You might have seen him in yogurt commercials.

OQ / SPRING 2020


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Profile for Ojai Quarterly

Ojai Quarterly — Spring 2020  

Ojai's premier lifestyle, arts, culture, history and events magazine.

Ojai Quarterly — Spring 2020  

Ojai's premier lifestyle, arts, culture, history and events magazine.