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Summer 2018



The Next WAVE

Ojai’s Rising Young Surf Star Makes Pro Moves


Open Space Guardian on Future Threats


An Ojai Man’s Unlikely Encounter with Film Great OQ / SUMMER 2018


Highest, lowest, driest, tallest spots all within easy reach 1

10 1/4 Acre Padaro Beach | Ocean Vistas | Summerland Beachfront | $49,000,000 | www.Padaro-Lane.com

Mid Century Estate | 11+ Acres | Two Legal Parcels $3,795,000 | www.1071RanchoDr.com

Classic 1925 Downtown Spanish | Pool Guest House $1,995,000 | www.608ElPaseo.com


4 Bedroom | Nr. Downtown Ojai www.1317meadowbrook.com | $695,000

Downtown Ojai | Private | 1.5 Acres $1,395,000 | www.811canada.com

Spectacular 6300 SF - Guest House - Workshop/ Hobby Bldg | 100% Well Water

Downtown Ojai 3 Unit Commercial Property | www.411WOjai.com


12196 Linda Flora | Rancho Matilija 4 BD 3 BA | Beautiful 2.75 Acres | $1,395,000

Larry Wilde began his real estate career in Ojai in 1975 and by 1978 together with his partner Dennis Guernsey had formed the local Coldwell banker Property Shoppe. today it is the premier brokerage in the Ojai Valley.

Downtown Ten Acre Estate | Two Homes | Gated | $7,500,000

20 Acres | House and Guest House | Unrivaled Vistas | $3,850,000 | www.1510Farnham.com

6300 SF | Water Well | GH | Artist/ Yoga Studio | Impeccable

41 Acres | Rancho Matilija | $1,500,000 www.ranchomatilija41acres.com

Bryant Circle Industrial 2490+ SF includes solar! | $995,000


Immaculate Remodeled Mid-Century Gem in Downtown Ojai | $1,049,000

Remodeled - Large 5 Bedroom Family Home in Downtown Ojai | www.308ShadyLn.com

French style Estate on 2 acres with privacy and views

727 W. Ojai Ave. - Ojai - CA 93023 - Larry - 805.640.5734 - Erik - 805.830.3254 www.wilde-wilde.cm - lwilde@west.net - erikw@west.net Larry Wilde DRE:#15216270 - Erik Wile DRT:#01461074

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Donna Sallen 805-798-0516 www.donnasallen.com

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OQ / SUMMER 2018



Cheryl & Ray Deckert Broker Associates

Maria DePaola Sheryl Whipple Robert Perron Paul Johnsen Realtor Partner Realtor Associate Realtor Associate Realtor Associate

1217 Gregory Street, Ojai - $489,000

936 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai - $385,000

Crisp spring mornings and warm summer nights never felt nicer sitting under the covered back patio of this 2 bedroom/1.25 bathroom home (one bath is 3/4 – the other is a 1/2 bath), which includes a large additional flex space – great for an extra bedroom, den, office or whatever you desire. This home has been upgraded with custom alder wood kitchen cabinets, newer kitchen lighting, granite counter tops, great looking and durable wood-look tile flooring, and two sets of sliding doors leading to the back yard. Both of the bathrooms have been updated as well. The back yard is low-maintenance and includes fruit trees and a covered patio off both bedrooms and the flexroom. But perhaps the best part: Every time you step out the front door you’ll be greeted by mountain views.

Flat and usable commercial .17 acre lot located between two commercial buildings. This property has 50 feet of Ojai Avenue frontage, plus rear alley access. According to the city it could be used for anything from a parking lot to a commercial building. Retail? Restaurant? Day Spa? Bring your dreams and imagination!

460 El Conejo Drive, Ojai - $655,000

347 N. Poli Street, Ojai - $679,000

4 bedroom/2 bathroom, 1,745 sq. ft. home in Meiners Oaks. Features include a large master bedroom suite with an extended balcony, RV parking, fireplace, twocar garage, and more.

Enchanting 2 bed/2 bath home in Meiners Oaks featuring wood flooring, a large master bedroom, updated master and guest bathrooms, updated kitchen, and a detached studio (perfect for the artist) all in a paradisiacal setting.


~ Phone: 805.272.5221 ~ Email: Team@DeckertDePaola.com BRE #01761150, 00780642, 01877842, 01962884, 02019595, 02018091 8

OQ / SUMMER 2018

OQ / SUMMER 2018





e are referring to saving Ojai's star-studded night skies. To us, it is a key aspect of building more environmentally friendly homes as well as protecting views of starlight and dark skies. The challenge is that people today have a love affair with lighting. Many homeowners think outdoor lights are synonymous with safety and security...and the more light the better. The International Dark Sky Association is leading a movement to stop light pollution and protect the night skies for present and future generations. In fact, millions of children across the globe will never see the Milky Way from their own homes. Every April since 2003, they have "Turned on the Night" during Dark Sky Week. One way that homeowners and building professionals can achieve a goal of a night sky brimming with visible stars is through wise use of outdoor lighting. An added plus beyond eliminating light pollution cast from your home onto your neighbors’ properties is mitigating its negative impact on the ecosystems of our local nocturnal animals. Here are some techniques that can help you “fade to black” around your residence, while still providing the safety and security we all value:  Use fully shielded exterior light fixtures—or angle them downward—so that light only shines down and eliminates neighbor “light trespass”.  Look for dark sky lighting fixtures with the light source in the cap. Honey or opal opaque glass is needed to control light if bulb is not in the cap.  As much as possible, locate fixtures under porches and overhangs.  Use motion sensors and/or timers on exterior light fixtures, so that lights are on only when triggered and for the length of time needed.  Use only enough light to get the job done—meaning the fewest number of fixtures, minimum height, and low wattage.  Avoid blue white lights wherever possible. Instead, try to select warm/soft white LED lamps or light bulbs. Long wavelength light with a red or yellow tint will minimize impact. For more information, call, click or visit Allen Construction. 805.884.8777 | buildallen.com


OQ / SUMMER 2018


518 E. Haley Santa Barbara tel : 805.963.8638

tile | stone | design OQ / SUMMER 2018

1717 Palma Drive Ventura tel : 805.650.1252 11 buenatile.com


Secret Gardens

Beyond the Wall with Top Landscape Designer Story byJerry Dunn Summer 2018

Editor & Publisher Bret Bradigan Director of Publications Ross Falvo Contributing Editors Mark Lewis Jerry Camarillo Dunn Jr. Jesse Phelps Contributing Designer Paul Stanton Columnists Bennett Barthelemy Peter Bellwood Ilona Saari Kit Stolz Sami Zahringer

Director of Sales

Laura Rearwin Ward Circulation Target Media Partners

Contact Us: Editorial & Advertising, 805.798.0177 editor@ojaiquarterly.com sales@ojaiquarterly.com 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 ojaiquarterly.com or write to 1129 Maricopa Highway, B186 Ojai, CA 93023. Subscriptions are $24.95 per year. You can also e-mail us at editor@ojaiquarterly.com. Please recycle this magazine when you are finished. © 2018 Bradigan Group LLC. All rights reserved.



Summer 2018



The NexT WAVe

Ojai’s Rising Young Surf Star’s Pro Moves


Guardian of Ojai’s Open Places on Future Threats


An Ojai Man’s Unlikely Encounter with Film Great OQ / SUMMER 2018


Highest, lowest, driest, tallest spots all within easy reach 1

On The Cover

Quinten Rubalcava Photo by Quinn Wilson



Man of Vision

Open Space Crusader’s Far-Seeing Challenge Story by Mark Frost


State of Extremes

Ojai Photographer finds highest, driest, lowest and prettiest spots within easy reach. Story & Photos by Joe Sohm


Capra’s Moon Shot

Ojai Man’s Rendezvous With Legendary Director Story by Mark Lewis

Without a doubt it’s one of the newest and nicest homes located to downtown Ojai. The 3,784 Sq. Ft. home sits on a 2/3 Acre lot and has been completely updated, inside and out with the finest materials and finishes. 1,925,000

“Mother Lode Ranch” revisited. Prime & private 20 acre Ojai property with sweeping views and estate potential offered for 1st time in 40 years! Improve upon rustic Ranch house or build the estate of your dreams! 4,995,000

With a perfect blend of relaxed refinement, this sophisticated Mediterranean single story enjoys one of Saddle Mountain’s most aesthetic settings offering serene privacy and spectacular views. Over 2 acres & direct bridle trail access. 1,625,000

805.637.4467 ojaihomes4sale.com

The Ultimate Ojai Sanctuary! Incomparable oak-studded 45 acre natural setting, exquisite privacy & extraordinary views! Separate Guest Quarters, Meditation Studio and Pool & Spa complete this incredible package. 2,595,000

Highly updated turn-key beauty with super convenient location! The fresh interior feels rich with the sophisticated details from the thorough remodel completed in 2010 including gorgeous granite kitchen & baths and stainless kitchen appliances. 589,000

Opportunity is knocking!! Sitting on a spacious 1/4 acre lot, this 4 bed, 3 bath home has quality features throughout. Gorgeous granite kitchen and gleaming Brazilian Cherry Flooring! Close to hiking, biking & horse trails! 699,000


Off The Shelf Zhena Muzyka’s Newest Venture By Kit Stolz


Food & Drink Ojai Diners, Dives & Drive-Ins By Ilona Saari


24 Editor’s Note 25 Contributors 29 Ojai Notes 50 Artists & Galleries 62 Ojai’s Wine Trail 108 Street Map 112 Healers of Ojai 115 Retreat Page 128 Top Seven Ojai Hikes 138 Calendar of Events

Photo by Bennett Barthelemy


Nocturnal Submissions Cat’s In the Bag With Surprise Bestseller By Sami Zahringer


Watering Wholes Scientist Wades Into Key Issue Story by Bennett Barthelemy


Bellwood Chronicles He’s Right Behind You! By Peter Bellwood



OQ / SUMMER 2018


Impressive style with guest wing option Saddle Mountain Hilltop - 8 Bds/4ba. 8700+ SF

Sweeping views, pool, guest area! Saddle Mountain Hilltop - 8 Bds/4ba. 8700+ SF

Charming downtown gem!

So much style with a large yard!

Saddle Mountain Hilltop - 8 Bds/4ba. 8700+ SF

Saddle Mountain Hilltop - 8 Bds/4ba. 8700+ SF

Arbolada estate with majestic oaks, pool & privacy Saddle Mountain Hilltop - 8 Bds/4ba. 8700+ SF

Tonya Peralta, Broker Associate Tonya Peralta, Broker Associate Keller Williams Realty Keller Williams Realty 805.794.7458 805.794.7458 BRE#01862743 BRE#01862743

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OQ / SUMMER 2018


BECAUSE Together We Can...


the Dream Ojai Valley Community Hospital’s New Skilled Nursing Facility

The Dream Raise the final $500,000 in community support for state-of-the-art equipment at the new Skilled Nursing Facility (Continuing Care Center) at Ojai Valley Community Hospital

Thank you for helping to Complete the Dream! To donate visit: ovchbecause.org

The Campaign to Build a New Skilled Nursing Facility at Ojai Valley Community Hospital


THE NEXT PICTURE SHOW “My plan is to have a theater in some small town or something and I’ll be the manager. I’ll be the crazy old movie guy.” — Quentin Tarantino Why not Ojai, Mr. Tarantino? The theater is for sale, and you wouldn’t be the first eccentric character to own the Ojai Playhouse. To this day, we still trade stories about Wayne Glasgow, the former burlesque owner who was reportedly chased by mobsters from San Francisco to Ojai. You’d be hard put to outdo Glasgow in the crazy department. It’d be fun to see you try. Soon, we hope, our movie theater will reopen, and when it does, it will feel like Ojai’s long nightmare is over. Years after the theater was flooded in 2014, and months after the Thomas Fire, we still seem to live in a defensive crouch. We could use some good news. We are back on the map, with Condé Nast Traveler on May 8 naming us among “The Best Places to Visit This Summer.” And we have officially launched Ojai Hub and are gaining readers by the hundreds. Meanwhile, in these pages, we’ll explore into the furthest reaches of the Ojai experience. All of it all flows from one to another, and as the Ojai experience is shared, it’s amplified. Mark Frost, author, director and writer, shines a light on John Broesamle, (Man of Vision”) who has fought the good fight to preserve Ojai against the seemingly endless onslaught of suburban sprawl. Mark Lewis (“Capra’s Moon Shot”) shares how his father, then a young man on the make, had the temerity to take to task Frank Capra about his “Rendezvous in Space” project for being “too jokey.” Bennett Barthelemy interviews Andrea Neal, a scientist who may upset the apple cart of what we think we know about water supplies. It’s not just about Ojai, but you can be sure if we venture outside our “orange curtain” into the wider world, it is to showcase the work of our residents, as in legendary photographer Joe Sohm’s “State of Extremes.” Then there’s the irrepressible Zhena Muzyka, the tea baroness, who has launched an exciting career as an imprint publisher for Simon & Schuster. Yet she has chosen to keep Ojai as her home base. And check out the four pages of events near the end of the book. Ojai is a very busy place. Stories are the connective tissue of our community, and we need these shared stories to reinforce our social bonds and sense of identity. These stories are a big part of why hundreds of thousands of people come to Ojai every year. They want to feel a part of something larger than themselves, in harmony with nature and each other. It’s our mission to tell those stories and we invite you to read and share them. Thank you for taking the time to read this far. I promise it only gets better from here on out.


OQ / SUMMER 2018

CONTRIBUTORS Bennett Barthelemy

Peter Bellwood is a

is a freelance adventure photographer and writer who was born and raised in Ojai. Check him out at bennettbarthelemy.blogspot.com.

screenwriter and collage artist who works and plays in Ojai, usually both at once.

Jerry Dunn received the

Mark Frost is an author,

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

screenwriter, producer, the “other Twin Peaks guy,” a once-and-future playwright, and a proud resident of “our town.”

Ojai’s locally owned and operated

Logan Hall was born in Ha-

Linda Harmon is a free-

waii, but raised in Ojai. He was most recently the chief photographer for the Ojai Valley News and Visitors Guide.

lance writer and artist. You can email her at lhart412@ roadrunner.com, or visit her website at highergroundart. com.

Sarah Howery Hart is a

Mark Lewis is a writer and

local writer whose work has appeared in local and national publications. She is working on a sci-fi/ fantasy series. She may be reached at sarah@ sarahhoweryhart.com.

editor based in Ojai. He can be contacted at mark lewis1898@gmail.com.


By nationally award-winning writers and photographers.


in Ojai and has written extensively for and about the town. He enjoys freelance projects and throwing things. Jesse can be reached at jessephelps@ outlook.com.

Kit Stolz is an award-win-

ning journalist who has written for newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and online sites. He lives in Upper Ojai and blogs at achangeinthewind.com.

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. blogspot.com.

Sami Zahringer is an Ojai

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


u ary 2 01


Ilona Saari is a writer


Jesse Phelps grew up


On the Firing Line with Travis Escalante

MONTHLY Lifestyle & Visitor Information

Ojai by Design:

book spotlights famous architects

Ojai’s toy story: The barthelemys have more in store

Cover Sponsored by Oak Grove School “Where the World is Our Classroom • See More On Page 19 Visitor Information • Hikes • Events • Activities • Lifestyle Tips & Tactics - December 2017 See More AtOMTheOjai.net


OjaiHub.com 805.798.0177 OQ / SUMMER 2018


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Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Derby & Derby, Inc., State of California Registered Investment Advisor. Derby & Derby, Inc. and Securities America, Inc. are separate entities.

OQ / SUMMER 2018

OJAI NOTES By Misty & Logan Hall BROTHERS LAUNCHING ‘NEW HOPE’ FALCON SHIP FOR CHILDREN When you’re sick, a little escape can work wonders to ease the discomfort. And if that little escape happens to take you to a galaxy far, far away, all the better. Local twins Dave and Dan Christy have spent the last five months turning a trailer chassis into a Star Wars© themed spaceship replica that looks like it would probably make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. If all goes well, the Christy’s nonprofit project, Falcon For Kids, will soon be an immersive experience for children of all ages. Dave’s vision of the Falcon Local engineers Dave and Dan Christy stand in the cockpit of the Falcon For Kids. even includes all the lights, switches, bells Below: Donovan Holmes, left, and Jonah Williams battle it out on the Falcon’s ramp in and whistles a young Padawan could hope front of AA Automotive & Mechanical on Ojai Avenue where it was on display in April. for. “The plan is to take it where kids having a little trouble can get a break,” said Dave, who knows all too well the importance of levity when someone close is ill. Seventeen years ago he lost his daughter to cancer, and now, the brothers Artists, Galleries, want to offer a distraction to kids and parents who Exhibits and More need it most. “The idea is all about ‘a new hope,’” Dave said. “Like a ‘don’t give up hope’ kind of thing. We want Diners, Dives and Drive- to give kids and parents momentary relief from ins of Ojai @FalconForKids on Facebook, Instagram and what they’re going through. Having gone through Twitter. that kind of thing with my daughter — we’ve seen The brothers hope to eventually take the Falwhat it does to families. We want to take their minds off their everyday troubles and Star Wars is con to hospitals, parades, schools, civic centers and Healers, Hikers and other public locations across the country, starting something everyone can relate to.” Ojai-Based Medicine in Ojai. Someday soon, children — and the young The Christys have set up accounts on several at heart — may just be able to hit the hyperdrive social media platforms in an effort to gain support for the project. Find out more information through into another world. Even if just for a moment.

More Inside 33 Arts of Ojai

53 Food & Drink 111 Wellness

enough, “Fleurs et SALVADOR DALI & OJAI papillon” was put on Salvador Dali, whose surrealism extended well beyond the canvas to all sale by auction back in the early 2000s. It facets of his life, was among the 20th fetched 55,800 pounds, century best-known artists. roughly equivalent 1. Besides his famous melting clocks O to $82,000 when and hyper-extended giraffes, Dali was auctioned by Christie’s a meticulous draftsman known for his in 2005. precise botanical prints . 2. One of those prints found its Salvador Dali’s “Fleurs way in to the collection at the Ojai et papillon” fetched Valley Museum. After being de-acTwo Degrees of Separation Between nearly $82,000 for the cessioned, a print of flowers and Ojai & Anyone, Anywhere Ojai Valley Museum. butterflies, named, appropriately


of Ojai ?

OQ / SUMMER 2018




75 years of 30

Blending academic fundamentals with the richness of the visual arts, drama, and music. Preserving the magic of childhood in Ojai’s beautiful East End. Pre-K - 3rd Grade • Toddler Program • Summer Camp 805.646.8184 783 McNell Rd. Ojai, CA 93023 monicaros.org

OQ / SUMMER 2018

OQ / SUMMER 2018


Montessori School of Ojai Discover Your Child’s Potential Infant through 8th - Grade Academic Excellence Leadership Skills Model United Nations Program Structured Environment 806 Baldwin Rd., Ojai, CA 93023 805.649.2525 montessorischoolofojai.org License #566212532 & 561702317

Oak Grove School

The Art of Living and Learning At Oak Grove High School our students focus on a shared responsibility for the vibrancy of our local and global communities. This is one reason Oak Grove seniors spend a month traveling in India. This transformational trip allows students the opportunity to engage with Oak Grove’s sister schools in Chennai, Rishi Valley, and Bangalore while volunteering for programs such as the Rural Village Education Project and reforestation efforts. The Art of Living and Learning begins at Oak Grove School with a rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum balanced with an understanding of oneself. Currently accepting 2018-19 boarding and day student applications for the Secondary School. oakgroveschool.org/begin

Photo by Mike Rubalcava, 2015 Oak Grove Senior Trip chaperone, of a Bangalore man with his verbal permission. 32

OQ / SUMMER 2018

OAK GROVE SCHOOL The Art of Living and Learning


41 State of Extremes

America’s Oldest, Highest, Driest, Lowest All Within Easy Reach of Ojai

35 Off The Shelf

Author, Entrepreneur Goes All In For Ojai

50 Artists & Galleries

OQ / SUMMER 2018



OQ / SUMMER 2018

off the shelf

Life By The Gulp Zhena finds success in New York, but recommits to Ojai By Kit Stolz

Zhena Muzyka takes things personally. She just can’t help it. When she lost her writing studio in town, which was housed in a yurt in her backyard, after being identified (with other property owners) for violations of the county’s planning code in the so-called “Yurtgate” controversy of last year, she began to wonder if she should stay in town at all. (continued on next page)

“That was the first time I felt like Ojai might not want me anymore,”

Zhena Muzyka she said. “I got turned in to the county anonymously for code violations. I felt attacked. I had written two books in that space, and none of my neighbors had a problem with it. I still don’t understand why we couldn’t have a conversation about the issue, but I guess I shot myself in the foot by standing up at a City Council meeting and speaking out in favor of tourism. It’s still weird to me to think that little Ojai is big enough to have an anti-other people group like Ojai First. I guess I didn’t get that memo.” Muzyka (pronounced music-a) stands out in a crowd. Though not a tall person, she has a brilliant smile, a luxuriant cascade of golden locks, and a big, wild laugh. She became famous for launching a tea company, called Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, that took her in a few short years from her tiny rental kitchen in Ojai to international success. It’s a rags-to-riches story she 36

tells with sincerity and an “is this really happening to me?” sense of surprise in her 2014 book “Life by the Cup.” The story begins with a young single mom having to beg a kindly utility man, who has come to turn off her gas, to leave it on for the sake of her infant son, who was born with a congenital health problem. “I was a broke, 24-year-old college dropout, fending off a kindly utility man,” she admits to the reader. She still thought of herself as a person with promise, but after winning a full scholarship to college, she had married early — “like a dipshit,” she says now — and dropped out. Her husband had left her for his hairdresser. Being faced with a loss of heat was the last straw. “God, you have to help me! Tell me what to do here!” she cried out to the heavens. Muzyka admits to taking her pleas to God on frequent occasions. Turns out it’s something of a family tradition. Muzyka grew up in a large family living on a modest income, the daughter of a “waitress mom” and a “firefighter dad,” but she felt most closely connected to her late grandmother, a Gypsy who had fled Stalin’s terror, and had been forced to leave her sister to her fate back in the Ukraine. “She was always on her knees in the living room, praying out loud,” Muzyka says. Early in her book, Muzyka recounts how her grandmother would spend the week baking bread for the entire congregation where the family lived in Lompoc, but later, when she was discovered to have stage 4 cancer throughout her entire body, her grandmother would not allow the family to tell anyone, not wanting to “be a bother,” or “to put anyone out.” In her desperation, Muzyka began to see that some of her family traits — such as wanting to be in control, and not OQ / SUMMER 2018

have to ask others for any help ever — were putting her and her infant son at great risk. “When we learn to ask for help, we allow others to participate in our life and invest in the relationship,” she writes. “While we may feel that we are asking “too much” in asking for assistance, people generally feel honored by our sincerity and our admission of vulnerability. We give them a gift by allowing them to help.” After hours of trying to formulate the words, Muzyka was able to squeak out a request to a neighbor for some food in a telephone call. Her neighbor came over with enough soup to last a week, and a friendship was born. After that breakthrough, Muzyka began to see a new future for herself and her son, in part by turning to her grandmother’s gypsy recipes for ideas. Looking back, she realizes today how odd she was as a kid, and how it drove her in ways she could not have imagined, had she been a little more “normal.” “I was an outcast. All the other kids thought I was weird,” she says. “I didn’t fit in, so I went within myself.” In “Life by the Cup,” Muzyka lays her heart bare. The reader sees her struggle to raise her son and succeed in her business, which began as a tea cart in Ventura, and grew into an organic tea company, dependent on Muzyka’s gypsy-inspired recipes and poetic descriptions. In person, one sees the will it took for her to remain organic, even when it meant her teas cost much more, and then to become one of the first nationwide fair tade products sold in supermarkets. She insisted on this for the sake of the tea pickers she came to care about, who were living on very little on a biodynamic plantation in Sri Lanka. Muzyka in an interview comes across

Since the success of “Life By The Cup,” Simon & Shuster has given Muzyka her own imprint, with 35 titles published. as something of a force of nature. A focused, driven individual, fully capable of pitching executives, competing for shelf space, speaking to city council members, running a multi-milliondollar business, and publishing a line of her own books (an imprint from Simon & Schuster). All while trying to stay at home in Ojai with her son. “I’ve always run on New York time,” she admits. “Being a publisher in New York and living in Ojai is the most interesting and paradoxical life. Everybody fantasizes about the life we live here. This is what most people wish for. The fire clarified that for me.” Finding multi-million-dollar success as one of the first big Fair Trade

businesses gave Muzyka an inspirational story to tell in her first book. Even before publishing “Life by the Cup,” Simon & Schuster, impressed with her entrepreneurial skills, gave her an imprint, she says. Muzyka has since gone on to publish 35 books. Her “Enliven” line is “missiondriven,” and, as one example, Muzyka mentions the book “Kiss the Ground” by documentary filmmakers Josh and Rebecca Tickell. The book is part of an activist effort — with documentaries and a speakers tour — to promote regenerative agriculture. The Tickells say it can “reverse climate change, heal your body, and ultimately save our world.” OQ / SUMMER 2018

Muzyka gives credit to Ojai for giving her what she needed to launch. She stresses that now she wants to see the town not just survive the drought and the Thomas Fire, but thrive. “I would love to figure out how to make Ojai a sustainable innovation hub that works for all of the people who have been here forever, and for all of the people who would like to be here and contribute,” she says. “We need a bigger vision, and I want to figure out my place in that. I want to bring in entrepreneurial endeavors. Our goal in Ojai has to be how to build innovative, sustainable businesses. I think what the tea company taught me is that the bigger mission is to serve others and in that you cannot fail.” 37




2:08 PM

BookEnds Bookstore

& Curiosities new and used books

on Life, Liberty & Happiness 110 South Pueblo Avenue Ojai, California 93023 in Meiners Oaks, corner of El Roblar

open 10 am to 6 pm (closed Wed)




OQ / SUMMER 2018

OQ / SUMMER 2018



Finalist - 2017 American Portrait Society Member Competition




Visit Duane’s open studio, Oct. 13-15


Ojai Studio Artists Tour

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Ojai:Gateway to a State of Extremes A photographer’s search for the: highest, lowest, hottest, driest tallest, oldest, largest, prettiest spots in America Story & Photos by Joe Sohm

Mobius Arch, Lone Pine Peak framing Mount Whitney and the Sierras. This image was shot at 3:30 a.m. on a moonless night with a tinge of iPhone light on the arch. The 30-second exposure was the max you can do without streaking the stars. So with a 14mm lens I stumbled my way into darkness on my way to capture one of my first night shots — or as Vincent van Gogh might say, “The Starry Arch.” I got the shot, then walked back to the car and caught some Z’s. At sunrise I was off to shoot what I had just framed, Mount Whitney.

Many places make claim to being Shangri-La, including my hometown Ojai. But if we seek a mythical valley evoking exotic lands, towering mountains, oversized trees, extreme temperatures, ancient bushes and breathtaking beauty, it can only be found north of Ojai, along U.S. Route 395 in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. THE LOWEST-HOTTEST-DRIEST: With this exotic land to the north of me, I sought to photograph the highs and lows, hot and cold of the contiguous 48 states. My quest began with a five 1/2 hours and 309-mile drive from Ojai to a State of Extremes begins in the basement of the continent, Death Valley National Park. At minus 282 feel below sea level you can’t go much lower unless you dig a hole to China or know someone in Hell. Not only is Badwater the lowest elevated spot in the United States, it’s the hottest and driest, too. Just 15 miles down the road at the previously named Greenland Ranch, on July 10, 1913, the Earth’s hottest recorded temperature was set at

134 degrees. Gold seekers named it Death Valley after their desperate efforts to cross it during the Gold Rush. Located in the rain shadows of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains, it’s virtually cut off from rain. During three separate years it didn’t rain at all. With 1.66 inches of average annual rainfall at Furnace Creek, a glass of water is a luxury. To put that rainfall in some perspective, parts of Hawaii average more than 100 inches in a year. After experiencing America’s cellar at Badwater, it was time to journey to the continent’s other extreme. I would travel nearly 15,000 feet, from America’s basement to its penthouse. At 14,494 feet, Mount Whitney is the highest elevated peak in the 48 contiguous states. Departing Death Valley, I took State Highway 190. About halfway across the desert I thought I saw a mirage. But as I got closer, it was a lone runner jogging through the valley of death. I recalled hearing about the annual Badwater Ultra-marathon race, (checkout the 60 Minutes video online). From Badwater to Mount Whitney Portal, the runners tra-

verse 135 miles on the tortuous marathon course (or 85 miles as a buzzard flies). It is considered one of the world’s toughest endurance tests. It’s so hot, that joggers run on the road’s whiteline so their shoes don’t melt. It does seem to be a helluva place for a marathon, but maybe that’s the point. That said, each year plenty enter, but few finish. OLD WEST: With my air-conditioning blasting, I zoomed by the runner and headed towards Lone Pine and the hills that John Ford and John Wayne made famous in countless westerns. While you might not know Alabama Hills, if you grew up watching cowboy movies as I did, you’ve seen it. More than 400 films and TV shows have been filmed here including Hopalong Cassidy, the Gene Autry Show, “How the West was Won” and the Lone Ranger. Recent films include “Django Unchained,” “Gladiator,” “Iron Man” and “Transformers.” While geologists love the 90- to 150-million-year-old rocks, what attracts Hollywood to Alabama Hills are wild rocks with the Sierras in the background.

LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park; sunset on flooded salt flats with Panamint Range Mountains, Mesquite Flat sand dunes in Death Valley National Monument; Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite National Park; Fresh snow on giant rocks, Mount Whitney near Lone Pine.

In framing Mount Whitney perfectly, cinematographers and photographers are presented some of the premiere western landscapes in North America. With morning golden sunlight washing across the rocks and mountains and star-filled unpolluted skies enveloping the rockscapes at nighttime, one can wander the Alabama Hills for days along Movie Flat road searching for shots like these. The photographer’s conundrum is how much is enough? When do you stop shooting? In the old days of film, when a shot cost $4 each, that was a brake for how much I’d shoot. But with the digital days upon us, where everything is free and unlimited, those days are long gone. TALLEST MOUNTAIN: My journey to the continent’s extremes required hiking the Mount Whitney Trail to its peak. While not a technical climb, it was contrary to my usual remote landscape style, which is to have a four-wheel drive vehicle nearby so I don’t have to lug a bunch of photo gear into the wilderness. With hopes of a few more Alabama Hills shots and an opportunity to survey my Mount Whitney departure point, I overnighted at one of Lone Pine’s many cheap motels. I wanted to charge my batteries, including myself.

Before dawn I drove due west toward toward Mount Whitney. The sun came up directly behind me and the solid slab of granite before me exploded into a raging Alpine glow. As the road disappeared into some low hanging clouds, I couldn’t help but think of the 1948 classic film, “Treasures of the Sierra Madre.” After shooting Mount Whitney’s range in the golden-pink light I returned to the Alabama Hills for one more session. After an early dinner I prepped for my 3:30 a.m. departure to the famed 22-mile Mount Whitney roundtrip day-hike. They say just about anybody can hike to Mount Whitney, including your grandmother. But as it turned out, my grandmother must be in better shape than me, as the entire endeavor extracted every ounce of energy I had. Walking to the top of America, I anticipated stunning views of the Sierras. But with each footstep my thoughts of sweeping vistas gave way to foot gazing. The grueling rocky trail, a 6,145-foot vertical incline, requires constant vigilance so you don’t twist or break an ankle. Either event offers poor options — being stranded on the mountain or possibly worse, a $10,000 mountain helicopter rescue. Most of the weight I carried in my

LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: Mount Whitney viewed between rocks at Alabama Hills; fresh snow on Giant Sequoias, Sequoia National Park; Mobius Arch, Alabama Hills at sunrise; Statue of Liberty; Whitney Portal Road.

backpack was water, which I drank to lighten my load. My other significant weight was an oversized panoramic camera. If I was going to make this trek, I was determined to remember it with a portrait of the High Sierras (and I don’t mean the new Mac operating system). Sadly, I made a major strategic error. Having gone from below sea level to three miles high in less than 24 hours, I should have taken an additional 24 hours to acclimate at basecamp at 12,000 feet. As a result, I became a victim of my own State of Extremes — that is, I suddenly felt like California’s weakest man. With each step higher, my legs became more like jelly. But I persisted and at my weakest moment, the photo op I sought revealed itself and briefly rejuvenated me. Just short of the Whitney zenith at around 14,000 feet, the mountain ridge gave way to a sweeping view of the western Sierra Nevada — a 100-mile uninterrupted view that seemed to go to the Pacific Ocean. Even better, the sky was dotted with white puffy clouds. I mustered my strength, setup my camera and in one60th of a second captured this image. Pausing to enjoy the summit, I gazed toward Sequoia National Park. This would be my next leg. It was soon time to begin my descent

“Nature stretches out her

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” — John Muir down Mount Whitney and make my way to the Land of the Giants (Sequoias). Here I would discover Earth’s tallest and largest living things. If only I had had a hang glider it was just a 20- to 25-mile jump from the top of Mount Whitney, but by car, it was nearly 300 miles and a five-hour drive (not exactly as a bird flies.) LARGEST & TALLEST LIVING THING: The only words capable of describing a walk down Congress Trail

arms and embraces man, only let his thoughts be of equal greatness.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

through the Giant Sequoia Forest are a list of superlatives: majestic, sublime, inspirational and divine must be part of a Sequoia vocabulary. But if you revere nature, only two words suffice. Spiritual in that these trees transcend human life in so many ways. And awe in that if one walks at their feet, there is no other word to describe the experience. At 2,300 to 2,700 years old, these old growth forests precede the birth of the Republic of Rome. Some are older

LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: Joe Sohm shooting Snake River overlook, Jackson, Wyoming at -26F; Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Monument; upper Ojai during the May mustard bloom;

than Homer’s writing of “The Iliad” and “Odyssey.” While empires have risen and fallen in their life, the redwoods keep growing. While revolutions, civil wars and world wars were fought, like Jack and the Beanstalk, these giants pursued their path toward the sky. And when man walked on the moon, these redwoods were the tallest living organisms on Earth. Maybe Elon Musk would consider using them to spring their way to the moon and beyond without using rockets.

“There is nothing so American as our national parks.... The fundamental idea behind the parks ... is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt General Sherman stands out from the Redwood crowd. In 1931, the General was crowned the “tallest living thing in the world.” Standing at the base of this 275-foot tree straining to lookup, I never felt so small. With a 102-foot circumference, General Sherman had a lock on being the title “Earth’s largest living thing.” Yet as they say in baseball, records are made to be broken and in the year 2000, a new giant redwood shattered General Sherman’s record 275’ height. For six short years, at 370 feet, “Stratosphere” ruled. And then in the summer of 2006, along came Professor Steve Sillett from Humboldt State University. He discovered

edifice of stone and space.” — Ansel Adams

Hyperion. (Sequoia Sempervirens). At 379 feet, this Coast Redwood exceeds the Statue of Liberty at 305 feet and the U.S. Capitol at 288 feet. And though Hyperion exceeds General Sherman by 100 feet, the takeaway here is that just 1 percent of the original oldgrowth redwood forests remain. If it hadn’t been for the collective voice of the American people, the Save the Redwood League, President Teddy Roosevelt, and a host of Americans, these trees would probably be patio furniture by now. To John Muir, who did so much to save these trees, they were his cathedral. Can you imagine if John Muir had climbed Hyperion as Jim Spickler did? He might still be there.

day’s Brownies or today’s iPhones. My camera of choice was a 6 x 17, medium-format Fuji Panoramic camera in a 3-to-1 aspect-ratio (width to height). This allowed me to stuff the supersized Yosemite landscape (pronounced YoseMite by the locals) onto my Velvia Fuji film. Today I would of course capture it onto multiple overlapping digital frames on a full-frame 50.6 sensor, which would be stitched together in Lightroom software. But film and processing as pricy as it was, trained me to nail my exposure and composition. Prior to digital photography, I could size up a landscape without a light meter. With bright sunlight and a polarizer, my filter of choice, it was almost always f22 at 1/2 second with a heavy tripod needed.

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast

MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE: With the tallest and largest living “things” (seems such a disrespectful description) behind me, it was time to hit the road and make my way to the Sierras Western slope and travel 156 miles to arguably, the most beautiful place in America, if not the world — the Yosemite Valley. For photographers, Yosemite requires pulling out their “big guns” — meaning larger format and panoramic cameras. Cameras and lenses that push the “box” boundaries of most point-andshoot gadgets — whether they be yester-

The “take your breath away” Yosemite shot for amateur or pro is about an hour or so before sunset. If a storm dumped a bunch of snow on the Sierras, most of the time, as the sun approached the western ocean side, the clouds would clear and the mountains were bathed in golden light. Upon occasions, although not for me, you might be rewarded with a “Pink Moment” setting sun shot like on our Topa Topas. I drove California State Route 41 into the valley for the Tunnel View shot that Ansel Adams made so famous. I realized that this valley view looks pretty much like what Adams must have seen more than 100 years ago.

Considering the growth of California from 2.3 million people in 1910 to 40 million in 2018, the fact that its beauty has been preserved for future generations would make both Presidents Roosevelt and John Muir pleased I’m sure. I framed the shot, and in half-a-second I had it in my trusty panoramic camera. I was on my way for my final stop. OLDEST LIVING THING: As I made my way on my two-hour, 16-minute, 113-mile drive to the Inyo National Forest to see the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, What began in the 21st century in search California’s State of Extremes, ended with my search for Earth’s ancient pine trees. It was as if I was time traveling. A road sign might read: 1776 the American

Revolution; 1492 Christopher Columbus encounters New World, 1440 Gutenberg invents movable type printing press, 1347 the Black Plague, 0 the birth of Jesus Christ, 1,400-1,500 B.C. Moses was born, 2000 B.C. the wheel was invented and 3000 B.C. writing was invented . . . yet the oldest living thing on Earth predates all of these events. Appropriately its name was Methuselah and at 4,848 years old it was the Yoda of trees. But then in 2016, BREAKING NEWS, an older bristlecone ancestor was discovered in the White Mountains in the Inyo National Forest and it was over 5,067 years old! Simply amazing, and the best part as I went near to get my photograph, the National Parks Service did not label the tree so some idiot doesn’t take deadly action against humanity’s oldest ancestor. While it’s not a handsome tree, I got these shots not knowing whether they are Methuselah or the recent discovery. Having now encountered all of California’s state of extremes, I felt like it was time to head back to Ojai I took the 303-mile, five-hour journey back to Ojai over the Antelope Highway and Pear Blossom highway, or the David Hockney Express as I call it. By the time I hit Route 126, then Route 150 towards Upper Ojai, I looked at the scarred hillsides from the Thomas Fire and as I thought of the thousands of years I had encountered in these ancient spots.

ABOVE: Ansel Adams lookout spot overlooking panoramic view of Yosemite Valley. Sohm covering the 2016 presidential campaign.

I looked at the mountains surrounding the Ojai Valley and realized while many are indeed charcoal-covered ash heaps, new plants will return, then rodents will follow, followed by coyotes and bobcats, and once again, the Ojai Valley will be back the way it was. The key is that it just takes time. And it’s time that is the critical element in California creating the State of Extremes that I had seen up close and personal. Making my way down Dennison Grade, I stopped at the Ojai Valley Lookout spot and contemplated all I had seen. The valley was looking very handsome today. In fact, you would have never guessed there had been a fire. When I thought of all the unique places I had visited they all had one thing in common — extreme climates — which shaped them. They were also very remote and none of them had Libbey Park or the Arcade. Ojai seemed to possess the best balance of them all, beauty, soaring mountains, old oak trees, weather changes, orchards and wonderful people who over the years I’ve become friends with. As I pulled into the East End of town, it felt like I was returning to the best place for me to live. Guess many of us feel that way. And to think, I could reach all of the continent’s crown jewels within a reasonable drive out of the Ojai Valley.

Visions of destruction & rebirth 307 E. Ojai Ave.

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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: amend@ pobox.com or visit richardamend.net. 805.640.0078.

Paints on clear glass with kiln-fired enamels, mapping unpredictable rhythms of thought. Custom commissions for art and architecture welcome. susanamend@pobox.com, or call 805.640.0078. 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 eells.com






Negotiating the delicate agreement between being provocative and being pleasing to the eye. ojaistudio@aol.com 805.646.7141 P.O. Box 1214, Ojai, CA 93024

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. 805.640.3601 joycehuntingtonart.com




Creating life-like highly detailed drawings and oil paintings of ballerinas, pet and people protraits. 805-450-3329 Roygrillo.com

Expressing a connection with nature in original acrylic Botanical Immersion paintings. A GrassRoots Gallery, 323 East Matilija Street, or on SkyheartArt. com. shahsi27@gmail. com   805.256.4209


Contemporary works on paper using centuries-old hand printmaking techniques. Studio visits by appointment. 805.646.9892,  www.ojai-spotted-dog-studio.com.



Original modernist plein air oil paintings celebrating the Ojai landscape. Available now at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. SusanKGuyART.com guy.susan@ymail.com 805.890.0708

Enjoying Figurative Sculpture in the Human form as well as animals 714.655.9370 SculpturesbyPatty McFall.com pjsculpture@gmail.com


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

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

Oil paintings, monoprints, etchings, drawings; figures, faces, landscapes, still lifes. www.ojaistudioartists. org/karen_lewis; lewisojai@mac.com. 805.646.8877 karenklewis.com

Rockstacks, Fountains, Art Shower installations. Showing at National Gem and Mineral Show, Ventura Fairgrounds, June 9 -11. Ojairockstacker.com 805.279.7605


Nancy keeps the surface of the paintings interesting and alive. Influences have been Matisse, Jawlensky, Picasso and Bonnard. You can reach her at 525.3551 or email jnwhitman@live. com Studio is at 12615 Koenigstein Road.


Fea & A turi rtis ng t ts o he A f O rt jai FIRESTICK GALLERY Firestick Pottery provides classes, studio/ kiln space and a gallery abundant with fine ceramics. Located at 1804 Ojai Avenue, we are open from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. every day but Tuesday. 805-272-8760.

MARC WHITMAN Original Landscape, Figure and Portrait Paintings in Oil. On display at the Ojai Design Center Gallery. 111 West Topa Topa Street. marc@whitman-architect.com Open every weekday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

LATITUDE FINE ART GALLERY Ventura’s only fine art gallery exclusively dedicated to showcasing the beauty of Ventura County and its breathtaking coastline in fine art photography. 401 East Main Street, Ventura. 805.642.52576 latitudefineart.com

CAROLYN GLASOE BAILEY FOUNDATION Supporting Fine Art Nationwide. We offer: • Art Collector Trips • Student Fine Art • Education & Master Classes • Gallery Visits • Artist Studio Visits • Live iTunes Podcasts. 248 South Montgomery. Open by Appointment. 805-6309188, cgbfoundation.org

NUTMEG’S OJAI HOUSE Featuring local artists, including William Prosser and Ted Campos. American-made gifts and cards, crystals, new and vintage goods. 304 North Montgomery Street, Ojai 805.640.1656

ANCA COLBERT Art Advisory and Appraisal Services. Experienced, professional guidance with art collections management, artworks documentation, insurance valuations, etc. TheColorOfLight.com by appointment 805.624.5757

DAN SCHULTZ FINE ART Plein air landscapes, figures and portraits in oil by nationally-acclaimed artist Dan Schultz.  106 North Signal Street, Ojai 805.317.9634  DanSchultzFineArt.com

HUMAN ARTS GALLERY An arts destination for 42 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 humanartsgallery.com

PORCH GALLERY Contemporary Art in a Historic House. 310 East Matilija Avenue, Ojai 805.620.7589 porchgalleryojai.com instagram/Porchgirl1

STUDIO SAUVAGEAU Exquisitely handcrafted bags 305-G East Ojai Avenue New Location! studiosauvageau.com 805.798.2221

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

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56 Diners, Dives & Cafes Guy-Inspired Tour of Eateries

62 Wine Map

Locating Ojai’s Top Vintners

OQ / SUMMER 2018


Ojai Valley’s Original Mexican Restaurant

• Margarita Mondays 2 for 1 House Margaritas • Voted Best Salsa • Taco Tuesdays • Family owned since 1985 891 Ventura Ave., Oak View (805) 649-9595 54

715 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai (805) 640-1577 OQ / SUMMER 2018

OQ / SUMMER 2018


food & drink

Diners, Drive-Ins & Cafes By Ilona Saari

I awoke recently wondering WWGFD? (What would Guy Fieri do?) Maybe because I’d had pastrami on rye for dinner. Or not. But, I saw this as a sign — my next Ojai eating adventure would be an homage to Guy Fieri! I spiked my hair (not an easy task with all my long curls) and headed out to uncover Ojai’s diners, drive-ins and cafes. “Cafes,” also known as luncheonettes or coffee shops (not to be confused with coffee houses with latte and frappucino soaked denizens toiling away on their computers). I began with Home Kitchen of Ojai, formerly known as Eggs & Potatoes, recently bought by the Orozco family who hope to bring a fresh take on this venerable diner/coffee shop with a new farm-to-table menu featuring seasonal produce from local farms. Bonnie Lu’s

J&M Cafe in Oak View

Swedish pancake at Home Kitchen The new menu is not a farewell to old favorites. You can still enjoy an amuse-bouche (pardon my French), the complimentary Swedish pancake (some call it a crepe) with powdered sugar and rich boysenberry homemade jam to start your meal. Favorite sandwiches and breakfasts (including senior breakfast choices) will remain. New to the menu are corned beef hash made fresh daily, paninis, specialty chilaquiles, salmon lox benedicts and scrambles, and new salad selections. … AND, the kitchen will also be turning all food scraps into compost which the Orozcos will donate to local farmers. Table-to-farm? My next stop was the hip, retro ‘50s Bonnie Lu’s Country Café, owned

Felicia’s Reuben on toasted marbled, dark/light rye. The Reuben is named for Jenny’s daughter. In fact, most of the menu selections are named after friends and family. Over on 33 in Oak View is J & M Café, a classic luncheonette serving Ojai since the ‘80s, leatherette booths and all.

by Jenny Newell and managed by Lori Farrar (BFFs since the 5th grade). The menu offers “pancakes & more” choices, including biscuit & gravy and delicious omelettes. Try Bubba’s Country Breakfast, Bonnie Lu’s take on Eggs Benedict: a biscuit topped with sausage patties, poached eggs and smothered in homemade sausage gravy. Or, choose from a variety of salads, or hot and cold sandwiches… a “hot” favorite of mine:

Bought five years ago by Jose Munez, the menu is reminiscent of diners of days gone by. Along with tuna melts and burgers, you’ll find liver, sautéed onions & bacon (be still my heart), hash & eggs, French dip, grilled ham steak with pineapple ring (just like my mom made), and fried chicken. Try Jose’s Special Plate beefeater melt: roast beef, green Ortega chili strip, jack cheese on grilled

sourdough bread with French fries and a green salad. AND, J & M’s even has a gumball machine! Ojai Café Emporium offers indoor/ outdoor dining. Order Belgian waffles or Emporium’s famous freshly made quiche. Special breakfasts include: “The Bruce,” a grilled bagel, fried egg, sliced ham (or oven roasted turkey) with cheddar cheese, or try the sauteed tofu with veggies. Don’t feel like breakfast? Owner Trisha Proud also offers “Tried and True Sandwiches,” including slow-roasted pulled-pork on a toasted sesame bun, topped with creamy cole slaw, or oldfashioned deli sandwiches, “Mex Café” choices and a selection of original salads. A great little cafe on Maricopa Highway is O-Hi Frostie owned by Michael & Juanita Luevano. Popular with the Nordhoff High School crowd, it offers breakfast and lunch choices, including a selection of sandwiches, salads, burgers, sides and vegetarian dishes. But my personal favorite: Nathan’s chili cheese dog, smothered in cheese and tangy chili. The Marina Café, owned by Carlos Hernandez, is a welcoming spot overlooking Lake Casitas that offers American and Mexican menus. Most popular are the chicken-fried

Café Emporium

Ohi-Frostie’s french fries and regional favorites, corn burritos.

steak breakfast, chili verde burrito and an avocado omelet. After another amusebouche (a Dixie-size cup of salsa and a handful of chips), I went “American” and ordered the half-pound Swiss burger with Thousand Island dressing, lettuce, tomato,

Jolly Kone, an Ojai institution.

menu of corndogs, burgers, sandwiches, breakfast burritos, shakes and malts remains, but delicious new choices have been added, including the Red, White & Blue burger with blue cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and a secret sauce, plus a crispy western bacon chicken sandwich. You can eat inside the drive-in or picnic at the tables outside. And that’s WGFWD!

Marina Cafe at Lake Casitas.

and two quarter-pound patties. For an “eating-outdoors-at-a-burgerstand” experience, try owner Sy Yek’s Jolly Kone in Meiners Oaks. Hot dogs, burgers, burritos, hot and cold sandwiches and more, the menu includes ice cream sundaes, shakes, malts, floats and cones! If you’re in the mood for a beautiful drive to Upper Ojai, head to The Summit Drive-In. Bought by David and Rachel Cagnacci two years ago, the Summit’s

Summit Restaurant, now under new ownership.

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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


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Honey Tasting Room 206 East Ojai Avenue in the Arcade, downtown Ojai


made with

ORGANIC Sprouted Nuts & Seeds

NUTRIENT DENSE SNACKS WITH SATISFYING CRUNCH Locally made and available at a store near you! Visit larkellenfarm.com/stores heavenlyhoneycompany.com | 805-633-9103 60

OQ / SUMMER 2018


LOVE espresso | breakfast | lunch


205 N. Signal, Ojai | 805.646.1540 NoSoVita.com Open daily 7am - 5pm

Marché Gourmet

Delicatessen and

Art Gallery Plein Air Oils from the Painting Chef


Great Sandwiches & Weekly Specials! Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options! www.MarcheGourmetDeli.com 133 E. Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA

805•646•1133 OQ / SUMMER 2018


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 12-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday until 12-7 p.m. CasaBarranca.com or facebook.com/casabarranca 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: venturaspirits.com, email to: info@ venturaspirits.com or call us at: (805) 232-4313

TOPA MOUNTAIN WINERY Topa Mountain Winery offers premium wines made from grapes grown on its estate in upper Ojai and sourced from other premium vineyards in the region. A large selection of red and white varietals will be available for sale in its beautiful new tasting room and gardens. Available for events. The wines are also available for sale at topamountainwinery.com.



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 BoccaliVineyards.com.

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. It’s not just our wine; it’s our story. 321 East Ojai Avenue (downstairs), 805-794-0272, MajesticOakVineyard.com.










OLD CREEK RANCH WINERY Old Creek Ranch Winery is a 100-year-old Winery and Wine Tasting Room situated on a true working ranch in the Ojai Valley. The prestigious winery specializes in 18 varietals spanning over half a decade. Currently, the winery is undergoing renovation and will be reopening soon. Please continue to check social media for opening dates and sign up on our website to join the wine club (no obligation to buy) for upcoming exclusive events! Located at 10024 Old Creek Road, Ventura, CA 93001. 805-649-4132. OldCreekRanch.com

OQ / SUMMER 2018



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 vinegars, olive trees, olive wood, skin care products and more. No reservations required, pets welcome. 1811 Ladera Road , Ojaioliveoil.com, 805-646-5964.

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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 ojaialisal.com and azuojai.com.




a heartfelt observation of life on the streets.

– RICHARD LA PLANTE best selling author


Gourmet Chinese Food to go or Eat In




Mon - Sat 11:00 am- 9:30 pm Sun 11:00 am-9:00 pm 11566 N Ventura Avenue in Mira Monte Hwy 33 Between Baldwin & Villanova Rd

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OQ / SUMMER 2018

Pizza, Pasta Wings, Salads Sandwiches LUNCH SPECIALS

UNDER $7 Open daily

We deliver

646-7878 Mon - Thu 13 Happy Hour

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Ojai’s community website 66

OQ / SUMMER 2018

Events • News • Explore

OQ / SUMMER 2018


ORMACHEA JEWELRY Specializes in hand-made, artisan jewelry creations; offering custom and unconventional engagement ring design in precious metals with unique gemstones. Each piece is slowcrafted in our studio by the sea. 432 East Main Street, Ventura 805.652.0484 Info@ormacheajewelry.com OrmacheaJewelry.com

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 (In the Arcade) 877.728.5537 • Jesmaharry.com


GEM QUEST 18 karat yellow and white gold with yellow sapphire and diamonds. Hand made at Gem Quest Jewelers 324 E Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023 Phone: (805) 633-4666

HUMAN ARTS GALLERY 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 East Ojai Avenue. 805.646.1525 humanarts@sbcglobal.net humanartsgallery.com


SELF-HELPINGS Accidental Best-Seller Keeps Cat in the Bag April, and the self-improvement proceeds apace! (Having taken a short break from January 1st to yesterday.) I know you are reading this in June or later but bear with me. All(ish) will (sort of) become clear(ish). Anyway, back to now, in April! I rose early, as the virtuous do, and performed a series of vigorous physical jerks, thereby flushing blood and health around my etiolated body. Then, feeling ruddy and bounding, I saw that the Air Was Good so, with nostrils flared in fiery determination, I took in great gusts of it while with sweeping gestures I parted the curtains to view Splendid Nature and the bins. God, I felt marvelous! Having breakfasted lustily on a leading innard-scouring cereal and sent the Loinfruit off to school, I then read something dry and edifying about the GDP and proceeded to have a Puritan work ethic for some uprightly souldeadening hours and did not permit myself even the whisp of a bored daydream. Then, awash in smuggity, I looked about me to see the un-pulled-up socks of lesser beings (the guinea-pig) and shouted things like “Go big or go home!” and “I choose success!” to the general ear (the dog). You see, that day, April 21st, marked the beginnings of a whole new me. Who will be my guide on this journey I totally sense all you people of June baying to ask? Why, me! Yes! Yes, me! For I am hot off the runaway success that is my best-selling self-help book and eager to try out some of my own advice! At this point, I have to confess that I never actually researched or practiced in any way the advice contained in my barn-stormer, and therefore the runaway success of the book could not

have surprised me more had it called itself Clive and bought me a pony. What happened was that, during a number of months sitting with a poorly relative, I would, from time to time, pick up some of the burgeoning self-help books that seem to bloom like thoughtful mushrooms on the shelves of the many waiting-rooms where the sick gather to tensely hope for better days. The contents of these books — some, not all — often sort of slithered by me but it was the language which stuck to me most, sort of like a horsefly on the rump of my brain. Self-help-speak is an insidious, beguiling sort of beastie which, if you spend too much time in its company, starts to buzz around, infecting your own patterns of speech and thought, even as you try to swat it away. Weary one day, I decided if I couldn’t beat it, I’d join it. I got myself a pen. Armed with bold purpose, an army of platitudes, a crack-squad of New Age fatuity, and a small platoon of things my granny used to tell me; and shielded from the scorn of my betters-in-letters, with a bloody-minded shamelessness that defied all decency, I holed up in my room for a week and turned out one of the first hits of Trump’s new America. But back again to April, and the point of all this, which is, unexpectedly, cats. I consulted my book, grabbed my yoga mat and clad in my new “Forest Fern” Lululemon leggings, I set about doing the yoga I had advised me to do each day for half a knotted hour. Never having kinked myself into even the simplest of yoga poses, I was a little uncertain about what to do, but, checking my book, I recounted that I had also advised myself that whenever uncertainty hit, I should tighten my pony tail with high-chinned conviction, square up, and above all remember that OQ / SUMMER 2018

PERCEPTION REFLECTS NONLOCAL BLISS. Well! It was a newly invigorated me, with all the vague profundities of such topnotch bovem stercore ringing in my ears, who decided that I should indeed GO BIG OR GO HOME! At this point, dear reader, it all fell apart. Prior to my yoga sesh, I had remembered to put the dog in the yard on account of her unaccountable but very real fear of leotards. But the cat. I had forgotten about the cat. I will never forget the unblinking disdain with which he watched me attempt the Pungu Mayurasana — the legendary Wounded Peacock pose. Right arm screaming “Dear God, WHY?” as my alarmingly twitching body teeter-tottered around it, I posed gamely on, doing my best to ignore his contemptuous stare. I blinked. He blinked. A drop of sweat plopped from my nose onto the tufted Wilton, as my eyes narrowed. I blinked again, fatally, and then, with a small but gloomy squeak, I plunged headfirst into a pot of variegated hostas. I should have known. His withering gaze has hobbled many of my previous attempts at self-improvement, prompted a nervous nighttime condition born of waking to find him staring at my soul, inches from my face, and on at least two separate occasions his preternatural peer has deflated, with a sad sort of fart, my perfectly risen souffles. Defeated, I retreated to my room with a dark-brown pick-me-up and realized that I needed to write a new chapter for my book: “So Your Cat is An Asshole: What to do when your pet wants your life to fail and your happiness to die.” It would be a short chapter. Anyway, that was yesterday. Today I’m off to stride places and BE A WINNER NOT A LOSER! some more. 69

Joan Roberts

Come Home To

Broker Associate/Realtor



30 years local experience •Residential • Land • Investment

Providing expert, diligent and responsive representation for the sale or acquisition of your property.

805- 223-1811

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Selling quality in Ojai for over 35 years

OQ / SUMMER 2018

10+ acres in the Padaro Lane enclave, minutes to downtown Montecito, the Santa Barbara airport, 80 miles to L.A. List Price: $49,000,000 www.padaro-lane.com

526 Pleasant Street, Ojai 3 beds 21/2 baths Opportunity to own this turn key home in a highly desired area of Ojai. Open floor plan with French doors leading to the many areas set for outside living, gourmet kitchen. List Price: $799K

918 South Ayers Court, Ojai Great location with Mountain views on a cul-de-sac 1,656 sq ft 3 beds, 2 bath in Ojai’s coveted Topa Topa neighborhood. With gorgeous natural light, updated kitchen.The large rear yard is perfect for al fresco dining, relaxing and gardening. List Price: $679,000

CATHY TITUS In the Real Estate Industry Since 1986 805-798-0960 • cathytitusojai@gmail.com

OQ / SUMMER 2018


Ross Falvo

The Ojai Real Estate Guy BRE 01504988


With very few homes on the market, if you were to list today there would be less competition. That means you will more than likely get the best price possible for your home.

Beautiful mountain views, highly sought after family neighborhood.

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805 794-8222


We know Ojai.

Make your dream of country living a reality on this 277+ acre ranch in Los Padres National Forest. With a beautifully remodeled main house, caretaker’s house, three guest houses, 8-stall open barn, paddocks, fenced pastures, hay fields, arena, covered round pen and so much more, this unique property has everything you need to enjoy the tranquility of Ojai’s back country set against the stunning Sierra Madres Mountains in Cuyama Valley. www.29443hwy33.com $6,250,000

This luxury, 12-acre horse ranch in Ojai features an app. 5,000-squarefoot, five-bedroom, five-bathroom home designed by Marc Whitman. The lodge-style home has a gated entry, three river rock fireplaces, game room with wet bar, media room, office, swimming pool and built-in grill. Ranked among the top five equestrian centers in Southern California, the horse facilities include the main barn, show arena, training arena, dressage/jumping arena, round pen, mare motel, six turn-out areas, barn office and caretaker’s quarters. www.10901CreekRoad.com $3,500,000

The Davis Group ojaivalleyestates.com

Nora Davis

BRE License #01046067



We’re lifelong residents. IN ESCROW

5 Bedroom Horse Property with Guest House, Pool, Horse Facilities and Views $1,895,000 www.1577KenewaStreet.com

Saddle Mountain Estate with Guest Quarters, Custom Pool and Amazing Views $1,550,000 www.10655Encino.com

Pride of ownership is seen throughout this beautifully remodeled, single-level Arbolada home. Just some of the features include two gated entries, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two fireplaces.

4 BR + 3BA Ranch-Style Home on Five Acres with 2 BR Guest House $1,650,000 www.1175CamilleDrive.com

Remodeled, three-bedroom Oaks West home with wood floors, gas fireplace, low-maintenance landscaping and RV parking. $689,000

Rare opportunity to buy Gateway Plaza! Oak View shopping center with long-term occupants, large parking lot and great location. $1,795,000

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Dave & Kellye Lynn BRE License #01962468 BRE License #01962469 805.798.0322

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Chisum's Floor Covering 118 Bryant St Ojai, CA M-F: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat: By Appointment Sun: Closed 805-646-2440 www.chisumsfloor.com Contractor Lic. #242944 Ask us about special savings on select Hunter Douglas operating systems. ©2018 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 16CSMAGNAC2


OQ / SUMMER 2018

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australianplants.com OQ / SUMMER 2018


I NSIDE The Private World of Landscape Designer

Paul Hendershot

By Jerry Camarillo Dunn, Jr.

Few things are more gratifying than when a very private person — perhaps one with a wry eye on the foibles of humanity — seems to like you. You are waved through his guarded gates and welcomed into his world as a friend. So it is when you visit landscape designer Paul Hendershot at his home hidden behind high stone walls. Outside, a line of ramrod-straight cypress trees stand sentinel. Paul throws open a weathered green gate, says hello with a great gravelly laugh, and ushers you into his sanctuary. You see a small stone house, its façade laced with Boston ivy, its roof trailing soft yellow rambler roses. In front stretches a classical Mediterranean courtyard where rock walls enclose a long rectangle of pea gravel. In the center, a sky-blue lap pool runs between twin rows of perfectly matched mulberry trees. Off in the distance rise low mountains under puffy white clouds. You are reminded of somewhere else — but where? Paul helps out: “It’s the South of France!” he says, the sunny edge of Europe that he has visited countless times. “This is exactly what it looks like.” And it’s exactly what the garden designer set out to achieve for his piece of ground in Southern California. Paul came to the property in a way that could only happen in Ojai. “It’s a funny thing: I saw this house 30 years ago. My brother-in-law lived next door, and I used to visit my two adorable little nieces. We’d look over the fence, and I’d go, ‘That’s my house!’” One day 10 years ago, he says, “I was in a really bad mood, and sometimes when I get in a bad mood, I go and look at real estate, I don’t know why.” He chortles. “It kind of gets you out of yourself. And I couldn’t believe it! There was my house!” Paul promptly bought it. His intuition from decades earlier came full circle. He raises his eyebrows thinking of the house as it was back then, with its seedy shingles and bad windows, sitting in the middle of a dirt patch. “It was so ugly!” he recalls. “And there was no landscape at

all. But I knew how cool it could be.” Paul first laid out the courtyard, his favorite design element for a garden. “It’s like an outdoor room,” he points out. “The Persians and all the old cultures had them. And like anything beautiful, the courtyard was functional: If you wanted to have plants, you needed a wall to stop the animals from eating them. “A courtyard is all about geometry,” he explains. His is a perfect rectangle, its features classically balanced. But scattered along the sides are manicured balls of green boxwood that look as if Paul casually rolled them out there. “You make a little bit of a pattern,” he says, “but you don’t make it look like a pattern.” The courtyard’s symmetry is offset by the asymmetry of the spheres. “They break things up, so it’s not boring!” Another of Paul’s design trademarks, pea gravel, is a staple material in the gardens of France, Italy and Spain. “A cool thing about pea gravel is that the water goes back into the ground instead of running off, like on cement. In Ojai we need ground water, especially after the last few years. “And,” Paul exults, “pea gravel is so cheap!” He lets loose a sandpapery, gleeful laugh. Pea gravel is his thing. Next he points to a leafy inspiration that also comes from southern France, the mulberry trees that frame the pool. “Where Americans build arbors, Europeans create shade with trees,” he observes. “Trees are so much more beautiful. You can sit under them, and if you’re lying on a lounge chair, you look up into the branches.” Another idea imported from the Mediterranean strikes you as surprising for a designer of gardens. “They don’t do the flower thing over there,” says Paul. “And I don’t do the flower thing!” By eliminating bright colors, he is left with restful, pure greens – boxwood, ivy, leafy trees. “Europeans save color for pots of geraniums, vines on the house, all that.” Paul’s design style evolved, he says, “just from going to France all the time.” Born in Indiana, he was raised in Oxnard and graduated from San Jose State in literature. Moving to Marin County, he did tree work with his brother. “I saw all these ugly

Paul’s stone cottage evokes southern France, as does the kitchen (at right); he had designer Maraya Droney add a modern island. gardens, and that’s how I got started in this biz. I kept thinking, ‘You know, I can do better than this!’” He tried studying landscape design at community college (“it was so boring!”) and instead decided to read works by the great landscape creators. His favorite book: Russell Page’s “The Education of a Gardener.” “He was a famous landscape designer — not architect. Like all the best, he was self taught.” His clients ranged from the Duke of Windsor to Oscar de la Renta. Paul moved to Ojai for the sunny weather and eventually bought a house on Foothill Road before moving to his home in the west end of the valley. Here he decided on a theme for his new gardens: Everything would be edible. He planted a traditional kitchen garden, and now “I can just walk out the door and pick my dinner,” he says with delight. “Tonight I’m going to have asparagus.” A hedge of pomegranate encloses the plot. “In winter when the leaves fall off and the pomegranates are hanging, it’s just gorgeous!”

A big swath of Paul’s one-and-a-half acres is an orchard, with persimmons, apples, mulberries (“I keep them low because I’m an old dude,” says the 66-yearold. “I don’t like ladders!”), plums, white nectarines, guavas, grapes, figs (white, black, and striped), almonds, lemons, limes and blood oranges (“I give those away — I’m allergic to oranges”). But you won’t find any expanses of grass. Americans love their lawns, but Paul hates them. “When lawns originally came into style, it was a sign of wealth if you had a beautiful one,” he notes. “But people get f***ing crazy about their lawn. “I’ve had clients say, ‘I have weeds in my lawn.’ And I go, ‘So?’ They go, ‘Well, I want you to kill them.’ And I say, ‘No. You could kill them. You can put that Weed ‘n’ Feed down. And then all the worms will die. The birds will eat the worms, and they’ll get sick. And then you won’t have any weeds. Is that going to make you happy?’ “And most people say, ‘Oh, my god, I didn’t know!’ When companies advertise their chemicals, they don’t tell you those icky parts.”

You see that part of Paul’s role as a garden designer is giving his clients a gentle education. For instance, “I try to let them know they don’t have to have one of everything. You can have oodles of colors and lots of flowers, but let’s try to stick to just seven plants. In the end,” he says, “good design is about restraint. “I don’t say these things like a school teacher, or as if my way is the only way. But if you explain design concepts to people, they appreciate it. Clients are always telling me, ‘You know, I see gardens totally different now after working with you.’ And that’s a really nice compliment.” You realize that this has happened to you, too, on your walk through Paul’s serene sanctuary — by the pool in the courtyard, among vine-covered stone walls, beneath the shade of the mulberry trees. Paul accompanies you to the gate that leads out of his private world. With reluctance, you step out of his little patch of southern France, out of his peaceful retreat into the world beyond.

The Williamson-VanKeulen Group let us show you what living ojai is all about

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anne williamson realtor of the year 2014


cassandra vankeulen realtor, designer

lauren vankeulen realtor






OQ / SUMMER 2018

Dennis Guernsey 805-798-1998

Coldwell Banker ProPerty ShoPPe

Broker/Owner, State Licensed Appraiser, General Contractor


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

By far the best land buy in Ojai. Incredible flat 20-acre parcel in heart of Upper Ojai. Located in rear of 11999 Ojai-Santa Paula Road and part of the renowned Hall Ranch. Water available. Great mountain views - all usable - Perfect for planting, horses or private estate. Buyer to verify utilites. $899,500

Hard to find 1-story 2-bedroom, 2-bath Taormina home in great location. One of Ojai’s first historic district. Gas lantern street lights, rural mailboxes and cypress trees give the ambience of French Norman Village. Direct access to Ojai Preserve featuring gorgeous trails and protected wetlands. Adjacent to Krotona Institute which offers lectures, workshops, library, native gardens, valley views and more. Lots of upgrades including limestone counters, expanded master bedroom and bath and single car garage. $649,500


Spacious 3 bedrooms 2 bath home with 1587 sq. ft. located on quiet cul-de-sac in Miramonte. Large bedrooms including a master with attached bathroom, large closet and sliding glass door to back yard. Laundry room off kitchen, two car garage with ample storage, citrus trees, fireplace, rear deck, and front patio with views of the mountains. $664,900

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

Coldwell Banker Property Shoppe Ojai 727 W Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023 • dennisguernsey.com • www.ojaicoldwell.com

RANCHO MATILIJA BEAUTY On over two tranquil acres in Rancho Matilija, this ultra-high-quality custom home has gorgeous views, high ceilings and impeccable Brazilian mahogany floors. Influenced by Greene and Greene design, it is adorned with elegant woodwork and cabinetry. Includes finished 3 car garage, workshop area, separate gym, and gated entry for complete privacy. w w w.660 O akGroveCour t O jai. com


I will help you discover the home that brings peace to your mind and heart

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Built in 1914, The Ojai Playhouse is one of the oldest movie theaters in California. Includes renovation with state-of-the-art seating/equipment as well as the adjacent restaurant space. 145EO jaiAveO jai. com

This light-filled, stylish, contemporary 3bd/2½ba home has amazing views, multiple decks, an open, modern kitchen, wood floors and a detached exercise room/artist studio. 22 0 M o u nt ain View Oa kVi ew.co m


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Call or Text to (805)-640-5563 www.ojailuxuryrealestate.com 147 W. El Roblar Dr., Ojai • Tues-Sat 10:30-5 or by appt. 805.640.3699 88

CalBre : 01786486 OQ / SUMMER 2018

The Hoff Group

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Kathy@KathyHoff.com www.TheHoffGroup.com OQ / SUMMER 2018


Mid Century Estate | 11+ Acres | Two Legal Parcels | $3,795,000 | www.1071RanchoDr.com 727 W. Ojai Ave. - Ojai - CA 93023 - Larry - 805.640.5734 - Erik - 805.830.3254 www.wilde-wilde.cm - lwilde@west.net - erikw@west.net Larry Wilde DRE:#15216270 - Erik Wile DRT:#01461074

The once-calmed mind is vast. - Alan Watts

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

OQ / SUMMER 2018


MAN • OF •VISION John Broesamle

By Mark Frost

The third time John Broesamle lost his sight he thought it was gone for good. Starting at the age of 45, glaucoma had gnawed away at his optic nerves for 20 years, twice before leaving him partially blind, the second time taking his right eye for good. Only the timely, and by any measure extraordinary, intervention of surgeons at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute had left him with a still functional left eye.

This time, in 2008, the director of the Institute sat him down to say that they’d done everything they could for him. After 20 surgeries, a run of experimental therapies, and countless other cutting-edge procedures, they’d run out of options.

John Broesamle in 2015 by artist Sandy Treadwell.

He’d been half-expecting the bad news. The quality of this darkness was different; in the past he’d been able to detect murky shapes, streaks of light, and on bright days could still hike near his East End home by following the white lines on the edge of the road. Only blackness, this time, deep and impenetrable.

brilliant and famously eccentric Huxley had decided that young Americans represented a perfect control group for grasping what sort of future lay in store for Western civilization. When they sat down to dinner, by chance John ended up sitting two chairs away from him. Dressed in a bilious yellow/grey suit — with pant legs a good four inches too short — and soft spoken to the point of inaudible, Huxley seemed a good deal more interested in what was on his plate than he was in studying John and his classmates. Then John realized he was hovering inches over his dinner because he almost completely blind, and later learned that Huxley had suffered from serious eye issues since adolescence. Then the classmate next to John asked: Do you think your predictions in “Brave New World” will come true? Huxley mumbled, never looking up from his food: “Don’t you know my answer to that? I published it three years ago.” John was one of the few at the table who could hear him. He was also the only student there who had actually read “Brave New World Revisited,” in which Huxley stated in no uncertain terms that his dystopian vision of an advanced Western society consumed and corrupted by its obsession with pleasure was a ship that had already sailed.

An encounter with eccentric writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley, “Brave New World,” nudged John Broesamle toward the pursuit of history as a career. Within days he became a client of the Braille Institute, ready to learn a new alphabet. He’d fought a good fight, made his peace with the possibility that, one day, this would be his fate and never complained. That day was here. No reason to complain — he never complained. This was his new reality, for the duration; now he had to learn how to be blind. But the timing was so damned inconvenient. There was still the small matter of protecting the Ojai Valley to sort out. How was he going to pull that off if he couldn’t even see it? The best historians embrace the idea that their chosen task of making sense of the past is most essential to the degree that it helps us understand and prepare for the future. At the highest levels it’s not just a profession, it’s a calling. John

heard the call for the first time in 1961, as an undergrad at the University of California, Berkeley. His dorm group had been summoned to attend a dinner in honor of the revered British writer Aldous Huxley. The author of “Brave New World” had requested the dinner because he wanted to meet “an average group of American college students.” At 67, the

The evening went downhill from there. Grumpy and out of sorts, Huxley was openly disappointed in the quality of the questions the students asked. It seemed whatever conclusions he’d apparently already published about the hopelessness of the “average American youth” the dinner had only reinforced. Confirmation bias set in over the salad course. But John came away thinking: Maybe a real historian would be more interested in examining the facts and drawing a more rigorously objective conclusion. This navigational nudge toward the course he was plotting for his own career proved

decisive. That evening was also where, unbeknownst to John as yet, his connections to the Ojai Valley began. Huxley, some 20 years before, had become an integral part of the group of intellectuals and spiritual seekers centered around the sage of the East End, Jiddu Krishnamurti. Huxley’s close friendship and philosophical affinity with Krishnamurti would eventually lead to their collaborative founding of the Happy Valley School, now known as Besant Hill School. But John’s path to Ojai was only just beginning. His parents were the ones who finished paving the way. John’s mother Josephine had family connections to the Ojai Valley and had visited often as a child all the way back in the 1920s. After 40 years teaching in the Long Beach Public school system, where John grew up, his father Otto retired with Josephine to a modest house in Ojai in 1972. Not long after his dinner with Huxley in 1961, John’s path took another turn. He was working for the season at a service station in Yosemite National

Park, where his parents camped each summer. While enjoying a day off in the park’s Tuolumne Meadows he met another collegiate summer employee, Kathy Warne, an English major from University of the Pacific. A fateful meeting, of hearts and minds, they married three years later. The following year, after both graduated, the young couple headed for New York City, where John began working on his Ph.D in history at Columbia. Four years later, the road turned again. Although they’d originally planned on staying in the East to launch their teaching careers, their mutual love of the High Sierras called them West. Now with two young children to support, when John received an offer from Cal State Northridge to join the faculty as a history professor they jumped at it. That same year, 1968, they made their first visit to Ojai and stumbled onto Bart’s Books, the local landmark that’s grown like Topsy since 1964, in and around a dentist’s old house. To two young dedicated bibliophiles — living on a budget — Bart’s became a treasure.

John and Kathy in 1973.

A few years later they were wandering through the downtown arcade, where the Music Festival was in progress in nearby Libbey Park and they heard a voice on a P.A. system announce “Mr. Copland will conduct in 10 minutes.” Aaron Copland? They bought tickets,

An encounter with eccentric writer and philospher Aldous Huxley, “Brave New World,” nudged John Broesamle toward the pursuit of history as a career.

Rob, Caroline, John and Kathy Broesamle at California State University, Northridge in 1973.

watched Copland conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic from the lawn and felt the gravitational pull of Ojai draw them closer. That led to frequent camping trips in Dennison Park, on the lip of the Shangri-La view of the Valley. Ojai began to steadily occupy a more central place in their imaginations. Something larger was at work as well. As environmental issues, and the health of the planet, began to work their way

“planned city” projects in California. In one stroke, as if its entire grid had fallen from the sky, all the green was replaced by asphalt as far as his eyes could see. At one point, a new house went up every seven and a half minutes. John and Kathy’s devotion to nature soon evolved into the birth of their work as conservationists, which began in earnest during the 1970s after they moved to Thousand Oaks. Kathy had

Broesamle watched Lakewood as its creeping sprawl destroyed its fields and forest.

into the national consciousness, John realized a personal trauma had placed them at their forefront of his own awareness since the age of eight. He’d enjoyed a bucolic Our Gang childhood in the lush green agricultural fields and forests of suburban Long Beach. After a long summer idyll in Yosemite, he returned to find his beloved fields and forests had been replaced by the planned, prefab community of Lakewood, one of the first

begun building and running an awardwinning speech therapy program for the Conejo Valley School System, and John was soon to become a full professor at Northridge. At the outer ring of the sprawling L.A. suburbs, Thousand Oaks had experienced a decade of explosive growth that threatened to consume its vibrant open spaces. At the frenetic height of their teaching career, without

a dime or an hour to spare, in 1979 John and Kathy volunteered to take what turned out to be leading roles in “Measure A,” the granddaddy of California grassroots ballot initiatives. Perceived as a radical idea at the time, it proposed applying “metered local growth” to the explosive metastasis of the L.A. metroplex. It was ferociously opposed by a phalanx of powerful outside economic forces that wrote huge checks to squash it. Struggling to make ends meet, knocking on doors, manning phones and handing out flyers — STOP THE BULLDOZERS! — John and Kathy’s already brutal 80-hour weeks became 120-hour weeks, but they’d put their fingers on a pulse in the SoCal body politic few had realized existed. Spending a tiny fraction of their opponents, their baptism in local politics ended in a shockingly decisive David v. Goliath victory at the polls. “Measure A” led to a more sane and measured development pattern for Thousand Oaks, and to this day is considered a model of civic conservation. For John and Kathy, this successful symbiosis of local politics and environmental issues set the template for what was to come. When John’s parents passed in the early ‘80s, John and Kathy bought their own piece of the Ojai Valley, a humble ranch house off Thacher Road in 1987. It started as a second home, the way so many outsiders arrive here, to their main house in Thousand Oaks, but Kathy soon took a job with the Ojai school district, and, within three years, they’d landed here full time. The move was prompted in no small part by John’s first scare with glaucoma, which cost him half his right eye’s vision, and a series of ominous changes in his left between check-ups foreshadowed trouble, but the good doctors at the Stein Eye Institute succeeded in stabilizing him. The more relaxed pace of Ojai life would help, they told themselves. Less stress, more solitude, gardening and reading, and hikes in the hills and woods. John had books to write, and they had grandkids to look forward to, so they swore off community activism as well, no more tilting at political windmills, they’d done their part, let someone else fight the good fight for a while. But Ojai has a way of drawing useful

The Ojai Meadows Preserve was the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s first major acquisition. Photo courtesy of the OVLC people to a higher purpose. Over time, as the Broesamles came to know the town, its remarkable assortment of micro-communities peopled by highachieving ex-pats from both coasts, they discovered their new home was the farthest thing from Ventura County’s West Coast version of Mayberry. And it was calling to them. It started with The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, a nascent non-profit that dreamt of one day purchasing and setting aside some of the breathtaking natural bounty that makes the Valley so unique, but in their seven years to date they hadn’t bought one square foot. A few annual $25 donations later and the executive director one day asked John — innocently — “How’d you like to be on a committee?” Inevitably, within a year John joined the Board, which served as the couple’s introduction to the nonprofit world. Three years later — after financial difficulties nearly shuttered the organization — John stepped in as President. As John and Kathy set their hands to the helm, connecting with the community at ever deeper and richer

levels, the ship righted, and fund raising

Concurrently — and, perhaps,

turned on a dime. Within three years

coincidentally — in 1998, John endured

the Conservancy had raised $2 million

his second round with blindness.

dollars and acquired its first major

He’d taken a year’s sabbatical from

properties: the Ojai Meadows Preserve

Northridge to finish his fourth book

and Cluff Vista Park, near downtown.

when the glaucoma came on again. This

As many as 800 double-trailer trucks could have come through Ojai after three gravel-pit mines in the backcountry opened in 2007.

time both eyes went down, and the right was soon deemed beyond repair. Employing the full arsenal of their latest technologies, a determined young surgeon at the Stein Institute named David Lee was able to salvage the left, but it was a long and arduous campaign. The prep took weeks. For days John lay in an MRI machine like a cigar in a box as Lee and his team executed a complex series of procedures. By the end of it, the fragile sight they’d restored at this point a month-to-month concern, John reluctantly stepped away from his teaching career, retiring early, and formally, in 2002 after 32 years at Cal State Northridge. Now living full time in Ojai, after his term as president, John remained on the Land Conservancy Board until 2005, and today the Conservancy maintains over 2,300 acres in the Valley. Although he involved himself in many other causes — among them as a pick-and-shovel man for Ojai Trees, a local reforesting non-profit, and as a teacher’s aid at a local elementary school — he wanted to move away from administrative work to focus on some books he’d long wanted to write. Their daughter Carolyn, her husband Gil and their three grandchildren soon moved to Ojai to be near them and join the community. It was time to step back, take stock, and enjoy the good life they’d built here.

Best laid plans. Through their years in Ojai John and Kathy had heard all the war stories of past environmental battles in the Valley. How each time a serious threat appeared an ad hoc group of concerned citizens banded together and somehow, usually by the skin of their teeth, fought back against the developers and planners and retail barons and won. Just as in John’s vanished childhood Long Beach, the creeping post-war suburbanization of Southern California had overrun every community in its path like a tsunami of kudzu. But Ojai, through luck, pluck and the focused will of its citizens, had fought off freeways, toxic landfills, shopping centers, racetracks, gated

— rolling down out of the hills, through the Valley, spraying rocks, busting up residential roads, chugging diesel exhaust into the air. Once again a few of the reliable minutemen citizens — John and Kathy among them — answered the call — STOP THE TRUCKS! — but this time, not enough to put on the brakes. The trucks were a moving target, the mines were far away and out of sight, somehow the danger seemed less imminent. For the first time in memory the movement couldn’t gain traction. What to do? Late in the year, local realtor Jerry Michaels, part of the cohort struggling to craft the right defense, went to the movies, and had an epiphany with his

It was a Hail Mary, at best — Aldave was upfront about that — but what did he have to lose? McMansion golf courses and uranium mines. From Santa Barbara to San Diego, the Ojai Valley was, for all practical purposes, just about the last untouched corner of the 20th century SoCal dream.

popcorn. The movie was Zack Snyder’s “300,” the over-the-top CGI epic about the Spartans heroic last stand against the Persian hordes at the gates of Thermopylae.

Then, in 2007, the gravel trucks started rolling in and out of three massive gravel mines at the north end of Highway 33 near the Ventura County line. Double hopper 18 wheelers — up to 800 round trips a day was the plan

“Where’s our 300?” Jerry wondered. “Where are the Spartans?”

Dr. Anthony Aldave, (not pictured) a cornea specialist at the Stein Institute, is credited with saving Broesamle’s eyesight with a innovative new procedure.

The notion that sprouted from it was simplicity itself: 100 people — or a hundred couples — donating $5,000 apiece to create a half million dollar legal war chest. A sword and shield deterrent to protect the Valley. Maybe that could stop the trucks in their tracks. Over the next six months, discussions and bull sessions rounded the edges and shaped the concept into a workable plan. If only they had someone wise and experienced enough already in the group who could take the plan and run with it. Well, of course they did. But there was a catch. Over a five-day period in August, 2008, while visiting Yosemite with a group of old friends, John went dark again. Profoundly blind. Sometimes there were murky shapes, some days black with a rainbow swirl, but as the head of the Stein Institute was soon to tell him: there was nothing more they could do for him. He’d been more than half-expecting it, his vision had been living on borrowed

time for years. John soldiered through. Resilient. Patient. Trying to hold onto every semblance of normality. A few weeks later he delivered a keynote speech to 500 people for the 50th anniversary of Cal State Northridge. From memory. John had written the definitive book about the institution’s history; in many ways he was the embodiment of its living history. He brought the house down. He might have been the only one there who didn’t shed a tear that night. A month later, the Ojai Spartans still in need of a leader, Jerry Michaels posed the question to John: If you ever get your sight back, would you be willing to take this on? Of course, said John. But Jerry, that’s not going to happen. Enter Anthony Aldave, a young hotshot cornea specialist who had recently joined the Stein Institute. He moonlighted as a DJ, and wasn’t old enough to think the new techniques he’d been pioneering at various university clinics might not be up to the task. He was also a profoundly compassionate man who met John once, took the measure of him and decided he wanted

mle at John Broesa rk. Pa Cluff Vista ogan Hall Photo by L

to help him see again. So what if his colleagues had decided John’s left eye was “not subject to repair by normal means.” He wasn’t going to use any. It was a Hail Mary, at best — Aldave was upfront about that — but what did he have to lose? John said “Why not?” Aldave told him they were going to go in behind the cornea, extract the dead cells out and transplant donated tissue from a teenage cancer victim. One thin layer of cells to restore life to the eye. Four hours of surgery. By a fluke, John woke from deep twilight anesthesia and stayed awake for the last two thirds of the operation. Heard the whole thing. When he told Aldave this, in recovery, the surgeon was astonished: Why hadn’t he told anyone? John said it was interesting listening to them work and he didn’t want to interrupt. A few days later John started seeing shapes. His vision continued to improve, slowly, incrementally, day by day. Within a month his left eye was fully functional again. The Hail Mary worked. It was a damned miracle. As soon as the eye stabilized, John called Jerry Michaels about the Spartan idea. He was in. Within weeks John and the team were rolling out a plan of action. By July they’d ironed out their bylaws, crafted a mission statement, recruited a board of directors — the best of the Spartans — and filed the paperwork for Federal non-profit status. As near as anyone could tell no other small town in America had ever tried anything so audacious before. But, then, there aren’t many other towns quite like Ojai. They called it the Ojai Valley Defense Fund.

Jiddu Krishnamurti, the Sage of the East End. In October of 2009 they held their first public fundraiser, and came away with a grand total of $35,000 in the bank. Later that same week, out of the blue, John got a call from a consultant for one of the gravel mining companies. “We’ve heard about you,” said the man, “and we’d like to have you take part in our negotiations with the county.” “Thank you, that’s very thoughtful,” said John. “We don’t take part in negotiations, but we do hope it will end amicably.” When it came time for public hearings, the mining companies quietly let it be known that, effective immediately, they were going to drive their gravel north from the mines, on Highway 166, a rural truck route designed for commercial use. The persistence of Stop the Trucks!, backed by the mere existence of the Fund and the unstated possibility of legal entanglement, had scared them off. These local rubes in dusty cowboy boots they’d thought they could roll right over turned out to be big city sophisticates, and some of them were powerhouse L.A. and New York lawyers. The sword and shield — placed on a table in front of them — had worked.

* * * From that first victory onward, directed by John’s energy and vision, the OVDF reached their fundraising goal of a $500,000 war chest within three years. At that point, John and the Board decided to

Ojai found us and made everything right . shoot for a rounder number: $1 million total. John left office as OVDF’s first president in 2012 and three years ago stepped down from the Board. This year, with the new finish line in sight, John came back onto the Board for the final kick. Once that goal is reached the Fund — although it will continue to welcome bequests — will assume its watchful station as the Valley’s silent legal sentinel, ready to take action against threats unknown for generations to come. Here’s where we close the circle. The sage of the East End, Jiddu Krishnamurti, like so many others before and since — saw and sensed something special in the Ojai Valley. He also saw which way the world was turning, and later in life he warned the people who lived here they would have to protect the Valley, or they were going to lose it. John is the kind of citizen Krishnamurti had in mind. Humility is a nearly impossible subject to write about, because the truly humble don’t want or act out of a need for attention. They act because they sense something is right, and someone’s got to do it. This is a notion so radically out of sync with prevailing American culture it nearly creates a cognitive dissonance. But service to others is a quality that represents the best human beings have to offer. Character is what you do when no one is looking. In writing this article, John did not want me to make a big noise about who he is or what he’s done. He definitely would not want me to tell you that he was named Ojai Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 1999, and declared an Ojai Living Treasure two years later. (He might be OK with my mentioning his and his family’s volunteer work on the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, a state-of-the-art teaching and surgical facility that travels the globe combating curable blindness.) There’s a whole lot more I could tell you about,

but the point is he doesn’t seek or even like the limelight. He leads by doing, behind the scenes, never asking anyone to do something he wouldn’t do himself, and if you won’t, he will. He is selfeffacing, patient and unfailingly kind, and as wise about human beings and our crazy cock-eyed history as anyone I’ve ever known. He fights for this community because it’s the right thing to do, without any motive other than ensuring that the Ojai Valley remains a special place for all. He believes that’s the least he can do, because of what Ojai did for him and his family. “Ojai found us,” he says, “and made everything right.” I was lucky enough, early on in life, to work for a remarkable gentle man named Fred Rogers, who through his shows on public television made such an important and lasting contribution to our culture. I’ve never met anyone since who reminds me more of Fred than John Broesamle. I hope he won’t mind my asking that you take a moment to consider all that he’s done, is still doing, and ask yourself — humbly, without any expectation — what that might inspire in you. Others might have despaired or given up in the face of what he went through, but John was uniquely equipped to deal with the hand that fate dealt him. He stood his ground. Fighting blindness is a battle you’ve already won when you’re a man of vision.

1960s Defeating Sacramento’s plan to build multiple freeways through the valley Turning back a proposed city of 25-35,000 people (10,000 homes) on Lake Casitas by creating the Teague Memorial Watershed

1970s Defeating a plan by U.S. Gypsum for strip-mining phosphates in the Los Padres backcountry, with hundreds of truck trips through the Ojai Valley each day

1970s-’80s Preventing open-pit uranium mining directly above Lake Casitas Defeating a “big box” shopping center as well as dense housing and condominium complexes next to Nordhoff High School, on what is now the Ojai Meadows Preserve Halting oil wildcatting in the Upper Ojai on grounds of air quality Stopping expansion of the Petrochem oil refinery at the mouth of the Ojai Valley

1990s Turning back development of 1,600 acres along the Ventura River and preserving this land as open space with public access and trails Defeating a super-regional landfill just south of the Ojai Valley in Weldon Canyon

2000s Halting massive industrial gravel hauling along Highway 33

The Wallace family on the river preserve. Photo courtesy OVLC.

Policing Ventura County’s current four-year revision of its general plan so as to preserve air quality and other elevated environmental standards specific to the Ojai Valley






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The space taxi on display in New York’s Hall of Science during the World’s Fair.


k n a

a pr




The legendary filmmaker Frank Capra was down on his luck and trying for a comeback in 1964 when he crossed paths with Ojai’s Craig Lewis, who was then the public relations chief for a major New York aerospace firm.

By Mark Lewis

With the Space Race heating up, Lewis’s firm hired Capra to dramatize NASA’s Gemini program. But when Capra completed “Rendezvous in Space,” Lewis judged it too corny to fill the bill — and so he flew out to Hollywood to inform the famous director that he would have to recut the film. It would turn out to be the last one Capra ever made. Here, Lewis shares the untold story of Capra’s poignant career finale with his son, OQ Contributing Editor Mark Lewis. THE DEDICATION ceremony was imminent as Craig Lewis helped set up couches for the VIP guests outside the

brand-new Hall of Science at the New York World’s Fair. The date was Sept. 9, 1964, a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon in Flushing Meadows, in the heart of Queens. The much-ballyhooed fair had opened in April, but the Hall of Science had just now been completed, and Lewis’s employer, the Martin Marietta Corp., had contributed the million-dollar “Rendezvous in Space” exhibit that would premiere in the cavernous Great Hall right after the dedication speeches. Lewis recently had been named director of public relations for the firm, which made the Titan 2 rocket that was the workhorse of NASA’s

Frank Cap ra

current Gemini program, blasting the missions into orbit from Cape Kennedy in Florida. Martin had donated a Titan 2 to the Hall of Science’s outdoor Space Park, and this 110-foot-tall rocket loomed impressively in the background as the guests took their seats for the ceremony. The speakers were to include the legendary New York powerbroker Robert Moses, the fair’s creator; NASA chief Jim Webb; the mayor of New York, Robert F. Wagner Jr.; and Lewis’s boss, Martin Marietta CEO George M. Bunker, whose remarks Lewis had scripted. The final speaker was to be Frank Capra, renowned creator of such enduring Hollywood classics as “Lost Horizon” and

“It’s a Wonderful Life,” whom Martin had hired to make a short film to be shown as part of the exhibit. Lewis had his doubts about Capra’s film, which included a hokey series of “man in the street” interviews played strictly for laughs, and some animated sequences pitched at a 12-year-old’s level of sophistication. But Martin Marietta’s investment in Capra already had paid off in terms of publicity. Lewis had heard that the most powerful movie critic in America was expected to show up and review the film. “I understand that Bosley Crowther of The New York Times will be here,” Lewis confided to an early-arriving audience

member who was helping him move a couch into place. “I am Bosley Crowther,” the man replied. Crowther took his seat and sat perspiring in the heat for about 40 minutes as speaker after speaker conjured up visions of America’s future in space. “What you will witness here this afternoon will seem futuristic,” Bunker said, using Lewis’s words. “But I assure you it is not. In less than a decade it will seem commonplace.” Capra brought the outdoor ceremony to a close, reminding the audience that the Hall of Science was air-conditioned,

so when they went inside, they would be watching his film in more comfortable surroundings. “We hope you enjoy the show — but if you don’t like it, we’ve got it all fixed to lock you in and turn up the heat,” the filmmaker quipped. In addition to Capra’s movie, the exhibit featured a live demonstration of a spacecraft docking with a space station, using full-size models suspended from the ceiling of the 80-foot-high Great Hall. Technicians had only finished installing the exhibit at 4 a.m. that morning, but to Lewis’s relief the demonstration went off without a hitch, and the audience seemed impressed. “Rendezvous in Space” was a hit – or so it seemed until the following morning, when Lewis picked up the Times and read Crowther’s scathing review. “This allegedly scientific exposition of how an orbital laboratory in space would work is, at best, no more exciting or convincing than a cheap science-fiction film,” Crowther wrote. “For the most part, it is a juvenile depiction that affronts intelligence.” This was hardly the result Martin had hoped for. The film was supposed to boost public support for the space program, and encourage the Air Force to put a manned reconnaissance satellite into orbit, to be resupplied by a space shuttle. Martin hoped to win a piece of that business, so it had ordered up “The Rendezvous in Space” exhibit to inspire the Air Force to go forward with the project, even though orbiting space stations and reusable space shuttles did not yet exist. “The whole idea for Martin Marietta was to make an impression on the Air Force that there could even be such a thing,” Lewis says. Fortunately, the fair would close for the season on October 18, and would not reopen until the following April. That gave Lewis and his colleagues six months to set things right. They lobbied senior Martin executives to let them fix the film. “We persuaded management to make major revisions,” he says. But those revisions would have to be made by Capra, a stubbornly independent director not known for knuckling under to studio pressure. In this case, Martin Marietta was the studio, and Craig Lewis was the suit from New York who would go out to Hollywood to impose the corporate will upon this famous filmmaker. How would Capra respond? ONE MAN, ONE FILM FRANK CAPRA wandered aimlessly along Hollywood Boulevard one day in the summer of 1927, pondering his future. At 30, he already was a has-been in the picture business, having recently directed a major flop. But he was excited about the possibility of working with a different kind of star: the ones that twinkled in the heavens. Born in Sicily in 1897, Capra immigrated with his family to Los Angeles in 1903 and later attended the California Institute of Technology, where he studied to be a chemical engineer, but found his English classes more interesting. After graduating, he spurned engineering and caught on as a gag writer in Hollywood, eventually working his way up to director. But now he was out of work, and thinking about going back to Caltech to study astronomy. “Great things were happening in science,” he recalled in 104

his autobiography. “My old friend, astronomer Edwin P. Hubble, had just discovered the ‘red shift’ of galaxies. The universe was expanding! Should I, could I, go back to Caltech and try for a Ph.D.?” But he needed money first. So, instead of joining Hubble at the Mount Wilson Observatory, he went to work for Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures, a small-time studio located on Poverty Row, the stretch of Gower Street below Sunset Boulevard. He took the job because Cohn promised him autonomy — he could conceive, produce and direct his own pictures, as long as they made money. And did they ever. From 1928 to 1939, Capra churned out hit after hit for Cohn, most of which remain in heavy rotation today on the Turner Classic Movies cable channel. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,” 1946. He co-invented the screwball comedy genre with “It Happened One Night,” with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, and “You Can’t Take It With You” with James Stewart and Jean Arthur. He perfected his populist, “little guy wins out against the odds” approach with “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” with Gary Cooper, and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” with Stewart. And his “Lost Horizon,” starring Ronald Colman, gave enduring life to the inspirational myth of Shangri-La. (A tiny sliver of “Lost Horizon” was filmed in Ojai, inspiring the town to identify itself as the real-life Shangri-La.) These and other classics were filmed under Capra’s “one man, one film” deal with Cohn, who gave Capra lavish budgets and total control — again, as long as his films made money. Depression Era audiences loved them, and so did his peers, who awarded him five Oscars in five years (three for best director and two for best picture). His phenomenal success boosted

OQ / SUMMER 2018

Columbia into the ranks of the major studios, and made Capra himself a legend. During World War II, Capra abandoned commercial filmmaking to join the Army and produce his celebrated “Why We Fight” documentary series, which won him a sixth Oscar. When the war ended, he returned to Hollywood and set up an independent production company, Liberty Films, in partnership with two other big-name directors, William Wyler and George Stevens. Liberty’s first production was Capra’s masterpiece: “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring Stewart and Donna Reed. But this 1946 film was only a modest success and won no Oscars, leaving Capra wondering whether he had lost his touch. Then, in 1947, the House UnAmerican Activities Committee launched its investigation of Hollywood Communists, several of whom turned out to have been screenwriters who had worked for Capra. The director was no Communist— he was in fact a Republican — but he was discouraged to find himself under suspicion and repeatedly obliged to clear his name. Now thoroughly rattled and on the defensive, Capra began playing it safe, and the quality of his films declined precipitously. He directed a couple of forgettable pictures for Paramount, where the tightfisted studio chieftains kept him on a shorter leash than he was used to. He didn’t fight them. Instead, in the spring of 1951, he decided to retire from filmmaking. “It isn’t fun anymore,” he said. MR. LEWIS GOES TO WASHINGTON

Craig Lewis in 1961, painted by Karen Lewis.

CRAIG Lewis lay on his back beneath a tree near the UCLA library, contemplating his future. Born near Detroit in 1930, he grew up mostly in New Jersey until he was 16, when the family moved to Los Angeles, where he graduated from John Marshall High School and headed off to Westwood. Like Capra at Caltech three decades earlier, Lewis started out at UCLA studying engineering, but found his English classes much more interesting. Unlike Capra, Lewis switched his major to English. He also edited The Claw, a campus humor magazine. Now, in June 1951, he was about to graduate, and wondering what he would do with his degree. He was a good writer, but harbored no literary ambitions he cared to pursue. How to make a living? The answer did not come to him that day, so he signed up for graduate school in English while waiting for inspiration to strike. “I couldn’t think of what else to do,” he says. “I didn’t have a scheme.” Around this time he started dating a UCLA art major named Karen Kerns, whom he met on a blind date. But his gradschool career was cut short by a draft notice from Uncle Sam. Lewis’s asthma earned him a medical deferment, but instead of returning to grad school, he drove east on Route 66 in his ‘49 Chevrolet convertible, heading for New York. Lewis’s idea was to apply for a position in public affairs for the Ford Foundation, or some similar organization. While en route, however, he stopped off in Washington to visit an old UCLA buddy, and fate changed his plans.

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“I ran out of money when I was in Washington,” he says. “That’s when I started making the rounds at the National Press Building.” He struck gold at the McGraw-Hill bureau on the 11th floor, where they hired him as a copy boy. McGraw-Hill was a New York magazine publisher, best known for Business Week. Soon Lewis was promoted to reporter and assigned to the transportation beat, which meant occasionally filing copy to Business Week, but more often filing it to another McGraw-Hill title, Bus Transportation, where his editor was the future newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin. At Christmastime 1953, while home in Los Angeles on vacation, Lewis became engaged to Karen Kerns. (The former Miss Kerns these days is better known as the distinguished Ojai Studio Artists painter Karen K. Lewis.) By the end of the decade, Lewis had worked his way up to be Washington news editor of McGraw-Hill’s Aviation Week. “It was the dawn of the Space Age,” he recalls. The Russians had launched their Sputnik satellite, followed by the first manned space flight, and the U.S. was scrambling to catch up. In May 1961, President Kennedy issued a challenge to Congress and to the nation: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” The Space Race was on, but Lewis would not be covering it for Aviation Week. Instead he joined the Kennedy Administration as deputy director of public affairs at the Federal Aviation Agency. (Nowadays known as the Federal Aviation Administration, but FAA either way.) He was present in November 1962 when Kennedy dedicated the new Dulles International Airport near Washington, using a speech Lewis had drafted for the occasion. The next year he moved from the FAA to the Air Transport Association, one of the first industry lobbying groups to have offices on or near K Street, an address now universally associated with Washington lobbyists. “I was one of the first K Street guys,” he says.


Not for long. In 1964 he accepted a job as deputy director for public relations at Martin Marietta, a conglomerate built around the old Glenn L. Martin Co., an aerospace firm that had made B-26 bombers during World War II, and now made Titan missiles for the Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Martin Marietta was based in New York, so Lewis moved his family to suburban Westchester County, and commuted from New Rochelle into Manhattan by train, just like Rob Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” One of his jobs at Martin was to help ride herd on the firm’s World’s Fair project, which already was underway when Lewis joined the firm. The unfinished Hall of Science was behind schedule, but at least the “Rendezvous in Space” film apparently was in good hands. It was being made out in Hollywood by the legendary Frank Capra. LOST IN THE STARS AFTER walking away from Hollywood in 1951, Capra had returned in 1959 to make “A Hole in the Head,” starring Frank Sinatra. In the Times, Bosley Crowther hailed it as “a thoroughly fresh, aggressive and sardonic comedy of the sort that sets one to thinking about the comedies of the good old days.” The film garnered mostly positive reviews and turned a tidy profit, but it hardly represented a return to Capra’s “one man, one film” formula. He was listed as the producer, but Sinatra called the shots. The old studio system was dead. The stars — and their agents — now had the whip hand in Hollywood. Instead of fighting back, Capra had to make even more compromises while shooting his next movie, “A Pocketful of Miracles,” starring Glenn Ford. This 1962 film was an epic flop, and Capra knew why. “‘Pocketful of Miracles’ was not the film I set out to make; it was the picture I chose to make for fear of losing a few bucks,” he wrote in his autobiography. “And by that choice I sold out the artistic legacy that had been my trademark for 40 years. As a consequence … I had lost that precious quality that endows dreams with purport and purpose. I had lost my courage.”

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Once again, as in 1951, Capra was ready to call it a day. But he wanted to go out a winner, and on his own terms: “All over the world I was known as a home-run hitter. I couldn’t bow out of films with a weak pop fly. One more home run, just one more — and I’d walk out of Hollywood with honor, maybe even with a 21-gun salute. One more film. And I’d make it my way, with no Glenn Fords around to change my mind.” “Rendezvous in Space” was not the finale Capra had in mind. But when Martin offered him $125,000 to make a short film about space exploration for the World’s Fair, he was happy to sign on. “Rendezvous” was not a feature film; it was more akin to “Our Mr. Sun” and three other science films Capra had made for television during his 1950s self-exile from movie-making. These hour-long TV specials were heavy on animation and aimed at children. Capra made “Rendezvous” in the same vein, with a cartoon sequence in which the Moon, voiced by Jim Backus, complains to “Mr. Space” about all the annoying rockets heading his way from Earth. There was also a live-action sequence featuring “Make Room For Daddy” star Danny Thomas interviewing passersby about the space program, eliciting inane responses from stock characters such as the loud-mouthed cabbie from Brooklyn who suggests that having stewardesses aboard would make space exploration more enticing. Meanwhile, Capra continued to look for a feature film idea that would let him end his career on a high note. He found it in “Marooned,” a novel by Martin Caidin that he read while researching “Rendezvous in Space.” The plot was about a Mercury astronaut stranded in space when his re-entry engines fail. NASA launches an untested Gemini spaceship to bring him home. Meanwhile, the Russians launch their own, competitive rescue mission, lending a Cold War, “Space Race” context to the mise-en-scene. Capra sold the idea to his old studio, Columbia. He had come full circle. Having spurned astronomy to go to work for Columbia back in 1927, he returned to Gower Street in the spring of 1964 to make a film set in outer space. “Marooned” was Capra’s Moon shot,

his bid to reestablish himself as a big-time director. And the timing was perfect. Stanley Kubrick was just getting started on “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and Gene Roddenberry was getting ready to make a TV show called “Star Trek.” Capra once again was in tune with the zeitgeist. But before he could film “Marooned,” Capra had to deliver “Rendezvous in Space” to Martin Marietta. That brings us back to the scene in Queens in September 1964, when the Hall of Science finally opened for business, and the 67-year-old director beckoned the assembled guests inside to view the film. Kids loved it, as I can attest. Craig Lewis is my father. I was 8 years old at the time, and was in school on that September afternoon when “Rendezvous” made its debut, but I visited the Hall of Science soon thereafter. This was an era when American schoolchildren would rise before dawn to watch the exciting launches from Cape Kennedy on TV, fascinated by the idea that each mission brought us a step closer to the Moon. I was proud to think that my dad’s firm made the rockets that blasted those missions into orbit, and that he had something to do with the very cool “Rendezvous in Space” exhibit in the World’s Fair. I was especially impressed by the live-action demonstration with the full-scale models, but I loved the film, too. Dad himself was less than thrilled with it. “It was too jokey,” he recalls. “The whole idea was that we were trying to convince the Air Force that doing things in space was a serious thing to be involved with. “We persuaded management to make major revisions. So I wrote a memo, and flew out to Hollywood and presented it to Capra.” Their meeting took place in the fall of 1964 on the Columbia lot, the same place where the director had created most of his classic 1930s films. But Capra had come down in the world since then, and his current digs reflected his change in status. “It was a modest business office,” Lewis says “It wasn’t Hollywood as you would imagine it. I remember sitting down with him and handing him the memo. He read it as I sat there. I didn’t know how he was going to react.” The Capra of old would have erupted at Lewis and thrown him out of the office for having the temerity to tell the famous director how to make a picture. The Capra of 1964 had a different attitude. “He read the memo, and he said, ‘Well, I’ve got to admit that I was disappointed too.’ He didn’t argue with me at all. We just talked about ways of improving it over the winter.” Lewis got the impression that Capra had delegated “Rendezvous in Space” to his son, Frank Capra Jr., who is listed in the records as assistant director and “production staff” on the project, but who may in fact have done most of the work while his father focused on “Marooned.” That could explain Capra Senior’s comment that he was disappointed with the results. In any case, he willingly made the changes Lewis requested. More than 50 years have passed, and Lewis does not recall exactly what they did to the film, other than deleting some of the jokey bits. “They probably reshot some of the scenes,” he says. “They changed it to our satisfaction. The toned-down, more serious version is what opened the fair the second year.” The World’s Fair ended its two-year run in October 1965, but the Hall of Science remained open, and “Rendezvous in Space”

Karen and Craig Lewis, with a Titan missile model, a souvenir from his Martin Marrietta days. continued to play in the Great Hall for another decade, while Gemini gave way to Apollo and America won the race to the moon. But Capra never made “Marooned.” Columbia denied him the budget he needed to do it right, so he finally walked away from the picture, which someone else ended up directing. Capra retired again in 1966, this time for good. EPILOGUE CRAIG Lewis left Martin Marietta in 1967 and spent the rest of his career as a public relations consultant for such blue chip clients as Exxon, General Motors and Salomon Brothers. After retiring, he and Karen moved to Ojai, where last fall they celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. Frank Capra lived long enough to see his old films become popular again, especially “It’s a Wonderful Life.” He died in 1991 at the age of 94. The Internet Movie Database gives him credit for directing 58 films from 1922 to 1964. The last one on the list is “Rendezvous in Space.” Lewis has no IMDB entry, but perhaps deserves a mention on the “Rendezvous” page, given his role in shaping the final version of the film. That being the case, it seems appropriate to end this article with some words Lewis wrote for his then boss, Martin Marietta CEO George Bunker, to say during that Hall of Science dedication ceremony back in 1964: “I want to pay particular tribute to Mr. Frank Capra, and our association with him. It’s been a very interesting and amazing association between the scientific community and the humanist that Mr. Capra is.”

OQ / SUMMER 2018


1. Azu 457 East Ojai Ave. 640-7987 2. Bart’s Books 302 W. Matilija Street - corner of Cañada Street. 646-3755 3. Besant Hill School 8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Road 646-4343

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11. Nutmeg’s Ojai House 304 North Montgomery St. 640-1656 12. Ojai Café Emporium 108 South Montgomery Street 646-2723

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Putting the ‘Self’ Back in Self Care


Retreats of Ojai




Healers of Ojai

Ask Dr. Beth

Increasing Your Health


Top Seven Paths to Find Yourself

Outside In

Scientist Wades Into the Water Issue


Calendar of Events


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Bellwood Chronicles

He’s Right Behind You!


RECLAIMING THE ‘SELF’ IN SELF CARE By Ashley Berry helloashleyberry.com

While the concept of self care is certainly not new, it seems to have taken on a life of its own in recent years. Factors like heightened political tension, rising rates of chronic illness, an increased awareness around the downfalls of workaholic culture, and the inadequacies of American healthcare systems have led to a wellness revolution in which individuals are taking a more proactive approach to their health. They are prioritizing lifestyles and practices that support physical and emotional wellbeing. This cultural shift has had countless positive impacts, both on the micro and macro levels, but as with most things, there’s a shadow side to the mass popularization of holistic health and self care. As the marketing and advertising industries caught on to the rising wellness wave, imagery and messaging around what well-being is supposed to look like and how to attain it began to show up in magazines, on TV, and across the internet. Lithe bodies, expensive superfoods, and yoga retreats in exotic locales seemed to be the prescription, and while there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of


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those things, the question that begs to be asked is if this one-size-fits-all vision of wellness is truly serving those in search of ways to bring greater health and happiness into their lives. Human beings are biologically wired for comparison and the ever-increasing prevalence of social media has only exacerbated this natural tendency. But when it comes to addressing the highly dynamic and individualized needs of one’s own wellness, it’s so vitally important to remember that what works wonders for one person may be ineffective, or even detrimental, for another. It’s for this reason that anyone wishing to create self-care practices that are powerfully healing in mind, body, and spirit might just find that their best source of guidance comes from within. The idea of developing your own self care and wellness regimen might sound incredibly overwhelming to some, but the truth is that it’s actually a whole lot simpler than one might imagine. We spend so much of our time moving at such a fast clip that we rarely stop and take the time to ask ourselves what we really want or need in any given moment.


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OQ / SUMMER 2018

But developing a connection to yourself and your own inner wisdom is like building a muscle; the more you flex and exercise the capacity to tune into your inner world, the stronger and more effortless it becomes. What sometimes come as a surprise for people as they cultivate their mind-bodyspirit connection is that what we need to feel nourished, restored, and joyful is often actually quite simple. Saying yes when we want to say yes, and no when we want to say no. Setting healthy boundaries with the people in our lives and asking for support when we need it. Taking time out for play, creativity, and rest. Balanced nutrition and enjoyable forms of movement. Connecting deeply with people who uplift and love us. Being kinder to ourselves. These aren’t specific guidelines for how to create a life that you absolutely love. The way any one person lives these practices out will be completely personal and unique, and that’s entirely the point. Only you can discover what it is that allows you to be the happiest and healthiest version of yourself possible, and at the end of the day, that’s what self care is all about.


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A PLACE FOR RETREAT OJAI LOVE CENTER OjaiLoveCenter@gmail.com • (323) 854-5182 ojailovecenter.com Welcome to the Ojai Love Center! Located 10 walking minutes to quaint, historic downtown, on one of the most private, prestigious lanes in Ojai, nestled within majestic ancient oak trees on two acres. We have a unique floor plan that’s perfect for retreats and family gatherings with stunning views of the Topa Topas to enjoy the famous Pink Moment.


1130 McAndrew Road, Ojai • (877) 355-5986 www.peppertreeretreat.org If you are seeking a retreat in Ojai, you’d be following famous footsteps. The Pepper Tree Retreat has played host to some of the most influential people in the world, from D.H. Lawrence to John Lennon. As Krishnamurti himself said, who lived on the property from 1922 to 1986, “It is essential to go into retreat, to stop everything you have been doing, to stop your experiences completely and look at them anew ... you would then let fresh air into your mind. This place must be of great beauty with trees, birds, and quietness, for beauty is truth and truth is goodness and love.” The Pepper Tree Retreat includes an impeccably restored 1910 farmhouse, and features eight guest rooms and newer cottages. All rooms have private bath, writing desk, wi-fi and air conditioning. The retreat also features both indoor and outdoor meeting areas. The retreat is run by the Krishnamurti Foundation of America. The two original buildings on the site, Pine Cottage and its accompanying guest house, have been designated historic structures by Ventura County. Set amid the flourishing and fragrant orange groves of Ojai’s East End, and tucked into a grove of ancient oaks, the retreat offers serenity and solitide amid stunning natural beauty. Three rooms have their own kitchen, and a vegetarian breakfast buffet is offered every morning. Access is offered to the nearby Krishnamurti Library, where people from all over the world have drawn inspiration and insights. The Pepper Tree Retreat prides itself on being an island of calm in a turbulent world, where couples, small groups and individuals can relax, soak in beauty and establish a new relationship with life.

OJAI RETREAT 160 Besant Road, Ojai • (805) 646-2536 • ojairetreat.com The Ojai Retreat is located on a 5-acre hilltop property with spectacular views. It offers 12 beautiful guestrooms, European-style breakfast included. It also features a spacious living room, reading room, waterfall garden, nature path, and outdoor spaces to enjoy the view. Ideal for individuals and couples.

MEDITATION MOUNT 10340 Reeves Road, Ojai • (805) 646-5508 meditationmount.org Devastated by the Thomas Fire, with 28 of its 32 acres burned, Meditation Mount is closed for repairs until further notice. “We have been greatly heartened by the many voices now asking, ‘How can I help?’ We invite you to increase your contribution or make donations to rebuild, regrow and revitalize this sacred place of beauty, harmony and inspiration,” their website states. Donations can be made at meditationmount.org/

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The Plant-Based Plan:

LOOKING TO INCREASE YOUR ‘HEALTH SPAN?’ “Vegan Gluten-Free Baking Class” at The Lavender Inn’s Ojai Culinary School sounded enticing and not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I’m glad I gave it a try. As me and my fellow students donned embroidered aprons and squeezed in to the cozy kitchen, Bianca Rose Martinez of compassionateating.com greeted us warmly, then masterfully introduced us to the world of alternative flours and flax eggs (three versions included!) Before we could say “buckwheat flour,” our olfactory centers were buzzing with the aroma of blueberry hemp muffins, vegan quiche, and jackfruit empanadas pressed on a cast-iron press. Take-home recipes, samples, and new skills were all part of the fun. It’s always exciting to meet others who have discovered the benefits of plant-based eating and learn what inspired them. For Martinez, it was a desire to improve the health of her family. When I made the change a couple years ago, my incentive was more selfish. I wanted to feel better, look better, have plenty of energy, not worry about my weight, and avoid chronic illness, debility, and early death. Yes, plant-based eating offers the promise of all this and more, and the scientific evidence backs this up. Now, I only wish I had known this earlier in life. For most of my life I believed meat was an essential part of a healthy diet. I thought those who avoided animal products must be compromising their health in some way. Plant-based eating seemed too complicated and esoteric. Besides, meals always centered around meat. What the heck would one eat instead?

It’s not that difficult. The goal isn’t perfection, it’s shifting patterns, one meal at a time. Here’s a technique to get started: Crowding out. Keep a short list of essential daily foods. Eat these every day and start to crowd out the other stuff (meat, dairy, sugar, and processed foods). I like Dr. Michael Greger’s “Daily Dozen” list from his NutritionFacts.org website: 1. Beans (legumes) (3 servings) 2. Berries (1 serving) 3. Other fruit (3 servings) 4. Cruciferous Veg (1 serving) 5. Greens (2 servings) 6. Other Veg (2 servings) 7. Flaxseeds (1 serving) 8. Nuts (1 serving) 9. Spices (1 serving) 10. Whole Grains (3 servings) 11. Water or tea (5 servings) 12. Exercise (1 serving). (Admittedly, exercise isn’t a food, but Dr. Greger includes this as a reminder). The above list is a starting point.The key to success is to not feel deprived. No one wants to feel hungry all day or count calories. And there is no need to. Stuff yourself with whole plant foods all day long if you want. Every bite is nutrient dense and calorically light. If weight loss is desired, go light on the oils and nuts. If not, go heavier on the starches, nuts and oils. Here are some of the “side effects” of a whole-food plant-based diet (compared to a SAD Standard American Diet) Most will be noticeable within days to weeks: • Heartburn symptoms go away (stop needing PPI or H2 blockers or antacids) • Loss of constipation (no longer need stool softeners) • Loss of sugar cravings • Increased energy • Improvement in sleep • Improvement in mood • Weight loss OQ / SUMMER 2018

DR. BETH PRINZ 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.

• Clearer skin • Improvement in triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL • Insulin resistance, prediabetes or diabetes improves or resolves. • High blood pressure improves (need for blood pressure medication decreases) • Fatty liver improves • Aching joints, chronic pain improves • Autoimmune condition improves • Palate changes, fruits taste sweeter, fried foods taste too heavy, salty food less appealing. • Improvement in asthma, hay fever, atopic skin disorders • Reduced frequency of colds and minor infections. The most important reason for eating plant-based is to minimize the risk of the No. 1 killer world wide: cardiovascular disease. Aside from quitting smoking, replacing animal products with whole plant foods is the single most useful action any individual can make to avoid heart disease. It’s time to get selfish and increase not only your life span, but your health span. Medications cannot undo what we put in our bodies. They cannot slow or prevent chronic disease. Diseases are chronic because they are sustained by our daily actions. The body has an amazing capacity to heal if we just get out of the way and give it what it requires. Try crowding out the bad stuff with the good stuff and find out what your body is capable of! 117


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M - F 10 - 6 pm | Sat. 10 - 1 pm Visit your App Store, search “Pharmacy Health Connect” to download our App.

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Ojai Avenue

Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm (except Tuesday open 11 am to 8 pm) 1002 East Ojai Avenue, Suite B, Ojai • (805) 299-5899 • www.BambooCreekSpa.com Our Arcade location • AA Relaxing Station • 323 E. Matilija Street, #112

Is home an option? What should I do? What if she falls and no one is there? What is Home Health? Why would I need to use hospice?

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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 Awhai Pottery Axxess Ventura BeCalm of Ojai California Solar Electric Chamber on the Mountain Char Man Brand Hot Sauce Dogs Fly Design Gabriela Ceseùa, Berkshire Hathaway 120

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OQ / SUMMER 2018

waves of the future Ojai’s Rubalcava Riding High at 18 By Jesse Phelps

Meet Patagonia’s next Surf Ambassador. At just 18, he’s confident but friendly and delightfully unassuming. He’s socially conscious and goofy-footed, and he’s always ready, literally, to make waves. Oh, and he’s from Ojai. (Photo by Quinn Wilson)


hile Quinten Rubalcava wasn’t born in the ocean (he was, in fact, one of the last deliveries in the Ojai Hospital), it didn’t take him long to find his way there. He remembers getting started on that path to his future career at 2 or 3 years old.

“My dad had me out in the water at a very young age,” he says. “He would paddle into a wave on a longboard and I’d be on the nose. And then he’d put me on his shoulders. I was on my own surfboard by

life-long passion, surfing has required his dedication and taken him all over the Gold Coast, then far afield of it. He grew up camping and surfing at Hobson. He explored all the good local breaks, and says he still thinks the Ventura-Santa Barbara area can lay claim to some of the most consistent surf he’s seen. He’s seen quite a bit for one so young. After surfing for five years in amateur competitions starting at age 13, he’s content not to compete for the time being. Now he’s

differences he’s observed in other cultures while visiting far-away places reveals insight and even some youthful wisdom. “When I went to Indonesia, it was less about how different it is and more about how similar it is,” he says. “You can go anywhere on the planet and there’s still going to be people going through similar things. Seeing the similarities was more of a shock than seeing the differences.” While surfing’s the passion, Quinten has a backup plan.

by going into business, I’m hoping to set myself up for that time in my life.” His business training dovetails nicely with his current career. He’s become keenly aware of the power of networking, and the time it takes to do it right. “No sponsorship has grown out of nowhere, really fast,” Quinten explains. “Patagonia took probably three years before I went on a trip. But they’ve been super awesome. The surf industry, in general, builds a little slower. You have to

Photo by Quinn Wilson

Left, above: photos by Chet Williams

around five.” Like father, like son. A visit to the Rubalcava residence speaks volumes about how family shapes the man. It’s spacious but cozy. Tea is offered and made. Mom, Carrie, and dad, Mike, sit in on and contribute to the conversation. Older brother Nick isn’t there, but his presence is felt when Quinten talks about his inspirations. Nick’s outdoorsy and fearless, and he motivated Quinten to love bigger surf and cherish the mountains nearly as much as the sea. But the ocean is where Quinten’s heart lives. As a 124

moved on to “free surfing,” accepting sponsorships which afford him the opportunity to travel to some impressively exotic locales. In addition to the coming Patagonia ambassadorship, Quinten already represents T.O.M.O. surfboards, Guayaki Yerba Mate, Raen Sunglasses, Scosche Industries and Santa Barbara’s eco-friendly sunscreen company, Avasol. His passport includes jaunts to South Africa, Hawaii, Indonesia, the Philippines, and “a bunch of little Mexico trips.” A question about the

As is fairly typical of young professional athletes, Quinten homeschooled (with support from Valley Oak Charter, after a stint at Oak Grove), then tested out of high school early. Now he studies business at Ventura College and says he’ll likely continue his studies at Cal State Channel Islands. Knowing that surf careers rarely last decades, he’s implementing a longer-term vision. “I’ve always really liked business and I’ve always known that was the path I wanted to take in college,” he says. “There’s always going to be a job after surfing, and

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build relationships and put forward as much media as you can.” Mike adds, “Finding your niche, and finding the right connection between you and your vibe and your sponsor, is the challenge.” Quinten’s board sponsorship with Tomo is a perfect example. It started when he won his first contest at the age of 14, in Morro Bay, on a Tomo board. A friend of his father’s then introduced him to designer Daniel “Tomo” Thompson. The two went surfing and built a relationship from there.

Quinten’s sponsorship list also reveals something about his character. On closer inspection, it leans heavily local and socially conscious. It’s clearly important to Quinten to align himself with companies that care. Fair trade is a common theme. “Fair trade is super cool,” he says. “It’s an important step in business, in general. I think more companies are going to start, and it’s just a cool movement to see.” His Guayakí sponsorship

Healthy living, it quickly becomes clear, is a Rubalcava mandate. At this point in the interview, Mike gleefully interjects: “It’s how you’ve been raised!” Quinten laughs. “It’s definitely how I’ve been raised, that’s for sure,” he says. “I never had access to much junk food when I was younger. I’m really glad and happy for that.” Mike isn’t done. “He was raised with an organic diet,

destinations, you don’t realize it can be quite harmful, so it’s really cool to have a product that works so well and, at the same time, isn’t going to affect your environment negatively while you’re enjoying nature.” Quinten’s sponsors make for an impressive list of good companies. The dream realized, though, will be joining the even more impressive roster of ocean royalty on Patagonia’s list of Surf Ambassadors — including Ojai legends Chris,

extravagant life. It’s more like, just being able to support yourself, go on trips, and have as much fun as I can,” he says. Following in the tradition of fellow Ojai natives, the Malloys and women’s pro Sage Erickson, he’ll keep blazing beautiful trails through the water as long as he can. “There’s no real feeling that’s similar to getting barreled,” he says. “If you can get that on a wave, it’s super special and fun. The whole thing is just to (make the most) while

Photos by Mike Rubalcava

embodies the kind of integrity he seeks in a professional partnership. An organic yerba matebased energy drink, it’s healthier than your average electrolyte- and preservative-packed sugar water. “There’s other, bigger energy drinks out there that are just super toxic and really gnarly on your body,” says Quinten. “I really didn’t want to go that way. When we found yerba mate and Guayakí, it’s such an awesome difference, to see something healthier that can still give you energy, for that third session of the day.”

primarily. We grow our own vegetables.” Quinten nods. “Yeah. We have our own garden and just live as healthy and simple as possible,” he says. “Guayakí has been awesome because they’re organic and healthy and have good business ethics. They’re fair trade certified and they do a lot of good work.” Avasol sunscreen, another organic product, fits the theme. “A lot of sunscreens actually hurt the reefs and affect the ecosystems,” Quinten explains. “When you’re going to these tropical

Keith and Dan Malloy. “The Malloys have always inspired me. I grew up watching their movies and films,” he says. “It’s always been a big goal of mine to become an official Patagonia Surf Ambassador. I’m looking forward to working in their product testing department and helping out with some of the environmental initiatives.” Sponsors, business school, social consciousness and family aside, as important as they all may be, Quinten wants to ride. “My goal has always been to support myself off surfing. It’s not about living a crazy or

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I have these opportunities, just take advantage of every opportunity I’m given.” No matter how epic those opportunities, how extensive his experiences abroad, Quinten earnestly says he can’t see moving away from Ojai. “So far I haven’t found anywhere else I would rather have a home base at,” he says. “I’m pretty fortunate. It’s an awesome place to grow up.” As long as he keeps blazing those trails and sharing his killer surf adventures with his Ojai neighbors, let’s keep him around as long as we can. Someday maybe we’ll say, “We knew him when….” 125


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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.


Trail Riding Company

Private Guided Trail Rides in the Ventura River Valley and the Los Padres Forest. 3 miles from downtown Ojai

Reservations: 805-890-9340

ojaivalleytrailridingcompany.com 130

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Haney Landscape Custom Designs & Inspiring Installations

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OQ / SUMMER 2018



wading into our world of water


OQ / SUMMER 2018

Andrea Neal, Ph.D: Seeking sustainable solutions for our most pressing crisis


he natural skeptic in me gets curious when I become acquainted with a for-profit business whose mission seems to at once tout their responsibleness but also requires the harnessing of resources to prosper. I continually strive to find and align myself with companies with more of a “conscience” with resource extraction and use if for no other reason than to assuage my own guilt of being a consumer. Companies that make it a point to be better educated, creating and following better business practices as stewards for the environment are key. So are those that transparently share the cumulative impacts of bringing their product to market, then intelligently pass that knowledge on to the consumer. If a company can help wean us from our blindness to our flexing of oftenwasted abundance, they are winning. I guess I have some strong biases that I continually hope to overcome by recognizing responsible businesses. I became intrigued when I met Andrea Neal, a Ph.D. and the Chief Scientific Officer of Primary Water Resources (PWR) based here in Ojai. Her long history of working/volunteering with the Cousteau Society and the Ocean Voyages Institute seemed at odds with my understanding of a for-profit private utilities company. Neal sailed on scientific expeditions engaged with cutting-edge research on plastic pollution on location in far-flung places like the Sargasso Sea. It is no secret that clean water is a primary need and becoming more threatened every day — and that water security and sovereignty will be paramount to our species moving forward as our planet suffers the weight of rampant and often unchecked consumerism. Desertification and the poisoning of oceans from human influences is happening at an alarming rate. Lake Casitas, our local water source has dropped below 40 percent of capacity and is defying recharging. I met with Neal and much of the PWR team at a local café in Ojai. At the table they unrolled a proprietary map showing the local aquifers and the estimated amount of water that flowed into the oceans yearly through the Valley. There were some vast differences between

Neal spent three months and traveled 3,000 miles aboard Kaisei, a tall ship devoted to learning about plastics pollution (left). Ship photo by Nicole Argyropoulos. Plastics photo by Troy Brajkovich.

their scientific studies and the ones that had been done by others locally and their shared plans to get more water. To break the ice I joked that if I tried to take a picture of their map I likely wouldn’t make it out of the meeting alive. There was some smiling but also agreement. A convincing argument was made that they believe they can tap into the aquifers effectively with wells and that it will alleviate and allow many local farmers to better withstand the ever-increasing water crunch. Neal shared that to get cheaper water to the organic farmers was a personal goal but the takeaway for me was a statement that stuck and a bit uncomfortably which paraphrased was, OQ / SUMMER 2018

“If you think about it there really is no such thing as free water.” Dr. Neal: “I was bored, give me something to do.” “When I started I wanted to go to the Rainforest and find new medicines. So all my schooling was within agriculture and plant chemistry. But then I started diving and got very interested in sponges, a specific one that can help with Alzheimer’s. This sponge is 80 percent microbes and the way they work together is key — so I studied nanoparticle toxicity in my graduate program before anyone else was doing it, but as I did this I began seeing reefs that were decimated because 133


Fix how things are on land first,

and then in the ocean, because

once it gets into the ocean it is very hard for clean-up actions to work.

account that many of our primary productivity creatures, like photosynthetic phytoplankton, which produce approximately 70-80 percent of the world’s oxygen supply, float and interact with our plastic trash in the ocean. So when we think of things like ‘How do we clean up the ocean,’ we have to be very careful that our clean-up efforts do not significantly harm the creatures that are either involved in primary productivity, or imperative food sources for larger fish species. Because of the intermix of species and extreme diversity on both plastic surfaces of trash in the ocean and the complex communities that float and live along side this plastic trash, it is an very complex problem. Solutions are not always as easy as let’s go clean it up. Many of the changes needed to prevent this environmental disaster happen at home with small steps.  “The nonprofit world is great but there is so little incentivization. When Jean Michel offered a real job he offered less of a salary than unemployment was paying, like half. Raising money to support higher intellectual people and worthwhile projects needs to come from the private sector and from forprofit companies. So as a company we must be socially and environmentally responsible and give back to and support communities that are doing good things. “For-profit can support and supply the right intellecst and intelligence to do good things. We need to infuse money and resources into the environment and intellect to our save oceans. And it all starts on the land because that is where we are as humans ... “A good friend and mentor of mine is Kalani Souza.  As well as being a OQ / SUMMER 2018

of the changes in water temperature and pollution and the widespread die-off, so I decided I had to do something. “I walked into Jean Michel Cousteau’s office in Santa Barbara and I said to him at our first meeting that I was bored, give me something to do, and so I volunteered and used the money I was getting for unemployment to do full-time work with them. I worked with their enviro campaigns. They needed to be clear about the hard science behind what they were doing so I reviewed documentary videos to make sure the facts were there and correct. “Then Jean Michel had me replace him at events. After the first event I had made contacts and went from a nobody in the marine biology world to being asked to put together and lead a scientific team on the tall ship Kaisei. In just three months we were six scientists in stinky quarters, on a military vessel. We were all trained as chemists but had to figure out the process to analyze what was happening chemically on the plastic on the surface in the ocean and the interaction. The microbes change surface chemistry, electrically charge and consume the plastic and make it like Swiss cheese. We were hand rigging all day, pelagic studies at night, so up until three a.m. We sailed 3,000 miles. We would sample twice a day and work around the clock in sixhour shifts. We only saw one other vessel in over a month. “Fix how things are on land first and then in the ocean because once it gets into the ocean it is very hard for clean-up actions to work. The Montecito mudslides that just happened for example… plastics, contaminants, household items, electronics all entered the ocean and its super difficult to deal with or impossible once it is there. We have to start on land first with better practices to do less harm. “It starts with business. REI for example — all products must now meet their social and enviro standards moving forward or they will not bring them into the store. “Nano and micro-plastic fibers in washing machines is another big problem. A farmer wanted us to remove boron out of water and we realized that we can also use this filter for removing the plastics from clothing fibers from washing machines. “We also have to take into

leader for Pacific Islanders, he has been heavily working on small-footprint mixed agriculture projects. He has been a phenomenal mentor in my life teaching me not only about nature’s balance but human balance. Tim Hall, who is a founder of PWR and a permaculture expert, is another. “We now have two years going with PWR and it is not easy to do what we are doing. We need exceptionally smart scientists here, land use and land management experts to work with the systems that exist. We see ourselves as an additive to municipalities and water companies that are out there to alleviate pressure from drought. “Farmers are desperate. Some used tons of water from their allotments to fight the Thomas Fire, or had it shut off, and the drought is continuing. Most farmers are really good water users and we want to help them get good irrigation systems in place to give them more autonomy. It’s a constant challenge, too, because there is also so much misinformation going around still that is so frustrating. “Often potential solutions are put forward by a single scientist’s study — and there is no outsourcing. There should also be a real peer-reviewed process going on for water districts like Casitas, not just studies that are blindly accepted. People will pay a lot of money out of their water bills and the outcomes are far from guaranteed. “If groups like ours (PWR) are not stepping up for promoting water security then Coca-Cola or Néstle will be in charge. If water ownership becomes a monopoly, that is the scariest thing...” Worth checking out… www. primarywaterresources.com

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Send a subscription to Ojai’s locally owned and operated magazine. — ONLY $24.95 per year! — By nationally award-winning writers and photographers.

Make checks payable to Ojai Quarterly, 1129 Maricopa Highway, Suite B186, Ojai, CA 93023 or Visit OjaiHub.com

OQ / SUMMER 2018


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OQ / SUMMER 2018

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS MAY “Bakersfield Mist” Date: Continuing to May 27 Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday Location: Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: 640-8797 ojaiartcenter.org The Art Guild of Fillmore Date: Continuing to May 30 Time: Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Location: Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: 640-0117 ojaiartcenter.org “The Pirates of Penzance Jr.” Date: Continuing to June 10 Time: Friday and Saturday 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. Location: OYES, 907 El Centro Street Contact: 646-4300 oyespresents.org

JUNE 10: The Ojai Wine Festival at Lake Casitas Recreation Area. The event, sponsored by Ojai Rotary-West, has raised $1.7 million and is now in its 32nd year.

Date: May 5 to June 24 Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday Location: 8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Road Contact: 646-3381 beatricewood.com Mona Kuhns: “Selected Works” Date: Continuing to June 24 Time: Thursday to Friday, noon to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., or by appointment Location: 310 East Matilija Street Contact: 620-7589 porchgalleryojai.com OSA Scholarship Exhibition Date: Continuing to June 29 Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday Location: Ojai City Hall Gallery, 401 South Ventura Street, with additional work on view at Ojai Valley Museum, 130 West Ojai Avenue Contact: 640-8751 ojaivalleymuseum.org

“Lauren Hansen Ceramics” 138

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“All About Ojai:” Wills Canyon Guided Nature Hike Date: May 26 Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Location: Ventura River Preserve, 1290 Meyer Road Contact: 649-6852 ext. 2 ovlc.org 27th Annual “Art in the Park” Date: May 26 to 27 Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Location: Libbey Park Contact: 646-0117 ojaiartcenter.org

JUNE “John Doyle in Concert” Date: June 1 Time: 7 p.m. Location: Ojai Woman’s Club, 441 East Ojai Avenue Contact: 665-8852 ojaiconcertseries.org “Ojai Blues Festival” Date: June 2

Time: Doors open 1 p.m., show 2 to 10 p.m. Location: Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: 646-0117 ojaiartcenter.org “Ojai Wild Gala” Date: June 3 Time: 4 to 7:30 p.m. Location: Upper Campus The Thacher School, 5025 Thatcher Road Contact: 617-4610 lpfw.org

Certified Farmers Market

“The Art Of Ivan Firsvik” Date: June 1 to July 5 Time: Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Location: Ojai Art Center Contact: 646-0117 ojaiartcenter.org

JUNE 3: Los Padres Forest Watch’s “Ojai Wild! gala” event will take place at The Thacher School.

Full Moon Meditations

JUNE 22: Hitmakers Los Lobos will play Libbey Bowl.

“Eating Ojai” Food Tour Date: Call to schedule Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Location: Varies Contact: 295-8687 venturafoodtours.com

Ojai Seeker’s Bike Tour

Ojai Photo Club “After Dark” Date: June 19 Time: 7 p.m. Location: Kent Hall, 111 West Santa Ana Street Contact: ojaiphotoclub.com

Dates: To be announced. Check website. Location: Meditation Mount, 10340 Reeves Road Contact: 646-5508 ext.103, meditationmount.org Open meditation at the Full Moon.

‘Eating Ojai’ Food Tour

“An Evening with Journalist and Author, Dr. Jennifer Fisher” Date: June 11 Time: 7 p.m. Location: The Ojai Art Center 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: 646-0117 ojaiartcenter.org

“Los Lobos Concert” Date: June 22 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl,

Historical Walking Tours of Ojai Date: Every Saturday Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Location: Departs from the Ojai Valley Museum, 130 West Ojai Avenue. Contact: 640-1390 ojaivalleymuseum.org

“The 32nd Annual Ojai Wine Festival” Date: June 10 Time: 12 noon to 4 p.m. Location: Lake Casitas Recreational Area Contact: OjaiWineFestival.org Agora Foundation Free Community Seminar Series: “The Foundations of Our Republic” Date: June 7, 21 Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m. Location: The Ojai Library Contact: 231-5974 theagorafoundation.org

Date: 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.

TO JUNE 24: Mona Kuhn’s largescale photographs will be on show at Porch Gallery. OQ / SUMMER 2018

Date: By reservation, 48 hrs in advance Time: varies Location: varies Contact: 272-8102 or email ride@ themobshop.com 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.


Location: Ojai Art Center Contact: 646-0117 ojaiartcenter.org

210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com “33 Variations” Date: June 22 to July 15 Time: 7:30 Friday to Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday Location: Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: 640-8797 ojaiartcenter.org “Dark Star Orchestra” Date: June 23 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com

“Jefferson Starship Concert” Date: July 14 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com

TO AUGUST 24: Carlos Grasso’s work will be on display at Ojai City Hall Gallery.

Herbwalk: “Summer Solstice Nature Hike” Date: June 24 Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Location: Maricopa Plaza for carpool, 1207 Maricopa Highway Contact: 646-6281 herbwalks.com

“Los Lonely Boys Concert” Date: July 19 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert at 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com

JULY “Wilson Phillips Concert” Date: July 1 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com “The Art of Carlos Grasso” Date: July 2 to August 24 Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday Location: Ojai City Hall Gallery, 401 South Ventura Street, with additional work on view at Ojai Valley Museum, 130 West Ojai Avenue Contact: 640-8751 ojaivalleymuseum.org “Ojai Band Patriotic Concert” Date: July 3 Time: Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl Contact: 223-3709 4thofjulyinojai.com 140

“Starchitecture: Ojai by Design” Date: July 7 to October 28 Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday Location: Ojai Valley Museum, 130 West Ojai Avenue Contact: 640-1390 ojaivalleymusuem.org

JULY 1: Wilson Phillips (Carnie Wilson, Wendy Williams and Chynna Phillips are scheduled to play Libbey Bowl

“Toad and the Wet Sprocket Concert” Date: July 20 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., Concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com

“Fourth of July Parade” Date: July 4 Time: 10 a.m. Location: Downtown OJai Contact: 223-3709 4thofjulyinojai.com

“The Fix in Concert” Date: July 21 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com

“Ojai Fourth of July Fireworks with ‘Action Down’ & food trucks” Date: July 4 Time: Gates open 5:30 p.m., Location: Nordhoff High School, Maricopa Highway Contact: 223-3709 4thofjulyinojai.com

“Little River Band in Concert” Date: July 22 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com

“The Art Of Sue Blackshear” Date: July 6 to August 2 Time: Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. OQ / SUMMER 2018

“RUNA in Concert” Date: July 22 Time: Gates open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Dancing Oak Ranch, 4585 Casitas Pass Road

Contact: 665-8852 Ojaiconcertseries.com Agora Foundation’s Great Books Summer Intensive: “Humanity’s Place in the Natural World” Date: July 31 to August 3 Time: All-day event Location: The Ojai Retreat Contact: 231-5974 theagorafoundation.org

AUGUST “Led Zepagain:” Date: August 3 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com “Under the Sea” Date: August 3 to September 6 Time: Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Location: Ojai Art Center Contact: 646-0117 ojaiartcenter.org

“Gino Vannelli in Concert” Date: August 4 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com “Little Mermaid” Date: August 10 to 19 Time: 7:30 Friday and Saturday, Sunday 2 p.m. Location: Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: 646-0117 ojaiartcenter.org “Ojai Valley Land Conservancy Membership Event” Date: August 11 Time: TBA Location: TBA Contact: 649-6852 ovlc.org Ojai Youth Opera: “The Snow Queen” Date: August 17 to 18 Time: 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday Location: Ojai Art Center,

113 South Montgomery Street Contact: 646-0117 ojaiartcenter.org Ojai Valley Land Conservancy Movie Night Date: August 18 Time: TBA Location: The MOB Shop, 110 West Ojai Avenue Contact: 649-6852 ovlc.org David Mason & Sete Cropper “Rock and Soul Review” Date: August 26 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com

SEPTEMBER “Queen Tribute Concert” Date: September 1 Time: Doors open 5 p.m., concert 7 p.m. Location: Libbey Bowl, 210 South Signal Street Contact: libbeybowl.com

FRENETSee you at the 15th EVE

annual Ojai Valley

Lavender Festival! Sat. June 30, 10-5pm Libbey Park ,Ojai

ANNUAL TOUR OCTOBER 12-15 One of California’s premier art events.


Over 70 open studios and special events.


U-pick Lavender Farm Frog Creek Lavender Farm, Upper Ojai, 10-5pm



OQ / SUMMER 2018


Artist’s response to the Thomas Fire from the Ojai Valley Museum exhibition. Order online at our website. INFORMATION, MAPS AND TICKETS VISIT:



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


OQ / SUMMER 2018

13th annual

Aloha Beach Festival


November 1-11 A TEN-DAY CELEBRATION • 80 Features, Documentaries and Animations • Screenplay Competition and Live Read • Filmmaker Panels • Workshops, Parties and Special Events • Youth Programs • Visit Website for More Information and Tickets

Promenade Park-Surfers Point, Ventura



Live Entertainment Great Food Beer Garden Arts & Crafts Vendors


Ride your bike! Parking is limited


OQ / SUMMER 2018



OQ / SUMMER 2018



eter Cook and Dudley Moore, each in their own way, presented me with a genie in a bottle, a euphemism for surprise. Of course, I didn’t know the precise nature of what that genie was, but, thrilled to the bone, breath coming faster, I opened each bottle nonetheless, an act which immediately kicked me into what I can only describe as blazing free-fall nothingness. Their lunatic gifts had freed me, turned me loose, made anything and everything possible, rendering me into a state of continuous and unimaginable excitement. I was no longer the jug-eared, working-class Yorkshire lad I secretly believed myself to be. I was somebody! That was their gift to me — unlimited and creative freedom. Whoopee — ! Before reacting to readers’ comments on my previous column, Temporarily Here, some random but germane thoughts involving friends I love. Novelist and artist Marilyn Noad, currently at work on her novel “The Foolseeker,” wrote the following in her preface: “I’m an old woman now and finding old age surprisingly interesting. It’s not at all what I expected, which is that it would be a little like watching a slow-motion train-wreck. Well, I guess in some ways it is but if you have lived an interesting life (which I have) it’s not so bad. You find yourself remembering past events with more clarity, even when you can’t remember what you were trying to remember five minutes ago. And strangely, the memories that occur to you most often are neither the peaks or lows (they

By Peter Bellwood

seem to re-occur with the same frequency), but rather the mysterious unresolved and unexplained ones; the synchronous, impossible and just plain magical ones. So it is with me. To speak of these I must resurrect a very much younger version of myself and let me tell her story. It is one that is hard to believe let alone explain so I will leave it to you to decide. All I can say is that it is absolutely true.” Amen … and let that be a lesson to you …! Taking a load off under the umbrella at the Ojai Business Center, I see a white Beamer I instantly recognize by its licence-plate: OJAI GUY. Guy Webster, no less, out of the car with some difficulty — left side of his body frozen by a stroke — but that doesn’t hold him back. Pushing his walker, supported by a foxy woman, he ploughs into OBCI to make copies. Renowned for his rock&-roll photography in the ‘60s and ‘70s — Dylan, Morrison, Hendrix, Joplin — it occured to me looking at his work and marvelling how he played with light and shade that if he’d been a painter, he’d have been Ingres (1780-1867). Beautiful stuff. One photo on the wall as you enter Guys’ Venice studio is of one of his lovely daughters, and it looks exactly like an Ingres. What is it about Guy? I marvel at it and don’t ever want to know. And now, just for a moment, and since courtesy of my wife my nickname is Badger, here are three badgers found among a List of Old Occupations designed to help genealogists in deciphering old documents: Badger, a licensed pauper who wore a badge with the letter P on it and could only work in a defined OQ / SUMMER 2018

area. Potato Badger, a seeker of potatoes. Badgy Fiddler, a boy trumpeter in the military. Actually my great-grandpa was a badgy fiddler, in the Devon Militia. And five more that have nothing to do with badgers: Hankyman, travelling magician in Victorian England. Sagger Maker, one who made the fireclay containers in which stoneware was fired. Sagger Maker’s Bottom Knocker, the sagger-maker’s assistant who tapped the bottom of the pots. And Slubber Doffer, who removed the bobbins from the spindles in the mills. My favorite’s the Bottom Knocker, but never mind that! And so to bed. I am chuffed (British word) by those who complimented me on my last column. Truth is, we’re talking about power and how easily we can embrace it without trying. The Tibetan sage Longchempa said: “Since the world is absurd, having in and of itself no particular meaning, black or white, good or bad, one may as well confront it with laughter.” The Roman philosopher, statesman and dramatist Seneca wrote: “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” I salute Noad, Webster and everyone else applying their talents towards a raised consciousness and a higher power. Twain said: “Against the assault of laughter nothing can prevail.” I mean, why would one want to try? Groucho Marx also had it about right: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” I love you all, and that’s all you need. Until next time, to quote Cook and Moore: “Good bye-eeeee -- !” 145



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