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WINTER 2019-2020

QUARTERLY

MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS The Bonds That Tie Ojai Together

‘MAGIC TIME’

Hawk Koch’s Latest Production

OJAI PILGRIMS

BON VOYAGE

Krishnamurti, Besant & The Making of Ojai

Ojai Adventurers Follow Lewis & Clark Footsteps

$5.95 MARY STEENBURGEN AND LILLY MCDOWELL WALTON

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

1


Wilde

Larry 805.640.5734

Erik 805.830.3254

IN ESCROW

Thacher Road | Classic 1908 “Julia Morgan” Architect | $2,750,000

25+ Acres | Thacher Road Well Water | $2,495,000

IN ESCROW

Thacher Road| 5+ Acres Nine Rentals | $3,495,000

Oh What Views & Privacy | East End incredible Detail & Quality | $2,395,000

IN ESCROW

Downtown Ojai | Great Location Guest House | $975,000

Downtown Ojai | Private | 1.5 Acres $1,349,500 | 811canada.com

Bryant Circle Industrial | 2400 SF | Currently Leased Solar | Roll Up Doors | $945,000

Larry Wilde began his real estate career in Ojai in 1975, and by 1978, together with his partner Dennis Guernsey, formed their own Real estate business. Today it is the premier brokerage in the Ojai Valley.


Rancho Matilija | Full Guest House Pool/Spa | Room for Horses | $1,895,000

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

Down Town Ojai Church over half acre $1,495,000

GRAND AVENUE | SIX ACRE ORANGE GROVE INCREDIBLE WELL! | $1,295,000

Commercial Lot in Ojai $375,000

East End Ojai Craftsman | $1,800,000 1615McNellRoad.com

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


Donna Sallen

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

On more than an acre of land, nestled among the majestic oak trees, you will find a lovely Craftsman style home. As you enter the home you will notice the large picture windows showcasing the great room with vaulted ceilings and a large fireplace.

Sitting on over three acres in the prestigious Persimmon Hill area of downtown Ojai. This five-bedroom, three-bathroom sprawling ranch style home showcases open-beamed vaulted ceilings, a stunning great room with a massive brick fireplace, formal dining room, hardwood floors and a large master suite.

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


Sitting perfectly on over an acre of land with citrus fruits and a driveway of Cypress trees. Located minutes away from trails, organic grocer, coffee shops and yoga studio. This home has the modern design that unites family spirit, cozy atmosphere and large open spaces. Recently renovated, this light filled house has a spacious floor plan with vaulted ceilings, polished concrete floors and custom doors leading out to a private backyard. The property’s meandering paths lead to an artist studio and a sleeping cottage. This home is made for a true Ojai lifestyle.

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

Donna Sallen

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

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


GAB R I E LA C E S E Ă‘ A

CAL BRE# 01983530 Realtor | Luxury Specialist Berkshire Hathaway

Unwavering commitment to my clients’ satisfaction. Driven by passion for the work I do 805.236.3814 | gabrielacesena@bhhscal.com Gabrielacesena.bhhscalifornia.com

COMING SOON

Coming Soon | Midtown Charmer with impressive views | Turnkey | Phenomenal neighborhood | Please call for details

Experience a life of ultimate luxury in this thoughtfully designed downtown Modern Hacienda infused with romance and beauty at every turn. Ideally located moments from the renowned Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, bike

trails, Libbey Park & Bowl, ultra-hip coffee shops, restaurants, & wineries, this sophisticated home lives like a dream. This inspired residence offers the ultimate sense of relaxed country living in perfect harmony with nature!

Cesena, Gabriela - Winter 2019.indd 1

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11/18/19 3:37 PM

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FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS Health · Happiness · Joy

RAINS EST. 1914

Specialty Department Store

Men

105th YEAR

Women

L.A. Times Says “Don't Miss It”

Alan Rains

Complimentary Gift Wrap Kitchen 805-646-1441

Home & Gift

www.RainsOfOjai.com OQ / WINTER 2019-20

218 E Ojai Ave. 7


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OQ / WINTER 2019-20


FINE JEWELRY 453 East Ojai Avenue • (805) 646-1997 • Hrs: 11am - 6pm Thurs - Sat • susancummings.com


985 FORDYCE RD. $5,495,000

Presented by Ojai's finest Real Estate Team

Lisa Clark &

Cameron Clark

Cameron Clark: Realtor Associate at LIV Sotheby’s // Lisa Clark: Realtor Associate at Keller Williams Luxury. Each office is independently owned and operated. .

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Jes MaHarry Store 316 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai California 93023 L ov i n g l y h a n d c ra f te d i n O j a i , C A jesmaharry.com ~ 877.728.5537 ~ jesmaharryjewelry OQ / WINTER 2019-20

Photo by: Rylann 11 Smith


ILiveinOjai.com | (805) 794-7458 | Team@PeraltaTeam.com 12

OQ / WINTER 2019-20


TOP PRODUCING TEAM WITH OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE

East End Estate | 6 Acres | $7.125m

Arbolada Family Compound $1.695m

Craftsman Beauty | East End | $2.3m

Views | Studio & Guest House | $3.425m

Tonya Peralta, Serena Handley, Rachelle Giuliani & Ashley Ramsey (not pictured) Tonya BRE#01862743 • Serena BRE#01994892 • Rachelle BRE#02047608 • Ashley BRE#02078441

@PeraltaTeamOjai

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

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OJAI QUARTERLY p.36 ‘SUFFERS & PERMITS’ Ojai Attorney Shakes Up Tech World Bret Bradigan

p.42 GOING HOME AGAIN Mothers, Daughters & the Ties That Bind Ojai Together Robin Gerber

ON THE COVER: Mary Steenburgen and her daughter Lilly McDowell Walton, photographed by Jessie Webster

WINTER 2019-2020

QUARTERLY

MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS The Bonds That Tie Ojai Together

‘MAGIC TIME’

Hawk Koch’s Latest Production

OJAI PILGRIMS

BON VOYAGE

Krishnamurti, Besant & The Making of Ojai

Ojai Adventurers Follow Lewis & Clark Footsteps

$5.95

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

1


FEATURES p.60 DRUMS ALONG THE OJAI Orpheo McCord’s Long, Strange Trip Betty Nguyen

WE PROCEEDED ON ... Ojai Adventurers on the Trail of Lewis & Clark Joe Sohm & Bill Terry

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p.104 OJAI PILGRIMS Besant, Krishnamurti & Other Seekers Mark Lewis


LUXURIOUS OJAI COMPOUND Twenty-Three Palms

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

PRICE UPON REQUEST

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THE ENVY OF THE OJAI VALLEY With an enviable ridge-top 2 acre setting & sweeping mountain views, this solar powered Mediterranean estate offers over 6,700 sq ft on 2 gorgeous low maintenance acres and includes pool, spa, and paddle-ball court. Truly one of Ojai's best values!

$1,915,000

Char Michaels (805) 620-2438 www.ojaihomes4sale.com DRE# 00878649

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

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W I N T E R 2 0 1 9 - 2 02 0

Adventures in Fashion

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


p.35

Ojai Notes

OQ | DEPARTMENTS

Podcasts, Film Fest & More By Bret Bradigan p.66

Seeking ‘Attunement’ Hidley’s Conscious Determination

OJAI LIFE:

By Andy Gilman

p.28 Editor’s Note

p.74

p.30 Contributors

Food & Drink The Books of Ruth By Ilona Saari p.126

#VanLife Renovation for Van, Self By G. Lev Baumel p.132

Uncharting the Territory The Search for Meaning in Nature By Bennett Barthelemy

p.136

Zen & The Art of Golf Dr. Joe’s Game Theory By Ken Zeiger p.144

Nocturnal Submissions The Whistler’s Mother By Sami Zahringer

p.35 Ojai Notes p.70 Artists & Galleries p.82 Ojai’s Wine Trail Map p.90 Ojai’s Gems p.110 Beyond the Arcade Map p.120 Ask Dr. Beth p.124 Healers of Ojai p.131 Top Ojai Hikes p.142 Calendar of Events


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Ojai

For Beauty Home Nature •

Arts Investment Community Lifestyle Everyone •

Top of the world views - this little gem rests peacefully on over 13 acres atop Sulphur Mountain awaiting a new owner to enjoy! Call us today for a private showing. Asking price $650,000. Call us today for a private showing

First time on the market and finally ready to go! Solidly built home with two APNs totalling .65 acres on a lovely tree-studded lot with views.

DON & CHEREE EDWARDS

CALL US TODAY!

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


OJAI QUARTERLY Living the Ojai Life

WINTER 2019-2020 Editor & Publisher Bret Bradigan

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

Columnists Bennett Barthelemy Chuck Graham Dr. Beth Prinz Ilona Saari Kit Stolz Sami Zahringer

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.

#OJAIQUARTERLY Ojai’s Robert LaMarche by Ian Spanier IG: @ianspanier

You can also e-mail us at editor@ojaiquarterly.com. Please recycle this magazine when you are finished. © 2019 Bradigan Group LLC. All rights reserved.


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180 N. Poli Street - $655,000

1223 Fierro Drive - $689,000

Beautifully remodeled 3 bedroom/2 bathroom, 1,530 sq. ft. home with bonus room. Newer wood floors, lighting, updated kitchen and baths, plus plenty of room for RV parking. Located just 2 blocks from local restaurants!

Refreshed 4 bed/2 bath, 1,311 sq. ft. home on a .24 acre lot. Newer wood-look flooring, interior paint, modernized kitchen and bathrooms with newer cabinets and granite and stone counters, great neighborhood!

NEW LISTING!

501 Vallerio Avenue - $839,000

1442 S. Rice Road - $1,350,000

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

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

59 W. Calle El Prado - $549,000 4 bedroom/2 bathroom, 1,584 sq. ft. home with bonus room, located in Oak View. Large master bedroom w/ en-suite bath, terraced back yard. Easy access to Ojai and Ventura!

DRE# 01761150, 00780642, 01877842

Phone: 805.272.5221 ~ Email: Team@DeckertDePaola.com ~ Web: www.BestBuysInOjai.com 26

OQ / WINTER 2019-20


Reframe the holidays with meaningful memories. SERENITY SEASON at Ojai offers a storybook setting and magical family events. Light up the valley at our annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, taste our Grand Christmas Buffet, or surprise the little ones at a breakfast with Santa! Make this year matter.

855.780.0388 OjaiValleyInn.com

Š2019 Ojai Valley Inn


O Q | E D ITOR’ S N OT E

THIS PLACE WE CALL HOME “I write each day for the next and walk wide of the cosmic and settle, most happily, for the local.” — Murray Kempton

This Winter issue of the Ojai Quarterly draws a curtain on a tumultuous decade. It feels like we’re going home again. Back to the stories, the insights, the flavors and sensations of Ojai that motivated the first steps of our journey 10 years ago. Our cover story, with three mothers and their daughters who have returned to nest happily in Ojai and are raising their third generation of our community, speaks to this feeling. Reading Robin Gerber’s clear-eyed and inspiring account, you can’t help but feel honored that talented, accomplished people are betting on Ojai’s future with their own lives as well their childrens’. Then we have Kit Stolz’ account of Hollywood legend Hawk Koch’s memoir, “Magic Time,” co-written with his wife Molly Jordan. It’s another validation of living in Ojai that people of such international regard and stature feel the same. There are many reasons why people come to Ojai. But on a Venn diagram of those reasons, there would be more overlap on Krishnamurti than any other. There’s a common local thought exercise; “Where would Ojai be without him?” Mark Lewis does a typically superb job sorting out those variables in his story about those Ojai pilgrims. It’s a story deeper and more fascinating than you might imagine. It even involves our cover story, with daughters attending Krishnamurti-founded Oak Grove School. Strands of those Ojai pilgrims and seekers are tightly woven into the warp and weft of our daily lives. It was my great pleasure to join Ilona Saari recently at the Inn’s spectacular Farmhouse venue for Ruth Reichl’s reading of her memoir, “Save Me the Plums.” One of America’s leading food writers, Reichl was making her first visit to Ojai. I felt like we did her proud. The Inn’s impeccably presented Reichl-inspired meal in this warm, pleasing space made 100 guests feel like a big, happy family. Back to Robin’s story. Thomas Wolfe left his final editor, Edward Aswell, a steamer trunk packed with handwritten, yellow legal-pad size pages, with scarcely any discernible order. From it came not one, but several of the great bildungsromans of literature, including “You Can’t Go Home Again.” Wolfe had an uncanny ear for movement, meaning and dialogue; his meticulously readable descriptions of his father, a stonecutter and cemetery headstone-maker, have few parallels. Maybe only Yukio Mishima comes close in his “Sea of Fertility” tetralogy. Or Thomas Mann in “Magic Mountain.” Faulkner, arguably. “You can’t go home again” is now such a reflexive statement that we seldom take it out into the light to look at it. To me, anyway, Wolfe meant that everything flows, everything changes. Your birthplace is merely another stream that you once stepped into, its waters rushing around you and swirling back together on the other side. Ojai, then, is a place of returning and intention. It isn’t that you can’t go home again ... it’s that when your home is Ojai, it is the shore from which the tides of your life ebb and flow. So, readers, please enjoy with our gratitude the pages ahead, informed as they are by this place we call home.

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OQ | C O NT R I BU TO R S

SERGIO ARAGONÉS

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

BRANDI CROCKETT is an

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

JERRY DUNN

ANDY GILMAN

LOGAN HALL

MARK LEWIS

BETTY NGUYEN works as

JESSE PHELPS

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

is a writer and editor based in Ojai. He can be contacted at mark lewis1898@gmail.com.

DR. BETH PRINZ

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

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G. LEV BAUMEL

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

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

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

ILONA SAARI is

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

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

was born in Hawaii bur raised in Ojai. He was most recently chief photographer for the Ojai Valley News and Visitors Guide.

grew up 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

JOE SOHM is an

American history teacher turned photo-historian. For more than 30 years, he has photographed the 50 states and has published his images more than 50,000 times.


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

JESSIE WEBSTER

is an editorial and commercial photographer specializing in lifestyle and travel. She has always drawn tremendous inspiration from her surroundings, especially the beautiful landscape of her native Ojai. Find her on instagram @ jessiewebster

JULES WEISSMAN is a

member of Ojai Studio Artists and runs local marketing agency Lunch Box; lunchboxcreative.com. Follow her on Instagram @ wooltowool.

OJAI HUB Your Central Source for Events, News

SAMI ZAHRINGER is

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

& Living the Ojai life. WWW.OJAIHUB.COM

805.798.0177

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

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EXCLUSIVE DIGITAL LAYOUT SYSTEM See the actual layout of the stonework before we make a single cut!

celebrating

23 years of business

(805) 648-4098 www.PacificStoneworks.net 31 Peking Street, Ventura, CA


Down Home Furnishings EXPLORE OJAI’S GREAT INDOORS

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

250 E. Ojai Ave. Ojai, CA 805.640.7225 DownHomeFurnishings.com


Orchards & Outbuildings

Riki Strandfeldt CA DRE Lic. # 01262026

(805)

794-6474

Your call is always welcomed.

Riki4RealEstate.com Search Ojai Valley & Ventura County MLS Listings (no sign-in required)

www.Bear-Creek-Ranch.com

3000 sq ft Industrial Bldg Craftsmanship Cabin, Guest House & more on 39 acres

Ojai Living

Vivienne Moody CA DRE Lic. # 00989700

(805)

798-1099

Ask about pocket listings

OjaiViv.com vmoody10@sbcglobal.net 34

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

Downtown Bungalow


OQ | OJA I N OTES Ojai was first developed in the early 1870s by Royce Surdam, after purchasing the land from railroad baron Tom Scott. Surdam relentlessly promoted the town sites, naming it Nordhoff, after Charles Nordhoff, author of a popular book extolling California for its salubrious climate. ‘WORKIN’ IT’ PODCAST TALKS SHOP WITH PEOPLE WHO FIND JOY IN JOBS Podcasts have become an inescapable media phenomenon in the past decade. Now there’s an Ojai space in this landscape. Ojai resident Reed Fish of Two Fish Digital started “Workin’ It,” on April 15, 2019 and has garnered enthusiastic listeners since with his “weekly-ish” podcasts. The podcast’s premise is “that works sucks and I want to be convinced otherwise. So, I try to talk to people who find joy and fulfillment in their work.” Among Fish’s guests have been Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen, model Sophie Ward and Tomatomania’s Scott Daigre. “Ojai can be a tough town to make it work from a financial perspective and I’m always fascinated by what people do to get by,” he said. ‘Working It’ is available at workinitpod.com or wherever you get your podcasts.

47 ARTS & LITERATURE Artists, Galleries, Exhibits & More 73 WINE & DINE Chef Profiles, Ojai Restaurants, Etc 91 YESTERDAY & TODAY Ojai Without Krishnamurti 117 HEALTH & FITNESS Healers, Hikers & Ojai-Based Medicine 142 CALENDAR What’s Going on this Season

SHORT FILM FESTIVAL TOP DRAW FOR TOP GLOBAL TALENTS The Short Film Festival is coming Dec. 13-15, and is gaining momentum as top filmmakers bring their work to Ojai. Founded by Ojai’s own Sunil Sadarangani and Aman Segal last year, the inaugural effort screened 33 films, including the Oscarwinning documentary short “Period. End Of Sentence” and another Oscar nominee for best animated short “Weekends.” Other official selections were Viola Davis’s “Night Shift” and Make A Film Foundation’s “The Black Ghiandola” starring Johnny Depp, J.K. Simmons, Laura Dern, Chad Coleman, and David Lynch. “The vision for the film festival is to bring some of the finest short-form content from around the world, using cinema and digital media to foster and empower independent artists,” Sadarangani said. “We also showcased some award-winning and compelling films from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ireland, India, Iran, Israel, Singapore, Venezuela, and Poland.” This year’s short-film submissions include “Laboratory Conditions,” starring Marisa Tomei and Minnie Driver, “Boy Boy Girl Girl,” with Katie Holmes and Ajay Naidu, “among other stellar shorts from around the world,” he said. “We are also introducing the Spotlight Initiative starting with films from

2

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of

OJAI

OF SEPARATION BETWEEN

Co-Founder Sunil Sadarangani with Bettina Fisher (executive at the AMPAS), Actor Chad L. Coleman and Producer Peter Farrelly. South Asia. We have confirmed two awardwinning Indian films “Plus Minus” and “Bebaak” (Defiance) both starring Bollywood names in lead roles. “My co-founder and I are both independent producers and have made several short and long form content. Most recently I was invited to be on the jury of the 13th Los Angeles Greek Film Festival and was part of the programming committee at Outfest, Los Angeles this year. The three-day festival will screen their selections at the Sane Living Center and the Ojai Retreat & Inn. For more information, contact the Ojai Short Film Festival at ojaishortfest@gmail.com or online at ojaishortfilmfest.com.

?

P.G. WODEHOUSE, ‘JEEVES,’ AND OJAI ONE: Pelham Grenville “P.G.” Wodehouse created one of most indelible characters in fiction, Jeeves, the highly competent valet of the idle Bertie Wooster. Wodehouse’s style was often admired though seldom imitated. According to Ed Cummings, “He describes a Britain that never existed, where there is no sex or death, except in passing, and the tumultuous history of the early 20th century barely gets a look-in.” OQ / WINTER 2019-20

TWO: P.G. Wodehouse’s brother Ernest Armine “E.A.” Wodehouse was a professor at Decca College in India, and was admitted to the Theosophist Society in 1908. From there, he was introduced to a teenaged Jiddu Krishnamurti (see story on page 104) and became his tutor. Wodehouse passed away in 1936, well after Krishnamurti renounced the “World Leader” role for which Wodehouse, among others, had groomed him. 35


OR

Ojai attorney wins award for gig economy case BY BRET BRADIGAN

The technology-enabled gig economy promised workers the freedom and opportunity to own their own time in a way once inconceivable, doing what they love, piecing together a good living on their own time and terms. The rise of these technology-enabled jobs demolished stodgy gatekeepers like taxicab companies, courier services and other establishment entities that worked hand-inhand with government to perpetuate their profits at the cost of competitive pricing and customer options. According to the prevailing narrative, these next wave disrupters would flatten hierarchies and open golden doors to opportunity. There was a darker side to this brave new future, however. Kevin Ruf, an Ojai resident and school board trustee, has been working on this case in one iteration or another for 14 years. Ruf was Glancy Prongay & Murray’s lead attorney in the precedent-setting case Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. A big source of what made all these promises possible was that Uber, Lyft, Postmates and Task Rabbit were able to classify these gig workers as independent contractors, not subject to workforce protections. The case overturned the often-arcane 36

system which enabled this easier classification of workers as independent contractors. Dynamex’s ruling narrowed the definition to a simple, three-point “ABC Test”; an independent contractor must be free from a company’s control and direction; the work they do can’t be the company’s main business and the contractor must be performing work that they do in an independently established trade. If any of those three are untrue, the worker must be classified as an employee and is entitled to the same benefits and protections — minimum wages, overtime pay, and health and safety concerns among others. The case has caused ripples up and down the state, but especially in Silicon Valley. Because of the Dynamex ruling, California passed Assembly Bill 5, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Tech giants such as Uber and DoorDash have pledged $30 million for a ballot proposition to overturn AB5. We exchanged a few questions with Ruf on the effects of AB5, and its ground-shifting consequences. Ojai Quarterly: How did the Dynamex case come to you? Why did your firm take it? Kevin Ruf: The case came to us from another lawyer. I am my firm’s “labor specialist.” We took the case because the facts OQ / WINTER 2019-20

were so stark: the company had “converted” all of its employee drivers to independent contractors on January 1, 2005. We thought it unfair that workers who formerly were the beneficiaries of worker protections under the Labor Code were suddenly without any such protections and termed “independent contractors,” even though the job remained the same.  OQ: How long did the case take through the first filing through appeals to the state Supreme Court? Any insights from the trial you can share?  KR: The original case was filed in 2005 but my firm did not know that. We filed in 2008 and just a month or two later, the original case (which was on appeal after the courtdenied class certification) came back from the appellate court with a decision requiring the trial judge to allow full discovery before ruling on certification. So, basically, we filed just as the case was about to get back on track. Mark Pope, the original lawyer and a true prince of a guy, welcomed me into the case — perhaps sensing that it would be a Bataan Death March from then on. We went up on appeal again in 2013 with the issue that ended up changing California law. That appeal was decided in our favor about a year and a half later in 2014 and then quickly


Kevin Ruf arguing the precedent-setting Dynamex before the California Supreme Court. “You’ll notice Justice (Goodwin) Liu is the one engaging at that moment — he was definitely the most active.” Ruf said.

went to the Supreme Court (we all knew this was something the Supremes would have to decide). I argued it in February 2018 and got the result on April 30, 2018 — a day I’ll never forget.  The phone didn’t stop ringing for a day. OQ: What were Dynamex’s arguments? Who were your clients? And why were yours more persuasive than theirs? KR: Dynamex had always taken the position that the question of whether a driver is an independent contractor is too individualized to be decided for a group of drivers in a class action. They (like most employers) contended that it’s more art than science, and nuances over how much control the employer exercises and how much “entrepreneurial spirit” the driver exercises — along with the multitude of other “factors” under the pre-Dynamex standard — meant we could not possibly survive as a class action. My co-counsel gets credit for advancing the theory that other definitions of “employment” under California law than the one historically used could allow for different standards for determining if someone is an independent contractor. Historically, we had used the “common law” standard but there were two other standards under the Wage Orders and one of them

was really, really broad: one who “suffers or permits” the provision of services is an employer. We grabbed that one and the rest is history.  Broadly, I think our side was persuasive because this became a historical moment when the Court was presented the perfect vehicle for reining in the rampant use of “independent contractors” to simply end-run the labor laws. It was basically the Wild Wild West — think Uber, gig economy, companies “re-classifying” workers as ICs and suddenly cutting their employment costs in half. The Supreme Court makes clear that it is in this context that they entered this fray.  OQ: The May 19th ruling sent shock waves around HR departments and to especially gig economy firms like Uber and Lyft. The law goes into effect January 1st, 2020. How soon must they comply? Is there a grace period or will they be fined right away for noncompliance? KR: So, contrary to the usual “flow” from the Legislature, to the California Code, to the Courts to interpret same — this one went the other way: it was the Supreme Court that established the rule (though based on their interpretation of existing California law) and then the Legislature formalized the Court’s ruling by putting it into the Labor Code. The OQ / WINTER 2019-20

case law remains and it is already operative, though some are arguing that it should not be retroactive … Companies will have to comply but they are also still seeking carve-outs until the law goes “live.” OQ: The Dynamex case certainly takes the utopian luster off the supposed freedoms of the gig economy — the freedom and flexibility of working on your own terms and time, room for lots of side hustles and entrepreneurial energy — but a lot was traded away in exchange — being an independent contractor was too diffuse and unorganized to press for better pay and work standards. Why was that tradeoff not worth it? KR: For some people, it was worth it. I think — hope — that what we accomplished in Dynamex was to force a hard look at these tradeoffs and move away from what we all knew was a superficial and cynical use of independent contractor status as simply a way around the Labor Code. It created an uneven playing field where some businesses were advised that their workforce was, realistically, comprised of employees and that was how the Labor Code was intended to operate. At the same time, other companies were cutting their labor costs by simply waving a wand and calling their workers “independent contractors.” This 37


Kevin Ruf at home in Ojai with Randy. Photo by Tom Moore.

was ridiculous and unfair and unsustainable. The law will certainly continue to change — and probably quickly — but we will not return to the days where companies could disclaim all responsibility under the Labor Code for worker protections by giving them a different title than “employee.”   OQ: Can you explain (to me) the relationship between Dynamex and AB5? I’m confused — was the bill working its way through committees and hearing before Dynamex, in anticipation, or as a direct consequence? KR: See above. A really interesting part of this — and the subject of an article I’m writing in the Daily Journal — is that here the Court pushed for this massive social change and then the Legislature followed them.  OQ. Can you tell us more about the ABC test? (A. An independent contractor must be free from a company’s control and direction. B. The work he or she does can’t be the company’s main business. C. And the contractor must be performing work that he or she does in an independently established trade.)  Can you describe potential impacts? KR: Yes, and it’s the “B” — middle prong — that’s driving the gig economy crazy.  If the “business” of Uber is giving people rides, then they can’t hire ICs to do that. This makes sense to me. The primary 38

work force of a company — the folks who do the main business — should be covered by the Labor Code. That’s why we have a Labor Code.  OQ. So what now? Is Dynamex appealing? Are they getting (or have received) lots of amicus briefs and/or money to continue the fight?  KR: There is no appeal from the California Supreme Court’s ruling regarding California law.  If there were some impact on federal law, or a conflict with federal law, then those cases can go to the U.S. Supreme Court — but not this one! OQ. What is the world going to look like post-Dynamex? Will Lyft and Uber and Postmates and these other on-demand services survive? If so, how? If not, what will be lost? KR:I think they will survive. I think there may be some compromises made under the law for people who work as much or as little as they please. The law can and should evolve. But here’s what I do know: there won’t be 1,000 truck drivers who were employees yesterday and today are “re-classified” as independent contractors. Those days are, appropriately, gone.  Note: Ruf received the coveted Clay Award (California Lawyer of the Year) for his work on Dynamex.

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You Can Go Home Again BY ROBIN GERBER PHOTOS BY BRANDI CROCKETT & JESSIE WEBSTER

These are the stories of three young women and their mothers. These daughters left Ojai, where they were born and raised, for the larger world. But they returned, each for their own reason and in their own way. Each of them found what they were looking for by coming back to the place where they grew up. As Robert Frost said, ‘Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.’ For these women, home is Ojai. 42

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BETH BURKE AND CATHY ZACHER

BETH BURKE’S STRONG BEAUTY shines through her big quick smile, and serious brown eyes. She’s the oldest of three girls, all born at Ojai hospital. Beth, born in 1978, went to Topa Topa Elementary, then San Antonio school, Matilija and Nordhoff. All of her grandparents were Ventura High School graduates. “I thought my cousins and I would always live in the same town,” Beth says, “and we’d have kids together and all that, but in high school, my eyes started getting bigger every time I went to a big city like L.A. or San Francisco. I thought, ‘Oh man, it would be really cool to live in a big city.’’’ Beth’s mom, Cathy Zacher, winces at the memory. She’s a quiet, contained woman, whose intense love of her daughter can be felt in every word. “Beth was my most adventurous child. She left Ojai the weekend after she graduated from Nordhoff for a month in Mexico, and never lived here after that, other than summers during college.” It would take twenty years, and a tragedy to bring Beth home again. Beth went to college at her mother’s alma mater, UCLA. By her third year, Beth was ready to go to Madrid for the whole year. “I was so excited for her,” Cathy remembers, “but it was hard. We didn’t see her from August to July. We talked on Sunday mornings but if her call came late, I was frightened. I’d never been to Spain. I didn’t know what might happen there.”

Beth missed her family but loved her year away. After graduation she moved to San Francisco for eight years, then on to get a Master of Social Work degree from Smith College, where she had an internship in the Bronx. She savored everything New York had to offer, and soon fell in love with Chris, an aspiring actor. “I had guilty feelings at times,” Beth remembers. “I thought about whether I should move back home, but Chris and my careers were in New York. I was at Mt. Sinai Hospital doing clinical social work, and specializing in treating transgender and gender non-binary youth. It was fascinating.” After five years, Chris and Beth got married, and in 2015, their daughter was born. “Now we’re talking hard,” Cathy says. “We wanted to be with our first grandchild.” Life in New York was hard for Beth, too. She went back to work after three months, and Chris became the primary caretaker. They had a lot of friends where they lived in Brooklyn, but their apartment was a tiny walkup, everything was expensive, and between work and the baby they were exhausted. Then, after two-and-a-half years, Beth was pregnant again. Some of their friends had moved, weakening their support system. Beth and Chris talked about moving to Ojai, but Beth’s pregnancy, and the needs of a toddler made moving seem too hard. A sudden, terrible heartbreak changed their plans. OQ / WINTER 2019-20

“I had a miscarriage,” Beth says. “It was medically complicated, and happened just before Christmas, and when Chris had hand surgery.” Beth needed care. She needed consoling. She needed her mother. Through the sadness and loss, Beth realized what she and Chris had to do. Chris, who had grown up in a small town in Illinois, agreed. It was time to move to Ojai. “It was so hard to be away from my mom after I lost the baby,” Beth remembers. “I felt so far from her, from my family, from home. I needed my mom for myself, and for my daughter.” Beth, Chris and their daughter now live with Beth’s parents in Oak View. Beth landed a great job at Casa Pacifica helping at-risk kids, and Chris is a trainer at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club. “Her father and I were so elated,” Cathy says. “They’re such good parents. What a joy, truly what a joy. It’s heaven to have them in our home. We eat dinner together. Chris is a great cook, and so is my husband. We are so darn lucky, I don’t have words for it.” Beth offers that big grin. “I’m not sorry I left, but I’m so glad to be home.”

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LILLY WALTON AND MARY STEENBURGEN LILLY MCDOWELL WALTON, an ethereal, large-eyed beauty, talks about her Ojai childhood with thoughtful reticence. Growing up in an old farmhouse on Reeves road, surrounded by the nurturing of an Oak Grove school education, she has great memories, including meeting one of her dearest friends at pre-school in the early 1980s. “I loved the emphasis on outdoor education.” Lilly says, “Making pancakes from acorns, foraging, and camping trips. I’m still super-grounded by hikes and nature.” Lilly’s parents’, Mary Steenburgen and Malcolm McDowell, divorced when she was nine years old. It was a time when Mary appreciated that “Ojai was a nurturing, lovely, tender valley.” Then Mary fell in love with Ted Danson, who also was divorced, and lived in Los Angeles with his two daughters. Lilly was twelve the first time she met Ted’s daughter Kate, who was her age. Lilly was apprehensive about how they would get along. She smiles through tears, remembering that day. “It was amazing. We had the same music, the same sneakers, even the same underwear. It felt like the Parent Trap.” Mary smiles, too. “Ted and I had a huge love, and we had in common that we adored our kids, and were open to adoring each other’s kids. Some of it is just magic and instant connection.” When Lilly was fifteen, Mary made the decision to move in with Ted in L.A. “It was hard, and exciting,” Lilly remembers. “I straddled two worlds, desperately missing my Ojai friends. But it made going to college easier.” Lilly went to Wesleyan University in

PHOTO BY JESSIE WEBSTER 44

Middletown, Connecticut. Mary remembers crying when she went into Lilly’s room at home, but she “wanted her to do whatever would make her heart sing.” From Wesleyan, Lilly went to New York City to study acting with Mary’s teacher, the legendary William Esper. “I worked in a restaurant,” Lilly says, “took classes, auditioned, but the winters were a battle against the negative wind-chill factor.” One day when she was home in L.A., Lilly told Ted how hard it was in New York. “He said, ‘Why don’t you come back? It’ll be OK,’” Lilly remembers. “I was worried about my lease, and my job, but I realized that he was right.” Back in L.A., Lilly kept auditioning, and made some small films, but she started to feel that acting wasn’t the right fit. “It didn’t bring me joy,” she says, “and I felt like I was swimming upstream. I like structure and routine.” Mary laughs, “Lilly was good at acting, but she didn’t like the craziness of getting to the work. Acting is insane-making, and she didn’t have the screw loose.” Lilly had also fallen in love with Charlie, a paramedic on his way to becoming a therapist. With Ted officiating, and Malcolm walking her down the aisle, Lilly got married. Soon, she and Charlie were living in Venice, with a baby and a toddler. “Life was so much harder in L.A. with two kids,” Lilly recalls. “It was a forty-five minute drive to get to gymnastics. The stress level was so high. Charlie was studying at Pacifica, so we’d stay at Mom’s house in Ojai, and I’d feel so much better. I kept thinking, ‘why don’t we live in our happy place?’” One day, a dear friend who had moved to Ojai from L.A. called Lilly and said she’d found the perfect house for her. Lilly and her family are now comfortably relocated with a yard adjoining her friend’s. Lilly says, “I love motherhood, even though sometimes our house is crazy. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” Mary adds, “I’ve only had two years of non-Ojai living in thirty-six years. Now I have my grandkids here, and they’re like all the ice-cream you can eat.” After working at Rooms and Gardens, Mary’s former home store in L.A., Lilly discovered an interest and talent for interior design. Mother and daughter even designed a line of Frenchinspired candles. Now, Lilly’s starting “Lilly Walton Design” (online at lillywalton.com) in Ojai, the place she’s happy to call home again. OQ / WINTER 2019-20

LIZ OTTERBEIN AND JEN KEELER JEN KEELER IS THE IDEAL MODEL for her Ojai hair salon Rise. She has a ready, million-watt smile and a picture-perfect blond cut. She’s come a long way from her first four years growing up on a commune in a remote part of France and riding a donkey to school. Jen’s mother, Liz Otterbein, is a free-spirited French woman who married a skier from Corona del Mar. They left France, and landed in Ojai with four-year-old Jen, who only spoke French. She started at Oak Grove School, where her father became the French teacher and athletic director. After graduating in 1998, Jen headed to Santa Barbara City College. She was a talented gymnast with big dreams that were ended after a terrible car accident. She tried dance. She tried acting, and got a part in a college play, “Greater Tuna.” A cute guy named Joel played the lead, and Jen played a little boy with an imaginary puppy. “I was eighteen,” she says, “and I’d accidentally found the man I would marry.” Jen tried a move from SBCC to University of California at Santa Cruz. She found it cold and gray, with huge classes. She missed Joel, so she moved back to Santa Barbara and took a job at De Cut hair salon. Jen had dreams of being an actress, but the salon owner, Hans, had other ideas. He told Jen that she would make a great stylist. Jen realized that she had liked cutting hair since she was eleven-years-old. She saw how much joy the stylists were getting from making the customers happy. “I thought, there was something to it,” Jen remembers. When Joel moved to Long Beach for a film production degree, Jen followed and enrolled in beauty school. “I was still convinced I could be an actress,” Jen remembers, “but my acting teachers had always said ‘this has to be the only thing you could fathom doing. If there’s anything else you can imagine doing, then do it,’ and I started imagining doing hair. I loved beauty school.” Jen got hired at a fancy salon on Melrose Place, where many celebrities came for hair cuts. She learned a lot from the stylists, but she didn’t feel like it was her “true vibe.” Jen says, “I


wanted to do regular people’s hair.” Jen and Joel lived in North Hollywood for seven years. “We loved the music scene,” Jen remembers, “and the restaurants, and the fact that there was always so much to do. Then we had our first baby girl, Charlotte.” Having a baby made Jen realize all the things that she didn’t like about Los Angeles. “The traffic, the air quality, the seemingly endless power lines everywhere. I remember having my new baby in the stroller and realizing that the only place I could walk to with her was Target! There were no parks nearby, or anywhere I could take her and feel safe.” Weekend trips to Ojai to visit Jen’s mom, Liz, were a stark contrast to life in the City. “I could walk to so many places,” Jen says. “Hike with Charlotte. Take her to the park. The air smelled so good. And all around I just felt so much more at peace. And my parents were here to help out with the baby.” Jen and Joel started to talk about moving. There was also a deeper reason that drew Jen back to Ojai. Liz had been a psychiatric nurse at Hillmont Psychiatric Hospital. In 2010, she and two other nurses were brutally assaulted by a patient. Jen’s baby had just been born. “Having a new baby to focus on was a blessing,” Jen says. “My mom often says that she feels like Charlotte saved her.” After the assault, Liz took the train to L.A. two days each week to help with the baby. “I realized that I needed my mom,” Jen says, “and my mom needed me, and my baby.” Later, Liz wrote a book about her work with psychiatric patients, including the one who ended her career. “That’s the only chapter I haven’t been able to read yet,” Jen says.  Jen and Joel found a home in Ojai, and soon they had their daughter Josephine. “My girls are seven and nine now, and best friends,” Jen laughs. “It’s an honor to be their mama.” Jen recently got another honor. She was voted best hair stylist in Ojai for the seventh year in a row. ≈OQ≈

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

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Ojai Reads

Hawk’s ‘MAGIC TIME’

drums along the Ojai

Recommendations From Local Bibliophiles

Hollywood Legend’s Latest Adventure in Ojai

Orpheo McCord’s Long, Strange Journey

66 ‘Attunement’ John Hidley’s Conscious Determination

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OQ | OJA I R EA D S BY SAMI ZAHRINGER

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BURN BOOKS TO DESTROY A CULTURE. JUST GET PEOPLE TO STOP READING THEM. — Ray Bradbury

You’ve just finished a book, a book that profoundly satisfied and surprised you in a way that made every cell in your body thrum. How do you decide what to read next? It’s a big question, capable of paralyzing us with the myriad options available to us. Do you want to be challenged, transported, thrilled, consoled, instructed, energized, emptied, filled, tranquilized even — or something else? What we need from a book changes from book to book and with whatever is happening in our lives. How do we hop from lilypad to lilypad in the pond of our own deep reading in a way that best serves our curiosity? How do we make the biography of our reading our own, like a fingerprint? The answer, perhaps, gets easier the older we get, as our passions and

MATT HENRIKSEN runs Barts Books: I’m always reading a big stack of books. I’m currently in the middle of, “Let Me Clear My Throat” by Elena Passarello, “Waitress In Fall” by Kristin Omarsdottir, “Towards Wholeness,” by Myokyo Daiyu Zenji, “Manifestly Haraway,” by Donna Haraway, and “The Overstory” by Richard Powers. I’m reading that latter one, “The Overstory,” for the third time. Every time I get a copy, the bookstore sells out, and I end up selling mine to a customer. I have very much enjoyed the first two chapters all three times! I have enjoyed Powers’ previous work, and the subject matter of this one is pretty close to my heart.” (“The Overstory,” shortlisted for the 2018 Mann Booker Prize, is a novel of Nature, a paean to the natural world. At a time when our planet faces catastrophic change, BookPage says of “The Overstory:” “Vast, magnificent, and disturbing ... An array of human temperaments and predicaments as manifold as Charles Dickens’ or Leo Tolstoy’s ... I have never read 50

aesthetics become more defined. We have defined a palate for ourselves — often imposed from “above” for better or worse — of what we feel to be worthwhile reading, but maturity also understands that what constitutes a book being “good” matters less on absolute decrees from critics, than on the context of our own lives. Knowing oneself matters more than knowing what one “ought” to be reading. Subjectivity becomes more important than objectivity as we read with more confidence in ourselves. Here are three readers who have achieved that state. They read widely and with discernment, but are always true to their own tastes at any particular moment, are not afraid to read in new directions, and thus create a reading fingerprint unique to themselves.

anything so pessimistic and yet so hopeful.”) As the manager of a bookstore, it isn’t surprising that Hendrickson says he prefers to graze on books and genres widely and with curiosity. “I’ve been focusing on reading contemporary poetry for the last few years but I’m usually reading at least one of each of the following genres as evidenced by my current reading list: an essay collection, some poetry some OQ / WINTER 2019-20

nonfiction and a novel at all times.” When asked what turns him off about a book, he doesn’t hesitate in saying “Bad design. I have found the popular phrase involving book covers to be true, if you’ve trained yourself sufficiently to correlate design to your tastes accurately.” “(For summer reading) I think you’ll want a paperback to throw in your bag on your trip, or take to the beach. I’d recommend Sally Rooney’s “Conversations With Friends,” or Lucia Berlin’s short story collection, “A Manual for Cleaning Women” “For nonfiction, two books that are both on my list to get to, and are selling remarkably well for Bart’s are “How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency,” by Akiko Busch, and Jenny Odell’s “How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy.” MICHAEL ADDISON is a professor of theater, a director, actor, teacher, and professional printmaker. He has sat on the Ojai Educational


Fund and is currently the Chair of the City of Ojai Arts Commission. My reading is ridiculously wide-ranging. Some spy novels that are quickly forgotten and some short stories. But overall I veer between nonfiction and fiction. I recently read two stunning tomes that opened my eyes to history and human behavior. The first was “The Silk Roads,” by Peter Frankopan. As the title suggests, it deals with trade routes, but more importantly it shows how through history the development of products and resources led to trade and trade wars that led to invasions and conquests to control the economic flow. Follow the money, as they say, and watch the mayhem and slaughter. Plus change le meme chose. Then, I read “Jerusalem: the Biography,” by Simon Montefiore. A history of the city, of the struggle for control of that piece of dirt over the ages, and of one massacre after another. Again, ‘Plus change ... ”’ Another non-fiction book that hit me hard was “Educated,” by Tara Westover, which traces her life from being raised in a fundamentalist and survivalist family/cult till she could break away and become free from brutal family and narrow minds. Fiction. I find myself drawn recently to books that open up other cultures. “Home Fire,” by Kamila Shamsie took me into the world of Afghani immigrants, Ocean Vuong’s “On Earth we’re Briefly Gorgeous,” into the life experience of a Vietnamese immigrant. I’m currently reading “Age of Iron,” by J.M. Coetzee, set in South Africa. As I spent part of my youth there, this searing novel of the horrors of Apartheid really strikes home. JIM BAILEY is a long-time Ojai educator, lifelong learner in many disciplines, and beloved local “science guy.” He currently runs the ROCK TREE SKY School in Upper Ojai Right now I’m reading “Underland: A Deep Time Journey,” by Robert McFarlane. It was a selected for me by my daughter, Emma, who works at Bart’s Books. She’s really good at that

sort of thing and has pointed both Natasha ( Jim’s wife) and I to several books that have ended up being really important to us. I’m really liking this book. It’s got everything that I love: lyrical prose that at times reads like poetry, history both geological and human, science and its seekers (Chapter 3 is an exploration of story of Physicist Fritz Zwicky and the exploration of dark matter.) It also brings in mythology, which I’ve always seen as the night language (as opposed to science’s day language) in an attempt to understand the universe and our

place in it. “In the last year I’ve read “The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids,” by architect and design critic Alexandra Lange; “What Schools Could Be,” by Ted Dintersmith; “Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World,” by Marcia Bjornerud. Great books all, and all motivated by my deep interest in our current creative enterprise of rethinking the design of effective learning environments. I guess it’s evident by now that my preferred genre has been nonfiction. I’m often looking for books that I can integrate with how I’m living in the world, and especially those that can inform my work. I try to take them all in and make use. I don’t like gushing too broadly about any one book, or being a purist in following any one author’s thesis or school of thought. When it comes to reading, I’ve aimed to keep Emerson’s warning in mind, “I had better never see a book than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and make a satellite instead of a system.” I’m not a fan of being in bondage to an authority outside of myself, books included. I do read fiction, too, though! In the past year OQ / WINTER 2019-20

I really enjoyed “The Intuitionist,” by Colson Whitehead, “The Broken Earth” series by N.K. Jemisin, “We Are Legion (We Are Bob),” by Dennis E. Taylor, and a reread of “The Master and Margarita,” by Mikhael Bulgakov. The first few on that list definitely fall into the science fiction or speculative fiction genre. I’ve got deep roots with sci-fi and fantasy, going back to my junior high reading of “Lord of The Rings.” One of my all time favorite speculative fiction novels is “Oryx and Crake,” by Margaret Atwood. It’s an even darker take on a potential future than “The Handmaids Tale,” if you can imagine that. It’s about GMOs and corporatist states gone wild, and a small band of ecoChristians that resist them. In the third book Atwood even includes sermons and hymns about eco-saints like Rachel Carson and other sacred things like photosynthesis and microbes. Beyond what I’ve already shared, I’ve got a few more recommendations for great summer reads. For kids or pre-teens I think “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli or “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman are both beautiful and really engaging stories. Non-fiction wise, I’d invite every parent to read “Free to Learn” by evolutionary psychology professor Peter Gray. Lastly, for good old nostalgic and fun fiction I like Earnest Cline’s “Ready Player One” or, believe it or not, Faulkner’s, ”A Light in August.” Whatever you pick, enjoy! Now, time to get back to “Underland.”

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OQ | OF F T HE S HEL F HAWK KOCH Brings ‘Magic Time’ to Ojai BY KIT STOLZ

“IN THE

IN HIS NEW MEMOIR, “Magic Time,” the highly accomplished movie producer Hawk Koch takes readers back to his first memory of visiting a shoot. He was four years old, more than a little intimidated by his quiet, serious father, visiting a location in Colorado where a Western was being shot.

ROLE OF A PRODUCER, YOU CAN’T TAKE

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” he writes. “The first thing I noticed were all the teepees, the feathered headdresses, and the horses exhaling great, visible clouds of breath through their noses. There were wranglers and Indians gathered around the catering truck eating warm breakfast burritos from paper plates. My dad worked with cowboys and Indians? Whoa!” As if that wasn’t enough magic for one kid to take in, which I was curiously looking inside one of the teepees, a big cowboy rode up to me on his horse and spoke directly - and only - to me. “Howie, you ever been on a horse before?” he asked. “No,” I answered shyly, secretly enamored with the attention. “ You want to go for a ride?:” the cowboy asked kindly. “ Yes!” I said, eyes wide with enthusiasm. That big kindly cowboy’s name? Clark Gable. But ask Koch today about this moment - was this emblematic of his life as the son of a legendary producer? - and he politely deflects the suggestion, and in his answer doesn’t even utter the name of the legendary movie star. “When you’re on a movie set, and I’ve been on sets since 1950, there are people you kind of bond with, and become family to you, because you spend more time with them than with your own family,” he says. “At that time 54

THE WORD “NO.”

my father was an assistant director, and he was really busy, so it was really nice that there were other people on the set, not just the guy who gave me a horseback ride, but a wrangler named Jeff Flores, or a prop man who gave me a rubber tomahawk, or a rubber hand grenade, when my dad was doing a war movie. Or the grip who taught me how to push a dolly. I learned all this stuff because I was hanging out with them. I wasn’t hanging out with my dad. I never wanted to bother him.” Despite not wanting to ask his father for anything, the young Koch followed in his footsteps up the ladder to Hollywood success, becoming a well-known and muchin-demand assistant director, then a producer, and eventually - like his legendary father - ascending to the post of President of the Motion Picture Academy. In his office crowded with awards and photos of Koch with countless Hollywood legends, one might think he was predestined to find such success, but in conversation Koch convincingly argues that becoming a successful producer is never easy. OQ / WINTER 2019-20

If you really want to be a producer and get projects done, think of hitting your head on a brick wall 999 times. Then, all of a sudden, you hit it and it comes down and you get to make your project. When you’re a producer you have to figure out ways around a director who wants to go one way, a writer who wants to go another, a studio executive who wants to go another way, an actor who wants to go still another. You have to remember your vision of why you want to buy the rights, and option a story, or a book, or a screenplay, and why you wanted to make that movie.” Along the way he came to know the “major players,” and has the personal details to prove it. Jack Nicholson gave him a nickname: Bullhorn. The little phrase that Jack Lemmon used to use like an incantation before the cameras would roll- “Magic Time” -- became the title of Koch’s book, which includes countless priceless insider stories, from music as well as movies. While working in London, for example, he was the first non-musician to hear friend Lesley Gore’s classic song: “You Don’t Own Me.” He loved it and had the thrill of being able to tell her so. Now living in Ojai, Koch still knows the “major players,” still works on projects, and still works very hard behind the scenes, for the Academy, for the Producers Guild, and on the board of of the Motion Picture and Television


Fund. Like his father, once he had made a name for himself he devoted himself to giving back, to the Academy, to the national leaders who inspired him, and to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to support retired and elderly members of the movie and television industry. But Koch doesn’t seem to judge people according to their fame. Though he takes pride in having worked with countless “major players” and “A-listers,” he doesn’t use the word “star” and seems to look at people not according to status, but according to their talent. “I never thought of the A-listers or the celebrities as ‘stars’ in that way,” he says. “In this business there are a lot of terrific actors, writers, directors, and producers, and then there’s the geniuses, the people who you make you feel like - wow. I’m able to say, some of these people really are a little more special than everyone else. Once I was an assistant director on a set in Wheeling, West Virginia, and found myself working with Jimmy Stewart!” High on the list of “geniuses,” Koch puts the director Roman Polanski. In “Magic Time,” written with his wife Molly Jordan, a Jungian analyst, Koch recounts a scene from the shoot of the classic movie “Chinatown.” The movie includes a moment in which the small-time detective played by Jack Nicholson, Jake Gittes, is confronted by a bad guy, played by the director Roman Polanski himself, and told to back off his investigation. “Roman grabs Jake and asks, “ You know what happens to nosy fellas? Wanna guess? No? They lose their noses!” Roman wanted the camera to be over the shoulder of his character and on to Jake so the viewer could actually see the knife going into his nose, watching the knife pull up to cut, followed by blood spurting out. While it was a great idea creatively, Jack was a bit nervous about how they were going to pull off the ruse without him getting injured. We had all kinds of makeup and special effects people trying to figure it out, but everyone was stumped.

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I’ll never forget Roman saying in his Polish accent, “Okay, I do it, I take care of it.” Polanski did solve the problem, using a knife with a backwards hinge, so the blade wouldn’t cut Nicholson’s nose, with a blood squib to spurt fake blood to hide the deception. Despite Nicholson’s nervousness, the scene worked perfectly, though Polanski insisted on shooting twelve takes, until Nicholson finally threw up his hands and declared he had had enough. But when asked, how did Polanski famous around the world for his innovative direction - figure out this small technical problem, Koch instantly has an answer. “I think the best directors are the most curious,” he says. “Roman was one of the most curious people I’ve ever met. He always always asked questions and he always wanted to know: Why is that happening? I remember going to dinner parties with Roman, who speaks about nine languages, and he would be talking in Polish to one person, in English to another, in French to another person, and he would always be asking questions and always making sure that everybody was part of what was happening.” Despite impressive successes in Hollywood - working on or producing pictures such as “The Way We Were,” “The Odd Couple,” 56

“Chinatown,” “Wayne’s World,” and countless others - Koch in his personal life struggled to get out from under the shadow of his legendary father. Not only was he working in the same industry, but he bore the weight of his legendary father’s name — as Howard W. Koch, Jr. At age fifty, three weeks after suffering the break-up of his second marriage, he visited with a good friend, fellow producer Gary Lucchesi, who took one look at him and said, “Man, you look terrible.” Koch couldn’t deny it. He knew that he had to stop expecting a relationship with a woman to solve his spiritual problems, but had no idea how to move forward, and told Lucchesi he feared he would end up a “broken and lonely old man.” Lucchesi - despite being a “good Catholic boy,” according to Koch - agreed that he needed to act, and prompted Koch by asking if he could be bar mitvahed at his age. Lucchesi knew that Koch had never gone through the rite of passage that most Jewish boys celebrate at age thirteen because Koch’s parents weren’t observant. The idea dumbfounded Koch -and thrilled him. Soon he found a sympathetic rabbi to help him prepare. “Who are you?” was the rabbi’s first big OQ / WINTER 2019-20

question to Koch, which launched Koch on a quest to better understand himself, his family, and his heritage, culminating with a realization: he needed to take his own name in the world. To separate himself from his father, no matter how much he admired him. From his initials HWK and the letter “a,” he set out to become his own man, spiritually and emotionally. Reading “Magic Time” one slowly realizes how unusual Hawk Koch is, despite his background and the great success he has earned. For one, he is a big-time Hollywood producer who matter-of-factly tells the truth, even though he readily concedes that deception is common, even standard operating procedure, in the Industry. “I don’t think a lot of people in this business tell the truth,” he says. “I think a lot of people try to manipulate others to get what they want. But I guess telling the truth for me worked out, and I don’t think I was ever caught in a lie, because I wasn’t lying.” Koch defies Hollywood stereotypes in many respects, including the stereotype of the cynical, jaded movie producer who only cares about himself and his projects. As a student at UCLA, like many other young people of the era, Koch was utterly devastated by the


assassination of John F. Kennedy. Years later, when he heard another candidate he really liked, he went on to launch a major phonebanking effort for Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. Tears come to his eyes in an interview when he speaks about that effort. “Morgan [Freeman] loaned me his office, and we had hundreds of people in offices and studios all over Los Angeles,” he says. “We made over a million phone calls. I remember sitting on the floor in Morgan’s office when they called California for Obama. You work so hard and finally it was like wow, maybe now we’re going to be able to make some changes.” When asked why he and his partner Molly Jordan chose to come to Ojai in recent years, his enthusiasm becomes almost uncontainable. “We were looking for a third act place,” he says. “We didn’t really want to live in a gated community (such as Rancho Matilija), but this community is so great. People here are wonderful, dog people, cat people, owl people - we’ve had the Raptor Center come out. We’ve made really good friends, and we love

that it’s a creative community. People really care about the issues here, whether it’s water, or fire, or pesticides, and we love that.” With his customary energy and organizing skills, Koch has already made a splash in Ojai. He showed “Chinatown” in conjunction with the Ojai Film Society in 2017, and shared his memories of the shoot, complete with slides from the shoot, and in conjunction with the Ojai Film Festival showed “The Way We Were” in November. In 2018, working out of Kim Maxwell’s acting studio in Ojai, Koch recruited dozens more people to make calls on behalf of the nearest Democrat in a tight race for Congress, helping (with hundreds of other volunteers) Katie Hill of Antelope Valley win election for the first time. “I’m not looking now and I was never looking for a lot of money or a lot of power,” he says. “I was never interested in all of that. I’m still up against that brick wall, trying to get good projects made. I still think if I bang my head hard enough against that wall one more time, I’ll break through.” ≈OQ≈

OPPOSITE: ON THE SET WITH THE STARS OF “WAYNE’S WORLD” ABOVE: WITH WIFE AND CO-AUTHOR MOLLY JORDAN BELOW: WITH WARREN BEATTY ON THE SET OF “HEAVEN CAN WAIT”


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ORPHEO 60

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WORDS AND PHOTO BY BETTY NGUYEN THERE’S AN EXISTENTIAL REALIZATION that we come to later in life, that art may not be about our personal creative expression but this universal work that we are arriving at that transcends our own personal experiences. This work may look and feel as if it were touched by God or something unworldly not constructed by people or someone’s hands. It feels so overwhelming in our presence that it speaks to us and stops us in our tracks. Our life’s journey during this process may be to reach this enlightened state to receive the instructions to make this work. Whether it’s through meditation, music, film, travel, science, architecture or writing, the veil needs to be lifted in order to be truly present and download the messages we are sent. Orpheo McCord’s life path and musical career has taken him on several journeys and each one has built upon the other to get him to where he is today. He grew up in a creative family where he was able to cultivate his curiosities in the liberal arts. His father Joseph McCord studied under renowned French pantomime Jean Louis-Barrault. LouisBarrualt exquisitely played the part of the mime in the acclaimed French film “Children of Paradise” (1945). Cult director and cinematographer, Francois Truffault once famously said, “I would trade in all my films to have directed “Children of Paradise.” Moving from France to Berkeley, California, Orpheo’s father joined the Merry Pranksters, the band of traveling hippies who dropped LSD and took credit for the invention of tie-dye (they dumped buckets of enamel paint into a pond and placed their white tees on the water during one of their infamous bus “trips”). He got to know the Grateful Dead through this group and produced his own theatrical music pieces that employed musicians like Jerry Garcia.  When Orpheo was eight years old, he developed an interest in drumming. He studied at a performing arts high school and later at the Berklee College of Music, but he wasn’t interested in the commercialism of music as a product or seeing himself as a pop star. Perhaps his father’s counterculture became part of his DNA. When he stuck out his last years at college, he connected with a professor who took his students to Ghana. For three months, they were taught intensive African drumming and participated in religious ceremonies where they applied their new percussive skills. This was the beginning of his unveiling, where he learned from the Africans that music can be a means to spiritualism. He later went with his sister, who is a dancer, to Cuba where they participated in the Santería, Cuba’s main religion of African origin (18th

century) that merged certain aspects of Roman Catholicism. Specifically, it developed in the African slave communities in Cuba’s sugar plantations and used Catholicism to disguise their African traditions, much like how capoeira is a martial art, disguised as a dance by Africans, who were kidnapped into slavery for the sugar trade in Brazil (16th century). Performing in these rituals gave Orpheo his fundamental building blocks that continue to influence every aspect of his work today. It also helped him develop the stamina to play in the legendary band The Fall when the opportunity arose. “I was at Berklee College in 2001 when my friend invited me to go see The Fall. Little did I know that five years later, I’d be playing in the band.” Orpheo went to a more traditional, jazz-focused college, but in a postmodern era, few listen to just one genre of music any more, much as an artist has the freedom to pick up a paint brush, bronze a water fountain or dance across buildings as his or her medium. In most cases, like in the band CAN, when the musicians come from different backgrounds they are able to contribute something out of the ordinary, together. Story has it that Mark E. Smith’s entire band abandoned him in the middle of the night, along with their manager and RV, on the first night of their U.S. Tour (2006). His record label Narnack, reached out to their bands to see who could fill in. “Mark needs a rhythm section by tomorrow night for the rest of his U.S. tour, “ they explained. The bassist from Darker My Love, Rob Barbato, stepped up and he invited Tim Presley (White Fences) to play guitar and Orpheo to play drums. “After college, I moved back to L.A., so, we all put our gear in the car and drove down to San Diego the next night to play House of Blues as The Fall. He loved us so much, he doubled our pay for the rest of the shows.” Apparently, he and Mark E. Smith got along because Smith loved McCord’s style of drumming, especially when he found out that Orpheo had played in Africa and Cuba. “We ended up being his band for the rest of the tour and joining him later in Europe. When we played in Manchester, we were treated like gods.” Mark E. Smith and the Fall, in 1976, put Manchester on the map for the rest of the world with the help of fans like John Peel, who said that they were his favorite post-punk band because, “They are always different; they are

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always the same.” The band paved the way for the prolific music scene that later included The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Oasis and countless others in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Orpheo’s musical fate has led him down many amazing, intense rabbit holes and hasn’t stopped. He literally just returned from installing an interactive sound and light installation in a mine shaft for the Original Thinkers Conference in Telluride, Colorado. “I’ve been developing a new software where sounds signal lightwaves as a healing modality. I’m partners with Johannes Girardoni and Joel Shearer in Chromasone Studio, and we received this commission for the conference and came up with an immersive installation called ‘Fluid State.’” Hundreds of feet below sea level, they set up lights, speakers and scrims that induced their audience into a state of “total presence” by implementing the frequency A432. If you Youtube 432hz, there are multiple videos summarizing that “432Hz allows us to tune into the wisdom of the Universe, our Divine Intelligence and Soul. It creates Unity instead of separation. Everything has an optimum range of vibration (frequency), and that rate is called resonance. When we are in resonance, we are in balance. It is believed that 432hz tuned music creates resonance in our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. “We are trying to induce a state where people can forget their ‘stories.’” Stories is a term Orpheo uses frequently, which constitutes something that came before; transmuting people’s past, what they know or cling to, is his goal. He wants his music to obliterate thinking. Sometimes when people are searching for meaning in their lives, they look outward for inspiration, but perhaps, as Gilles Deleuze theorizes, “The problem is no longer getting people to express themselves, but providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say ... what a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing ... the thing that might be worth saying.” We wish Orpheo the best of luck on his new adventure to open this channel. Orpheo McCord has lived in Ojai since 2011. His solo album “Recovery Inhale” is out now.  ≈OQ≈


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H OW A R D L A M A R This signed, original acrylic on canvas painted by renowned Ojai artist and sculptor Howard Lamar in 2004 is being offered for sale for the first time by its owner, for his children. The large-format work exhibits Lamar’s unique ability “to go to the heart of both intellect and fantasy,” says Lee Caplin, Executive Producer with Columbia Pictures. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Lamar’s illuminations blend dissimilar media to achieve fine color and brilliance. The images, late 20th century in concept, are frequently mystical and autobiographical.”

Lamar’s creations have attracted collectors globally—“from Canada to Germany to New York to Hong Kong.” Priced at $27,000 in 2004 at Ojai’s Galerie Lamar, this work will be sold to the highest acceptable offer over $5,000. “Ricardo” can be previewed at Ojai Quarterly’s studio office; call (805) 7980177 to arrange an appointment. Offers or inquiries can be “Ricardo,” acrylic on canvas, 35” x 45”

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John Hidley, M.D. home in Ojai


OUR CONSCIOUS DETERMINATION A radical view of what’s closest to us Writing, photography and book design by Andy Gilman Since the Renaissance, science has come far in understanding how the universe works. Still, even in the 21st century, pesky problems remain. Some of these are esoteric, such as the nature of dark matter and dark energy, or the meaning of quantum entanglement. Others are very close to our experience — how gravity works and, even more personally, what is consciousness. Why should we care about consciousness? What might seem like the exclusive domains of psychology, philosophy, or medicine, the understanding and valuation of what consciousness is has direct implications that affect every one of us. For example, if consciousness is an accidental trait, as most biologists posit, why should human life be considered special? If consciousness is individually-centered or group-centered, how might that determination influence our forms of government and individual responsibility? If consciousness only occurs in human beings, how should non-human animal life be valued? If there is nothing special about life in general, as some physicists suggest, do we consider our delight in sensation, our interest in self-preservation, or our connection in love to be illusory? If consciousness can’t be explained by physical means, does an immaterial soul need to be invoked? Solving the mystery of conscious is one of humanity’s deepest concerns. Dr. John Hidley, long-time Ojai resident, psychiatrist, business owner, philanthropist, and author has spent more than 20 years on the problem of consciousness. His breakthroughs came when he abandoned trying to fit the prevailing, expert paradigms with our common experience and observations of nature. In December 2019, John will publish the product of this research in a new book: “Attunement: How Life Creates Consciousness.” He believes this account solves a few famous difficulties, though some may find the solutions to be radical... but hey, maybe it’s just the next step in the history of fundamental shifts in understanding, and that can be bumpy! In 1941, John was born in Los Angeles to Herb, a family doctor, and Margaret, a nurse. In high school, he became interested in human nature and decided to study psychiatry. He attended medical school at the University of Utah and completed his medical internship in Brooklyn. After school, John was practicing psychiatry in Napa, and both he and Leslie,

his wife at the time, were unhappy with the school their children were attending. Also during this time, John became interested in the writings of J. Krishnamurti. What was most appealing to John in these texts was the way that pain, whether it be physical or psychological, can preoccupy one and dominate the sense of self. Krishnamurti seemed to have a way of advocating a response to this potentially negative amplification by side-stepping the focus on the self. John wanted to study these possibilities further, and he also discovered that Krishnamurti had begun Oak Grove School, where, after moving to Ojai, John and Leslie’s children enrolled. During the time that John was studying these ideas and maintaining a private practice in the area, his future business partner, Tom Krause, a psychologist, moved to Ojai with similar interests in Krishnamurti’s work and the school. John and Tom, and their wives Leslie and Cathryn, soon joined forces and eventually started Behavioral Science Technology, Inc. (BST). The focus of the company was to prevent workplace injuries by concentrating on and tracking safe vs. at-risk behaviors. Their work was very successful, having a hugely positive impact on workplace injuries and influencing the entire safety field. The company grew to also consult on organizational functioning and leadership development. “The problems that we have, both personal and societal, are of our own making, and they come out of our nature. We do great things as a species and we screw things up greatly.” These thoughts on human nature stayed with John, and he continued to work on the problem of consciousness. “In practicing psychiatry, you are always dealing with the twists and turns of consciousness, and not really knowing what consciousness is is a real problem ... we don’t understand consciousness enough to know what we are doing.” The family that John was born into had very strong religious leanings by some members, and sharp skepticism by others. This schism also prompted John to want to understand the truth of religion, and its influence on and relationship with consciousness. “Our ideas about the immaterial soul come directly out of these tensions, and this seems critical to evaluate in trying to understand why we think what we think, how we think in general, and what we think we really are.” After John retired from BST, he began to work full time on his research. He attended neuroscience conferences around the country, stayed current with the latest studies, and kept track of

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“Before life existed in the universe, there was no value. — John Hidley Nothing made any difference anything.” that dissipates energy in its wake to preserve itself, which requires an trends in medicine, philosophy of mind, and brain physiology. exchange across a membrane, such as a cell wall. Inside the membrane Something very important happened during The Tucson Conference there is order. The living membrane imports the energy, information, on Consciousness, which John attended many years ago. A young and the order that it finds outside of the membrane, builds itself, and philosopher described the hard problem of consciousness, and the dumps out what it does not need. According to John, consciousness is audience was electrified. The speaker summarized the mind/body our membrane net, the tool we use to operate in our environment to get problem, described since antiquity; the problem being that you can what we need and get rid of what we do not. imagine yourself as not having a body. .. such as being a brain in a The root of consciousness is not in the brain, but is in the bounded jar, or in the Matrix, but that you cannot nature of life itself. This imagine yourself as not having a mind, for understanding created a new it is the mind that is imagining or doubting, framework for John, and gave a therefore the mind is of a different substance new lens for him to think about than the body, and if that is true, or if the the neuroscience research. All mind is immaterial and that the body is of the things we see, hear, and material, how do these two things interact perceive are an exchange with ... how does my thought of wanting a sip of the world, and that exchange coffee translate to my hand and arm muscles is occurring at the micro level, picking up the coffee cup)? The speaker through our molecules. But we further argued that the neuroscience is the live at the macroscopic level, easy part of the problem. The hard problem at the scale of trees and cars is to bridge the gap between the nature of and people. Consciousness physical matter and of mind. He saw the helps us negotiate at this macro gap as being scientifically unbridgeable, level by supplying a sense of given what we know about physics, and “I,” wholeness, and self. The that physics is perhaps falling short and organism, not the self, is what should be altered to include consciousness is conscious (contrary to how it as a fundamental aspect of matter, just like seems to us), and the “I,” or sense charge or mass. This hard problem became of self, is the mechanism used to the new goal post. Any physical theory Ho w Life Cre ate s Co nsc iou sne ss negotiate at the macroscopic level. subsequently proposed would have to meet If consciousness has it roots in this revived challenge. life, John argues, then microbes Many theories of consciousness were have some form of consciousness, developed over the years, but none even if it is a faint reflection of satisfied John. No research really explained what we have. If that is true, what consciousness was, what it was for, then it becomes important to or how it worked. Some even held that a radically explanatory view of conscio understand the evolution of it was not for anything, that it had no usness microbial consciousness and how function at all. This lack of explanation that aspect of life developed all freed John to begin again, and to think of the way to what we find in beyond the limitation of what was proposed. He ourselves. A large portion of the book covers this evolution. started over, putting the pieces together in a different way. One of the stumbling blocks the hard problem points to is John thought that instead of thinking that consciousness is subjectivity. Non-living matter does not seem to have subjectivity. everywhere (a part of all matter), or describing that consciousness is Another issue the hard problem brings up is qualia. The red of the only a human characteristic or identical with higher brain functions flower is a quality, and is inherently subjective, meaning that “redness” (limited to mammals), he proposed that neuroscience was not only makes sense for beings, subjects, that can see. For a rock, the starting fundamentally enough. The science was not exploring clearly flower is not red. But while the red of the flower seems to be one of what life is. In this view, life is a phenomenon that occurs at the the most important parts of the flower (to us), those qualities are not chemical level, and solves the problem of preserving the individual necessarily inherent in the matter itself. Physicists tell us that, from the organism against the second law of thermodynamics — entropy — perspective of nature, there is no color. This line of thinking suggests which tends to break everything down into equilibrium and lack that experience is a co-creation... the thing in nature is presenting of order, lack of complexity, energy dissipation, and sameness. Life something to the sensing, living thing, and the experience of redness is is a bounded chemical system that replicates itself, preserves itself something the object and the sensing thing are creating together in the and its structure for as long as it can. It is a self-building thing

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subject. So, it’s not an illusion, rather it’s a co-creation. This is not a new idea, but it is fundamental to the understanding of what consciousness is for the living creature. Consciousness is the attunement of the individual organism to its environment, as the title of the book makes clear. Beginning in August of 2018, a group of friends (Tom and Cathryn Krause, Kristen Bell, John’s wife Beth Stephens, and this author) met every couple of weeks or so to carefully go over each chapter of John’s draft, providing feedback and discussing the implications of John’s proposals. At the beginning of 2019, John suddenly needed to postpone the scheduled meeting, which was very unusual. We later learned that John was feeling ill, had gone to his physician, and after testing was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We were all deeply saddened to hear the news, and of course anyone facing this circumstance will have to decide how aggressively they want to pursue treatment, weighing the side effects and quality of life, and how do they want to spend their remaining time. John wanted to finish “Attunement.” We resumed our working group, carefully moving through all of the text except the final chapter, which John still needed to write. At one of our last meetings together, John told us what the final chapter was going to include ... “Before life existed in the universe, there was no value. Nothing made

any difference to anything else. There were causes and effects, but no effect mattered. Life must exist for anything to make any difference. Value is relative to life. Things are only valuable to living beings because if the being is going to survive, which it is intrinsically driven to do, pushing against entropy which is always threatening its continuance, living beings need certain things to perpetuate themselves. Things that help preserve the living being are good and things that threaten its continuance are bad. “After my diagnosis of cancer, I was walking downtown, thinking about what I needed to put in order before I died. Then suddenly I had this amazing, marvelous experience, and even as I recount it now, I cry. Everywhere I looked, in every direction, the beauty of the world and of life was bursting before me. Life infused this beauty into everything, everywhere. “Life is important to itself and is the source of this beauty, of this explicit valuing that makes things matter. Consciousness is the aspect of life that engages with the outside world to fulfill its needs, and also offers the opportunity to appreciate the world, to see it beautifully.” At the time of this writing, John is finishing the final chapter and “Attunement” will be available on Amazon toward the end of December. His sincere hope is that a greater understanding will guide our efforts toward a more complete science of consciousness, better governance, better mental health, and a deeper appreciation of the activity of life. We can’t wait.

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

RICHARD AMEND

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

PATRISH KUEBLER

DUANE EELLS

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

MARC WHITMAN

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

JOYCE HUNTINGTON

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

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SUSAN STINSMUEHLEN AMEND Paints on

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. 323-806-7995

CINDY PITOU BURTON

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

KAREN K. LEWIS

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 805-633-0055

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

ELAINE UNZICKER

LISA SKYHEART MARSHALL

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

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

MARY NEVILLE

TOM HARDCASTLE

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

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


OQ | A RT GA L L E RIES

OVA ARTS

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

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

CANVAS AND PAPER

FIRESTICK GALLERY

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

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

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 OjaiHouse.com 805-640-1656

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

STUDIO SAUVAGEAU

PORCH GALLERY

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

DAN SCHULTZ FINE ART

HUMAN ARTS GALLERY

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

CHIRON HOUSE

Working with reclaimed, organic, local materials such as bones, clay and drawing on fabric and newsprint, she uses hippie vernacular in modern way. Mediums include photography, sculptures, unique prints and paintings. “Datura / Kanye” (2019) bettynguyen.carbonmade.com

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

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a healthy food

FULL BAR

Our eclectic,

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farm-fresh menu features locally grown or

On the Patio under the Sycamores or in the Sage Restaurant & Lounge

beer & wine, craft cocktails, elixirs & tonics,

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coffees & teas,

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fresh baked goods

ingredients to

and global cuisine

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EAT. DRINK. NOURISH. SAGE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

217 E Matilija St. (805) 646-9204 Wed to Fri 11 – 9 | Sat 9 – 9 | Sun 9 – 4 Happy Hours: Wed to Sat 3:30 - 5:30 72

SAGEOJAI.COM OQ / WINTER 2019-20


OQ | W I NE & DIN E

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Books of Ruth

oq wine map

Famed Food Editor’s Ojai Event Brings Memories Full Circle

Local Wineries, Breweries & Tasting Rooms

80 CHEF RANDY The Best Vegetarian ‘Meatloaf ’ You’re Likely to Find

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

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OQ | FOOD & DR I NK

THE BOOKS OF RUTH BY ILONA SAARI I LOVE TO EAT. COOKING? Not so much. But I do love to read cookbooks. Well, not really “read,” as I barely scan the recipes, it’s the pictures of food that tantalize my tongue… how that food is plated, the dishes used – you know, “food porn.” Of course, I then show these pictures to my husband, who does love to cook, and ask him to work some culinary mojo. I first met six-time James Beard Award winner Ruth Reichl (virtually) when my husband brought home “The Gourmet Cookbook,” her massive tome with the heft and weight of a family bible. The comparison is apt, since it became his cooking bible. There are no pictures, but I’ve salivated over every meal he’s made from that book and took my own pictures. In the past, I had often thought of writing about food, but I was a political satirist and wrote comedic essays and scripts for TV. Food writers seemed to take their craft quite seriously … that is until I discovered the Books of Ruth. My second virtual introduction to Ruth took place when my book group chose her 2001 memoir, “Comfort Me with Apples.” I fell in love with her conversational writing flare that recounted how she became a food critic. Her travel adventures that focused on the world’s cuisines were funny and informative. I was so inspired by her stories that I started a food blog. Ruth showed me that writing about food can be fun, often “tongue-in-cheek,” even tongue-in-cheeky. I saw how it was possible to pen a mini-memoir about a homecooked meal or a restaurant dinner that made readers relate. So, when I read that Ruth was going to do a book signing at a luncheon at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa’s Farmhouse, I begged and pleaded with my publisher/editor (strategic tears in my eyes) that the Quarterly send me to cover the event. OK, no tears (poetic license), but he agreed. That was all that mattered. 74

Pink deviled eggs. Photo from RuthReichl.com. OQ / WINTER 2019-20


Borscht Salad. Photo from RuthReichl.com.

Top: Ruth Reichl with Nancy Silverton. Photo by Aryna Swope. Above: Reichl. The Farmhouse is a $20 million food event venue with a huge barnlike structure that houses a large “open to the room” working kitchen and space for many tables, plus lovely grounds that can host all sorts of parties, from weddings to masked balls (that is, if anyone still does masked balls). Inside the barn, folks were mingling while sipping fine wine and nibbling on pink deviled eggs, buckwheat blinis with salmon roe, and tomato gazpacho passed on trays by Farmhouse servers. Internationally known chef and author Nancy Silverton, an old acquaintance of mine from my Los Angeles days, is one of the Farmhouse’s culinary ambassadors, so I was excited to see her at the luncheon to introduce her old friend, Ruth, and to mingle with the guests. Ruth briefly talked about her time at Gourmet Magazine and why writing “Save Me The Plums” about that era of her life, was important to her … how the owner, Conde Nast’s Si Newhouse, supported her vision and never micro-managed, giving her carte blanche to push the food magazine envelope — a freedom given an editor that few, if any, publisher allows today. She rewarded that trust by straddling the fence, continuing to give old subscribers what they wanted while bringing a new approach to the magazine that would garner new subscribers. It was also important to her that this new book clearly demonstrate that women can be mothers while having a challenging career. During the Q&A after her brief talk, Ruth was asked, “If given the choice, what would be your last meal?”

“A meal that never ends,” she replied with a smile. We then started our family-style meal. Bowls and plates of hummus, a Moroccan salad, broccoli rabe bruschetta, and borscht salad almost magically appeared on the table, along with bottles of 2017 Dampt “Cote de Lechet” Chablis Premier Cru. While I wandered through the barn taking pictures, serving plates with new dishes arrived, filled with Pollo alla Diavola (Devil’s Chicken, an intensely seasoned burst of flavor), grilled sea bass with salsa verde, spicy Tuscan kale, and corn pudding. Bottles of 2017 Domaine Marc Roy Gevrey-Chambertin Pinot Noir also arrived. But, by the time I returned to my table, the sea bass was gone. I made up for it by having two helpings of the Devil’s Chicken. Of course, no luncheon is complete without dessert and we had two choices, luscious strawberry shortcake or a totally tarty “tart lemon tart.” It was time for the book signing. I wanted to tell Ruth how much she has meant to me as a food writer. How she influenced my approach to food writing. How she makes me laugh (and hungry) when I read her books, but the book line was too long, so I just said that I was a fan and thanked her for coming to Ojai. As the holiday season is upon us, I had planned to leave you with a favorite Ruth Reichl holiday recipe from “The Gourmet Cookbook,” but as I was reading “Save Me The Plums,” what could be more perfect than her Thanksgiving turkey chili, a dish she and her staff made as a thank you for rescue workers at Ground Zero? ≈OQ≈

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RUTH REICHL’S THANKSGIVING TURKEY CHILI RECIPE INGREDIENTS: 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 3 canned whole chipotle chilies in adobo 1 bottle dark beer 2 lbs tomatillos (husked, rinsed and quartered) 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 large onions, chopped

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely minced 2 jalapenos, diced (if you don’t like heat remove the seeds) 3-1/2 pounds ground turkey 1-1/2 cups chicken broth 8 large cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole

Salt 1 bay leaf 2 cups cooked white beans 1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers Cream sherry Balsamic vinegar Sour cream

DIRECTIONS: 1. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until they’re fragrant. Allow to cool, then grind to powder. 2. Puree the chipotle chilies with the adobo. 3. Put the beer into a medium-sized pot, add the tomatillos, bring to a boil, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the tomatillos are soft. Strain the tomatillos (reserving liquid) and puree in a blender or food processor. Pour back into the pot with the beer. 4. Slick the bottom of a large casserole with a couple of tablespoons of oil, and sauté the onions until they’re translucent. Add the cilantro, oregano, jalapeños and cumin and stir for a couple of minutes. Break the turkey into the mixture and stir until it just starts to lose its raw color. Add the pureed tomatillos and beer, the chipotle puree, the chicken broth, and the garlic, along with a couple of teaspoons of salt and the bay leaf, and simmer the mixture for about an hour and a half. 5. With a large spoon, smash the now-soft cloves of garlic and stir them into the chili. Add the white beans and diced chili peppers and taste for salt. At this point I like to start playing with the flavors, adding a few splashes of cream sherry, a bit of balsamic vinegar, or perhaps some soy sauce or fish sauce. Heat for another 10 minutes. 6. Serve with sour cream. Serves 8

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of Ojai

! n o s a e S e h t s a e T ‘

Visit our honey tasting room & discover your favorite honey’s new best friend

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206 East Ojai Avenue, The Arcade, Downtown Ojai www.heavenlyhoneycompany.com | 805-633-9103 OQ / WINTER 2019-20


EXPRESS

LOVE espresso | breakfast | lunch

SOCIAL CAFE

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

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CHEF RANDY

Meaty Nutloaf Nut loaf recipes became popular in the United States during World War I, when meat was scarce. They became popular again when food was rationed during World War II. How can you make a vegetarian dish that is ‘meaty’? Oxymoron, you say? Try this recipe. I think you’ll be surprised. This is a recipe I have served over the past 40 years during the holidays to the enjoyment of my family and visiting omnivore friends. The next day I like to cut a one-inch slice off the leftover loaf and make sandwiches.

INGREDIENTS: MEATY NUTLOAF

Randy Graham is a writer, author, and private chef. He enjoys cooking for friends and family using ingredients from backyard vegetable and herb gardens. His food is often called “vegetarian comfort food.” He and his wife, Robin, live in Ojai, California, with their dog, Willow. Robin and Willow are not vegetarians.

Healthy

Slow Cooker

Fall 80

Vegetarian

Ingredients: 1½ cups walnuts ½ cup unsalted cashews or almonds 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 yellow onion (finely chopped) 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1½ cup cooked brown rice (it works with white but brown is tastier) 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped) 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram (chopped) 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (chopped) 1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves (chopped) 4 eggs (lightly beaten) 8 ounces Gruyere cheese (grated) 1 cup cottage cheese 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan (you can use shortening, cooking oil, or butter). A round 9-inch springform pan also works well. Set aside. Toast walnuts and cashews on a baking sheet until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Do not burn. Let cool. Finely chop and set aside (I use a blender to chop the nuts). Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until translucent, about three minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add toasted nuts, rice, parsley, marjoram, thyme, sage, eggs, Gruyere, cottage cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Pour mixture into prepared pan, cover with foil, and bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 50 to 55 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy, and your favorite side dishes. OQ / WINTER 2019-20


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OQ | OJA I W I N E M A P CASA BARRANCA ORGANIC WINERY & TASTING ROOM Historic Downtown Arcade. Stop by and relax in Casa Barranca’s Craftsman style-designed tasting room. Taste our award-winning wines made with organically grown grapes, also our USDA certified wines containing no added sulfites! Join our Wine Club!. 208 East Ojai Avenue, 805-6401255. OPEN DAILY: Sunday — Thursday 1 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday until 1-7 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 handcrafted wines made from grapes grown on its estate in upper Ojai and sourced from other premium vineyards in the region. Located on two acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, Topa Mountain Winery has been voted Ventura County’s best Tasting Room two years in a row, is family and dog friendly and offers live music every Saturday and Sunday. TopaMountainWinery.com

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

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

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OLD CREEK RANCH WINERY Old Creek Ranch Winery is Ventura County’s only rural winery situated on an 850-acre ranch in the Ojai Valley. A tasting room as well as lawns and guest areas with handcrafted chairs and couches, surrounded by lush landscaping, have been designed for relaxing and enjoying fine wines. Pack a picnic, gather up the kids and dog, and head to the Ranch! A selection of 25+ red and white varietals are available for wine tastings and purchase. Check oldcreekranch.com for a schedule of live music and food trucks. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Located at 10024 Old Creek Road, Ventura, CA 93001. 805-649-4132. OldCreekRanch.com OQ / WINTER 2019-20


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

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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.

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“...The feel is fun, energetic & evokes the perfect Ojai picnic...” 469 E. Ojai Ave.

www.OjaiRotie.com

805–798–9227

SUSHI, SASHIMI TEPPANYAKI SOUP & NOODLES VEGETARIAN MENU KOREAN FOOD

MON-THU

11:30 - 2:00 5:00 - 9:00

FRI

11:30 - 2:00 5:00 - 10:00

SAT

11:30 - 9:30

SUN

12:00 - 9:00

Ramen Bimbimbap

219 E. MATILIJA ST. OJAI 84

805.646.8777

SAKURAOJAI.COM

(805) 646-4478

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

337 E. Ojai Ave.


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

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

805 646 2723

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

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

ADA and Medicare Card Holders .75¢, Seniors 65 and up .75¢, Children under 45” tall FREE

The Ojai Trolley Service

Photo: Michael Ojai Trolley Route Legend

Transfer Locations/ Punto de transbordar Transfer to and from Gold Coast Transit at this location

McFadden

Trolley A Services

Whispering Oaks & East End

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

W

Trolley B Services

408 South Signal Street, Ojai, CA 93024 • Phone: (805) 272-3383 • E-mail: trolley@ojaitrolley.com • www.ojaitrolley.com trolley Stops/ Paradas

Ojai Valley Inn

(805)272-3883 trolley@ojaitrolley.com WWW.OJAITROLLEY.COM

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

www.Ojaitrolley.com Effective 1/1/18

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

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Timed Trolley Stops/ Paradas Mayores

OQ / WINTER 2019-20


Celebrating 32 Years Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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

805-646-7747

• 533 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

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PA T T Y WA LT C H E R

Fe at ur ed

on

Ba ck

Co ve r

25 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE MATCHING PEOPLE AND PROPERTY IN THE OJAI VALLEY

Ultra-private estate on 26 acres in upper Ojai with incredible views, an exquisitely designed ranch-style home, a gorgeous split level barn/guest house and a pool. 10580O j a i S a nta Pa u l a R dO ja i . com

O ffered at 4, 250, 000

Charming Sulphur Mountain cottage on 5+ acres with incredible views. Includes wrap around screened-in porch, detached sleeping quarters and soaking tub. 88

11945S u l ph u rM tn R dO ja i .co m

OQ / WINTER 2019-20

O ffered at $1, 325, 000


THE EL TORO ESTATE: AN HISTORICAL WORK OF ART This Spanish Colonial Estate was built in 1926 by architect Arthur E. Harvey, creator of the Château Élysée in Los Angeles; on 8 lush acres, it has incredible views. The main house was authentically and beautifully restored with an architectural historian from the original blueprints. Allen Construction from Montecito used the finest materials and and paid exquisite attention to detail.

The property is truly a work of art, from the historical tiles to the arched entryways. It feels like a modernized California Mission. The main house has 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms; the property includes a well, a tennis court, a pool, and a 2br/2ba guest house. Ecological landscape design facilitates water retention that feeds a huge variety of fruit trees. 11 90 E l To ro R dO j ai. co m

Pr ice Up o n R e q ue s t

PATTY WALTCHER

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

(805) 340-3774

pattywaltcher.com OQ / WINTER 2019-20

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

HUMAN ARTS GALLERY

OJAI’S GEMS

ORMACHEA JEWELRY

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

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OQ / WINTER 2019-20 ADVERTISEMENT

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


OQ | YEST ER DAY & TODAY

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Photo by Brandi Crockett/Fancy Free Photography

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122

Trail Mix

OQ BEYOND THE ARCADE MAP

Ojai Adventurers Follow in Lewis & Clark Footsteps By Joe Sohm & Bill Terry

Street Map & Landmark Businesses

104 Ojai Pilgrims

Annie Besant, Krishnamurti & the Shaping of Ojai By Mark Lewis

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We know Ojai.

106+ Acre Country Retreat with Mountain and Lake Views, Horse Facilities & Exquisite, Custom, Stone House LuckyQRanchOjai.com Price Upon Request

Custom Four-Bedroom Home on 5.43 acres near Downtown with Formal Living & Dining, Butler’s Pantry and Much More. 1436NorthMontgomeryStreet.com $1,650,000

Hacienda-Style Upper Ojai Ramch on 5+ Acres. Caretaker’s Quarters, Horse Facilities, Pool, Tennis Court and Gorgeous Views. 12605HighwindsRoad.com $2,649,000

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

Two-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom Lake Nacimiento home with picturesque views, three decks, open floor plan, refinished hardwood floors and boat parking. $425,000

The Davis Group ojaivalleyestates.com

Nora Davis

BRE License #01046067

805.207.6177

nora@ojaivalleyestates.com


We’re lifelong residents.

5-Bedroom Horse Property with Guest House, Pool, Horse Facilities and Views 1577KenewaStreet.com $2,199,000

Four Bedroom Arbolada Home with two fireplaces, Separate Office & Saltwater Pool 802ElToroRoad.com $1,749,000

Remodeled 4BR + 2.5 BA Farmhouse on 3+ Acres with Guest House, Barn, Solar Panels and Orchard 990LomaDrive.com $1,497,500

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

Rare opportunity to buy Gateway Plaza! Oak View shopping center with long-term occupants, large parking lot and great location. $1,649,000

Kellye Lynn

Ramiro Martinez

Jan Lewis

805.798.0322

805.630-2884

805.750.1279

BRE License #01962469

BRE License #002075263

BRE License #00396537


WE PROCEEDED RETRACING LEWIS & CLARK’S 1803-1806 EXPEDITION 94

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WORDS AND PHOTOS BY BILL TERRY & JOE SOHM

ON

YOU EVER ASK YOURSELF, how did I end up living in Ojai? Why here? Unlike those of you who are lucky enough to be born here, the rest of us came from somewhere else — the South, Midwest, East Coast or another country. As for Bill and Joe, your co-captains on this road-adventure, it was the setting sun and the lure of the American West that transported us beyond the Mississippi River to California and ultimately Ojai. But for our ancestors, the map “for how to get here, and what you might find when you arrive,” emanated from arguably the greatest adventure of the 19th Century, the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Pacific Ocean. While it may have been Thomas Jefferson’s curiosity and vision for an empire of Democracy, a nation from “Sea to shining Sea” that animated Lewis and Clark’s journey. It was the heroic efforts of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, their 35-man crew, Sacagawea and a dog named Seaman who, as a team, navigated this arduous two-and one-half year journey across unchartered land. As Ojai Valley neighbors on Saddle Mountain, we shared a common curiosity for American History and the founding generation. We bonded over our reading of “Thomas Jefferson — The Art of Power” by John Meacham and “Undaunted Courage” by Stephen Ambrose. As our friendship grew, we made future plans to retrace the Lewis & Clark trail…someday. That “someday” arrived in mid-2019 as plans coalesced and our journey of a lifetime commenced on May 16 from the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, not far from the St. Louis Gateway Arch. We packed our RV with maps, binoculars, a drone, cameras, ready-made meals and “We Proceeded On,” a phrase L&C used throughout their journals. In driving 3,376 miles and paralleling 16 rivers to the Pacific Ocean, we better understood why we ended up here. We also realized the Lewis and Clark adventure is as captivating as it was over two centuries ago. We planned to explore the trail as close as possible to the precise spots where the Corps of Discovery (their official expedition title) set foot from May, 1804 to September 1806. As Co-Captains, Lewis and Clark were ideal leaders chosen for this epic journey. They were ideally matched because their skillsets, temperaments and family histories differed yet complemented one another. It was the same for us, as we got to know each other better during 12 days in sharing tight quarters of a 85-square foot RV. What follows are highlights we gleaned from our Corps of Discovery along this hallowed trail.

“The object of your mission is to explore” - Thomas Jefferson

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Day 1 — May 16: Our first stop was to pay homage to William Clark at his gravesite at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, where a magnificent obelisk and Clark bust is located. We proceeded on to Camp DuBois, the departure point, but discovered it was illusive. In 1804 Camp River Dubois sat on the edge of the United States, and beyond it, across the Mississippi, was a wilderness, largely uncharted by American explorers. We were excited to find a Lewis & Clark site replete with a vintage fort with replicated cabins, but as it turned out, this was not on the actual Wood River site, so once again we proceeded on to another Lewis & Clark site at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Here we went to the top of a 150-foot viewing tower with amazing views, yet this was still not their departure spot. The third stop was found in the middle of a housing development, with yet another fort replica, this site felt like the actual Wood River departure point. We experienced a rush of emotions to be at the very site where the Corps of Discovery had set out on their legendary expedition. Day 2 - May 17: We awoke at 7:30, had muffins and coffee and soon were on Highway 94 tracking the Missouri River. Lewis & Clark Trail accompanied us along the trail, highways and rivers all the way to Astoria, Oregon. We arrived at Hermann, Missouri, a picturesque 1842 German village where Lewis and Clark made references to the Gasconade and Missouri River confluence. We visited Clark Hill in Osage, Missouri sited high above the Missouri and Osage Rivers near Jefferson City. On June 1-3, 1804 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark camped at the base of what is now known as Clark’s Hill. Clark ascended the hill and his journal mentions two Indian mounds he passed, offering a view of the Osage and Missouri Rivers confluence. Along the flooded Missouri River, we overnighted at Lewis & Clark Park near Joseph, Missouri. Park benches were half-way submerged on the riverbank and we turned out the lights a bit apprehensive should the rains commence. Indeed the rains did come, pouring to the point we decided to move the RV a few feet to higher ground.

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Day 3 – May 18: We awoke to a beautiful clear morning on the river bank with no other vehicles in sight. What a dream come true to sleep along the mighty Missouri, the fourth longest river in the world. By early morning, we stopped in Council Bluffs, Iowa where Lewis & Clark had their first Indian Council. We found a replica of the huge keelboat that the Corps of Discovery used to navigate the Missouri River, laden with supplies, guns, ammunition and presents for the Indians. We walked a steep path to an overlook high on a bluff to a monument describing the expedition’s council with the Indians. We next arrived at Sioux City, Iowa where the 100-foot-tall obelisk and grave of Sergeant Charles Floyd is located. Sgt. Floyd was the only member of the Corps to die on the expedition. In Yankton, South Dakota we found another great spot to spend the evening after driving all day through heavy rain. Day 4 — May 19: After breakfast we headed North on Highway 81 toward Pierre, South Dakota. We were now driving in the middle of a vast Sioux Reservation in search of monuments for Sacagawea and the great Sioux warrior, Sitting Bull. This location high on a hill overlooking the Missouri was magnificent, with a panoramic view of the river below. The land is untouched and breathtakingly beautiful for hundreds of miles in all directions. We were taken by the spiritual essence of being here and thankful for everything that came together to make it possible. We arrived in Bismarck, North Dakota late and overnighted at the Ft. Mandan Visitor’s Center.

THIS PAGE: MANDAN LODGE, NORTH DAKOTA. OPPOSITE PAGE LEFT: INTERIOR OF FORT MANDAN RIGHT: BRIDAL VEIL FALLS, COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE

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dam and power station above the falls. It was still a fantastic and powerful site to see these Great Falls where the Corps of Discovery had taken a couple of weeks to portage their canoes and goods around the jagged rocks and high cliffs. It proved a very severe, arduous challenge for the men, Sacagawea and her baby, Pomp. Day 8 — May 23: We arrived at Great Falls with the morning sun magnificently lighting the waterscape. We watched the torrents of water glide over the rocks creating mists and rainbows. The sound was overwhelming as swallows skimmed the water then soared in the winds. We visited the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, which overlooks Black Eagle Falls another of the 5 falls that the Corps of Discovery portaged around. Lewis’ describes the falls: “At length I determined between these two great rivals for glory that this was pleasingly beautiful while the other was sublimely grand.” We arrived in Three Forks, Montana where the headwaters of the Missouri meet three rivers: the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin, named by L&C in 1805. Here Lewis writes in his journal: “… Here I halted … and rested myself. Two miles below McNeal had exultingly stood with a foot on each side of this little rivulet and thanked his god that he had lived to bestride the mighty & heretofore deemed endless Missouri.” Day 5 — May 20: The Lewis & Clark Expedition arrived at Mandan Fort on October 26, 1804 after traveling 1,600 miles from St. Louis, and would stay five months. Their neighbors, the Mandans and Hidatsas, occupied five villages housing more than 4,000 Indians. The Mandan Fort replica was complete with artifacts including bunks, kitchen, and a blacksmith-shop complete with guns and ammo. We proceeded on to one of the ancient Indian villages at Knife River. This turns out to be the exact spot where Lewis and Clark met Sacagawea and her husband Toussaint Charbonneau for the first time. Charbonneau was hired by the expedition as an interpreter and the couple spent much of the winter at the fort, where Sacagawea gave birth to Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, nicknamed Pomp by Clark. Of course, they would continue on with the Corps throughout the journey to the Pacific Ocean and back. Day 6 — May 21: After breakfast we toured Fort Bedford and saw where, in 1881, Sitting Bull turned over his rifle and said he was ready to live like “the white man.” We proceeded on, passing over the Milk River on our way to Fort Benton, the “Birthplace of Montana.” We passed signs to Loma Point, the confluence of the Missouri and Marias Rivers, deciding to wait until tomorrow to explore this significant Lewis & Clark location. We traveled along the Marias River awhile before reaching Fort Benton and finding another pleasant spot along the Missouri to spend the night. Day 7 — May 22: Across from Fort Benton was a magnificent statue of Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea overlooking the Missouri. We drove 12 miles from Ft. Benton to “Decision Point;” the confluence of the Marias and Missouri Rivers. We climbed to the top of a high bluff overlooking the the two rivers and location of Lewis & Clark’s camp. They devoted June 2 to June 12, 1805 to deciding which river led to the great falls that the Indians had told them about. Lewis took the Marias while Clark ventured up the Missouri. After comparing notes, they chose correctly which river was the Missouri. We viewed the “decision point” as a metaphor for life. Which path shall I take? They chose wisely and soon we were on our way. We drove to the Great Falls and were disappointed to find a huge

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Day 9 – May 24: After a hearty breakfast, we proceeded on toward Lemhi Pass, Idaho. After driving 135 miles, we came to our “Decision Point,” left to Lemhi, and right to Lemhi Pass 12 miles down a dirt road to an altitude of 7,373 feet at the Continental Divide. We chose the latter. Here Lewis wrote in his journal on August 13, 1805: “… a deep valley appeared to our left at the base of a high range of mountains which extended from S.E. to N.W. (Lemhi Range) having their sides better clad with pine timber than we had been accustomed to ... the mountains and their tops were also partially covered with snow.” After traveling 12 miles down the dirt road we continued on the connector dirt road hoping to arrive back on Highway 28 on the other side of the range to proceed on to the town of Salmon, Idaho. The road became very winding and narrow with significant ruts as we made our way alongside the mountain range with sheer vertical cliffs of several thousand feet on the left side of the dirt road. For a couple more miles, snow patches encroached upon the road, but again the RV was able to power through and pass with no problem. At one point, we had to back up, then gun the engine to cross over a snow drift, yet we proceeded on. Thirty miles further, we came to a large snow drift that completely covered the road, much too deep to consider crossing without risk of getting stuck in the middle of the Lemhi Range. So, we were forced to retreat our steps much like Lewis & Clark forced to do so upon encountering unforeseen circumstances. Back on the asphalt Highway 28, it was a relief to be off the dirt road only to shortly discover that this road turned into a dirt road as well ... for the next 36 miles! Finally, finding our way to Highway 93 at Salmon, Idaho we were back on the Lewis & Clark Trail, passing over the Lemhi River several times. This river valley is green and lush and the most beautiful yet, as we were at last on the Nez Perce Trail. This is where Sacagawea was reunited with her brother, Shoshoni Chief Cameahwait, seeing him for the first time since she was a young teenager. It was reported to be quite the reunion they had here 214 years ago. After dinner in the town of Lemhi we found a secluded roadside park for the night. Day 10 – May 25: we followed the Nez Perce Trail along the Salmon River between the towns of Salmon and Lemhi. The river is called “The River of No Return,” so-named after the advice the expedition received from local Indians. They were advised against traveling down the Salmon due to the major rapids and high cliffs, preventing portage. Traveling along Nez Perce Lolo Trail we passed Lolo Hot Springs about which Lewis noted in his journal on September 13, 1805 “... I tasted this water and found it hot and not bad tasting … nearly boiling hot at the places it spouted from the rocks ….” We passed through parts of four states today — Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon

— as we proceeded on following the Clearwater River for most of the day. At dinner in Irrigon, Oregon at the Rustic Truck Bar & Grill, we had a great meal, then shot a couple of games of pool while listening to lively banter among the slightly inebriated locals. After dinner we followed the Snake River for some time until it flowed into the Columbia River at a magnificent gorge with extremely high cliffs on both sides. We had traveled more than 2,700 miles in the RV to get to this significant location along the Lewis & Clark Trail. We found another glorious place to overnight, a bird sanctuary with the sounds of birds and wildlife lulling us to sleep.

Day 11 – May 26: We awoke to the sight of white pelicans floating on placid crystal-clear water. After breakfast in a small village on the Columbia River we followed Highway 84 West toward Portland. At the Dalles Dam and Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, we learned that all five rapids that the Corps of Discovery had encountered were now covered by Horsethief Lake. We proceeded on to Highway 30 and Multnomah Falls on the Oregon state side of the river which was swamped by Memorial Day tourists. After stopping at Vista Point with its stunning gorge views, we journeyed to Astoria. We arrived too late to visit Fort Clatsop, the final stop on our journey so we returned to Astoria and found a parking spot under a huge bridge that crosses over the Columbia. We couldn’t help but imagine what Lewis & Clark would have thought at the site of this bridge that traversed the Columbia and connected Oregon to Washington.

Below: The bridge over the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon. Lower left, opposite page, Joe Sohm and Bill Terry.

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Day 12 – May 27: Monday, Memorial Day — journey’s end. The Corps of Discovery arrived on the Pacific Coast in November 1805, and, after moving a couple of times, they completed building a winter fort on December 31. We crossed over the Lewis & Clark River to reach the fort and information center. Inside the center we saw more magnificent statues of Lewis & Clark, Sacagawea and Seaman, Lewis’ dog that had traveled the entire journey with them. Once again, we learned how Indians, in this case the Chinooks, came to their rescue, offering them assistance throughout their visit. We attempted to drive out to Tongue Point where in November 1805, William Clark uttered his famous words,“Ocean in view! O! The joy!” Today this location is occupied by a Coast Guard Station and there is no civilian traffic allowed even though we pleaded our Lewis & Clark cause. For our final evening we went back to Troutdale, Oregon where we took in the Bridal Veil Falls and stunning Crown Point views of the Columbia River Gorge.

After 12 days, crossing through 11 states and along or across 16 rivers, we retired for the night as our 3,376 mile journey (averaging a little over 281 miles/day) had come to an end. We said goodbye at the Portland Airport at noon on Tuesday, knowing that together as fellow history lovers we had experienced a dream that will be relived for the rest of our days.

Epilogue: Less than a month after returning home, Bill and his wife Mary Ann drove to Rogers, Arkansas and took the Natchez Trace Parkway to visit the gravesite and monument where Meriwether Lewis was buried. On October 11, 1809, Lewis was on his way from St. Louis to Washington D.C. to deliver his journals for editing and printing when a high state of despondency overtook him. Sadly he took his life at the age of 35. Bill reflected on Lewis epic journey and all that we saw during our retracing of the L&C expedition. We both better understood how “the West” captured everybody’s imagination, from Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Joe Sohm and Bill Terry. We came, we saw, we proceeded on. ≈OQ≈

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When Pilgrims Came to Ojai

BY MARK LEWIS

Thanksgiving began when the Pilgrims migrated from England to Massachusetts, hoping to establish “a city upon a hill” to inspire the entire world. Ojai’s first pilgrims migrated here from Hollywood with the same goal. And, in a way, they succeeded.

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WHEN ENGLAND’S PURITANS SET SAIL for the New World, they hoped to establish their version of Utopia there, as a shining example for the rest of humanity. “We shall be as a city upon a hill,” their leader John Winthrop said. “The eyes of all people are upon us.” Three centuries later, another English spiritual leader embarked upon on a similar pilgrimage to America, but she landed in Ojai rather than Massachusetts. Her name was Annie Besant, and she was president of the Theosophical Society, a group which sought to synthesize the religions of East and West. “We desire to form on this land a Centre which shall gradually grow into a miniature model of the New Civilization,” she wrote in The Theosophist magazine in January 1927, during her first and only visit here. Besant had been guided to Ojai by her protégé, Jiddu Krishnamurti. He had stumbled across the valley five years earlier, fallen in love with it, and acquired a home here, with Besant’s help. After Krishnamurti put down roots, the Krotona Institute of Theosophy followed suit, moving to Ojai from Hollywood. Then Besant arrived, and she too was smitten. “One of the beauty spots of the world is the Ojai Valley in California,” she wrote in The Theosophist. “Mountains ring it round; it has remained secluded till recent times, and is still but sparsely inhabited. … Such is the setting for the cradle of the New Civilization in America.” History records that her plans were thwarted when Krishnamurti renounced the messiah role she had assigned to him. But a new exhibit at the Ojai Valley Museum takes a different view. (Disclosure: I was among the exhibit’s creators.) The exhibit — titled “Legacy: Krishnamurti and Ojai” — highlights the many iconic institutions that, in one way or another, grew from seeds planted a century ago by those Theosophical Society pilgrims. If Besant & Co. had never set foot here, Ojai as we know it today would not exist.

passage on a transpacific steamer from Sydney to San Francisco, intending to cross the U.S. by train and then board another steamer for Europe. But when they arrived in San Francisco, fate diverted them to an unplanned destination. The initiative came from Albert P. Warrington, head of the Krotona Institute of Theosophy, which he had founded in Hollywood a decade earlier. As it happened, Warrington knew a Theosophist who owned a weekend home in Ojai, then a well-known health resort for people with lung problems. Warrington suggested that Nitya might benefit from a relaxing stay there, before continuing on to Switzerland. Intrigued by America, and wanting to see more of it, the brothers accepted his offer.

THE STORY BEGINS IN LONDON IN 1889, when Besant, a famous labor and women’s rights activist, was asked to review Helena Blavatsky’s book “The Secret Doctrine,” for The Pall Mall Gazette. After reading it, Besant sought out Blavatsky, the co-founder of the Theosophical Society, to delve further into the subject. Later that year, Besant declared herself a Theosophist. She moved to India, and by 1905, after Blavatsky’s death, Besant was president of the society. In 1909, she proclaimed Krishnamurti the next World Teacher, the messiah figure whose coming Blavatsky had prophesied. He was only 14, but he was game to try. She sent him to London to be educated along English lines, and his younger brother Nityananda went along to keep him company. Fast-forward to Sydney, Australia, in the spring of 1922. Krishnamurti and Nitya had accompanied Besant there to attend a Theosophical Society convention. When Nitya suffered a recurrence of his tuberculosis, Besant decided that the brothers should travel to Switzerland to consult Nitya’s doctor, a TB specialist. They booked

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Annie Besant and Krishnamurti. 105


They traveled by train to Ventura and by automobile to Ojai, arriving on July 6. Warrington had arranged for them to share a rustic cottage amid the pine trees of the East End. They loved it, so much so that Besant arranged to buy the Pine Cottage for them, along with a nearby ranch house. (The brothers dubbed it Arya Vihara, Sanskrit for “Noble House.”) Alas, Nitya found no cure in Ojai; he would succumb to his disease within three years. But Krishnamurti would maintain a home here for the rest of his very long life. With the future World Teacher now established in Ojai, Warrington decided that this was just the place for Krotona, too. In 1924 he moved the institute from Hollywood to a 118-acre ranch property atop a hill just south of Meiners Oaks. That set the stage for Besant herself, who came to Ojai in October 1926 to see what all the fuss was about. Soon, she too was a convert. Ojai, she announced, would become a model Theosophical community, dedicated to education, the arts, and general cultural uplift. To get the ball rolling, she purchased 465 acres in Upper Ojai, a property she dubbed Happy Valley. She created the Happy Valley Foundation to oversee its development. She also bought 175 acres near Krotona, including an inviting oak grove suitable for public gatherings. Shrewdly, Besant also bought the local newspaper, The Ojai. Theosophists began flocking to the Ojai Valley, buying lots in the recently subdivided Meiners Oaks town site, or in the new Siete Robles subdivision east of downtown Ojai. In April 1928, a vast tent city arose in Meiners Oaks to house the 1,200 people from all over the world who came to hear Krishnamurti speak for the first time in the Oak Grove. This Star Camp event was repeated a year later. It appeared as though Besant’s vision was on the way to fruition, and Ojai was destined to become the mini-Mecca of a major new world religion. Then the World Teacher stunned Besant by submitting his resignation. “I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect,” Krishnamurti announced in October 1929. “I desire those who seek to understand me to be free; not to follow me, not to make out of me a cage which will become a religion, a sect.” THAT WAS THE END OF ANNIE BESANT’S DREAM of Ojai as a Theosophist utopia. Or was it? The Theosophists never left. Krotona is still here today, as is Taormina, the nearby neighborhood founded in the 1960s as a Theosophist retirement community. (You no longer have to be retired or a Theosophist to live there.) Happy Valley remained undeveloped until the 1970s, but the Happy Valley Foundation never gave up on Besant’s vision. Today this property is host to the Besant Hill School of Happy Valley, the Beatrice Wood Center For the Arts, and the Ojai Foundation. Krishnamurti never really left Ojai either. After renouncing the 106

messiah role, he became a globe-trotting philosopher, sharing his thoughts with audiences in Europe and India — and in Ojai, where he continued to give talks in the Oak Grove. In 1969, he established the Krishnamurti Foundation of America to preserve and disseminate his teachings. In the 1970s he founded the Oak Grove School. He died in Ojai in February 1986 at the age of 90, but remains a presence here today thanks to the foundation and the school – and to the many people he drew here. Krishnamurti did not want followers, but he got them anyway, and thousands of them followed him to Ojai. Those still active here today include the environmental activist Alasdair Coyne, and Carol Smith, a former mayor of Ojai. Also among those drawn to Ojai in the 1970s by their interest in Krishnamurti was Tom Krause, who worked with the philosopher while serving on the board of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America and the Oak Grove School while his children were students there. Krause eventually broke with Krishnamurti but remained in Ojai, where he founded Behavioral Science Technology Inc. (BST) and currently serves as chairman of Ojai Chautauqua, president of the Agora Foundation, and on the board of Thomas Aquinas College. Many folks who never fell into the “Krishnamurti devotee” category nevertheless found him interesting enough that they came here to hear him speak in the Oak Grove — and, as a result, they discovered Ojai, fell in love with it, and eventually moved here. This group includes Phil Harvey, who founded the Ojai Community Chorus and the Ojai Camera Club (now called the Ojai Photography Community); Bill Weirick, now a City Council member; and Ellen Hall, another former mayor, who co-founded the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, and has served at various times as head of the Oak Grove School, Meditation Mount, the Green Coalition and the Ojai Valley Museum. In addition to founding the Oak Grove School, Krishnamurti also was a co-founder of the Besant Hill School (originally called the Happy Valley School). Both schools, over the years, have attracted many interesting people to Ojai, either as students, parents or teachers. Among them is Sergio Aragones, the famous Mad Magazine cartoonist, who first came here to hear Krishnamurti speak, then moved here in 1982 so that his young daughter could attend Oak Grove. Her school days are long over, but Sergio is still here. Then there are those notable Ojai natives who are descendants of pilgrims, such as the musician Martin Young, whose parents Peter and Heather Young were drawn here from England in part by their affinity for Krishnamurti. (Heather was a founding member of the Ojai Studio Artists group.) Another example is the artist Teal Rowe, whose Theosophist maternal grandparents, Walter and Daisy Hassall, came here from Australia. All these people, and many more with similar backgrounds, have

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made their marks on Ojai. None, arguably, would have come here or been born here if Krishnamurti, Warrington and Besant had not come here first. Besant only came to visit; she left after seven months, and never returned. But it was she who laid out the vision, approved the plan, and bought the land. And it was she who issued a clarion call to Theosophists around the world, many of whom would end up in Ojai. They had never heard of the place before Besant wrote her Theosophist article in January 1927, unveiling Ojai as the cradle of a new civilization. She wrote the article while staying at Arya Vihara on McAndrew Road. (It’s still there, but now known as the Pepper Tree Retreat.) “Let me then sketch what are to be the ideals of our community,” she wrote. “The bodies of the members should be developed into beauty by healthful exercises, games, sports of a non-brutalizing character, by purity and simplicity of daily life, by living the open-air natural life rendered possible by the climate, by the influence of the exquisite beauty of Nature surrounding them and by beauty in their homes, and refinement in dress, speech and manners. “…The emotions that find expression in art and in the enjoyment of beauty, in music, painting, sculpture, should be diligently cultivated. Their minds must be trained by study, by discussion, by strenuous thinking, and they must add to education, culture. “... Among our institutions must be, in addition to the school — expanding later into a college — a library, a club, a temple for worship and meditation, an art center, a Co-Masonic Lodge, a theater, playgrounds for adults (in addition to that of the school for children), and any others for which there is a demand, as funds permit. These should attract visitors of intellectual or artistic merit, men and women of originality and special type of ability, who might find inspiration in the atmosphere of the community and the beauty of the valley ….” Arguably, Besant’s vision for the Ojai Valley has come to pass. Apart from the Co-Masonic Lodge, some version of every item on her “institutions” checklist can be found here today, and they do indeed attract visitors “of intellectual or artistic merit” who find inspiration in Ojai’s vibrant culture and natural beauty. This community in 1922 was not known as a haven for artists, conservationists, intellectuals, and

spiritual seekers. That changed with the coming of Krishnamurti and the Theosophists. Over the course of a century, they — and their biological and spiritual descendants — wove themselves into the fabric of this community, and created the Ojai we know today: artsy, activist, greenminded, intellectually curious, and prone to New Age enthusiasms. Annie Besant died in 1933, at a time when her Ojai project apparently lay in ruins due to Krishnamurti’s break with Theosophy. But she had foreseen from the beginning that there would be obstacles along the way. “Our first efforts may be clumsy and feeble,” she wrote, “but none should be discouraged by this inevitable fact. ‘Hitch your wagon to a star,’ said Emerson, and we shall follow his advice, however far off the star may be; it will ever shine over us, inspiring and guiding us.” Like the Pilgrims of New England, the pilgrims of Ojai did not accomplish quite what they set out to do. Nevertheless, they too created something worthwhile, and their legacy endures. Since Besant liked to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, we will quote him here, slightly paraphrased: “She builded better than she knew; the conscious stone to beauty grew.” ≈OQ≈

Exhibit: “Legacy: Krishnamurti and Ojai,” at the Ojai Valley Museum through Jan. 19. OPPOSITE: KRISHNAMURTI WITH HIS BROTHER NITYA. ABOVE: THE STAR CAMP IN MEINERS OAKS. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY BEATRICE WOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS/HAPPY VALLEY FOUNDATION.

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OJAI BEYOND

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HOUSE OF HEALING

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Uncharting the Territory

Walking the Walk

Renovation for Camper, Soul By G. Lev Baumel

Seeking Relief Amid Splendor By Bennett Barthelemy

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Ask Dr. Beth

Ojai’s Hiking Map

calendar

Reading Up on the Whole Food, Plant-Based Lifestyle

Our Top Trails Art by Colleen McDougal

It’s Busy Time in Ojai with Premier Events Coming

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OQ | A S K D R . BET H

WHAT’S THE HEALTH? DR. BETH PRINZ

Founding texts, sources for peak Ojai wellness Lifestyle changes are tough. We live in an environment that almost guarantees poor choices. We are surrounded by poor-quality, high-pleasure food options wherever we go. Overabundance, not scarcity, of calories rules the day. Very few readers of this magazine begin their day with the question, “how will I find enough calories today to survive?” More likely the question is, “What sounds good? What am I hungry for?” If we are trying to improve our diet or lose weight, the question might be, “What will I have to give up today?” or “How long will I have to give this up so I can lose some weight and go back to the routine that got me here in the first place?” Psychologist Douglas Lisle refers to this principle as “the pleasure trap.” The concept that in our modern environment, our relationship with food has become distorted. We use food primarily as a source of pleasure, activating the dopamine reward centers in our brains with food products containing ever-increasing levels of salt, fat, and sugar, which we are genetically wired to prefer (from back in the days when food was scarce and our survival depended on finding any calories at all). This perpetual activation of our reward systems with calorically dense, highly-rewarding foods essentially corrupts or distorts our pleasure settings. Unprocessed, whole, (healthy) foods seem bland and unappealing by comparison. If we set an intention to reject processed foods, there is a necessary adjustment period, up to 12 weeks, in which we may feel very dysphoric — like an addict withdrawing from their drug. If we persevere, our reward systems and 120

taste buds eventually become recalibrated, and we can enjoy the goodness of nutritious, unprocessed low-fat foods. For me, the shift to a whole-food plantbased way of eating started with a cognitive shift. Once I began to understand the connection between what I am putting in my body and my overall health and well-being, it made it much easier to keep trying, keep pushing toward my goal which was to nourish my body, not simply entertain my brain. I want to share with Ojai Quarterly readers the core reading and visual materials that were invaluable to me during this cognitive and virtual transformation, and to which I refer on a regular basis. I must give credit to a patient of mine who first recommended the documentary “Forks Over Knives.” His suggestion, and my curiosity, led to a crack in some well-established personal paradigms about food and chronic disease. Michael Pollan’s book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” further opened my eyes to how foods are processed before they reach our table. I was struck to learn that almost every processed food we eat, including 80 percent of a McDonald’s meal, contains corn. Also enlightening was to learn how animal agriculture treats the livestock that later becomes our dinner — and how these conditions adversely affect the health of us, the end consumer. Dr. Michael Greger’s nutritionfacts.org website deserves credit for helping me make the full step to plant-based. His life’s work, a review of every published nutrition research study — distilled into brief, fact-filled enterOQ / WINTER 2019-20

Contact: doctorbeth@ojaiquarterly.com 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.

taining nuggets on thousands of topics, really drives the argument that scientifically, anyone looking to increase longevity and avoid chronic disease, ought to reduce or eliminate animal products and increase fruits/veg/whole grains/ nuts/seeds/legumes. Please enjoy these materials. I hope a few Ojai readers are inspired to make the shift to a healthier lifestyle. BOOKS: • “How Not To Die – Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease,” by Michael Greger, M.D. How to avoid dying from the top 15 causes of death using diet • “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals,” by Michael Pollan. An in-depth walk through the American industrial food chain • “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease — The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure,” by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. Explains how our No. 1 killer — heart disease is a preventable condition • “Eat To Beat Disease,” by William W. Li, M.D. Latest research and a guide to using food to harness the body’s own natural defenses against disease and aging • “Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much,” by David Robinson Simon. In-depth study of the government subsidies that determine what people eat and adverse outcomes of biased policies • “The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive


Decline,” by Dale E. Bredesen, M.D. The reCODE program. Specific steps to reverse early dementia • “Dr Neal Barnard’s Program For Reversing Diabetes,” by Neal D. Barnard, M.D. Explains what really causes Type 2 diabetes and which diet changes are the most important for reversing it. • “UnDo It! How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases,” by Dean Ornish, M.D. and Anne Ornish WEBSITES: • NutritionFacts.org — a treasure of information, easy to digest clips on hundreds of health topics, based on research. Citations provided. Free content, no ads. • Found My Fitness, Dr. Rhonda Patrick at foundmyfitness.com With a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Dr. Patrick goes deep into the science and interviews researchers on longevity-related topics in a way that is accessible to the lay person

• Nutritionstudies.org Colin Campbell • Drmcdougall.com The McDougall Free Program – step by step for starting plantbased eating • Ornish.com • PCRM.org Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine — many online resources for plant-based eating DOCUMENTARIES: • “Forks Over Knives “– groundbreaking first documentary that led the way • “Cowspiracy” — startling film shows the connection between animal agriculture and climate change/environmental destruction • “What The Health” – Goes further into the connection between meat and dairy and poor health outcomes • “Gamechangers” — latest documentary features elite athletes that have improved performance with plant-based diet APPS:

Meet Your

• Daily Dozen — a handy working list of the 12 items to include in your diet every day INSTAGRAM: • teamsherzai • nutrition_facts_org • drgarthdavis PODCASTS: • Brain Health and Beyond: Team Sherzai – husband and wife neurologists at Loma Linda who promote diet and lifestyle as the only proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other bran disorders • The Plant Proof Podcast — interviews, in a thick Aussie accent, dozens of top thought-leaders and scientists in plant-based nutrition • Found My Fitness — Dr Rhonda Patrick’s podcast, fascinating interviews • Heart Doc VIP with Dr Joel Kahn — plant based cardiologist

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OQ | HEA L I NG A RTS OJAI’S SELF-HEALTH MOVEMENT

BY RONELLE WOOD Once again, the Baby Boomer generation has forged a new approach in the face of a challenge. There is a phenomenon I am calling the SelfHealth Movement! I commend you for questioning the status quo and changing the way you eat and exercise. You have learned there are ways to eat that contribute to your long life. Your purchasing patterns have brought healthier choices to everyone. You have brought about the “fitness craze,” spawning gyms and workout programs. Unfortunately, an equally large “pain industry” has developed. A body can look good on the outside and not feel good on the inside. Too many people are getting injured and experiencing chronic pain as a result of their workouts. I offer the following guidelines to free your body from excessive joint pain: 1. When you walk and stand, your feet need to be facing straight forward (the direction you want to walk). 2. Your weight needs to be in your heels (NOT on your toes). 3. Your legs need to be straight (contrary to the misguided advice to keep “soft knees” that began in the 80s). 4. Your kneecaps need to be facing forward (knees are not designed to bend sideways).

5. Your tailbone needs to be lifted to maintain the “S” curve of your spine which functions as a shock absorber. A tucked pelvis contributes to symptoms of pelvic floor disorder. 6. For optimal alignment your ear should be over your shoulder (not forward), your shoulder should be in line with your hip, your hip should be over your knee and your knee over your ankle. 7. Any strengthening exercise must be preceded by stretching. “Tight” is not the same as “toned.” 8. The best exercise plan involves full body movement and full weight-bearing on your feet that includes stretching and strengthening. The perfect exercise for the human mechanism is WALKING. When done with proper body mechanics it improves the functioning of the circulatory, pulmonary and lymphatic systems for optimal wellness without wearing out the joints. The best body mechanics for walking include the following: 1. Leave your heel on the ground behind you as long as possible with every step. The purpose is to stretch the hip flexors on the front of your legs and maximize your stride length, increasing lymph movement while stretching the achilles tendon, calves and hamstrings.

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2. As you transfer weight from back leg to front, keep your knees straight. This causes your hips to move instead. 3. Allow your hips to move. They are the biggest joint in your body and the lymph nodes in your groin need that movement. 4. Land on your heel and push off with your toes. This vibrates your entire skeleton and stimulates bone growth. Landing on the toes builds bone there (i.e. bunions, hammer toes). Keep your ears over your shoulders. Looking down brings the weight of your head out over your toes. This throws your balance off. Shoulders forward reduces circulation to your brain and interferes with the “S” curve of the spine that acts as a shock absorber. 5. Arms straight and in reciprocal motion with your feet. This generates momentum, improves balance and stimulates lymph movement. Straight arms should push back and then fall forward. (Swinging side-to-side causes lateral movement of the vertebrae and excess stress in the low back.) It takes practice to learn new habits and break old ones. You will sweat, breathe heavily and be fatigued. But you will not injure yourself! Join the Self-Health Movement and WALK!

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

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

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

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

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

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NAN TOLBERT NURTURING CENTER Pre-birth to 3; pre/post-natal well-being; infant/toddler development; parent education/ support. BirthResource.org info@birthresource.org 805-646-7559

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

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

LAUREL FELICE, LMT Offers Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, reiki, cranialsacral and pre and post natal massage with a reverent and joyous balance of hands and heart. laurelfelice54@gmail.com 805-886-3674

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

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Humble Beginnings, a Van Story STORY AND PHOTOS BY G. LEV BAUMEL

A FEW YEARS AGO, I RENTED A SPRINTER VAN and took my then seven-year-old daughter on a ten-day road trip around California. As I drove the van, the largest vehicle I had ever driven, toward our first stop in Joshua Tree, I tried to remember all that I might have forgotten to bring with me. Calling myself an inexperienced camper was an understatement: once in college, a couple of times with my partner who grew up camping. I was well outside my comfort zone. However, I wanted to give my daughter the experience as well as prove to myself that I could do it.


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Our first night was a disaster. I had not packed firewood or fire starter, quarters for the shower, or enough drinking water. I was terrified of the propane stove. A family in the neighboring campsite offered us some wood. They helped me start the fire on which I planned to heat our dinner. That too was a bad idea. Still, my daughter enjoyed climbing the rocks around us, she roasted marshmallows and made friends with other children in the campground, and by the time the stars came out, my panic had eased. We curled up early, both with a book. The bed in our van was cocoonlike and warm, the moon was full and both of us fell in love with the whole experience. Ten days later, we had driven from Joshua Tree to San Francisco and back again, on windy roads and backroads, on highways and through city traffic. As I discovered how to fill and empty the water jugs, how to keep the van steady in high winds, how to use the propane stove, set up camp and build a fire, a newfound confidence replaced my original fears. I started looking at vans for sale before we returned home to Ojai. The word “van” originated as an informal abbreviation of “caravan,” which means that the original #VanLifers (minus the hashtag), used horse-drawn carriages. Van life — both past and present — is often associated with minimalism and a simplified life. Unlike their 18th and 19th century predecessors, however, 21st century vans carry everything from heated showers to mountain bikes, bunk beds, hammocks and wood-burning stoves. I had two main goals in mind for my van: to create a mobile office for myself and to be able to take road trips with my family. After researching for two years, I finally found a gently used Ford Transit. It had belonged to a plumber before me, was in good condition, with low mileage and a roof high enough that my partner, who is 6’2,” can stand fully upright inside. Except for some heavy metal shelving, which I discarded, the van was completely empty, a blank slate. Van life is exploding in popularity. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in 2018, the hashtag #VanLife was used over 3.5 million times. As a result, companies that offer van build-outs are popping up around the country, some with a waiting list spanning a couple of years. I had spent a long time looking into beds, sinks, seats and toilets, but with neither time nor talent for carpentry, I quickly realized that if I attempted the buildout on my own, there was a good chance the van would sit in my driveway generating rust and the same flavor of guilt as an unused gym membership. I reached out to half a dozen van build companies I’d started following on social media. In the end, I decided to stay local, and I’m glad I did. Walking into Humble Handcraft, a carpentry shop housed in a Quonset hut on Olive Street in Ventura, specializing in tiny homes and van builds, the first thing you notice is the wood: long cherry and walnut boards destined to be milled into tabletops; cedar that will become bed frames; thick, round pieces of sycamore with rings detailing the life of the tree that once stood. Various hunks and slabs are displayed as one might art, their hues ranging from light to dark, the uncommon shapes, often with bark still attached, each awaiting inspiration to be turned into a cabinet door, a shelf, a countertop. However, the wood itself is only part of the story. As important is its origin, and its impact on the planet. Ojai native Ryan O’Donnell, the founder and head woodworker at Humble Handcraft, scours the valley and beyond to source, reclaim and upcycle as much of his materials as possible. He has repurposed wine barrels, patios and flooring from fancy old houses. According to the USDA, one billion feet of usable lumber is produced from demolished buildings annually. Upcycling wood reduces energy costs that go into creating new wood, it saves on landfill waste and it 128

conserves wildlife habitat. Another upside of using old wood is that aged wood is stronger wood, having weathered all kinds of shifts and changes. Once in a while, O’Donnell will receive a call from a stranger or a friend-of-a-friend, who has heard about his work and wants to offer an unexpected treasure. Recently, he picked up the remnants of a giant water tower, which he will mill down to fashion things like accent paneling and custom doors on one of his builds. Walking me through the shop, he makes sure to mention that he actively searches out urban salvage timber. He believes that it’s important to honor and reuse trees that have fallen over in town. It isn’t just the wood he’s proud of, it’s the fact that he’s creating something functional and beautiful without adding to deforestation or climate change. A third-generation carpenter, O’Donnell spent his formative years on construction sites in Ojai, working with his father, a general contractor. He started sanding boards when he was twelve years old. As he got older, the amount of waste routinely produced on construction sites began to bother him. He decided to do things differently. In 2012, at the age of 25, he started building furniture in what is now the Ojai Underground Arts Exchange. His tools were solar powered, with a biodiesel generator for backup. He got into building tiny homes, and then vans. In 2018, Humble Handcraft moved into the Quonset hut on Olive Street. The other companies I spoke to work off templates. The team at Humble Handcraft, on the other hand, prides itself on being able to customize every project. One person wanted to store and play on both a mini trampoline as well as a keyboard. A couple with a baby and a dog requested the installation of floor-level windows so they could be eyelevel for their pet and their son. For my part, I grew up with wood. My mother’s coffee table was an enormous, uneven chunk of tree trunk that my grandfather found on a beach in the 1950s. I remember, as a child, trying to count the hundreds of rings on the table, running my fingers over the ridges and grooves along its sides. Ryan and his team install a Douglas fir floor and ceiling in my van, reclaimed from a home in Los Angeles. They line my cupboard doors with barn board. The insulation is wool, the finishes natural oil-based. Even before my daughter and I venture out to our first camping trip, before I drag in our mattress, pile in our pillows and blankets and towels, before I fill the drawers with cutlery and plates so we can cook our first meal, with its warm wood, its beautiful angles and personalized details (my fridge doubles as a bench, my work desk is adjustable), the van already feels like home. ≈OQ≈

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OQ | HI K I NG M AP 1

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

2 VENTURA RIVER PRESERVE | 7mi EASY TO MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 520 ft (Wills-Rice) 5 HORN CANYON 5.5mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 1,600 ft | Goes to the Pines. 8 ROSE VALLEY 1mi EASY | Elev. Gain: 100 ft Rose Valley Falls.

3

4

PRATT TRAIL 8.8mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 3,300 ft | Goes to Nordhoff Peak.

GRIDLEY TRAIL 6-12mi MODERATE | 3 mi to Gridley Springs (Elev. Gain: 1,200 ft) 6 mi to Nordhoff Peak.

6

7

COZY DELL 2.2mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 740 ft | Cozy Dell Creek & Ridge.

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

9

10

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

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

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OQ | OU TS I D E I N

Uncharted Territory WORDS & PHOTOS BY BENNETT BARTHELEMY

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I CAME ACROSS THIS QUOTE TODAY BY ALEX EBERT, frontman of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. “Being lost is as a legitimate part of your process as being found.” Process, lost and found, legitimate, being — a lot to ponder in one short sentence. As I close in on 50 revolutions around the sun, 200 seasons have changed, 18,000 sunrises and sunsets have come and gone. There are times in life when I have trouble seeing the shoreline, cast far out on my proverbial sea. Changing of professions, finding the weight of age and consequences upon the physical being, the leave-taking of a loved one, shifting geographies — I think since time immemorial, save the past few decades living in the U.S., humans have had some solid guideposts to move us through calamity and transitions. Our dominant culture presently in the U.S. seems fairly unfit for handling such changes. Job security for those in the pharmaceutical industry — I could keep going here and get really cynical but I will stop myself. Recently, there have been just slight glimpses through the drifting fog of my mainland anchoring. I instinctively push my body upward to crest the swells and do my best to stay oriented, but I struggle for the simplicity of deep easy breaths and a good night’s sleep. Astrolabe, sextant, GPS, compass, Google Maps, 7.5 minute topos as relevant as a Lonely Planet travel guide to Bhutan when in Nepal. Perhaps this all-too-often ephemeral path that leads into the unknown, the one less traveled, can somehow make all the difference … Shall I follow? But how? In these challenged moments I seek solace in the wisdom of others. “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” — Joseph Campbell. There are milestones, junctions, wormholes, crossroads, nexuses, harmonic convergences out there waiting. But they require divergences

from the known, from the found, from the comfortable, from the routine. Where are these waiting epiphanies that hide silenced and eclipsed? Must I lose the path and embrace our getting lost? I like backpacking at night, especially in the “backyard” of the Sespe. In the dark, just a sallow moon and stars to guide with the trail demanding clear focus. The warmth of the day has passed, as well as the crowds. As I wander Wilderness, or perhaps the wilderness of spirit, there is a conscious letting go. I am not fixed on the destination and soon open to new trails along the moonlit slabs following crystalline dikes from some long ago epic event set in stone, or a sidewise tunnel through the arching manzanita exposing a subtle game trail, the passage of so many elusive local residents. If going out is going in, why must I be focused on a destination? I keep the headlamp at the ready, upon my head but eschew turning it on and leave the comfort of the known trail. The adjusted rods in now wide-open alert eyes can find the way. Soon, the moon shadow of ceanothus and sumac is stark in relief against the ribbon of open ground before my feet. I feel somehow adjusted to this unknown terrain even though it is far from what should be comfortable. Perhaps tonight at a 99 percent full moon, I can keep the LED off till I find camp. I will let the sage words of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton be my guide, “I believe it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all.” Beneath blooming yucca and the ache of endless stars for the ceiling I rest my head. The smell of sage strong in my nostrils, the only sound is the cadence of my own breath. I embrace this slow but effective quieting of the noise of the day, the weight and consequence of the comfortable known, cellphone far away. Just a half-hour from home but a lifetime apart, this path less traveled, finding myself happily lost. ≈OQ≈

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HOLE WORLD: Dr. Joe’s Mission Mindfulness 136

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BY KEN ZEIGER

Photo by Lorem Ipsum


LIVING IN OJAI seems a foregone conclusion for Dr. Joe Parent, best-selling author, keynote speaker, executive coach, and golf instructor, renowned worldwide for his master work “Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game,” with more than a million copies in ten languages. His revolutionary blend of Western psychology and Eastern wisdom has helped countless students and readers achieve presence, balance, and peace of mind. He’s a natural fit for the Ojai Valley and its magnetism for those seeking spirituality, scenery, and serenity. Dr. Joe trained in Mindfulness Meditation and Buddhist Philosophy with the famous Tibetan meditation master, Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, while earning his Ph.D. in Social Psychology (received from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1980). He was also on the faculty of Naropa University and the Maitri Center for Buddhist Psychology. Wait a minute — how did Buddhist meditation and social psychology lead Dr. Joe to teaching golf ? Taking the WayBack Machine to summers in New Jersey in the 1960s,we learn that he was a four-letter athlete in high school — captain of the wrestling team and standout in football, track, and tennis. But summers were time off from organized sports, and that’s when he developed his love for golf. Fast-forward to the late ‘70s, as he completed his doctoral studies in Boulder. Paired with a young golf professional for a round at a local course, Dr. Joe tells the story: “He asked me to tell him what his mind was doing when he was on the golf course. I said, ‘I’ll tell you what your mind is doing, if you’ll tell me what my body is doing!’ That was the start of a lifelong friendship. When the pro finally started his own golf school, he invited me to teach some clinics with him, and that was the start of my golf coaching career.” Fast-forward again to 1989 for Dr. Joe’s first experience of Ojai. He came to visit and care for one of his Buddhist teachers who had moved to Ojai for his health — both for the hot, dry climate as well as the pervasive

spiritual atmosphere of our valley. His teacher passed away after only a year and a half, inspiring Dr. Joe to devote himself to deeper practice. He entered and eventually completed the traditional three-year, three-month, three-day meditation retreat in a Tibetan monastery, receiving the degree and title of Master of Study and Practice (the equivalent of a Tibetan lama). Then, since several other students of that teacher had remained in Ojai, it was natural for Dr. Joe to return to make his home here.

“I TEACH PLAYERS TO TURN THEIR MIND INTO AN ALLY INSTEAD OF ENEMY.” Not long thereafter he was introduced to a literary agent by his sister, who was a writer herself, working for Disney. The agent was intrigued by his background. “Buddhism and golf ?” she asked. “That sounds really hot! Do you have a book?” At that point, though he intended to eventually write a book, he had only written a few articles for golf magazines. “Working on one,” was his answer. Using those articles, she got him a book deal from Doubleday, and it was time to really get “working on one.” His approach to writing “Zen Golf ” was not the usual step-by-step golf instruction manual. From his notes, he gathered a collection of lessons and stories from his experiences on the golf course, combined with iconic Zen parables and instructions in mindfulness and awareness practices. Arranging the order of the chapters was an interesting challenge, since all were related but could also stand alone. Its final assembly OQ / WINTER 2019-20

was done in what’s now Byron Katie’s School for The Work at the corner of Aliso and Montgomery. As Dr. Joe recalls, “We had all the chapters printed out and stapled separately. We placed them on the floor of the great room and then shifted them around for hours until we found the most appealing order.” Although he began coaching on the PGA TOUR in 1998, the publication of “Zen Golf ” in 2002 attracted Vijay Singh, already a major champion, as a client. Within three years, Singh had won more than a dozen times and supplanted Tiger Woods as Player of the Year and No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings. Cristie Kerr then signed on for coaching from Dr. Joe on the LPGA Tour, and within two years became the first American woman to reach #1 in the Rolex Women’s Golf World Rankings. Another top client was local product Beth Allen, who grew up playing golf at our very own Soule Park. (Ironically most of their coaching sessions went halfway around the world via FaceTime and Skype as she played in Asia and Australia.) In 2016 Beth achieved the #1 Ranking (Order of Merit) and Player of the Year awards on the Ladies European Tour. Coaching these illustrious golfers, and many other top tier players, it’s no wonder that Golf Digest magazine named Dr. Joe to their list of top mental game experts in the world. Now, back to Ojai. In 2004 Dr. Joe was asked to offer his Zen Golf mental game coaching as part of the Golf Academy at the Ojai Valley Inn, led by his friend and Director of Instruction, Jeff Johnson. Over the years he’s taught many mental game programs, and remembers one he co-hosted in 2006 with Michael Murphy, founder of Esalen, and Deepak Chopra. A special event during that Golf in the Kingdom program was “midnight golf,” played on one of the infamous “lost holes” at the far end of the championship course. He recalled, “We used glow-in-thedark golf balls, and had marked the flagstick and ringed the green with glow-sticks. Amazingly, a hole that is usually regarded as one of the most difficult on the course, with out-of-bounds and hazards abounding, was being hit by almost every shot. An unexpected but delightful surprise for all of us!” 137


What happened that night? “When you see and worry about all the trouble surrounding it, the green looks tiny. When you don’t see the trouble and all you see is the green, you realize that it’s actually HUGE!” Tour professionals and average golfers are very different in terms of expertise, though he says they have surprisingly similar mental game issues. “My lessons are about freeing yourself from fear and doubt and activating confidence. No matter how sophisticated their equipment or their knowledge about the swing, all golfers encounter common mental obstacles — performance anxiety, emotional reactions, and a multitude of distractions. Overcoming such obstacles is the key to breaking through to lower scores” Dr. Joe explains the secret: “People think that if they played better, they’d enjoy the game more. It’s the other way around. If they enjoy it more, they play better! I teach players to turn their mind into an ally instead of enemy. The secret isn’t to add more on, it’s to get out of your own way and get the most out of your abilities.” There’s a traditional Zen story about 138

a teacher who fills a student’s teacup to overflowing, then explains, “You can’t learn when your mind is full of preconceptions, like this cup is full of tea. No more will go in. You can only learn if you empty your cup.” That’s why Dr. Joe loves working with junior golfers — they tend to come with an ‘empty cup,’ just bursting with the desire and willingness to learn. And when any student, at whatever age, is receptive, ready, and willing to learn, he says, “That’s my favorite kind of student!” In addition to coaching golf at the Ojai Valley Inn and teaching weekly Mindfulness Meditation classes at their Mind-Body Studio, Dr. Joe is often requested for keynote speaking, executive coaching, and/or corporate workshops for visiting companies and associations. Top executives from international companies have traveled from Germany, Japan, and other countries to tap his experience in business relationship building and applied mindfulness. Dr. Joe is a born storyteller, as with many great teachers. His most recent work, “A Walk in the Wood: Meditations on Mindfulness OQ / WINTER 2019-20

with a Bear Named Pooh,” commissioned and published last year by Disney Editions, is already in its third printing and garnering much praise. Filled with newly written stories and poems featuring the Beloved Bear and his friends, it teaches mindfulness, kindness, and core values for readers of all ages. He reflects, “My life’s mission has been to bring the gift of mindfulness to as many people as possible. My first books brought it to golfers. My newer books take it to a more general audience, which is very satisfying.” His message: “All the aspects of life — work, play, relationships, and everything else — are more fulfilling and successful when we synchronize body and mind in the present moment. That is what mindfulness is all about: promoting the personal and interpersonal awareness, increasing emotional stability and capacity for empathy, and engendering greater resilience to handle the challenges of change.” Gifts that are welcome and worthy for us all! ≈OQ≈


Photo by Tylar Harrison

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OQ | E VE NTS CA L EN DAR

DECEMBER

12.7-8

AFTER DARKNESS, LIGHT — THE ART OF DAVID ORR | THROUGH JANUARY | @

KROTONA LIBRARY | HOURS 12 NOON TO FIVE, WED-SUN

After Darkness, Light David Orr’s influences range from Ernst Haeckel’s key insights into the artistry of nature to Cy Twombly’s modernism. But the sharpness of detail and the superb draftsmanship are key elements of his own style. The Krotona Library will have a solo show of Orr’s work on its walls through January. The show went up in November and Orr is happy to have his first exhibit in Ojai. It’s not his first experience with Ojai, though. “I did a workshop on mandalas at Krotona and showed the class (Ernst) Haeckel’s work as an example of the mandala form emerging directly from the symmetry/balance we find in nature. “My primary influences are nature and the ways in which we organize it and seek patterns NOV. 22 — DEC. 15 “SEUSSICAL, THE MUSICAL” Location: Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery Street Times: Friday, Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Ojai Art Center Theater, 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: ojaiact.org, 805-6400117 “Oh the thinks you can think” when Dr. Seuss’ beloved characters collide and cavort in this musical caper. DECEMBER 12 – MARCH 1 WORKS ON PAPER GUSTAV 142

DAVID ORR AT KROTONA THROUGH JANUARY

in it (symmetry especially), so Haeckel falls right into that. “In terms of how we interpret what we discover when looking into nature, I have always been mindful of Werner Heisenberg’s quote: ‘What we experience is not nature, but nature exposed to our method of reasoning.’ Trying to see past that tendency puts me in the Buddhist worldview, with a healthy dose of Krishnamurti.” Influences also include Karl Blossfeldt, Vija Celmins, Mary Corse, Mona Hatoum and Andy Goldsworthy, he said. “Ojai (landscape, Krishnamurti, artists, etc.) has influenced me greatly, so I was excited to show in that area, especially at the Krotona Institute, which I think is lovely,” Orr said.

KLIMT AND EGON SCHIELE Location: canvas and paper, 311 North Montgomery Street Times: Thursday – Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. Contact: canvasandpaper.org canvas and paper is a non-profit exhibition space showing paintings and drawings from the 20th century and earlier in thematic and single artist exhibits. DEC. 5 & DEC. 19 FREE COMMUNITY SEMINAR SERIES - EASTERN CLASSICS Location: Ojai Library, 111 East

Ojai Avenue Times: 12 noon to 1 p.m. Contact: greatbooksojai.com or greatbooksojai@gmail.com. Like the West, the East has its own tradition of influential texts that address the perennial questions of human kind, including the scheduled material, “The Tao Te Ching,” chapters 4 and 5 ​ DEC. 7-8 OJAI COMMUNITY CHORUS CONCERT Location: Ojai United Methodist Church, 120 Church Road Times: 7 p.m. on Dec. 7, 3 p.m.

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OJAI COMMUNITY CHORUS | SAT-SUN @ OJAI METHODIST CHURCH | 7 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Dec. 8 Contact: ojaichorus.wordpress.com 805-640-0468 The Chorus will present excerpts from a moving and beautiful oratorio, “Considering Matthew Shepard,” explaining the events leading up to the death of 21-year old Matthew Shepard, focusing on an ultimate message of love and hope. Also featured will be excerpts from “Messiah” plus traditional holiday music. DEC. 7 AGORA FOUNDATION ONEDAY SEMINAR - LYRIC POETRY OF EMILY DICKINSON AND SYLVIA PLATH Location: The Agora Foundation, 417 Bryant Circle Time: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact: greatbooksojai@gmail. com or greatbooksojai.com. With a tutor, Elizabeth Reyes of Thomas Aquinas College DEC. 9 & DEC. 23 FREE COMMUNITY SEMINAR SERIES - THE FOUNDATIONS OF OUR REPUBLIC Location: Ojai Library, 111 East Ojai Avenue. Times: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Contact: greatbooksojai@gmail. com or greatbooksojai.com.​ What are the fundamental principles of our Republic? Are these principles based on objective reality, or simply the “consent of the governed”?


JANUARY-FEBRUARY

12.14

OQ | ONGOING

2.8

TO 3.1.20

DECK THE HALLS | SAT @ RANCHO INN 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

LOLA HAAG JAZZ QUARTET | SAT @ UNDERGROUND EXCHANGE | 7:30 p.m.

DECEMBER 13-15 OJAI SHORT FILM FESTIVAL Locations: Sane Living Center, 316 East Ojai Avenue, and Ojai Retreat, 160 Besant Road Times: Varies Contact: ojaishortfilmfest.com 818-220-3671 The first Short Film Festival in 2018 brought 33 films into the competition, including the Oscar-winning documentary short, “Period. End of Sentence.” This year promises even more superb films, including “Laboratory Conditions” starring Marisa Tomei and Minnie Driver, as well as “Boy Boy Girl Girl,” with Katie Holmes and Ajay Naidu.

Location: Rancho Inn, 615 West Ojai Avenue Times: 10 a.m. to evening Contact: Shelter Social Club, 805-646-1434. Along with dozens of vendors of premier curated products, there will be live music at Ojai’s premier holiday marketplace.

DEC. 11-29 “FOREVER PLAID: PLAID TIDINGS” Location: Rubicon Theatre, 1006 East Main Street, Ventura Times: Varies, 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sunday matinees Contact: 805-667-2900, rubicontheatre.org. Hilarious and heartwarming, this shows puts the “cool” in “Yule” and is perfect for the whole family with holiday hits like “Joy To The World,” and “The Dreidl Song.” DECEMBER 14 DECK THE HALLS HOLIDAY MARKET

GUSTAV KLIMT & EGON SCHIELE | THU TO SUN @ canvas and paper | canvasandpaper.com

JANUARY 20 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY CELEBRATIONS Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “I Have a Dream” speech. Location: Libbey Park Contact: ovyf.org A group of Ojai high school students under the guidance of the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation will host activities honoring the Civil Rights hero. FEBRUARY 8 “A SALUTE TO TONY BENNETT ” — The Lola Haag Jazz Quartet, featuring Jimmy Calire, Danny Young and David Hunt Location: The Underground Exchange, 1016 West Ojai Avenue, Time: 7:30 p.m. Contact: 805-340-7893 A combination of tasty classic jazz standards and cool favorites. TO JANUARY 19 “LEGACY: KRISHNAMURTI AND OJAI” Location: Ojai Valley Museum, 109 Blanche Street

Dates: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Contact: info@kfa.org or at 805646-2746. This Fall, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America and the 125th anniversary of Krishnamurti’s birth, the Ojai Valley Museum is sponsoring this special exhibit.

CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET Every Sunday Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact: 698-5555 Location: Matilija Street city parking lot behind the Arcade. Open air market featuring locally grown produce, as well as plants, musicians and handmade items. HISTORICAL WALKING TOURS OF OJAI Every Saturday, October through June Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Location: Departs from the Ojai Valley Museum, 130 W Ojai Avenue. Contact: 640-1390 ojaivalleymuseum.org FULL MOON MEDITATIONS 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 Date: Call to schedule Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Location: Varies Contact: 295-8687 venturafoodtours.com

FOR MORE LOCAL EVENTS: OJAI HUB Your Central Source for Events, News & Living the Ojai life. WWW.OJAIHUB.COM

OJAI SEEKER’S BIKE TOUR 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. OSA SECOND SATURDAYS Free, Self-Guided Studio Tours Every Second Saturday 10-3 For maps & directions: www.ojaistudioartists.org

805.798.0177

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OQ | NO CT U RN A L S U BM I SS I ONS At the time of writing, I, your humble correspondent, am in my hometown of Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides. Here then is a tale from there/here. It contains some unnecessary smut because I am unnecessarily British so, if you find that unnecessary, probably you had better find Mark Lewis’s much more necessary article in here and swerve this one. So, then.

BY SAMI ZAHRINGER

THE CURIOUS TALE OF GOD, NORMAN, AND THE WHISTLER’S MOTHER

AN EMPTY CRISP PACKET BLEW DOWN Cromwell Street. The crowd crowded on the pavements as crowds are wont to do, and was silent except for a lone, eerie whistler, and his exasperated mother. Up in heaven God shouted at the angels to turn “Game of Thrones” down so He could watch the scene unfold undisturbed. He’d forgotten how He’d predetermined this one to work out. Tormod “The Tormentor” Boyle, the Bully of Ballantrushal, stood at one end of the street. One hand moved slightly towards a silver Colt Peacemaker in a grubby sheepskin halter on his not un-snake-like hip. The lone whistler whistled again and everybody agreed inwardly that, by God, yes, that was a straight-up pretty eerie damn whistle. At the other end of the street a pair of clear-blue eyes narrowed menacingly as their owner planted two determined feet firmly on the municipal crazy-paving and wished his Y-fronts weren’t riding up his Y-back. It must be thus though, he realized grimly. All eyes were on him, and it would look wrong and uncool to start grabbing his bottom at this moment. He scanned the crowd briefly, his chiseled jaw tensing with the sort of impossible gorgeousness not seen on Stornoway’s streets since the days of Flinty MacFlynt, a fine figure of a man, aye, and handy with his tairsgeir (which is at once an enormous blade for cutting peats, and a painfully obvious phallic symbol with the dubious narrative purpose foreshadowing items a few paragraphs down from here) who had been much admired by the townswomen and was — almost literally — an original Town Father. At the sight of this powerful clenching, two lady librarians and Joan from the butcher’s fainted clear away. Ah, but this was his moment. How long he’d waited! It had been ten years since he left the island vowing never to return, ten years of demons haunting him, the ghosts of his bullied past taunting him, urging him on and on, never letting him rest for a moment, chasing 144

him all the way to — as chance and Southbound roadworks would have it — Aberdeen, that great granite city of the North. There, still a pale, skinny stripling of a boy, he’d been baffled and had not understood a blessed word the natives said to him. But the Aberdonians had treated him kindly, if incomprehensibly, and for Our Hero, being baffled was better than being beaten by bully-boy Boyle. In the intervening years, Our Hero (let’s call him Norman, for that was indeed his name, a name not unrelated to the fact he had been so mercilessly bullied by Tormod Boyle because Tormod is the Gaelic for Norman and there could be only one Norman/Tormod in the class in Tormod’s piggy wee eyes. He bitterly resented Norman for having the normal Norman version of his name and not the version Tormod would have to explain forever when he moved to the mainland. So Tormod did the only thing he’d been taught what to do with his angry feelings. He directed them out and away and at the object of his namey envy) … Wait, where was I? Oh. Here. Norman, had become a highly successful ornamental hedge-trimmer which had given him broad and powerful shoulders. Lately he had joined a gym, which had given him other powerful parts. He’d saved judiciously, bought a little house and, yes, had even known love for a short while before she ran off with a career doughnut-glazer from Achiltibuie. In the main though, he had thrived in these fertile eastern soils and was grown tall and devilish handsome, all the ladies and Martin, the bell-ringer, agreed. Not unlike Liam Neeson in some lights, or Al Pacino from some miles. The lone whistler whistled again. The whistler’s mother smacked his ear. And now was Norman’s moment! Now he would teach that lowdown pustulant Boyle of a human being what it was like to know fear! His topiary-scarred finger curled delicately round his Derringer as the wind flapped his long black leather coat cinematically. He sized

OQ / WINTER 2019-20


Tormod up. It was true, his once-famed hips were still snake-like, If the snake had just eaten a moose; his little arms barely reached them on account of the enormous gut that draped around like some monstrous skirt of beef. He was suddenly reminded of a witticism he’d heard on the ferry on the way over: Some men were sitting around in the bar, one of them a larger-figured man, and the talk had turned to marital relations as it usually does in the choppy waters where Loch Broom meets the Minch. Apparently the big man was himself married to a big woman, and the others were gently teasing him about how they got the marital business done. Big Man says good-naturedly “Ah, that’s what all my short-peckered friends ask!” But this was coarse thinking and he hadn’t become such a renowned

hedge-artiste by such coarseness of thought — apart from that one cash-in-hand job for the nuns on their poplars behind the tall, grey walls of the convent on The Black Isle. He blushed in recollection of how he’d fashioned their azaleas. The sisters hadn’t even mentioned azaleas but he’d got carried away. And anyway this strange turn of thought was by the by, because all the island knew Tormod only had a very wee one. They knew this on account of his mammy, Honest Margey. Honest Margey had taken a turn out at the fank (it’s kind of like a sheep spa and, refreshingly — if you’ve read this far — isn’t any sort of a phallic symbol or narrative device of any sort) one year and had never been the same again, her peculiarity being marked by a disconcerting habit of always, always telling the truth. Incidentally, Tormod’s Situation-So-To-Speak, (and really, it was only a very incidental one) wasn’t the only Situation-So-To Speak to pass into notoriety by way of Margey. The minister, she declared on the bus one unforgettable Monday, had a very big Situation indeed, not as big as Simple George from the grocery van’s, but certainly by her reckoning, bigger than average. There was quite the kerfuffle after that, alright, for how could Honest Margey possibly know this unless she had been somehow privy to the minister’s Situation-So-To-Speak? “It wasn’t in the privy!” Honest Margey had cried, Washingtonianly, disastrously unable to tell a lie. “It was in the vestibule of the vestry ‘neath the vestments, in a Vesterly direction!” (Honest Margey was half German.) Within the week, the disgraced minister had been posted to a youth outreach program in lawless, Godless, public-toiletless inner-city Inverness. To fill his sudden and shameful void, the congregation had

had to accept an emergency young cleric from the South, with all the threatening new ideas that people from the South bring. Cushioned pews, indeed! Where were Christ’s cushions as he hung bleeding for our sins on the cross? But I digress. Which isn’t like me. Our Hero (Norman) shook his head from these ridiculous thoughts, as any hero should. Concentrate, man! Any minute now he was going to blast two holes right above and below Tormod Boyle’s sweaty unibrow, just like a divided-by sign. He’d read somewhere that to divide-by was to conquer and he was always a chap to go by what he’d read somewhere. Somewhere a seagull screamed, briefly. Again, and even more cinematically than the other times, the whistler whistled, now low, now high, and tremulously, as if the accounts of all men’s souls were to be settled that day on Cromwell Street. Again, the whistler’s mother told him to shut his gob, he was putting people off. Up above, God made a mental note to smite her with a wart as soon as this was all over and she was back sitting for her portrait. God likes ominous whistling and is nothing if not an avid cinema-buff, although He couldn’t see why Citizen Kane was all that special. A tumble-peat blew by… The town-hall clock struck the hour — high-noon. According to the ancient rule for duelling crofters, on the twelfth stroke the foes were to fire. Nine… Ten… Eleven… Twelve… BANG! BANG-BANG! The smoke clears. The crowd gasps… Now then, reader, what happens next? Send your guesses to me and I’ll pick the one truest to what actually happened. If my hapless editor allows it, I’ll reproduce it here next time. (But you won’t get paid.) (Sorry, I will take all the money.) (It’s just the way I want it.) (Me, with all the money.) ≈OQ≈

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Ojai Quarterly — Winter 2019-20  

Ojai's premier publication for events, culture, arts & features.

Ojai Quarterly — Winter 2019-20  

Ojai's premier publication for events, culture, arts & features.

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