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PUBLISHED SINCE 1982

VOLUME 37 No.2

SUMMER 2019

Robin remembered FIVE YEARS ON – HIS OJAI FRIENDS RECALL THE GENIUS OF ROBIN WILLIAMS

PLUS: THE WORK OF BYRON KATIE / THE TOUGHEST FOLK SINGER IN TOWN DANNY EVERETT’S GREAT RUN / OJAI’S TREE VIGILANTES / FROM FARM TO FOLKS V E N TUR A + S AN TA BA RB A RA + LO S A N GE LE S + S A N LU IS O B IS P O CO UNTIES


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Modern Perfection!! Over 2 acres of exquisite privacy unfolds behind the gates of this 4,200 sq ft contemporary modern masterpiece. Highly upgraded interior with sophisticated technology translates into a relaxed single level lifestyle where both the main house & luxurious granny flat enjoy their own private pools. This is truly a property to experience!! $3,395,000

DRE # 00878649


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805.620.2438 ojaihomes4sale.com

With an enviable ridge-top 2 acre setting & sweeping mountain views, this solar powered Mediterranean estate offers over 6700 sq ft on 2 gorgeous low maintenance acres and includes pool, spa, and paddle-ball court. Truly one of Ojai’s best values at $1,995,000

Get your Happy On!! This charming & private 4 bedroom 3 bath East End Oasis has it all; including an office, family room, heated pool, inviting rooftop patio, thriving orange grove and horse corral. $1,495,000


DMD Construction

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General Contractors

Building Your Dreams Let Us Help! • New Construction • Additions • Insurance • Remodels David Dunlap, Owner CA Lic#903106

805-625-4161 www.rebuilding-ventura.com www.dmd-construction.com

facebook.com/dmdconst


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

GABRIELA CESEÑA

REALTOR | Luxury Specialist Berkshire Hathaway • CA DRE #01983530 Unwavering commitment to my clients’ satisfaction | Driven by passion for the work I do

621 Del Norte Road Exclusive Arbolada Neighborhood | Revitalized Modern Ranch House | Park-Like | 1.23 acres | 5 Bd | 3 Bt | 3803 Sqf | Pool Asking $1,780,000

409 N. Montgomery Street Meticulous Mediterranean Townhome Villa | Pool & Spa Midtown | 3 Br | 3 Bt | 2898 Sqf of Bliss Asking $1,495,000

702 Mercer Street As Cute & Charming as they come | Great Views Ojai Pink Moment | Terrific neighborhood | 3 Bd | 2 Bt | 1468 Sqf | 8631 Sqf lot Asking $789,000

209 S. Montgomery Street Extraordinary Downtown Living | Los Arboles Enclave | 2 Master En-Suites | 2060 Sqf Asking $799,999

805.236.3814 | gabrielacesena@bhhscal.com | Gabrielacesena.bhhscalifornia.com ©2019 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information.

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A CATHOLIC DAY AND BOARDING SCHOOL IN THE AUGUSTINIAN TRADITION SINCE 1924 Villanova Preparatory is the only boarding school in California that offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, part of the strong foundation that provides acceptance to selective colleges and universities, contributing to each student's future success.

12096 North Ventura Avenue | Ojai, California | villanovaprep.org


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

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EDITOR’S NOTE

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e are a small-town magazine and part of the lifeblood of our local newspaper, the Ojai Valley News. Providing a locally owned professional news resource isn’t easy these days, but as we transform with the times, we see the tremendous spirit of our community come forward to invest in both strong local news reporting and long-format features. Our two publications work in concert to bring you both. We have every kind of story in our town, and I see resilience at the heart of most. Take local transformational speaker Byron Katie. Her self-discovery not only bounced her back from the depths, but has rocketed her to international fame as thousands around the globe ask themselves her four simple yet elusive questions in search of personal answers. “The Work” begins with her probing question, “Is it true?” Five years after we lost one of the most creative geniuses of our time, friends remember comedian Robin Williams, a man who seemed to have boundless energy. Mark Frost and Arthur Grace share a personal insight into the dynamic nature of their friend, now a permanent fixture in our hearts. An exercise in looking with fresh eyes. Neil Kreitman and Monimos International offer a different way to consider fine art. Part gallery, part museum, Canvas and Paper offers a serene place to experience art. Sometimes we are lucky enough to look through the rearview mirror. These two cautionary tales stretch their tellers to their limits before they can recover. “Never Again” — the darkly humorous tale of building a house in Ojai. Then an unforgettable journey with strangers in a car — “Family Outing.” How we face our changing climate may be the ultimate test of who we are. In Community Climate Resilience 2030, Ojai considers preparations for our future survival. Next a look at the past environmental vigilantes of local tree preservation then and now; climb inside our “Grass Roots,” Ojai’s 1970s tree movement. Danny Everett, Olympic gold-winning track star, now fuels young Ojai Roadrunners. His story of perseverance and resilience inspires a new generation. News reporter Perry Van Houten was moved to tears as he witnessed horses and humans recovering together at the Coastal Horse Rescue, a project that connects rescued horses to autistic children, visibly animating both.

L AURA REARWIN WARD publisher@ojaivalleynews.com

These and many more stories inside this issue offer encouragement and insight into our world. Not only do our publications serve as a record of the enduring vibrance of Ojai life, but they are proof of the dedication of our community to a local free press and its unwavering desire to stay connected. Please thank our advertisers and subscribers for their support. They bring you this magazine and the Ojai Valley News — our local free press, a vital resource — depends on them.

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Laura Rearwin Ward

CONTRIBUTORS

Perry Van Houten • Austin Widger Anca Colbert • Arthur Grace Karen Lindell • Alicia Doyle Richard Camp • Kit Stolz Michelaina Johnson • Richard LaPlante Greg Pfeifer • Andra Belknap Drew Mashburn • Fred Drennen

ART DIRECTOR Paul Stanton

ASSISTANT EDITORS

Marianne Ratcliff • Linda Griffin Georgia Schreiner

ADVERTISING

Linda Snider • Kelly Spargur Katrina MacLachlan

PRODUCTION Bill MacNeil

CIRCULATION Ally Mills

BUSINESS MANAGER Jodie Miller

CONTACT US

team@ojaivalleynews.com Phone: 805.646.1476 Fax: 805.646.4281 101 Vallerio Avenue Ojai, California 93023 ©2019 Downhome Publishing

Cover story: Five years on, comic genius Robin Williams is remembered by his Ojai friends. PUBLISHED SINCE 1982 BY THE OJAI VALLEY NEWS

OJ A I VA L L E Y N E W S .C O M


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A culinary-inspired event center

Ojai Valley Inn is proud to announce the grand opening of THE FARMHOUSE at Ojai, a one-of-a-kind epicurean and event destination. Inspired by Ojai’s farming heritage, The Farmhouse was designed to connect you to the local land and world-class food culture. The exhibition kitchen is home to everything from wine seminars and tastings,

Š2019 Ojai Valley Inn

cocktail mixology, cooking classes and demonstrations, to intimate dinners with renowned chefs.


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Introducing The Farmhouse

C U L I N A R Y

W O R K S H O P S

C U LIN ARY

AM B ASSAD O R

& D E M O N S T R AT I O N S

N A N C Y S I LV E R T O N

MIXOLOGY CLASSES

N

WINE & CHEESE PAIRING WORKSHOP CHAMPAGNE SABERING & TASTING EXPERIENCE WINE TASTING: · GEMS OF THE CENTRAL COAST · BLIND TASTING CHALLENGE · WINES OF FRANCE PASTRY WORKSHOPS: · THE ART OF MACARONS · ÉCLAIRS & CREAM PUFFS · CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE COOKING CLASSES: · KIDS IN THE KITCHEN · GOURMET GRILLED CHEESE · PASTA MAKING

ancy Silverton is the co-owner of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza in LA and Newport Beach, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. She also founded the world-renowned La Brea Bakery and Campanile Restaurant, an institution that Angelenos cherished for decades. Nancy has worked with some of the nation’s most notable chefs including in the kitchens of Jonathan Waxman at Michael’s restaurant and Wolfgang Puck at Spago. Additionally, she has served as a mentor to numerous others who have gone on to become award-winning chefs and restaurant owners themselves. In her role as debut Culinary Ambassador of THE FARMHOUSE at Ojai Valley Inn, Silverton will cultivate multiple bucket list–worthy epicurean events, bringing together the crème de la crème of the culinary world and giving guests the opportunity to experience master classes, book signings, talks and workshops.

· N A N C Y & F R IE N D S E V E N T H IG H L IG HTS ·

· GNOCCHI AND RISOTTO · ARTISAN PIZZA & MOZZARELLA COOKING DEMOS: · FRENCH BISTRO DINNER · GARDEN-TO-TABLE DINNER · CLASSIC ITALIAN

GRILLED CHEESE POP-UP - Friday, August 30 CHEESE CLASS & DINNER WITH MIMMO BRUNO & PIZZERIA MOZZA - Saturday, August 31 LUNCH WITH RUTH REICHL - Saturday, September 21 MICHAEL CIMARUSTI SEAFOOD FEAST X FAETHM WINE RECEPTION - Saturday, September 21 “BUTCHER FOR A DAY” WITH DARIO CECCHINI - Friday, November 22

SPECIAL EVENTS

DINNER WITH DARIO & FONTODI WINERY - Friday, November 22 GRILL CLASS WITH RYAN DENICOLA & ERIC GEPHART - Sunday, November 24 WHITE TRUFFLE LUNCH WITH JOHN MAGAZINO - Friday, November 29

WINEMAKER TASTING SERIES: SCAR OF THE SEA FOOD AS MEDICINE DINNER WITH JEFFREY ZUROFSKY DINNER WITH GUEST CHEF NEAL FRASER OLIVE OIL TASTING WITH MASTER MILLER PHILIP ASQUITH TOMATOMANIA WITH CULINARY GARDENER SCOTT DAIGRE MOVIE NIGHTS UNDER THE STARS

THE WHITE TRUFFLE DINNER - Saturday, November 30 WELCOME DINNER WITH WALTER MANZKE - Friday, December 6 PASTRY CLASS WITH DAHLIA NARVAEZ - Saturday, December 7 BAKED GOODS DEMONSTRATION WITH MARGARITA MANZKE - Sunday, December 8 CLOSING BRUNCH WITH NANCY SILVERTON + KRUG CHAMPAGNE - Sunday, December 8

WHISTLEPIG WHISKEY BBQ DINNER WITH GUEST CHEF GAVIN KAYSEN

Farmhouse events, classes and demonstrations subject to change.

VISIT

T H E FA R M H O U S E O J A I . C O M

TO VIEW OUR FULL

CALENDAR OF EXCLUSIVE EVENTS AND RESERVE ONLINE, OR CALL

1·844·409·4655

|


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SUMMER 201 VOLUME 37 No.2

WELLBEING

The Work of Byron Katie - 20 Mindfulness & Healing Directory - 29

SHOPPING

Kariella, A Passion for Fashion - 31 Stopping Points - 39

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

82

Ojai Friends Remembering Robin Williams - 82 Canvas & Paper, A Serene Space - 44 Rain Perry, the Toughest Folk Singer in Town - 116 Artists & Galleries Directory - 53

SPORT

Danny Everett’s Great Run -54

AROUND & ABOUT

Beat the Heat. Summer Hiking Trails - 62 From Farm to Folk - 100 Ojai Dory - 108

PEOPLE

Grass Roots, The Story of Ojai’s 1970s Tree Vigilantes - 68 John Aaron’s Family Outing - 130 Drew Mashburn Looks Back - 156 Fred Drennen is Worried in Ojai - 161

FOOD & DRINK

Ventura Spirits - 92 Dining & Tasting Directory - 112

BIG ISSUES

Creating Climate Resilience - 76 Healing Horses - 136 Lotus International Outreach - 152

REAL ESTATE

Never Again. Ojai Dream House - 144

INFO

Calendar of Events - 124 Advertiser Index - 163

68 130 116

100 20


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

L ov i n g l y h a n d c ra f te d in Ojai, CA Jes MaHarry Store 316 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai California 93023 877.728.5537 jesmaharry.com jesmaharryjewelry Photo by: Rylann Smith

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An Ojai tradition for over 50 years 302 W. Matilija Street (805)646-3755 9:30 - Sunset daily

www.bartsbooksojai.com


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Family Dentistry / Implant / Cosmetic / Clear Braces

Modern Age Dentistry has served the community in Ojai and Ventura for over 15 years. Modern Age Dentistry is highly rated across the web. Check out our Google reviews at each location!

• 207 Fox Street, Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 646-0163 • 7606 Fallbrook Ave., #13 West Hills, CA 91304 (818) 712-0073 • 3151 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039 (323) 660-1205

Book Online! www.ModernAgeDentistry.com


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• • • • • • • •

Spa Memberships Radiant Facials Therapeutic Massage Body Treatments Foot & Hand Services Pre-wedding Day Escapes Far-infared Sauna Spa Day Packages

“Relaxation At It’s Finest” “I live over an hour away from Ojai, but I’ve heard rave reviews from many people regarding this spa. My experience was nothing short of amazing, blissful, relaxing and peaceful. The prices are competitive and they do offer specials.” Malibu, California

“Amazing-The Best Spa I Have Ever Gone To!” “I have been to many Top End Spas in this country and abroad, this was the best facial and massage I have ever gotten.” Long Beach, California

805.640.1100 • 209 Montgomery Street • thedayspa.com


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Set for Summer

OVAC has everything you and your family need to get set for summer! Sign up for Ojai’s best swim lessons & clinics, and tennis camps. Don’t forget to fuel up at the Café with local produce and entrees. Call Ojai Valley Athletic Club Today (805) 646-7213

409 S. FOX ST. • (805) 646-7213 OVAC.CACLUBS.COM

OWNED & OPERATED BY CALIFORNIA ATHLETIC CLUBS • CACLUBS.COM


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In Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” Gregor Samsa wakes up to find himself turned into a giant cockroach-like insect. In Byron Katie’s metamorphosis, she woke up to find a cockroach crawling across her foot. Unlike Samsa’s absurdist literary transformation, Katie’s was profoundly real.

of Byron Katie In the moments after that insect-induced awakening in 1986, Katie, at the time in a Los Angeles halfway house for people with eating disorders — depressed, agoraphobic, suicidal and her life in disarray — had an experience she still finds hard to describe. A miracle? A spiritual awakening? An epiphany? “It just woke me up,” she said. “In place of all the darkness was joy. I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.” Ojai resident Katie calls what she offers “The Work.” It’s a form of inquiry that consists of four deceptively simple questions that lead people to freedom from destructive thoughts about themselves, others and life in general. The four questions came to her in the moments after the cockroach woke her: 1. Is it true? 2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? 3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? 4. What would you be without the thought? Perhaps this process sounds too easy. You can almost hear a fast-talking announcer in a glib voice, “Turn your life around with just FOUR questions!”

by Karen Lindell


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It’s not. It’s hard. That’s why it’s called “The Work.” Answering these questions — truly addressing and exploring them, either in writing or talking the responses through with someone — leads to a “turnaround,” a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe. So, for example, after questioning the statement “My husband should express what he’s feeling,” you might turn it around to: “I should express what I’m feeling.” Or “I’m too fat” turns around to: “I’m not too fat.” More than one turnaround statement is a possibility; each person chooses what is true for them. “The turnaround is not about blaming yourself or feeling guilty,” Katie said. “It’s about discovering alternatives that can bring you peace.” The Work works for all kinds of difficulties: family, friend and business relationships, grief, fear, shame, stress, financial problems, illness and addiction. “Any kind of frustration is what The Work is for, any kind of disappointment,” Katie said. “The judgments in our minds are like fake news. If we question them— ‘Poor me,’ ‘You hurt my feelings’ — then we can tap into the wisdom that’s naturally ours. All the stress that we feel is caused by arguing with what is.


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I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”

around the world. Millions of people have experienced The Work’s healing effects, Katie says.

In 2008, Katie was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey for “Oprah’s Soul Series” show (the video is available on YouTube).

Katie is very calm and loving during these encounters, gently but persistently pushing people to answer the questions. She calls people “sweetheart” and doesn’t do all the talking, letting people struggle through the questions and find the answers themselves.

Winfrey says during the show that she learned about Katie when a friend recommended she read one of her books. “I loved it so much,” Winfrey says, “because it brought me to another level of thinking about resisting what is — this whole idea of being able to accept the moment for what the moment has to offer and not resisting it.” Katie is not a therapist, pastor, spiritual leader, New Age guru or philosopher, although what she does combines all those roles.

For those who can’t afford workshops or books, Katie provides worksheets and instructions on her website for free. She also offers periodic free, two-hour workshops to the local Ojai community at the Center for The Work on Aliso Street; the sessions are streamed live on Facebook as well. Katie has penned four self-help books, three as collaborations with her husband,

”A thought is harmless until we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering.”

Byron Kathleen Mitchell goes by Byron Katie, and everyone calls her Katie. She introduces people to The Work via one-on-one sessions, audience events where she works through the questions with individual people on stage, a nine-day intensive school, a residential program, books, videos and her website, www.thework.com. Katie speaks to corporations, universities, schools, churches, prisons, hospitals and general audiences small and large

Katie, who has lived with Mitchell in Ojai since 2005, grew up in the California desert. Her father was an engineer with the Santa Fe Railroad, and her mom was a housewife. The family first lived in Needles, then Barstow. Katie had her first child at age 19. Before her “waking up to reality” at age 43, Katie, who has three children, worked as a contractor buying, selling and managing properties. Katie said she first experienced depression after divorcing her first husband. She remarried and managed to function well in her career, but became a recluse, rarely leaving her room, overeating and indulging in codeine and alcohol. The halfway house for eating disorders was the only health facility her insurance would pay for. The other residents were so frightened of her that they put her in an attic room by herself and booby-trapped the staircase. She slept on the floor because she didn’t consider herself worthy of a bed. “The depression was debilitating; I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer like that,” she said. After her moment of clarity, when Katie returned to Barstow, people noticed her dramatic transformation — and not just the physical transformation, because she lost weight and stopped smoking and drinking. People also noticed an inner light or glow. They called her “the lit lady.” They knocked on her home, seeking advice on how to achieve similar results.

THE CONVERTED CHURCH ON MONTGOMERY STREET WHICH NOW HOUSES THE CENTER FOR THE WORK.

Stephen Mitchell: “Loving What Is,” “I Need Your Love — Is That True?” “A Thousand Names for Joy” and “A Mind at Home With Itself.” She’s also cowritten two picture books for children, “Tiger-Tiger, Is it True?” and “The Four Questions: For Henny Penny and Anybody with Stressful Thoughts” (the latter a retelling of “Chicken Little” from the perspective of The Work).

Some therapists “started inviting me to work with them,” she said. Through word of mouth and networking, “soon I was all over the world.” Before her transformative experience, Katie said, “I didn’t want to be around people.” But afterward, “I was attracted to the human race, and I still am to this day. I haven’t met a human being I don’t feel connected to.” Katie said she is not a religious person. “But I am very in touch with anything I might be thinking and believing that would cause me to be less kind or wise,” she said.


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continually sitting with myself and asking these questions. Prior to The Work, I felt so trapped in a very dark, downwardspiraling world. Now, when I ask myself the questions, there’s always something possible; it leaves that endless opening for never being boxed in. For me, that’s freedom.” Research to validate the effectiveness of The Work — and not just anecdotal accounts — is important, Coumar said, and that has indeed begun to happen.

Anil Coumar, a therapist in private practice and former director of the Mental Health Clinic at the University of Washington, uses The Work with his patients. In 2002, he wrote a paper with a colleague, Ricardo Hidalgo, titled “‘The Work’ of Byron Katie: A New Psychotherapy?” Coumar said he first learned about Katie in 1999 when he stumbled upon one of her workshops in Seattle; he was attending another event in the same venue. He didn’t think much of it, but saw her face on a book cover a few years later. Intrigued, he bought the book and decided to go through The Work himself, facilitated by Katie herself. “I felt something really different; something shifted, loosened up in me,” he said. “It’s so easy to learn and to teach.” The Work has similarities to cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on helping people change thoughts and beliefs that influence emotions and behaviors. “But there is a big difference between the two,” Coumar said. “Cognitive therapy tends to remain in the realm of thinking and cognition. The fourth question of The Work asks, ‘Who would you be without your story?’ It’s more spiritual.” Katie is not a one-woman enterprise. Certified facilitators lead The Work sessions as well. Facilitators include Patrie Grace, an event

KATIE TRAVELS THE WORLD, OFTEN WORKING WITH LARGE AUDIENCES. SHE GUIDES VOLUNTEERS THROUGH A PROCESS WHICH IS SOMETIMES HEARTRENDING, OFTEN FUNNY BUT ALWAYS PROFOUNDLY ENLIGHTENING.

coordinator from Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts who discovered Katie and The Work 14 years ago. “I was depressed and suicidal on and off as long as I could remember,” Grace said. Her father died when she was young, and at various points in her life she took drugs, lived on the streets and suffered from bulimia. “The biggest thing was I hated being me,” she said. She was at a particularly low point after breaking up with a partner when Katie’s book “Loving What Is” in a bookstore caught her eye. She locked herself in a room for three or four days to work through it. Grace said she had done a lot of individual and group therapy, joined spiritual communities and read self-help books, all of which helped her and still does, but although those support systems inspired her to “go out and be good and kind,” her “beliefs always took the upper hand; it was like a dark inner world.” The Work, she said, gave her a “how to” to work through the darkness. “This is a daily practice; there is nothing quick-fix about it,” she said. “It’s

Several small scientific studies have shown promising initial results in patients who use The Work as a meditative technique, including breast-cancer survivors. Researchers have reported improved physical, social and emotional well-being and suggest larger, randomized and controlled clinical studies be done. When Coumar worked at the University of Washington, only a few of his staff used The Work with their patients, he said. “Some of my colleagues were frankly threatened by it. Their justification was, ‘If the client learns it, I’m not needed.” But Coumar said he believes therapists will always have a role in helping people, and he sees people, and he sees The Work as a complementary technique. Grace said she doesn’t view Katie as a spiritual guru. “I don’t experience Katie that way,” she said. “It doesn’t feel Katiefocused; she continually turns me back to myself. It would be nothing without me sitting with the questions, listening, little by little, and taking tiny steps. This has radically changed my life from one of suffering to love, which sounds so cliché, but I’m continually just moved to tears by that.” Katie, too, dismissed the idea that she is a worship-at-her feet leader. “There’s nothing valuable about me,” she said. “The Work, these four questions and turnarounds are now established in the world. I believe people have a right to understand the cause of suffering and how to end it. If there’s anything valuable in me, it’s to pass it on to everyone who wants to end their suffering.”


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

Chinese Massage releases stress, increases circulation and energy

W

W A

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LK

CO

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S

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Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm (except Tuesday open 11 am to 8 pm) Oriental Oil Body Massage 60 minutes $48

Reflexology Massage 30 min $24 40 min $30 60 min $40

Hot Stone Therapy 60 minutes $68

Sweet Combination Special 90 min $68 includes: 60 min full body plus 30 min foot massage

AA Relaxing Station • 323 E. Matilija Street, #112 (Massage & Reflexology only)

Bamboo Creek • 1002 East Ojai Avenue, Suite B

www.BambooCreekSpa.com © 2019 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. byronkatie.com photo: Nic Askew

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I discovered that when I believed my thoughts I suffered, but when I questioned them I didn’t suffer. And I have come to see that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. And I invite you not to believe me, but to test inquiry for yourself. BY RO N K AT I E .CO M

(805) 299-5899

Horse, Heart & Connection

Exploring mindfulness, intuition and inner clarity with the horse as your mirror with Equine Facilitated Learning teacher, Andrea Gaines, Ojai Sign up for next small group session on Sat. June 22 , July 20 or Aug 24 10am-12:30pm, or schedule a private session

847-971-3643

www.horseheartandconnection.com


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

Boku International, Inc. 987 West Ojai Ave. Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 650-BOKU Store open: Mon-Sat 9-5 Sun 10-5

www.BokuSuperfood.com

DELIVERY • CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED ANONYMOUS CASH PURCHASES OPEN 7 DAYS • ADULTS 21+ • MEDICAL 18+

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805-272-8009

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

ThriveFamilyCare.com

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C O T TA G E H E A LT H

our region’s choice for advanced health care SANTA BARBARA COTTAGE HOSPITAL • Cottage Heart and Vascular Center TAVR Program • Santa Barbara Neuroscience Institute iMRI Program • Level I Trauma Center • Level II Pediatric Trauma Center • Women’s Health • Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine • Comprehensive Stroke Center

GOLETA VALLEY COTTAGE HOSPITAL • 24/7 Emergency Care • Cottage Center for Orthopedics • Ridley-Tree Center for Wound Management • Breast Imaging Center • Maxillofacial Surgery SANTA YNEZ VALLEY COTTAGE HOSPITAL • 24/7 Emergency Care • Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehabilitation • Surgical Services • Imaging • Outpatient Infusion Services

A new Cottage Children’s Medical Center, featuring the Haselton Family Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, opened at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in late Fall 2018.

For a list of all services, visit cottagehealth.org

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Proud to be the winner for the 7th consecutive year of The Best of Ojai! Stop by today and find out why!

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stateof-the-art wellness delivered with ojai love VOTED OJAI’S

BEST DAY SPA AND

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RESONANCE

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Claire Henriksen is a locally grown certified massage therapist and founder of Embody Ojai. Her specialty is offering deep, focused, specific bodywork with a pampering touch to soothe body and spirit. clairehenriksen@gmail.com | 805-827-0695 Dr. Edie Resto is a licensed chiropractor and a graduate of Bastyr Naturopathic University. She is a wholistic educator dedicated to forming healing partnerships with her patients. Best Selling author of the Middle-Aged Man Potential, Maintaining Vitality in the Later Years. Dredieresto.com | 805-630-2473

Paula Obeid Mht Intuitive Transformational Life & Business Coach specializing in Law of Attraction, Certified Master Hypnotherapist & Trainer, Emotional clearing techniques. Assists individuals to move through life with joy and purpose. www.blissalways.com | 480-239-0660

Sonia Baker LPN, MLDP, FNLP Nurse Lymphatic Practitioner providing balanced therapies, counseling and education that can aid overall health. Lymphatic Drainage w/LET, IV Vitamin/ NAD Therapy, Functional Nutrition for SIBO/ Leaky Gut, Hydrotherapy Lymphatic Health Institute. www.lhi.life | 805-954-3019

RESONANCE HEALING CENTER | 215 Church Road, Ojai CA 93023

15 dedicated practitioners utilize various modalities assisting with integrating mind, body and spirit which facilitate sustainable wellness. We connect deeply with the community by offering free events.

www.OjaiResonanceCenter.com


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Mind, Body & Spirit Bamboo Creek

Give the gift of Relaxation! Mon- Sat 10 am-10 pm Sun 11 am-8 pm Walk-ins welcome 1002 E. Ojai Ave. #B 805-299-5899

Jacalyn Booth

Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Ojai Digestive Health Professional Gentle and Effective ojaidigestivehealth.com 805-901-3000

Leslie Bouché, C.Ht.

Hypnotherapist. Find your calm center. Release negative thinking, emotional reactivity, anxiety, fear, and unhelpful behaviors.  Improve sleep and comfort.  leslie@lesliebouche.com • lesliebouche.com 805-796-1616

Lois Dominguez Massage

Restore posture, movement. Help specific issues: from neck/shoulder to sciatica. Orth Sports, DT, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi +much more. www.massageinojai.com • asongbird216@gmail.com 805-746-3415

FEATURED PRACTICIONERS

Hans D. Gruenn M.D.

Leading physician in Integrative and Western medicine for over 35 years. 530 W. Ojai Ave #107 Ojai drgruenn.com 805-633-9121

Lauren Harris, LMT

Specializing in Thai Massage, an ancient bodywork modality utilizing rhythmic pressure and assisted stretching to promote optimal balance and well-being. ojaithaimassage.com lauren.harris.lmt@gmail.com

Krotona Institute of Theosophy Library & Research Center

Metaphysical Bookshop, School of Theosophy 2 Krotona Hill, Ojai info@krotonainstitute.org 805-646-1139

The Little Garden Day Spa Angella W Winspear, CMT, CLDT

A range of healing treatments that include Lymphatic Drainage therapy and Infrared. littlegardenspa.massagetherapy.com 805-890-9813

The Day Spa of Ojai

Shirley Marcus

Elemental Apothecary

Dr. Myra Miller, PhD

Laurel Felice, L.M.T.

Nut Meg’s Ojai House

Eden Flynn

Khabir Southwick - Naturopath, Ayurvedic Herbalist/Practitioner

Indulge your body & mind’s well-being with extraordinary services & unrivaled hospitality. 209 N. Montgomery St. thedayspa.com 805-640-1100

Herbs-tinctures -tonics 201 N Ventura St, Ojai, CA 93023 (Downtown Ojai entrance on Matilija St) taka@elementalapothecary.com (805) 798-9266

Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, reiki, craniosacral and pregnancy massage with a reverent & joyous balance of hands & heart. laurelfelice54@gmail.com ojaihealers.com 805-886-3674­­­

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Healing thru natural body mobilization, exercises & massages. Unique european methods now in Ojai. www.rollnessusa.com www.stunningtherapy.com 805-825-7865

Whole Life Health & Wellbeing. Consults, Coaching, Wellness Space Redesign, Courses & Retreats; Mind-Body, Emotional, Spiritual, & Life Balance, Trauma & Relationship Healing dr.myra@mylivingsanctuary.org • mylivingsanctuary.org 805-380-3733

American-Made, Fair Trade, Recycled, UpCycled, Spiritual, Organic, Green, “Functional Art “ for your Home & Garden. Open every day 11:00am - 6:00pm 304 North Montgomery Street, Ojai mgojai62@gmail.com • ojaihouse.com 805-640-1656

Eden Flynn, M.A. Ayurvedic Health Consultant/ Nutrition & Embodiment Coach. Specializing in women’s health, hormonal balance at all stages of life, supporting women with Ayurvedic nutrition & embodied movement www.somasister.com • e-mail eden@somasister.com

Herbal & dietary treatments for weight-loss, HBP, high cholesterol, inflammation, pain, high blood sugar, colon cleansing, liver detoxification, IBS, menopause, anxiety, insomnia, asthma, acidity, allergies, fatigue & more. 805-308-3480 • www.KSouthwick.com

Judy Gabriel

Resonance Healing Center

Energy Landscaping, Using intuitive vision and energy dowsing, Judy brings health to your body, land, business, or home. Judy@EnergyLandscaping.com 805-798-4111

Dr. John R. Galaska, PsyD

Professor of Psychology. Calm your nervous system with Hypnosis enhanced by Neuro & Biofeedback galaska77@gmail.com BeCalmofOjai.com 805-705-5175

Convenient access to a broad spectrum of alternative therapies & modalities to assist with emotional, spiritual & physical wellness. Free community events. 215 Church Rd., Ojai, By Appointment www.OjaiResonanceCenter.com

List your work in the Ojai Valley Guide Mind, Body & Spirit directory. team@ojaivalleynews.com 805-646-1476


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A passion WITH A PASSION FOR FASHION AS A YOUNG GIRL, Amara Bessa set up a shop outside her house in Meiners Oaks to sell handbags and clothes she made with her mom’s sewing machine. “Most kids were doing the lemonade stand thing, but I would make things and sit out there all day and sell them to the people who would walk by,” remembered the 38-year-old mother of two. “It was always embedded in me being an entrepreneur, creating things and selling them.” Her childhood dream has since manifested into her third clothing store, which opened Dec. 15 at 212 E. Ojai Ave. Her modern bohemian boutique, named after her 13-year-old daughter, Kariella, is known for its eclectic blend of apparel, swimwear and accessories, featuring brands like Free People, Z&L Europe, Mavi Jeans, Capri Blue, Montce Swim, and Frankie’s Bikinis. “I’m really picky about quality, fabrics; I like really sophisticated, elegant pieces, but we’re also really about having basic staples as well,” Bessa said. “You can’t create a whole outfit without having all the elements, so we do a lot of outfitting in here. We have a lot of people come and leave wearing a whole outfit.” Her ultimate goal is “making women feel good.” “One of the main comments we get is everything feels so amazing,” she said. “We’ve had countless comments from people saying, ‘I’ve never felt so beautiful; I’ve never gotten so many compliments in my life.’ It feels good to hear those things and feel like you’re making an impact on somebody else’s life.” Raised in Ojai, Bessa attended Meiners Oaks Elementary, Matilija Junior High and Nordhoff High School. She never lived anywhere else, so when her daughter was 3, she decided


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Story by Alicia Doyle

for fashion to step outside her comfort zone and moved to Bend Ore. She joined a mom’s group to meet people because she didn’t know anybody in the area. “I started meeting all these other moms and their daughters and they’d always ask me, ‘Where do you get your clothes?’” She told them she was from California, where she had been a buyer for the last several years, and the clothes she wore were from the stores she was buying from. “They’re like, ‘We can’t get anything like that here, we love what you wear, we want to buy what you’re wearing,’” remembered Bessa, who had been a buyer for Angel in Montecito and Tiki Girl in Ventura, and worked for a handful of retailers doing merchandising. “I thought, it’s time for me to have my own store,” she said. With that, she took the money she received from a tax return, flew to Los Angeles, bought everything she liked and flew back to Oregon with her finds.

Amara Bessa knew she wanted to have her own clothing store at 7 years old.

Kariella

“I took it back and I set up my garage like a store and I invited all these women over and their friends…and I sold three-quarters of what I had bought,” she said. The women further encouraged Bessa to open her own store, and with the money she made from her garage shop, she purchased a 400-square-foot space off the beaten path in Oregon, near a popular coffee shop. She went back to Los Angeles, bought more merchandise, flew back and opened shop. Her entrepreneurial endeavor was so popular, she outgrew the space and relocated to a bigger shop in downtown Bend, which remains to this day. “I went from 400 square feet to 2,000 square feet in a matter of a year and a half,” she said. “I did that for three more years and then I always knew that I wanted to have


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something rooted back here because all my family was back here.” About three years later, she opened her second clothing shop at 451 E. Main St., Suite 9, in Ventura. “I ended up putting a manager in charge and I flew back to Oregon to run that location; then I’d fly down here every couple months to check in,” Bessa said. The spirit of Ojai never left her heart, so she set her sights on coming home. “Ojai is a very special place. Ojai has always been home to me and it was hard to live anywhere else. So I decided it was time to come back.” Catering to the local community and to the visitors frequenting poolside hotels like the Ojai Valley Inn and the Ojai Rancho Inn, her shop in Ojai has a little something for everyone. “We are one of the main swimwear carriers in town, so that’s been a big draw for us. We have a generous selection, carrying six to 10 swimwear brands,” she said. “We’ve been getting a lot of people from the Ojai Valley Inn … and they’re so excited because they forgot their swimsuit or want a new one, plus the locals who are going on vacation. It’s been really well received.” Bessa’s next step is to create her own clothing line, as well as hone her daughter’s talent to immerse her in the business in the future.

“When she was about 10, I taught her how to use the camera and had her doing studio shoots for us because we have the website that we take pictures for,” Bessa said. “I want her to be a part of the business in a capacity that’s creative. I definitely see her as a big part of the business one day.” Kariella, located at 212 E. Ojai Ave., is open Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 805-798-9331, or visit www.kariella.com


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CLOTHES JEWELRY GIFTS YARN FABRIC CLASSES A creative lifestyle shop and gathering place for makers and lovers of beautifully handcrafted goods.

209 W Ojai Ave Open daily

cattywampuscrafts.com 805-633-9222


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INTUITIVE READERS DAILY Tarot Readers Spiritual Counselors Astrologers

Buddhas to Birthday Cards

OJAI HOUSE m

a

and a Huge Selection of Crystals

est. 2000 ...

um

Bumperstickers to Beeswax

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ys tical empori

Chair Massage & Energy Healing

OPEN DAILY 11-6

304 N. Montgomery Street, Ojai, CA

2 blocks north of Ojai Avenue & A World Apart!

805.640.1656 • OjaiHouse.com •

nutmegs_ojai_

Hours 10 - 6 Mon - Sat and 10 - 5 Sunday


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Sustainable Style

for Personal Well-being and a Healthy Planet

Artistic Craftsmanship Meets Functional Design

Organic and natural mattresses, organic cotton sheets, duvet covers, blankets, baby clothes, women’s clothing, wool pillows, comforters and toppers.

Ojai Dory & Home Furnishings Company 147 W. El Roblar Dr., Ojai • 805.640.3699 Open Tues-Sat 11-5

Custom furniture

·

Boats

·

Cutting Boards

·

Chimes

www.ojaidory.com | (805) 798-1003


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Kids Suits


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Stopping Points 1

BACKCOUNTRY TOUR. Ojai is a wonderful base camp for a variety of adventures into some of California’s most magnificent backcountry. Curious visitors might be surprised by the wealth of natural & cultural features to be found in this vast & mystical region. The self-guided backcountry tour starts in Ojai, rambles north on Highway 33, over Pine Mountain Pass, through Ozena Valley & Cuyama Valley to Cerro Noroeste Road, through the Mount Piños area, & returns on Lockwood Valley Road to Highway 33. Scenic stops, recreation opportunities, side trips & services along this loop are plentiful. The whole trip, with Ojai as base camp, is about 180 miles.

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BART’S BOOKS. A world-famous outdoor bookstore where you can browse more than 100,000 hardcover & paperback books, with new stock daily. Serving Ojai Valley since 1964. Special search service available. Located at 302 W. Matilija St. (805) 646-3755. www.bartsbooksojai.com

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OJAI LIBRARY. AND TWICE SOLD TALES. Secondhand bookstore next to the Ojai Library, 121 E. Ojai Ave., reselling books to benefit Friends of the Ojai Library. The selection of books includes author-signed first editions, New Age, mystery, art, music and more. Open noon to 4:45 p.m. (805) 646-4064.

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CAMP COMFORT PARK is nestled in a valley astride San Antonio Creek. RV & tent camping are available plus a country hall accommodating up to 340 people & a group barbecue area. 11969 N. Creek Road, Ojai. (805) 654-3951.

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CIRCLE DRIVE. Highway 150 to Santa Paula; Highway 126 to Ventura; Highway 101 to Ojai turnoff; Highway 33 back to Ojai. Mountain, valley & ocean views.

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ROTARY COMMUNITY PARK. Permanent art installation in the park called “Voices of Ojai,” quotations from historical figures of Ojai’s past etched in stone. Other features include Ted Gall’s “Freedom Chase” horse sculpture, a tile park bench by RTK Studios, and a horse trough dedicated to former Ventura County Supervisor Tom Clark.

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CLUFF VISTA PARK. A stop at this small park composed almost entirely of California native plants is a must. Paul Lindhard’s stone monolith sculptures stand sentry, the park also has two beautiful water features.

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KRISHNAMURTI LIBRARY AND RETREAT. The Krishnamurti Library & Krishnamurti Retreat in Ojai are housed where Krishnamurti lived. The library is at 1070 McAndrew Road, (805) 646-4948. The retreat is at 1130 McAndrew Road, (805) 646-4773.

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KROTONA LIBRARY. A library serving both the public & research scholars. It houses an extensive collection of books on theosophy, compartive religion, philosophy, health & healing & other subjects. 2 Krotona St. Call (805) 646-1139 www.krotonainstitute.org

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Turn the page and locate each place on the map. LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST. The nearly 2 million acres of coastal mountain terrain in the Los Padres National Forest are home

to thousands of plant & animal species. It offers maps, guide books and campfire permits. The Ojai Ranger Station is located about one-half mile east of downtown at 1190 E. Ojai Ave. Call (805) 646-4348.

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SOULE PARK. Charming 223-acre park offers open grasslands with mature shade trees throughout. The quiet and serene setting is

perfect for daytime group events with large covered picnic areas and a Dog Park offers separate fenced areas for large and small dogs.

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WHEELER GORGE VISITORS CENTER. Located 8 miles north of Ojai on Highway 33, provides public information about Los Pa-

dres National Forest, sells maps, trail guides, forest-related books, snacks, Adventure Passes and other items. Get information on the varied recreational and educational experiences available in the forest and can also help with extended backcountry trip planning for the local wilderness areas. Call (805) 646-4348; pforest.org

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THE OJAI FOUNDATION. Six miles from the center of Ojai. A 40-acre educational retreat center at the foot of the majestic Los

Padres mountains. The public is welcome to visit the lovely gardens or simply walk the land from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Weekend programs & educational retreats take place in the fall & spring. 9739 Ojai-Santa Paula Road, Call (805) 646-8343.

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OJAI VALLEY MUSEUM AND VISITORS CENTER. 130 W. Ojai Ave. The only museum in Ojai, preserves & exhibits the art, history

& culture of the Ojai Valley with a permanent history gallery & a changing gallery with rotating exhibits Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; & Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Tours by appointment. (805) 640-1390.

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OJAI MEADOWS PRESERVE. Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s protected meadows & wetlands area with a hiking trail, plant nursery

& spring wildflowers. Three-minute drive west from downtown Ojai, park on Maricopa Highway and follow the easy path. 1601 Maricopa Hwy., Ojai. www. ovlc.org.

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SARZOTTI PARK. Left on Park Road from Ojai Avenue when heading east. Playground, ball field, recreation center, barbecue pits &

horseshoe pits.

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NORDHOFF CEMETERY. Founded in 1870 and managed by the city since 1963. It is part of Ojai’s history, dating back to the Civil War veterans who were buried there. Find it at the corner of Del Norte and Cuyama, Ojai.

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BOOKENDS BOOKSTORE. located in Meiners Oaks area occupies a beautiful old renovated church, as well as two adjacent bookshops 110 S Pueblo Ave (805) 640-9441.

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call (805) 646-5511; Soule Park, Ojai Valley Athletic Club (private club), call (805) 646-7213.

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LIBBEY PARK. Features Ojai Music Festival, Ojai Tennis Tournament, Ojai Day, Mexican Fiesta & other cultural events. Famed for the Libbey Bowl amphitheater in downtown center Ojai next to the Post Office.

TENNIS. Voted second best town for tennis in America, public play at Libbey Park, downtown Ojai. Other locations include Matil-

ija Junior High, 703 El Paseo Road in Ojai; Nordhoff High, Ojai Valley Inn,

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LAKE CASITAS RECREATION AREA. Created by Casitas Dam, with 100 miles of shoreline with boating, water park, camping, pic-

nicking & fishing. For information about the lake, water park and campgrounds, call (805) 649-2233, www.casitaswater.org


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Map compliments of the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce & e.D Brooks MAP © 2012


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DOWNTOWN OJAI

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Stopping Points Favorite Hiking Trailheads

Fun things to do and see in the Ojai Valley. See the previous page for descriptions.

A Sulphur Mountain Rd. B Old Baldwin Trail C Riverview Trail D Oso Trail E Cozy Dell Trail F Matilija Canyon, left at Matilija Canyon Rd., to end G. Rose Valley Falls H Foothill Trail I Pratt Trail, off N. Signal St. J Shelf Road - N. Signal St. K Shelf Road - Gridley Rd. L Horn Canyon, Thacher School, north end of McAndrew Rd.

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

There’s always someThing new aT The

Photo by William Gray Harris

Museum of Ventura County

B EATRICE W OOD C ENTER FOR THE ARTS

Exhibitions • Workshops • Performances Open to the Public Friday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm 8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Road in Upper Ojai

805-646-3381 • www.BeatriceWood.com

Explore the history, present and future of Ventura County and discover what makes us unique. Check out our events and exhibits at venturamuseum.org Museum of Ventura County • 100 East Main St. Ventura, CA 93001 • 805.653.0323 Agriculture Museum • 926 Railroad Ave. Santa Paula, CA 93060 • 805.525.3100


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A FREE PEOPLE NEED A FREE PRESS

• BOOKS

• LEGO

• SCIENCE TOYS

• PLAYMOBIL

• MUSICAL TOYS

• PUZZLES

• KITES

• ART TOYS

• PLANES FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED SINCE 1979

SERVING OUR COMMUNITY SINCE 1891

OJAI VALLEY NEWS

805-646-1476 CIRCULATION@OJAIVALLEYNEWS.COM

221 E. Matilija Street in Downtown Ojai (805) 646-2585 Open Monday - Saturday, 10 - 5:30 Sundays from 10 - 3

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P

eople walking into canvas and paper are in for a surprise. The approach is slow. From the outside, one friend thought it was an art supply or a stationery store. Another, a framing shop. The name is simple and it can lead to various interpretations. Spelled in white lowercase letters on a square, grey sign, the name is clearly visible from the street. Located on Montgomery Street a couple of blocks north of Ojai Avenue, this small California bungalow house looks renovated and appealing. Soft greys, white trims. Two large, square windows flank the entrance. A flagstone path carves its way through a sea of pea gravel, leading to the front door. So, past the two olive trees, left and right of the paved walkway, you arrive at the front door, which is wide open. You enter into a spacious room, softly lit. You feel you’re about to discover something different. Indeed, you are.

The space is deceptively, purposely simple; quiet; spare, but inviting. Natural, filtered light mixes with recessed gallery spots to create an ideal environment for viewing artwork. A sense of warmth and serenity gently embraces the visitor.

There are three works of art on display. Only three: one on the left wall; one on the right wall; one on the back wall facing the entrance — each identified by the tiniest possible numbered marker, or a small label.

In the center of the space, under six recessed skylights, is a round, soft grey ottoman sofa: the proverbial Circle in the Square concept embodied in this design. Here is a fine place to sit and slowly look at art, if one wants to. Or, just to sit.

Below: The ‘canvas and paper’ gallery on Montgomery Street. Right: Alberto Giocometti portraits pencil drawings on paper.

The color of the paint on the wall is a light, warm grey, almost white; an ideal choice for showing art. Georgia O’Keeffe’s biography mentions the keen attention she dedicated to choosing the right color for the walls of Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery in New York, and for her own studio: “a neutral grey, a tone that was best for thinking visually.” The color of the wall behind artworks is a serious matter for any art professional. In some circles, it is the subject of endless debate and subtle considerations. The muted tones of the oak wood floor mix light shades of greys with blues and earthy neutrals, adding to the serenity of this visual oasis.

In the window alcove, to the right of the entrance, a stylish young woman sits behind an elegant wooden desk with her MacBook, fresh flowers in a small vase, a guest book, and a sheet of information about the works on display. There are no prices listed as the works are not for sale. But for those curious to learn more about the artists or their work, a short bibliography is provided on the verso of the list. She (Alex Jones) welcomes you to take a sheet, if you wish. She will fully engage in conversation and offer information, if you wish. You can talk. Or not. Is this an art gallery? It could be. But there are no openings, no parties, and the art is not for sale.

PHOTOS ©2019 STEFAN ROTH

by Anca Colbert


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a serene space FOR EXPERIENCING ART


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Josef Albers (1888 - 1976) Variant: “With First Green” 1947-1955. Oil on masonite. ©2019 THE JOSEF AND ANNI ALBERS FOUNDATION / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK

Is this an art museum? Yes, it is, but one with a twist. What exactly is it then? It is a gift. A surprising, enigmatic, generous gift from an art-loving Ojai resident to this town renowned for its art-loving artists, residents and visitors. The space is open and free to visit, Thursday to Sunday afternoons. The website simply states: “canvas and paper is an exhibition space showing paintings and drawings from the 20th century and earlier in thematic and single artist exhibits.” The first exhibit opened in October 2018, and showcased landscape paintings by modernist British artist Ivon Hitchens. The website documents

this and every subsequent exhibit, facilitating online visits. It was followed by paintings from the 1950s representing three key painters of the Bauhaus and abstract movements: Josef Albers, John McLaughlin and Max Bill. As a group, their works created a palpable, vibrational effect in the space. One could feel the desire to look and to be in a quiet state of mind, inclined to contemplation and meditation. Quoting Josef Albers: “I am interested particularly in the psychic effectesthetic experience caused by the interaction of colors.” The third show offers “portraits on paper” by Alberto Giacometti. Three pencil on paper drawings of three

writers — James Lord (Giacometti’s biographer and friend), Jean Stein (author, editor and oral historian) and Jean Genet (French novelist and playwright) - focus on a lesser known aspect of the famous sculptor’s talent. Rather small in size, their presence nonetheless fills the space with a strong evocation of these significant writers and their exceptional lives. The next show unveils three still-life paintings by Jacob Van Hulsdonck (17th century Flemish), and French modern masters André Derain and Georges Braque. It runs from June 27 to September 1. Every three months a new group of three works appears, carefully selected by the man behind this project, Neil


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Kreitman. The art shown at canvas and paper comes from a collection of paintings and drawings assembled by him in recent years. Born and educated in London, Neil traveled widely and lived in several countries, including years in Greece. He spent 20 years in Los Angeles. As for Ojai, he first lived in the valley between 1988 and 1992, before coming back to settle here in 2010. A quiet man, he speaks softly and slowly, fully engaged as he listens to the visitors. Growing up, Neil was exposed to art collecting by his parents, whose interest was primarily in mid-century modernist British artists. His own earlier interests drew him to South Asian art, mostly of Buddhist inspiration. More recently he re-discovered 20th century British, American and Western European artists. What prompted him to create this space? His lifelong love of art combined with a sincere motivation. Simply stated: The idea of sharing beautiful things with other people in a beautiful place, with the hope that it will resonate with them. The pleasure of seeing the space evolve as an expression of an idea.” His wish was to create “a space which allows the viewer to feel with no expectations, but the intention is to tell a small part of the bigger story.” Like its architecture and its gardens, this art space is a book open for interpretation. It took two years for Neil to turn his vision into reality, transforming the property into its current incarnation. He credits the process and its result to four people closely involved with him in the creation of the space: “The architect on the project was Jane Carroll, the garden was designed by my partner, Sarah Munster, Kerry Miller was the contractor, and the floor was made by Mike Bennett. It was a collaborative endeavor and it involved a lot of dialogue.”

There are infinite ways to discover art and to experience it. From the emotional to the esthetic, the connection to art covers the rich range of human perception. Here, at canvas and paper, the space has been carefully designed to allow freedom for a close look at art. The environment engages the viewer in a singular, intimate relationship with the artwork and its maker. Go into the garden. Walk around slowly. It is a serene place for meditation. Time stands still around here. If you allow it. So does the mind. Let the eyes be quiet, to look and to see. In art as in music, significance is defined by what is present and/or absent, by what’s there and what’s not; we feel the difference and savor this rare experience whose meaning is shaped by its context.

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intimate setting, free of noise, demands and expectations, a calm place where we can enjoy a slower pace for contemplation, for spending five to ten minutes or more looking at one single artwork floating on an entire wall. Facilitating an authentic engagement in a tête-à-tête with art — and with oneself — is a rare occurrence. It makes for a refined art experience. Democratic, yes. Banal, no. Intimidating, it could be. Privileged, yes. Demanding, yes and no. Depends on what each person makes of it. canvas and paper holds a delicate balance, a delicious line undulating between simplicity and complexity. Step inside. Take time to look, observe and feel: you may be surprised by what develops.

In the increasingly fast-paced, noisy environment of most contemporary art galleries, fairs and even museums, visitors crowd the venues and spent on average 20 seconds with any one work. There are expectations and demands as one enters these places, the traditional and ever more popular temples for art devotees: to look; to learn; to move; to comment; to buy; to take pictures and selfies and share them, fast. The noise and the movement replace the experience itself. Not surprisingly, a contrarian trend has developed in recent years: the “slow art” movement. Slow Art Day is “a global event with a simple mission: help more people discover for themselves the joy of looking at and loving art.” An annual event held in April, there were 175 “slow art day” venues around the world in 2019, most of them in museums. The formats vary, but “what all the events share is the focus on slow looking and its transformative power.” What a surprise to find in our own town a space for experiencing art in an

Neil Kreitman with Alberto Giocometti’s “Portrait of Jean Stein”, 1962 pencil drawing. PHOTO ©2019 NORMAN CLAYTON

Anca Colbert is an art adviser, curator, writer, and long-time resident of Ojai. She gratefully acknowledges the courtesy of the photographers giving her permission to select and use their photographs to illustrate this article.


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MARY NEVILLE

PAMELA GRAU

WRONA GALL

Opening Reception: July 18, 2019 5 - 7PM Exhibition through October @AZU 457 E. Ojai Ave. Ojai, CA 93023

CHARCOAL PORTRAITS by

JULY 6 - 31 OJAI ART CENTER GALLERY

SANDY TREADWELL

In this new body of work, Eells searches for beauty and the sublime through representations of the human figure in dance.

COMMISSIONS UPON REQUEST sandytreadwell.com

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, July 6, 2019 • 5 - 7 pm Special Performance at 6 pm Ojai Art Center • 113 S. Montgomery St. Sneak peek at eells.com

Caroline charcoal on paper 29” x 16”


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

2019 ANNUAL STUDIO TOUR OCTOBER 12, 13, 14 10AM - 5PM 65 OPEN STUDIOS Come meet our artists!

“ORIGINS” AUGUST 16TH - OCTOBER 14TH OJAI VALLEY MUSEUM

www.OjaiStudioArtists.org

130 W. Ojai Ave. Ojai

MARTHA MORAN OJAI ROCKSTACKER

Sculptures, Fountains, Custom Shower Design & Installation Ojai Studio Tour or by Appointment

OjaiRockstacker.com 805 279-7605

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BURT SEVERY SCULPTOR / OJAI STUDIO ARTIST GARDEN DESIGN PLANT SALES • CONSULTATION Australian and South African Native Plants Drought Hardy • Beautiful • Tough

Growing Grounds

Casitas Springs, Ojai Valley

By Appointment 805-649-3362

www.australianplants.com jo@australianplants.com “Technology Restrictor” Steel & Stone 17”x10”x10”

Studio Visits by Appointment • Commissions Upon Request ojaistudioartists.org/burt-severy bb8b@sbcglobal.net 818-468-5875


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Artists & Galleries

SUMMER COLLECTION

Stoked

Martha Moran

Anca Colbert

Lattitudes Fine Art Gallery

Surf Board Art by Bobbi Jo 416 Bryant Circl,e Unit D, Ojai CA Instagram: Stoked- SurfBoards Stokedsurfart.com By Appointment 805-680-3587

Art Advisory Services Art adviser, curator, appraiser, writer, and accidental photographer. www.ColorOfLight.com • www.ArtsAboutTown.com By appointment anca.colbert@mac.com

August Laurel Gallery 307 East Ojai Ave. 805-646-0967 augustlaurel.com

Brittany Davis Gallery

Fall in love with art 214 E, Ojai Ave Open Monday-Sunday 11:00 am -7:00 pm. Closed on Tuesday brittany@brittanydavisgallery.com 714-369-9869

canvas and paper

An exhibition space showing paintings and drawings from the 20th century and earlier periods in thematic and single artist exhibits. canvasandpaper.org 805-798-9301

Dan Schultz Fine Art Gallery & Studio

The Ojai Rockstacker Rock stacks, fountains & more for garden or desktop. Studio visits by appointment. martha@ojairockstacker.com 805-279-7605

Transform you space with fine art photography 401 E. Main St, Ventura, CA 93001 lattitudesfineart.com 805-642-5257

OVA Arts

Your Go-To Place For Gifts 238 E. Ojai Ave. Open daily 10-6 ojaivalleyartists.com 805-646-5682

Ojai Studio Artist

2019 Annual Studio Tour Oct 12 · Oct 13 · Oct 14 Free, Self Guided Tour 10am - 5pm www.ojaistudioartists.org

Pamela Grau pamelgrau.com 949 903-9743

Plein- air landscapes, figures and portraits in oil by nationally acclaimed artist Dan Schultz. 106 N. Signal St., Ojai, CA DanSchultzFineArt.com 805-317-9634

323 E. Matilija Street in beautiful Ojai, California. We are behind the historic downtown Arcade. Stop in for local art and art events.

Duane Eells

Sandy Treadwell

Eells searches for beauty and the sublime through representations of the human figure in dance. DANCE on display at Ojai Art Center, July 6-31. eells.com

Poppies Art & Gifts

Charcoal Portraits. Commissions Upon Request sandytreadwell.com sandy@sandytreadwell.com “Millie”. Charcoal on paper. 20” x 20”

Firestick Pottery

Studio Channel Islands

Human Arts Gallery

WU2 Creations

Creative workspace or clay artists & students Open 10-6 daily. Closed Tuesday 1804 E. Ojai Ave firestickpottery.com 805-272-8760

Folk art, jewelry, glass, art wearables, furniture, sculpture and more. 246 East Ojai Avenue humanartsgallery.com 805-646-1525

Karen K. Lewis

Painter & printmaker; etchings, monoprints, figure drawings, plein air landscapes, still lifes and large-scale oil paintings. ojaistudioartists.org 805-646-8877

Dedicated to advancing the creative life of Old Town Camarillo and the communities within Ventura County. 2222 E Ventura Blvd. Camarillo CA 805-383-1368 studiochannelislands.org

Acrylics and watercolors by William & Karen Wu 852 Oak Grove Ct. (by appointment) WU2Creations.com 805-649-5312

List your work in the Ojai Valley Guide Artists and Galleries directory. team@ojaivalleynews.com 805-646-1476


“It’s not what you’re going through, it’s how you get through it. It’s not the fact that you get bad information, but how you are going to deal with it. How are you going to respond? No matter how impossible something seems, do the right things, stay positive, don’t put yourself down, keep your nose down and see what happens.” These are the words of former track and field Olympic gold and bronze medalist Danny Everett, and wisdom he is able to impart to his athletes as a coach of both the Ojai Roadrunners and Nordhoff Rangers track sprinters. Everett was far from a guaranteed Olympian, as he did not even begin running track until his sophomore year of high school. He was discouraged from running around because he had severe asthma as a child. When he got to high school, though, the severity of

path. But in the back of my head, I kept thinking, ‘Well I’ve run track for the last two years and my coach has kind of told me that I have talent, and I wonder if that’s good enough talent to go to college and get a scholarship?’” However, Everett never pushed himself in his high school meets, just running fast enough to win. When he asked to go to larger invitational meets, his coach bluntly responded, “You don’t run fast enough.” Everett said, “That was a light-bulb moment for me once I had woken up to see that there was a whole other world out there besides the dual meets and competing against just our rival schools .… It became clear to me that I needed to strive to be better than what I was being.” His senior year, Everett squeaked his way

curve, I was in the lead. The announcer … you could hear the shock in his voice, like ‘Everett comes out of nowhere!’ I was like, ‘No, I was here. I’ve been here!’” As he crossed the finish line, Everett was blown away to find out he had set a meet record at the time of a 46.76 or 46.71. One of Everett’s trademarks was never to show the competition he was tired. He wanted to give the illusion he could run the race again, even though he was exhausted. So when he picked up his sweats and walked off the track, his coach was gushing about the accomplishment. The next morning, the tidal wave of college offers hit. Everett had visited UCLA in the past, but they were not really interested in him. But after that record-breaking time, every track team in the country was calling the Everett house, to the point where his mother

Danny Everett’s great run by Austin Widger

the attacks lessened and “I thought track would be my contribution to high school culture,” Everett said.

into the biggest invitational in California, the Arcadia Invitational. He ran the 400-meter and improved his time from 52 to 49 seconds. Still, this was a middle-of-the pack time against the stiff competition at this meet. Everett said, “My philosophy of run just enough to win was still there, but at this point, I was running against much steeper competition. I had to run, and in that race, I heard the announcer announce the race, and he was focusing on other people in the middle of the track and, in my head, I knew I was leading … the 400 is just one complete lap around the track, so as we came out of that second

was forced to start screening the calls. In this courtship, UCLA ultimately set itself apart from the pack. Whereas other schools talked about him being the missing piece to their championship puzzle, UCLA was committed to making sure he earned a degree.

The toughest folk singer in town Despite his original plan to run only his sophomore year, Everett’s coach persuaded him to run his junior and senior years as well. He also found out he could get out of his accidental Army enlistment if he earned a college scholarship in the sport. The only position he was offered in the Army was frontline combat at first. “In sitting there, the love of my cooking came up. So I signed up to be a cook in the Army. That was going to be my

Even though UCLA was the only school not offering a full scholarship, Everett ultimately chose the academics promises made by the university. “I didn’t come from a wealthy family, and knowing that not taking the full scholarship meant that I would have to make up the difference somewhere else, was a huge hardship and


I had to get grants, and loans, and things like that,” Everett said. “But I invested in myself, and I made sure I chose the right place, and didn’t choose what seemed like easy money at that time.” In 1988, Everett was a junior at UCLA when his coach told the team they were going to the 1988 Olympic Trials. The coach wanted the team to get the experience, and Everett and teammate Steve Lewis were both excited at the opportunity. Everett said, “We went, and we made it through the first round, and we were ecstatic. Each round we

Above: Coaching Ojai Roadrunners track team Right: With teammate Steve Lewis

kept making it, we kept qualifying … we were winning our heats. Even then, we thought the bubble would eventually burst. When we got to the semi-finals, we were thinking that’s when the shoe was going to drop.” Everett and Lewis made it to the finals. “At that point, there was no reason why we wouldn’t make it”, Everett said. “All you had to do was get in the top six of the eight finalists to guarantee a spot on the team”. The trials were in Indianapolis, and two rain delays hit. This proved to be a blessing in disguise for Everett as he finished second. He said, “One of the best times to run for any runner is after a thunderstorm. The air has this electricity, and it’s actually scientifically proven you run better right after or right before a thunderstorm. It’s the


PHOTO COURTESY UCLA SPORTS INFORMATION


In the semifinals of the 400-meter at the 1992 Olympic Games, Everett’s Achilles issues came back in a big way. He could feel the tiniest of fibers in his tendon popping as he ran the semi-final race, and eventually realized that even if he qualified for the finals, he would not physically be able to compete in them. He walked the last 100 meters, but miraculously still finished the race in about a minute. “I ended up watching the 400 meters and the 4-by-400 from home on my TV,” Everett said. “It was so surreal to one day I’m there, I’m in it, I’m at the stadium. The next moment I’m literally sitting in my bed watching it on TV.” electricity that’s in the air that kind of energizes your body. The air felt lighter, and it was a really surreal race where we just went out and ran our hearts out.” Lewis finished third and the duo’s Olympic journey began. The U.S. Trials were the real challenge as, once the team got to the Olympics, it swept the 400-meter podium. Everett earned bronze on the 400 meter, and received gold for his part in the 4-by-400-meter relay. “The Olympic Trials were way more Olympic than the Olympic Games for us because the competition in the 400 at that time was really from the Americans, and we showed it by going and sweeping the medals there,” Everett said. Everett and Lewis went into the 1992 Olympics expecting to achieve great things. At this point, the two had graduated from UCLA and were dominating at international meets. There was a larger hurdle for Everett to clear this time, though — a flaring Achilles tendon. Both Achilles flared up 12 weeks before the 1992 Trials, to the point where Everett had to take a break until there were just six weeks remaining. Everett said: “I was able to run one meet before the Olympic Trials. It was actually in Indianapolis. Ironically enough, it was in Indianapolis. Same track, everything. So I had great memories and a great feel for that track.”

Everett underwent multiple procedures on both Achilles, but never competed in the Olympics again. He had a hamstring pull inches away from the finish line at the final workout before the 1996 Olympic Trials that effectively ended his track career. “I could’ve gone and been middle-of-the-pack, but that was never my philosophy,” Everett said. “So I did decide that was enough.” Having gone through this roller coaster of emotions between the Olympics has really given Everett a unique perspective as he coaches the Ojai Roadrunners and Nordhoff Rangers. “I’m helping grow runners and helping the kids at school,” Everett said. “My lessons along the way, are I think what makes me effective as a coach, and what I love about the relationship between a coach and an athlete, particularly now in these days.” A large part of this philosophy is being able to tell the kids the truth, even when it can be tough to hear. But at the same time, being gentler with the kids who do not have the personality to respond to, “That was terrible” or “Is there a problem here?” Everett said, “I give the feedback of how they can do it better, so when I tell them ‘that was good,’ it really means something. They know it’s the truth, and it makes them want to strive to be the best that they can. Because they know that I’m not going to compliment them on anything that’s not compliment-

worthy. I’m not going to berate you, I’m not going to belittle you or beat you down, but if it wasn’t good? ‘Better luck next time, because that wasn’t it.’” Along with the occasional tough love, Everett shows through his actions he genuinely cares about the well-being of the athletes he coaches. He said: “I think I’m very authentic in … my questions that I ask my athletes, my interactions that I have with them. I’m very present, involved. So when they are in their autopilot, and they give me just an easy answer like, ‘It was fine. It was fine.’ Even if the tone wasn’t right, I’ll stop. ‘Okay, what would’ve made it better? Is everything okay? Is anyone bothering you? Did something happen?’ I ask those questions, and I know sometimes they think I’m just playing or kidding, but they know that I’m going to stop and ask them those questions if I hear anything.” Everett harkens back to his two very different hurdles he cleared as an athlete. “One was great, one was not so great in the overall scheme of what I went there for. But in the overall scheme of life, and life lessons, it was tremendous. I think because I’ve had those two perspectives, and I don’t sit here, and I don’t think anyone really can, tell a story of their life and the things that they do and it’s all wine and roses and all that.”


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

BICYCLE SALES & SERVICE RENTALS & TOURS DOWNTOWN AT 110 WEST OJAI AVE OJAI, CA 93023

(805) 272-8102 RIDE@THEMOBSHOP.COM WWW.THEMOBSHOP.COM

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Montessori School of Ojai Educating the individual Building Community Caring for the world Visit our beautiful 10-acre campus. Call for an observation. 806 W. Baldwin Road, Ojai CA 93023 (805) 649-2525 Montessorischoolofojai.org INFANT - 8TH GRADE

License # 566212532 & 561702317

explore an approach to life that is whole, sane and intelligent ”

Far enough away to find yourself in the safe quiet of the rural Ojai Valley, close enough to come home on the weekend. Oak Grove School offers an affordable, college-prep high school with flexible boarding. Re-imagine college prep, imagine high school in Ojai.

J. Krishnamurti, founder Oak Grove School

college-prep re-imagined OAK GROVE’S 150-ACRE CAMPUS

OA KGR O VESCHO O L.OR G / BOA R DING


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Ojai Meadows Preserve An easy one-mile trail loops through this peaceful 58-acre preserve, just minutes from downtown Ojai and administered by Ojai Valley Land Conservancy. The highlight is the wetlands pond, where you’re likely to see some of the 180 species of birds observed here, including ducks, hawks and herons. It’s level walking the whole way, with benches near the pond for bird-watching and

Rose Valley Falls

an old eucalyptus grove planted in the 1940’s that’s shady and fun to explore. The main entrance to the preserve is on Maricopa Highway near Nordhoff High School.

An easy, half-mile hike in partial shade to the base of a 300-foot, twotiered waterfall, this hot-weather hike is perfect for families, even when there’s not a lot of water.

Dogs must be leashed at all times. Mutt Mitt bags are available at the trailhead. The Ojai Valley Preserve is closed to horses.

There are a few shallow wading pools along the slightly uphill trail, which starts on the south side of Rose Valley Campground and crosses the creek a couple of times. The falls can be just a trickle, and still the rocky cathedral

The preserve is open all year except the Fourth of July, when it’s closed all day for fire safety.

at its base, beneath a canopy of bays and alders, seems like the coolest spot on the mountain — an obvious picnic spot. Take Highway 33 north from Ojai for about 14 miles to the Rose Valley Road turnoff. Three miles up, on the right, is the road to the campground. You’ll need to pay the $10 day use fee if you park in the campground. Otherwise, park outside the gate and walk in.

Beat the Heat Perry Van Houten explores some cool summer hikes in and around the Ojai Valley


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Wheeler Gorge Nature Trail A nice hike when the mercury soars, this loop trail is less than one-mile-long and starts and ends creekside, beneath the plentiful shade of alders. The trailhead can be found at the upper end of Wheeler Gorge Campground, about 15 minutes north of Ojai on Highway 33. Noncampers can park at a turnout just before the bridge over North Fork Matilija Creek, but don’t block the locked gate. The trail takes you under the bridge and climbs slightly past stands of poison oak. There’s one easy creek

crossing at the start and a number of little pools and waterfalls. Soon you leave the creek and enter a brushy area in the full sun before the trail loops around and rejoins the creek. Signposts along the trail identify a wide range of native plants and shrubs including laurel sumac, toyon and chamise. Learn more about the forest at the nearby Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, which offers drinks, snacks, maps, books and other literature, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m

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Reyes Peak Trail At roughly 7,000 feet elevation, this six-milelong trail along the jagged spine of the Pine Mountain range might remind you of the Sierras. Majestic Jeffrey and sugar pine, white fir and incense cedar tower above and offer plentiful shade, while outstanding views of the Sespe watershed and the Cuyama Valley unfold far below you. For the more adventurous, an obscure path to the south of the main trail climbs to Reyes Peak, at 7,514 feet the third-highest mountain peak in Ventura

County and the former site of a fire lookout tower destroyed in the 1932 Matilija Fire. Following the main trail, hike four miles to Haddock Peak. The trail then drops steeply to Haddock Camp and the junction with the Gene Marshall-Piedra Blanca National Recreation Trail. Water is usually available at the camp. From Ojai, drive 31 miles north on Highway 33 to the turnoff for Reyes Peak Road (aka Pine Mountain Road). Drive another 7 miles to the trailhead. There are restrooms at the trailhead but no water is available.

The Ojai Valley can be hot in summer and early fall, but good hiking options exist if you pick the right trail and plan ahead. All four trails described here are easy walking and have plenty of shade. A few offer shallow pools for splashing. Start early in the day and bring plenty to drink.


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Splash i n t o Summer !

Movie Nights • Splash-In Lifeguard Program • Jr. • Water Aerobics & Water Dance

www.lakecasitas.info 11311 Santa Ana Rd., Ventura 805-649-1122

Tent sites RV Sites

reservations.casitaswater.org 11311 Santa Ana Rd., Ventura 805-649-1122

More Than a Campgr ound Talks • Campfire Ranger Program • Jr. Nights • Astronomy Fishing • Night • Playground / boating • Kayaking • Waterpark


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NATE MINKEL 805.794.9588 livsothebysrealtyca.com #livthelifeyoulove

A

Ventura County native and consistent top producer, Nate Minkel brings unmatched local expertise and the power of the world’s leading luxury real estate brand to take people where they want to go. For over 15 years, he has successfully bought and sold in Ventura County, helping clients navigate the complex California real estate market with ease. “I go to bat for my clients every day,” says Nate. “My aggressive marketing strategy, drive, and hustle, means I work hard to get my clients the results they deserve.” This includes selling homes for top dollar in the least amount of time, and seeking out off-market deals for his buyers, while negotiating the best possible price on their behalf. Born and raised in Ojai, Nate purchased his first home at the age of 19, and has been involved in real estate ever since. His local knowledge extends from Ojai to

Ventura, Oak View, Oxnard, Camarillo and beyond. From custom tailored marketing plans and concierge style service, to experience representation of luxury estates, ranches, and beach homes, Nate is well-versed in Ventura County’s offerings. Coupled by his proven background in business and marketing, Nate is adept in the latest trends and technologies to get your home sold. Prior to real estate he designed and developed health and fitness chains across the western United States, giving him a deep understanding of strategic marketing, social media, and interior design. He has earned a reputation as a trusted local investor with a keen eye, purchasing fixeruppers and transforming them into turnkey homes for his buyers. Nate’s philosophy is simple – always put the client first. A client commitment that results in countless repeat and referral clients who appreciate Nate’s high standards and relentless pursuit of perfection. As a Certified Luxury Home Specialist (CLHMS) and Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), his focus is not only to meet expectations, but exceed them. He brings that same dedication to his personal life as the proud father of a beautiful daughter Malia and his three dogs Stella Rose, Twinkie, and Sassy. When he’s not eyeing the market for a deal or facilitating

a seamless sale, Nate can be found on the beach, camping, traveling, or spending time with family and friends outdoors. If you’re on the hunt for an agent who will make your real estate goals their own, and bring energy and enthusiasm to every detail of your transaction, give Nate a call. He is ready and eager to bring the right buyer or perfect Ventura County home to you. Total closed sales volume over $300 million as a single agent Certified Luxury Home Specialist (CLHMS) Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) Skilled Investor, Design and Development Consultant Ventura County Native

554 E Main Street Ventura, California 93001 727 W. Ojai Avenue Ojai, California 93023 nminkel@livsothebysrealtyca.com DRE 01483520


SANTA PAULA Ventura Hillside - extarodinary & artistic Tuscan Villa, panoramic views of the mountains, city, ocean & islands from terraced outdoor decks, behind private gate. 1240 Rancho Vista Lane $3,290,000 Nate Minkel 805.794.9588 Larry Krogh 805.312.0512

VENTURA Quintessential Spanish style home in coveted Hobson Heights! 139 Live Oak $945,000 Nate Minkel 805.794.958 Larry Krogh 805.312.0512

VENTURA • RINCON Upgraded Mussle Shoals Beach two story luxury duplex with third floor roof top deck featuring breathtaking panoramic ocean, island, mountain and Pacific Coast Highway views. Bottom unit offers two beds, one bath, open concept kitchen and large double sliders to the patio terrace and backyard. Top unit has three beds, separate private patio deck and large master suite.

SANTA PAULA Inviting 4 bed, 2 bath home in a desirable neighborhood with pool, spacious patio for entertaining & two-car garage. Priced to sell as-is.

SANTA PAULA Remodeled 4 bed, 2 bath home with light colors and vaulted ceilings.

723 Southwick Street $499,000 Nate Minkel 805.794.9588

158 Salas Street N $469,000 Larry Krogh 805.312.0512

6670-6672 W. Pacific Coast Highway $1,995,000 Nate Minkel 805.794.958

VENTURA Mariposa ocean and island view home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, completely renovated with new Viking stainless steel appliances and wood floors throughout for a custom feel, plus multiple accordion door access to the decks from the dining room, master and living room, with views of the ocean, city, mountains, and islands.

VENTURA Award winning, custom-built home combining Green building components and spectacular views. This 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home is stunning and efficient with an open floor plan upstairs incorporating the kitchen, dining and living spaces with a large additional media/family room, plus with its floor to ceiling glass walls, it’s an entertainer’s dream!

NORTHRIDGE Inviting 3 bed condo in a located in a gated community with pool. 17241 Roscoe Blvd, Unit 5 $479,000 Larry Krogh 805.312.0512

375 Mariposa Dr. $1,299,000 Larry Krogh 805.312.0512

465 Mint Ln. $1,995,000 Larry Krogh 805.312.0512


THE HISTORIC CASA LOMA This historical home was built in 1924 by Earle Ovington, first unofficial air mail pilot in the United States and founder of the Casa Loma Air Field in Santa Barbara, and entertained such prominent guests as Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, Amelia Earhart and Hap Arnold. The Casa Loma neighborhood, or Hill House Tract, got its name from this private dwelling which was the first to go up on the Samarkand Hills, locally known as “The Land of Heart’s Desire”. This unique property features a three-level Spanish-style residence with a legal guest apartment and beautiful mountain and St. Anthony Seminary views! In the main house, you will find a spacious living room with soaring ceilings and a fireplace, a formal dining room, breakfast nook, kitchen, laundry, 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The guest apartment has its own living room, dining room, bar, kitchen, breakfast nook, plus two additional bedrooms and a bath. This estate is situated on approximately 0.61 acres with a backyard abundant with space featuring a half basketball/shuffle board court and room for a pool, tennis court or more, plus two patios to enjoy the views and outdoor living. This gorgeous piece of history is ready for a new keeper to usher it into the present! social media, and interior design. He has earned a reputation as a trusted local investor with a keen eye, purchasing fixer-uppers and transforming them into turnkey homes for his buyers. Nate’s philosophy is simple – always put the client first. A client commitment that results in countless repeat and referral clients who appreciate Nate’s high standards and relentless pursuit of perfection. As a Certified Luxury Home Specialist (CLHMS) and Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), his focus is not only to meet expectations, but exceed them. He brings that same dedication to his personal life as the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Stella Rose, and his three dogs, Twinkie, and Sassy. When he’s not eyeing the market for a deal or facilitating a seamless sale, Nate can be found on the beach, camping, traveling, or spending time with family and friends outdoors. 3030 Samarkand Drive $2,099,000 Nate Minkel 805.794.9588 Cal DRE 01483520 Larry Krogh 805.312.0512 Cal DRE 01305510

NATE MINKEL 805.794.9588

554 E Main Street Ventura, California 93001

727 W. Ojai Avenue Ojai, California 93023 nminkel@livsothebysrealtyca.com DRE 01483520

livsothebysrealtyca.com #livthelifeyoulove


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ASPEN GROVE RANCH The newly-built, finely- crafted main residence honors this unique estate with a large great room with two -stor y windows and a grand fireplace. A fabulous chef ’s k itchen with the highest quality appliances exemplifies how the entire home is finished with the finest materials and built with exquisite attention to detail. Ever y room is strategically designed to take advantage of the epic views and a wrap -around covered porch offers a variety of locations from which to sur vey the gorgeous surroundings. This is a truly unique proper ty in both scope and design, providing exquisite facilities, stunning beauty and spacious luxur y in a bucolic setting only a few minutes from downtown Ojai. AspenGroveRanchOjai.com

Price available on request

PAT T Y WALTCHER

(805) 340-3774

pattywaltcher.com


ASPEN GROVE RANCH

P r e s e n t e d b y Pa t t y Wa l t c h e r The incomparable Aspen Grove R anch is a luxur y ranch estate that incorporates the best that the Ojai Valley has to offer. On 177 prime acres of rolling hills and fenced meadows, flanked by the iconic Topa Topa Bluffs, it feels like a world unto itself. Panoramic views throughout the proper ty

reveal lush, oak-studded valleys and soaring mountains. Accessed through a private gate, the ranch is comprised of four legal lots and includes a host of additional buildings including two large guest houses with their own grounds and unique views.


The grounds of the main house include a spacious yard, a beautiful pool with a jacuzzi, and an outdoor BBQ and enter tainment area where the fabulous environment can be experienced in comfor t. The ranch facilities include two large barns, pristine stables, a large arena, a round pen, and a hot-walker for exercising horses. Bridle paths meander past the turnout pastures, over the hills, and along the creek that runs through the proper ty. From an equestrian point of view, it is a per fec t environment for boarding, training, exercising and showing horses.


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GRASS ROOTS Ojai’s original environmental vigilantes

Story by Perry Van Houten

In the mid-1970s, a grass-roots movement started by a bunch of “long-haired freaks” sprouted in the Ojai Valley.

T

he group didn’t have a name, but they called their favorite hangout spot “The Barn,” off Foothill Road. “We were all hippies,” said Randy F. Williams. “The picture tells it all.” The photo, taken in 1978 by Bob McGowan, shows what appears to be members of the Grateful Dead, the Eagles, Pink Floyd and Jefferson Starship, all gathered around a massive oak tree. The men and women, most in their 20s, didn’t come together for a jam session, though. They were here to save the valley’s trees, especially its iconic, native oaks, from the chainsaws. “A bunch of us got together, because they were butchering the oak trees,” said Williams, a 63-year-old native of Meiners Oaks. “They weren’t being properly taken care of. They were just hacking them up,” he said of the so-called tree services of the day. “Our old saying was, ‘if you got a pickup truck and a chainsaw, that makes you a tree service,’” said Joe Stevens, who hired the


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Down at “The Barn” in 1978. Top row, Left to right Anne Weblemoe Cliff Broman Tony Berger Joe Stevens Steve English Debbie Hathaway Richard Anthony Bob Broman Bottom row Alan Charlesworth Steve Stovall Dan Hathaway Daryl Trout Luke Sullivan Mike Moses Randy F. Williams Richard Glasgow Ernie Apperisio Melody Mathews Kear Koch Pattie Bell Pam Wood Van Marshell Gilbert Gonzalez PHOTO BY BOB MCGOWAN


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then 19-year-old Williams to “drag brush” (load cut branches into the truck) for his small tree company. Stevens, 69, never planned to be an arborist. Just out of the U.S. Air Force, he found he wasn’t getting many dates, so he asked a female friend for advice. “She said, ‘you’re a really nice guy, but you’re kind of skinny, with no tan. You don’t have much in the way of muscles. You just don’t have a lot of sex appeal.’” He took his friend’s observations to heart and told a college counselor he wanted to work outdoors for a change. The counselor recommended an arboriculture class at Ventura College, where he also learned to climb trees. Stevens’ small company grew into Ojai Tree Works, Inc., and he paid Williams $2.50 an hour, much less than the climbers got. “I had no desire to climb. I just thought it was dangerous. I was happy being on the ground,” Williams said. In his early 20s, after deciding against a law career, Williams learned to climb, a skill that allowed tree trimmers to start their own companies. “A lot of these guys had their own tree businesses,” he said. “But when they’d get a job we would all get together and do it, and we’d have a good time doing it.” Williams said “hat-racking” was a popular but harmful practice when trimming trees. “Back in those days, they were topping the trees. It kills the tree but it takes a long time. They didn’t have the climbing skills to go all the way out on a limb.” The crews doing the work didn’t have any education on trees, Williams said. “They just wanted the wood. We were all interested in preserving the trees and doing it right. We learned the botany.” The botany is simple to understand. “It’s not rocket science,” Williams said. “It’s the transfer of food from light and from soil. Through the roots, you have osmosis, which transfers the water and the nutrients up to the cambium, the xylem and the phloem. Photosynthesis — oxygen and sunlight — makes food that feeds the roots, and the roots feed the leaves.”


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Along with hat-racking, taking too much off a tree is one of the most harmful tree trimming practices and can cause sunburn to live oaks. Proper trimming can balance and stabilize trees. While selective weight reduction helps maintain the tree’s shape and structural integrity, crown reduction — similar to lowering a sailboat’s sail in high winds — makes the tree less susceptible to breaking or falling over when it’s really windy. Pavement around a tree, or planting too close to buildings, can cut off the oxygen in the soil, Williams said. A typical day of tree work started at daybreak. “Call everybody up, wake them

Left. Tree trimmer Joe Stevens was featured in the October 14, 1979 edition of the Ojai Valley News. Working on a massive oak tree, Stevens wears a hardhat, which few tree trimmers of the day used. PHOTO BY RON SEBA

Above. Tree trimmers demonstrate their climbing skills at Sarzotti Park in the late 1970s. PHOTO COURTESY JOE STEVENS COLLECTION

up in the morning and let’s all go do it,” Williams said. “Whoever got the job got the bigger cut and everybody else got paid wages.” They’d meet at the Topa Topa Restaurant in downtown Ojai at 6 a.m. and whoever had work that day would take the people who didn’t, and off they’d go, wives and girlfriends included. “The girls worked, too,” he added. “They dragged brush. They ran rope. They’d gas your saw up when you were up 150 feet in a tree.” Soon, Joe Stevens’ Ojai Tree Works started to take off. He had a business sense about him that people appreciated, and as many as 10 freaks working for him at any one time. “A customer would say,


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‘you came here with paperwork and a professional attitude, even though you look like a hippy.’ I had a knack for making a tree look good,” Stevens said. Between the two of them, Williams and Stevens worked on historic Ojai trees such as the sycamore at Libbey Bowl. They trimmed trees for TV and film star Denny Miller, who lived on Foothill Road and played Tarzan in a 1959 film version, and worked on trees at musician Jim Messina’s Mother Lode Ranch on Creek Road. In 1979, the men trimmed renowned teacher and philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti’s beloved pepper tree. “What impressed me most was how frail, meek and mild a person he was. Shaking his hand was like shaking the wind. He emanated an aura that was almost palpable,” said Stevens. “While we’re feeding the brush to the chipper, he’s just cringing,” Williams recalled. Tree work supported both men, but Williams’ parents were scared to death by his choice of occupations. “Climbers are crazy,” he said. “My mom couldn’t stand to watch me climb a tree.” It was a dangerous job. “I’ve broken seven ribs, tore both rotator cuffs, got a couple chainsaw scars,” said Williams. He had Left. Joe Stevens, owner of Ojai Tree Works, scales a pine tree during a tree removal job. PHOTO COURTESY JOE STEVENS COLLECTION

Below. A tree removal job has tree trimmer Randy F. Williams perched near the top of this mighty eucalyptus. PHOTO COURTESY RANDY F. WILLIAMS COLLECTION


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friends who fell out of trees and died, for making just one mistake. A few were electrocuted by power lines. “We would go out on emergency jobs and be in a tree that’s falling on a building, in a rainstorm, and start slowly piecing it down so it won’t fall,” he recalled. “I would do a job five times in my sleep at night and I’d wake up tired.” Tree trimming gear has changed over the years. “When we first started out, it was pretty simplistic,” said Williams, adding hard hats were a rarity (though Stevens wore one). A tree climbing harness, “where it goes over your shoulders and around your waist,” improved safety and comfort significantly, he said. “Before, you would just run the buckle through your pant loop.” Climbing rope has improved greatly over the years, according to Williams. “At first, we climbed with hemp rope. But if it got gas on it, it would get rotten and break.” Along came Safety Blue, tested at 7,500 pounds. “You can hang a truck off a cliff with it,” he said. To climb a tree without straining his back, Williams used spurs on his boots. Spurs were heavily restricted later on, he said. He and his cronies invented a device not unlike a potato gun to shoot ropes into the trees. What’s the current state of the Ojai Valley’s oak trees? “They’re in distress because of the drought,” Williams said. “They have a taproot, so they get their water from deep.” Deep means 18 inches, for most trees. “People think because they water their lawn the tree is getting water, but you have to deep-water,” he said. Originally, there were so many oak

Above. Several denizens of “The Barn,” a hangout for tree trimmers in the late 1970s, off Foothill Road in Ojai. PHOTO BY BOB MCGOWAN Below. In 2019, Joe Stevens (left) and Randy F. Williams examine a huge oak tree in Meiners Oaks. PHOTO BY PERRY VAN HOUTEN

trees in the Ojai Valley it was known as “White Oak Flats.” Though exact numbers are impossible to know, it’s certain that hundreds of those oaks survived because of the skill and knowledge of a few caring freaks. “We saved a lot of trees,” Williams said, “and we were part of the change that was happening in the valley. We increased awareness about practices that are detrimental to trees.” In 1981, the city of Ojai passed a tree ordinance that protects heritage and mature trees, including certain oaks and sycamores, from pruning, removal and relocation. In some cases, residents must obtain a permit just to prune protected trees. Not many denizens of “The Barn” stayed in the business for very long. Stevens retired from tree work more than 20 years ago, while Williams is semi-retired and runs a small tree company in Ojai.

Williams believes a small town, grass roots effort like the one he helped launch couldn’t happen nowadays. “Now, it’s all competition,” he said. “We all had our pride and we all had our egos, but we weren’t in competition with each other.” A lot of them were struggling musicians or artists. A few were Vietnam vets. “We all got along. We were all smart asses, sarcastic.” “Nobody got rich and famous,” Stevens added. “But everybody followed their dreams.”


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hile the time frame is short and the global call daunting, several local nonprofits, businesses and grassroots groups are taking the necessary and bold first steps to prepare Ojai for 2030. “Our way of life and our economy are directly linked to our ability to ride out climate change. If we are not able to shift and develop more robustness to climate change, this will impact every aspect of our lives here in Ojai,” said Andrea Neal, Ph.D., co-founder of the Ojai Island Foundation, an organization dedicated to making Ojai sustainable by 2030. OJAI IN A NEW ERA How exactly climate change will affect Ojai remains unclear and understudied, but available research paints a grim picture. The Ojai Valley will experience more extreme droughts and floods. By 2050, Ojai is expected to have an additional 16 to 17 days of 100-plusdegrees Fahrenheit temperatures a year, giving the town close to three times as many extremely hot days in the future as compared to the mid2010s, according to an analysis of temperature projections for Ojai by researchers at Climate Central. The Watershed Coalition of Ventura County’s 2014 Integrated Regional Water Management Plan warned that “climate change compromises our ability to effectively manage water supplies, floods and other natural resources. Planning for and adapting to these changes, particularly their impacts on public safety, ecosystems, and long-term water supply reliability, will be among the most significant challenges of this century.” Regional plant composition will also morph, with invasive plants further outcompeting natives and shrublands continuing to convert to grasslands. These ecological shifts, in combination with more frequent droughts and warmer temperatures, could equal more frequent and larger blazes in

Southern California, as well as elevated fire risk in historically low fire seasons, such as April and May. In fact, CAL FIRE projects a 300 percent increase in the risk of enhanced frequency of fire outside of urban centers by 2050 due to climate change. California has already experienced this reality. Fifteen of the top 20 largest wildfires in California history have occurred in the 21st century, according to Dr. Daniel McEvoy and other researchers in a March 2019 study. Many of these blazes, including the Thomas Fire, were caused by electrical infrastructure being compromised by stormy conditions which were fueled by extreme temperatures, dry vegetation, and high winds. ENERGY LEADS THE CHARGE Our existing infrastructure is not designed to withstand these types of extreme climatic conditions, much less the wildfires they cause. explained Catherine Von Burg, CEO and President of SimpliPhi Power. After months of investigation, the Ventura County Fire Department determined in a March 2019 report that the Thomas Fire started by power lines coming into contact during high winds and creating an electrical discharge that ignited fuel below the lines. As a preventive and public-safety measure, Southern California Edison said that it may turn off power in high-fire risk areas during dangerous weather conditions, but this move also raised concern around how critical facilities and services like fire departments and hospitals will operate during those episodes. “You could argue that (Edison’s measure) is a public-safety issue. However, homes and businesses, as well as emergency fire crews, won’t have power,” said Von Burg. “The point is, we need distributed energy storage along the entire distribution grid that is customer-sited so that people and communities are resilient and secure

when the utility turns the light off. Being dependent on one power source creates risk for the utility and its customers. Energy storage eliminates this risk.” Kristopher Wallin, development director for California Solar Electric, and Von Burg envision the 805 region becoming more independent from the grid. That could look like households in the area generating and storing their own power via rooftop solar and storage and like relying on multiple community microgrids to provide resiliency during emergencies. Microgrids consist of solar panels and a battery that stores the power generated onsite, enabling a critical facility such as a government agency, hospital or fire station to remain connected to the grid while also retaining a power system that can function as a primary energy source or a backup supply during an outage or emergency. The introduction of local microgrids, in addition to rooftop solar and storage, could make our energy infrastructure systems more resilient and safer, especially with California’s fire season now year-round. Plus, an investment in clean energy has the added benefits of supporting local businesses over utility monopolies and reducing the local carbon footprint. In fact, Wallin said that 23 percent of households in the City of Ojai already run off solar. The proliferation of clean, local energy makes Ojai a statewide leader in meeting the 2018 state bill (Senate Bill 100), and state Executive Order B-5518, which requires that California must rely entirely on zero-emission sources for its electricity and become carbon neutral by 2045. IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD “While it’s great that our state has these ambitious climate goals, they are useless unless there is community action behind them,” said Kathy Nolan,


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Creating climate resilience: OJAI IN A DECADE

2030 should be on every person’s radar. That is the deadline the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has given the world to make “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to keep preindustrial temperatures globally from rising by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit and to stave off irreversible environmental damage.

by Michelaina Johnson


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who has served on the Ojai Planning Commission for nine years. “The change begins with people looking around their immediate environment and asking, ‘How can I make a difference in this space?’” Clean energy and high-tech solutions such as microgrids are irreplaceable pieces for solving the climate puzzle, but the most tangible option might be right under our feet. The key is to stop treating soil like dirt. For 30 years, Nolan has been in the business of doing just that. As a local landscape architect, Nolan has encouraged her clients to see dirt, when nourished into soil, as the building block of a healthy property and thus a resilient community. One tablespoon of soil can contain more microbes than about half of all the people in the world. Those microbes are busy supporting life and saving the planet in the process. Soil can filter pollutants out of water, store carbon from the atmosphere and retain the water required to grow plants. In fact, soil can absorb up to 20 times its weight in water. “Healthy soil begins with a robust and diverse population of microbes,” said Loren Luyendyk, certified teacher of permaculture and owner of Santa Barbara Organics. “Bacteria and fungi help cycle both organic and inorganic nutrients and make them available to plants. In turn plants feed the microbes sugars — it’s a symbiotic relationship. Frankly speaking, without these critters, there would be no food, or plants for that matter.”

property, but what if you want to do more?” Nolan asked herself in May of last year. Nolan took her lifetime’s worth of knowledge on how diverse organisms live and work together to create a vibrant ecosystem, and, along with her colleague and strategic adviser Janet Sager Knott and other local leaders, applied it to the creation of a new grassroots group called Project TrimTab in 2018. Its goal is to bring together the diverse community of the Ventura River Watershed and collectively figure out how to tackle the complex problems of climate change using everyone’s unique skills and understanding. I got to see this concept in action at the group’s second meeting in late March. Unlike other organizing meetings I’ve observed, this one gave all attendees the opportunity to voice their vision for the steps the Ventura River watershed can take to move toward community resiliency by the year 2030. The attendees offered ideas that, individually and collectively, painted a hopeful picture for our watershed: a future that could include pollinator-friendly farms that supply the majority of produce to local markets, a community that intimately knows the watershed’s heritage, sufficient enough and properly managed water resources that meet the entire community’s demand, fewer cars and more public transportation, sustainability certificates for local businesses; and a mandate that all elected officials are held accountable for meeting local environmental goals, to name a few.

Producing healthy food resources starts with healthy soils. This can easily be done at home by composting and adding organic soil to a garden. These types of home-scale practices mimic a natural ecosystem where every byproduct serves a function and there is no waste.

Thus far, Project TrimTab is still in the development phase, honing its vision and the focus of its projects based on community input, but it’s evident that the group offers a novel and inclusive model for community environmental, social, and economical planning moving forward.

FROM THE GROUND UP “We all can do what we can on our own

This range of ideas and voices is critical for generating a diverse portfolio of

local solutions to climate change, noted Neal. “Scientists across the world overwhelmingly agree on the impact humans are having on the environment,” Neal said. “The outcome of societies not changing has been laid out clearly in the IPCC report and was shown recently by the fact that one-eighth of global biodiversity is threatened with extinction. The wake-up call has been put out; the question is: Do we answer it?”


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SAN FRANCISCO, 1993.


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Robin McLaurin Williams was a singular human being. Singular, because he was a remarkable, one-of-a-kind actor, comedian and entertainment force. And human being, because he was a mere mortal, too. At the five year anniversary of his death, two Ojai residents who were colleagues and friends of Williams remember him. Both had the opportunity to experience both sides of the late entertainer — and all the nuances in between.

Remembering

Robin Photographer Arthur Grace captured Williams on film – at home or on a stage or film set – in moments both intensely private and frenetically public. Author Mark Frost worked with Williams on a script for a sequel to “Good Morning, Vietnam,” and although the film never got made, stayed friends with him over the years. In 2014, at age 63, Williams took his own life. Yet he is still very much alive and vibrant in the eyes of many who knew him. Grace and Frost are used to answering the question, “Was Robin Williams ‘on’ all the time in real life, too?” Both answer with a resounding “no.” Yes, Williams was a firecracker, but a burst of brilliant light can’t sustain itself for long periods of time. He had a more subdued radiance, too. Photographs by Arthur Grace from his book “Robin Williams: A Singular Portrait, 1986-2002” Story: Karen Lindell


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Arthur Grace

Award-winning photographer Grace, who bought a home in Ojai in 2014, started working for United Press International in 1973 and over the years has shot cover stories for Life, Time, Newsweek and other news publications. His work is in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and other institutions. He has published five books of his photography including “Choose Me: Portraits of a Presidential Race”; “Comedians,” which includes shots of Williams; and most recently, “Robin Williams: A Singular Portrait, 19862002.” Grace met Williams in 1986 while shooting a cover story on the comedian for Newsweek. He traveled with Williams for a month while he was on a comedy tour, and the two connected professionally and personally. After the Newsweek project, Williams called him for more. Soon, Grace became a go-to photographer not only for publicity and news shots of Williams, but also to document his life. He often stayed at Williams’ homes in San Francisco and Napa and went on vacations with him, taking shots of the actor

simply as a human being, perhaps reading to his kids, visiting a local toy store or being playful on a beach. “Photographers found him easy to work with professionally,” Grace said. “He liked working with them and tried to make sure he gave them the shots they needed. They also got to laugh a lot.” Nothing was off limits when it came to the candid photos he took of Williams, Grace said. “He never cared what I was doing with the camera, and I never set things up, unless it was a portrait.” People might not be aware of Williams’ extreme intelligence. “He was a brilliant man,” Grace said. “He spoke French fluently and got by in Russian. He had a broad knowledge base in art, music, history — he’d surprise you all the time.” And he understood science. When Williams was filming “Awakenings,” a drama based on the memoir of physician Oliver Sacks, they all had dinner one evening with the neurologist, Grace recalled. “Listening to the two of them talk in detail about how the brain works, I had to keep


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RIGHT: PERFORMING AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE. NEW YORK, 1986. BELOW: RESTING IN HIS DRESSING ROOM MOMENTS AFTER COMING OFF STAGE, 1986.

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reminding myself that Robin wasn’t a doctor. After a few minutes, I just tuned out.” He and Williams talked politics, too. “Everybody wanted him to do fundraisers, especially Democratic presidential candidates. He understood how they were using him, but he always liked to help out if it was for the right cause. He soured on the whole thing during Clinton’s inauguration when the presidential motorcade drove off after an event leaving Robin and Stevie Wonder standing alone in an unsavory D.C. neighborhood at one in the morning.” Robin Williams was always interested in talking to people in a different line of work, especially if it was

outside of show business, Grace said. “With me, he was intrigued by my career in photojournalism, where I’d been, what I’d done.” As a family man, Williams was a “terrific” dad and very comfortable being a father, Grace said. “He had to travel a lot, but every time I saw him with his kids, they were a priority. He was present as a husband, too.” Grace said he never saw signs of the depression some people say Williams suffered from that led him to take his life. Nor was he aware of the symptoms of Lewy body dementia, the debilitating brain disease Williams’ wife said after his death contributed to her husband’s desire to end his life.

The entertainer could be very contemplative, however, Grace said. From the pictures in the book, “you see him deep in thought, off in his own world. He would get very quiet for periods of time, sort of recharging his batteries. He had a special place in each of his houses — a hidden room, a watchtower — where he could be alone and play video games or read scripts or play with his toy soldiers. I never saw a dark side of him. I saw a private side of him.” And when Williams was on, he was on. “He could make you laugh in an instant if he wanted to.” Grace said the last time he saw Williams was in late 2013 when the actor was

in Los Angeles to work on the CBS series “The Crazy Ones.” Grace went to the set once and had Robin over for dinner at his house a few times, he said. “He was really busy, and it was a pretty exhausting schedule with a lot of night shoots.” When Williams died, Grace was in shock. Immediately, his phone started ringing and wouldn’t stop. It wasn’t just friends, but people in the news and photography business who knew Grace had taken rare intimate photos of Williams. Grace called his agent and said he could sell whatever photos were already in his archive, but that was it, and he didn’t want to hear from anyone.


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“Nobody bothered me after that,” he said. After about five or six months, around the time he moved into his house in Ojai which had been going through a remodel, he decided to do something with his unpublished photos of Williams. “I decided I needed to do a book,” he said. “I didn’t want him to be forgotten. It’s great if you have a DVD of a Robin Williams movie or TV show, but a book you can pick up any time. It has staying power and doesn’t need electronics to work.”

ABOVE: ROBIN CRACKS UP DUSTIN HOFFMAN AND OJAI’S JUDY OVITZ DURING STEVEN SPEILBERG AND KATE CAPSHAW’S WEDDING RECEPTION. EAST HAMPTON NY, 1991.

He took about a month to gather together the photos he wanted to include, eventually whittling the selection down to 150. Many of Grace’s photos were featured in the HBO documentary “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind,” directed by Marina Zenovich, which aired in 2018. What does Grace hope to get across about Williams in the book? “His humanity,” Grace said. “A glimpse of what he was really like and a reminder of what he gave us. So that’s what I tried to show with a camera, the depth of him.”

LEFT PAGE: IN THE BACK OF A LIMO AFTER THE OSCAR PARTY AT THE BEVERLEY HILLS HOTEL. LOS ANGELES, 1998.

ABOVE: BACKSTAGE WITH A SHOW PROP AFTER PERFORMANCE,1986. LEFT: JOKING WITH THE SECURITY DETAIL OF LOCAL POLICE, 1986.


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Mark Frost

Frost is a TV and film writer, novelist, director and producer. He’s known for his work as a writer on NBC’s “Hill Street Blues,” for which he earned an Emmy nomination, and for co-creating the awardwinning ABC series “Twin Peaks” with David Lynch. He directed “Storyville” starring James Spader, cowrote the screenplays for the two “Fantastic Four” films released in 2005 and 2007, and is the author of the novel “The List of Seven” and other works. Frost said he met Williams in 1987 when he was hired by Disney to write a sequel to “Good Morning, Vietnam,” a career-defining film for the actor, who received his first Oscar nomination for playing radio disc jockey Adrian Cronauer. The sequel, titled “Good Morning, Chicago,” continued the true story of Cronauer when he returned home in the summer of 1968. Frost said Williams contributed to the screenplay, especially the main character’s monologues. “We had a tremendous time working on the script,” Frost said. “You’d suggest a scene, and Robin would riff on it the way he did. He was like a ‘Top Gun’ pilot, operating at such a high, intense level.” The movie never got made, however, Frost

said, because Williams was ready to move on to other projects, including his Oscarnominated turn in “Dead Poets Society,” and no one else could fill his shoes in the role. Frost isn’t the least bit bitter about the script not seeing the light of day. “Robin was fantastic in ‘Dead Poets Society,’ and deserved his Oscar nomination,” Frost said. “It showed this dramatic range people never knew was there. Although people think of him as just a comic, he trained to be a classical actor” (at Juilliard). After the brief writing partnership, Frost remained friends with Williams and two of the entertainer’s managers, David Steinberg and Larry Brezner, and they all socialized frequently. Frost said he often attended Williams’ live shows, and met up with him afterward. “He was always very gracious, but usually pretty exhausted; he put everything into those shows. “In person, he was so warm and friendly and funny. He loved to laugh, but he was also a great audience and loved other people who made him laugh. He’d also sit seriously and talk; he was a thoughtful guy and a tremendous human being. He had a curiosity about other people and was interested in hearing about

who they were and what they were doing; it wasn’t always just about him.” Frost, a golfer, is the author of “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” a nonfiction book about the birth of modern golf. Williams, he said, “never understood golf” and created a comedy routine based on their conversations about the sport (a video of Williams performing the routine is widely available on YouTube). The two often played “World of Warcraft” together online — Williams was a huge fan of video games. “He used to build his own computers and stock them to the max,” Frost said. When they played “World of Warcraft,” “it was a hoot because people would play anonymously. It’s all text-based, and he was so hilarious. Those were some of the funniest things I’ve


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ever been through, watching him interact with people who didn’t know who he was.” Williams was an avid bicyclist, and Frost said the last time he saw him was a chance meeting at the Ojai Coffee Roasting Co., where Williams had stopped for a break during a bike ride. Frost said he didn’t see a dark or melancholy side of Williams, but suspected it might exist. “He was very private,” Frost said. “You always got a sense there might be some darker places there.

TOP LEFT: ROBIN’S SON ZAC, GRABS A PHOTO OF HIS FATHER ON THE BALCONY OF THE GRANDHOTEL DU CAP. CAP FERAT, FRANCE, 1992. ABOVE: RELAXING IN THE HOTEL SUITE BEFORE GOING DOWN TO THE THEATRE FOR HIS SHOW, LAKE TAHOE, 2002.

TOP RIGHT: READING A BEDTIME STORY TO ZELDA, SAN FRANCISCO, 1995. RIGHT: ROBIN WITH ZELDA, SAN FRANCISCO, 1990

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I think that’s true of most comedians — certainly the ones I’ve known. They’re laughing to hide the pain at some level. The ones who integrate and work through it can be enlightening about the human condition, and I would certainly put Robin in that category.” When he found out about Williams’ death, Frost said, “I was horrified. It was one of the saddest days I can remember. Nobody gets out of here alive, but you wish sometimes things could turn out better for someone who was so loved and so loving.


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Good farmers make hay while the sun shines. Good distillers seize the chance to transform surplus produce into delicious spirits.

The wild and the cultivated Ventura Spirits by Richard Camp

W

hat happens when four guys get together and start throwing around ideas? Sometimes they wind up with a garage band, sometimes a new app, or in this case, new booze. Henry Tarmy and his partners got together to toss some entrepreneurial ideas to the wall, and distilled liquor is what stuck. Andrew Caspary is an industrial designer. His brother Anthony is an engineer. James Greenspun is a musician, and together with Henry, who has an MBA, they created Ventura Spirits, with an emphasis on spirits. “Not just any booze … we wanted to focus on California,” says Tarmy, a Dartmouth grad who now lives in Ojai. “Almost all liquor comes from somewhere else … bourbon from Kentucky, vodka from Russia or France, Scotch from you know where … we wanted to make our product from this place, from California.” Instead of trying to make bourbon that tastes like Kentucky, or a vodka that tastes like Russia, they wanted to make a spirit that tastes like Ventura. As Tarmy tells it, “It’s more interesting to try and create new flavors, and the obvious way to do that is to root our approach to distilling closely in the region that we are in.” In other words, use the ingredients found in your ’hood, be it wheat, corn, potatoes, apples, strawberries, aromatics, etc. So, Tarmy and his partners have scoured the lands around Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and have produced varieties that should satisfy the taste buds of anyone looking for something off the beaten liquor racks.

The most popular offering is Wilder Gin. When you think of gin, juniper berries naturally come to mind, the basis of all the gins in all the gin joints in the world. Bombay Sapphire, for instance, starts with juniper berries from Italy, adds Coriander from Morocco, Angelica from Saxony, Orris from Italy, Cubeb berries from Java, Cassia bark from IndoChina, almonds from Spain, and liquorice from China. The United Nations of gin flavors. Keeping it local, Wilder Gin from Ventura Spirits is distilled with wild-harvested, native California botanicals, including sagebrush, purple sage, bay, yerba santa, Ojai pixie mandarin peel and chuchupate. This fragrant mixture of the wild and the cultivated tantalizes with fresh, savory aromas, like walking through an herbal garden or through a hiking trail in the Topa Topas. Drinkers can enjoy Wilder straight, or use it to bring out the “wilder” side of gin cocktails. The taste is very mellow, and not as dry as a London gin, which makes it perfect for a light summer cocktail. As the label reads: This is not the Queen’s gin, it’s Wilder. If vodka is more to your liking, try the Haymaker’s Vodka. Vodka can be made from any sugar source, and in fact, when the team members initially started their venture, they made vodka from strawberries, before landing on the current successful offering, made from a blend of 50 percent apples and 50 percent potatoes that are mashed, fermented and pot-distilled six times. As Tarmy puts it: “The strawberry-based vodka was really pushing the envelope as far as character. It was a vodka, but because we barely


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“Surplus produce” means using fruits and vegetables that might be rejected for other uses, such as, say, potatoes that aren’t big enough to cut up into French fries. “The small potatoes are perfect for use in the distillation process,” says Tarmy. “Combined with the sweetness of the apples, this makes our Haymaker Vodka stand out.” Ventura Spirits’ Strawberry Brandy also makes good use of fruits that might normally be rejected. The berries are often ones that don’t meet grocery store and restaurant standards because of imperfections or perhaps an arbitrary expiration date. “They couldn’t make it to the shelf, which is a great place for us to step in as a distillery because we don’t care how the strawberry looks,” says Tarmy. “We just need the sugar from it.”

filtered it at all, it retained quite a bit of strawberry on the nose and palate. This made it interesting, but not necessarily a good “general use” vodka. For example, you wouldn’t have wanted to make a savory martini with it. Haymaker’s does have a taste to it, but it can be used well in most any vodka application.” As the label says: “Good farmers make hay while the sun shines. Good distillers seize the chance to transform surplus produce into delicious spirits.”

This brandy is aged for two years in neutral French oak at

the Ojai Vineyard winery. This gives it a subtle hint of oak to go with the strawberry aroma and notes of honey and dried fruit. As the label says: “Ugly fruit, beautiful brandy!” How about a shot of prickly pear to get you in the spirit? Yes, prickly pear, a simple cactus that grows on the side of the road and many other places in Southern California… the one you don’t want to grab with your hands because, well, it’s cactus. The fruit of this plant is distilled to produce a liquor the team calls “Opuntia,” which is the scientific designation for the plant. More than a ton of fruit is fermented and distilled in each batch, resulting in a flavor that’s “an invigorating balance of fresh fruit and desert earth,” as the label reads. This libation teems with tropical flavors and hints of melon and is decidedly unique among all the flavors offered.

The team began designing and building a still in 2011, opened for business in 2014 and is now going strong with sales not only in the space on Ventura Avenue, but in restaurants and stores throughout Southern California. Places you’ll find Ventura Spirits cocktails or bottles in Ojai include Ojai Beverage Company, Azu Restaurant, Attitude Adjustment, Westridge Market, Ojai Valley Inn, Nocciola Restaurant, The Hub and the Deer Lodge. 750 ml bottles range in price from $30 to $45, and half bottles $12 to $17. Each of Ventura Spirits’ flavors is a bold new adventure on the tongue, expressing, as their site says, “a sublime mix of the wild and the cultivated.” The tasting fee is $10 for a sampling flights of spirits in the tasting room, open Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Stop by… to lift your spirits, and theirs. The Ventura Spirits tasting room is at 3891 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura CA 93001


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Open daily, lunch till late. 646-1700 ojaibevco.com

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Westridge Market 802 E. Ojai Ave • Open Daily 8am - 8pm • Phone 805-646-2762

Westridge Midtown Market 131 W. Ojai Ave • Open Daily 7am - 9pm • Phone 805-646-4082

westridgemarket.com


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Cuyama Buckhorn was founded in 1952 as a roadside stop for weary travelers to enjoy a meal in good company and rest up along their journey. More than 60 years later, Cuyama Buckhorn has become a historic establishment, nestled in The Hidden Valley of Enchantment.

Marché Gourmet

Delicatessen ESPRESSO • PASTRIES • CHEESE • WINE • SANDWICHES • SALADS • SOUPS

Great Sandwiches & Weekly Specials! Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options!

Open Daily 6am–6pm

RESTAURANT & BAR

Open Daily Monday – Thursday | 10am – 2pm Friday - Saturday | 8am - 9pm Sunday | 8am – 6pm

4923 Primero Street, New Cuyama, CA 93254 | cuyamabuckhorn.com | @cuyamabuckhorn

Breakfast and Lunch 9 to 3 Daily Dinner Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 8:30 pm www.MarcheGourmetDeli.com info@marchegourmetdeli.com

133 E. Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA

805•646•1133

SEA FRESH SEAFOOD Seafood - Steak - Sushi

Serving Breakfast Daily • Open 8am - 10pm Voted “BEST SEAFOOD” 5 Years in a Row!

533 E. Ojai Ave

• 805-646-7747


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Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market at 300 E. Matilija St., behind the Arcade, open Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., is the impromptu meeting place where one can find old friends and make new ones, where serendipity lives.

From farm to folks P

ink ladies, sunflowers, Ojai Pixies, lemon cookies, pistachios, leafy carrots, plums, nectarines, honey, tamales, eggs, potions, “free hugs,” guitars, drums, songs, babies, smiles, colors, sunshine and rain, hot and cold, tangy and sweet — Ojai. All in one place on one day every week without fail people come to taste, feel and immerse themselves in community, in belonging, in connection to the people who grow their food and delight in sharing. When Emily Ayala or Jim Churchill hands you a tangerine, it is one they planted, watered

and picked from the tree. The exchange is not merely one of product-for-profit, but of laboring love. In the age of Amazon Prime grocery shopping, one wonders what could possess a person to rip themselves from the comfort of home on Sunday morning for a market. But unlike the digital markets, stared at with blank faces and scrolling mouses, the Farmers’ market offers a rawness that has become rare in our hyper-technosanitized society. There is an invigorating realness to the people and goods of the market.


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After taking in the scene, be sure not to miss a few favorite vendors as you make your way through the market. Violet Cohen sells her handmade soaps, creams and sprays at the farmers market. Her handmade soap is produced on location at the back of her Ojai store. Cohen moved to Ojai from Los Angeles in 1985. “I was house-sitting for some friends and kind of fell in love with the community and moved here,” Cohen said. She has been making soap for more than 25 years. “It just seems natural for me to do that,” Cohen says. Another company based right here in Ojai, the Plant Good Seed Company, provides all varieties of organic seeds. These include vegetable, flower and herb seeds. Many of them come

straight from the farm in Ojai to the market. The company strives to create biodiversity among many different plant species, and improve on heirloom vegetable varieties to be organically farmed. According to cofounder Quin Shakra, gardening success begins with a seed of the highest quality. Shakra said: “About a year into our work doing a community-supported agriculture program, a

couple of us got interested in seeds. The literature of seed-saving, preservation, biodiversity, all that kind of stuff…. I think Cynthia [Korman] [Ojai Farmers’ Market manager] really likes having me back … what I have, nobody else has.”


Imported from Africa and appearing at our Ojai Farmers’ Market are various woven goods provided by a group of women called the Baba Collection. Its Ojai spokesman is Amos Wakaba, a Kenyan native. Wakaba, which means a new or beautiful necklace in his native tongue, came to the United States on a refugee visa when there was turmoil in Kenya. He now calls Ojai home and is “here to stay.” “People prefer this one (motions to a woven bag) rather than plastic bags. So that’s how we came in,” Wakaba said. Mary Gonzalez is a driven young farmer who started Sweet Mountaintop Farm herself. The farm is located on one acre of the property

of her family’s larger avocado farm at the top of Rincon Mountain. Gonzalez worked in the avocado farming business in the past, as well as growing various other vegetables. She has a passion for growing herbs and flowers, though, which led her to starting Sweet Mountaintop as her own venture separate from the avocados. “I’m really into herbal medicine and flower farming, and also growing things that don’t go to waste,” Gonzalez said. “So all the flowers that I grow have medicinal properties, so you can dry them and use them as tea or just have them as a bouquet.”


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e h t y o j n e e g Com n i p p & o h s g n i n i d e u q i un ! i a j O n i experience

î‘–illage marketplace


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Under New Management

SUN - THURS 11-10 • FRI & SAT 11 - 11


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SAKURA OJAI • Sushi, Sashimi • Special rolls • Teppanyaki • Soup & Noodles • Vegetarian Menu • Korean Food

Bimbimbap

Ramen

219 E. Matilija St. Ojai CA 93023 Special Veggie Roll

805-646-8777

Mon - Friday Mon - Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

11:30 am - 2:00 pm 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm 11:30 am - 9:30 pm 12:00 pm -9:00 pm


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Ojai Dory Kevin White encountered his first dory in the mid-1980s. Back then, there was no such thing as “Finding Nemo,” and no danger of confusing the wooden dory, a type of rowboat, with a cartoon fish.

T

he aforementioned dory was under construction in a friend’s garage. White, at the time a whitewater river guide on the Colorado River, was intrigued. “I walked away and I thought, ‘I’m going to build one of those,’” he recalled. Woodworking is a lifelong passion for White, who today owns a woodworking business called Ojai Dory. White, 63, learned the craft from his father, a carpenter, more than 50 years ago. While his father’s favorite projects involved working under the hood of a car, White discovered early on that he was not fond of the greasy hands that often result from automobile tinkering. He did,

however, love working with wood. His first woodworking project began at age 10, when his father handed him a slim piece of pine with a distinct knot in it. “I looked at it and I saw a sunfish,” White said. “The knot was where the eye is.” “When I was done with it, my dad said, ‘Well where’s the eye?’” he recalled with a laugh. The wooden sunfish hangs in his Ojai woodshop to this day. As he grew older, White tried his hand at different projects. He created keepsake boxes for friends and family members, many of which are still in use. As a teenager in Southern California, he also designed a wooden skateboard in the shape of his own foot. White’s not sure

what happened to the skateboard, but suspects a jealous friend may have taken off with it. In 1999, White began constructing a dory of his own — by that time, he and his wife, Katherine, were both teachers for the Ojai Unified School District. The vessel was finished in time for the summer of 2000. Kevin, Katherine and their two daughters set out for the Colorado River’s Cataract Canyon — where Kevin had worked as a river guide nearly two decades before. “I don’t know where my life would have gone if I hadn’t been a river guide. My best friends are all people I met and fell in love with on the river,” he said.


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by Greg Pfeifer

In 2012, Kevin got to fundraising again. He rowed the 30 miles from Santa Barbara to Ventura to raise another $2,000 for Food for Thought.

He speaks about boating in language that borders on spiritual. “I’m not religious in any sense, but it is definitely my outlet in that way,” Kevin said. “I believe that the ethereal experience of being on a body of water in a wooden boat with oars in hand enables people to reach a higher level of mindfulness.”

Kevin has recently retired from the classroom after 22 years of work for OUSD.

He’s determined to share that experience with others. Kevin has even brought boat-making into his elementary school classroom. A group of San Antonio Elementary School sixth-graders contributed to the creation of a 15-foot6-inch Gloucester Light Dory, which was sold at a silent auction to benefit the school. The kids helped Kevin cut wood and screw materials into place. He didn’t correct the 11- and 12-year-olds who believed that they had actually designed the vessel. They did, however, contribute to the aesthetic design of the boat.

The dory is the quintessential American row boat first used by fishermen on the New England coast in the 18th century. It was later used to explore and navigate rivers. The Newport Beach dory fleet was established in 1891 and fishermen today still use dories. Dories are also used by lifeguards to rescue ocean swimmers.

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He now is able to devote all of his time to woodworking projects, which include custom furniture pieces and cutting boards in addition to his specialty dories. “I don’t feel like I’m really retired,” he admitted. Kevin receives all manner of custom woodworking requests. One such call came from a man named Quan Lee, a San Diego restaurateur. “I want you to build me a boat. I’m going to hang it over the bar in my restaurant,” Kevin recalls Lee saying. “It doesn’t even have to float.” “Well, I can’t build a boat that doesn’t float,” he responded, as the two shared a laugh.

“I had a student who was just completely gifted in art; he painted a hawk at the bow of the boat,” Kevin recalled. The student’s painting was a tribute to the school’s mascot — the San Antonio Hawks. The students also painted their names inside the vessel. The construction of the Gloucester Light Dory wasn’t the only time Kevin used his skills to raise funds for the schools he loves. In 2009, he rowed the 15 miles from Anacapa Island to Channel Islands Harbor to raise $2,500 for a local nonprofit, Food for Thought Ojai. Food for Thought advocates for gardening and healthy eating in each of Ojai’s elementary schools. Kevin constructed garden spaces for both Meiners Oaks and Mira Monte Elementary schools.

The 20-foot surf dory now hangs over the bar of Mira Mesa’s Crab Hut restaurant. “Every time I go to San Diego, I stop by, hang out under my boat and have a drink,” Kevin said proudly. Visit www.ojaidory.com to learn more about Kevin White’s work.


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OJAI 805-646-6116 • OAK VIEW 805-649-1057


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Open Daily for Breakfast & Lunch 7 am - 2:30 pm Closed Wednesdays

805.646.0207

328 East Ojai Ave.

The best Homemade Tamales Tortillas and Tacos around!

NEW NAME, SAME SUPPORTIVE CARE FOR FAMILIES

THE NAN TOLBERT NURTURING CENTER IS NOW

Private Catering available

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LOCATIONS

423 E. Ojai Ave. Ojai, CA 93023

805-646-7715

107 E. El Roblar Ojai, CA 93023

805-646-1066

Skip the lines ... order online! mexicanfoodojai.com

Scholarships, sliding scale & payment plans available. No family turned away for lack of funds.

What we offer: Play-Based Classes Newborn Home Visits Individual Parenting Guidance Latino Program Counseling Young/Teen Parent Support Parenting workshops Special Needs Support Free Diaper Bank

(805) 646-7559 www.securebeginnings.org 555 Mahoney Ave. Room 2 Oak View, CA 93022

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Dining and Agave Maria’s Restaurant & Cantina 106 S. Montgomery St. Mon-Fri 11am-9pm Sat 8am-9pm. Sun 8am-8pm www.agavemarias.com 805-646-6353

Mandala Cuisine of Tibet, India & Japan. 11400. N. Ventura Ave 805-613-3048 805 798-2768 11:30 - 9:30 Tues.-Fr.i 4:00 to 9:30 Mon. info@TibetanAid.org www.TibetanAid.org

Bonnie Lu’s Cafe 328 E. Ojai Ave. Serving breakfast and lunch Open 7am-2:30 pm Mon-Sun. Closed Weds. 805-646-0207

Food Harmonics “The first 100% organic and gluten-free restaurant” 254 E Ojai Ave www.foodharmonicsojai.com

805-798-9253

Casa De Lago Ojai Valley’s Original Mexican Restaurant. Margarita Mondays. Family owned since 1985. 2 for 1 House Margarita 715 E. Ojai Ave. 805-640-1577

Marché Gourmet Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options. Breakfast & Lunch 9-3 daily. Dinner Fri & Sat 5-8pm 133 E. Ojai Ave. 805-646-1133 www.marchegourmetdeli.com

Cuyama Buckhorn

Papa Lennon’s Original Italian cuisine, Best of Ojai winner, local wines & beers on tap 515 W. El Roblar Dr. www.papalennons.com 805-640-7388

Sage Mindful Meals Healthful global cuisine under the sycamores. Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and Happy Hour. W-F 11-9 Sat 9-9 Sun 9-6 217 E Matilija St. 805-646-9204 sageojai.com

Sakura Ojai Japanese Restaurant Sushi, Sashimi •Special rolls •Teppanyaki •Soup & Noodles •Vegetarian Menu • Korean Food 219 E. Matilija St. 805-646-8777

Sea Fresh Seafood Seafood - Steak - Sushi Heated Outdoor Dining Full Bar www.seafreshseafood.com 533 E. Ojai Ave. 805-646-7747

Ojai Rotie Free-range rotisserie chicken, organic sourdough and the finest wines, beers, & cider from the region. 469 East Ojai Avenue (805) 798-9227 www.ojairotie.com

4923 Primero St. New Cuyama www.cuyamabuckhorn.com 661-766-2825 @cuyamabuckhorn The Buckhorn Restaurant & Bar Mon–Thurs 10am–2pm Fri–Sa: 8am – 9pm Sun-8am – 6pm The Buck Stop Coffee Shop Open daily: 6am–6pm


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Tasting Eating and tasting in Ojai is often experienced outdoors, as our little town boasts over 20 restaurants and tasting rooms with outdoor seating options. Most establishments with outdoor dining are pet friendly. So get outside, and gormandize en plein air with your pooch. You are sure to make, or see, an acquaintance while you fortify yourself. Deer Lodge 2261 Maricopa Hwy. Ojai 93023 Live Entertainment, Outdoor dining, BBQ, Vegetarian, Steaks, Bar, Dog-friendly

Heavenly Honey Tasting room. All natural pure honey. 206 E. Ojai Ave.

Majestic Oak Vineyard Tasting room 321 East Ojai Ave (Downstairs)

www.heavenlyhoneycompany.com

www.majesticoakvineyard.com

Ojai Beverage Co. Outdoor patio dining, great food! 655 E. Ojai Ave. Open 11am to 11pm www.ojaibevco.com 805-646-1700

Ojai Olive Oil Co. 100% organic-localsustainable Free tours & tastings: Sat 10 am -3 pm & Wed 1pm-4pm 1811 Ladera Road www.ojaioliveoil.com

Boccali Vineyard & Winery Tastings at Boccali’s Ojai Sat & Sun 11am-4pm. 3277 East Ojai Avenue www.boccalivineyards.com 805-669-8688

La Fuente Homemade Tamales Tortilla’s,Tacos Private Catering 2 locations 423 E. Ojai Ave 805-646-7715 107 E. EL Roblar 805-646-1066

Ventura Spirits Our tasting room is open every Friday from 1-5pm Sat and Sun 12-5 pm 3891 N. Ventura Ave, Ste B2A, Ventura 805-232-4313 www.venturaspirits.com

Topa Mountain Winery Wine Tasting, Live Music, Family Friendly

805-207-4847

805-794-0272

821 W. Ojai Ave. www.topamountainwinery.com

805-640-1190


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Look up Ojai’s musical star Rain Perry on Wikipedia and you will see her described as “an American folk-rock singer/songwriter.” Which is not false, but not close to adequate either, to describe Perry and her work.

Story by Kit Stolz


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o make a name for herself as a writer and a performer, to find her tribe of musicians, to stand on the stage and sing her songs, to make a handful of records and find a measure of fame, to survive all that fate has thrown at her, Rain Perry has had to overcome enormous personal set-backs and reinvent herself repeatedly. She’s a lot tougher, in other words, than the “sensitive” cliche typically attached to the phrase “singer/songwriter.” In fact her fifth full-length record, “Let’s Be Brave,” doesn’t sound like folk music much at all. “This is a rock and roll record,” says Perry in an interview before the launch of her record. “This is coming on the heels of both the destruction of my home [recording] studio in the [Thomas] fire, and then the virtual destruction of the music industry.” Appropriately, the record begins with a hard-rocking tribute to Chuck Berry and the musical life as an artist, called “Whittier Street.” Powered by a throbbing “Maybelline” riff, Perry sings of how Chuck Berry built a little studio in back of his home in St. Louis, to have a place to create. Much like the feminist icon Virginia Woolf, author of “A Room of Her Own.” Not unlike country stars Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson, and June Carter, also mentioned in the song, who sometimes had to write their songs on the kitchen table in the morning, before their kids woke up. It’s a struggle to which Perry can relate. She sings: I’m gonna build me a room out in the back Might be a trailer or a little shack There’s no such thing as the industry

So I’m gonna sing for you and me “It’s 100% clear to me that the music business has fundamentally changed,” Perry says in an interview, speaking from long experience and a good deal of frustration. Beginning in 2016, working with Ojai filmmaker Micah Van Hove, Perry produced a full-length documentary called “The Shopkeeper.” It’s about how experienced and talented musicians — and even stars like Ani DiFranco — must relentlessly improvise, juggle, and innovate to survive professionally in a post-Spotify world in which musicians can no longer depend on the sale of recordings. Although Perry has made her peace with music streaming now, every record she makes puts her back in the quandary of how to make money from making music.

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Brace up the walls Anchor the foundation So the building won’t fall Take a look at the recently released video of the song (at rainperry.com) and it’s apparent that the earthquake is a metaphor. The shocks that Perry describes are an expression of what has been happening to women in their private lives this century. The landscape is psychological: a description of what the #metoo movement feels like from the inside. She sings: Was it the babysitter Was it the friend of a friend Or were those aftershocks Of an earlier event Was it the guy at thirteen Or something before That put the cracks in the plaster And warped the floor?

This time felt even harder. After losing her home studio to the Thomas Fire and feeling “frozen” creatively in the aftermath of that disaster which devastated her neighborhood in Upper Ojai, she decided it was important to move forward. “I decided, okay, I’m doing this [record], no matter what,” she remarks. “It’s a little bit of a manifesto.” That toughness comes through especially strongly on “Earthquake Weather,” which at first listen sounds like a warning to prepare for yet another of California’s natural disasters, one of the few that has not struck her neighborhood of Upper Ojai as of late. In the chorus she sings: Place the bolts in the basement

This is central to Perry’s writing: the ability to think through metaphors in song form. “I used to feel shame for things that had happened to me [in my youth],” she says, looking back on the song and her past. “Finally it just wore off. I thought: Wait a minute, I didn’t cause this to happen. There’s no reason for me to feel shame about that. I just need to retrofit a damaged structure. There’s cracks, and maybe I’m a little off my foundation, but I can shore myself up.”


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When her schedule allows, she teaches a “Songwriting for Civilians” class for people interested in expressing themselves musically, and always devotes a class to the craft of metaphor. She’s earned this privilege. Her song “Yosemite” won the grand rize in the folk division of the international John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2000, in part because Perry drew an elegantly metaphorical link between the almost unimaginable destruction that made the beauty that we see today in that sublime valley, and the pain and suffering of people growing up in what she calls “the assorted torture chambers” of childhood, such as the school bus, the baseball field, and the breakfast table. She sings:

I’ve seen the brightest sparks Glowing from the faces Of my friends whose lives have been The biggest mess They don’t make landmarks Out of ordinary places Only landscapes that have seen The most distress Perry may not have seen “the most distress” of all her friends, but in her life she’s had her share. As detailed in her record “Cinderblock Bookshelves,” Perry lost her mother — also a gifted songwriter, who wrote a hit for Nancy Sinatra — to septic shock when she was just a girl. She spent her childhood in Northern California in its hippie era living with her late father, a creative but undisciplined soul. To tell this story, a decade ago

Perry debuted the “Cinderblock Bookshelves” with a one-woman theater show, featuring storytelling and music, working with her longtime friend and collaborator Kim Maxwell, which played at the now-defunct Theater 150 in downtown Ojai for weeks. The songs in that show detail her relentless focus on musical expression, mentioning in passing how growing up she loved to play guitar with male pals in the song “Girl in the Boy’s Room”

Perry has long attracted gifted collaborators, from Ojai (including the crack band she recruited to launch the record in shows in April) and beyond (including the established indie rocker Chuck Prophet from San Francisco). It’s part of her way: she’s a huge fan of many other artists, of all varieties, and takes great pride in her ability to work well with other musicians and to find the right song by other songwriters for the moment at hand.

Barely mentioned was the fact that after contracting rheumatoid arthritis at 22, Perry had to give up playing guitar. At the time this devastated her. This was not the plan: she admits that driven by her father’s example, at one time she desperately wanted to be famous. Not being able to play an instrument didn’t help.

On this record she covers a dark and virtually unknown song by Bruce Springsteen with an unforgettable chorus, called “Rocky Ground,” as well as an alternative hit by the late great punk rocker Joe Strummer of The Clash, called “Johnny Appleseed.”

“The gap between what I imagined my career would be, and what happened when I got rheumatoid arthritis [and could no longer play] made it impossible for me to go on thinking that way,” she says now. But though she’s never had the benefit of the backing of a record label, she has released now five albums and several singles, as well as the documentary, while avoiding debt. In part she managed this with royalties, including for her song “Beautiful Tree,” which was used as a theme song for a television show, but mostly by reaching out to fans and friends via crowd-funding appeals. “I kind of came to a place of acceptance in the process of making this record,” she says. “I am not thinking anymore that I should be anywhere else. There’s something kind of humbling about having to do it all myself, and I’ve been able to work with incredible people.”

“I always wanted to be in a punk rock band,” she told the crowd, before plunging into the irresistible song. “I never was, but at least I got to record a song by Joe Strummer.” For the future, Perry plans to take the theme of the new record to a podcast, focusing on bravery in activism in and around Ventura County, with interviews planned with the former police chief of Thousand Oaks, who launched an innovative anti-gang policy, as well as a border lawyer working on the family separation policy, and many others. In her personal life, Perry and her family have a grandchild in production. “How about that?” she says with a laugh. “I have songs about being a parent; now I suppose I’ll have to meet him and see what happens, being a grandparent and a musician. Doesn’t seem like the death of being cool to me. I dedicated the record to the little dude. The answer is yes.”


VENTURA

County Fairgrounds

Swap

MEET $1.00 Admission

Antiques • Collectibles Farmer’s Market Vendor Space Available Every Wednesday 7am to 2pm FREE PARKING For Information Call Sue Adams

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1/2 page Visitors Guide, Summer 2019

Krotona Institute of Theosophy An international center dedicated to understanding, harmony, and peace among all peoples, comparative studies in religion, philosophy and science, altruism and the ideals of a spiritual life. Library & Research Center 2 Krotona St. Ojai CA 93023 Quest Bookshop 47 Krotona St. Ojai CA 93023 School of Theosophy 46 Krotona St. Ojai CA 93023

Kriya-Shakti: The Power of Thought Michele and Pablo Sender, Sept 24 – 27 Meditation and Self-Knowledge Pablo Sender, Sept 27 – 29 Zen: The Outsider’s Road to Surprise Robert and Richard Ellwood, Oct 4 – 6 Mandalas: Universal Form + Function David Orr, Oct 8 – 11 Cultivating Discernment: Lessons from the Mahabharata Lisa Love, Oct 18 – 20 Breaking Free: The Call to Awaken Cynthia Overweg, Oct 22 – 25 The Way of Stillness: One Day Retreat Cynthia Overweg, Oct 26 Secret Doctrine Forum, The Proem: Inquiry and Application E Dovalsantos, G Kiffe, J Fergus, M Leiderman, P Sender, H ‘ & J Vermeulens, P Wouters, Oct 29 – Nov 2 Integrating the Spiritual with Everyday Life Catherine Ann Jones, Nov 5 – 8 La Meditacion Eneida Carbonell, Luz Tamarit, Alberto Vidaurri, Nov 15 – 17

schoolinfo@krotonainstitute.org, www.krotonainstitute.org, 805 646-2653


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October 31 - November 10

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VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

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June

June 29 Saving the California Condors

Art Exhibit

May 17 through July 28 Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Ojai Valley Museum, 130 W. Ojai Ave. (805) 640-1390 www.ojaivalleymuseum.org An exhibit titled “Founding Familias: The Ojai Valley During the Rancho Era” will be on display at the museum through July 28. It tells the story of the valley’s Hispanic roots.

Art Exhibit

June 8 through July 2 Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Ojai Art Center, 113 S. Montgomery St. (805) 646-0117 www.ojaiartcenter.org The gallery exhibit will feature artwork by the group, Fibervision. A reception will be held June 15 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“Mama Mia!”

June 14 through July 14 Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Ojai Art Center Theater, 113 S. Montgomery St. (805) 646-0117 www.ojaiact.org Tracey Williams Sutton will direct this singing and dancing tribute to the superstar group, Abba.

Kingsmen Shakespeare Company

Camp June 17th - August 2nd Festival June 28th - August 4th Cal Lutheran University www.kingsmenshakespeare.org campshakespeare@ kingsmenshakespeare.org This season: The Merry Wives of Windsor and Richard II. Summer workshops are also being offered for children ages 8-16: Beginning Shakespeare, Advanced Shakespeare, Musical Theatre and Improv. Spaces are limited.

Moksha Festival

June 28 through 30 Frazier Park www.mokshafestival.com/socal 35 classes & workshops. 9 sacred music concerts & kirtans. Swimming, hiking, stargazing. Onsite accommodation (RV camp, shared cabins) Off-site accommodation close by (AirBnb, camping, hotels).

Lavender Festival

June 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Libbey Park (805) 646-3424 www.ojaivalleylavenderfestival.org The Ojai Valley Lavender Festival will feature a marketplace of lavender plants and products, plus cooking demonstrations, music and more.

Calendar

JUNE - SEPTEMBER 2019 “Saving the California Condors” June 29, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Learn what issues face this most endangered species and if they can truly be returned to the wild from Vince Gerwe, of Friends of the California Condor.

“Bats You Never Imagined” June 29, 1 p.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Learn all about bats from Ranger Kris Mashburn who will introduce her pet bat and present a slide show with vampire bats and many others.

July Free Concert July 3, 6 p.m. Libbey Bowl www.4thofjulyinojai.com A free concert of patriotic music will be offered by the Ojai Band and Marcus and Shanti Kettles. Bring a picnic or grab something from the food trucks.

Pancake Breakfast July 4, 7 to 10 a.m. Chaparral Auditorium, 414 E. Ojai Ave. www.4thofjulyinojai.com Hosted by Ojai Valley Lions Club. Cost: $7 adults, $5 kids.

Youth Freedom Run July 4, 8:45 a.m. In front of the Ojai post office www.4thofjulyinojai.com

Fourth of July Parade

July 4, 10 a.m. Down Ojai Avenue from Country Club Drive to Park Road (805) 646-5581 www.4thofjulyinojai.com The parade’s grand marshal this year is Upper Ojai Search & Rescue.

Ojai Fireworks Show

July 4, gates open at 5:30 p.m., fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. Nordhoff High School stadium www.4thofjulyinojai.com There will be a kids’ play zone, food trucks and other vendors, plus music provided by Danny McGaw and The 33, before the fireworks begin.

“Reptile Presentation”

July 6, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Southwestern Herpetological Society will present live and impressive lizards and snakes and give advice on which reptile to pick as a pet.

“Into the Wild”

July 6, 1 p.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Resevations are required for this Naturalists program on respecting and protecting wildlife in our local forest, led by Gordie Hemphill, scouter and president of the LPFA Ojai Chapter.

Art Exhibit

July 6 through Aug. 2 Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Ojai Art Center, 113 S. Montgomery St. (805) 646-0117 www.ojaiartcenter.org The gallery exhibit will feature artwork

by Duane Eells. A reception will be held July 6 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“Trees Are Treemendous”

July 13, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Lloyd Simpson, botanist with Los Padres National Forest, will lead this short, educational walk from the center into the campground to help you discover the native and non-native trees that live in Wheeler Gorge (required for scouts).

“Fire in Southern California”

July 13, 1 p.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Learn about the role of fire in Southern California ecosystems in this presentation by Nicole Molinari, an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service. When does the ecosystem rebound when it is devastated by fire? Ends with a walk in the Thomas Fire area.

Surf Rodeo

July 13th & 14th Ventura Pier 805.628.9083 www.surfrodeo.org Feature surfing competitions, cowgirl bikini competition, rodeo games including mechanical bull riding and beach cornhole.

“Volcanoes in Story and Science”

July 20, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Richard Wade, scientist, artist and educator, will teach the science of how volcanoes erupt and grow and also entertain all ages with legends and lore. Volunteers will make a model volcano erupt. Get a free piece of lava.

“Those Misunderstood Critters”

July 27, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Dawn Reily will give a presentation on the critters that are often left in shelters or forgotten because most people fear them. Listen to their rescue story and give them a special home.

“Into the Woods”

July 27, 1 p.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

lpforest.org/wheeler Resevations are required for this Foresters program teaching how mankind and animals depend upon and use the trees and plants found in our forest, led by Gordie Hemphill, scouter and president of the LPFA Ojai Chapter.

August

Ojai Playwrights Conference

Dates TBA Various times and locations (805) 640-0400 www.ojaiplays.org The Ojai Playwrights Conderence and New Works Festival is a celebration of creative collaboration featuring world-premiere plays, performance events and the OPC Youth Workshop presentation, headquartered at Besant Hill School.

Art Exhibit

Aug. 2 through Aug. 29 Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Ojai Art Center, 113 S. Montgomery St. (805) 646-0117 www.ojaiartcenter.org The gallery exhibit, titled “Lost and Found,” will feature recycled objects. A reception will be held Aug. 10 from 4 to 6 p.m.

“Strange and Exotic Critters”

Aug. 3, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler This hands-on experience lets you meet some unusual animals up-close and personal. Erin Koski, director of Luzonika, will teach about the benefits of having pets and introduce you to the softest bunny ever, a hairless guinea pig, a boa constrictor, tarantula and a miniature chicken.

“Annie, Kids”

Aug. 8 through Aug. 11 Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Ojai Art Center Theater, 113 S. Montgomery St. (805) 646-0117 www.ojaiact.org Children ages 7 through 18 will perform in this Youth Branch production of “Annie, Kids.”

“Rescuing Ocean Animals”

Aug. 10, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Wildlife rescuer Ron Barrett, with the Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife

Institute, will present information on sea lions, seals, otters and other animals found sick or injured. What you should do and not do when you find an animal stranded on the beach.

Art Exhibit

Aug. 16 through Oct. 14 Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Ojai Valley Museum, 130 W. Ojai Ave. (805) 640-1390 www.ojaivalleymuseum.org An exhibit of works by members of Ojai Studio Artists titled “Origins” will be on display. A free reception will be held Aug. 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. More than 60 local artist explore “how they got here” through a wide variety of mediums.

“Beginners’ Camping Workshop”

Aug. 17, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Join Recreational Equipment Inc.’s expert guides for this hands-on, first look at camping. You’ll practice setting up tents, choose the best sleeping bag for you and get practical experience to help you camp for the first time.

Ventura Comedy Festival

Laughter by the Sea 2019 August 19th-August 25th Ventura Harbor Comedy Club & The Green Room Lounge 1559 Spinnaker Drive #205A, Ventura, CA 93001 (805)-644-1500

“Storytelling of the Chumash”

Aug. 24, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait will share stories of death and resurrection, stories still alive today with lessons reinforced by a look at the night skies or a walk in the wilderness. Also learn to look at plants.

Art Exhibit

Aug. 30 through Oct. 3 Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Ojai Art Center, 113 S. Montgomery St. (805) 646-0117 www.ojaiartcenter.org The gallery exhibit will feature artwork and photographs of the Ojai Raptor Center. A reception will be held Sept. 7 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“Amazing World of Bears”

Aug. 31, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060

lpforest.org/wheeler Kelly Swedlow, Wheeler Gorge docent, will present information about our brown and black bears, and the many other types of bears found around the world.

September “Bless Your Heart”

Sept. 6 through Sept. 29 Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Ojai Art Center Theater 113 S. Montgomery St. (805) 646-0117 www.ojaiact.org This play takes a thoughtful yet hilarious look at a teacher of evolutionary biology who returns to his Carolina home to stop his 17-year-old brother from marrying the preacher’s daughter. When he clashes with his evangelical mom and his 11-times-married aunt with an Elvis fetish, hilarity ensues.

“Earth Rocks”

Sept. 7, 11 a.m. Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway (805) 640-9060 lpforest.org/wheeler Reservations are required for this geology class taught by Scouter Jennifer Flittie. Discover how volcanoes, mountains, caves and geysers are formed. Learn how rocks and minerals are used in metal, glass, jewelry, and in building homes. Make a Moh’s scale of hardness and start a rock and mineral kit.

“Under the Open Sky”

Sept. 20, 5:30 to 9 p.m. OVLC Steelhead Preserve, off Santa Ana Road (805) 649-6852 www.ovlc.org Ojai Valley Land Conservancy will begin its annual “MountainFilm on Tour” event featuring films from the annual Telluride Festival, starting with a catered dinner, beer and wine. When the sun sets, short adventure films from all over the world will be screened. Proceeds will benefit OVLC.

“Mountain Film on Tour”

Sept. 21, 5 to 10 p.m. Ojai Valley School, 723 El Paseo Road, Ojai (805) 649-6852 www.ovlc.org Ojai Valley Land Conservancy will continue its annual “MountainFilm on Tour,” beginning with live music, food trucks, a beer and wine garden, and a raffle. Screening of adventure films on the lawn starts at 7:15 p.m. Proceeds will benefit OVLC.

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Ongoing Events Certified Farmers’ Market

Every Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Matilija St. city parking lot behind the Arcade (805) 698-5555 Open-air market featuring locally grown produce, plants, musicians and handmade items, including soaps, baskets, beeswax candles and olive oil.

Ojai Historical Walking Tour

Every Saturday, October through June, 10:30 a.m. Depart from Ojai Valley Museum, 130 W. Ojai Ave. (805) 640-1390 www.ojaivalleymuseum.org Approximately one-hour tours of historical and cultural attractions in downtown Ojai.

Third Friday in Ojai

Third Friday of each month, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Ojai Valley Museum, 130 W. Ojai Ave. (805) 640-1390 www.ojaivalleymuseum.org Free admission, refreshments, and something extra every month. Other nearby downtown merchants also participate.

Old-Time Fiddlers

Second and fourth Sunday, 1:30 to 4 p.m. Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View (805) 797-6563 www.calfiddlers.com Join the California State Old-Time Fiddlers, District 8, for a fun-filled afternoon of listening or dancing to country, western and bluegrass music. Free admission and parking.

Free Saturday Meditation

Every Saturday, 9 a.m. Resonance Healing Center, 215 Church Rd., Ojai (623) 888-2375 www.OjaiResonanceCenter.com Free Mindful Moon Gatherings and weekly Guided Meditations.

Arts and Crafts Show

First Saturday of each month, 9 a.m to 4 p.m. (except January) Parking Lot at Nordhoff High School, 1401 Maricopa Highway, Ojai (805) 640-4343 gduncan@ojaiusd.org Artists may reserve a 10-foot-by-10foot booth space for $50, payable to the nonprofit Nordhoff Parent Association (NPA) to participate in this monthly Arts and Crafts Show. Booth fees are due one week prior to the show date and will benefit the school’s arts program.


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VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

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A

fter a weekend in Malibu, I told my friend Rick that he could just drop me off at the corner of Topanga Canyon Boulevard and PCH. I would hitchhike over to 101, then catch a ride downtown to see my draft counselor. “Are you sure dropping you off here is cool? You’re hitching to downtown LA, then back up to school in Ojai? That’s a lot of thumbing, man! You’re only 16 ...” I shook Rick’s hand and opened the door. “... and it’s against school rules,” I laughed. “I know what I’m doing. Thanks for the sun, the fun and waking up to an earthquake!

“Where you going?” “Downtown LA.” “We can get you as far as 101 ...” “Fantastic!” “Get in.” I tossed my duffle in the back seat and we were moving before the door closed. These guys, I could tell, were authentic LA hippies, so I had to be cool. This was the Age of Aquarius. The real Age of Aquarius. “Wow, you guys, thanks. I’m trying to get to my draft counselor, get out of this crazy war... you know? Power to the People! I’m John, who are you?” Silence. That didn’t stop me.

. TING U O ILY FAM

“I’ve never been up Topanga Canyon

pneumonia as a baby. Saw them set off a nuclear bomb! You live there? I don’t know much about the desert. I like the ocean. I want to become a good surfer.” I began to notice that we were going incredibly slowly, 10 to 15 mph and we did not speed up on straightaways. This is going to be a long ride, I thought, so I pulled out a cigarette and lit it. The passenger exploded. “There’s NO smoking in the car, dude!!! Put that out!” I immediately stubbed it out in the backseat ashtray. “I’m really sorry man, I–” He leveled a stare that totally unnerved me. Like you just never wanted to see him mad. I stopped talking.

Hinman? I know a guy named Hinman. Joel Hinman. He’s a really good friend of mi- ...” “IT’S NOT THE SAME GUY! NOW SHUT UP!” The driver suddenly came to life, flooring it — now we were sailing like a bat out of Hades, skittering off the road on every curve, flinging gravel like an automatic. An urgent hurry. And now I was really scared. I was in a car with angry strangers who appeared to be really mad at me. I remember wondering if I might end up as a dummy sailing off a cliff. I just sank back in the seat and prayed that they didn’t decide to stop before we got to 101 — and that we stopped at 101. Rolling out of the hills, we surged on to the Topanga flatlands.

Are we there yet?

S ON’ R A NA JOH

Tell your folks I really appreciate their hospitality, and watch out for people wearing tin-foil hats on Sunset! As we now know, they are aliens!” He burst out laughing, waved, pulled a 180 and rolled right back up the coast. I stood there with my gear bag and put out my thumb. I had never traveled up Topanga Canyon so this would be an adventure. I had no idea. A couple dozen cars passed me by, but it was April 1969, Woodstock was getting organized and strangers gave strangers rides and joints back in the day. Peace, love and revolution were in the air. A two-tone creamsicle of a car, a late ’50s Olds or Buick sedan pulled over and the passenger called out to me.

Boulevard. This is exciting. It’s the road you hear about in songs. Part of the California Dreamin’ thing … so great to catch a ride with … you cool dudes ...” They looked at each other and laughed. The driver had a black beard and messy hair; the passenger was clean-shaven with long brown locks. He was moviestar handsome, but he looked real nervous, on the verge of possessed. “It’s a wild ride,” the passenger said, “and it’s the quickest way out to the desert, where we’re going. You ever been out to the California desert?” “No. Well, once to Palm Springs when I had

Slowly, we wound our way up the mountain road. They were looking for something. I was quiet, but that wasn’t my nature. “No smoking,” I thought to myself. “Bad habit!” We swung left around a hairpin turn, down a straight section that curved upward to the right. The passenger pointed to a road to the left near the beginning of the turn. “There it is! That dirt road on the left side! That’s Hinman’s house. That’s where he lives. That’s where Hinman lives! Now we know.” I always tried so hard to be hip. “Oh, you know a guy named

I watched the strip malls and gas stations whiz by and saw the 101 overpass ahead. The driver slammed on the brakes as he skidded to a halt in the gravel next to the freeway entrance. The passenger spun around, grabbed the door handle, flung it open, and with a smoldering glare, barked, “THIS IS WHERE YOU GET OUT!” I got a really good look at his face. His countenance was terrifying. I exited the vehicle with all haste. They took off, scattering gravel at me and cut off a line of cars as they roared back onto the road. I saw them disappear under the overpass.


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

I was now farther from home than I’d ever been alone, and was I ever relieved. I was alive. The next two rides, while also memorable, paled in comparison with what had happened. I told the story to my draft counselor, Gary, who was once a teacher at my school. He felt it was a good idea to drive me back the hundred miles so I wouldn’t get in any more trouble. School rules: Hitchhiking was an expellable offense. I broke rules for a hobby. “You don’t need any more adventures today,” he said.

were found, tried and convicted of the horrible crimes, initially sentenced to death, then to life prison terms with the termination in California of capital punishment. During the trial, the Family was found responsible for an additional murder two weeks prior to the killing spree, in late July, that of a music impresario who lived in Topanga Canyon named Gary Hinman. Manson and his cohorts

He was there on the page. The passenger, whose face I have never forgotten, was Bobby Beausoleil. He was known to like to stab people. That he didn’t go berserk on me for blurting out the poor guy’s name was my great fortune. I was afraid to say anything to anyone for fear of being an unwitting witness. I think I was in the car when they discovered where this

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a record deal. My professor found evidence that the members of the Family had stayed in his pool cabana as they scoped out Sharon Tate’s place. The Family had decided to commit the crime upon

whomever was living there. poor guy lived. I finally learned their names. They never introduced themselves ...

It was late in summer of ’69 that macabre ritual murders in LA at the Tate and La Bianca homes turned up a demonic cult out in the desert known as the Manson Family, led by failed musician and self-proclaimed guru Charles Manson, who thought these murders were a way to start a race war. The Manson Family lived a life of brutal debauchery, culminating when they slaughtered seven people Aug. 8-9, 1969. All perpetrators

knew him and descended upon Hinman and stabbed him to death when they thought he had inherited money and wouldn’t give it to them. In the LA Times articles, they showed pictures of the specific ones responsible for his death. Evidently, Bruce Davis was the getaway driver and car thief who took off that night with Manson in one of Hinman’s cars, leaving Bobby Beausoleil and a couple of the Manson Girls to kill him. Looking at the pictures, I froze. Bruce Davis, who resembled Manson, was the driver who picked me up that April afternoon.

Back in the Age of Aquarius, when it was safe to hitchhike... A postscript ... This event was so otherworldly and Forrest Gump-like that I often wondered if somehow I had hallucinated it or just imagined this to fabricate a story that would make me cooler. Then I realized I never told anyone the story for 40 years. I had a high school professor whose family owned the property on Cielo Drive, next to the house where the Polanskis lived. It had been rented previously by Terry Melcher, whom Manson got mad at when Melcher wouldn’t give him

I happened to meet Guy Webster, the noted photographer, who knew the story well, and we had a chance to discuss the characters in the morbid play that led up to these crimes. When I told him of my memories, he said that the recollection sounded accurate and most likely true, and I might have, in fact, been a witness to an unfortunate moment of history ... and he said I was lucky to be around to tell him about it. So … after 50 years, this is the story. A 3.5 earthquake registered just before 3 a.m. April 13, 1969, in Long Beach, not that far down the coast as the crow flies. The quake shook us awake in the middle of the night. I think that was the day.


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VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

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Healing Horses On a 9-acre ranch in Meiners Oaks, people and horses are healing each other.

Take Cheyenne, an abused 20-year-old male saddlebred and draft horse cross, and Shaun, a 7-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. The two met on March 31, when California Coastal Horse Rescue, at 600 W. Lomita Ave., hosted a group of 10 special-needs children and their families, for a day of fun with the horses. Founded with the goal of rescuing and offering rehabilitation, refuge and adoption services to horses in need, CCHR also wanted to share the horses and the ranch with the community. So the rescue started-reading and educational programs for kids, programs for special needs children and programs for adults with dementia and substance abuse issues. Adri Howe, executive director at CCHR, began working with Cheyenne when she first joined the rescue. “Cheyenne is probably one of the most abused horses we’ve ever taken in,” Howe said. Animal officials had taken Cheyenne from where he’d been abandoned and said if CCHR couldn’t take him, they would euthanize him because of the danger he posed to people. “So we brought him to the rescue and we just let him be a horse for a while. He got to see the other horses and their responses to people.” Despite Cheyenne’s trust issues and mental health after he was so badly abused, Howe said, he’s probably one of the most communicative horses in the CCHR stable. “It’s almost like Cheyenne, having struggled and gone through such hardship, is particularly sensitive to people.” The bad times he endured seem to have given him something special. “He can relate to emotions. He can relate to a variety of people. He happens to relate very well to children, because they’re not threatening to him.”

Adri Howe, executive director at California Coastal Horse Rescue, with Cheyenne.

As part of CCHR’s Learn, Care & Share program, kids get to meet the horses and hear their stories. They can pet and brush the horses and make horse-


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by Perry Van Houton

related crafts to take home. The ranch has hosted foster children and home-school groups. The outing in March included families from the Autism Society of Ventura County. Many of the children — like the rescue horses — have not had easy lives, said Howe. “The horses can help kids sometimes, by kids just learning their stories. The horses are just these amazing ambassadors.”

the best way to further communicate with Shaun. “There was just this very deep, instant communication between the two of them,” recalled Howe, who said she would have liked to have heard the “conversation” in words. It’s what Howe calls therapy without the therapy. “It is unbelievable, the healing that these animals bring to us. Sometimes it takes a creature completely outside of the child’s life to really just feel that child, and understand that child, and then reach

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have value anymore,” Howe explained. CCHR, founded as a nonprofit in 2000, provides the horses with wholistic rehabilitation that brings them back to the highest level of well-being. Each horse gets a full physical examination by a veterinarian. Then the rehab begins, starting with the horse’s diet. On June 1, the ranch hosted “Help A Horse Day,” a national effort by the ASPCA to find homes for horses in need. While Howe loves to see horses and people helping each other, finding

Enter Shaun. At first, through tears, he pleaded with his mother to take him home. Then he met Cheyenne. “Watching Cheyenne, he got Shaun right away,” said Howe. “He knew what to do, how to approach him and how to say ‘I’m here,’ but in a non-invasive way. These horses are masters at reading us.” The horse came up to the boy, facing him at first. “I saw that he would lean down and touch Shaun’s shoes with his nose.” Then Cheyenne yawned a big yawn. Horses, like people, will do that when they’re tired, but the type of repetitive yawning Cheyenne was doing is more of an energy release. “He feels good enough to let it go,” said Howe. “It was almost like he was taking Shaun in and taking in his energy, and giving it back, in a way.” Cheyenne appeared incredibly relaxed — in his zone, Howe said. “He doesn’t do that with just anyone. When Shaun didn’t really react to his face or his head, Cheyenne turned his body and put it very close to the fence, so Shaun could touch him.” Howe said Cheyenne is very frightened of objects, because of his prior abuse. So seeing him so relaxed and so interested in a boy in a wheelchair was remarkable. “It’s like the chair didn’t even exist,” she said. Cheyenne was really just trying to find

Chelsea, 5, meets one of the rescue horses at California Coastal Horse Rescue.

out to that child in the best way. We saw an incredible bridge being built between the two of them,” Howe said. Since its inception, CCHR has provided sanctuary to more than 150 horses and ponies and has also helped place more than 600 horses in new homes through its adoption services and collaborative efforts with other rescues. The all-volunteer organization rescues horses of all breeds, ages, histories and temperaments. “We’ve rescued horses that were about to be sent to slaughter or about to be euthanized, because someone felt they were old and didn’t

good, permanent matches for the horses remains CCHR’s ultimate goal. Some of the horses may remain at the ranch the rest of their lives, since they’re not adoptable because of either age or infirmity. Like Cheyenne, some of them have endured horrific abuse. Part of the healing process, said Howe, “is showing them that even though humans have let them down, this is a different kind of human.” For more information on California Coastal Horse Rescue, visit www.calcoastalhorserescue.com


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VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

ROSALIE ZABILLA “Live where you Love”

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SANTA BARBARA BROKERAGE | SANTA YNEZ VALLEY BROKERAGE | MONTECITO BROKERAGE Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered (or unregistered) service marks used with permission. Operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Real estate agents affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. are independent contractor sales associates and are not employees of Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Equal Housing Opportunity. SIR DRE: 899496

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by Richard LaPlante

If I knew then what I know now, I would have kept my promise. “Never again.” I said it and I meant it.

A

fter thirty years of buying homes, renovating homes, selling homes and finally building one from scratch I’d had enough. From London, England to East Hampton, New York, the problems were the same, nothing was ever completed on time and nothing ever stayed inside the budget. I’d scraped and prayed, chased banks and builders, been rich and poor, finally earning enough from bricks and mortar to be secure. Then came the trip to Ojai, California, and the discovery of a hidden valley bathed in the perfume of orange blossoms; guarded by a mountain range that glowed pink in the setting sun. There was a flat patch of raw land at the crest and, in my mind, a house of glass sat on top of it, perched like a tiara, looking out over the crisscross patterns of avocado and orange groves below. My promise was broken. With each small step I believed we could handle the next, but as the project grew larger and more demanding it became more difficult to control, draining our life savings and testing our marriage. As I write this, the dream-house sits like Noah’s Ark, stranded high and dry on the top of the mountain, wrapped in a

shroud of black paper, ready for plaster. But... There is no one there to plaster it. No sound of nails being hammered. No builder’s boombox blaring country music or classic rock. No clank of boots upon ladders or chatter of voices. Silence. Nothing. We’ve got ourselves a ghost ship. Maybe, in a psychological sense, this all started in Philadelphia, in the ultrawealthy blue-blooded suburbs of the Main Line, when some sixteen-year-old kid wearing a varsity football lettersweater and a crew cut drove me home from a friend’s house. Pulling his 1958 Corvette to the curb in front of my parent’s home, shutting off his throaty V8 and gazing disdainfully at the small Colonial style house that sat about a hundred feet from his window. “Where is it?” he asked. I was confused. “Where’s what?” He gave me a long, sideways glance that quickly turned into a leer. “Your house.” “There,” I answered, pointing towards the front door “That’s where I live.” He snickered. “You call that a house?” His meaning was clear. Compared to the gated mansions that studded the Main Line, one of which housed his new Corvette, my family’s home was humble.


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“At least it’s paid for,” my father said. He’d been a child violin prodigy, an actor, a well-known radio announcer and finally a disgruntled advertising executive, permanently pissed off that he wasn’t Johnny Carson or even Ed McMahon.” Those bastards are all mortgaged to the hilt or living off family money,” he added. Despite this explanation, the seed was planted. What would it be like to wake up in a four-poster bed in a vast room with a balcony overlooking rolling hills, trees, manicured lawns and the blue-green

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waters of a kidney-shaped swimming pool? How would it feel to bring my friends home to a sprawling graystone fortress, with walled gardens, gates, twenty rooms, and a driveway that looked like the final furlong at Aqueduct. What would Mr. Red Corvette say? I became obsessed with houses. Rubbernecking from the backseat of the family’s silver-gray Oldsmobile, trying to catch a peek through the high iron gates and up the tree-lined entrance ways at the Tudor


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style mansions that dotted the more exclusive areas of the Main Line. Yearning to look through their leaded windows to see what went on inside, envisioning high vaulted ceilings, winding stair cases and roaring log fires. What would my life be like if I lived in one of them? Perhaps, in a more practical sense, it was my grandfather who influenced me most. He was a small, wiry Englishman who had immigrated to New York City at the age of nineteen to become the chauffeur for Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi. Survivor of both World War I and the Great Depression, Grandpa went on to establish a small business in the sale and repair of heavy machinery and always put his extra money into property: Grandpa obviously had something, so when I asked, during one of our regular

we’d run out of money and travelled from secure to totally insecure in the course of three years. While the shroud of black paper flapped like an untethered mainsail in the Santa Ana winds the joyless owner-builders were sleeping in separate bedrooms while visiting an assortment of marriage counsellors, all of whom offered the same philosophical remedy for our difficulties, “Finish the house.” Not so fast. There was still the county to deal with. The house we built in New York, working from raw land, had taken less than a year from start to finish. There was not a lot of red tape. Here in Ojai, we were entering our fourth year and had only a frame to show for our efforts. Then there was retired Navy CB Jeff, now a Ventura County building

consciousness, as he lifted his hand to magically manifest another yellow correction slip. And, all I could think was, “Jeff, would you just step over here to the side of the mountain. I have a very special trip planned for you. Sort of a paid vacation.” It reached the point where I was unable to communicate with him at all, for fear of uncontrolled acts of rage. Dealing with Jeff and many other tasks, like standing for hours in line at the county Building Department to get an approval for some mundane change in bathroom fixtures, were assigned to my wife while I employed every ounce of my dwindling charm to convince the local bank to loan us the money to finish the dream.

“The only Zen you find on the top of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” Robert Persig, Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

conversations that took place in the twin red velvet parlor chairs that sat side-by-side in his living room “Are you rich?” He answered. “No, but I am well to-do.” “What’s that?” “It means I’ve got enough.” His nose was aquiline, and a reddishbrown toupee sat slightly lopsided on the top of his head while the thick lenses of horn-rimmed glasses exaggerated the pale grey eyes that bored into mine. “Think big and your dreams will grow,” he said, with the stubborn remnants of a London accent. “Think small and you’ll fall behind. Think that you can and you will. It’s all in the state of mind.” While I contemplated, he added. “Bricks and mortar is the best place to put your money. Safer than any bank.” Well Grandpa, I’m not so sure of that. Renovating a kitchen can put a strain on a relationship; building a dream house can wreak absolute havoc. By the time the ghost ship left port,

inspector; he was tall, thin and meticulous in his khaki shorts and shirt, complemented by stark white socks and steel tipped working boots. In fact, the sight of his stern face and red baseball cap through the window of his gray Jeep as he entered the gates at the end of our driveway was enough to send me into a homicidal rage, clenching my fists and uttering vicious oaths while vowing to shove him off the side of the mountain. He retaliated with 13 correction slips for the frame, another six for the half-finished fireplace and a few more thrown in for miscellaneous lag bolts or junction boxes that were a quarter inch to the right or left of what was indicated on the plans. All in a day’s work for Jeff. So much for architectural detail. So much for being an owner-builder. Westward Ho! No general contractor required. “This is not to code,” was his mantra, repeated in a soft aggravating monotone that became ingrained like a voodoo curse in my insomnia-ridden

It took another three years, another phonebook sized stack of corrections, another stack of money courtesy of the Ojai Valley Community Bank and many hours in couples counselling, but finally the house was finished. The first time I slept there I was alone. Laying on a single futon on the floor of the otherwise empty shell of the dream house, before the furniture or the family filled the hollow. Waking up to a rising ball of yellow-gold in a sky that was the palest shade of blue with jagged shadows dancing on the mountain tops, and a wonderful silence that pervaded any thoughts of the journey taken or the price paid. As Robert M. Persig wrote in his famous memoire, Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance “The only Zen you find on the top of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” True, so true. Never again.


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Richard La Plante has written 9 novels and 4 memoirs, including ‘Never Again, Building The Dream House’. He has lived in Ojai for 14 years and currently teaches Breath And Movement and works with those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.

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LIV Sotheby’s International Realty 727 W. Ojai Avenue Ojai, California livsothebysrealtyca.com | 805.646.7288 | DRE 00969542 © 2019 LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. All rights reserved. All data, including all measurements and calculations are obtained from various sources and has not and will not be verified by Broker. All information shall be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. LIV Sotheby’s International Realty is independently owned and operated and supports the principals of the Fair Housing Act.


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next stop: a

tomorrow

better The passionate mission of Ojai-based initiative Lotus Outreach International

“An educated girl lights up the whole house.” These are the words written on the classroom wall of the Government Girls Secondary School in Aharwan village, Palwal, India. But being an educated girl in this region of the world doesn’t come easy. In fact, it can be downright dangerous. Without safe commuting options and secondary schools up to 10 miles from home, most Mewat girls don’t study past the fifth grade. This, combined with conservative local attitudes toward female mobility, has terrible consequences for an adolescent girl: if there is no school in her village, she is forced to drop out, leaving her vulnerable to the traditional institution of childhood marriage and early childbearing. Ojai nonprofit, Lotus Outreach International (LOI), is seeking to change this. Alarmed by the high drop-out rates and low literacy among the girls in Mewat, LOI started Blossom Bus. Blossom Bus is a free service that provides safe transportation to secondary school, making it possible for these girls to go to school. Riders develop a sense of autonomy before motherhood and increase their capacity to contribute to their communities and families. While LOI’s fleet of seven buses currently transports 300 girls in 2019, a new grant has doubled this capacity to 600 riders in 2020. Blossom Bus is one of 16 of LOI’s projects dedicated to empowering vulnerable women and children living in poverty. Their work spans grassroots initiatives and local partnerships across India and

Cambodia. In a recent interview founder, Khyentse Norbu, said of the 17,000 individuals LOI is serving in 2019, “One of them, out of these thousands, will end up a savior of a lot.” With affiliates in six countries and two locally based NGOs in India and Cambodia, this local nonprofit boasts a global community. Local Realtor and president of the board of Lotus Outreach, Patty Waltcher, has worked with the organization since 2004. She is passionate about bridging the chasm between parents’ legitimate concerns for their daughters’ safety and a girl’s right to education. “When you educate a girl, you educate a village,” she says. Lotus is dedicated to finding those girls and communities in most need of support and sustainable solutions. Blossom Bus’ sister programs Lotus Pedals and the 1000 Bikes Campaign are doing the same by providing access to education, while the ASHA program in Rajasthan is improving maternal and

children’s health through training and advocacy. The belief that threads and inspires their work is that empowerment is the heart of sustainable change. For more information, please visit www.lotusoutreach.org


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Stephen Adelman “ Your Family Man Realtor”

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M

y parents built their dream home in 1963 in Mira Monte on South Rice Road just at the crest of the steep hill. We moved into it that summer. I dug on having my own bedroom for the first time, but we were no longer in downtown Ojai where I had lived my entire life with all my neighborhood buddies. I had just turned 12 years old and was about to begin junior high school and would have to ride a school bus for the first time. I had always enjoyed the freedom of walking and riding my bicycle to school. Dang it! I had to figure out how to entertain myself now that I lived out in the sticks.

made for good fun. I hiked many miles through them. I built forts in them. I got a bow with arrows and hunted in them. I got a mini-bike and rode many miles through them. They got even better when I made friends with a few neighborhood kids and we took them in together.

me. I was rather startled, hoped they were friendly, but had a hammer to defend myself. They stopped and watched me for a bit. It was kinda like when dogs sniff each other out upon meeting for the first time. Finally, they asked me what I was doing. I told them. They dug the idea. Come to find out, these two soon-to-be fellow shipmates only lived about a block away from me. They were cousins that lived

together with their grandparents, and their grandpa had just built a splitrail fence around the home into which they had very recently moved. Rick Askam and Doug Schmelz would become great friends of mine,

d e l i x E It must have rained fairly decently that year because Mirror Lake filled up. It was a natural pothole that ran sort of north to south next to the Southern Pacific

LOOK BACK IN OJAI with Drew Mashburn

Long before any of the custom homes were built in this neighborhood, the area had been covered by really large commercial English walnut orchards. I mean acres and acres and acres of the trees with a big ol’ barn full of processing equipment. So, almost every home out there had English walnut trees. But, there were a lot of acres that had yet to have homes built on them. These undeveloped old orchards

to Mira Monte

Railroad bed and Highway 33. You’ll find it on old maps of the area. It was that spring or early summer I decided to build a raft. I hauled a bunch of wood, nails and other raft materials down there and began construction. There was nobody there but me. As I was pounding away, I looked up and noticed two big guys pushing their bicycles on the path towards


VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

especially after they offered up the leftover split-rail fencing of their grandpa’s for our use in raft building. The three of us spent hours upon hours, poling (pushing the rafts with a long pole extended to the bottom of the pond) around Mirror Lake. Sometimes, the train would stop. It was usually just the engine with a couple of cars and sometimes a caboose. The engineer and his assistant would stand on one of the flatcars, fold back the waxed-paper in which their sandwiches were wrapped, then chat with us while they took their lunch break. Man, those were good times! The railroad is now the Ojai Valley Trail. Mirror Lake got cut in half with the extension of Woodland Avenue from South Rice Road to Highway 33. The larger portion of the lake got filled in and the Ojai Woodlands condominium complex

farm for low-risk prisoners was in full operation and barbed-wire fence ran alongside the farm property next to the road. From the fence down the hill to the agricultural fields in the farm, the hill was kept barren to make prisoner escapes about impossible. We figured out when the deputies were not looking toward that barren hillside, we’d clear that nasty barbed fence, then sprint down the hillside into the cornfield. We’d scatter amongst the tall corn stalks, then have hellacious corn fights.

But, let’s go back to one more story from back in the hood. Pretty much across the street from my parents home was the Ventura County Sheriff ’s “Honor Farm.” That’s where Help of Ojai is located presently. But, when Doug, Rick and I were young teenagers the

I could tell you about English walnut wars; running across Henderson Airfield as planes were about to take off; cows grazing where Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Circle K are located now; riding our

We’d break off an ear and set it sailing towards one another. You could hear the ear crashing through the stalks as it torpedoed towards you. Let me tell you ... when you get clobbered in the noggin by a heavy,

And I was always such a “Good Boy”. I didn’t deserve it! and the Ojai Oaks Village mobile-home park were built on top of the fill.

kids called their grandparents “Grandma” and “Grandpa.” Big Joe & Mary Silvestri lived next door to Grandma & Grandpa Schmelz. We played countless football games out front of their home. They treated all us kids like we were their grandkids.

green ear of corn, you’ve been clobbered! I got nailed several times. Explains a lot about me, I suppose. I lived in that same Mira Monte home all the way through high school. I ended up loving the heck out of the neighborhood to which I had been exiled. I became friends,not only with Doug and Rick, but their entire family. All the neighborhood

skateboards and anything else with wheels down the steep South Rice Road hill,; playing baseball at Grandma and Grandpa Schmelz’s and knocking the balls over the fence into grumpy Mr. Johnson’s yard (Grandma gave him a piece of her mind a few times); asking my first girlfriend to go steady with me while walking down Woodland Avenue; playing and exploring the Ventura

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River bed; chasing pigs at the Honor Farm; riding my 1961 Yamaha 80 motorcycle at “Devil’s Gulch”; placing pennies, nickels and nails on the railroad rails to flatten them; watching Russell Glenn’s 4H Club sheep while he was on vacation and walking it on a leash; rototilling for countless hours at Mr. Peacock’s to make a few bucks, but feeling like I was still shaking for about two days after I was done. I think you get the idea. Mirror Lake seems so long ago. Yet, in some ways it was only yesterday. The smell of the warm still water permeating the air, the sound of the rustling cattails as the warm summer breeze gently blew through them, the melodic call of the redwinged blackbirds, the constant clicking of the American coots, the occasional croak of a big ol’ bullfrog, ducks rapidly rising from the water while quacking their hearts away, the train rumbling along the tracks and its occasional whistle blasting – it all lingers sweetly on my mind. I was never really exiled.


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507 GriDley roaD

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2491 Bonmark Drive

257 BunDren Street

Kristen Currier 805-798-3757 kcurrier@livsothebysrealtyca.com www.OjaibyKristen.com

250 S.PaDre Juan ave

Kathy Hoff 805-290-6907 kathy@kathyhoff.com

Explore this 4 year new Home in the Ojai Villa Senior Estates with mountain views. $225,000

Playful 4 Bed, 2 Bath with pool. 10,000 sqft lot. Beautifully updated throughout! $675,000

907 DROWN AVENUE, OJAI, 93023

1920’s Craftsman Style Two Story Bungalow, 1/4 Acre. $785,000.

Amanda Stanworth

Teresa Rooney

805-340-8928 teresarooney@me.com www.Rooney-Stanworth.com

805-218-8117 astanworth@livsothebysrealtyca.com www.Rooney-Stanworth.com DRE 01262333

Build your dream home! Gorgeous 2 acre Rancho Matilija lot. $599,000

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

DRE 005599443


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Home Delivery Available Also Available.... walkers - wheelchairs - crutches - scooters hospital beds - nebulizers - lift-up chairs

•••••••••

Prescription Service So Fast You’ll Almost Forget You Were Here Most Vaccinations Available including: Shingles, Flu, Prevnar 13, Gardasil and Travel Vaccines

Most Insurance Plans Accepted including: Medicare Part D & Medical Gold Coast

805.646.0106 960 E. Ojai Avenue (In the Firebird Plaza) medicineshoppe.com/0489


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VOLUME 37 NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2019

FRED DRENNEN IS ....

Worried

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in Ojai

As you know, I’m a worrier. I worry about a lot of things. Lately, I started worrying about the food I eat. I started my first vegetable garden in Anaheim when I was 12 years old. In 1959, you didn’t have to ask how Orange County got its name. The weather and soil were perfect for agriculture. Just like Ojai, you would wake up one morning to the smell of orange blossoms. It was a wonderful place to grow up. It was in this environment that I began my lifelong enthusiasm for growing food. I started everything from seeds: carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, corn, cantaloupe, cucumbers, radishes, you name it. They grew huge. Family and friends would flock to see this marvel. Everybody said I had a “green thumb.” Me, I think the plants knew I liked them. I still do. When I first see green shoots pop out of the ground, I feel like the creator. But recently something terrible was going wrong. I planted store-bought potatoes and got nothing. Zip. Maybe I got a bad batch? I planted “organic” potatoes from our health food store. They died as soon as they popped out of the soil. This was very distressing. What the heck was going on? Did I lose my mojo? Or was something else going on? I got worried. Then I read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle — A Year of Food Life,” by Barbara Kingsolver. She discovered, as I did, store-bought potatoes are chemically treated to prevent them from sprouting on the shelf. I guess you could say it’s a form of birth control for potatoes. You can sing arias to your potatoes and they won’t sprout. There’s more. I started growing worms. I never knew much about them — where they come from, what they eat, or which is the front end. A worm guru friend brought me a bucket of worms and compost. To my surprise, I learned worms eat kitchen

waste. Just bury all your table scraps like lettuce, celery ends, carrots and cucumber peelings. Before you know it, you’ll have a new family of wiggly little critters. I got into it in a big way. I buried stuff in the garden every week. One day, I went to the garden to find the dogs had dug up my garbage and were happily eating it. What shocked me the most was the scraps looked perfectly preserved, like they were embalmed before burying. We had been eating cadaver food! My alarm bell started ringing.

‘I got so worried, I stopped eating. This lasted until lunchtime.’ I learned that 75 percent of processed food in grocery stores has been genetically modified by bio-engineers. The purpose of this slicing and dicing of the plant’s DNA is to make the vegetables indestructible. The grocery store can keep fresh food on the shelf for months or years, like Spam. You would think they would

have warning signs at the store: CAUTION: This food has a halflife comparable to plutonium, and consumption may cause digestive distress lasting days or weeks. They don’t. I got so worried, I stopped eating. This lasted until lunchtime. I decided I needed a reality check. Fortunately, I’m not on any medication and have been vitamin-free for more than ten years. I watch what I eat but I don’t obsess about it. Eating should be a joy, not a compulsive behavior. The whole point of having my garden is the joy of growing my own food. Putting my hands and feet in the soil somehow connects me with the earth. Living in a senior park, you become aware that many of us tend to get quirky and cranky in our old age. But watching folks in our community garden nurturing their “plant babies,” I see happy people. They, too, are connecting with the earth and each in their own way is creating their own “Garden of Eating.”


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Cheryl & Ray Deckert Broker Associates

Maria DePaola Sheryl Whipple Realtor Partner Realtor Associate

111 S. Poli Street, Ojai - $699,000

Robert Perron Realtor Associate

Paul Johnsen Realtor Associate

522 Pleasant Avenue, Ojai - $795,000

This Meiners Oaks home could be utilized as a large 3 bed/2 bath, 1,764 sq. ft. home with two kitchens and living areas, or as two units - providing a stream of income for the live in owner or investor. The front portion of the home is a larger 2 bed/1 bath space with saltillo tile flooring, wood-beamed/barreled ceilings, fireplace, large living area with vaulted ceilings, 2-car garage, private patio, and its own yard. The back portion features 1 bed/1 bath, plus a flexible space for an office or a 2nd bedroom. Also featured are a large family room with saltillo tile floors and fireplace, wood-beamed ceilings, and a kitchenette. This back portion also has its own private yard space. The grounds and layout of this property give the sense of being on a tropical island, yet you’re steps from all the best M.O. restaurants - Don Lalo’s, Papa Lennon’s, Farmer & the Cook (and more) all within 2/10ths of a mile. This hidden darling could be your nest egg or simply - YOUR nest!

This modern-meets-classic 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home has been customized and remodeled, sparing no expense to quality and detail. Stepping into this home you’ll instantly notice the light and airy feeling you get from the numerous dual-paned windows and open floor plan. With a slate fireplace, designer kitchen with quartz countertops and large center island which doubles as a breakfast bar, recessed lighting, quartz counters and glass subway tiles in the bathrooms, tankless water heater, coiffed grounds, fruit trees, and partial mountain views - you’ll know you found your dream come true with this spectacular home. It’s also located near the best Ojai hiking trails (Shelf Road, Pratt, & Fox Canyon), yet close enough to the center of downtown (1.1 miles) to walk, should your hiking routine include fine dining or shopping.

208 S. Ventura Street, #A, Ojai - $425,000

318 N. La Luna Avenue, Ojai - $649,000

Check out this downtown Ojai 2 bed/1.5 bath, 902 sq. ft. condo, complete with custom kitchen (including granite counter tops), tile and wood floors, and its own private patio - all located within steps of the swimming pool, yet only .3 miles from downtown restaurants and Libbey Park!

Country charm with an architectural twist is what this roomy 3 bed/2 bath home is all about. Just past the artistic front fencing you’ll step into a beautiful & private drought-tolerant front yard which leads you to the home's entrance. Once inside you’ll notice the smartly designed interior offers plenty of light with several clerestory windows, skylights & up/downstairs open space. Your eye is drawn to the custom crafted wooden spiral staircase, which leads to the loft-style family room & master suite. The master suite with full ensuite bath opens to a balcony which overlooks the lush back yard. Also not to be missed are the stone floors in the downstairs bedrooms & bathroom.

www.BestBuysInOjai.com ~

Phone: 805.272.5221 ~ Email: Team@DeckertDePaola.com

BRE #01761150, 00780642, 01877842, 01962884, 02019595, 02018091, 01859199


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Directory of Advertisers 101 CBD.......................................................... 38 AEGM Roofing............................................. 133 Agave Maria’s................................................. 111 Allstate, Alexander & Olivares....................... 134 Amanda Stanworth, REALTOR................... 156 Anacapa Homes............................................. 142 Andrea Gaines.................................................. 24 Andrew Snett, Wells Fargo Advisor................. 80 Anne Williamson, REALTOR...................... 149 Artizen Floors................................................ 149 Australian Native Plants................................... 50 Azu Restaurant............................................... 112 Bamboo Creek Spa........................................... 24 Bart’s Books...................................................... 16 Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts.................. 42 Besant Hill School............................................ 59 Bikini Factory................................................... 38 blanche silvia ................................................... 34 Boccali’s Restaurant........................................ 110 Body Essentials of Ojai.................................... 28 Boku Superfood................................................ 25 Bonnie Lu’s Restaurant.................................. 111 BookEnds Bookstore........................................ 36 Buena Tile........................................................ 11 Burt Severy....................................................... 50 Byron Katie International................................. 24 California Solar Electric................................... 75 canvas & paper................................................... 9 Casa de Lago.................................................. 106 Casitas Municipal Water District..................... 80 Cassandra VanKeulen, REALTOR................ 149 Cattywampus Crafts......................................... 34 Chamber on the Mountain............................ 120 Char & Jerry Michaels, REALTORS............. 2,3 Cheryl & Ray Deckert, REALTORS............ 160 Chisum’s Floor Covering................................ 132 Coastal Softub................................................ 140 Community Memorial Hospital....................... 26 Cottage Hospital.............................................. 27 Cuyama Buckhorn............................................ 98 Deer Lodge...................................................... 97 DMD Construction........................................... 4 Donna Sallen, REALTOR...................... 162/163 Duane Eells...................................................... 48 Embellish....................................................... 142 Emerald & Blue Iguana Inns........................... 65 Everready Termite & Pest Control................. 157 Fig Curated Living........................................... 52 Food Harmonics............................................... 99 For Your Home.............................................. 141 Frameworks of Ojai.......................................... 52 Fred’s Tire Man.............................................. 129 Gabriela Ceseña, REALTOR ........................... 5

Gardner & Sons Roofing............................... 140 Gizmo Wizards.............................................. 128 Green Goddess Gardens.................................. 74 Greg Rents..................................................... 129 Heavenly Honey............................................... 50 Humane Society Ventura County.................. 126 Indian Summers............................................... 38 Jes MaHarry..................................................... 15 Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill.................................. 112 JJ’s Sports Zone.............................................. 106 Joan Roberts, REALTOR.............................. 153 John Aaron....................................................... 43 Jones and Co..................................................... 45 JSG Law Group............................................. 127 Kariella............................................................. 33 Kathi Smith Esq............................................... 80 Kathy Hoff, REALTOR................................ 156 Kerry Miller Designs...................................... 135 Kingsman Shakespeare................................... 121 Kristen Currier, REALTOR.......................... 156 Krotona Institute............................................ 120 La Fuente....................................................... 111 Lake Casitas .................................................... 64 Lattitudes Fine Art.......................................... 51 Lauren Van Keulen, REALTOR.................... 149 Lavender Festival............................................ 126 Lavender Inn.................................................... 52 Lisa Phelps..................................................... 148 LIV Sotheby’s.......................................... 150/151 Majestic Oak Vineyard..................................... 97 Mandala......................................................... 107 Marché Gourmet.............................................. 98 Mark Crane’s Tree Service................................ 74 Meiners Oaks Hardware................................ 133 Mind Your Manors......................................... 128 Modern Age Dentistry..................................... 17 Monica Ros School.......................................... 61 Montessori School............................................ 60 Nate Minkel, REALTOR................................ 66 Noah’s Ark Preschool....................................... 61 Nora Davis, REALTOR................................. 6,7 Nut Meg’s Ojai House..................................... 35 Oak Grove School............................................ 60 Ojai Art Center Theater................................. 121 Ojai Beverage Co. ............................................ 95 Ojai Business Center...................................... 128 Ojai Custom Painting.................................... 135 Ojai Door & Window.................................... 133 Ojai Dory......................................................... 36 Ojai Energetics............................................... 131 Ojai Farmers’ Market....................................... 99 Ojai Film Festival........................................... 122 Ojai Olive Oil Company.................................. 81

Ojai Rockstacker.............................................. 49 Ojai Rôtie......................................................... 99 Ojai Studio Artists........................................... 48 Ojai Valley Athletic Club................................. 19 Ojai Valley Inn............................................ 12,13 Ojai Valley Museum......................................... 42 Ojai Valley Trail Riding Co............................ 138 Ojai Youth Entertainers Studio...................... 121 OVA Arts......................................................... 52 Pamela Grau .................................................... 48 Papa Lennon’s ............................................... 106 Parklands Apartments.................................... 148 Patty Waltcher, REALTOR.......................67,164 Pixie’s General Store........................................ 34 Poppies Art and Gifts....................................... 43 Priscilla in Ojai................................................. 35 Rainbow Bridge.............................................. 104 Resonance Healing........................................... 28 Riki Strandfeldt, REALTOR......................... 158 Rosalie Zabilla, REALTOR........................... 143 SAGE Mindful Meals.................................... 105 Sakura............................................................. 107 Sandy Treadwell............................................... 48 Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center................ 138 Secure Beginnings ......................................... 111 Serendipity Toys............................................... 43 Sespe Creek Collective..................................... 25 Shangri-la Care Cooperative............................ 75 State Farm Insurance- Bob Daddi................... 79 Stephen Adelman, REALTOR...................... 153 Stoked Surf Boards........................................... 37 Studio Channel Islands.................................... 42 Surf Rodeo..................................................... 123 Teresa Rooney, REALTOR............................ 156 Terramor Home............................................... 36 The Artesian of Ojai...................................... 139 The Day Spa of Ojai........................................ 18 The Gables of Ojai........................................... 27 The Hut........................................................... 95 The Medicine Shoppe.................................... 157 The Mob Shop................................................. 59 Topa Mountain Winery................................... 95 Ventura Comedy Club...................................... 90 Ventura County Museum................................. 42 Ventura Makos Surf Camp............................ 123 Ventura Spirits.................................................. 91 Ventura Swap Meet........................................ 119 Villanova Preparatory School............................. 8 Vivienne Moody, REALTOR........................ 158 Wagner Financial........................................... 127 Westridge Markets........................................... 96 Whitman Architectural Designs...................... 65 Whitney Hartmann Photography.................... 34


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1370 Cuyama Road Sitting perfectly on over an acre this home has all the Rustic Modern touches that you are looking for! This home is made for the Ojai Lifestyle.

1109 Del Prado Court This home has a spacious open floor plan with lovely light filled gourmet kitchen & a stunning master suite!


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1255 McNell Road Located on the prestigious East End of Ojai this home is a sanctuary for the body & mind, blending sophistication & elegance without sacrificing warmth or intimacy.

Build To Suit! Zoned C-1 Wonderful opportunity to build your dream home or business on this beautiful, flat, useable lot!


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Patty Waltcher

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25 ye a r s o f e x p e r i e n ce m a tc h i n g

p e o p l e a n d p ro p e r t y i n t h e O j a i Va l l e y

4 0 A CRES

OF

S T U N N I N G B E AU T Y

This is a private 40 acre parcel atop Sulphur Mountain, with 360° views of the Channel Islands, the Topa Topas and the Ojai Valley and direct access to miles of trails. It offers three building sites for a main house, a guest house and a caretaker ’s cottage as well as room for horses, grapes, or citrus. Build anything you can imagine to create your own personal Shangri-LA. 7500-3SulphurMountainRdOjai.com Offered at $1,150,000

I will help you discover the home that brings peace to your mind and heart (805) 340-3774

Profile for Ojai Valley News

Ojai Valley Guide Summer 2019  

Ojai Valley Guide Summer 2019