Monday, November 24, 2008

Doc Weed's Memories of Humboldt

While dicking around instead of working taking a short break today I ran across this blog entry about a young man's experience working for a mill in Humboldt in 1956. It's a pretty fascinating tale, and I thought some of you might be interested in it as well or even recognize the landmarks and people mentioned. Here's an excerpt:

We arrived in Fortuna, the main market town for the dairy farmers and loggers alike, in late morning on the fourth day. We picked up some food and other supplies, got directions, and headed east on the narrow, winding country road leading to Carlotta, where we would be working for the next two months. On the way, we passed through Hydesville, another quaint farming village. After Hydesville, the road wound into the hills and, an hour later, we were in Carlotta, which, as far as we could tell, was nothing more than two sawmills, a general store and a post office. Not even a diner or gas station! Now all we had to do was figure out where we were going to live.

At the Post Office, we learned that there were plenty of campgrounds up the road–including Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park– but the most intriguing was a place managed by Strong’s Station, an old stagecoach stop along the road between Fortuna to Red Bluff, a town on the other side of the mountain. This was a private redwood grove, owned by Hammond Lumber Company, through which the Van Dusen River, from which we could get our water and in which we could take our baths, ran. It was beautiful and very quiet, and we assumed that we would be able to live comfortably and peacefully there for the next two months.

We soon learned that “comfortably and peacefully ” weren’t quite the right words, but we had no way of knowing what adventures were coming our way when we plunked down our $12 a week camping fee on that first day.

To read the whole thing click here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Super Diamond

Super Diamond was the featured musical act on the Late Show with David Letterman last night. You may have heard of this fantastic Neil Diamond tribute band based in San Francisco. But did you know that the cute keyboardist with the dark hair and chiseled cheek bones hails from Humboldt County?

James Terris graduated from Fortuna High. I remember him way back then as part of a late 80's Flock of Seagulls/Cutting Crew/Tears For Fears sideways haircut group who named themselves after an ingredient in stiff hairspray (Peg...something?) I had a thing for the drummer.

Music was always James' passion, and now it's also his living. I'm so happy that he is able to live the creative life he dreamed of.

Here's last night's performance. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

seven things....

Thanks to Eko, for giving me something to write about besides my melodramatic personal life. He seven-things tagged me, and it's been so much fun reading about everyone else that I just can't resist playing. Here's seven things you might not know or might not want to know about me:

1) I dream almost every night about carnival rides, water or carnival rides in water. I've never sought out interpretation because I truly don't want to know the meaning. I'm afraid they'd stop.

2) Though several people have tried to teach me, I can't drive a stick shift.

2) I love my scars, my stretch marks, the bump on my nose and miscellaneous other body oddities. I love them on other people too. Perfection is so dull.

3) I hate doing the dishes and am always tempted to just throw them out the window when they stack up. I'd rather do any other chore - even clean the toilet or unclog a sink - than do the dishes.

4) I was psychically tuned in when I was a kid. On my sixth birthday the phone rang. I said to my brother, "That's Aunt Teresa, and she can't come to my party." And that's exactly who it was. When I was nine I repeatedly dreamt that my grandma was standing at the kitchen counter taking medication from a bottle, and I was trying to scream at her not to but no sound would come from my mouth. She later committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills.

5) Even though I disagree with them on just about everything, I find the Fortucky rednecks drinking whiskey at The Playroom highly entertaining.

6) I cannot do hallucinogens. Pot gives me panic attacks. LSD makes bugs crawl all over my body. Mushrooms make me curl up in a fetal position on the bathroom floor for two hours. That's why I stick to booze.

7) I have nearly died three times. The last, in 2000, I was less than two hours from death from pneumonia gone septic when I made it to the emergency room. I think it's why I'm never afraid of change.

And in the spirit of keeping things going, I tag (Sorry if you've already been)

Keri (Has anyone seen my cousin? This blog has become the Kristabel show. Where are you????)
Rambling Jack
Katie LeJoi

Saturday, November 8, 2008

moving and breathing

This is how it works.
You're young until you're not.
You love until you don't.
You try until you can't.
You laugh until you cry.
You cry until you laugh.
And everyone must breathe
until their dying breath.

~Regina Spektor

Next week I will start the first of many trips out of the bear river valley, my car filled with boxes of things I once thought were important. It will be hard to leave such beauty.

Last winter the little schoolhouse Squirrel and I share began to fall apart and has continued to over the last ten months. Water lines were constantly broken. Fences, gates and steps rotted and disintegrated. Pipes leaked, appliances stopped working and the shingles came off the roof one by one.

Squirrel and my relationship began to erode along with the house, and though we tried the best we could, neither one of us has been able to make the necessary repairs. We will no longer be living together.

I find myself without anger or accusations or blame, only with a deep sadness and a grief for a dream that has died, along with an anxiousness that always comes from a future uncertain.

At the end of every day now I make my way home to a funky little cabin made of recycled windows and abandoned wood. I sit on the floor, talk to the resident spider, shed more than a few tears, eat Greek yogurt and sleep in a tiny loft that makes me feel like a fat little bird hiding from predators.

And for the first time in a very long while I can breathe again.