Yes, it’s been awhile since my last entry in this Journal. As you’ll see, things have been a bit intense over the past 11 days! At the moment, I am happily ensconced in a sweet attic apartment at the home of Krista Taylor, in Vallejo, CA. I got here yesterday evening, and we and her boyfriend John sat before the fire in lively conversation until 1:30am. I’ll be for a few days, and on Thorsday I’m flying off to Vegas for Pagan Pride Day, and a week with Samina.
So let me catch you all up:
On Thorsday Oct. 24, Maureen flew in from Atlanta. We had plans to go through my 3 storage units in Santa Rosa and attempt to consolidate stuff into just one unit—as well as locate and pull out important business files of CAW and GSW that Maureen needs for her financial accounting, etc. We also wanted to pull out all the boxes of old issues of Green Egg and ship them to Atlanta to be scanned and made available for purchase. However, as John Steinbeck said, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley” (-Of Mice and Men, 1937).
Thorsday evening I was the guest of honor on a TV show, “Creature Features,” with hosts Glen, Raven and Ali. It’s one of those shows where they run an old spooky movie (in this case, “The Bat”—1959—starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead), and have Gothy hosts and interesting guests during the breaks. Here’s from the show’s website, https://creaturefeatures.tv/:
Vincent, Tangella and Mr. Livingston host the 21st-century version of Creature Features, the classic San Francisco Bay Area horror-host program made famous by Bob Wilkins in the 70’s and John Stanley in the 80’s. Host Vincent Van Dahl, former frontman for 90’s metal band “Prince of Darkness” retired from music a few years back to pursue a quiet life in Bodega Bay at his newly-acquired home, The Poulter Manor. From this haunted mansion, he is joined by his peculiar housemate Tangella and his loyal valet Mr. Livingston to deliver the best guests and the worst movies to the entire Bay Area and around the world.
Crowhaven Studios—with the fabulous huge set of a haunted mansion in the style of the Addams Family—was in Windsor. We had a great time, totally hitting it off—and afterwards went out to dinner at their favorite pub. The show will be aired later this month.
Then two days later, on Sat. the 26th, the terrible Kincade Fire broke out; We had evacuate from Gail & Joe’s house, initially to a hotel in Fountaingrove. The next morning Fountaingrove too was under mandatory evacuation orders. We fled down to San Rafael and visited with Judith Fenley’s family for the afternoon, then drove on down to San Francisco looking for a room. Around 200,000 people were evacuated from Sonoma County, all heading south!
We were blessed to find a room at the Travel Lodge on Lombard St. in SF, and there we stayed for the rest of the week, glued to the news. We were particularly concerned for Isis Oasis in Geyserville, where MG’s Goddess Collection is housed; Windsor, where the Crowhaven TV studio is; and of course, Gail & Joe’s Coffey Park neighborhood, which had burned two years ago. But while the fire raged close to all those places, with “Diablo Winds” up to 85 mph, they all remained unscathed.
The Kincade Fire eventually consumed 77,758 Acres—twice the size of the horrific Tubbs Fire in the same area exactly two years ago. 374 structures were destroyed, with four injuries of firefighters. But fortunately, no loss of life.
Maureen and I spent our days working on business, writing, and websites. A particular focus was my exciting new “2020 Vision: Awakening!” project, at http://2020visionawakening.com/ Check it out!
Tuesday the 29th we got together with Maureen’s old friends, Jerry Cimino & Estelle for a fabulous seafood dinner at The Grotto on the Wharf. In 2006, Maureen and Jerry had co-founded the iconic Beat Museum, at 540 Broadway, across the street from City Lights Books.
The Beats, as in beaten down and beatific, were a collective of writers, artists, and thinkers that congregated in 1950s San Francisco. The Beat Museum is home to an extensive collection of Beat memorabilia, including original manuscripts, rare books, letters, personal effects, and cultural ephemera. Located in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, we occupy the same ground that was once the epicenter for Beat activity during the 1950s.
On Wed. the 30th, I was scheduled for an appearance on Today Extra, Channel 9–Australia’s breakfast TV program. But news of the CA fires pre-empted the show, and my interview was cancelled. Maureen wasn’t feeling well, so she stayed in the hotel, and I went next door for dinner at a Japanese restaurant with my old friend Jay Wiseman. He’s an extraordinary person, deeply engaged in several overlapping communities, and we never get tired of talking about our many mutual interests
Thursday the 31st was Halloween, and we were in San Francisco, where Halloween is the major event. But we were just too run down and dispirited to go out and participate in the many festivities. So instead, Maureen and I enjoyed a fun tour of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum.
The weekend of Nov. 1-3 was scheduled for our great CAW Samhain at our sacred Land of Annwfn, near Redwood Valley in Mendocino County. With months of planning, it was to be quite a spectacular event, and the Dumb Supper and Walpurgisnacht were to be the Clergy qualifying rituals for a Minister (Morgan) and a Priestess (Seasons). We also had an ordination scheduled for Diana Morningstar, our cherished Caretaker. In addition to honoring our Beloved Dead (including, of course, Morning Glory, who is buried on the Land) a key element of CAW’s Samhain is the ritual death of the May King, and Brad Lee, our King this year, was really ready to lay down the Crown.
Sadly, while the fires fortunately stayed a safe distance from Annwfn, the closure of Highway 101 through Santa Rosa, the consequent shortages of gas and groceries, PG&E’s electrical shutoffs, and the evacuations had such overwhelming impact on everyone that our Samhain had to be cancelled for the first time in 40 years.
A few people did gather there for a minimal daytime ritual on Saturnday, but the full event could not transpire. By that time, I was over 125 miles away, and I just couldn’t handle trying to drive all the way up there, and then leave before dark…as the Ranch requested. I doubt that I will ever be back for Samhain at Annwfn, as my future plans are now looking to the East…
So Friday evening Maureen and I had dinner with Jay at Tommy’s Joint. The next morning we checked out of the hotel, and Maureen headed down to Santa Cruz to take care of other business. I spent the day and night with Dawn Davidson in San Mateo. I turned her on to one of my favorite movies—“Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical”—and we enjoyed a welcome soak in her hot tub. Sunday we got together with Jay for lunch and conversation, and afterwards I drove up to Vallejo, where I am now staying with Krista for a few days.
For previous Journal entries and more, be sure to check out my personal website: www.OberonZell.com. There are links there where you can buy my books, statues, jewelry, posters and more.