A Man Impossible to Classify: One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a stranger as I drove toward the intersection of Stanyan and Frederick Streets at the edge of Golden Gate Park. My friend Malcolm Hall and I, both college students, had driven up the coast highway from Los Angeles in my 1953 Plymouth. The year was 1965. We were headed toward the Haight-Ashbury.        Maybe thirty yards short of the intersection, I saw him standing on the curb, a disheveled young man, not quite in the hippie mold. He was looking directly at me it seemed, and gesturing ... Dec 21, 2007, 724238 reads


The Dumpster: by Meredith Sabini      “We can’t use these. They look like heirlooms!” Gina, a guest at my holiday gathering, holds up one of the elaborately embroidered napkins from the buffet table. “Where’d you get them?”     “Out of a dumpster. The tablecloth and those candleholders were in there, too.”     “You can’t be serious! Why would they be in a dumpster?” The shock in her voice carried across the room, and others looked up.     It’s common that women ask where something came ... Dec 5, 2007, 142651 reads


Cotton and Silk: Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of drapes for my client, Kelley, a young, talented designer. She and her husband bought a house designed by Julia Morgan, the break-through woman architect who gave us Hearst Castle. They’ve been restoring and remodeling the house for over a year.      I’ve been working for at least nine months on my contribution of custom window treatments, and am looking forward to our next installation, which will take place two days before Christmas. Now we can walk around in the almost ... Nov 8, 2017, 8768 reads


Say Grace: I am deeply delighted to live on a planet that is so big and varied that I can confidently say that right this very minute somewhere in the world a crossword puzzle is being completed, a fortune cookie is being snapped open and a song just brought someone to tears. I love knowing that while I am fast asleep in California, a crowd is gathered around the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum, a marriage proposal is taking place and a leaf-cutter ant somewhere in Costa Rica is carrying a leaf piece back to its nest. It’s not at all unlikely that as astronauts eat dinner in zero ... Jan 4, 2018, 6260 reads


A Conversation with Silas Hagerty: Dakota 38 I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a retreat. He was a filmmaker, I’d heard. Over the next few days at the retreat many stories were shared. Silas’ filmmaking was done on a shoestring. He carried his gear in a bag and stayed at friends’ houses when he traveled. I remember Silas telling us about meeting a Native American elder at his home. I wondered how that had happened. The elder talked about a dream he’d had, an important dream, one that he’d tried to ignore. But finally he understood that the dream had to be ... Jul 28, 2012, 63170 reads


Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy: I had the pleasure of getting to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a period of several years. He had the gift of seeing things with fresh eyes, almost like a child. And yet he was a thoroughly trained photographer having studied with the legendary Minor White. They were close friends right to the end of Minor’s life. The interview that follows is a testament to a wisdom born of experience and a long quest. We met at Nick's home in Corvallis, Oregon.   Richard Whittaker:  In one of my notes I have a quote you gave from Robert Henri. "The object ... Oct 22, 2003, 91684 reads


A Conversation with Taya Doro Mitchell: Keeping Your Hands Moving Taya Doro Mitchell July 3, 2007 Oakland CA I heard about Taya Doro Mitchell from Phil Linhares and Michael McMillen. “You’ve got to go see her place!” they told me. The artist, I learned, had been working for many years in isolation. She’d just come to Linhares’ attention. It happened in an unusual way. On a piece of mail soliciting donations to the Oakland Museum, she’d checked the box to donate real estate. In short order, perhaps even in record time, two women from the museum were at her door. What they saw sent them back to the chief curator in a ... May 18, 2008, 112322 reads


The Power of Giving: Conversation with Ehren Tool, Fariba Safai, and Ashley Smith      Fariba Safai and Ashley Smith were still students at CCA when they decided to do something radical. They decided to prepare a large batch of home made soup (from a favorite recipe of Fariba’s mother), to construct a cart able to wheel a very large stainless steel pot along a sidewalk, and to make their way to Union Square in San Francisco on Black Friday[the day after Thanksgiving and largest shopping day of the year] where they would offer free bowls of soup to any and all.       Ehren Tool, a marine who served in Iraq, upon finishing his ... Oct 21, 2004, 113050 reads


Alive in the World: A Conversation with Audrey Lin April 2009, Oakland, California I first met Audrey Lin at the Mehta home in Santa Clara where each Wednesday evening the Mehtas host an hour of meditation followed by a circle of sharing. Afterwards everyone partakes in a vegetarian dinner in silence. It's always a powerful experience and no two Wednesdays are the same since the mix of guests is always changing along with the thoughts and stories that come to life there. At the time of this interview, the Mehtas had been hosting these evenings for eleven years.      Whenever I attended, I would offer to ... Apr 28, 2009, 118498 reads


Interview: James George: If Not Now, When? SF, CA 12/24/04 James George is a retired Canadian ambassador with a long-standing record of service concerning environmental issues. A founder of the Threshold Foundation and president of the Sadat Peace Foundation, he led the international mission to Kuwait and the Persian Gulf to assess post-war environmental damage. He is also the author of Asking for the Earth and The Little Green Book On Awakening. I talked with James George and Barbara Wright in San Francisco at Barbara's apartment a few weeks before their marriage. Richard Whittaker:  Let's start with the here and now. ... Dec 24, 2004, 60404 reads


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 724238 views

The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 142651 views

Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 8768 views

Say Grace I am deeply delighted to live on a planet that is so big and varied that I can ... Read More 6260 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 63170 views


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 724238 views

Interview with Bill Douglass—Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected jazz musician Bill ... Read More 363993 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 294962 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 189304 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 150748 views