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 ... Dec 21, 2007, 742826 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, 154343 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, 11547 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, 9802 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, 75389 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, 100199 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, 113520 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, 121439 reads


A Conversation with Jim Brooks: The Right Stuff I'd come to Elko to take in their annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering. A first-timer, I was neither a cowboy nor a student of cowboy poetry, but I'd been enjoying the performances and the friendly atmosphere among the ranchers, cowboys and the friends of cowboy culture.       It was the second day of the festival and I'd taken a break to visit Capriola's, a place I was told not to miss. It was full of all kinds of cowboy gear. Looking around, I almost wished I owned a horse or two.      Someone walked past me carrying ... Jan 2, 2005, 39338 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 ... Apr 28, 2009, 128015 reads


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being ... Read More 742826 views

The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 154343 views

Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 11547 views

Say Grace I am deeply delighted to live on a planet that is so big and varied that I can ... Read More 9802 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 75389 views


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being ... Read More 742826 views

Interview with Bill Douglass—Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected ... Read More 367303 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 303449 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 192189 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and ... Read More 154617 views