Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Canada Day State Of Mind ...Talk To Me Of Mendocino.

On even years like this one C, E, e and me are not usually in the country on July 1st.

This year though, for all kinds of reasons, some good, some not so, (this is the part of blogging where the affect gets flattened), we are still here...


When we lived in the East Bay, which is quite a long time ago now, we met L and F.

L worked with C at a parent co-op daycare up in the hills that is pretty much all that you could ever imagine Berkeley to be, just writ slightly smaller.

L's husband F. was a teacher. He started in the early 70's when things were good and spent most of his career in the Richmond Unified School District where things got pretty bad after Proposition 13 sucked everything out of everything, especially in poor places like Richmond where, to the best of my knowledge, there are no software or biotech companies of significance, but there are still big oil refineries.


When E was born just a stone's throw away from Michael Chabon's end of Telegraph Avenue in Oakland,  L and F helped us out a lot - their kids were all pretty much grown up by then. In a small way they became surrogate home-away-from-home parents.

And unlike the fellow science geeks I worked with up at the other end of Telegraph, all of whom scattered to the four corners of the earth after their apprenticeships were done, L and F stayed put, which meant that we would always visit them at their El Cerrito home (El Cerrito, by the way, is where those crazy Fogerty boys grew up).

But in the year 2002 all of that changed because L and F retired and moved up the coast to build their dream home on cliffs that overlook the beach just over the Mendocino county line in Gualala. That was the year that littler e. was three and Bigger E. was nine, and we have been hightailing it down to see them as soon as school ends every second summer ever since.

Because of the timing it means we pretty much have two national holidays with them when we are there, usually with themes, both in the same week....First it's Canada Day on July 1st and then it's Independence Day on the 4th.

The photo at the top of the post is from 2010 - Em was then 17 and eva was 9. I think the theme that year was nautical or perhaps it was faux Republican (ha!). Then again, maybe the hats were only a buck apiece at the Pay 'N Take.



Since we are still up here instead of down there this year, I decided to try something by two other Canadian sisters, the McGarrigles, who once wrote a timeless tune about seeing America right...

I had forgotten how much I liked this song until I heard it again for the first time in years at Ian Reid's memorial a few weeks ago...It was one of his favourites...Which was another good reason to give it a try...Apologies for the slightly dirgy quality to the thing but I just can't soar like Kate and Anna, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get the tempo up...
And, ya, that 'Seeing America Right' business at the end of the post was, indeed, a reference to Mr. Darnielle's 'anti-Mendocino Manifesto'...
We're hoping to get down to L and F's place later in the summer...I'm pretty sure it will happen.
One last thing...If you are in downtown Victoria this Canada Day you might catch E. doing her musical thing somewhere around Market Square and the surrounding environs...



SD said...

Love it when you wax on about Berkley ,El Cerrito and Cal. By the way my brother went to school with the Fogerty boys, played a few gigs with them in high school .He later became their accountant.

RossK said...


Get the hell out!!!

Did he have to deal with Saul Zaentz of Fantasy records?


sd said...

I'm not sure I think he was their personal accountant. He has since passed so I can't check with him.I never met the Fogerty brothers but did do some recording at a studio run by Stu Cook and Doug Clifford back in 77 when we went back for a year. It was located in Emeryville. I was part of the horn section for an r&b vocal group.

Don F. said...

Thank You!
Thoroughly enjoyed your rendition!

scotty on denman said...

Ha! I thought, Mendocino? The old Doug Salm number? Heck, I saw him perform that with Amos Garret at---where else---the Courtney Music Fest, not long before he passed away. Great!

But I love the Mcgarrigle tune, though, and you do a wonderful job.


RossK said...

Thanks Don-- The magic of the H4N Zoom!


You're welcome scotty--

I'll look up the Doug Salm tune.

You all ready for that cable ferry yet?...I see they've started to sink the poles.


scotty on denman said...

I'm afraid I don't have anything good to say about the cable ferry---except that I'm sure glad my commuting days are over!

Ferry price hikes, the highest of all runs, have finally become unbearable here, with property values dropping and population falling for the first time in seventy years among the consequences. BC Ferry Services Inc., the pretend private company, says it's gonna have a two million dollar savings by cutting the number of deckhands to three--- pretend dollars or pretend savings, take your pick. I'm puzzled as to how Transport Canada can approve of so few deckhands---seems it'd be inadequate in the event of a vehicle fire on a crowded run.

Anyways, we'll see how it works. I'm interested how the ship (if you can call it that) will handle in a beam-on Southeaster, out in the middle of the world's longest marine cable ferry run---like, what happens in heavy side-slop to the slack needed to conform to the bottom (where the cable rests between runs)? Who knows--maybe it'll be such a fun ride we can sell tickets!

After losing some sailings recently, this is the next thing to look forward to. Yee-haw!

Keep on rockin'...

RossK said...

Thanks for the details scotty--

When we were over recently we were gobsmacked to find out there is nothing from Buckley to Denman between 1:15 and 3:15pm.

This meant we left home, located in the near eastern townships smack dab in the middle of urban Lotusland at 9:30am and didn't get to Hornby until almost 5pm...Sheesh.

(and, ya, the cost astounded me)


Danneau said...

The Doug Sahm Mendocino was one of the themes for a quick and dirty road trip from Tiburon to Mendocino in August of '67 (I think Memphis Soul Stew was the other), lots of jug wine (underage) and chicken grilled over a beach fire featuring sand as the primary seasoning, followed by twirling fire sticks. Some of these guys are still around.

Saw fireworks the other night at Fort George in campy Niagara-On-The-Lake, with reflections on the cloud deck from the fireworks at the Falls. Reminded me of being up on the Tiburon Ridge in 1961 and being able to see the show from the Marina, from Sausalito, Strawberry Flats and a couple of shows from the East Bay, a rare occurrence, given typical fog conditions. See? Being old isn't so bad if you get to carry stuff like that around and share it with your grandkids at the appropriate moment, though their mother sometimes thinks I just make this shit up.

RossK said...

Great, great, great stuff Danneau.


(our 4th of July beachification/fireworks show of choice is located at crazy culture-clashed Point Arena)