Archive for September, 2022


 A 90-year-old man smoking pot on Mount Tamalpais this past July 3 sparked a blaze that set his clothes and the hillside around him on fire, according to the August edition of Tamalpais Guardian published by the Tamalpais Conservation Club. 

Mount Tamalpais

Were it not for a north wind that blew it toward the shore of Lake Bon Tempe, the two-acre fire could easily have spread through the watershed and the Cascade Canyon area of Fairfax, The Marin Independent Journal reported at the time.

 Of the various criticisms aimed at pot, its potential to start wildfires is not usually among them. But not all dangers are obvious. I just read about the danger of eating too much melon. Pope Paul II in 1471 died in the Vatican from a fit of apolexy after indulging his appetite for melons, writes historian Ross King in The Bookseller of Florence.

On the other hand, “some — mainly the pontiff’s critics — said that he had died [of a stroke] whilst being sodomized by a page boy,” according to Wikipedia. Another unrecognized danger, I suppose.

Pope Paul II

Anti Status Quo

Back before the mural on the neighboring post office was painted over, I got to know Laure Reichek at Toby’s Coffee Bar in Point Reyes Station. She lives in Hicks Valley near the McEvoy olive ranch, and I first met her at seasonal parties there.

This is the cover of her last book, which came out two years ago.

As noted in a posting here at that time, Laure was born in Paris in 1930 and in 1951 moved to the US with her husband. He was an American veteran she met after the war when both were studying in Paris. 

Laure at 19 in Paris.









Laure’s latest book of poetry in part reflects the trauma of having seen World War II and fascism closehand as a child. Anti Status Quo is a collection of mostly grim ironies.

A week ago, she and I reconnected at Toby’s where she presented me with the book. Here are a couple of biting poems from it:

Of Thee I Weep

Can a man, woman, or child

walk anywhere on this planet?


Our planet?


It depends

whether he/she has

the money.




to buy required papers

to cross artificial borders

of nation-states.

With money

you are welcome

to go anywhere.


Without money

you are allowed

when needed.


Without money

the beacon of light

will lead you to prisons

and the doors

will be locked.


While the poor

walk over mountains, deserts,

drown in rivers,

the rich will fly

in comfort through the air.


Oh, Liberty

of thee I weep.


If They’re Poor

It’s their fault

for not choosing their parents well.

Instead of their labor to sell

they should have chosen oil wells

or football teams—

very profitable and clean.

My friends own pipelines

and the oil companies,

but I control the armies,

the press, the judiciary.

I’m the emperor of the

twenty-first century,

your thought content and context

your past present and future,

your freedom is the one I own.
I’m rich because I made the right choice.

If they’re poor, that’s their problem—

not mine.












Laure in Paris, 2019

This collection of her poems and her book Autrefois to Today are available at <> (upper case L).

For the second September in a row, the art gallery at Toby’s Feed Barn is featuring an exhibit by the superb landscape artist Thomas Wood of Nicasio. The show closes Sept. 27.

“My paintings are meditations on nature,” Wood commented last year, and once again all the works on display are landscapes.


San Geronimo Valley Road.






Rush Creek near Novato.      Sold for $3,200


Wood has been represented in dozens of exhibits, the artist’s background is impressive, including the surprising fact that his painting California Hills was on display in the US embassy in Belize from 2005 to 2008, as I’ve noted here before.




Thomas Wood at Toby’s last year. <>













Lucas Valley









Limantour Wetlands


North Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore

The public is at least as impressed as I by Woods’ artwork. In the exhibition’s first three or four days, paintings were selling for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.