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38 comments:

  1. When Nixon was still president, 1971-2, I met a young woman in Tucson, Arizona who had lived at Wheeler's Ranch. She went by the name of Debbie Nassau, and I am not sure of the spelling of the surname. Her nickname was Purple. I believe she said she was from one of the New England states. She said when she was a little girl her father would get her to sing and call her Dagmar. After our parting in Tucson in November or December I returned to Florida, but about five or six weeks later something came up, and I felt compelled to reestablish contact with her. I actually hitchhiked from Florida to Tucson and to Wheeler's Ranch where I stayed about one week. I liked the place. I thought it was free and cool. I walked around the place, saw the dwellings, found a small house with a printing press in it, talked with some people there, heard of the raids, and met a fellow there they called Chief who had the tattoo Chief on his arm. The weather was also a very nice aspect. However, nobody seemed to know Debbie Nassau (Purple). I always wondered whatever became of her. Regards, John from Florida.

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    1. This is so very sweet. I wonder where Purple is and if she thinks of you too? I think of so many people and sometimes I yearn to see them. People sometimes say "you can't go back again" but shoot, just for just one moment please!! I was living on Wheeler's Ranch in the 70's. Being able to go to go and live there was a major saving grace for me. I always wanted to thank Bill Wheeler for his huge soul. My name was Patty there. I somehow for a luckily brief time was called "Peppermint Patty." I changed my name to Kifflyn the year after I left the land. So, Bill Wheeler, THANKS, for everything! I wish Wheeler's Ranch folk had a page like this! For those with whom I shared a time with there, howdy. vitina777@yahoo.com

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    2. Hi Kifflyn! Remember me. We actually met after Wheelers, but lost touch. Jodi Mitchell

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  2. Bill Wheeler and his friends let me stay in my library truck van parked near their gate for several weeks in the summer of 1970. I was in sore need of friendship at the time and they shared theirs with me for which I am grateful. I called myself by another name then. I'm still around now - which amazes me. And I dream of flying - sometimes. -- Richard

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  3. I was always told I was born in the wrong generation, being a earth loving, simple living, flowerchild of sorts myself. I remember hearing about Morningstar when I was a run away in San Francisco, many years ago. It was already closed then, but the older folks I met who remembered it spoke of it fondly. It seems to me it was a beautiful vision, and I had always wished I could have experienced it. Thank you for this great website so that I could learn more about this place, I now understand why it was so special.

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  4. I was a child at Morningstar New Mexico If anyone could send me any information on the New Mexico Morningstar I would be thankful. I have long wanted to reconnect with those memories and people. Paul Hazen thehazens@clearwire.net

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  5. Had the great pleasure of being at Morningstar for close to a month in the late summer of '70. Stayed with Flash for a while, and also Gary in the Teepee (behind Lou's, beyond the garden...)
    Much later, met Ramon in SF! He gave me the "Morningstar Scrapbook".
    Hi, Ramon, it's Tina
    Is Rena still on Maui...I am on Hawaii Island.

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    1. Hi TIna: Rena continues on Maui.

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  6. David (Bucky) EmmonsFriday, 15 October, 2010

    I was brought homeless but happy to Wheeler's in 1970, lived there with the folks for a year, learned to be a folk myself. I was busted with the raid on Wheeler's, got slapped on the wrist, spent 3 days in the slam with all my good friends, got stoned and "Auom'd" in jail every day..(someone smuggled in a dirty hash pipe)My nombre then was Buck. I married Annie under the neighboring Redwoods. Josh played our wedding music, "Ooeee...ride me high, todays the day my brides a gonna come..." we spent our honeymoon night in the Glass house at the South end of the land. Thanks to all of you who helped me find myself at age 18 by being my family and showing me my humanity. David (Bucky) Emmons, Florida.

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  7. open land has a special meaning for me,i was there in late 60's early 70's, build my first house there,fell in love with a woman and nature and wish there was more peace,love and open land today for all to know and share

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  8. I took many people from wheelers ranch to India and lived to regret it. We hid from the death squads of the cult and survived. 40 something years later, living a free and open life in Costa Rica, preparing to return to live a nomadic life with a young lover to the states, I remember what formed my spirit of generosity and peace. I lived at Wheelers Ranch (Bill, do you know that Sarah was killed in an auto accident not so long ago?
    Ramon, I remember your spiritual presence and calm self. I am now able to begin to live as I should. In part because of you. I am larger now that I am older, and younger than I could ever believe. Snake pit Eddie, etc. Love you all....Hubert Pena, (Bharat Kumar).

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  9. To .Hubert Pena, (Bharat Kumar).
    Give me your email address and I will put you in touch with the wheeler folk on MOSTPOST who did remember you.

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  10. To .Hubert Pena, (Bharat Kumar).
    Give me your email address and I will put you in touch with the wheeler folk on MOSTPOST who did remember you.
    ***

    From Sara,
    He and I both left that yoga group the same day, and went our separate ways for all these many decades. When we parted ways, I chose to remain in India -- and for the next two years,

    I traveled, met holy beings, and enjoyed many different and wonderful adventures. In those travels, I was given yet another name: Sarasvati. From that, I have now become known as Sara.

    And now! A good friend reappears!
    He will know/remember me by these names: Rosalie, and Jaya.

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  11. So, Hubert! If you indeed check back to this page, it is great to hear of you after all these decades. Jaya/Rosalie here -- now called Sara. After we parted ways in India, I stayed on for two years (all good!). A full life these days.
    My husband and I live in Colorado -- and have a humble abode in a village in Mexico where we stay every spring and fall (but I bet your Spanish is better than ours). I would love to touch in with you sometime: sara@sararansom.com Peace, Sara

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  12. Thank you all. Jaya, good for you. We made it. And now I find myself approaching the beginning again. Life is wonderful. As is love. I would love to stop and visit on our travels which are going to be random and without purpose. My soon to be new wife, myself and our great dog friend. I am hubert_pena@yahoo.com. Peace and love once again.

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  13. I have enjoyed reading the posts here. I spent one night at Morningstar in the spring of 1971. I had been staying in Sausalito and decided to hitch hike to visit relatives in Oregon. The ride that picked me up was a man named Eddie Walkingstick. We drove his microbus to the city and picked up an old Valiant. I followed him to the commune. I was unaware that this place existed being from the midwest. Saw Wheeler Ranch the following day before continuing my hitch north. A couple of years later, I met a man named Bob Conner who claimed to have spent some time at Morningstar. I would be interested to hear from those who knew these people.

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  14. I want to share with you a link to a story I found on the internet. It has to do with a piece of stone that had some writing on it which was found on the original land there.... want to post this because it would be really cool if someone who still had it reads this and gets in touch with this board or someone who's active with Rainbow... here it is: http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/prophecy/99awf.losttablet.garrick.htm

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    1. Very moving story, Garrick! No doubt the rock tablet will reappear.

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  15. Hello,

    I am a history major in the midst of composing a thesis on children and childrearing in hip communities in Northern California in the 1960s. If you would be willing to speak with me about an experience as a parent or child or simply as a member of Morningstar or any other hip place in the 60s, please contact me. abthibeault@davidson.edu Any help is greatly appreciated!

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  16. I wandered onto the Mesa where Morningstar New Mexico had been going through its first winter in 1970 February until the end of May. We celebrated Easter in the teepee with a peyote ceremony... I remember it as clearly as though it happened yesterday and that experience equipped me to go through some very dark years. I came out of that whole trip with a fondness I nearly forgotten until I wrote a fictional novel that included some of what I experienced in those months. In the novel I called it Rising Star and made up the names. I always wondered where all those wonderful souls are now and maybe contact them. I can be contacted at Trungpapa@cox.net.

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  17. I almost forgot to mention: The most fascinating architectural detail was the Morningstar KIVA's roof of one timber on top of another. Are any of the buildings of the pueblo left? I couldn't see anything on Google maps...

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  18. I'm writing an Encyclopedia Of Jerry garcia Venues, there's about 950 venues in all. I'm wondering if anyone recalls when Jerry Garcia stayed at Morningstar in Occidental? Please email me at slipnut01@gmail.com

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  19. I am a hospice nurse and my patient is telling me of his time at Morningstar and sleeping in a "treehouse" He is a beautiful person, his name is Eugene Troxell....anyone out there remember him.

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    1. Message read and forwarded to the folks at Morningstar.

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    2. was he known as "Gene"? if he is the Gene I knew, I remember him quite well, (summer/fall '68 i think) and have good thoughts of him. would i be able to send him a message thru you? jorosewood@yahoo.com

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    3. yes, he told me they called him Spanky. blkcat@ptd.net

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    4. ramonsender@comcast.netSaturday, 02 November, 2013

      Gene, Sande King remembers you well and writes:
      "I believe he was there in 68. He was from the east I think.
      He played chess with Don. Not there very long. A nice guy."
      Want to join a Yahoo list for graduates? Email me.

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    5. Do give Eugene our fond love and remembrances. An ancient Hindu mantra:
      "Aaditya hridayam punyam sarva shatru vinaashanam."
      Translation:
      "All evil vanishes from the universe for he/she who keeps the sun in his heart."

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  20. For those interested in a 24-chapter history of Morning Star and Wheeler's, it's up on the S F Digger website here:
    "Home Free Home"
    http://www.diggers.org/home_free.htm

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  21. I stumbled upon this website and have enjoyed it very much. As I looked through the pictures I envied those of you who were lucky enough to be a part of the true commune lifestyle. I can remember, even as a young child, I dreamed to be able to live in a commune. I am sorry to have missed out on the openness, the loving, the sharing and free spirits that once welcomed others with open arms. I did have a slight taste of the idea when I followed The Dead around with my friend Brad. I do miss all the wandering souls I met during those years. And I still dream of the day that all the lost souls finally find one another again and create our own beautiful space. Peace to all. ~Suzan the artist

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  22. Hello, I lived in a commune for two years in the early 2010s and have missed that sense of community after living alone. I am really interested in how environment and the spaces we inhabit interact with and influence our interactions with each other. Please let me know if you know of a way that I can get involved again--
    Many thanks,
    Charles

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  23. Maybe i can connect with someone from these most beautiful days of my life. My only friend left that i still talk on the phone with is Sue Creamcheese.
    Eola Bates White Cloud of Petaluma showed me the long deserted Ranch @ 1977. I then visited there to gather herbs & dry them on the concrete slab that must have been a house once. I made an herb smoking blend i called Steamroller Tea & walked-hitched-bussed it to stores all over the Bay area. It was $1 an oz. My labels were made by a guy behind Rosemary Gladstar's store in Guerneville on Russian River Road. I lived at Heidi cabin in Guernwood Park at the time.
    Eola introduced me to beautiful Pomo girl Morningstar Rose,at her trailer on River Road near Monte Rio. Morningstar Rose had two small children, a boy Hotep, a girl Star. Both blonds. Morningstar showed me a woods & meadow with a small stream & waterfall near a bend off the east side of Occidental Road - or was it Bodega Hwy?
    I met Country Pie in Monte Rio & me, her & her boyfriend (worked at Freestone Bar) & two kids went to a Rainbow Gathering in Gila River Canyon New Mex in his black 1951 International paddy wagon.
    I saw Eola at the little store on River Road one afternoon & she told me River Road had flooded & Morningstar Rose had driven into it trying to get home & drowned. She & the meadow-falls is the #1 major beautiful part of my memories.
    I knew Cyndi Brazil & Cyndi Athay of Cloverdale. Naomi Rose, Bobby Paterson. Kathy Henderson. Others.
    I spent a few months at Moonie Ranch by Booneville around then. Met Pasha there.
    I know Sue (the original) Creamcheese Paulekas, Vito Pulekas (the Cotati park stage & wood sculpture of Chief Cotati) & Carl Franzoni. Vito passed away age 70. I keep in touch with Sue, who talks about what Flash is doing on occasion. Carl is in Cotati.
    I lived at Sonoma Grove on Cristabol Road while, late '70s. I put up the 15ft high pipe sprinklers there. I knew Parvati Jeanine Medvin & worked with her & her husband a while. I lived at Pioneer Motel south of Cotati for a while as manager. A 4yr old girl drowned there in the big abandoned pool deep end & I resussetated her.
    I knew Sharon McClure-Traversi & her girls Angela & Rosemary in Penngrove where I stayed in the huge old dance hall building (where Doug had his Stained-glass & antiques shop - all gone now. Jerry Butterworth came up from LA with Sharon & stayed on, then met Bunny Mathers & moved to Ukuah, where he died.
    Met Ellen Dorfman & David Ramsdale at Sonoma Grove & didn't at the time realize who they were.
    I'm a life member at Harbin Hotsprings but have only been there once in the late '70s.
    Many more & don't recall just now, any ring a bell anyone? Jim-Lui

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  24. Oh. I met s girl in Cotati who had (3/4'' round) Sarcoma scabs & said it was from going in the ocean at the coast. I took her & a few jugs of water to a dirt road near Wheeler Ranch in my green VW wagon. She fought me a little over it but in a few days she was fine - like new.

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  25. My email: solaura7372@aol.com love to hear from anyone.

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  26. My email: solaura7372@aol.com love to hear from anyone.

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  27. Oh. I met s girl in Cotati who had (3/4'' round) Sarcoma scabs & said it was from going in the ocean at the coast. I took her & a few jugs of water to a dirt road near Wheeler Ranch in my green VW wagon. She fought me a little over it but in a few days she was fine - like new.

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  28. My cousin, Susan and I,ran away from home in Daly City 7/67 when we were 14, met a black guy named Mystery, and we all hitchhiked all the way to Morning Star Ranch. I was awakened to wonderful music one morning. It was Lou Gottlieb playing the piano to his plants. I made a huge pot of rice for many hungry people, since nobody was making or sharing food, and I was hungry and tired of creepy guys trying to lay me while I slept. It was hardly ready before zombie-like people were coming out of the woodwork helping themselves to it. I was told there were two houses, the lower house which was bare except for the kitchen I cooked in one night and full of stoners, and an upper house which was where the smack users hung out, I was told.

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  29. Whew, glad I landed here after a bit of searching and hope a message can be got to Pam Hannah. Hey, Pam, got your birthday greetings and tried to email you right back but my emails all get bounced back as spam from both my email accounts. Call me- 707-538-8312 or email me your surface mail address. Yah, my old Gmail address is still active. Lot's of catching up to do.

    Walter

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About Morningstar Newsletter Home Page and History

Morningstar was an open commune (also known as Morning Star Ranch and The Digger Farm) was an active open land counterculture commune in (Occidental) Sebastopol near San Francisco. Morningstar was part of the historical changing society of young adults in the 1960s that traveled back and forth between the Haight-Ashbury and Sebastopol. Then governor of California Ronald Reagan vowed to remove the Commune from the face of the earth.

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