The houses of Wheeler's (all gone now courtesy of Sonoma County bulldozers)
were of a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and composed of many substances.
Each had its own unique personality and earthy appeal. No ticky-tacky here! Everything
from a comfy mattress under a shady tree to a two-story, many-windowed mansion
could be found.
Scrap lumber, canvas, aluminum and plastic were common materials used in the
creation of each masterpiece. Structures were added to or subtracted from as different
people moved in and out.
There was no electricity -- light shone from kerosene lamps, white gas Coleman
lanterns or 12-volt hook-ups to a car batttery. Heat radiated from crackling fires in
glowing wood stoves. Bathrooms consisted of a shovel and a roll of toilet paper.
Showers were wash pots and handcloths, or a trip to the hose by the garden -- or,
best of all the ceremonial steam bath!
One unique invention at Wheeler's were 'Canyon Calls. People
evolved their own unique call so that, while walking to a friend's
house, they could announce themselves a few hundred feet up the
hill. If the person called back, they were 'home and receiving guests.
If not, they were either away or having a private moment.
This saved the visitor from walking all the way to the house and
finding no one there -- or from intruding. One might hear calls such as "awoo" , "hello the cabin" or "eeyakee!"