Two Communes Chapter 9 

A Pleasant Warmth

Was life so good then?
    Movement of the body does not remove what you have learned.  The bodies that I have rubbed against have left their mark.  Who can take away what you have learned?  I have not left the environment, I am of this earth.  Morningstar remains in my heart and soul.
    Some faces are vague and some are very clear, but the goodwill will always be here.
Thanks to Lou

    I remember Joanie and Nancy running around from person to person passing out brownies that they had just baked in the upper house.  They were so proud of those beautiful brownies.  One brownie per person, that was clear.
    A pleasant warmth seeped into the realm of Morningstar.  Everyone continued with the task at hand.  That was life.
Thanks to Lou

Hair keeps coming out of my head.
Ever since I remember my parents have been trying to cut it off. Every week my father and I would go to the barber and get a trim. I would always hope that they would leave me alone. I see other people around me do unusual things to their hair.
But it keeps coming out of my head.
Parents, companions and control freaks want things to be a certain way, when they do not get their way they become angry. They say to themselves "What did I do wrong?"
In the case of a lot of hippies it is the unruly hair, which to some is an embarrassment to be around.


    How crabs were found in Kentucky:
    I stayed away from the upper house, because it was a cesspool of light activity.  Most people would go up there and try to clean it up, but after a couple of days would find it impossible and stay away.
    I never had any health problems at Morningstar, other than getting into poison oak.
    I remember a young man who played the bongos.  I thought his name was Coyote and looked in my mind like Frank Zappa.  Oh, and he loved to play in rhythm bands.  He was from England, and he was here to become a rock musician.
    I remember our dance of spinning, hands reaching out for the love and reality of mankind.  Coyote playing the bongos and my hands pounding my lap in rhythm.  Someone else is rubbing some tree bark, a string and bow being plucked.  My mind swaying, lost in the heartbeat of rhythm.  Young women spinning, their arms reaching out and dancing with the songs of life.  The very beginning of song, grunting, pounding, eyes closed, rhythms from our young hearts, emotions carried in notes of the very beginnings, pounding rhythms of our heart's joy.  Our love of music is clear.
    I remember him one time at the upper house sitting in the corner listening to Cream.  The album with the top hats and canes; no, it was the red paisley album.  The Big Brother and The Holding Company album was here too. See Cover
He was along sitting in the corner, naked.
    I went over and sat by him and asked what was he doing as he was bent over spread-legged.  He said he was picking crabs.  I looked at him and said, "Oh."  I got up and walked out the door.  It did not take too long for them to come to Kentucky.
Laurel and I have a great love of Janis Joplin, we loved her soul and intensity in her music and life.
Thanks to Lou

    I know probably nobody remembers 10 or 15 people hopping into the back of a couple of pickup trucks going to the health department.  Once there, the nurse tried to sort out who was sleeping with whom.
    Ah, was this at Tolstoy?
This happened at two communes, because Pam and Ramon speak of the same thing at Wheelers.
Places I remember sleeping.
Sleeping along a train trestle, watching the stars in the sky. Sleeping under an apple tree seeing the big red apples.
At Tolstoy it was always the attic, above the library. One time in another cabin.
At Morningstar it was strictly wherever I crashed. They are are places I remember. A couple of nights on Kathy's platform. Curling up by the fire place in the lower house with six or seven other people, in a chair /sofa or on the floor. A couple of nights in the Teepee. In Doris's sleeping bag. On the floor of the upper house. In the powdery crawl space of the lower house. An apartment house on the Berkeley campus. Doris's friend apartment in Berkeley. Any flat space. In the sun during the day. In the park in the Haight. A couple of nights in the dorm at the annex. And of course the white walls of city hall. There was no place like home, it was wherever the body was. On pleasant nights it was under the stars on pine needles. A couple of nights at Wheelers.

I was told by Larry to stay away from Don Kings area. This is a part of Morningstar that I stayed away from, this area was above the road. I stayed below the road, if you walked below the upper house past the garden to the fence, turn right and follow the fence back to Lou's cabin, this was the only part of Morningstar I traveled above the road.

    Picking elderberries:
    At times everyone would jump into the back of one of the pickups there, with the dog running alongside, and go elderberry hunting.  When any berries were spotted, everyone would jump out of the truck and gather them up.  It was communal, the things we did.  Wherever we went we would hop into the back of a pickup truck.  It was like a Norman Rockwell painting of a bunch of rosy-cheeked hippies in the back of a pickup, with a dog running alongside and barking.  Paisley, feathers, and beads; peace, love, and understanding.
    I remember one day this young lady there at the farm ( Tolstoy) informed us that she thought she had some kind of social disease.  Well, the whole commune had to hop into the back of two pickups and head to town.  It took the nurse in town half a day to figure out who was sleeping with whom.  She was not too pleased to see us come into the health department.  Of course we didn't have a care in the world.  Everything turned out okay.
Thanks to Huw

    Joanie came to me one day and said, "Tomas, would you like to come to the city with me?  I do not feel like going alone."  Tomas said, "Okay," and we headed for the highway.  We were not looking for a ride, but a car stopped out of curiosity.  We hopped in and said that we're going to the city.  Swell.  When we reached the city, Joanie said, "I have to run some errands.  Let's stop at my friends' house and you can wait there."  Houses were always exciting.  She said her hellos and introduced me to the guys there.  She left and and I sat on the floor.
    One of the fellows asked if I would like a homemade milkshake, and I said fine.  He sat me down in a La-Z-Boy chair.  The guys were in the kitchen puttering around.  I looked around at all the goodies these guys had.  I was still sitting there when one of the fellows came over and asked, "Comfy?" or something like that.  He had a milkshake in his hand.  He handed it to me.
    I tasted it, and it was great.  Somebody turned on the TV.  I was getting spaced out on this homemade shake.  I was looking at the TV when one of the fellows distorted the picture on the tube. He set the TV to a test pattern.  I saw a mountain with an antenna on it, zig-zag lines, and colors.  It was wavy and so was I.  Good shit, I thought to myself.  I was lost, I had gone to another planet.  I closed my eyes, not aware that I had done so.  I was starting to dream that I was dying.  Then I realized that I really was dying. I woke myself, and sat up.
    I told them I was going to take a shower, and they said okay.  The shower was nice.  I was still high but under control.
    Later that day Joanie came back and we returned to Morningstar.
Thanks to Lou

    The Path:
    The path was where we unloaded the Food Stamp Cache.  As normal, any time someone came to Morningstar, they would be greeted with, "Do you have any cigarettes?"  Most people would give up whatever they had, ending up as poor as the day they wore born.  That is why the population of Morningstar was always growing.
    You would always run into someone on the path on your way to the lower house.  Ramon coming from the redwood grove, Joanie and Rena standing near the fig tree talking.
    You would always head in a different direction after meeting someone on this path.  Well, it wasn't a path really.  It was more a dirt driveway.  It was always teeming with life.
    Down at the lower house you could sit by the fireplace and watch the red embers and fire burn.  A meeting of minds, a passing of smoke.
    The women always had some kind of activity going on in that area, the path. They led all the charges. Some of the men resented this, but what the hell, it was time for the ladies to speak up and stand their ground. (Laurel and Karen stand their ground, that is why I am always in trouble.) (I loved all these take charge women of Morningstar, they told me to get lost.) Everything seemed to start in that area.  Big problems were handled at Lou's.  But, day-to-day business was handled there.
    I remember everyone burning records -- classical, rock, and such -- in this area.  Rena, was that you gathering?  They had a 55-gallon drum with records burning inside it.
    I met a man there walking around near the path with a mason jar with cotton in it.  I thought he had caught a spider or something.  I was curious, and walked over while he unscrewed the lid. I looked in and POW!! Jumping Jack Flash.  I walked away dazed and thought, "Not for me, thank you!"
Thanks to Lou

    Vague memories:
    I remember taking a day trip with someone to a dude ranch north of Morningstar.  We traveled the brown hills of California into a flat valley.  This is called bottom land in Kentucky.  Western fence rows were along both sides the road.  We turned into a tree-lined drive, driving a half mile to the dude ranch.
    The ranch house was two story, with twists and turns, turrets, hidden rooms, and maybe a third floor.  There was a clean kitchen with a pantry and tons of stores.  Remarkable.
    Horses and saddles, western and ware.
    Working people spending the dollar for the color of leather, sweat, and saddle.  People neat and tidy, looking for adventure, and the pleasure of the West.
    I never saw a horse that I remember.  I knew they were there, because the smell of horses was present.
    I was lost in space.  People would come to me out of curiosity.  They would ask questions I do not remember answering.
    I mingled and listened to music, really lost in space, until it was time to go back to Morningstar.
Thanks to Lou
During one afternoon someone comes up to me and says Joanie's in the Hospital!
We all ask what happened? They say were going to the hospital, would you like to come along?
Yes that would be nice, we could cheer her up. We arrive at the large hospital, we go up to the floor that she is on. The girls go off to visit Joanie, Rena says,
" Tomas you stay here, Joanie has a women's problem."
I have heard that before, it is best to not to ask what the problem is?
That is all I remember.
Thirty miles to Santa Paula. When you read a sign, you assume that it is true.
When someone says that you are a fish, do you believe them. I was born during a sign. Not in a sign, not under a sign, like Santa Paula. There are always stars out. Is something steering me in some direction. Why do signs ruin a relationship, did they/we bump into a post.
I read this morning that someone knew a fish at Wheelers. He did not even know her name, he just knew her sign. He did not ask for her by name or say where is this lovely creature of the earth that I met. He was looking for a fish. What happened? Did we go back to far? Is this world so cruel that you can not ask for someone by name, just a sign. Someone called looking for a fish.
My apologies for insane males on this earth, including my self.


     Looking back, I do not see any great difference between people who stayed in the communal system and people who moved back into society.
    I am not into drugs or see any reason to use them for spiritual reasons.  I show no side effects of any kind that I am aware of (Laurel begs to differ on this matter).  My children show no side effects of any kind.  Eli is aggressive like his mother and Allison in laid back like her father and saving lost souls, both with good intelligence.
    What I do know is that children who were brought up without  love or care do differ from those who do.
    The children in this family were brought up with the freedom to choose.  We kept them healthy and loved.
    My body is normal for the way I have lived.  It is abused and bothered by wear, which I believe is normal for a half-century of life.
Thanks to Lou

    I do understand words differently now then when I was younger.
    Example: Human Being
    Why should it take more than two words to understand what I meant when I said "Human Being"?
    Does not it say somewhere, "We hold these truths to be self evident"?
    Everyone sees the light differently.  We all have our own bodies.  We all walk this Earth.  We can complicate matters by sitting in a chair at work or sitting on the ground in a full lotus position.  Life is pure and simple.  You are here and the ground is there.
    I know that my Laurel loves to go out in the yard and ride our green lawn mower.  Not a care in the world, her path is clear of debris.  But, mind you, there are rules when you ride a lawn mower. You do not put your life or anyone else's life in danger.
Thanks to Lou

    E-mail did a strange and mystical thing.  Meeting people from the past has created in my mind a joy of sharing and understanding with the friends of Morningstar, even though life has gone on in different ways, getting about our lives in our own way.  The mystical flow of being is still there, the vibes are still there and here.
    Everyone knows that hundreds of people who flowed though the land there cannot live together forever, but the emotional flow of energy is still there, the vibes are strong.
Thanks to Lou
    Push your life to good people, wander in the light of the Sun.  If you are a man or woman who thinks death radiates from your body, depressed with doubt, heh, wait until the Sun shines again.   Come back tomorrow and force a smile and think of how nice it is, the smile.  Watch and wonder. Look at the Earth at your feet.  It may be paved, concrete, wood, or vinyl.  It is Earth.  It is the Mother Earth.  Good is a written word.  Push your life to good people, wander in the light of the Sun.
Thanks to Lou
What about Lou?
 He opened his land, he did not say Tomas you have to leave, your too arrogant, egotistical and obnoxious. You screwing all the girls and put some clothes on. He never asked where I was going to the bathroom or when are you going to fix your teeth? How many people do you know like that? Huw Williams, Lou Gottlieb and Ramon Sender. I did not have to drop any spare change at the door as I left. The land was free for all. Today we have to sooth the beast, sign a questionnaire and wait for a call. I need to win the lottery?
 People learn lessons from people like that. Maybe thirty years later?
    Be Peaceful and remember we are human, feed and clean the world around you.
Lou was a figure of authority. He was a Doctor and he was treated as such. No matter where you went with him, you could tell that people held him in high respect, the "figure of authority". He carried about him the sense of being the doctor, the authority. His spoke with authority. When he spoke he carried the room, you stopped and listened.
At Morningstar he was just Lou. What I just wrote about above is what we saw in town and in the courts of law. I never saw a live concert of his, though I did know of  The Limeliters before arriving at Morningstar. I am sure that his humor carried a wonderful air in concert.
Lou loved to tell this story.
D.A.: In other words, Doctor Gottlieb, you say Mr. Bruce is just up on-stage trying to get laughs? That's all?
Gottlieb: Yes, Mr. District Attorney- that's the professional comedian's duty.
D.A.: Well, Dr. Gottlieb- do you think there's anything funny about somebody getting up in a public place and saying "cocksucker"
Gottlieb: Well, it isn't very funny when you say it!
My time is valuable. When is the last time you heard that? The fast techno whizzes by in a blur, all you heard was "My time is valuable." Check this out: Lou Gottlieb opened his time and land to us. His time for us was valuable, this is some heavy shit. Some people put their values in money.
Lou and his generation taught us to value the person before you. Our time together is valuable.
This is some great shit.
Thanks to Lou

It seems very funny/strange that I compare my lifes turning points with the Garden of Eden.
My imagination places my mind in the garden. What I learned at these communes is that I exist on this planet. I am surrounded by people who think God is amazing, the mixture of all, the essence of ...accolade. Some of the people could care less about the wording of God, defiant in their thoughts, but still are living in the essence of the meaning. Most people will give you a definite meaning, wanting you to agree with them, we mostly do not understand them, they will argue until you give in.
The meaning is simple, yes you are correct.
All meanings of God are based on mans' imagination, his clarification of self.
Understanding that one is human is no guarantee that one is right, we are human.
When we see the sunrise, we understand.
God is an word, uttered out loud.
 We look into the eyes of the one we love and understand the sunrise.
The picture is already painted before us.
So I walk into the Garden of Eden.
 I look at the sunset.
My apologizes to all the women of Morningstar, at that time in my life I was egotistical, selfish and very naive. What I expected from women I received, these were the times of free love. As we say the times they are a changing and so they have. Today women expect the respect of being women.
I zoomed by Sylvia, Joanie, Kathy and Doris completely unconscious and naive, taking their goodwill and love for granted. My apologizes to these women of Morningstar.
Sisters of Mercy
The Songs of Leonard Cohen
December 1967
Everyone was well aware of my love for Sylvia. Life is full of paradoxes, she was there and I was here. I spoke of her often, no one could compete with the love in my heart for her. Every time a shared emotion of love was seen on the pages of books and in movies, I understood. My warm essence flowed in waves of overpowering love of Sylvia. That may be the reason why that so many people do not want to talk, because they know what I will talk about. Life is full of paradoxes.
I had just got out of jail and had spent two days at the Annex. This was not what wanted so I went back to Morningstar, I knew if I was caught it would be instant jail time. So the first night back at Morningstar I slept in the powdery crawl space of the lower house. I had looked at places to sleep and not one would provide cover from the police the crawl space did provide cover but I felt like a spider or Gollum curled up in my blanket in the deep powdery dust. The next day as I readied for bed I headed toward the crawl space, laid down and slept for about an hour; I awoke in darkness and left the area, walked through the door of the lower house and headed for the bedroom where two people were in bed in the bedroom, I crawled into the bed with them and went to sleep and was rudely awakened by the police the next morning.
I have a deep anger for the world who rousted me out of bed. They said, We have your name on a list and you are not supposed to be here. The law says that you are not wanted here, go elsewhere.
I climb out of bed dazed, rubbing the night out of my eyes. Dazed and not wanted, my name on a list, the blue uniforms carried my name and number.
I am not a criminal, I am a being seeking the fountain of youth. I am a child seeking the flowers in the garden. I stand a being alone and dazed. They had done their part, I was hurt. I flied on the first express that was flying over. Where was the understanding, the peace, the world united and the freedom of being?
Some things have changed, but not much. Reagonomics has eliminated the help. What did he know? Not much!

Quote From Ramon: Home Free Home: A History of Two Open-Door California Communes

Quate From: Home Free Home: A History of Two Open-Door California Communes
Chapter 8
More Arrests And Bill Wheeler's Offer

"Christmas Day began with the police waking everyone up before sunrise, taking their names, addresses, birthplaces and soon. They walked in on Tomás, Judy and Doug who were joyously balling, but whose pace suddenly slowed to tantric at the sight of the uniforms and badges. Everyone poured love on the cops, and the harassment transformed into good vibes. They finally left without busting anyone.

"By then the sun was shining brightly, and people made their way to a bulghur wheat breakfast in the Upper House. A Christmas tree was standing in the living room. Small presents, ranging from roach clips to used socks, had been placed under the tree for everyone. Kyle and Cindy had made wreaths and they crowned each person as he arrived.

"After breakfast, everyone moved out to the meadow to dance, make music, or just lie on their backs in ecstasy. Fruits 'n Nuts Nancy, who had migrated to a nearby town, arrived with a large tray of cupcakes and some joints. Both were instantly consumed. There was no feast that day. Brown rice and pinto beans were the Christmas fare. No one really minded - they had had turkey and ham Christmas dinners many times in their parents' homes. At Morning Star they fed on the love of the tribal family. It was always warm at Morning Star, even when your sleeping bag was soggy." 

Ramon Sender

Someone had a list of who was to be culled. The good apples were placed in one neat pile and the bruised apples were placed in another. It is not very funny being culled as a rotten apple. But it is important to know that you have been culled.
Now you know your status among the Golden Robes of Humanity.
Somewhere between standing in the woods without a stitch and driving thru the streets of an industrial habitat, I stand.
Frowned on by some and admired by others. Where I stand is not important, to be seen by others is important to me.
My ego demands some acknowledgement otherwise the soft wet sand that I am standing in will sink.
I think that we all stand in the wet sand at some point in our lives.
To see and to see them is important, never forgetting the paths that we have walked.
Saying hello to the new found day and its passengers.

  Two Communes Chapter 9 

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