Saturday, February 22, 2014

Smoketree flowers: Hippie Communes, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh's autobiography "Searching for the Sound," Olompali State Park, Marin, California, "The Chosen Family" commune, Alpha Farm, another commune, in the Oregon coastal range, which continues to operate on Quaker-informed consensus process

Welcome home, Donald (you may still be underway :)...

How are/were your Oregon travels?

... enjoying Phil Lesh's "Searching for the Sound" book a lot in audio ... it would be inspiring me to read more highest quality writings in this genre (Cassidy, Jack London?,  etc.), from the '60s, - but what Grateful Dead book next?

... and to search for the sound in music-making myself

... as well as to incorporate aspects of his thinking into my Harbin ethnographic book :)

I may explore developing World University and School, as a Friendly service project, in the new emergent very little Quaker Meeting, under the care of SFFM.

... was able to prepare my talk for a UC Santa Cruz philosophy class recently on World University and School and race (glad to be talking in the UC system about WUaS) for Tuesday, February 18th, significantly ...

... heading to write and make music and bagpipe soon (yea for daily playing) ... wanting to make this social (in real, real time, eventually in a Google + Hangout?) and fun like the Grateful Dead seemed to make music-making ...:)

Hoping your travels are ongoingly illuminating.



Please get the Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh's autobiography "Searching for the Sound" autobiography in audio and digital text versions from your library.

Although the Grateful Dead shared a lot of their music out of the sphere of copyright, allowing recording in their concerts, for example, I haven't found Phil's book in an online digital public library yet.

Enjoy - it's an inspiring 'read' about a lot of musical creativity out of the fascinating '60s!).



Hi Donald,

Stopped at Olompali State Park ( and yesterday off 101 north of Novato in Marin on the way back from up north and saw that the Grateful Dead ( had hung out there (as well as the Coastal Miwok for 1000s of years), but what caught my eye on a park sign was that 'The Chosen Family' commune ( and and ) also found a home there from about '67-69 ... curious about Marin / SF Bay and communes in general in the '60s / '70s, and, especially, exploring their freedoms and parties in bodymind today even (virtually) :) ... Know of a history or good resources about this? Am listening for this in Phil's enjoyable GD autobiography :)

How was your trip up north?



Hi Scott,

I don't know if there's a central reference for communes -- obviously google/amazon worth looking at...  I can think of Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly, a book about Esalen from the 80s, one I was interested in was the Kerista Community in the Haight, Family Dog, Diggers, a friend who lived in a (famous?) commune in Komche (west of Ukiah). Endless, I think, but maybe someone's done the work.

Nice trip north, rain but enough clear hours to visit the beach and go for a short hike at Oswald West State Park (S. of Cannon Beach).

Leaving right after M on Sunday for a family do, but will say hi if I see you.



Hi Donald,

Your trip to Oregon sounds fun, and thanks for the inspiring commune resources. I visited Alpha Farm (, another one, in the Oregon coastal range, a number of times in the first half of the '80s (and with S, whom I miss sometimes). It continues to operate on Quaker-informed consensus process, I think - and since around '71.

I'm going to celebrate my best friend's birthday party this morning in the Botanical Gardens here near Berkeley in the East Bay instead of coming to QMeetings in both Corte Madeira and then SF, as was my plan yesterday.

Friendly greetings,


Some further 1960s' resources ...

O'Neill, William L. 1971. Coming apart: an informal history of America in the 1960s. Quadrangle Books.

1960s -

Grateful Dead -


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