reflections april 2000

  i really hope you can do a book signing in lawrence…. the town’s wonderful book store/cafe scene has suffered the past few years do to major corporate book stores coming to the down town area however i can guarantee people would come out for you… lawrence is a very kind town well….. i am off =) i wish more people across the planet were as inspired as you not just confined to these little enclaves and clandestine events peace love light and guidance stay kind dready george–sell a million bazzzillion books
  Dear Alicia,
I was at the local library two weeks ago and they had several boxes of free books left over from the book sale.  When I saw the yellowed cover of "Living on The Earth" and saw the illustrations, I had to take it home!

The illustrations are beautiful, simple and honest.  The writing is clear, practical and joyful.

It didn’t surprise me that it was published in 1971, a time, perhaps, when deep feelings were being shared to a greater extent and books like yours without the various fonts and glossy pages could be appreciated. Many times I look through the book here and there just for the feelings it offers and wonder about the times and places where the writings and drawings were created.

It seems like I am just in time to find the 30th anniversary edition almost published; quite synchronous!

Most times we don’t know how far our creations have travelled or the lives they’ve touched – perhaps because we create for the sake of creating and not for the results they achieve.

So, just a short note from a new reader in New York who appreciates your thoughts, feelings and creations – 30 years later.  I’ll be looking for the new edition.

Have a great day!

  alicia bay laurel

hi! I just heard about your book from my friend, Chantel. She lent it to me for a few days and I read it. The whole thing. And I feel like reading it is not enough. I want to live it! Ha! Isn’t that great that youve written a book thats not just something I read, but something I try out, test out and work out with my friends. Im starting an artist co-op! My friends and I are idealistic (some say). Weve never gotten around to finishing the projects that weve started in our creative spurts, so were leaving the city and running to the desert!

we’re working thru questions about how to build a community. The ones posed in your book are some of the issues; there are many. Im very excited to be able to develop a community that will focus very hard on hearing all voices of all the participants. I look forward to finally living in a way that is not so much supportive of a fast paced consumer society.

Have you heard of consensus decision making? Were going to do things in our comunity thru consensus.

And we’re going to have chickens, and maybe a goat too.

And Im going to sew that quilt Ive been wanting to sew.

Are you interested in all this? Would you be interested in visiting and sharing? I understand youre on tour (wow! youre a rock band!) and perhaps youll be traveling thru Southern Utah, or the South West this Summer. Were starting up the first week of June.

Im really excited to be doing this, and your book showed up in my life a few weeks ago like an omen. And so I thought Id write you and tell you a a bit about it. I thought you might like it. I hope youre well. Thanks for the guidance,

  When my mother was a teenager, she came upon your book and was inspired to build a tee pee in the woods, and live in it with her friends. Your ideas made her feel a special connection to nature, and a spirituality from it that she wanted to share with me, so she named me Amy Baylaurel Casey. I always looked for some glimmer of information here and there, wondering what the person I am named after is like. My heart jumped when I saw your name on the list of support. I searched to find an e-mail address, but I could not find one. It was very fortunate that I had some help. When I think of my mother in the woods, it reminds me that I need to remember my origin-that I come from the Earth. And, that we are all from the same family. Thank you for inspiring these ideas in her and I, and for having such a wonderful name to share with me.

Amy Baylaurel Casey

I would be so honored if you posted my original e-mail! I am very excited about it and can’t wait to meet you. I will call or write to let you know where. I can travel to Maine, VT, or Mass. I love Burlington, St. Johnsbury, and Northhampton.  I never in my dreams thought that anything like this was possible.  It thrills me that people can connect like this in such a beautiful way. I believe that people have a primal connection to each other like their connection to nature. I can’t help but feel that I am supposed to meet you, and that my fascination with Indian and African art, along with my recent interest in Jung’s collective unconscious all has a purpose I have yet to figure out. I feel an amazing amount of love and energy and strength. Thank you my fairy godmother!  Amy Baylaurel Casey

I don’t know if you remember me, but a while back I wrote to you via, asking you about your book. You told me all about how your were working an a brand new edition of your book, and an official website. Just wanted to let you know that I have seen your site, and could not be more impressed. It really is a cool site. I also really enjoy the gallery, and have been thinking about ordering some of your art. Keep up the good


Jeremy Bridges

Baton Rouge, LA

  Hello Alicia, I hope you remember me. I talked to you from Cornucopia. I’m not sure if my boss will want to sell the book, he hasn’t told me yet. I was so interested in talking to you, I thought I would write. As soon as I got the fax from you, I realized that I knew the book quite well. My mother also lived in a comune for a while, and being a sixties child herself, she owns the book, and has for many many years. I actually made a dress using the book when I was about 14, and was very proud of my skills without a pattern. I’m now almost 21 years old, I go to UMASS amherst, and I’m a Women’s studies major. I’m not entirely sure what I will do with my life, but hopefully something wonderful. I guess I’m writing to you, because I feel that your book is an example of the way that I would like to live my life, and I’m very interested in learning more about you. I would really love to volunteer myself to be a part of your book signing, at whichever book store you end up at around here. Please let me know when you think you’ll be around.                                  Risha

My name is Angela Hope Mikul-Hatch. I’m (Wheeler Ranch alumnae) John and Sue Mikul’s "Baby Girl". I read on that you are having your book reprinted, and I wanted to thank you personally (e-personally?). I’m ecstatic that I’ll be able to get a copy of my own (as a matter of fact I’ve ordered copies for 3 of my sisters and for mom to be shipped out as gifts as soon as it’s printed). I’ve constantly searched for used copies over the years to no avail. My sister Tigger has a copy which I’ve spent hours reading through. The man she married quoted from "Living on the Earth" when they first met. She knew he was the one!

Thank you so much for such a wonderful book. Have a wonderful Holiday season. Angie

    Dear Alicia,

I just recently discovered your book at a auction. I was hoping to find out more information about you, so I went to, and looked up your name. I was very happy to learn that you are about to release a updated version of you book "Living on Earth."   I am really looking forward to ordering a copy when it is released.  

   I really fell in love with the 60s and everything it was about when I first read Abbie Hoffman’s "Steal this Book."  Every since then I have kind of become a 1960s junkie.  Anything from the 60s, I want to read, visit, meet, taste, or smoke…..I  mean….read.   Anywho, I have read all of Abbie’s books, as well as Wavy Gravy, Allen Ginsburg, Paul Krassner, Whole Earth Catalog, and more.  I also love reading the "manuals" that was written during the 60s.  Books on hitch-hiking, growing organic food, hippie culture, underground comics, and more.  I guess that I was just born a decade to late.  Darn my eyes!

   The point of my little letter was to ask a favor.  Like I said earlier, when ever I learn about a new author, I like to learn all I can about that author.  So, I was wondering if you had a website, or a fan club, or anything that a person could goto to learn more about you and your writtings.    Thanks in advance,

    Jeremy Bridges

    Baton Rouge, LA

    Greetings Alicia,

    Do I have a website for you.  Check out  <A HREF="">Hippy Land Hippie Magazine</A>, it is the premire hippy web-site on the internet. If anyone can get the word out about your book and upcoming tour, it’s these guys. Also, a good newsgroup is <A HREF="aol://5863:126/alt.thebird.hippie">alt.thebird.hippie (unread)</A> .    Also, if you want to get ahold of some more hippys, you might try HIGH TIMES Magazine at
   Thanks for your great reply, I look forward to seeing your website.



ABL: Was Jeremy right or what? Check out the beautiful review and interview at See’s creator’s answer below


  Hi!  You won’t believe this, but I know you!!! I met you at Ilili’s place on Maui back in the 80’s. You probably don’t remember me as we only knew each other briefly (we made an onion pie together that night at Ilili’s). I’m attaching two recent photos that might jar your memory.

I just published my new book, Hippies From A to Z . I’m so glad you’re updating your book! I’ll certainly plug it on the site as I remember how beautiful (and appropriate) it is. And the message is as timely as ever.     Peace & Love, Skip Stone

  Hey Alicia,

On your way through Missouri check your map and see if you can cut through the north-eastern corner and visit Dancing Rabbit. Several of the Fellowship for Intentional Communities employees live here. It’s an eco-village – check out our website for more info  My husband and I just (June) quit our jobs in Berkeley and moved out here and are absolutely loving it. We’re building a straw bale house, power everything on solar, etc…

Just down the road from us is Sandhill Farm, an intentional community that’s been around for about 25 years. They run an organic farm, growing sorghum, soybeans (they sell tempeh to restaurants), horse radish, mustard, keep bees, etc.

More soon,

  Dear Ms. Laurel,

Greetings! It’s a pleasure to hear from you.

Of course I remember Living on the Earth. It’s a marvellous book, and wonderfully evocative of the times. I think of it as a softer, hand-made book of inspiration, to complement the rather hard-edged Whole Earth Catalog, with which it co-existed on oh-so-many brick-and-board bookshelves. It’s a wonderful gem to have shared with us all. You should be very proud of its impact on those of us who had the pleasure of discovering it. And congratulations on the new edition! I hope a new generation of readers can discover it all over again!

With warmest wishes,

Andrew Stafford
Red House Books

  Living on the Earth was certainly a classic for the utopian movement of that era and stands in stark contrast to the unrestrained consumerism and materialism since.  Too bad you didn’t have a bookstand in Seattle during the WTO convention.  10,000 copies would have sold the first day.
Good Luck with the new edition.


Roger McGrath

Professor of History

University of California Los Angeles

  Hi, Alicia? My name is Pam Miller, in another lifetime a little kid named Pam (or Tigger) from Wheeler’s Ranch in California and listed among other friends and relations in the dedication of Living on the Earth. I have thought of you as a positive influence on my life and wondered what you’re up to these days. I would like to communicate a little if it suits you. I found you’re e-mail address while browsing in a Who’s Where type program.

Hopefully, Pam

Like you, I too had my fair share of troubles, but believe they have made me stronger and a more interesting character. Like a rock that has been smoothed by tumbling about in a river. Or a shapely little Bonsai tree. Life’s funny.
Good talking with you. Oh, did you remember my name as Tigger Wheel or did I mention it? The family still calls me that…
Also, if it’s not intrusive, would you tell me what other books you wrote besides "Living on the Earth"? I’d sure like to look them up & peruse your lovely endeavors. I remember that calendar you did, with the months arranged according to the Zodiac. Gorgeous.
Peach. I mean peace. Tigger.

I met my mate (Jerry) while working in a nursery (horticultural) in New Mexico…when he quoted something from Living on the Earth during our first date I knew he was for me. He had found a copy of that book and recognized wisdom there. It has a special place in our home in Bandera, Texas (I remember while in California I thought the last place on earth I would live would be Texas!). We built our home with blood sweat & tears next to a wonderful little river called the Medina. We have no kids, but he teaches high school Special Ed and I have been studying for years to get my degree to do the same. I am at the university (of Texas at San Antonio) as I write. I’ll have my degree in December. Jerry and I make stained glass stuff in my shop. Often, while drawing glass designs, I realize I’m trying to draw the way you do–which I’ve always loved (but could never come close to). We also grow plants and love living by the river. We were married by the river on July 4th, 1994 (Dad officiated!).

I know this is silly, but one memory I have of you is with some of us kids "flying" (running with arms outstretched) down a steep little hill; you recommended to us girls that we didn’t grow our breasts too large since they became somewhat awkward for that type of activity. I’m happy to tell you I took your advice and grew very modestly sized boobs which are just right for flying.


  As a child/teen growing up in the late 60s/early 70s, my parents introduced us to your book.  My father was a college professor and both my parents were deeply involved in the social and political movements of the time (they still are!) We all loved your book, and I remember the joy of learning so many things from it. I have looked for years in used bookstores for a copy, but hadn’t thought about it for a while. Today, Apr. 25, 2000, it suddenly came to me that I should check the internet for information on your book. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see that your book is back in print. I am currently working as a full-time volunteer in a non-profit store that sells folk art made by low-income artisans cooperatives throughout the world, and we also carry a selection of books on topics ranging from radical politics to alternative medicine. We are eager to set up an account now with the Random House imprint that is publishing the new addition of your book, and carrying it here as soon as possible. Again, congratulations. I’m sure your book will deeply touch a new generation. Charlie Haddox
  I’m listning to your CD right now, it’s like a beautiful lullabye that you are singng to me, I love it! It is so soothing . It sounds like you are a mama to the planet and you are singing this wonderful symphony of comfort and love. Listening to it gives me such a great feeling of peace and joy it’s unbeleivable. I listen to it every day. Your voice is incredibly soothing. It really helps me mellow out and stay calmer. Thank you for this wonderful gift, I ‘M USING IT MANY HOURS A DAY EVERY DAY!  GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR BEAUTIFUL VOICE AND GENEROUS, COMPASSIONATE LOVING SPIRIT!!. Geri 
  Whoa Alicia! Your website is too cool, and, man, have you "aged" beautifully! I guess you were 19 the last time I saw you. I hope your tour goes beautifully and is richly blessed. When I close my eyes to go to a quiet place, one of my favorite visions is my memory of the house boat in Sausilito with the skylight open to the stars. I still hope to see you in New Hampshire! Love-Peggy Mikul (aka helen wackerhagen!)

  Letter from Wheeler Ranch alumna Meridith Moore

Here’s praise to you: in my life a few women have influenced me with their art and heart: Joan Baez is one and you are one!! My daughter, Rosa, who lives up North was delighted to hear I had gone to see you at the book signing. She grew up with your book and told me it was what started her on her way to being an environmentalist.

Thank you so much for visiting Santa Barbara and bringing your music, your art and your energy. I have never forgotten my time at Wheelers and Sonoma County. Last night I wanted to offer you a place to stay but got shy and didn’t. You look beautiful and healthy. After I saw you and Ramon (28 years ago yikes) I became a cook and now have a small catering company. I dream of moving back to Sonoma County and having an inn and restaurant on the river. My son (19) and daughter (25) have enjoyed traveling to Sonoma and seeing where Ma was a hippie. I feel like I am still a hippie although when I verbalize that people are shocked. Who is that chubby aging blond in the mirror anyway!!! I’m still 19 and running naked down the hill to sing dance and play.

Look forward to keeping up on your wonderful travel adventure,

Love, Meridith


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