reflections july 2000

 

Dear Alicia,

I was so happy to find your website, and to see that "Living on the Earth" is living still, in a somewhat refreshed but mercifully familiar incarnation. I promptly ordered it, and the t-shirt, and was delighted to receive them within a couple of weeks. Thank you!   I am almost exactly your age, born October 5th, 1950, and bought my first copy of your lovely gift to hippiedom when it first came out, at the "Whole Earth Provision Company" in Austin, Texas. I had just dropped out of college to "go back to the land", and it probably saved my life, and definitely my sanity!   That copy was used so much that it plumb wore out, so after a few years I bought another, and it was a constant companion, too. I’m on my third now, not counting the brand new, 30th anniversary edition.  

By the time I wore out the first copy, and got the second one, I was a midwife, with a miraculous little son of my own, Joel Benjamin. We colored the pictures together.   I also had "Being of the Sun" (still have it) , "Home Comfort" (still have that, too), and "Earth Mass" (haven’t seen it for years, but it has to be here somewhere!)   I made several of your recipes from "Living On the Earth", including the dill pickles, the peanut butter (I did get that peanut butter recipe from your book, didn’t I?), and, especially, the apple butter. I won a ribbon in the Williamson County Fair, in Georgetown, Texas, 1973, for that apple butter, and that was my very first county fair, first entry into a cooking contest, and first apple butter! So, thank you again! If you’ll tell me where to send it, I’d like to give you the ribbon. It was third prize, out of a field of about a zillion.   I’m babbling now, so I’ll cut to the chase. Why don’t you come to Austin? Maybe in October, when it’s not so hot? There’s a bookstore called "Bookpeople" that I know would be delighted to host a speaking engagement and booksigning for you. Austin’s still got a huge hippy culture, a ton of vegetarians and organic farmers, homebirthers, gentle people and artists and musicians galore. You’d have ’em all lined up to see you. What do you say? Please? I can’t think of a nicer way to spend my 50th birthday than by getting to meet the sister of the spirit who gave me so much, when we were both so young.   Speaking of "young", it just blows me away that you wrote "Living on the Earth" when you were only 20 years old !

You’re truly amazing, Alicia!

Namaste:)   Love always, Cathey    

   
 

HI ALICIA

YOU’RE PROBABLY IN A SWIRL OF FACES AND PLACES BY NOW, BUT THIS IS THE STEVE FROM THE HARMONY FESTIVAL WHO TALKED TO YOU FOR PROBABLY A TOO LONG TIME.  YOU’LL SEE HERE BETTER WHY I’M SO INTO YOUR LITERALLY LITERAL TRIP,BOTH IN A PERSONAL WAY AND A HISTORICAL WAY.  BOTH IN REFRESHING OLDTIMERS IN MAKING CHANGES IN ONE’S AND IN OTHER’S LIVES, AND IN REACHING NEW PEOPLE , WHETHER YOUNG OR OLD. AND MORE PERSONALLY, THAT YOU  ARE RISKING  SECURITY AND  EGO TO BE YOUR MOST ULTIMATELY CREATIVE SELF, WHILE ALSO DOING GOOD FOR THE WORLD  AND MAKING A LIVING! 

SO IN WRITING MY THOUGHTS IN SUPPORT OF THIS, IT SEEMS I’VE ENDED UP WITH A BOOK REVIEW OR EVEN AN ARTICLE. HOWEVER, THOUGH I THINK THE CONCEPTS ARE GOOD, I  DON’T  HAVE THE ABILITY TO POLISH IT PROFESSIONALLY, NOR  MUCH TIME TO SHOP IT AROUND.  LET ME KNOW THOUGH IF YOU THINK IT WORTHWHILE  AND DO NOT HAVE  SOMEONE WHO CAN DO THIS FOR YOU, THEN I WOULD SEE WHAT I COULD DO.  IF NOTHING ELSE, IT MAY GIVE YOU INSIGHT INTO WHAT L.O.T.E. MEANT TO PEOPLE THEN AND WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN TO PEOPLE NOW.  MY FEELING IS THAT YOU COULD BE IN A TOUCHY PUBLICITY  SITUATIION, BECAUST NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY BE INTERESTED IN HOMESTEADING NOW, BUT MANY PEOPLE MIGHT BE INTERESTED  IN THE HISTORY  OF IT OR IN THE ENJOYMENT OF LIFE ASPECT OF IT .   (BEFORE I HEARD  OF YOUR  REAPPEARANCE, I RE-ACQUIRED  ‘LIVING ON THE EARTH’ FOR THESE LAST TWO REASONS. )       

NOTE, THIS  POINTS TO AN IDEA FOR YOUR ‘2000’ BOOK-THAT IT INCLUDE SOME ‘RECIPES’ AS WELL AS PHILOSOPHY-CUSTOMIZED OF COURSE TO WHAT YOU FIND PEOPLE WANTING, AS YOU TRAVEL. I MYSELF  WOULD VOTE FOR THE ARTS OF LIVING, ESPECIALLY THE DEEPER  ONES, AS IN ‘BEING OF THE SUN’ FOR EXAMPLE!  (TO ME IT IS AN AMAZING COLLECTION OF PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHY THAT JUST HAS NOT FOUND  THE RIGHT TIME AND PLACE YET ) )

STEVE COCHRANE

   
 

You have probably heard this many times before, and hopefully will hear it many times again. I was 5 when I bought your first book, I bought it at a garage sale and as it may surprise you I still have it, and it is in very good shape, I read it several times as a child for the mere fun of being able to read. I read it as an adult many times for the mere fun of learning to use it as a guide and handbook for practical living. I have taught my children to love the earth and others, based greatly on the influence I absorbed from reading it over the years. I have been wanting to catch an appearance but it seems you are making no Florida stops. It’s as if you have avoided the lower corner of the nation hehe. My question is this, I would be willing to send the copy to you if you could sign it and return it. It would mean a great deal to me, and it is something that I want to hand down to my kids. If this would be possible I would be most appreciative.

  Please let me know if it would not be too much trouble. I would dearly like to meet you in person but I am a home dad and travel is not in the budget for a few years. Many thanks and I wish you many more years of happy healthful peace.

              with admiration,

                    Dan Momany

                   

   
 

Dear Alicia,

Sorry to take so long to get to praising your Sebastopol visit to Copperfields.  You have created a wonderful one-woman show: Alicia Bay Laurel doing Alicia Bay Laurel.  How do you become 18 years old again like that?  The sweet innocence, the light, lively voice, that could only belong to someone still wide-eyed and eager to see and do everything!  Alicia, I never knew you were such an great actress.  Not to mention comedian!!!!!  I can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard!

In following the journal of your trek, I am a little distressed that your great performance is being wasted on such small crowds.  Wasted is the wrong word (unless one considers the other meaning of it), since the appreciation is great.  But you know what I mean.  So many folks are missing the opportunity to see a top notch performance by a totally talented lady, and all for free!  Hopefully, before long, word will precede you, instead of following in your wake,  and this thing will snowball.  I can see, in fifty years or so, some young actress doing a one woman show recreated from foggy memories about your national tour in 2000!

Much Aloha,

Linda

   
 

I hope you have more fun than humanly possible on the tour, I could imagine just going along to take pictures or do a video chronology. Just for memories. I think after reading a few other posts, I am going to get a new copy for my children to color and then I can pass the both of them down.  I look forward to an appearance sometime then. Be well and smile, even when others aren’t; remember, it makes ’em wonder why you are smiling. hehe.

Dan

   
  Hey – I loved your pictures and stories of the Klamath River and the Hamazons!

Are you a Mini-Hamazon?  A Mighty Mini-Hamazon.   This book is going to be outrageous.    Just checking in – letting you know I’m following your spore….

Lots-O’-Love,     Sophia

   
 

Hi Alicia;

     I heard your interview with Russell, it was great. I’m a fifty year old "hippie" trying to involve youth in the business world.  My wife Chris, my son Jason and I own One Whole Earth co., a small producer and marketer of birdfeeders & cedar garden products, our site is www.naturalyards.com   We are also on the board of Youthfocus a non-profit which is trying to get a homeless teen shelter and in the long term, a group home that would also be a sort of youth development center where mentoring and crafting are done.    

We are looking for people and eco-investors whose interest is to replenish the old growth and the sponge on the forest.  The natural yards site is hoped to become a network of mentors and young people assembling and distributing our products and the products of other eco business. We hope to provide a beautiful choice of natural, non-chemical yard maintainance, and native plants.    

We hope to prove that people can have a good income in wildcrafting, tourism, and very light touch, non-soil compacting wood harvesting, without clear cutting, or anything like it. We are working with the Healthy Forest/Healthy Communities in Portland (links on our site), and Mark Stella at the Rouge Institute for Economy and Ecology on this project.  We are offering a very good opportunity for people who want to earn money while doing good things for people and Mother Earth.     I hope you will link with our site and spread the word as you travel.  I deliver to stores from Canada to S. Calif. I hope to connect with you sometime.Thanks for your efforts for a better world

Wayne Burns 800-669-0838

   
  July 10,  2000

Hello Alicia,

My name is Jason Jensen.  I met you briefly at the entrance of the Oregon Country Fair.  You borrowed my guitar to play inspiring renditions of "Blackbird", "Ripple" and "Hang out and Breathe".  Thank you for that lovely experience.  I have ordered a couple copies of your book and a CD.

I see that you are visiting Lost Valley Education Center soon.  I spent about 4 months of my life there learning about permaculture, community living, and hanging out and breathing.  I hope that you have a blissful tour in support of your wonderful creations.

With Love,

Jason

   
 

Letter to the producers of C-Span

Gentlemen:

Attached please find the web site of Alicia Bay Laurel, the author of ‘Living on the Earth’, a handbook of bohemian life in the early 1970’s, and a  book that was on the New York Times bestseller list.  As you can see by perusing her web site, she is making an extended tour of America, introducing the revised version of her book, driving the entire way by herself, following in the tradition she set 30 odd years ago.  What a find for Book TV.  American history personified.  A spokeswoman for a time in our country when idealism was a virtue, and concern a necessity.

While I am not familiar with the inter workings of Book TV, this match seems too good to pass up.  Please take the time to browse this site, and see if it Alicia doesn’t deserve a spot on one of your shows.  I am an interested observer of both Alicia, and your television efforts, and cannot think of a more perfect union.  Please take the time to seriously consider her for one of your weekend shows. Of course you will find her e-mail address and phone number on her web site. I have n
o personal relationship with Alicia, or I would encourage her to come directly to you.  I trust in your wisdom to see the possibilities that exist.

www.aliciabaylaurel.com/

Sincerely,

Tom Lance

Lakewood, Co.

   
 

From Pam Hanna

I hadn’t kept up with your trip since July – just made up for that & went thru all your trips.  I’m SO amazed at your – how shall i say – greatness of spirit?  That doesn’t even touch it.  Loved the Hamazons – that you were able to photograph a deer in the wild, an Elizabethan theatre, Bryce Gray (I know him – nice to see him again) but the one I most resonated to was Funk Tech with Panache – your friend Ayala Talpai and her house & environs – that you have the perception to photograph her cupboard that doubles as a dish drainer.  That may seem mundane, but I was floored!  This is the way to live!

 Damn!  I’m enthralled.  You’re doing what I always wanted to do.  You’re BEING in what my wildest dreams I always wanted to be – a person who can put her own ego aside and CELEBRATE other people – how incredible and amazing they are.  How we’re NOT slaves of the military-industrial complex.  Your erudition and political acumen comes thru in all your writing – and the pictures!  Omigod – this website is amazing.  On my little computer, I can access all this stuff and it’s a celebration of humanity.  You step aside, you let other people say what they say and do what they do with so much grace and insight.  Hats off to ya gal.  I’m beginning to see that you’re what I call a "great soul."  Don’t say that lightly.  Said that about Lou Gottlieb.  You’re another.  Can’t think of any other. I get so depressed sometimes about the state of the world.  Your web site cheers me up considerable.  Keep on keeping on love.  You’re doing great!

Much love,

Pam

   
 

Is it OK if I post your letter, Pam?

Hey love – post anything you want to from what i say – i’m just running my mouth after all.  Tom Lance, an adopted friend of M* says you answer his posts to you.  See – that’s what i mean about a great soul.  You’re not a "respecter of persons".  You take ppl for what they are – as they come. 

That’s rare.  I know so many ppl who only talk to someone who they deem important in some way.  You deem ALL ppl important.  When I grow up – i wanna be like you gal.  Maybe i’m growing up.  Maybe i am.  Thank you for being who you are.  It helps.  Believe me, it helps – a lot!!!!

luv – ~ Pam

   

Hi Alicia –

I just got my gift copy of the new Living on the Earth in the mail! Thank you!! A true collectors item.  I also checked out your website – wow… that’s a mighty ambitious tour scheduele!!  Especially to someone like me who can barely manage to get to Kahului once a month and over to see my family every two years!  I hope the tour is going really well, and that we can see you when you get back to Maui.  Naturally you are welcome to come out and stay in Tama’s newly rennovated retreat house – now complete with wood fired hot tub!

We have a website too!  Al put it together for me to e-publish my novel, and did a beautiful job.  When you have a chance (maybe next year!) have a look! www.Phantombooks.com

May you conti ue to have a safe and successful journey, and we’ll see you in December!

Aloha Nui! – Sufi

 

From Tomas in the Most Digest:

As I read Alicia this morning I realized that by moving away from the west I was moving away from a life style. In my heart I think the same way I did in my youth. But here I am only one that thinks the way I do. By reading Alicia I see that there are plenty of folks that have similar ideas out west. If I get a chance I am going that way. We know Ambo in Eugene and other folks in California.

   

Hi,

My mother and I were at the Fremont flea market this past weekend when I discovered you and your CD by following the music. It is wonderful, and thank you for signing it. My first impression of you was of a talented, humble, kind, and gentle soul. After touring your website, I am so much more impressed and I am now convinced of that first impression. I am interested in a copy of your anniversary edition. Can I buy one by credit card over the net, or have you ever used www.paypal.com?

I hope you have a safe and rewarding journey on your tour.

Thanks again,

Luana Gilley

 

I can’t even remember how I described what Living on the Earth meant to me (when you were here) except that I recall describing it as a diary already written out for me. A book of dreams and deeply held beliefs, it was a companion for thirty years before I actually passed on that original copy. Since I tend to travel lightly, I can’t think of another belonging that I cherished for so long. Not even my own journals made it that far. It has been an icon in my life; a seed to carry until I could replant the dreams after so many years of preparing and fertilizing the ground of my Self.

Thanks for all you’ve done. I hope you are having a marvelous time on the road!

Lovingly, Allison Jucha, Santa Cruz

 

Dear, dear Alicia,

I have been enjoying your journey on your on-line journal. It is so wonderful! Thank you!! I am so excited about your upcoming visit to Phoenix!! I cannot wait!! I am so glad that you have revised Living On The Earth. Like many others, it was such an inspiration when I was much younger and continues to be a part of my life. And, now, you are back and breathing new life into this beautiful book that I love!! You ( and your travel companion) are always welcome in my home when visiting Phoenix. I am an artist and kindred spirit and can offer you a peaceful, safe place to stay along your journey. For more infomation regarding that you can e-mail me. I will definately be there in November when you come to town. Enjoy your beautiful self and I wish for you a magical adventure. Peace and Love,

Tracy Dove- Coppen

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