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Photo Slide Show from 24 Hours in Columbus May 13-14 '09

Willie Brown at Cafe Roma, SF Weekly's "Best of San Francisco"

I leave home about 6 AM this morning, drive in to San Francisco along the coast listening to Bob Dylan's new album (raspy-voiced, some good songs, some same-old, same-old) and get to Cafe Roma in North beach around 7. There are cameras and lights set up and it turns out Channel 5 Eyewitness News does a 6 AM TV show from here each Friday morning. Well, at the next table to me is ex-mayor and political genius Willie Brown, who had been this morning's subject. He has an aura of vitality and playfulness. Beautiful blue suit, lavender shirt, darker lavender tie, cream white hat (when he left). Having an animated discussion with an Italian-looking guy, lots of laughs. Some people have magnetic auras, you can almost see an energy field around them. (You can see same when hallucinegen-ating, or if spiritually advanced, as they say.) It brought to mind my experiences with Mr. Universe Bill Pearl. I worked with Bill over a 2-year period on his weight-lifting book, Getting Stronger, and everywhere we went, people were drawn to him. I saw Clint Eastwood at a party and he had the same thing.
The SF Weekly is out this week with its annual "Best of San Francisco" and I recommend picking it up in a newstand if you live in or near SF. A few examples: Best Lowbrow Dance Club/Best Street Performer/Best New Place to Skateboard/Hottest Yoga Studio/Best Hip-Hop Club Night/Best Doughnuts…

Good Architecture in Corte Madera, Calif./Peets Coffee

Good architecture exists here and there. I like the use of corrugated metal in this Peet's coffee house. This is a nice little tidy, well-detailed building.

Little Farm Building in Marin County

I shot a photo of this little pump house about 35 years ago and used it in our book Shelter (1973). It's still there, still has that unselfconscious elegant non-architectural grace of utility and practicality. It's on the McIsaacs ranch near Tocoloma, Calif.

Church in Nicasio, California

This little picture-perfect church is down the block from West Marin's good-time blues/Cajun/rock and roll/Sunday-barbecue club, Rancho Nicasio, in the tiny town of Nicasio, about 30 minutes from San Rafael, Calif.

Roots Reggae in Fairfax

I happened to be going through Fairfax (local small town) last week around midnight and stopped at the 19 Broadway club, heard some great reggae, and went in. The Meditations, never heard of them, wow, were they good! Roots reggae, the real thing. (Sad to say, there are a lot of krappy reggae bands around these days.) Once in a great while I stumble into some truly great music. The planets must have been lined up. The singer at the right, older guy, was dignified and hip, so nice to see… two and 3-part vocal harmonies. The kind of music that fills your soul with joy…
Quote from Wikipedia:
"…they began recording as The Meditations in late 1976, shortly after which they released their biggest hit, "Woman Is Like a Shadow", which sold over 45,000 copies in its first month of release.[2] They recorded in the mid-1970s for producers such as Dobby Dobson, Joseph Hoo Kim, and Lee "Scratch" Perry, their righteously Rastafarian style gaining comparisons with The Mighty Diamonds. Their first album, Message From The Meditations, was released in 1977. The Meditations sang backing vocals on a number of Bob Marley songs, including "Blackman Redemption," "Punky Reggae Party," and "Rastaman Live Up", as well as providing backing for Gregory Isaacs, Jimmy Cliff and The Congos (on their Heart of the Congos album."

I just got two Meditations albums: Deeper Roots: The Best of the Meditations and No More Friend. Great music.

Flashback to 1973: a bunch if us from my small town went into San Francisco to hear what was said to be a good reggae band. We got there a little late, walked into what was then Mother's nightclub on Columbus Ave. It was just a big rectangular room, packed to the gills, everyone standing, and playing were — the Wailers. With Bob Marley. I'd never heard of them. (They hadn't hit the big time yet.) Holy shit! Walking into music like that — heaven on Earth…

Cob Sauna by Oregon Dept. of Kick Ass

Cob sauna, designed by Mark Lakeman and Vanessa Renwick; master builder: Lydia Doleman; assistant builder: Gordon Fry
Oregon Dept. of Kick Ass

Uncle Sam Wants You