Sunday, March 29, 2015

Photographs of Leslie - link

Link to photographs of beautiful Leslie - the photos from which memorial service photos were taken.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

You're the only love my life has known

My beloved wife,

This is the 3rd time I’ve sent this song to you. I’ve sent it in happiness and in sorrow. It’s a love song, after all. You can listen along by clicking here.

And here I am again, saying...

There were trains, and we out-run 'em;
There were songs, and we out-sung 'em;
There were brighter days, never ending;
There was time, and we were burnin';
There were rhymes, and we were learnin' –
There was all the love two hearts could hold.

And after all this time, you're always on my mind;
Hey I could never let it end, 'cause my heart takes so long to mend;
The dream that keeps your hopes alive;
The lonely nights you hold inside;
And after all this time, you're always on my mind – I still want you

There was rain, that we outlasted;
There was pain, but we got past it;
There were last goodbyes, still left unspoken;
There were ways I should have thrilled you;
There were days I could have killed you –
You're the only love my life has known.

And after all this time, you're always on my mind;
Hey I could never let you go, a broken heart that heals so slow, could never beat for someone new, while you're alive and I am too;
And after all this time, you're always on my mind – I still love you.

And I could never let it in, 'cause my heart takes so long to mend;
The dream that keeps your hopes alive, the lonely nights you hold inside;
And after all this time, you're always on my mind – I still want you;
Hey after all this time, you're always on my mind – I still love you.


I love you. I will never forsake you. 

Look at these photos. You look different from the first one (taken ~50 years ago) to the last one, but my God Leslie! You are as beautiful in these last photos as you were in the first one!!! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

San Francisco - our street

Pocket park next block down
A few years ago I got on a train to I didn’t know where in San Francisco. When I got off at I still didn’t know where I started walking with a man I met at the train stop along an amazing street with wide sidewalks, trees, planters, a few pocket parks, and the usual array of 100+ year old Victorian houses and apartments. I was thinking that without a doubt this is one of the coolest streets I’d been on outside of just about every street in Berkeley. Now Leslie and I are sharing an apartment on that very street.
Looking out our window at a
neat little campsite

Sitting in the bay window about eight feet above the sidewalk, watching all the pretty people walking by… young people, old people, young lovers, old lovers, moms and dads, dads and dads, babies, toddlers, big kids, happy people, sad people, people in kilts (I think the guys who wear kilts are into domination), people in glitter, feathers, leather, tattoos, orange blue green purple mohawks, here come old flat-top he come groovin’ up slowly… San Francisco. A homeless man sets up every night outside our window. Very neat, leaves by 8am, never leaves a trace.
David in our apartment

Our place is in the Duboce Triangle, which is more or less part of the Castro. Perfect. We’re three blocks from David and Charles’ house; ½ block from the 37 bus to the Haight, Twin Peaks, Market; ½ block to the N Line (train) to Cole Valley, Ocean Beach, SF State, downtown; 1½ blocks to Duboce Park CafĂ© (tables on sidewalk, big open window, dogs, babies); less than 2 blocks to man named Guy selling flowers on a shady corner four days a week. 
Ceremony for man named Feather who was murdered about
3 blocks from our apartment - Leslie in blue shirt
Street party on David's street 3 blocks from us
We’re a short walk to Thorough Breads (a very good bakery/coffee shop), Safeway, Whole Foods, Aardvark Used Books, the Apothecarium dispensary, Castro Farmers Market (Wednesday afternoons), Peets Coffee, Illy Coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee (What no Starbucks? Oh well.), Anna at New Rosenberg’s Market, Castro Street, Warner Plaza (if you want to see a few older naked guys); ten minute walk to library; three blocks from (Lower) Haight; catch the 22 to The Mission; 24 to Noe Valley (sign on Noe Valley store – “Mention babies or puppies for 10% discount”); 37 to Haight and Twin Peaks; someone named Happymonk posting poems on utility poles; I mean it just goes on and on and on.   

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jonathan's Place

Ten or twelve years ago a man named Chris came to the clinic to talk with me. He was from Jonathan’s Place, a residential facility for children removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. They had lost their pediatrician and needed someone to do intake physical exams on the children (except for gynecologic exams, which were performed by REACH Clinic doctors at Children’s Medical Center). I said, yes, we’ll commit to that for the next year.
I found some of my notes from these times…
We started this week doing physical exams on children just removed from their family(s) because of abuse. Case workers from the residential facility where the children will live (Jonathan's Place) bring new children to Agape for their intake physical. There were 13 children this week, but I expect fewer next week. It's strong. Because in Texas, it takes a lot of abuse for a child to be removed from a home, what with all our "family values" and other filthy lies.
Chris and me at the doorway to the exam rooms at Agape
What follows is from an email I sent to my son after the first day: So when I was writing (to someone else) I was thinking I wanted to tell you... The people that were with the children were all young (of course): Katy has been at it for three years & is very intense & real; Keisha started two months ago, pretty, shy, nice; Ashley came in late – she feels really solid. Sometimes I wonder, what did I do to deserve this – to be around people like this. Not to lay religious on you, but it can't be anything but grace. And isn't that a beautiful idea. End of email.
The second day there were eight more children. This time Chris brought them, a young man, intense, sweet-natured, solid. And Ashley again. High compliment to say, I'd take her on patrol. Reality is they're taking me on patrol – lucky for me they're short patrols. Students & I trying to get up to speed on abuse-focused pedi exams, learning what we don't want to learn; the students are doing a good job.
And so it went. Most weeks for about a year there were 5-10 children. Ones that remain with me still today…
A girl about 11 or 12 who had been sexually abused by her father and who was taking care of her little sister, also sexually abused by him. I remember them sitting together, the older sister with her arms around the younger, protecting her. Jesus Christ.
A boy, maybe 5 or 6 years old with his genitals mutilated. That’s all I remember about him except he was kind of chubby and was in kind of a fog it seemed.
Another set of siblings, boys, with the older one being brave.
I saw children acting brave, children inconsolable, children numb, children fearful, children… I’d come home and spend time with David.
I asked someone I knew who had worked for a long time in Child Protective Services to spend some time with the students and me. I remember he said something to the effect that we didn’t have the luxury of feeling or being affected by what we were doing – at least while we were doing it. I remember thinking we were doing this for 6-8 hours/week while the staff at Jonathan’s Place, CPS caseworkers, sex crimes against children cops, REACH Clinic staff, and so on were doing it 40+ hours/week (like those kind of people ever worked a 40 hour week). It seems like we did this for about 1.5 years before they found another source with more pedi expertise.
There’s a folk belief among some indigenous people from Southeast Asia that psychic and other trauma can cause “soul loss.” I believe that too. We’re not talking about immortal souls here, but about the spiritual essence of people, their personhood. Gone, for now.
And so, here’s to you, Chris. And to you Estevan. And Katy, and all the beautiful people at Jonathan’s Place past and present, paying with heart and soul for the evil of others and being the hope of lost children.

From In Your Time. If you want you can click here to hear the song. Turn it up LOUD.

Feel the wind
And set yourself the bolder course
Keep your heart
As open as a shrine
You'll sail the perfect line

And after all
The dead ends and the lessons learned
After all
The stars have turned to stone
There'll be peace
Across the great unbroken void
All benign
In your time
You'll be fine
In your time

(a prayer)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

As a gesture of intimacy...

"The way in which [the internet] will dissolve boundaries is by making us transparent. To each other. I mean, I can imagine a child of the future, we all bring home our drawings to stick on refrigerators, and things like that—in the future we won’t stick them on refrigerators, we will stick them in our website. And everything will go into our website. And by the time we’re 25, or something, our website will be the size of the American Museum of Natural History. And you can wander through it. And as a gesture of intimacy you can invite someone else to wander through it. Well that’s who you are—it’s your imagination. And, I think, in a sense, I’ve said, at times, that: The cultural enterprise is an effort to turn ourselves inside out. We want to put the body into the imagination, and we want the imagination to replace the laws of physics." Terrance McKenna, 1995

I read what Terrance said, and I thought, "Yes, exactly." And so, as a gesture of intimacy, I invite you to wander through this blog - stories of wonder, of love, of war, of hope, of people sparkling in beauty, of death, of creating, of growing...

The above mandala and a lot more available from my friend, Chops Wanderweird at

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookies (for Maeydelynn)

This recipe is from the Bouchon Bakery. I’ve baked and eaten quite a few cookies and these are the Best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever eaten. I use a different recipe for the chocolate chip cookies I bake for festivals. The photo below is of a few festival chocolate chip cookies with pecans. If you look you'll see that I added extra chocolate chips (always a good idea). 


All-purpose flour                          238 gm (1½ cups + 3 T)
Baking soda                                2.3 gm (½ tsp)
Kosher salt                                 3 gm (1 tsp)
Dark brown sugar                        134 gm (½ C + 2 T lightly packed)
Unsulfured blackstrap molasses)    12 gm (1 ¾ tsp)
Granulated sugar                         104 gm (½ C + 1 tsp)
70-79% dark chocolate broken      107 gm (2/3 C)
into 3/8” chunks*
Chocolate chips                           107 gm (½ C)
Unsalted butter room temp           167 gm (5.9 oz)
Eggs room temp                          60 gm (slightly less than 4 T)
Toasted pecans**                        ½-1 C               

*Use good quality chocolate for the dark. Hershey’s, etc. not the best for this recipe. For the chocolate chips I like Nestle. The dark chocolate melts more than the chocolate chips, so everyone gets chocolate on their fingers.
**Toasted nuts are generally much better for baking than raw nuts. Toast on cookie sheet @ 350 for 2-3 minutes, mix ‘em up and toast another 2-3 minutes – do this 4-5 times a few minutes past the time when you’re getting the fragrance of toasting nuts. I keep a freezer baggie with about 1# toasted pecans and another of walnuts in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 325.
Measure flour into bowl. Sift in baking soda. Add salt (the pastry chef at Eatzi’s told me for a better cookie to not skimp on salt). Whisk together.
Place dark brown sugar in separate bowl and stir in molasses and granulated sugar – break up lumps (won’t be completely smooth though).
Break up the chocolate bar and eat any choc dust (if the dust is left in the cookies will be messier). Mix chunks with chocolate chips.
Use a hand or stand mixer to cream the butter for several minutes until it’s like mayonnaise and holds peaks. Add the molasses/sugar mixture and mix for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Add eggs and mix for 15-30 seconds. Over-mixing eggs can cause them to over-expand and then deflate. Mixture may look broken, which is no problem.
Add dry ingredients (in two additions – I do it in the sink to minimize flour everywhere) and mix on low speed for 15-30 seconds until just combined.
Add chocolates and nuts and mix with wooden spoon. The original recipe calls for refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes and then letting it come to room temp, but I never have.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. (If you’re not already using parchment paper for baking it’s time to start. Clean-up is much easier.)
I put the dough on in about golf-ball or slightly smaller size portions (12 cookies/sheet). This recipe makes ~30 cookies ~2.5” diameter. Bake for 12-13 minutes for soft cookies, 13-14 for chewy, and 14-16 for crispy (rotate sheet ~1/2 way through because most ovens have uneven heat in different areas).
You’ll learn a lot with the first few sheets, like the actual baking times you like. I bake them one sheet at a time on the middle rack – even when I’m baking several hundred cookies for a festie. Doing it with Love. Although I bake these one sheet at a time, I use two sheets with one in the oven and one ready to go.
Let the cookies cool for ~5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then move to your cooling racks. Now the cold cold milk.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cambodian refugees

At 4211 San Jacinto
Here are photos (link to ~70 photos is here) from our work with Cambodian refugees 1981-86 (and afterward). Those were very intense times. They really were the best of times. They really were the worst of times. Thousands of severely traumatized people were dumped into rough neighborhoods in Old East Dallas with little to no help. We were there seven days/week doing whatever needed to be done – helping people get into the healthcare system; helping families get enough food to eat; hearing the stories of torture, concentration camps, starvation (“sleep, sleep, die”), and murder; sitting with people dying; getting the East Dallas Health Center started; all of that and more. Some of the story is told with the photos at the below link and other places in this journal; some of the story cannot be told.

At New Year ceremony
Those were the days when we did far more than we could possibly do. How our hearts burned, how we fought injustice and cruelty, how we wept, how we raged, how we did and became more than we had imagined was possible. The people – their lives, their pain, their strength, their beauty. Leslie said, “All of it was an injustice. And (regarding Rith) it was love at first sight.” And there we were. 

At the photo site (link below), click slideshow. It defaults to 3 seconds/slide, so maybe need to adjust to more seconds/slide. If anyone sees a photo of themselves that they don’t want here, let me know and I’ll delete it. 

All the photos are here:

Posted from San Francisco