The stars are so bright north of the Bay Area. The town of Monte Rio is like out of a film. Redwoods are everywhere, closely packed between wooden houses that have Christmas lights along the balconies and railings. The houses are built up high, because the river sometimes overflows. For every inch of rain in the area, the Russian river gets a foot of water. That’s why the homes are built up.
I stayed at the Roadies. Pete has been a roadie for punk bands since the 80’s. He was the guy! Paula played in one of the first female American hardcore punk bands from California. She than become a tour manager. He is English and they met on tour. They married in Bath, Uk and lived their for years. In the early 2000’s they moved back to the states, bought a house in Oakland. They then bought a house up here and after sometime, realizing the city life was too much – commuting hours over the bay bridge – they needed calm. They sold their home in Oakland and now live in the woods with “lumber jacks, construction workers, Hicks, punks and retirees”. It’s a small town and the locals accepted these two punks (he with his spiked grey hair and her tiny stature but a will of a bull).
They live the American dream. They made it here and live in what I believe to be one of the most beautiful places. It’s very calm and very open.
When we arrived, after driving past the fires in Sonoma, she had tamales made for us. We received warm hugs and caught up on what’s going on with another.
I met them in 2003 (I think). We’ve never been close, but I have always liked and respected them. Pete is hysterical – always makes me laugh, and has a heart of gold as she does too. The most reliable people one can imagine.
Unfortunately due to the Kincaid fires (All most likely because of crappie electric company wires combined with global warming), our time together was cut short, but it was sweet.
Being there was wonderful. It smells good and it’s so quiet. I could live here if it were at all possible. But for now my life is in Germany.
After we evacuated from the north, the following day I realized I had been traumatized by the Laguna Beach fires of ‘93. I had no idea. It’s not like you come into a situation like this, normally. I realized after we returned, after a friend asked me to drive her up to Sebastopol, I couldn’t. I was terrified. It wasn’t logical, because it was relatively safe, but I couldn’t. That is when it hit me that it left a mark.
I spoke to my friend Bunny about this today. She said some traumas lie dormant and only come up when a similar situation happens. I’m positive and have had a lot happen to me, so I move forward every time something bad has happened… but it’s true. Sometimes it just smacks you in the face and you cannot move.
The brain is a crazy thing…
Anyway all my friends up north are back home and safe with their dogs, ducks, cats and chickens. Not all have electricity, but it seems they are currently ok… though the fires are only 15% contained.