Tuesday, July 26, 2011

i've lived in such luxury few people can imagine

yet that has to do more with luck than money. true, i knew to have a family meant being broke all the time. in the montana parsonage it meant closing off all the rooms in winter and sleeping with a warm brick. in germany we didn't have money for a candy bar. my poor working bachelor uncle in indiana, walter pease, footed a lot of the bills.

as for houses, my god, it's not the payments, it's the broken sewer lines and leaking roofs. you never know what's going to happen. so i decided for a shiftless life. fifty years ago i entered the invisible profession of fire lookout. i'd hiked to one in pinnacles national monument at age ten. the view of the salinas valley took my breath away and the lookout had a ham radio. my god, up in the clouds and able to talk to the world. that was for me. eventually one fell into my lap, bunker hill.

taking a two year break on a greek island, a berlin basement, and an oxford rented room, i returned to california at the behest of the coast guard reserve. i fell into a fun half-time job with arts and lectures at uc santa cruz. those were certainly my most sensual days. summers i returned to the towers. 

luck, i mean it. europe a bargain in the 60's, yes, on five dollars a day. santa cruz almost a slum when i arrived, later one of the most expensive communities in the country. since i live off the interstates in a college town, i've had lovely rooms with trees outside. and during this time travelled the world before gas prices soared. 

i just watched a video on a lookout for rent in montana: 

strange to see it near one of my many childhood homes, once a bevy of small towns now a booming ski-resort country. how amazing to have kept ahead of the trampling herd. and i really am grateful. for a couple days i've created designs for fire prevention posters. my hope, the forest service will pick up the ball. they've a PR goldmine in fire towers which they've never exploited.

see them here: http://www.pbase.com/wwp/poster