Category Archives: Dispatches

personal updates, thoughts, anecdotes, letters, and other missives – written for myself and sometimes for others

Artifacts (youngtime): Class Photos, vol. 1 – Prince Charles Elementary, 5-6 + extras

Class photos from Prince Charles Elementary School in Surrey (Whalley), BC, Canada. I moved to this school from Harold Bishop in the middle of Grade 4 (where i attended Mr. Chandler’s class).

Grade 6 in 1981-82, Ms. Flindall

Annotation:  i remember this being a fun year and i recall a load of these folks. And whoa, a lot of “middle part” hair.

I lived at 12310 95th ave which was a dead-end and featured a great area for street hockey games). Cedar Hills and Senator Reid schools were both closer but i attended Prince Charles Elementary as it (apparently) featured more extra-circulars and advanced programs and walked to school about 40 minutes.

Grade 5 in 1980-81, Mr. Reimer

Annotation: scant recollection of this year aside from Mr. Reimer being a serious and thoughtful teacher, primarily for science topics.

Note: Grade 7 is missing, this was Mr. Tiffenbach’s class and the year i won *every* award possible including the Citizenship Award, Run for Fun, and the Science Fair (Rushmore/Tenenbaum-esque :)).

Continue reading Artifacts (youngtime): Class Photos, vol. 1 – Prince Charles Elementary, 5-6 + extras

Artifacts (youngtime): Class Photos, vol. 1 – Harold Bishop Elementary, K-4

Class photos from Harold Bishop Elementary School in Surrey (Guildford), BC, Canada. Note: i’m the one in specs (the *only* one) and styling outfits, often sitting with girls or in the “goalie position”.

Harold Bishop Elementary, Kindergarten, Ms. Jones

My best pal Chris Goodman is the one with the blonde bowl haircut, buddy Gordie is in the K & 3/4 photos too. A few other faces i recognize including Anita, Erica, Sandy, Cliff… I lived at 10545 154th street (which was unpaved then) and walked to school about 20 minutes.

Harold Bishop Elementary, Grade 1, Mrs. Johnson

Note: Grade 3 seems missing…  Mrs. Johnson was also the teacher if i recall correctly.

Harold Bishop Elementary, Grade 3/4 (split class), Mr. Mecham

 

Buddy Mac’s Epic Grateful Dead etc Music Collection

My good buddy Mac Kobayashi runs a small farm in Okayama, Japan (really my fave all around place in the country as nice mix of city/country, beach/mountains, trad/modern culture) making goat cheese/milk and serving delightful craft bevvies and meals.

He also has a truly epic music collection, especially Grateful Dead related, but also Allmans, Phish, String Cheese… as well as Americana galore including Wilco, Ry Cooder, Townes Van Zandt, and poets Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and Courtney Barnett, and more and more and more (!).

I (not shockingly) especially enjoy the GD box sets and books as i see them advertised but never had chance to look/listen/touch myself… until his farm. Such elegant collections in wooden boxes, suitcases and curious box sets. Plus dang near every book ever about GD.

I rounded-up a few snap selection (but not all by any stretch) for my amusement and by-association-collection and invite you to look along. Includes the Europe 72 suitcase pack, the set with a show from each year + 7″ single from 65/95, a stack of books, a set from Fare Thee Well, some backstage passes stuck on coffee cans, and also a photo of the charming farmer himself and some of his happy animals.

If you are ever rambling in Japan, i advise a visit Rural Caprine Farm (+ Rural Caprine Farm on FB, Insta, Twitter) to listen to some selections and enjoy a goat milk latte.

Continue reading Buddy Mac’s Epic Grateful Dead etc Music Collection

Mementos: Japan Hitch-hiking journey flashback

Japan hitch-hiking: holding a sign for Muroto in the southern tip of Shikoku
Japan hitch-hiking: holding a sign for Muroto in the southern tip of Shikoku

In 1993-4, I worked as a mushroom farmhand in Tottori-ken (prefecture), a rather remote area of Japan (southwestern-ish Honshu). The work was long and arduous and the boss was a jerk so, I eventually split unannounced one day.

Determined to explore some of the country before my visa ran out, I stuck my thumb-out seeking a “bouken” (adventure) after making destination signs by copying place name kanji characters onto 100 yes store notebooks with crayon and decorating with some lucky words and stamps (not sure if this helped).

Hitch-hiking isn’t very common in Japan but by sticking to rural areas – including the traditional “o henrosan dori” (the pilgrim’s path) on Shikoku (the smallest of the 4 main islands of the Japanese archipelago) which has seen many wandering poets, seekers and prayers over centuries – I skidded along alright.

Getting rides in the country areas was usually rather quick but often times, the ride would insist of showing “hospitality” in form of taking to their hometown to show off “the thing their town is famous for” (of which every town has one thing). Not ideal for fast moving but well… the take the ride, you go where it goes. Getting between big cities along the expressways was much less enjoyable and relied on waiting around rest/service areas in these cases.

I pitched my small tent most anywhere (beaches, shrines, parks etc) much the chagrin of caretakers and so on who would scold aloud in the early hours. In these situations, I poked my shaggy head out of the tent flap and yammered confused apologies in my farmer Japanese – this tactic would usually confuse the situation into submission.

Some of the time I was accompanied by a mysterious and intrepid Japanese surfer girl who thought my ridiculous plan was worth trying. I liked this part.

What follows are a few pieces of photographic evidence from these journeys, snapped with an early generation panorama camera – but developed “normal aspect” hence black framing bars on some shots.

Japan hitch-hiking: this ride insisted on a side trip to his hometown which featured a natural water source hot enough to boil eggs (in a mesh pouch) - also made said eggs rather smelly
Japan hitch-hiking: this ride insisted on a side trip to his hometown which featured a natural water source hot enough to boil eggs (in a mesh pouch) – also made said eggs rather smelly

Continue reading Mementos: Japan Hitch-hiking journey flashback

Mementos: Japan Misasa Onsen town

Misasa, Pétanque tournament, with Mayor, circa 1993
Misasa, Pétanque tournament, with Mayor, circa 1993

“You can’t go home again” says Thomas Wolfe, and i’m cool with that as i don’t have a “home” however, there a few spots in the world that i always yearn to return to – one of which is Misasa Onsen, a small mountain town in Tottori-ken (prefecture) Japan(note: pop. approx 6500) which boasts hotsprings with exceptionally high levels of Radon/Radium (is this good for you? i dunno, not a chemist – note: radon is the gas-form).

They folklore says (as per the town’s name which translates to “Three Mornings”) that staying and bathing here for three days will cure you of all your ills. As Radium was discovered by French scientist Marie Curie, the town celebrates all things France with a statue, festival and park dedicated to the wise lady, and other Franco-accruements.

Misasa, Kawara rotenburo with Bob, circa 1993
Misasa, Kawara rotenburo with Bob, circa 1993

Continue reading Mementos: Japan Misasa Onsen town

What i want… fully

I want to laugh so hard my face is going to fall off

I want to be hugged and squeezed so hard my ribs might break

I want to be told nice things so much that I blush

I don’t want jealousy or snideness or cynicism or snarkiness or sarcasm

I want kindness and creativity to/for me like I give to others

I want patience, like real honest patience, with no expectations that I will “do anything“ besides bathe and hydrate and rest

I want a safe place where I can spend hours fiddling with papers and pencils and scissors and glue

I want to wake up in the first thing I do is *not* feel pain

I want to lay down on the pillow and fall asleep without twitching and flipping and flopping for hours

I want a night without nightmares

I want to feel that feeling that people call optimism

I want to not think about dying (and relief it would bring) #NotSelfdestructive

I genuinely want people to enjoy the creations I make… and not just people I “know“… like strangers and people “in the wild“

I want respect for my contributions to humanity

I want to rest, like actual invigorating rest where you wake up refreshed

I want gentle adventure

I want to believe what I’m saying and telling other people

I want to cry for an actual reason – not just all the time

I want to nap where I actually fall asleep, not just laying there, staring at the ceiling

I want to be touched, gently

I want to believe in something

I want to be adored

I want to feel important (again)

I know many of these things are called actual true things“ already… But I want to actually legit “feel” them. Approximately 98% of my energy is sucked away by simply getting out of bed, bathing and hydrating and (sorta) pulling myself out of depression.

Forever Grateful, love dvo/uw

A little note for you for sticking with me, being my friend, checking in from time to time, taking a look at my little creations, etc.

 dvo/UW

Bob and Dave: Surrey and Ghandruk

Bob, Dave: Surrey, approx 1975
Bob, Dave: Ghandruk, 2017

…a poet without love…

A poet without love is just a typist.

as such, use fountain pen as needed

Remembering it’s (still) a Wonderful World

Believing(ish) it’s still a wonderful world out there – right? Grateful for still chooglin along.

PS was at this JGB show, hitchhiked there (from maybe Rhode Island or something) with Richie Murrill (former of Utah, now Hawaii i heard) and got ride in a red VW bus called “Althea” with a bolted on wooden sidedoor. Drove through a huge rain storm including stalling out in a deep water somewhere in countryside – had to get out and push in dang near crotch high water – made it to the show like a soggy dog, stashed backpack in some private school girls Honda and scored a miracle ticket just in time. Bruce Hornsby came along to play as well. After the show,… well that’s a whole other story.

evidence of the aforementioned bus…

Althea (red VW bus) somewhere in Virginia

was one of those nights where everything worked out just perfect after a rollicking trip to get there – JGB shows were so great too since didn’t have the full-on circus of frat boys and townies who’d invaded the scene by that time. was good times but not outta hand. the arena was smaller than i usually saw GD (most all shows were outdoor west coast) so the sound was dialed in and rather intimate. great song selection for my taste too.

Chris Gee What I remember about JGB shows was the heart….pure joy …Jerry playing free and loose …and the ^^^ above mentioned ..Warfield theatre shows always top of the list

Dave Olson Man, I never did get to see a show at the Warfield… My overall count isn’t that impressive since when I heard them sing “eyes of the world” I took that as a signal to buy one-way tickets elsewhere to go go go (And spread the vibe everywhere I went) – I made every show count that’s for sure. And I’m with you on the Jerry band shows, they were very special for me