Oakland 1968

Above is a photo of the 13th. Street Four crossing a bridge in Venice California. From left to right is: Keith Pruvis, Tim O’Connor, Peter Shapiro, and, Jon Greg Presco. In the foreground in Tim’s girlfriend whose father was a famous Hollywood agent and good friend of Lee Marvin and Marlon Brando who were at her home quite alot. Tim’s father was a famous actor of the same name.

In 1968, The Four lived in a large Victorian house on 13th. street near downtown Oakland. James Taylor, Keith and I, moved into this incredible house two weeks after my fall at McClure’s Beach. James invited the rock band ‘The Loading Zone’ to come live with us. As ‘The Marbles’ they played at the first Trips Festival at Longshoremen’s Hall in 1966.

I was given a bedroom next to the sound room. It had a beautiful carved mantel. I was the artist in residence. When the Zone came home from a gig at the Filmore they would bring home members of famous bands who wanted to see the quintessential hippie scene that had made the San Francisco bay area famous all over the world. I would get a knock on my door and some band member wanted to come in and take a peek. One young man asked if he could watch me paint. There was a fire in the hearth. I worked late at night on large canvases provided by my patron and benefactor, Bob H. who grew up with Tim Scully, and was a good friend of Owsley, he helping him build the sound system for the Grateful Dead. Bob’s brother, Tim H. was a member of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and sold LSD in Europe. Bob had worked at the Livermore Lab when he was sixteen. He was a young genius who bid me to paint again after my fall.

One day Larry Sidel came into my room in the attic, and was surprised to find me there. Larry is the father of Shannon Rosamond who inherited her famous mother’s artistic legacy that was destroyed by un-creative members of my family who wanted to go forward without my history that was symbiotic with Christine’s history, that is the subject of a show coming to the Oakland Museum, titled 1968. This show is touring America.

Bill Arnold and I used to got to the original Oakland Art Museum that was located in a small room in the Oakland Auditorium. had a Bohemian scene going on with our thirteen year old peers down by Lake Merrit. Nancy Hamren was Bill’s lover off and on for a couple of years. Nancy was the first girl I every kissed. We ended up living in a famous commune in San Francisco. Christine moved in, and went on a double date with Nick Sands, Nacny, and Owsely. Denny Dent was a part of the Oakland Scene that in many respect was mor dynamic then what was going on in SF. Two of our close friends in Oakland were members of SLA and were questioned by the FBI about the Patty Hurst kidnapping.

In 1968 my father-in-law, Robert Miles, was in Vietnam. Eldridge Cleaver of the Black Panthers helped find Marilyn’slost sister in France. I was general manger of the upstairs Art Association that was located in Victorian offices on Broadway in Old Oakland. The President, Rosalie Ritz, did illustrations for Panther trials. A mutual friend, Bruce Perlowin, is coming out with a movie about his life, he the ‘King of Pot’.

My friend Michael introduce me to his good friend Michael McClure who taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. They were good friend of Jim Morrison. I just found a book of Jim’s poems.

I am still in touch with Tim and Peter, and Chris Wandel, who was a lover to three of the four. She lives in the Grenwhich Village and was close with Buzzy Lindhart who moved to Oakland where my ancestors had a farm in Fruit Vale. Add to all this the East Coast scene of my kindred Mel Lyman and Jessie Benton, then you could say we got it covered.

In the Victorian on 13th. was a room we could not enter that was reserved for the elderly owner who was back east being taken care of by her sister. She lived in the Victorian by herself, in a all black neighborhood. This room was part of the tour, it suspended in time, there little old lady things set out, waiting for her return, that never happened. Great expectations!

The Zone played with The Who at the Filmore. The Who sang’My Generation’ at Woodstock.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2012

They were formed in Oakland, California in 1966 by singer-keyboardist Paul Fauerso, following the dissolution of his jazz group The Tom Paul Trio. The original lineup was Fauerso, bassist Bob Kridle, drummer Ted Kozlowski (replaced by George Newcom), and guitarists Peter Shapiro and Steve Dowler,[2] both formerly of Berkeley psychedelic rock band The Marbles, who had supported Jefferson Airplane at the historic “Tribute to Dr. Strange”, the inaugural Family Dog promotion concert held at San Francisco’s Longshoreman’s Hall in October 1965.
The Loading Zone’s first major concert was the Trips Festival at the Longshoreman’s Hall in January 1966.[3]. Although primarily an R&B band, The Loading Zone added contemporary psychedelic influences and soon became a popular attraction on the burgeoning Bay Area music scene. The Loading Zone was based at the Berkeley venue The New Orleans House, but performed numerous times at major venues including the Fillmore West.
Although The Loading Zone occasionally headlined, the group is better known for supporting some of the biggest acts of the period including Cream, The Who, The Byrds, Big Brother & the Holding Company, The Grateful Dead, Country Joe & The Fish, Howlin’ Wolf, Sam & Dave, Chuck Berry and Buddy Miles.[4][5]

The Lords and the New Creatures, Morrison’s first published volume of poetry, is an uninhibited exploration of society’s dark side — drugs, sex, fame, and death — captured in sensual, seething images. Here, Morrison gives a revealing glimpse at an era and at the man whose songs and savage performances have left their indelible impression on our culture.

Scully grew up in Pleasant Hill, which was across the Bay from San Francisco. In eighth grade he won honorable mention in the 1958 Bay Area Science Fair for designing and building a small computer. During high school he spent summers working at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory on physics problems. In his junior year of high school, Scully completed a small linear accelerator in the school science lab (he was trying to make gold atoms from mercury) which was pictured in a 1961 edition of the Oakland Tribune. Scully skipped his senior year of high school and went directly to U.C. Berkeley majoring in mathematical physics. After two years at Berkeley, Scully took a leave of absence in 1964 because his services as an electronic design consultant were in high demand. Tim Scully first took LSD on April 15, 1965.
Scully knew the government would move quickly to suppress LSD distribution, and he wanted to obtain as much of the main precursor chemical, lysergic acid, as possible. Scully soon learned that Owsley Stanley possessed a large amount (440 grams) of lysergic acid monohydrate. Owsley and Scully finally met a few weeks before the Trips Festival in the fall of 1965. The 30-year-old Owsley took the 21 year old Scully as his apprentice[3] and they pursued their mutual interest in electronics and psychedelic synthesis.
Owsley took Scully to the Watts Acid Test on February 12, 1966, and they built electronic equipment for the Grateful Dead until late spring 1966. In July 1966 Owsley rented a house in Point Richmond, California and Owsley and Melissa Cargill (Owsley’s girlfriend who was a skilled chemist) set up a lab in the basement. Tim Scully worked there as Owsley’s apprentice. Owsley had developed a method of LSD synthesis which left the LSD 99.9% free of impurities. The Point Richmond lab turned out over 300,000 tablets (270 micrograms each) of LSD they dubbed “White Lightning”. LSD became illegal in California on October 6, 1966, and Scully wanted to set up a new lab in Denver, Colorado.

In 1969, Nick Sand worked with Tim Scully in Windsor, California, producing millions of doses of the Orange Sunshine LSD. Sand was also the first chemist to synthesize DMT and to suggest smoking as a method, which “came about by serendipity, when some crumbs of DMT fell onto a hotplate and vaporized, inspiring Sand to try smoking it.” [*3] This is an impressive accomplishment, because DMT is often considered among the few psychedelics exceeding LSD in the raw intensity of its experience.

Image: Photograph of Nick Sand as a young Anthropology Student,
by Gene Bernofsky, 1967,
From Erowid.org
     Robert Timothy Scully, or more commonly just Tim Scully, was a co-worker with Nick Sand in the Orange Sunshine laboratory. When only 13 years old, Scully designed and built a computer in 1958 that received honorable mention at a San Francisco Bay Area science fair. [*4] A few years later, at another science fair, he attempted “to make gold from mercury by use of thermal neutrons,” whereby he would create “a neutron flux by a deuteron-deuteron interaction.” [*5]

In the 1980′s, Denny Dent invented a new form of performance-based art. No fancy props were needed. Nor was the pretense of knowing anything about art. Just an over-sized canvas, a half-dozen buckets of brightly colored paint, loud music and the rest was pure Denny Dent. The art world took notice. And for over two decades, audiences couldn’t look away.
His portraits of famous people, sports icons and historic figures captured the imagination of the art world. The efficiency with which he could fill a canvas was something no one had ever seen before. And, after Dent’s untimely death in 2004, something they thought they’d never see again.

Courtroom Art
In 1966, at the height of the Haight Ashbury counter-culture era, Ritz moved with her family to the San Francisco Bay Area. Ritz’s sketches of the street scenes were published in the City Magazine and the San Francisco Examiner. Her work in Washington DC brought her to the attention of the local public television station KQED. From there, she began a career covering trials for the local CBS outlet, (KPIX) and for the Associated Press. This included the Patty Hearst trial, the Sirhan Sirhan trial, the Charles Manson trial, the trials of the Black Panthers, including Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver and David Hilliard, the trials of Angela Davis and Ruchell Magee, and the trials of the Soledad Brothers, the San Quentin Six, Mass Murderer Juan Corona, John Linley Frazier, the Presidio Mutiny Court-Martial at Fort Ord, the Billy Dean Smith Court-Martial, Inez Garcia (second trial), Bill and Emily Harris (Symbionese Liberation Army), Russell Little and Joseph Remiro (Murder of Marcus Foster/Symbionese Liberation Army), Wendy Yoshimura, Camarillo State Hospital Grand Jury Hearings, the Hell’s Angels, Alioto-Look Magazine Libel Trial, Alioto Conflict of Interest Trial, the Bonanno Brothers, Stephanie Kline, Larry Layton, Dan White, San Francisco Proposition Hearings, Sara Jane Moore, and Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo/Pentagon Papers.
While covering these trials, Ritz worked alongside several renowned journalists, including legendary New York Daily News reporter Theo Wilson, Associated Press senior trial reporter and special correspondent, Linda Deutsch, and Associated Press chief United Nations correspondent, Edie Lederer.
Ritz continued to cover trials through the early 1980s. Then, in the 1990s, the Associated Press brought Ritz out of retirement to cover the O.J. Simpson civil trial.

Gallery of California History
Explore the New Gallery
May 1, 2010 – December 2, 2013
The new gallery is based on the theme of Coming to California —an idea that evokes not only the arrivals and departures of people throughout human history and their interactions with the inhabitants already here, but also the notion of coming to terms with the influence of California on our individual and collective identities.
For nearly forty years, the Museum’s Gallery of California History has enabled generations of visitors to explore major events and trends that have shaped California history. It has housed thousands of historical artifacts, works of art, ethnographic materials, and original photographs from OMCA’s permanent collection—the largest, finest, and most comprehensive collection of California cultural material anywhere.
With this overarching concept, visitors explore chronologically arranged sections of the gallery presenting a variety of topics and periods in California history, as well as their continuing legacies today. Containing some 3,000 artifacts and art works, the new Gallery features sections that explore the history of California from the incredible diversity of early Native American culture, to the Gold Rush and growth of San Francisco, through the rise of Los Angeles and Hollywood, to the tumultuous decades of the 1960s and 1970. It concludes with a frequently updated and rotating gallery space that addresses current issues and contemporary perspectives.
Reinforcing the intent of the gallery to reflect multiple perspectives is a highly innovative design and interpretive approach that allows visitors’ learning experiences to be driven by their own curiosities and to engage directly with the stories of Californians—many of them largely untold in traditional histories. Elements of the new Gallery include dramatic exhibit environments and multimedia viewing and listening stations, as well as informal learning spaces that allow for more in-depth exploration and contemplation. The Gallery also features several opportunities for visitors to contribute their own stories and perspectives on the California experience.


OAKLAND (CBS13) – The exhibit is called “1968″ and it makes an impact as soon as you enter, with a real Huey Medical helicopter in a mock middle-class living room.
“I see things from my past, my home,” said one visitor.
The Huey chopper was built this week by actual Vietnam vets, bringing back memories of their days at war.
“I was frightened the whole time, but I learned something about myself and my brothers, and that’s something you don’t learn anywhere else,” said Wayne Terry, Vietnam Vet.
And for those who didn’t go to war, different memories.
“The protests and burning my draft card, and going through all this stuff was happening,” said Victor Quintero.

There were protests against the war, shows of black power from the Black Panthers, and feminist demonstrations with a “freedom trash can” full of bras and curlers.
Then, there were the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Kennedy.
Photographs hung that were taken from a train as Kennedy’s body travelled cross country after his death.
But 1968 wasn’t all doom and gloom.
Laugh-in was the number one show on TV, and Johnny Cash gave a performace at Folsom Prison.
There are some interactive aspects to this exhibit. You can even vote for your favorite presidential candidate, and since this exhibit has moved from Minnesota to Oakland, Robert F. Kennedy has been in the lead.
“I think 1968 impacts every living human being. Not to mention all of those who gave their lives in 1968, so, that, we could have the life we do now in 2012,” said Cynthia Taylor, Oakland Museum of California.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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