Why I Am A Living Museum






In this prophetic post on June 11, I turn myself into a art-piece. I am an exhibit in the Portland Museum. I would later go to the Portland Historic society nearby and discover my blue Ford truck. There is no doubt in my mind I can see the future. My Muse takes me there. She leads the way.


This morning while googling Jack London Square I found a statue of a woman and an eagle. It stands near the place I brought my father and his business partner, Ernie, to show them my vision. It was the summer of 1965. Keith and I were living in San Francisco with Nancy and Carrol. We partied with two members of the Jefferson Airplane when their lovers, two Swedish Airline Stewardesses, were in town. They had an apartment down the hall from us on Pine Street.

My father had a produce market in a old Victorian Warehouse on Webster and 4th. Street. My brother and I were Lumpers at eight and nine years of age. We got up at 4:00 A.M. in the morning, and often did not get home till 6:00 P.M. If Vic stopped to have a drink at Oscar’s Bar and Grill on Lakeshore – while we waited in the truck – we wouldn’t get home till 9:00 P.M. We were paid a dollar a day.

I showed Vic and Ernie the huge empty field next to the Estuary, a body of water between Oakland and the island of Alameda. I would come here and watch the hawks and jack rabbits. I told Vic this could be the Venice of the West. No one comes down here. I saw shops, boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, ect. ect.

“This place could be a mecca for the arts!”

My idea went over like a lead balloon. I believe I heard my father chuckle.

Above are photos and paintings of ‘Old Oakland’. I helped restore the Victorian building on 9th. and Broadway that used to be a hotel. I and members of Walter Dallas’ acting troupe, removed the evil green paint that covered very ornate fireplace mantles found in every room. I was made General Manager of the upstairs Art Association by Rosalie Ritz, an artist who did the illustrations for the Huey Newton Trial.

The Hippies of Vancouver are given credit for saving Old Vancouver, and thus their history is found in the Vancouver Museum. The restored Victorians on Broadway frame a produce market held in the streets. Jack London square is the mecca for Oakland’s culture. We artists and actors worked alongside Oakland Redevelopment.

I lived in a commune in Roxbury, and took part in a food conspiracy with the Lyman Family. I met Jessie Benton in one of the kitchens. She is the daughter of the famous artist, Thomas Hart Benton, who is kin to my late brother-in-law, Garth Benton ect.ect.

I told Tracy my blog ‘The Bohemian Democratic Register’ had been sabotaged by one of my enemies. A virus was put in it, and it was taken down. When I got off the train, I had a vision – come true! I beheld my Muse, Rena Christiansen – in spirit! I have compared Rena to an American Eagle. She had a very pronounced nosed. She has the eyes of a raptor. She is a Phoenix rising from the fire. I have found the end of my story ‘Capturing Beauty’.

Rena had married a Commador, had two young children, and was living on the Isle of Wight. This information came from the Univeristy of Nebraska alumni who had tracked her down. Rena had gold eyes. I suspect she had Native American blood on her mother’s side. Her father was a blonde Swede. There is evidence she is not alive, and her spirit lives on. I told a friend I found her, and she will come alive in the last chapter of my book ‘Don’t Feed The Eagles’.

I will do my best to restore my lost blog that I posted here and there.

Jon Presco



The primary elements of the statue are a compassionate, dignified woman with a beautiful torch adorned with earth medallions, a ring of colors representing all the people of the world, and a magnificient soaring golden eagle in full flight. Throughout time, in cultures worldwide, the eagle has represented the sun with its far reaching wings that touch us all like the rays of the sun. The composition and overall image of the sculpture convey strength and victory; not the victory that comes with overpowering others, but rather the victory of seeking a unified positive future. The aim of this monument is to uplift people and ennoble the heart and mind.

Rosalie Ritz (August 6, 1923 – April 18, 2008),[1] born Rosalie Jane Mislove in Racine, Wisconsin, was an award-winning journalist and courtroom artist who covered major United States trials in the 1960s through the 1990s. She worked with both CBS and Associated Press, and was presented with the Associated Press Award for Excellence in 1972.

The seventh of ten children, Ritz showed artistic talent at an early age. She attended the Layton School of Art, married World War II navy veteran and athlete, Erwin Ritz in 1946 and is the mother of four children: Barbara Bray, Sandra Ritz, Terry Leach and The Environmentalist Publisher and Managing Editor, Janet Ritz.
Early career [edit]
After her marriage to Erwin Ritz in 1946, Ritz moved from Milwaukee, WI where she grew up to Washington DC. There, she worked with a group of artists in Georgetown. During this time, several of Ritz’s selected works (oil paintings) won places in national juried shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, and received an honorable mention at the Flower Gallery.
It was during these years in Washington DC, that Ritz first covered US Senate and US Congressional hearings, including the McCarthy Hearings, where cameras were barred. Ritz worked under contract for the Washington Post, CBS, Public TV, and the Associated Press. Selected drawings appeared in the Washington Post from these hearings.
Courtroom Art [edit]
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.[2]
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.
Shows and Exhibitions [edit]
Early in Ritz’s career, selected works (oil paintings) went on display at national juried shows at Corcoran Gallery of Art and at the Smithsonian.
During her years as a Courtroom Artist, Ritz’s sketches appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post and various Associated Press affiliates. Ritz’s sketches were also used on CBS news broadcasts and other media outlets.
In 1993, Ritz donated 1,837 courtroom drawings to the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library. Guide to Rosalie Ritz’s courtroom drawings 1968-1982 – Online Archive of California
In 2005, the UC Berkeley Art Museum held an exposition of Ritz’s sketches.
Later that year, the California Senate followed up with an exposition of Ritz’s selected works.
Death [edit]
Rosalie Ritz died in California on April 18, 2008, nine months after the passing of her husband of 61 years, Erwin Ritz. She is survived by four children, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.[3]




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



In the 1960s, citizens became concerned with preserving Gastown’s distinctive and historic architecture, which like the nearby Chinatown and Strathcona were scheduled to be demolished to build a major freeway into the city’s downtown. A campaign led by businessmen and property owners as well as the counterculture and associated political protestors, pressured the provincial government to declare the area a historical site in 1971, protecting its heritage buildings to this day. A riot between the hippies and the police in 1971 over marijuana has gone into legend, the incident now made public on the Woodwards building, a throw-back to the more serious Post office riot of 1938.
The Gastown was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2009.[3]


Old Oakland is a historic district in downtown Oakland, California. The area is located on the northwest side of Broadway, between the City Center complex and the Jack London Square district, and across Broadway from Chinatown.
The Old Oakland district was the “original” downtown Oakland during the 1860s after Central Pacific Railroad constructed a terminus on 7th Street. By the 1870s, elegant brick Victorian hotels were being built in the blocks surrounding the railroad station to accommodate travelers. The ground floor of the hotels were designed as series of narrow shops so that pedestrians would pass by many of them just walking down the block. The architectural styles of the time featured tall, cast-iron columns and large plate-glass windows.
The downtown began its decline after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, when the shopping district began moving to the blocks north of 14th.
In the 1970s and 1980s developers carefully rehabilitated and restored a block along 9th Street between Washington Street and Broadway, known as “Victorian Row”. Notable structures on Victorian Row include the 1878 Nicholl Block building.
In its early days, the Oakland Tribune rented a small office on 9th Street. A sign for the Tribune office can still be seen hanging outside the building today (2007). A farmer’s market is also held every Friday on the same stretch of 9th Street. Gaary also is known to booze in Old Oakland.
As of 2008, the neighborhood continues to gentrify as a ‘downtown lifestyle’ district, more bistros and boutiques have cropped-up, as more market-rate condominiums have been constructed nearby, and as transit-oriented development retail and housing become more and more in demand.












Gastown found new life as the centre of the city’s wholesale produce distribution until the Great Depression in the 1930s. It also was centre of the city’s drinking life (there were 300 licensed establishments the twelve-block area of the former Granville, B.I.) After the Depression Gastown was a largely forgotten neighbourhood of the larger city and fell into decline and disrepair until the 1960s. It was a continuation of the Skid Road area with cheap beer parlours, flophouse hotels, and loggers hiring halls.
In the 1960s, citizens became concerned with preserving Gastown’s distinctive and historic architecture, which like the nearby Chinatown and Strathcona were scheduled to be demolished to build a major freeway into the city’s downtown. A campaign led by businessmen and property owners as well as the counterculture and associated political protestors, pressured the provincial government to declare the area a historical site in 1971, protecting its heritage buildings to this day. A riot between the hippies and the police in 1971 over marijuana has gone into legend, the incident now made public on the Woodwards building, a throw-back to the more serious Post office riot of 1938.
The Gastown was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2009.[3]

Street scene, Gastown.
Gastown is a mix of “hip” contemporary fashion and interior furnishing boutiques, tourist-oriented businesses (generally restricted to Water Street), restaurants, nightclubs, poverty and newly upscale housing. In addition, there are law firms, architects and other professional offices, as well as computer and internet businesses, art galleries, music and art studios, and acting and film schools.
Gastown has become a hub for technology and new media. It has attracted companies such as Zaui Software, Idea Rebel, BootUp Labs Entrepreneurial Society, and MarketR.[4]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Why I Am A Living Museum

  1. Reblogged this on rosamondpress and commented:

    My grandfather was a pioneer in self-publishing. Our facebooks are never-ending stories. Rena is about denying people her beauty and her story. Its her way of getting back at her father who abused her. He defeated her. He won. Too bad!

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