After I rescued Andromeda from the Sea Monster, I took her North, into the California Redwoods. I showed Rena the Giant Sequoia on our way to the Russian River. Having an alcoholic father, I don’t think Rena was ever sent away to Camp. In desperate need of a place to swim I took my beautiful muse to the beach at Monte Rio. Eureka, she had found it, her perfect Summer Vacation spot. Here this straight A student could take a well deserved time-out before attending the University of Nebraska.
To my chagrin, after beholding her in her bikini, she would not let me in the water with her, for in the water this Danish Mermaid found her bliss. She told me she would swim and float in the Platte River for hours. This was an abused child taking a Healing. In the water she was safe to have an out-of-body experience so she could practice coming back into her body. As I watched her from the shore, I understood this was therapy. When she came out of the water, she was even more of a goddess. My grandfather best describes Rena thirty years before she was born.
“I met her in Eminence this morning. I never beheld another such being. She is like the beautiful notes of an organ with all the stops subdued. You see by this that the very implication of her is wonderful. She’ll stand fully six feet tall in her bare heels and this means that, in high heals, she can pick up a shingle and mend leak in most Ozark cabins. She can look down on most men. Her figure if that of a model, rivaling even the dreams, I vow, of the artists of ancient Greece. Her perfect body needs no no adornment in exquisite, clinging garments. Her features have class; her complexion is pink and healthful, her air of grandeur is almost appalling, cowing most men with her sheer superiority.”
Cowing most men – and women – was Rena’s specialty. For the first three days I knew her, I did nothing but cower, especially at the waterfall when I beheld a supernatural being. To behold Rena cowing beautiful Californian women, was a happening.
When Bill and I were thirteen, we played at being Jack London and George Sterling. We were poets and artists. We considered ourselves Bohemians. I was assigned the role of George. I did not know my grandfather’s Bohemian history. Even though he did not become famous, he rubbed shoulders with the greats. Many of these greats were co-founders of the Bohemian Grove, a Summer Camp for some of the most powerful men in the world. However, their women were not allowed to attend. Ahhhhh!
While these power brokers are roughing it in a tent, carrying on like Hobos and Hillbillies, this very poor man is parading about with the most beautiful woman in the world, and, that made some folks wonder, because the rule is, wealthy men end up capturing the most beautiful – of everything!
How could they not think I was something special when my 1950 cream-colored Dodge pulled into the beach parking, and once again out stepped ‘The Death’ who had a following, her own fan club!
Of course I was forced to consider Rena did not want me in the water with her because this would dilute all the attention she was getting. I believe this is reason Rena apologizes to me for her being a “abusive girlfriend”.
Those days at camp with my muse, were the most blissful of my life. The abuse began in ernest – when she walked out of my life!
“Brother Bohemians: The Sun is Once Again in the Clutches of the Lion, and the encircling season bids us to the forest — there to celebrate… the awful mysteries!”
“Bohemians come! Find home again in the Grove! Burn CARE and hurl his ashes, whirling, from our glade!”
“Come out Bohemians! come out and play, come with all the buoyant impetuous rush of youth!”
Everything in the encampment is sheltered by redwoods, which admit hazy shafts of sunlight, and every camp has a more or less constant campfire sending a soft column of smoke into the trees. The walled camps are generally about 100 feet wide and stretch back up the hillside, with wooden platforms on which members set up tents. Bohemians sleep on cots in these tents, or, in the richer camps, in redwood cabins. The camps are decorated with wooden or stone sculptures of owls, the Grove symbol. Members wash up in dormitory-style bathrooms and eat breakfast and dinner collectively in the Dining Circle, a splendid outdoor arena with fresh wood chips covering the ground and only the sky above. It never rains when the encampment is on.
During the second half of the 19th century, the area was heavily logged. However, the Sonoma Lumber Company preserved a 160-acre (65 ha) grove of old-growth redwood trees, which was sold to San Francisco’s Bohemian Club in 1899. The club purchased dozens of other parcels in the area, and now owns 2,712 acres (1,098 ha), which it uses for its summer retreats.
Every July, some of the richest and most powerful men in the world gather at a 2,700 acre campground in Monte Rio, Calif., for two weeks of heavy drinking, super-secret talks, druid worship (the group insists they are simply “revering the Redwoods”), and other rituals.
Their purpose: to escape the “frontier culture,” or uncivilized interests, of common men.
The people that gather at Bohemian Grove — who have included prominent business leaders, former U.S. presidents, musicians, and oil barons — are told that “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here,” meaning business deals are to be left outside. One exception was in 1942, when a planning for the Manhattan Project took place at the grove, leading to the creation of the atom bomb.
A spokesperson for Bohemian Grove say the people that gather there “share a passion for the outdoors, music, and theater.”
The club is so hush-hush that little can be definitively said about it, but much of what we know today is from those who have infiltrated the camp, including Texas-based filmmaker Alex Jones. In 2000, Jones and his cameraman entered the camp with a hidden camera and were able to film a Bohemian Grove ceremony, Cremation of the Care. During the ceremony, members wear costumes and cremate a coffin effigy called “Care” before a 40-foot-owl, in deference to the surrounding Redwood trees.
Among the authors who came to Carmel in 1906 and helped create its fame as a literary and artistic colony was James M. Hopper, the popular writer more commonly known as Jimmy Hopper. Like many of the other Carmel pioneers, he was a friend of George Sterling, Upton Sinclair, and Sinclair Lewis, and like them, too, he was a Californian only by adoption. He was born in Paris, July 23, 1876, and was brought to America at the age of ten. After attending public schools in Oakland, he went to the University of California, winning fame as quarterback on the football team and as one of the trio that reputedly first stole the Stanford Axe in 1898. After graduation he studied law at Hastings College of Law and was admitted to the California bar. But, instead of practising law, he took a job as reporter on the San Francisco Chronicle. This journalistic experience was followed by a two-year period of teaching in the Philippine Islands, where he gathered material for his first book, Caybigan (1906), a collection of’ short stories. Upon his return to the United States, Hopper seriously embarked on a writing career, which he pursued successfully, with several novels, more than 400 stories published in leading popular magazines like Collier’s and the Saturday Evening Post, and nonfiction, including his syndicated articles as a foreign correspondent at the front during the first World War. Hopper lived abroad and in the East for many years, but he returned to Carmel eventually, and it was there he died in 1956.