Augur Town


When I was twelve, I had a big decision to make. Should I be an Architect, or, an Artist? When I was eleven, I would sit with my family before the T.V. and draw Greek and Roman buildings – with columns! I chose to be an artist. As a bonus I became a poet. There are many poems hidden in this blog.

For twenty years I made architecture my hobby. After a hard day being a newspaperman, I sit in my easy chair doing floor-plans. I have old floor plan books and will do home improvements on other folks ideas. I compare this to doing a crossword puzzle, or, crocheting, which I am going to take up. I see myself at more City Hall meetings with needles and a ball of yarn. Call this, my Rogues Pierre Period.

After being attacked by the Kimite Klan, I have been thinking of moving. After a hard day at the office, I go on Zillow. I looked at homes in Boston, Tiberon, Coos Bay, and Belvadere. Moving was contingent upon me wining the lottery. But, when I saw the plans for Dog Patch, put forth by the ‘California Barrel Company’ the sun broke thru the dark clouds. I could see the happy ending of my life, as a declared City Treasure. The mayor would invite me to come live in San Francisco and live in the shadow of the smoke stack of the Potrero Power Plant, amongst the transitive Bleached Ones, those clean people the planner language is aimed at – against their will. These folks are like the shells of shrimp ready to receive the souls of happy tenants, that will make a few folks filthy rich!

“Jeez! Can I really live there? What if I dressed like Captain John. I’d emerge from my abode with a fishing pole and walk to the fishing dock they got in the plan! I might be too colorful. After all, I’m a heavily textured human being!”

“Good morning Captain. Catch a striper for me!”

Young boys will go get their poles, and there I’d be, telling them my stories. This is what you call SF Ambience, that folks come from all over the world to be next to. I will be an Old SF Soar Dough. I will live here for free, with a twenty year lease. When I die, that would be the end of a bad experiment – or a good one?

Yesterday, I beheld my home on this site.

What you are looking at is a Greco-Roman façade! Eureka! I will be the Augur in Residence! I will perform augury rituals before the buildings begins – for a fee! I highly suggest Meg Whitman&Friends employ me to augur their computer-based businesses, get the bugs out, and keep the viruses away!

I am the Last of the Bohemians. I lived with my childhood friend Nancy in a famous SF commune with the Zorthian sisters, whose father held the title ‘The Last of the Bohemians’.  Nancy lived on the Kesey farm with Gordon, Mountain Girl’s brother. When I visited the first girl I kissed, at the Kesey Family Creamery in Springfield, she suggested I write the history of the Hippies because I could recall so much. I started ‘The Gideon Computer’ this is about ‘The Last Hippie’ in the future – who turns out to be me! I didn’t see that coming.

I want a great wooden shack to be built behind the Greek façade, that will be reminiscent of the shack atop the pier I painted when I was seventeen.  This is the mudflat shacks you see before you cross the Bay Bridge. My uncle owned Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiberon where his friend Herb Cain wrote his columns. Depending on my mood. I might augur weddings. Two years ago I posted this:

When I pass on, a Bohemian-Hippie Museum could be founded in my shack. It will be a tourist attraction like Jack London’s ‘Last Chance Saloon’.  Folks will say;

“Let’s stop in Augur Town and see the Bohemian Augur Shrine!”

“Didn’t they call it Dog Patch, like in the cartoon Lil Abner?”

Augur Town will be a known destination, instead of a oblique stage for wage earners. We’re talking about real Bohemian Culture verses an expensive scent of BS. We can do better! We got the talent.

Someday, soon, you got to pay the piper!

John Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press



Next the magistrate would employ his lituus to designate another templum in the sky. A lituus is a special wand of augury, made from a tree branch (possibly ash or hazel) without any knots and with one end naturally curled. With the lituus he would again draw out a templum by designating the cardo and decumanus. One formula has the auspex call out, “This shall be to my left is the East, and this to my right shall be the West. This before me is South, that behind me is North.” Then the enclosing sides are drawn. The boundaries of this celestial templum are designated by the auspex in calling out points of reference on the ground. Varro says that different formulas were used to designate a templum, and offers one such formula as was used on the Arx:

“Let the boundaries of my templa and the wild lands (tesca) be as I declare them with my words. That tree of whatever kind it is which I deem myself to have named, let it be the boundary of my templum and the wild land to the right. That tree, of whatever kind it is, insofar as I deem myself to have named it, let it be the boundary of my temple and the wild land on the left. Between these points I have established the templa and the wild lands by means of directing (conregione), viewing (conspicione), reflecting (cortumiones) as far as I have been most rightly aware of it within this limit.”


An augur was a priest and official in the classical Roman world. His main role was the practice of augury: Interpreting the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds – whether they were flying in groups or alone, what noises they made as they flew, direction of flight, and what kind of birds they were. This was known as “taking the auspices“.

The augural ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society – public or private – including matters of war, commerce, and religion. Augurs sought the divine will regarding any proposed course of action which might affect Rome’s pax, fortuna, and salus (peace, good fortune, and well-being).[1]

The art of augury concerns the taking and interpreting signs from nature in order to determine the will of the gods. Chrysippus (2.130) defined divination as the “power to see, to understand, to interpret the signs that are given to men by the gods.” But augury is not a form of divination as we usually think of such, in that it does not attempt to foretell future events. Instead a course of action is proposed, such as the planning of a wedding or plans to erect a public building, and the gods are consulted as to whether they approve or not.


Treaties, alliances, and declarations of war cannot be finalized until the auspices are taken and the gods signify their approval. If the auspices indicate disapproval of a proposal to build a temple or other public facility, then it should be determined whether the chosen site or some other aspect of the proposal needs to be altered, and auspices taken again.

A spot is selected to mark out a templum on the ground, drawing out first the cardo running east and west, then the decumanus running north and south, according to astronomical observations. The same is described for laying out an estate, as Pliny mentions (NH XVIII.76-77), or a military camp, a colony or a city. The cardo is determined by the point on the horizon where the sun rises and sets, altering through the seasons, and not by determining the true east-west direction. The decumanus is determined by observing Polaris and not by employing a compass. Then two sets of parallel lines are drawn to form a rectangle in a proportion of 6:5. At the center of the templum the Romans would erect a tabernaculum, a square tent with its opening facing south.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Augur Town

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    Disney should move here and create a real World of Tomorrow. Build it -and they will come!

    Dogpatch Greys
    Posted on February 17, 2019 by Royal Rosamond Press

    Dogpatch Greys


    Jon Presco

    It’s a known fact

    the Greys parked their saucers atop

    the Potrero Power-stack

    and recharged their engines.

    Children who grew up by the bay

    saw them all the time!

    The night guards didn’t want to mess with them

    nor be called “crazy”.

    I just got a response from a historian

    who pretended she did not know what I am talking about.

    She sent me to the library

    as faraway from Site 9 as they could.

    Above is the same old trick they use

    to render us worker-slaves.

    I went to another of their civic “brainstorming” sessions,

    and they took everyone in the room, but two.

    Folks that go to see ‘The Planners’

    are lonely and unemployed.

    They are not missed.

    They are plum tuckered out after a month of hard labor

    they have no memory of.

    When I took a pic at this Gathering Place,

    the woman at the door asked if I was the press.

    “I cover the waterfront!”

    “She laughed!

    “Who sang that great song?”

    They say they want your history so they can preserve it.

    They want to pickle you

    and take your frozen soul away

    And here he come

    the black man with a

    electric guitar

    to play to the sound

    of seagulls

    and the water lapping up

    against the broken



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