Choo-Choo Joe and Blair House

A week ago I talked with a friend about making a movie about the attempt by Puerto Rican radicals to assassinate, President Truman. I deduced it would be too radical – and cause racial tensions. Then I saw the new West Side Story being advertised. I saw it last night. It opens with the Jets stealing cans of paint, then smearing it over a Puerto Rican flag mural.

In the pic of the red truck you see my close, friends. Starting in the left, is Tony Puig who grandmother was involved in the attempt on Harry’s. Tony grew up in Harlem and was a radical in college. We played cards while he told me his amazing stories of survival, how he had to travel through different neighborhoods, that had hostile gangs. He talked about playing Bayamon in the New York streets.

George would come over on Sunday and watch football. He formedd a bond with David, the son of the Black Panther that died in a fire in Chicago. We went to hismother’s birthday party, where she asked me to dance.

“Do you know how to do The Bump?”

“Teach me!”

She would declare me the best Bumper she ever saw.

Joe lived in the Presidential car at the Harrison Park as a caretaker. They tore down his grandfather’s house to put in the Nimitz freeway, which turned Joe into a extreme radical. When two men from the City came to evict Joe, he threw the bodily off the train. When George came to talk to his dead friend, Joe tied him up to a chair. There was a standoff.

“Did you hear Joe took George hostage?”

“Gentle George!? What did he do?”

I was the only Gringo in the group until the actor Paul Drake moved upstairs from Cal Iwamota who fought with the Haoles in Hawaii. I met Mary Ann through my Mexican neighbor who had two activist sons in the Fruitvale. Joe got a job fixing some property in a dangerous area of Oakland, where I made an exit from when I got sober.

That’s my father playing chess with his best friend, Ernie Quinones, in his apartment in downtown Oakland. I didn’t know how much my father owned this city. Vic was always in his bathrobe, making loans over the phone. When his pole would dip, we got to see Mr. Smooth in action, as he reeled in his latest victim. Captain Vic was convicted of Loan Sharking in 1964.

Above is a photo of (left to right) John Presco, Peter Shapiro, Tim O’Connor and his girlfriend, Keith Purvis. Susan’s father was Marlon Brando’s agent. We are on a bridge in Venice California where I met Rena Easton. I spotted our car a minute into West Side Story. Spielberg should found a museum.

Vincent Rosamond Rice

On this day in 1950, two Puerto Rican pro-independence militants, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, attempted to assassinate President Harry S. Truman. From 1948 to 1952, Truman and his family lived in Blair House, on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, while the executive mansion underwent extensive renovations.

At 2 p.m., the would-be assassins walked up to Blair House’s front steps and began shooting. Private Leslie Coffelt, a Secret Service uniformed officer, was mortally wounded but managed to return fire and kill Torresola.

Harrison Railroad Park – Oakland – LocalWiki

Attempted assassination of Harry S. Truman – Wikipedia

Puerto Rican militants try to assassinate Truman, Nov. 1, 1950 – POLITICOPOLITICOSearchSearchCloseBack ButtonSearch IconFilter Icon

Mud Flats

Posted on June 10, 2012 by Royal Rosamond Press

After living in West Los Angeles for two years I became homesick for the Bay Area. In the summer of 64 I did a large painting, about, 40 X 60 inches. It was inspired by the duck hunting shacks in the mud flats to your right when you get on the Bay Bridge from Emeryville. When Bill and I were fourteen, we tried to get out to one of these shacks by throwing boards in front of us to keep us from sinking in the mud. We went about two hundred yards, when a big burly man appear on the deck of one shack, and with hands on his hips, growled;

“Now that your worked this hard to get here, you can go back the way you came.”

He was like the ghost of Wolf Larsen. We questioned him. He said these shack belonged to an old duck hunting club whose name escapes me.

In a little floating shack near shore we found a coffee can. We built a fire and boiled some muscles, and ate them. Bill said we must be prepared to survive as artists and poets, when we are forced to flee from our ancient enemies. His father was attending a function on the Oakland Army base, he a retired career officer. We took off, and were late getting back.

LA was so sterile, and new. So were the people. I missed the old wood, the tires captured in the mud. I saw them as works of art – before the Emeryville Mudflat Artists put on a wonderous show that lasted many years before the Bay Area became LA-botimized, sterilized, and monified.

Jon Presco

Commentary: Mudflat Sculpture:Art to Remember By DOROTHY BRYANT
Tuesday June 07, 2005
Reading the May 31 article and seeing the photo of driftwood/junk structures which might be removed if the Albany Bulb becomes part of the Eastshore State Park, I was taken back years and years to—does anyone remember?—the Mudflat Sculpture in the tidela nds beyond the Eastshore Freeway before it was expanded and “improved.”

At high tide much of it was underwater. But if you happened to be driving to San Francisco at low tide, you could see Don Quixote on his rearing horse, a prop plane ready to take off from what looked like a buoy, a huge hand rising from the swampy tidelands clutching at the setting sun—and dozens of other creations that appeared and disappeared, made from driftwood and trash and whatever people could manage to cart out there in defiance of “No Trespassing” signs.

At first it was just a goofy protuberance here and there (maybe Osha Neumann was involved in this too, I don’t remember, and after a while everyone claimed to have started it). Then whole art classes were wading out in the stinking sand (you know that smell when the tide goes out!), building and assembling things. I used to look forward to driving to The City, and, yes, we would slow down a bit to take in the latest whimsical creations in this ever changing display, which c heered us up in the most dire days when the Vietnam War dragged on and on and during the political lows that followed.

My friend of bygone days, Bill Jackson—sometime teacher, poet, electrician, photographer—took it upon himself to photograph the ever-shifting display of art. (I’m sure he wasn’t the only one, but he was the one I knew.) I still have one of his photos somewhere—of the huge drowning, clutching hand rising from the tidelands, photographed through a red filter at sunset. One day, sitting in the Med, when it was still the caffeine-crossroads of all kinds of Berkeley folks, he told me that he had sold huge enlargements of his photos to the City of Emeryville, to be hung on the walls of their little City Hall. “What they paid me is no more than what it’ll cost me to have such enlargements made, but, oh, hell . . .” He was very pleased at even this recognition. “You ought to go see them!”

I meant to, but . . . .

Then Bill’s health declined rapidly, we lost contact, and I’m sure he is long dece ased. The new freeway was built, mudflat sculpture torn out, access impossible. Funky old Emeryville became a slick, shiny mall. Everything changes. Okay.

A few months ago, I happened to be near the shiny new glass Emeryville City Hall. The little old bu ilding was still there, locked up. I went into the new building and asked if we could get into the old City Hall and look at the Bill Jackson Mudflat Sculpture photos. Blank looks. I asked a few people. They didn’t know what I was talking about. I explained, again and again, to different people. Finally, an older woman said, “Oh, yes, I remember those. They were taken down and put into a warehouse.” No, she didn’t know where. No, I couldn’t go to the warehouse to see them; no one had the time to find the warehouse, let me in, and search for them.

I hope that the people trying to save the art at Albany Bulb, can also start a campaign to hang those old Mudflat Sculpture photos somewhere. The thought of them jammed into that warehouse, lost, forgotten, is sad.

Dorothy Bryant is a Berkeley author.

The Sol Warriors

Posted on August 13, 2013 by Royal Rosamond Press

Sol Yurick
The film of The Warriors, 1979

Sol Yurick passed away. I and my ex-wife, along with my step-daughter, stayed at Sol’s house when we went back east to pick up the Thunderbird. We talked for hours about his books, and, the real Cultural Warfare that was going down. I really liked this man.

Conventional armies are powerless against highly loyal and specialized gangs. America’s Rebel Army was this. The British did not stand a chance.


The American novelist Sol Yurick, who has died aged 87, was too radical, too extreme and too violent for the respectable literary establishment of New York, yet no writer more fully embodied the city’s anguished spirit in the 1960s. His novels The Warriors (1965), Fertig (1966) and The Bag (1968) constitute a trilogy of vibrant energy, biting satire and high, though irreverent, artistic seriousness.

The Warriors, a tale of gangs and street violence, was rejected by 27 publishers before it finally appeared. With its carefully crafted parallels with Xenophon’s Anabasis, it was more literary than Hubert Selby Jr’s Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964), but shared its gritty feel for the city’s underclass. In 1979 it was made into a stylish film by Walter Hill. Vincent Canby in the New York Times considered the film “a mish-mash of romantic cliches, moods and visual effects”.

“I Am A Living Museum”

Posted on June 28, 2013 by Royal Rosamond Press


On the train home from Vancouver British Columbian, I told a beautiful woman from Bristol England;

“I am a living museum!”

This declaration occurred just after we pulled out of the Amtrak station and after we crossed a river with three bridges. Tracy had sat down next to me at the small table in the Bistro car. We consumed our food in a unconformortalbe silence. We were strangers on a train.

An hour later, you could not shut us up. We were seated in separate cars next to someone. We fled to any empty car where the conductor sat alone at a table working on his papers. I begged him to let us sit in this car and chat because we just met. He gave us twenty minutes. An hour later we are seated at a table in the lounge car we alas found. I compare our conversation with one of my favorite movies ‘My Dinner With Andre’, but this is;

“My Breakfast With Tracy.”

We come out of long tunnel and two eagles have been startled by the train and swoop down over the water the train runs along.

“Look Tracy. Eagles!”
“Are those The Eagles?” This British Subjects asks.
“Yes! I exclaim, knowing they have blessed the Vision quest we have been on. “They are American Bald Eagles, the one you see on American passports.”
I take out my passport and show it to Tracy who let’s out a knowing laugh, we just having crossed the border and were not happy with the posturing and bullying that had gone thru.
Then, this question was put to me;
“Are these eagles quite common?”
Tracy was asking if we would be seeing many of these great birds from now on, now that we were in their land. All of a sudden I had a vision of an America plagued by an over abundance of Bald Eagles. They were more numerous than the pigeons in Rome. They were everywhere, fighting with seagulls for a morsel of garbage. Outside McDonalds there are signs that say;
You see, folks were getting ther jollies by throwing French-fries in the air just to see the eagles swoop down and catch them in their sharp talons made for catching fish. But, those were the good ol days. These fries have turned our National Bird into a feathered pig, who didn’t bother to soar high into the air anymore, but waddled toward the outdoor diners who emptied whole bags of fries on the sidewalk when they squawked. Some took little kicks at them, which was against the law. When the cops were called in to stop these feeding frenzies, Americans would rise up and riot. They would go thru the downtown looting and burning, they shouting and screaming;
“No one can tell us to stop feeding our national symbol of democracy. No one!”

I looked at Tracy who was waiting for her answer. She was sincerely puzzled. She truly wondered if many eagles would be seen now that we were in the Land of the Free. There was only one other explanation.
“That was a very rare sight. We have been blessed, our quest. Those eagles are us…..The Last Messengers of the Final Transformation.”

Tracy is a black musician whose ancestors come from Jamaica. For the next two hours I explain the Southern Strategy and the agenda of the Evangelical Neo-Confederates. I tell her about the utterance of Lindsey Graham and the ranting of Rick Perry the secessionist governor of Texas. This morning, both men are on the news, news that was being made as Tracy and I spoke. Perry was telling woman what to do with their bodies at a Right to Life rally, and is assuring Latinos immigration is a wonderful thing as the Evangelical Congress prepares to shoot down the bill the Senate passed yesterday. Illegal aliens crossing our southern border is our national plague, and should be shut out, say some. So called Christian law makers are screeching;


The Mexican flag contains an image of a Eagle swooping down to capture a snake.

* * *

At the Vancouver Museum, I came into a room that contained a 1956 Ford Farilane. I am amazed, and am telling this older couple I used to own a 1957 Fairlane. I tell them about the Ford truck at the Portland Historic Society. I am tell them I own the mate to this truck, and, I am one of the original hippies, if not the last hippie.

This couple are spellbound. They are ten years older then me, and agree this exhibit is of my era. I pose for a picture. I put on my Barret, smile, and give them a authentic peace sign – from the source! I was yet to see the three rooms they had just seen. When I entered the first one, I felt electricity running all over this surface of my body. It was a replica of a Hippie Bedroom, a woman’s bedroom. There were Bohemian clothes in the closet. There was an altar with a cushion to kneel on. I did not see the deity, but saw the candles and the incense. My Muse came to mind. Was this Rena’s first bedroom, her hippie nest she made for herself in Lincoln Nebraska afer we parted ways.

There were two more rooms with hippie memorabilia. One contained a Light Show box. One could conduct their own light show, but it was not plubgged in.

“Turn on. Tune in! And drop out!”

All of a sudden I realized I was the Real Thing, the Living Hippie come home alas. These were my things, in my home, in the House of the Three Muses. I belonged here. Here was my……………..”Sanctuary!” Here I could bring home Rena whom I rescued in LA. I saved her and brought her to a mountain top where perched like eagles we behild the sea far below.

My philosophy. My way of life. My vision of beauty and a new world had been exported to a foreign land where it took root and found a permanent home. Meanwhile, back in the state, I am hounded, questioned, put in a jar – and poked like a bug!

“A prophet is not known in his own land.”

Why is Vancouver, if not Canada, such a liberal country I now wondered. The answer came just now.

“People who love Victor Hugo find a home here – the French!”

I chose to come to Canada rather than fly to France!

The Photos

I was called Aqua Lungs after I developed a love for beer. That is me in front of 1939 Ford panel truck. This was taken by my roommate, Peter Shapiro of the Loading Zone and Marbles. We lived in a Victorian with the rest of the band before this, along with Tim O’Connor who wrote ‘The Hippies Were Right” in Amsterdam.
I am getting of the Amtrak train in Eugene as ‘Oakland Jonny’. to get sober. I was living in a Victorian water tower and was under the protection of a crack gang whom I knew when they were children.
I am standing with my uncle and brother with a cast on my hand. Vinnie and June would give me their Ford Fairlane that is parked at the curb.

Jon Presco

A museum is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary.[1] Most large museums are located in major cities throughout the world and more local ones exist in smaller cities, towns and even the countryside. The continuing acceleration in the digitization of information, combined with the increasing capacity of digital information storage, is causing the traditional model of museums (i.e. as static “collections of collections” of three-dimensional specimens and artifacts) to expand to include virtual exhibits and high-resolution images of their collections for perusal, study, and exploration from any place with Internet.

The English “museum” comes from the Latin word, and is pluralized as “museums” (or rarely, “musea”). It is originally from the Greek Μουσεῖον (Mouseion), which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses (the patron divinities in Greek mythology of the arts), and hence a building set apart for study and the arts,[3] especially the Musaeum (institute) for philosophy and research at Alexandria by Ptolemy I Soter about 280 BCE.[4] The first museum/library is considered to be the one of Plato in Athens.

Young people searching for an alternative way of life made Vancouver the hippie capital of Canada. Kitsilano, at the time a neighbourhood with cheap housing, became home to Vancouver’s radical youth. The 1960s and 1970s were a time of contention as the city grew in to itself and now internationally known “radical” groups like Greenpeace started right here on home turf. Groove on Vancouver, the cool city on the coast.

Visit the hippies’ communal house, try on macramé finery, and listen to great Vancouver bands from the late 1960s.
Look for your mom or dad, or yourself, in swinging footage of the Stanley Park Be-In.
Follow the action as Vancouverites – both hippie and straight – fought the freeway, saved their neighbourhoods, and changed the way city planning is done.

Post-riot therapy. Scout lists 101 awesome things about Vancouver. Glad to see we (and this blog) made the list!
Riot. An independent review of the police response to the riot is underway. The Vancouver Police Department has released a fact sheet.
The backlash continues. Employers of outed rioters are facing boycotts and negative press and in some cases are letting those employees go. Blenz has launched the first major lawsuit against as yet unnamed rioters.
The backlash highlights lines of cultural divide and prejudice between the city and suburbs. A lot of the blame for the riot has been leveled at the suburbs, but many suburbanites are disputing th
There is growing concern that some riot photos submitted to police have been photoshopped, and it’s likely that this will be a popular defence in court.
Rebranding. In light of recent marketing campaigns by Vancouver and Calgary, how does a city go about changing it’s image?
Gentrification. The Dependent looks at some of the people walking the fine line between gentrification and revitalization in Gastown and the Downtown East Side.
Language. There is now a dictionary for the Squamish language.
Local food. Turning a new page in the local food movement, the City of Vancouver funds a project to encourage people to replace their lawns with wheat.
Summer of our discontent. Past Tense remembers Vancouver’s Yippie civil unrest.

Why I Am A Living Museum

Posted on June 29, 2013 by Royal Rosamond Press


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.,_Oakland,_California

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]

Oakland’s Imperial Marines

Posted on June 6, 2012 by Royal Rosamond Press

Above is a photo of my favorite bar in Oakland ‘The Hut’. I almost got shot here. I was talking to some young punk who claimed his father was the Mafia, and, so was he. He tried to muscle me, impress me as we sat at a table. I told him he was full of shit. I asked him what big crimes his family are committing in the bay area. He told me they sell cocaine. I laughed in his face.

“Anybody can sell cocaine in Oakland. Even high school drop outs. Who needs the mob, who traditionally look down on drug dealers.”

I told him my mother made porno movies for Big Bone’s Remmer who came to my house with his wife. Suddenly thus black dude I don’t like has come up behind me, and I hear the click of gun – that has misfired! This guy shot my fiend here two months earlier. He was at the bar when he was shot in the arm. He told me the last thing he remembers is a smoke-ring coming at him. Again I hear a click, and study the face of the alleged Mafia man. He is – blown away! I start laughing at him.

“Looks like your bodyguard needs a new gun. Or, you need a new bodyguard.”

I got up, and walked out. On the street, my legs began to shake. This was the second time someone put a gun to the back of my head, pulled the trigger, and the gun jammed.

Above is a photo of the University Hotel and the laundry mat I almost died in. I was drinking and doing my laundry. There was a bunch of street waifs there who I bought hamburgers for. I am talking with this young runaway, when this guy comes up to me and orders me to stop talking to her.

“No one tells me what to do!”

And out comes this big ugly gun that is in my face.

“I’m going to blow your fucking head off!”

The young folks hug the walls! I study this bad-ass dude that repeats his threat, and say;

“I believe you are going to blow my head off. But, you are such a lousy shot you might shoot an innocent bystander. Let’s go in the back ally and you can blow my head off there. Besides, you dont want any witnesses.

“Good idea. Let’s go!”

Now, I’ve had a lot of good ideas in my life, and have been in a rage because most of them have been rejected. In the ally, I fall to my knees with arms outstretched, and say “Baba”. I am in the light. He pulls the trigger. The gun is jammed. He tries again. I get up, and walk away.

A week later I see him on the street, and he’s screaming his tired used-up old threat at me;

“Yeah! Yeah! Promises! Promises!”

When I had a falling out with my daughter, she bragged about her boyfriend having a thousand friends. She said I was “so perfect”. She bragged about Bill having a manufactured bar in their house. Big deal. I and my friends took over three bars in my hood, the last one was the Hut. After living on Beacon Hill and drinking in bars in walking distance of my abode (one of them Cheers) I made a rule to take my business to the bar nearest to me. That was The Canteen, and old man’s bar.

In no time me and my friends moved the old men out. The Canteen became the wildest bar in the Bay Area. It had to be shut down. We moved to the Piedmont Lounge up the street, where the old war heroes retreated. We moved them out, and they went to The Hut. We closed the Lounge due to free for all fights where beer mugs were busted over folks heads. Then, my buddies and I headed for The Hut. I founded three great bars in Oakland. At the Hut this guy tells me;

“When you are not here, this place is a real drag!”

Between the Canteen and the Lounge is the Kerry House where I met my daughter’s mother – who claims she was married to the Mob. I drank here with my father – till dawn. When the bar closed, it never closed for Vic, who drove a big pink Caddy and wore garish plaid dresscoats. Vic never went to rehab. I mean, what would he share at a meeting?

“You all are trophy drinkers, I on the other hand, am the embodiment of Emperor Caligula!”

The real big deal in law enforcement was Frank Coakley (the real Hallahan) whose daughter adopted the Presco children. The Coakly family owned much real estate around Lake Merrit. There was a huge oil painting of this lake where Jack London sailed boats on Kay Coakley’s wall. Kay saw the same angel my sister’s saw. When I got sober, I began my autobiography ‘Bonds With Angels’.For surely there was an angel looking over us, because we were forced to bond with real devils!

My bodyguard was an Imperial Marine, Dietrich’s personal bodyguard, who ran away from Synanon who had moved into Oakland’s old athletic builiding. Two of my friends were members of the SLA, and were quationed by the FBI about the kidnapping of Patty Hurst. I have seen more gunplay then most Marines. I am retired from the World of Imperial Bullshit!

Jon Presco

About Royal Rosamond Press

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