The Last Western Man Standing

It’s……High Noon!

Johnny Oregon

“I do it….for love!”

The Last Western Show

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Royal Rosamond Press


Harney County Sheriff David Ward listens to concerns during a community meeting at the Harney County fairgrounds Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Burns, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


LAS VEGAS – MAY 24 : Native American man takes part at the 25th Annual Paiute Tribe Pow Wow on May 24 , 2014 in Las Vegas Nevada. Pow wow is native American cultural gathernig event.


Who could foresee the return of the Dramatic Western? My muse and I wrote the script. To discover the star of the T.V. show ‘Broken Arrow’ married the granddaughter of Rudolph Friml who composed the MUSic for ‘Rose-Marie’ tells me the Cowmuses are not done, and may be making a comeback. Being cantankerous and opposed to something is the main ingredient in a good Western. Rena is an Aries and I am a Libra, thus we are 180 degrees apart as we circle each other at the Oakie Dokie Coral. In the background is the Wandering Jesus, an alleged Dead Man walking around the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, trying to get some attention. In a history show I saw a week ago they kept showing the Sroud of Turin owned by the Rougemonts, then we saw Jesus walking down the road giving folks a big “Howdy!”

Jesus Christ Face Appears on the History Channel - ABC News
Greg 1970 2

The Bundyites had a Religious Message, holstered, and were waiting to pull it on the watching world when their numbers swelled to ten thousand or so. I think ‘The Man Under The Blue Tarp’ was their Moses in waiting, but La Voy Finicum, got cold feet – and hungry. You can’t make this name up. Western Writers of long-a-go are rolling over in their graves. Only God could come up with this name!

Then, here come the Red Skins! Where’s La Voy? He’s in town at the I-Hop working on another tall stack of wheat-cakes. He has the room spellbound with his tales of the Mormon Jesus who wandered the Western Wilderness and stayed awhile at the bird refuge – talking to the birds!

“Saint Francis has nothing on our Jesus – who was here first!”

“La Voy is the Mormon Shroud ‘The Blue Shroud of Burns’  This is a true Art Piece, and is recognized as such on the World Wide Web. Who saw that coming? Here I am as set designer. Like Noah, voices tell me what to do, too!

What is astounding, the Bundyites invaded Oregon and forgot to hitch up their chuck wagon, or take into account the Native population that were there first, and, had no problem going on the real Warpath, because, it may not be a Country For Old White Men, but, Old Paiute Chiefs, are right at home. This is their Custer’s Last Stand. There will be a celebration when the Bundyites slink home, with their tail between their legs!

“Please! Let my people go back – to where we belong!”

There were two T,V. series with the name Cochise in it. This one favored the Native Americans.

This series favored the Killer Pale Face, wandering the West, looking for someone to plug, put a bullet in. We are what we watch. Did Rena Easton entertain a vision of Sheriff Dan plugging me if I dare come around her ranch? She was in need of a Bad Man to focus her fears and doubts on. I was rendered the Big Bad Wolf at the door.

There is a Romeo and Juliet story here, where I am warned by the Sheriff not to step on some property, or come near my love object. Sheriff  Dan was very impressed with the Love Letters Rena Easton and I exchanged – before all hell broke loose! In Bozeman, young lovers were prone to getting shit-faced drunk, and vomit-out a declaration consisting of a sentence or too. I mean we got a ex-Ballerina (Belle-Rena) for the London Ballet, here, and a Western Beat Writer! That we were Seniors, gave all the lawmen in Bozeman, hope, that they too can own real passion when they get old.

“Hey! Stella!”

Jon Presco

Copyright 2016

An overflow crowd of about 300 people packed a Burns meeting room late Wednesday afternoon and gave the Harney County sheriff a standing ovation at the start of a community meeting on the wildlife refuge takeover.

Sheriff David Ward, who has told the armed anti-government protesters they should leave, got thunderous applause when he repeated that request.

Ward also said his wife’s tire was flattened, and his parents were followed., and he had another message for the occupiers: “You don’t get to threaten me because you disagree with me.”


The leaders of the Burns Paiute tribe have a message for the men and women who have taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside Burns, Oregon: “Go home. We don’t want you here.”

The message came from several tribe members whose ancestors fought and died over portions of that land long before the ranchers and farmers had it, long before the federal government even existed.

The tribe is still fighting over land use but now works with the federal government’s Bureau of Land Management to save its archaeological sites.

“We have good relations with the refuge. They protect our cultural rights there,” said tribal council Chairwoman Charlotte Rodrique.

An overflow crowd of about 300 people packed a Burns meeting room late Wednesday afternoon and gave the Harney County sheriff a standing ovation at the start of a community meeting on the wildlife refuge takeover.

Sheriff David Ward, who has told the armed anti-government protesters they should leave, got thunderous applause when he repeated that request.

Ward also said his wife’s tire was flattened, and his parents were followed., and he had another message for the occupiers: “You don’t get to threaten me because you disagree with me.”

While law enforcement has not attempted to recapture the outpost, the FBI is leading efforts to resolve the impasse and several of the occupiers said they believe there are arrest warrants against them.

Asked if he would rather be killed than be arrested — were the occupation to turn violent — 54-year-old occupier LaVoy Finicum, said: “Absolutely … I have no intention of spending any of my days in a concrete box.”

“There are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them,” he said. “I’m prepared to defend freedom.”

Finicum, a Mormon rancher from Arizona who has 11 children, broke off from the rest of the group inside the building Tuesday night. He sat on a chair outside the refuge with only a sleeping bag, a blue tarp and his gun protecting him in the frigid open air.

Finicum said he wanted officers to be able to find him if they wanted to serve an arrest warrant.

Click on pics to enlarge. I am pretty sure those are Belle’s legs, she not wanting to be on the news. Them in Ken Kesey Square, she stuck her tongue out at this reporter and BLEW HER COVER! You can’t make this shit up! This is why I strive to be forgiving.


When I last talked to Rena on the phone in 1971, she said;

“I love you more afar than near.”

In this statement I wonder how that will be now we are friends again, I authoring novels and poems, while she writes me about her and her husband’s farm. I write with passion. I paint with passion.

“We are playing with fire, Aries woman. Playing with fire! Right here – and so very far away!

I mean, my God, I read about your hip replacement, and we are in a movie, based upon a book, that I am writing, and……are we really going to spend the last days of our life together wondering how many eggs the chickens laid today!”

The truth is, I did not disguise my desire for us to be together – well enough. I am hitting the brake and the gas peddle at the same time because romantic memories of Rena make up most of the memories I own of her. I made a mistake saying I would help her if her husband dies due to poor health. I wondered why Rena did contact me after not doing so for around eight months after I gave her minister the means for Rena to communicate with me. Once again, I read something that was not intended.

Before I learned Rena was married I entertained this fantasy;

“Sometimes when I got ‘Big Blue’ out on the highway I make a left turn in my mind, and come to Nebraska to get you. And then we head to Alaska where we build our cabin. Have you ever wanted to build a house from scratch? Do you wear blue overalls?”


Just about every other night while watching T.V. I do architecture floor plans. It’s my hobby. I have designed floor plans for other friends, and for myself. I have hundreds of plans I have done for myself. I think I am guilty of getting old and lonely.

The floor plan above was done for Rena and her husband who live in a small trailer on a hill. I took into consideration they would need a spare room for a cowhand to help with the ranch. There is a dance studio above the garage.

“If we can be that to one another, then, we can love anyone, let each other go, let the darkness go, to be loved in all the majesty. We’ve paid our dues! We are home free!”

The top photo is a cabin on my grandfather’s property that he wanted to turn into a retreat for Poets, Fishermen, and Hunters. It was his dream. I do not know if Royal Rosamond built that cabin.

I was entertaining a new dream about Rena. When ‘Capturing Beauty’ becomes a best seller, I would see if Rena and her husband would want to host a retreat for hunters and fisherman who have a muse that I would finance with my royalty checks. But, that business idea is not going to work, because try as I may, I just couldn’t shake the image of Rena and riding off into the sunset. Sorry! I tried!

Because I would do anything for my Muse – POOF! That dream is gone – with the wind!

I am a man, looking for a new dream, and a poet, looking for a new muse.

In all fairness to me, Rena was reading my blog, and she knew she was married when I did not. She had read some pretty hot stuff about her. Models are put in cars and houses in order to sell them. If Rena was not married, she would have gotten the same exact letter. After I am informed Rena is married, then in hindsight, the smart response would have been short and sweet;

“I’m happy for you two. Have a nice day!”

Rena knew I was still mad for her when she wrote me that letter with the name (Rosemond) on the envelope. There was, and is, no covert scheme here! I have been very overt! Why throw fuel on the fire, if you wanted the response of a cold fish? I’m not your man if that is what you expected.

As for Artuad coming to Montana, he is one of inventors of Modern Dance and Theatre. I think Royal did author a little book titled ‘The Humor of Montana’. A very “little” book indeed!

In closing down this forty-four year adventure, I enclose a page of Rena’s letter where she says she is lonely at work where she recites poetry out load to make the boredom and loneliness go away. I asked myself this question – that begged to be asked – because Rena sent me a poem she wrote;

“Does her Redneck husband – like poetry?”

Most of the poems that have been written in the world, are love poems. Maybe Rena’s husband will write her one!

I sent Rena a recording I made of me reading ‘The Birth of Venus’ that is copyrighted! I suggested Rena – a dancer and choreographer – could do something with it that might save the farm. In one blog, I told her about Love Dance. I said she would be the lead choreographer. I really do have to scrutinize Rena Easton’s motives in making absurd insinuations. I signed and dated that letter I sent that acknowledges I know her, and the truth, she is going to be in my book! This blog is part of my newspaper Royal Rosamond Press. I suspect her husband getting very sick, inspired her to contact me.
Otherwise, she wouldn’t have. Her letter sure looks like an audition to me!

Around 8:00 P.M. this evening, I got a call from a sheriff in the county Rena dwells in. In the last twenty four hours Rena called the Sheriff and accused me of stalking her. Rena said this stalking began with my letter to her that she received around January 16th. Why didn’t make a complaint just after she read it, if this is true? The Sheriff claims Rena said this stalking continued in this blog after she read my letter. Nine months ago someone who knew Rena called me back and asked me the address of this blog, just in case she ran into Rena in Bozeman, where this woman lived. There is no doubt in my mind Rena has been reading my blogs for the last nine months. Why didn’t she call the Sheriff way back when? Why did she wait twelve days after receiving my letter to call – if she felt she was in danger? I do not know where Rena and her husband live. Her return address was a P.O.Box. Did Rena read something in the last twelve days that disturbed her? Or, did her husband find out we are corresponding – and he don’t want to know what a muse is? Maybe I am the one in danger, and someone needs an alibi! Here is what Rena said in her letter, that did alarm me;

“It would nice to hear from you. But, I must not embark on a affair of the heart. My husband would be very hurt. And angry.”

There are ten million old flame letters out there, and ten million old flame posts on facebook. There are ten thousand detectives who make a living finding old flames. There are plenty of accusations out there. How many old flames are married? Old Flames – BEWARE!

I told the Sheriff I saved Rena’s beautiful self down in Los Angeles after her boyfriend committed a hate crime and got his ass whooped. My famous sister and her boyfriend (my kindred) were witness to this. From savior and hero, to stalker!

“No good deed will go unpunished!”

For the reason the sheriff will be reading, and very possibly an attorney, I am posting all of Rena’s letter, excluding the three poems. Also, it is very likely Rena showed her husband my letter and he is “angry”. Perhaps if he reads why I would think there was a cry for help in this letter, he won’t be angry, and thank me for saving his wives life.

If anyone has a case for stalking, it is me. I have stopped telling people I am authoring a biography about a famous artist I am kin to. Stacey Pierrot titled herself ‘Caretaker’ of my family history. She claims she saved Rosamond’s creative legacy. Saving someone can be a trait of a stalker.

I wondered if telling Rena I wept – before I read her letter – alarmed her. Sensitive men – BEWARE!

The ‘Artist and His Muse’ will be written – with a name change! The real crime, the real shame, is, the world will not be reading our story, nor reading our beautiful letters between an artist and a muse. Rena owns real fear – before I met her – and before I sent her my letter. She tells me fear has all but ruined her life. Why would I want to make her more afraid?

Once again here is what Muse is. Rena went to college, thus she knows a Muse inspires writers and poets. I write in prose. This is why I can appear cryptic – and this dangerous? Rena sent three poems to me – for Christ sake! I think I will make a poem out of our letters.

The Republican Land of Sunshine Party

Posted on April 22, 2018 by Royal Rosamond Press

   On this day, April 22, 2018, I found ‘The Republican Land of Sunshine Party’. There is a plan afoot to make several States out of the State of California. Many Republicans are unhappy. Why? I believe they are disgruntled because they have been sold fake Redneck, Neo-Cofederate cultural tradtions that have nothing to do with folks in the West, or, folks in the Red States, for that matter.

What I suggest is the formation of a new Republican Party based upon the traditions set by John and Jessie Fremont, as well as the traditions put forth by California Magazines that boosted the attributes of the West.

In answer to Traitors waving a Confederate flag in one hand, a Bible they know nothing about, in the other, I suggest ‘The Land of Sunshine’ ‘Out West’ and the ‘Overland Review’ be treated like Biblical Orthodoxy, and be a Guide to Western Behavior and Attitudes. I see a Country Court of Nine Guides, who will know these magazine from front to back. Their mission is not to solve every problem that comes along, but, keep The Western Republic’ on track. and, the members our party feeling good about themselves – and fellow Californians. Oregon and Washington are welcome to join us.

It’s all about – TRADITIONS!

Our goal is to make every man feel like he owns a million dollars, and a million acres. Our New Republican Women should be made to feel like Goddesses of Social Justice, and Promoters of Poetic Wellbeing. May they forever Enchant our Great State. Who knows, our Golden and Progressive Ideals may sweep Eastward, and bring Red States into the Land of Sunshine………of the Mind. Don’t worry! Be happy!

In theory, everyone who registers as a Western Republican, will receive a faux Hopalong Cassidy lunch box with Maynard Dixon print. Women members will get a faux Dorothea Lange camera, and a Depression Era image that will inspire The New Western Republican Deal. These items can be taken from our website – to be! Also included, one will get a Western Meal Ticket for an honestly made, and heavenly fried – baloney sandwich!  Trump gave his Free Lunch to the very wealthy. His baloney makes us all sick. Time to take care of the Dream Holders at the Golden Gate Diner of the California Soul!

Jessie Benton led a California Secessionist Movement in 1861, during the Civil War.  I will investigate. The Fremonts should be the leaders of any movement to divide California. I found an image of a map made in 1781. California was named ‘Marpacifico’ that means “peaceful sea”. There is a Mar Pacfico Flower. It’s time for Republican Flower Power!ífico

Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great “southern sea” which he named Mar del Sur (in Spanish). The ocean’s current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means “peaceful sea”.[4]

Jon Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Pressémont

Political life[edit]

John C. Frémont served from September 9, 1850, to March 3, 1851, as a Senator from California. Their third child, John C. Frémont, Jr., was born on April 19, 1851, at Las Mariposas, California. While the couple was visiting Paris, France, their fourth child, Anne Beverly Frémont, was born on February 1, 1853. Anne died five months later, on July 11, in Washington, D.C. Their fifth and final child, Francis Preston Frémont, was born on May 17, 1855, in Washington.

In 1856, Frémont’s antislavery position was instrumental in his being chosen as the first-ever Republican candidate for President.[1] Jessie played an extremely active role in the campaign, rallying support for her husband. One particular campaign slogan read, “Frémont and Jessie too.” Her father, however, a lifelong Democrat, refused to endorse her husband’s bid for the presidency. This did not stop the supporters of Frémont from continuing to refer to her as the “first lady in the land,” a title her admirers continued to use throughout her life[4]

Frémont garnered many Northern votes, but ultimately lost the election to James Buchanan, though he did surpass the American Party candidate, Millard Fillmore. Frémont was unable to carry the state of California. If he had taken the state of Pennsylvania he would have won.

In the years following, the couple moved several times, living in California, St. Louis, and New York. She played an active role in the anti-Secession movement in California in 1861[5] and enlisted both Unitarian minister Thomas Starr King and writer Bret Harte to her crusade.[1] When Lincoln appointed Frémont as the Commander of the Department of the West in 1861, they returned to St. Louis.

Jessie Frémont served as her husband’s unofficial aide and closest adviser. The two shared the belief that St. Louis was unprepared for war and needed reinforcements and supplies, and both pressured Washington to send more supplies and troops. She threw herself into the war effort, helping to organize a Soldier’s Relief Society in St. Louis, and becoming very active in the Western Sanitary Commission, which provided medicine and nursing to soldiers injured in the war.

One of the most impressive feats of her political career came shortly after Frémont lost his position during the Civil War for issuing his own edict of emancipation, summarily freeing all of the slaves in Missouri, which antedated Lincoln’s own Emancipation Proclamation. Jessie actually traveled to Washington and pleaded with Lincoln on behalf of her husband, but to no avail.[6]

Hopalong Cassidy Lunch Box



<< 2 of 2 >>Description (Brief)This tin lunch box was made by Aladdin Industries in 1950. The Hopalong Cassidy box has a metal snap for a hinged lid and a collapsible, metal handle. It was the first lunch box to bear a licensed image, and helped Aladdin Industries launch a new product line that would last for decades. Hopalong Cassidy was a TV, radio, and comic series in the 1950s, and the frenzy for Hopalong Cassidy merchandise led to more than 100 companies manufacturing more than $70 million dollars worth of Hopalong Cassidy products.LocationCurrently not on viewDate made1950makerAladdin

The Land of Sunshine was first published by the F. A. Pattee Publishing Company in June 1894 as a quarto measuring 9 by 12 inches (23 cm × 30 cm).[1]:38[6] It was originally ghost-edited by Charles Dwight Willard,[1]:47 while Harry Ellington Brook and Frank A. Pattee were both also involved in the creation and publication of the magazine.[1]:38–9 Willard was secretary of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce while he edited The Land of Sunshine, which from its inception was supportive of commercial interests in Los Angeles and San Diego to the extent that it would have caused a clear conflict of interest controversy if Willard was publicly linked to the magazine.[1]:40 According to Edwin Bingham, in its first volume The Land of Sunshine developed a long-standing dichotomy between covering regional commerce and culture.[1]:42 From its beginning, the magazine also took concerted measures to increase its circulation, including both imploring its readers to share copies with their friends and supplying public libraries around the United States with issues of the magazine.[1]:43

At the end of 1894 Charles Fletcher Lummis was publicly named editor of The Land of Sunshine, and the first issue produced under his control was January 1895.[1]:47–8 Lummis promised that the magazine’s coverage of Southern California would be “concise, interesting, expert, accurate” to the extent that it would be trusted by Eastern readers.[1]:48 He also placed an increased emphasis on the cultural and intellectual content of the magazine.[1]:49 According to the Los Angeles Times, he transformed the magazine from a “Chamber of Commerce promotional sheet” into a “sterling literary magazine” in which he voiced his own opinions about everything from art and philosophy to politics and current events.[7] Perhaps his favorite subjects, however, were championing Native American rights and criticizing the Federal Indian Policy.[6] Lummis was regarded as an “impulsive firebrand” as a thinker and a writer, and his ideas, both in The Land of Sunshine and other works, often had a polarizing effect on other writers and academics.[6] In June 1895, the magazine was reduced to dimensions of 6 by 9 inches (15 cm × 23 cm), although its total number of pages grew

You know, in this book I really tried to dispel the notion that the Civil War was just fought on a few hills and cornfields in Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. I very much wanted to show that the Civil War was also fought in thousands of communities and millions of families throughout the country.

At the outbreak of the American Civil War there was a serious debate about the course that California and the Far West would take. Many people out west were interested in separating into a Pacific Republic – a separate nation from the United States. This new nation would turn its back on the war in the east and face out onto the Pacific and its great potential.

The Civil War was really fought about the West, the future of America. Western expansion was one of the true flashpoints of the Civil War. The destiny of the west – slave or free soil – became a central issue as the United States continued to add western territories and states.

In my book I identified a few individuals who really epitomized this struggle for the future of California. The two characters that I focus on in California – Jessie Benton Fremont and Thomas Starr King – were two of my favorite characters in the book and really unlikely heroes in this struggle.

Jessie Benton Fremont, by virtue of being a woman and the wife of a prominent political figure, was someone who was not supposed to participate in political debate and statecraft. Despite these societal limitations, Jessie Fremont, an extraordinarily intellectual person, proved to be a remarkable political strategist. Her behind-the-scenes actions in support of the Union cause in California proved to be of great importance.

Thomas Starr King was perhaps an even less likely figure to play a major role in deciding the future of California. This pale, small, almost homunculus of a man, a Unitarian minister originally from Boston, had been very resistant to entering politics before arriving in California. But facing the real specter of secession, King and Jessie Benton Fremont soon became powerful partners working to keep California in the Union fold. Many people would later say that King was the man who saved California for the Union.


Stepping Into History

Posted on February 5, 2019 by Royal Rosamond Press

Last night, when I started walking towards the podium at the Springfield City Hall meeting, I felt faint, and almost stumbled. It was like I had been at sea for a year, and when I stepped on to solid ground, I still had my sea legs. My voice faltered when I spoke. I realized the gravity of the moment. There was the Mayor of Springfield before me with her ears at ready. She wanted to hear what I have to say. I was, shocked! I have had some fierce rejection.

I now felt uneasy, because I was not prepared for what I was doing. In promoting the history of two men, I am promoting myself. This has always been difficult for me because I suffer from extreme low self-esteem. You would not know it by reading this blog.

When I visited my friend Nancy at the Springfield Creamer located a few blocks away from where I told the City Council about Harry Lane, she suggested I write the history of the hippies because I could recall so much. I began to write The Gideon Computer which is about the last Bohemian-Hippie in the future. I hid behind a science fiction character named Berkeley Bill Bolagard, who took on the persona of Buffalo Bill. Bill was homeless, and spent most of his time in the Oakland Library.

Before going into the meeting, I googled Ina Colbrith because I was going to mention her in the three minutes I had to speak. I read that she worked on the history of the early California Writers. Her notes got burned up in a fire. I wondered if my grandfather was in those notes. Ina worked at the Oakland Library that was her baby she grew to hate because it took up so much of her time. She was not writing poems. Then I read she raised Joaquin Miller’s daughter. In the morning I read a genealogy George Miller recited to a reporter. George taks about his mother;s cooking, and his father’s sheep that he raised in Coburg, a small town seven miles north of Springfield, that did not exist until 1885. George Miller says Coburg got its name from Ananiah Lewis who came from Wales. George claims he was the first to sell cherries from a wagon in Eugene.

Before the meeting, I spotted Niel Laudati across the room. I went up to him and we shook hands. He had commented we had not seen each other for awhile. I told him he has done a great job with downtown Springfield. We had talked in his office about two years ago. He was glad he had taken Ken Kesey away from Eugene, and would take more if he could. I wanted to slip Joaquin Miller in my presentation, but I was afraid I would overwhelm the Mayor and Council. Joaquin has credibility problems. It is said Joseph Lane got him the job as the editor of the Eugene City newspaper, and wrote pro-slavery articles. Did Joaquin know Polly also? Did she talk about her family dramas? Miller had lived with a Native tribe and had a child by a Squaw. Miller may have been compelled to be a pro-slavery writer. He had graduated from Columbia College in Eugene. He was a country hick and bumkin who grew up in a tiny town. He was the real McCoy. Ambrose Bierce and Bret Harte came from back East. They were City Slickers playing Cowboy writers.

There is a saying in AA; “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” When Joseph Lane and his Confederate backer in Oregon lost the Civil War, much of their history was thrown out. I believe Ina Coolbrith reworked Joaquin’s Brand that he began to create for himself while in college. What is a college education for?

I suspect many Western authors were jealous of Miller’s history and credentials. His famous “posturing” was done in self-defense. When I read this paragraph last night, I knew the City of Springfield was ready to receive their Native Son, because, Coburg is nearer to Springfield, then to Eugene, and, Phil and Penny Knight don’t like old stuff. They love shiny new things. Bohemian are about working with old stuff. I am on the verge of declaring Coburg the birthplace of American Bohemianism. Did the Springfield Creamery milk their own cows?

“Yet for all his posturing, Joaquin Miller, who took the name “Joaquin” in a fit of indignity over San Francisco’s mockery of his poem “Joaquin Marietta,” was the most forceful literary personality to emerge in 19th century California. Ironically, this poet so widely regarded as a fraud is frequently acknowledged as the first authentically Western voice; as a writer whose bullish attempts to body forth the spirit of the Sierras prefigured many great Californian writers to follow, including John Muir, John Steinbeck, Mary Austin, Gary Snyder and Robinson Jeffers. In his study Archetype West, the Bay Area poet William Everson cites Miller’s autobiographical fiction, Unwritten History: Life Among the Modocs, as the “inception point to the Western archetype,” claiming that in its ambitious fusion of myth, fact and nature, Miller “emerges permanently as the West’s first literary autochthon.”

Thanks to Nancy Hamren, I am a writer and a historian. Berkeley Bill Bolagard has come of age, and, lives in Springfield Oregon. Nancy lived with Gordon, the brother of Mountain Girl, on the Kesey Farm in Pleasant Hill which is about eight miles from Springfield. Nancy and I grew up in Oakland and have compared Ken to Joaquin.

The discovery I made this morning that the Lane family is kin to the Hart family of Kentucky, who I am kin to via Senator Thomas Hart Benton, makes me a historian of renown once my findings are published. I just talked to the City Recorder who is going to send me back the pages I gave the Mayor and Council to read. They will file the copies in the City Archives. Then there is talk about a new Springfield Library.

I just awoke from my old-man nap with the words I spoke to my friend Amy Oles ringing in my head.

“Ina is the Queen Bee of the Bohemians!”

Ina was one of four women admitted to the Bohemian Club. She was their librarian. Ina was working on the Literary History of Western Writers. Joaquin was a member. The librarain who helped me was from West Virginia and knew nothing about Oregon History. I told him to look at Ina.

“Is she connected with Springfield?” he asked.

Joaquin gave his half-breed daughter to Ian to raise and educate. Her name was Cal-Shasta. Joaquin’s mother, who raised her family in Coburg, came to live with her son in the Hights, where members of the Bohemian Club came to spread the ashes of the Poet of the Sierras. This is to say the Miller Family DNA, went to Oakland. Margaret De Witt-Miller of Coburg, was surrounded by Bohemians, who probably assisted in the care of the mother of the Miller brothers, and Cal-Shasta? Who else?

“Joaquin Miller dumps his daughter into Ina’s lap to raise along with supporting her niece, nephew and step brothers. Miller’s daughter, Calla Shasta turns out to be a bit of a hell-raiser.”

Did Joaquin try to drop Calle Shasta off on his brother, George, but, the Cogswell family, would have none of that. They were connected to the founders of the Eugene Register Guard. Out West magazine published my grandfather’s poems and short stories. That magazine was formerly The Overland Express. Who is trying to gather all the writers under one wing, the Wing of the Owl?

John Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

At a literary dinner on May 5, 1874, Coolbrith was elected honorary member of the Bohemian Club,[27] the second of four women so honored.[28] This allowed the members of the club to discreetly assist her in her finances.

Pleasant Hill was the first white settlement in Lane County when Elijah Bristow settled in 1846.[2] He was the first of a party of four immigrants to settle, most recently from California. Also in the party was Eugene Skinner, Captain Felix Scott, and William Dodson. Dodson and Scott took up adjacent claims, Dodson to the southeast and Scott to the west of Bristow’s claim. Scott later abandoned and claimed opposite the mouth of the Mohawk River, some 7 miles (11 km) north of his previous claim. Skinner made his claim at what is now Eugene.[3]

It all began in the coffeehouses a couple of centuries or more ago in London where such institutions as media and insurance took on their modern forms, for better or for worse.

The coffeehouses had names like The Fifth Estate and Lloyd’s of London. They all shared something in common. They imbibed a highly seditious drink, a coffee brew from Turkey called Kaufy. Most folks regarded the potent new drink the same way police viewed pot in the coffeehouses of Los Angeles and San Francisco in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

After the Gold Rush, Bohemia and coffeehouses developed in San Francisco with such characters as Herman Melville and Mark Twain. The bohemian was the foundation of good writing in California, first in San Francisco and then in Los Angeles.

Mark Twain comes to Southern California through the Newhall pass. It was in this area gold was first discovered in 1842 in nearby Placerita Canyon, not 1848 near Sutter’s Mills in Sacramento, the usual first dating of the Gold Rush. Twain probably visited Southern California while exploring the original gold fields in the 1860s. In 1884, Charles Lummis published Tramp Across the Continent, describing his trip to Los Angeles. Lummis became a seminal figure in the development of Los Angeles bohemia. He was the first city editor of the Los Angeles Times, the first librarian, and as publisher of the The Land Of Sunshine which became Outwest in 1901, eventually became Jack London’s first publisher. 1901 was also the year John C. Van Dyke published his masterpiece about Southern California, The Desert, a brilliant description of the Mojave’s many different colors and attributes.

Bohemianism moved to Carmel after the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, and it was from Carmel the great bohemian migration to Los Angeles began. A good example of this is Ina Coolbrith, the Oakland librarian who served as Jack London’s mentor. She became involved in a romantic three-way with Mark Twain and Brete Harte. She grew up in Los Angeles when it was still a pueblo, then moved north. In the late 1920s, she came back to the city of the angels to visit Charles Lummis at his El Alisal all stone castle in the Arroyo, shortly before both died. Others involved in 1906 in Carmel and then Los Angeles included Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair and Mary Austin.

At the center of this group was California poet laureate George Sterling, who had lived at the Bohemian Club on the Russian River north of San Francisco. Sterling, the state’s poet laureate, was friends of all the bohemians, and he visited his friend Finn Frolich in Los Angeles in the 20s. Frolich built a sculptor studio there and dedicated it to his old friend Jack London. London had written about Frolich as a character in his book Martin Eden, published in 1906.  It is no accident that the insides of London House, which still stands in an alley near the Paramount Studios on Melrose Avenue, looked like a ship, with its winding narrow stairs. There’s a bust of London on the house’s bow—Frolich did the same bust at Oakland Square and London’s Valley of the Moon.

We don’t think of Dreiser as a California writer, but he was here for quite a spell. He was so close to Sterling he took his beautiful wife to the Bohemian club on the Russian River and allowed Sterling to entertain and woo her by swimming naked in the river. He moved to L.A. in 1919. He had written Sister Carrie in 1900. In 1920, he began An American Tragedy in L.A. Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle in 1906, spent time in Carmel but then moved to Southern California in 1916 and spent most of the rest of his life here. His novel Oil published in 1927, is his great Los Angeles book. Recently it was made into a movie called “And There Will Be Blood.”


Historical Essay

by Jim Fisher


Poet Joaquin Miller, in buckskin with guns

[Miller] shouted platitudes at the top of his voice. His lines boomed with the pomposity of a brass band; floods, fires, hurricanes, extravagantly blazing sunsets, the thunder of a herd of buffaloes—-all were unmercifully piled up. And yet, even in its most blatant fortissimos, Miller’s poetry occasionally captured the grandeur of his surroundings, the spread of the Sierras, the lavish energy of the Western World.” —-Louis Untermeyer, Modern American Poetry; 1930.

Recalling Joaquin Miller, the erstwhile judge, horse-thief and argonaut of Grant County, Oregon, a local miner remarked briefly: “He used to write verses and read them to us—-we thought he was a little cracked.” The man who was to inspire Buffalo Bill to sport sombreros, buckskin and spurs is also noted for rhyming “teeth” with “Goethe,” and for claiming to have been born on the Indiana plains “in a covered wagon, pointing west.” Not the only deliberate fiction of his life, Miller also boasted to have lived among the Modoc Indian tribe, to have accompanied William Walker on a revolutionary trip to Nicaragua, and to have been rescued from a Shasta City prison by an Indian princess.

Yet for all his posturing, Joaquin Miller, who took the name “Joaquin” in a fit of indignity over San Francisco’s mockery of his poem “Joaquin Marietta,” was the most forceful literary personality to emerge in 19th century California. Ironically, this poet so widely regarded as a fraud is frequently acknowledged as the first authentically Western voice; as a writer whose bullish attempts to body forth the spirit of the Sierras prefigured many great Californian writers to follow, including John Muir, John Steinbeck, Mary Austin, Gary Snyder and Robinson Jeffers. In his study Archetype West, the Bay Area poet William Everson cites Miller’s autobiographical fiction, Unwritten History: Life Among the Modocs, as the “inception point to the Western archetype,” claiming that in its ambitious fusion of myth, fact and nature, Miller “emerges permanently as the West’s first literary autochthon.”

For a brief period in the late 1860s, Miller was associated with the literary group surrounding the San Francisco journals The Golden Era and The Overland Monthly, though the relation was largely attributable to his own tireless self-promotion. Editors such as Bret Harte, Ina Coolbrith and Joseph E. Lawrence received pages of unsolicited manuscript from the Oregon judge, who seemed undaunted by rejection. (One note from Bret Harte assesses Miller’s verse as exhibiting “a certain theatrical tendency and feverish exultation, which would be better kept under restraint.”) In the dedication to his second book of verse, Joaquin et al., Miller includes a forthright address, “To the Bards of the San Francisco Bay,” which failed to elicit much response. Nonetheless, it was at this time that Miller entered into friendships with poets Charles Warren Stoddard and Ina Coolbrith, the latter of whom agreed to care for his daughter when Miller, determined to find fame across the Atlantic, abandoned San Francisco for London in 1870.


Ina Coolbrith

Photo: courtesy Stephen Mexal


Charles Warren Stoddard

Photo: courtesy Stephen Mexal

It was in England, after setting a wreath fashioned by Coolbrith on the grave of Lord Byron, that Miller blustered into a critical reversal among “the most startling of all of literature.” After failing to find a publisher for his poems, Miller pawned his watch, scraped together the last of his savings, and anonymously printed one hundred copies of his Pacific Poems. The reviewers for the London press swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Here at last was a poet with “the supreme independence, the spontaneity, the all-pervading passion, and the prodigal wealth of imagery” of a bona-fide bard of the frontier. With the help of friends, Miller immediately arranged for a second printing, changing the title to the more masculine Songs of the Sierras—-and this time including his name. Up until this second edition, one London critic was of the opinion that the poet of Pacific Poems was Robert Browning, albeit in a sort of pioneer mood.

Almost overnight Miller was transformed from a virtually unknown poet to the representative bard of the West. He attended dinner parties with Tennyson, Arnold and the Pre-Raphaelites, reputedly even running around on all fours at one formal dinner attended by two mortified San Francisco expatriates, Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce. To the London literati, Miller became the incarnation of the frontier, the “great interpreter of America.” Yet back in San Francisco his reputation hardly changed: critics still refused to take him seriously, though indeed there was more attention devoted to debunking him than before. Bierce, always leading public opinion with an insult, asserted early on that Miller was guilty of “rewriting his life by reading dime novels.”

Apart from his outlandish dress, perhaps the most publicized of Miller’s eccentricities was his preference for a quill pen, which he said “fitted his mood” because it made “a big, broad track.” Unfortunately, he often failed to sharpen the instrument, rendering his script unreadable. Many recipients of his letters, including Walt Whitman, simply refused to respond. According to the San Francisco poet George Sterling, the handwriting was another carefully maintained pose. Sterling’s uncle managed a few acres in the Oakland Hills bordering on Miller’s land, and whenever there was business requiring written communication, such as the hiring of guards to block hikers from cutting Christmas trees on their property, Miller’s script was as legible as a bookkeeper’s.

It was on this property in the Oakland Hills that Miller spent the final decades of his life. Planting eucalyptus trees around his acreage, which he called the “Hights” (his own spelling), he tended to his widowed mother, consumed vast amounts of whiskey, hailed passing girls as “the One Fair Woman!” and managed to produce several novels and plays before his death in 1913. On a porch overlooking San Francisco, Miller regularly entertained members of a younger generation of San Francisco writers, including Jack London, Mary Austin, George Sterling and Isabel Fraser. He had become a kind of mentor, the “grand old poet” of the turn-of-the-century Piedmont crowd. It was a unique triumph, perhaps all the more remarkable in that Miller’s literary admirers—-as revealed in posthumous appreciations written by Sterling, London and others—-remained skeptical to the end of Miller’s strictly literary merits.


Untermeyer, Louis. Modern American Poetry, 4th rev. ed. New York: Harcourt, Brace; 1930.

Everson, William. Archetype West. Oyez Press, 1976.

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence and Nancy Peters. Literary San Francisco. Harper and Row, 1980.

Litersf1$joaquin-miller$literary-sf itm$literary-sf-cover.jpg

Miller, Joaquin. Unwritten History: Life Among the Modocs. Orion Press, 1972.

Sterling, George. “Joaquin Miller.” American Mercury. February, 1926; p. 220.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to The Last Western Man Standing

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    The show must go on!

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