Kim Myers

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Kim Myers

Kim and Sierra

Picture taken from the David Harris story The Short Happy Life of A Child of "The Land"

How I Came to the Land: In 1971 I was discharged from the Army after being drafted as a conscientious objector and spending 2 years as a medical corpsman in Kansas and Germany ( in both places as a replacement for someone sent to Vietnam). I then hitched up and down the West Coast visiting friends and looking for a place to settle. Having been turned on to the Whole Earth catalogue in the army, I wound up going to the Whole Earth Truck Store in Menlo Park, and asking where can I move and grow a garden? It happened that some people were moving out of Earth Ranch (aka Rancho Diablo) on Skyline Blvd. so I moved in with a group that came to include Paul Fox, Gay Gorman & Kenny & Amy, FluEllen, Jim Kerr, Peter Music, & Jeff Juicer, all of whom lived at or were friends of the Land. The Last Whole Earth Catalogue was being put together in the garage at the time. Paul Fox lived in the dirt-floored shed under the garage. We weren't allowed to renew the lease in the fall of ''71, and in the meantime we were part of the food co-op with the other mountain communities an The Institute for the Study of Nonviolence. Bill Garaway (who else would it be?) told us about this 800 acres of land on Page Mill that we could live on for free. He and Winter were building their treehouse across the road about that time.Some people were living in the front house at the time as caretakers for The Institute then, I think Judy, Rain and Stewart Burns. The only people in the back were Gary and Barbara and kids (from Independence) in their converted school bus and Steve Bush in his stepvan. They were parked by the springbox above the swamp. Some of us from Earth Ranch and others including Fran Ryan (escaping The City), Phillipe Ross and Steve Bush explored the Backlands and found sites for tepees and cabins. I think Steve and FluEllen got together and at first were going to build on the cookshack site but it was decided that the cookshack and the community tepee would go there instead. A growth of a certain kind of plant by the road near the cookshack site convinced Steve Bush that there was water there so after we picked our home sites we got out the picks and shovels and dug and dug for hours to make a springbox, but alas came up with nothing wetter than damp ground. The hole was prominent there for years, and might be still visible. Fran and I were the first to sleep in the Backlands as residents, the night after the spring box fiasco everyone one else left, and we bedded down on the edge of the 'fault' by the cookshack site. Fran was not ready for the coyote yelping and howling that night, but I had experienced their shenanigans in the Sierra so was exhilarated by the spooky noise.Subsequently we dug a PVC water line from the swamp springbox to the community site.We soon pitched a 22' tepee and built the cookshack at the community site. Steve Bush was our carpentry instructor at the time. We soon built our cabins and put up tepees. I built a simple geodesic dome on my site- a little spit of land west of Lone Oak Hill. We had established some kind of relations with the front lands by then because I used the radial arm saw in the garage to cut the members. ( A few months later I managed to burn the dome to the ground by falling asleep reading, stoned of course, with a foam stuffed pillow too close to my Aladdin Lamp. I woke up just in time and got out with some burns but lost the few things I owned. I still remember Judy giving me a few bucks and realizing she wasn't totally scary after all). Purusha, Bonzi, Mark S., Rose, Maryjo ,Paul Narewski, Malcolm and others soon came along and the community tepee was happinin'. Bonzini (dubbed our "home entertainment center") wailed out tunes on the guitar and we joined in on instruments and vocals. There was a fire on cold nights or sometimes just for atmosphere. Paul Fox often brought Marie Calander's strawberry pies, and there was also often a half gallon of ice cream, both passed around the circle whole with a spoon. Purusha held court as elder, and there was lots of stories and laughter.We were part of the food co-op still and I loved the trips to San Francisco to the wholesale produce market and dry goods market. A lot of our food came from supermarket dumpsters. especially White Cliff Market in Los Altos until they started throwing lye on top to discourage us. Some other people came early on- Sandy, Redfire, Billy, Maria, Evie, Rick (yoga mail order guy lived in the barn), Kathy and Tommy (about 2 yrs old), Silver (from Charlie Manson's ranch), George, Seth, Gary, Ariel and I'm sure others. I loved the whole scene, there wasn't another place I'd rather have been, I thought we were the harbingers of a new world.


photos by Neil