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Sandy Baron

Hi everyone. Duane and I finished our CD, you can access it here:
We named it after him instead of both of us to make it easy for people to search itunes using his name.
I also updated my blog and it looks much better, it is here:

Life is good. Duane and I like to ride our bikes, play music, go camping, and visit the 3 grandkids.

Fast history synopsis… How I got there

It was Los Angeles 1969ish. I get a call from Evie, a friend since high school - do I want to go to UCLA for a film. At the film were a group of political hippies (something medicine show) did they work on the film?. We met Billy Spire, Winter and Bill and probably others. Ev runs off with Billy and so begins my ongoing relationship with this group. For a while I lived in Venice, CA and kept in touch with Evie, Billy, and Mark Schneider (Billy was a singing waiter at the breakfast joint). I also visited them at the ranch in Arizona and enjoyed seeing Billy in jail playing his guitar and entertaining the cops. It was wonderful to be present at Zem's birth in Venice. I remember a group of people and lots of fruit.

I was a naturalist trapped in Los Angeles for 20 years. After visiting Evie at the land, I moved up to the backlands without delay. I finally found my refuge, a place to be in nature. I fell in love with the oak trees, soaring hawks, and moonlit hills. This was sometime in 1971. The cook shack was already there. I stayed at Billy's house then Phillip's tipi, when Phillip returned I moved to a small tipi up from Phillips, and later stayed in Mark's tower. I worked one day a week cleaning house for 3 guys that worked at the Stanford Research Institute, that was enough money to support myself. They gave me a bottle of red wine from Ridge winery...the best wine I ever had.

I remember walking home on an extremely foggy night to my tipi in the backlands. I walked right up to it but couldn't see it at all. I don't think flashlights were invented yet. Or, maybe a flashlight was just too much STUFF to carry. The whole idea was to not have as much as possible. It was really liberating to live with so little, it has helped me face lean times without fear. But mostly, its a personality thing.

I was happy just being, hiking, playing music, reading and thinking. Oh I tried to do stuff like pottery, spinning wool, wood carving, writing. But really, I didn't accomplish much. Wait, I made some shoes (did Phillip help me, he was into the Indian thing) - moccasins to go with my loin cloth, braids, and tipi - to complete the fantasy. I also learned that dry buckeye wood burns the cleanest in a tipi fire, raccoons can open windows as well as cans of honey. And, like raccoons, some people are difficult to deal with. Still, there was a fragile lawless peace most of the time.

I saw the largest shooting star ever streak across the meadow you cross to get to get down to the cook shack. Being out in the wild at night was a daily dose of magic. I always felt safe walking on the land, the land itself looked like a sleeping woman. Even when I disturbed a nest of yellow jackets and got multiple stings to the head, I never held it against the land. The only thing that scared me off was when my guitar and backpack were ripped off. I hightailed it down to stay with Bill Giordano and Adam in Menlo Park for a while.

The land gave me an invaluable lesson in sociology. What ever we had was created from the bottom up, there was no top down control. I am still a firm believer in this as the best way (and nature's way) to build things, but it is messy. Politically, that is a very libertarian and capitalist view. I still prefer that the government minimize top down control, unless of course its about protecting the environment. So, there is my bias.

Like many others my strongest memories are of the bay tree spring and the meadow below lone oak hill. These places are incredibly beautiful and evocative. I still can not live without such visions in my life almost daily.

photo by Michael Emrys


These pictures of me are funny, same hill, different season!


I, as many of you, have had an eclectic history since the time on the land. In my 40's I returned to college and got my B.A. and M.A. in Biology. I used that to help me with my conservation work, helping to save 300 acres near Watsonville. My research on an endangered plant was published in the Journal of the CA.Botanical Society (Madrono). I have done some interesting biological research and consulting jobs, but my new career never really took off,
and I still spend an inordinate amount of time goofing off and playing guitar with my (too groovy for words ) hubbie Duane, or sitting around looking at the trees or the bumble bees. I have a blog where I write about things that interest me, its just me musing.... I still live fairly simply, I hang up my laundry to dry, use rinse water to flush the toilet. Duane and I both just can't help ourselves, and enjoy finding hidden "efficiencies". Still, we try to not let efficiency get in the way of having fun!!

What is most interesting to me about the potential of this wiki, is that everyone came to the land in a fairly random fashion. There were selective factors like the anti-war movement, the back to the land, zen, sustainability, search for community & drug philosophies. Mixed with these were the selective factors of looseness, travel, disenfranchisement, and exploration. So, what we had in common was fairly complex but our paths to the land seemed to be mostly happy accidents. I don't know why but I find the random chance portion of the story very interesting...perhaps I think that is where the more subtle patterns of the universe are revealed, outside of human volition. Human volition is great, but I try to remove myself enough to see what is going on "out there". Of course, there are those who think that without consciousness nothing is going on out there, I'm not one of them.



photos by Neil