The Rev. Junkyard Moondog slept here
Restoring peace The Rev. Junkyard Moondog lives on! Thanks to retired Chico State English instructor and longtime CN&R contributor Steve Metzger, the home of the late Jim “Moondog” Dwyer—the Chico State librarian and local arts freak who died last summer—is being preserved. Metzger bought the house from Moondog’s family at the beginning of summer and has since been busy cleaning and remodeling the place. And the best part is, the goal of the transformation is to make it a monument to the memory of the man.
As many Chicoans know, Moondog was a passionate advocate for peace and a voracious supporter of all of the arts—music, poetry, theater, visual arts, literature. The newly dubbed Blue Peace House will pay tribute by featuring some of his poems and posters on the walls and a library of his books inside, and a repaired version of Moondog’s rooftop peace sign—made of discarded freeway lane-marker dots—outside. When it’s all finished, Metzger said he plans on turning it into a limited Airbnb-type property as well as renting it out to visiting lecturers at Butte College or Chico State.
The Blue Peace House should be ready for action sometime this fall, at which time Metzger and Moondog’s friends (including Arts DEVO) will gather for an open house—of course with live music and poetry. Stay tuned.
Songs of compassion There is a lot of community fun to be had in Butte County this weekend: car shows, barbecues and even a national bullriding championship (Saturday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds). One of the more ambitious events is the all-day Children’s Music Festival going down this Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Chico Women’s Club. The dual purpose of the festival (presented by Big Oak Promotions) is to raise money for the Torres Community Shelter, and to immerse local kids in music—as performers, students and witnesses to an eclectic slate of local bands (everyone from Big Mo to Smokey the Groove). In addition to the music—including a kids open mic (noon-3 p.m.) hosted by Chico Rockstars: School of Music—there will be arts, crafts, face painting, dancers, food vendors and more. And kids get in free! Tickets for adults are $15 in advance (at Bootleg and the Naked Lounge) and $20 at the door.
Auf wiedersehen A big shout out to my friend and physical trainer Taylor Wakefield, who is leaving next week for grad school in Germany. I know I speak for many people in Chico who passed through his personal-training classes at In Motion Fitness when I say that his super-chill, casually encouraging approach (with an assist from some sick EDM playlists) inspired me to push my body to do exercises at a level that once seemed impossible and increased my quality of life along the way. While there was a proper goodbye blowout last weekend (complete with a badass cake in the form of a shirtless soon-to-be grad student wearing lederhosen created by Mim’s Bakery artists Melissa Peters and Leah Duensing), I just wanted to raise one last glass for one of Chico’s good guys as he sets off to kick some ass in Germany (just as Oktoberfest is getting started, you lucky sonofa …).