Give thanks!

Next week, my Christmas list with
I moved to Chico in 1987. Earlier that year the cops outside the Greek Theater in Berkeley were chasing me when I had the luck to run into Kozmic Kev. He saw my hurried situation and blurted out, “When you’re ready to settle down, try Chico!” After attending the Harmonic Convergence gathering on Mount Tamalpais in Marin, I loaded up the Delta 88 and left Sonoma, where I had been attending graduate school. Despite my ability to drive cross-country blind-folded, I found myself lost in Oakland when the Oldsmobile gave up the ghost. Triple A towed me to St. Vincent DePaul, where I donated my High Times collection, cowboy boots and anything else that I couldn’t fit into the secondary vehicle that was also packed to the gills. Then I sold the car for $24 to the tow truck driver.

In 1987 you could camp legally off River Road on the banks of the mighty Sacramento. The ranger would even bring you firewood. Eventually, I found an apartment on First and Oleander in a triplex that was a one-bedroom that rented for $150 a month. The girl who lived there before me was atomic bomb inventor Robert Oppenheimer’s granddaughter.

My life became a litany of jobs: La Hacienda, City Light Café, Poncé Bakery, LaSalles, That’s a Pizza, Juanita’s, The Brick Works, and Harringtons. Within a year I had produced my first original play. Within five years I had created my first newspaper, started performing comedy and promoted my first shows. Within 10 years I had run for City Council, started a concert series and been published internationally. Within 15 years, I had started a record label and a music festival and gotten Web presence. But it has only been in the last two years that I have been manifesting my biggest dream to date, a Community Performing Arts Center for Chico in the Senator Theatre.

The other night at Rick Keene’s last council meeting, our nonprofit that runs the Senator received a unanimous vote to receive a grant that would allow us to buy the Senator. While stunned myself, I know how much hard work everybody involved in this project has volunteered, so it’s no wonder, but it still feels like a miracle to me.

So, to the city of Chico and councilmembers, to all the employers who gave me a chance, to the Senator volunteers, to the Chico community, to the musicians who played all those free shows, to those crazy, hard-drinking Duffy’s actors, to friends who have gone and to those still stubborn enough to put up with all of my shit, THANKS!