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!