Under The Persimmon Tree & other Big Sur stories.

Below are the recordings of the Under The Persimmon Tree conversations. (scroll down a bit ). The two most recent being Sam Goldeen and Tiger Windwalker. Please check back often or, better yet, join us Sunday, November 17 for our conversation with Big Creek manager Mark Readdie (more of the program listed to the left).

You can download the audio file by clicking to the right of the sound bar.

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11.10.19 Tiger Windwalker

A talk with Tiger Windwalker. We speak of Tiger’s book Walk In Beauty, a little of his childhood, Ma Prita, Paul Herbert, Multiple passed lives and how we are bifurcated and individuated so that we can experience for the greater consciousness out there and how Tiger understands that we at one point will merge with all that is in a more complete form.   

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Sam Goldeen / photo © Gabriel Hyppolite

02.28.2015 Sam Goldeen

A conversation with Sam on February 28, 2015. We talk of Sam’s childhood and some of his family’s immigrant background in Ukraine, in fact from a small town named Poltava. Esalen, meeting Eby, Judith Goodman, Jeff Norman and much much more…Wish we had spoken a lot longer!!! Very grateful to Sam for sharing stories and information. / Sam passed away on August 2, 2017 at the age of 90.

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11.03.19 Susan Shillinglaw

Susan knew very little of John Steinbeck when she got the job to direct the Steinbeck Center. Lucky her! Many years later Susan has published several books about John Steinbeck, written hundreds of papers and given thousands (?) of lectures. She found in Steinbeck someone to love and revere…you can hear it in her voice. Hope you will enjoy listening to this conversation.

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Mary Lu, Magnus and Terry

10.27.19 Terry Gilbey

Director of Esalen Institute, Terry Gilbey, explains what the Human Potential Movement is and much more! A great afternoon of finding out a little more about who Terry is, what Esalen does, and some of the hopes for the future. We also discuss the virtue of wearing, or not wearing, wire pyramids! (-: (Please excuse the artifacts that crept into the sound).

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10.20.19 Frank Pinney

Frank carries two sticks and does a power walk every morning before he has anything to eat! Frank Pinney was offered a job by Larry Spector in 1972, he was the caretaker for Loet Vanderveen and was one of the founding members of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade. About first meeting Kathy Frank says “a person looked up at me with two deep blue green…pools…I just took a dive into those eyes and I’ve been threading water ever since!”

As always we are only able to take brief tours into memories from a long rich life. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to talk again! Thank you Frank!

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10.13.19 Ian Brennan

As we were starting this conversation the Animal Collective was setting up for their show so we decided to go into the canyon behind the Library to talk. A small group of about ten of us sat together on a long redwood log. We had a good talk that included an exploration of what is ‘good’ and ‘honest’ in music.  Here is a: Link to the book on Amazon.

Some things that Ian says in the interview:

“If the Beatles came out today people would probably yawn and roll their eyes.”

“I don’t know that anybody should make money playing music.”

“Ed Sheeran just broke the all time touring record ever, for anyone, making more money than anyone in the history of touring and if that’s not a sign of the coming apocalypse then I don’t know what is!”

“Music is free and that is its destiny so we have to fight for that actively.”

Please let us know if you have any comments!

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09.29.19 Butch Kronlund

Butch is talking about his early childhood and upbringing, meeting Patte, arriving in Big Sur to build the foundations for the entire Post Ranch Inn, working with Mickey Muennig on several private homes, helping to build our new Health Center and re-building the baths at Esalen!!  We also hear about how in more recent years Butch has helped to raise and distribute funds for people in need after floods and fires. Today Butch is working on the Destination Management Plan for Big Sur. 
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09.22.19 Isabella Tree, author of WILDING.

A very inspiring book. Let us start to visualize some re-wilding of Big Sur in the near future! It was an honor for us to have Isabella and her husband Charlie visit us!

The books is available at the HMML. (and of course on Amazon etc.)

Visit the Knepp Estate Online.
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09.16.19 David Price

David talks with Magnus on September 16, 2019, of Poland, Music, Acting, Managing Esalen, the re-building of the baths, memories of Nepenthe, his father Dick Price,  Alan Watts and much, much more. Thank you David. What a wonderful way to catch up!

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09.15.19 Jaci Pappas

Jaci speaks of her life in Big Sur as well as some of her life prior to arriving in Big Sur. Her memories of working for Willie Brown in Sacramento are of particular interest! (-:    |    Thank you Jaci.

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08.25.19 Senator Bill Monning

The Honorable Bill Monning at the microphone garnered the distinction of being at the mic the longest of anyone so far (!) and despite this honor the following is of course just a sampling of all the rich experiences that Senator Monning has had throughout his life. This afternoon I think many of us were particularly intrigued, and unaware of, Bill’s work for peace in Iraq. Visit: https://sd17.senate.ca.gov/ Please listen.    |    Thank you Bill!

Kirk Gafill 08.18.19

Kirk speaks of his childhood in Big Sur, the Nepenthe family, his community engagement and as so often with these conversations you are left wanting so much more! Thank you for what you shared with us Kirk!

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Martha Diehl 08.12.19

Many of us know Martha through her service on the Monterey County Planning Commission including two terms as Chairman. She also has served on the Institute for Canine Studies, a Non profit organization engaged in developing a facility and program to teach people to train dogs to help people, she is one of the founding members of the Garrapata Creek Watershed Council. 

She is United States Coast Guard licensed as Master of Steam and Motor Vessels of any gross tons upon oceans, Radar Observer (retired), served in the maritime industry as deck officer on seagoing vessels worldwide, last 8 years as Master of cable installation and repair vessel with crews of up to 94 people.  Listen and you’ll find out a lot more! Thank you Martha!

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07.28.19 Barbara Bullock-Wilson

Barbara is the older daughter of master mid-twentieth century photographer Wynn Bullock and his wife Edna who pursued her own successful career as a fine art photographer after his death.

In addition to her management of Bullock Family Photography LLC, Barbara is currently serving as the editorial consultant for a new feature-length documentary film on her father. Appreciating the potentials of her parents’ art to inspire and transform, she is enthusiastic about sharing it with others as well as dedicated to preserving their legacies for future generations.
A wonderful afternoon with a big audience of fans of Barbara present! Please listen in on it!


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07.21.19 Supervisor Mary Adams

Thank you Mary for coming down to us to share some personal stories. About her Kentucky roots, move to California, early visits to Big Sur, some stories from school, work, family on the road to becoming our Supervisor. Audience questions are included with stories about young Mary at the Grape Strikes! A good way to get to know Mary a bit better.

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07.14.19 Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts

Elliot is Professor Emeritus at Monterey Peninsula College where he taught composition, literature, public speaking and humanities for 32 years, he serves as Vice President of the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation in Carmel, California and he served for many years on the Board of the Henry Miller Library including as Chair of the Library Board.

Elliot reads from his recently published White Fire.

We here of some of his life on the Peninsula and his many years of public service in the arts. Thank you Elliot!

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Steve Beck 07.08.19

Steve Beck has lived and worked in Big Sur for many years and has had a deep connection to this land. It shows in this interview where Steve talks of his home, his gardening and love of home as well as his service on the LUAC (Land Use Advisory Council) and much much more….

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06.30.19 Bradley Zeve

This Sunday, June 30, the inaugural afternoon for the 2019 series of conversations, we welcomed Bradley Zeve.

Stories help shape the way a community sees itself – where it’s been and where it’s going, its individual personality and perspectives – what makes it different from other places. Or like Library Board member, Susan Zsigmond, said:

Bradley is the  founder & CEO of Monterey County Weekly newspaper, founded in 1988 and in its 31st year, still independently owned and operated.  

Bradeley speaks of sitting on the newspaper’s editorial board, serving as the Free Speech Chair of the national Association of Alternative Newsmedia, and his time serving on its executive committee.  He is past-president of the California Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. He has served on the boards of KAZU-FM radio and Landwatch Monterey County.

We talked of all that and more! A perfect start for a series of conversations. Bradley is generous, fun and forthcoming! Thank you!

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Every community has its own story to tell.

“Stories are what give life to a place, a place without stories is nowhere.”

Thanks for listening.

One of the reasons we do this is to remind one another of our shared humanity, our shared love of this place Big Sur, to strengthen and build the connections between us, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters.

We also hope that the project will help further the understanding of the awesome responsibility that was placed upon the Big Sur community thirty years ago when Leon Panetta, our congressman at the time, suggested that the long term protection of the coast would be left largely in the hands of the Big Sur community. We are also creating an audio archive for the future.