RIP: On Friday Ed Grundy passed away after a long life
shortly after a memorable Fall Cider Club event.
Alameda Creek, going east between Beard Staging and Isherwood is near my house; going west you can go all the way to Coyote Hills and San Franciso Bay.
San Franciso Bay Blues, a song written by Jessie “LoneCat” Fuller, was one of “those” songs —Freight Train/ Elizabeth Cotten; Cocaine Blues/Dave Von Ronk; Baby Let Me Follow You Down/ Bob Dylan; I Am A Rovin’ Gambler/Ramblin’ Jack Elliot; Spike Driver Blues & Stagolee/ John Hurt; which most every picker in th 1960s tried to learn.
NOTE: Except for Freight Train which (I believe) was written by Cotten the others were traditional songs but the guitar part was an envied creation by the performer.
I try to walk four miles everyday —speed walk. In Spring 2007 with my son in college I moved my office home and I started walking four miles daily— I cannot run as it bothers my knees, and I walk along on the dirt beside side the black top trail—then it took 50 minutes. At 74 years it takes me a little over an hour, or more if I meet someone I know and have a conversation, or sometimes I meet someone I never met before and we have a conversation, either way its interesting.
Its a levee built up to prevent the annual over flow of the creek, the area used to be farm land, now its houses, town houses, condos and some apartments though not in my immediate neighborhood. The Union City BART station is about five- ten minutes from my house, and it takes about 50 minutes to downtown San Francisco. Ihave an elder ClipperCard so it costs me about $4.40 roundtrip with Saturdays, Sundays and holidays free parking while weekdays are $3.00 until 3:00PM when it becomes free parking until the next morning .
The levee along the creek is a couple of minutes walk from my house, maybe 8 houses away. Along the creek there are always things to capture one’s interest . . . stories of natural excitement and tension . . .
and moments of simple textures and patterns.
And people that I meet,
And the folks I meet ain’t always kind
Some are bad and some are good
Some have done the best they could
Some have tried to ease my troubled mind
Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound, Tom Paxton
Actually most of the people I meet along the creek are, for the most part joined by a common purpose of getting some exercise along this beautiful creek, but then, the song is more about life than it is walking or riding along Alameda Creek just to get some exercise.
Amherst, MA, a 50’s Buick, a country porch and a bell.
Tobacco drying barns
and the promise of moving sky’s
Someone told me I was not aggressive enough, it could be that I wanted something pure & clean and at the same time wanted happiness. Another person said I was too easy on myself . . . I don’t know whether that meant they wanted something else, or I had no ambition . . .
but being in the city? does it bring you back to life, or like for Rousseau, the city is human corruption. Everywhere people are born free and spend their life seeking to live in chains.
What is that one thing about a photograph that makes a human connection, that single thing which no other two-dimensional image can claim, perhaps it a taste of never perfect cosmic truth, not like line, or color. But its really good to see boys, bikes & girls.
From my kneads and knews, I too was constrained to cry out for attention wherever I could get it from, there was no standard, no rules a little here , a little there, sometimes it got me through the night, or a promise of another day.
Its knot when its easier, two young men in a photograph, I no knowthing about them, how hard or easy their life is. A small peace of my life, a small piece of theirs, which together for a shared moment . . . we forget our troubles, our happiness comes out, its the taking of the photograph which is the drug itself.
I could ponder . . . or I could make it simple, the zen of feeting or
or the feat of zenning . . .
Its not as if we had a choice, or did not have a choice, but moving to the Bay Area I never had to dress like this or watch my breath condense in the air again. Photo circa 1977, Central Square between Western Ave and River Street on the river side, near the apex one or two blocks from Mass Ave.