I haven't written in a long time and although i've not been as prolific as i once was with my postings i do like to check in now and then and just pass along some news and such from the old stomping grounds..
First of all a big thanks to you Ted for continuing keeping this wonderful site on the web, i smile every-time i look and see that it's still here! Awesome..
Here in Southern Oregon and Cave Junction life is as you would expect, and that is quite scary and intense, and that's on a good day. Between the Pandemic and the fires it's hard to tell which one keeps me up at night more, but as most of you are already aware of the pandemic and it's repercussions on everyone's life i shall tell you about the fires that are currently ravaging the area. I know that many of you who live on the West coast are dealing with this catastrophic fire season and it's hard to find anywhere west of the Rockies that is not somehow being effected by the many huge fires that are burning. Here in CJ and the Illinois Valley we are dealing with the "Slater" fire which started early last week by Happy Camp and within 24 hours had spread to the entire southern end of our valley causing mandatory evacuations at Sunstar, Takilma, O'Brien and all the way around to the browntown/Tarder Gulch area. There are three levels of evacuation orders: Level 3 which is go now, level 2 which is be ready to go immediately, and level 1 which is be aware and have evacuation plans in mind. Currently we here at Hays Cut-off are on level 2, spitting distance from level 3 which starts down at Takilma road and goes to Holland, the Oregon Cave National Monument, and all the way back around to Waldo and O'Brien and south into Gasquet. Cave Junction proper is on level 2 and that goes to Sauer's flats and then it's level 1 from there to Hays Hill...
Yesterday they implemented level 3 to everyone behind the Holland store..Tartar Gulch, Beebe Dr, Browntown road, etc, including of course the area where Sunnyridge was. They're allowing the Holland store to remain open but with extreme vigilance being asked for..
Evacuees are currently being allowed to stay at Jubilee Park here, and at The Josephine County Fairgrounds in Grants Pass..
The smoke has been...well, insane to put it mildly. At times it's literally less than you can throw a rock, with headlights needed to drive in the middle of the day. The Air quality scale goes up to 500, and that's where we've been for a week. We've been lucky in that we have an air-purifier that helps keep the air here in the house bearable...
As of this morning things are in stasis as far as fire growth, air quality, and evacuation levels throughout the valley. The intense smoke does have one positive aspect and that is it keeps fire growth down due to the inversion and lack of winds around the fire..we all get nervous when we see the leaves flutter or branches move!
As for resources to fight the fire, we have crews from all over doing hand-lines and Cat-lines but no air support because of the poor visibility and also because helicopters and bombers are engaged elsewhere at other fires..
Speaking of other fires that brings me to "The Almeda" fire over in the Rogue Valley which also started the same day as this fire. That fire started at the north end of the city of Ashland and because of 40 to 50 MPH winds it raged up the valley and reached South Medford within a very short time. The intensity and speed at which it roared through the Rogue Valley was..mind-boggling. For those of you familiar with the area, the towns of "Talent" and "Phoenix" were almost wiped of the map, with most of those cities being burned. Many lives have been lost and the scope of this entire situation is like something out of an Armageddon movie..truly hard to fathom and wrap the mind around..
I'm still DJing with our local radio station, "105.7 FM Cave Junction". The station has been wonderful in providing up-to-date info to the valley, dealing directly with fire officials and having live broadcasts from the daily updates that fire officials try to get out to the public as much as possible...
I wish i was writing under a more serene time and didn't have such grave information to pass along, but i thought maybe you would like to hear from someone who's here. Hopefully we'll all get through this and that distant memory of "normality" will once again occur, until then keeping very vigilant and wary, with a good dose of worry and angst thrown in for good measure..
Stay well, stay safe, and send lots of good thoughts, we need all that we can get..
From Rita Downs ( Thursday July 23rd, 2020, 01:51 PM ) Email address: [email protected]
For those of you in the Takilma area in the late sixties you may remember Lila Rockey who lived at Talsalsen but was a frequent visitor. She died on July 2, 2020 at age 98 and lived her final years in Truth or Consequences, NM. She was fun, creative, active and beautiful. She walked everywhere, had many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and could give you an update on any one of them. She brought a lovely energy into my life. I miss her.
Hey, to search for something or someone on this site, type this in the address bar:
then leave a space and add a word, a name, or a phrase
From Jana Stacy ( Wednesday June 03rd, 2020, 04:46 PM ) Email address: [email protected]
Wow, can't believe I found this, I lived at the crystal palace for about 2 months in around 1971. There is a tall guy I owed my life to for carrying me across the ford when the water was up. A great community but the damp weather was too much at the time
Hey, thanks for the updates on family and Cave Junction! (by the way, Kelsey's kid is adorable!)
Congratulations on the section D show!
I can imagine the pollination factor is a real debate.
Glad you are still living the rural life!
From Mij Notae ( Saturday June 15th, 2019, 08:09 PM ) Email address: [email protected]
Wow! I can't believe i haven't checked into this site for so damn long, that's a crime against proper etiquette! Hello everyone i hope this message finds everyone healthy and happy! Writing you from here in the still beautiful ( But not AS beautiful ) Illinois Valley. I'm not even sure what to say and where to start! Well first of all I'm doing good and so is the rest of the family that is still alive and kicking. I'm still residing here on Hays cut off with two of my brothers ( Mike and Patrick ) Sue still lives in town with one of her daughters Kelsey. My other brother rick is still living in Las Vegas.. The rest of the nephews and nieces are scattered about Oregon hither and thither, and a few are out of state in various parts of the country... So what the hell is new or different here that some of you may want to know! Well not a lot! LOL! Actually there has been some major changes in the agriculture aspect of the Valley. As you probably know, there has been a MAJOR amounts of marijuana grown here the last 12 yrs or so, either through medical marijuana or in the past few years, Recreational marijuana. The Medical has pretty much been pushed down and squeezed into a tiny corner in the over-all scheme of things and recreational took over, but now the big change is all the people growing Hemp. A company called CVS is pouring millions of dollars into the valley, opening up hemp farms all over. Fields that have lain fallow since I've been here are being plowed and planted with hemp, literally many thousands of plants. The die-hard medical growers are of course VERY worried about the pollination factor and it's quite the topic of conversation for many people. I myself never hopped on the marijuana bandwagon, we didn't want to clear-cut our land which we'd need to do to be able to grow with any efficiency or production. So instead of driving new cars and having more damn money than we know what to do with like A LOT of people in the valley, we still drive old beaters, have tarps for a roof, and basically live a very basic lifestyle in comparison to so many valley residents whom have made millions doing the massive grows..but we still have our damn trees! LOL! ( Mom would be happy! ) Businesses have come and gone and a few have lasted these many years..Taylor's, Wild River, Siskiyou Market, Dairy Queen, Shop Stupid and a few others are still around.."Grocery Outlet" opened-up right next door to Shop Stupid and we have a "Dollar general" at the North end of town. A long-time institution of the Valley, The Red Gater Saloon just closed it's doors. The "Red Garter Saloon, formerly "The Chit Chat" and then "Joe Mamas" closed it's doors for good a couple of weeks ago. It's been a business in this town since i've been here which is a long effin' time!It's going to be kinda weird for things like all the Class Reunions over the 4th, the Gutter( Everyone referred to it as The Gutter! ) is where EVERYONE went to meet and catch-up. And speaking of said class reunions me and Patrick graduated in 79' and have our 40th coming up over the 4th..back when i didn't have to have somebody chew my damn food for me! LOL! But there is some positive aspects to the local social scene, one of which is a new radio station which has been up for a little over two years now. It's "KXCJ LP 105.7 FM Cave Junction". I've been a DJ for about a year and a half, doing an all Vinyl show on Saturdays from noon to 3:00PM called "The Section D Show" with Mij Notae. I play all of our album collection which ranges from the 60's through the 80's. We have lot's of DJ's each doing their own show type, everything from heavy metal to Folk music and everything in between. There are some syndicated shows too..the times that there's no DJ's or syndicated shows a "Loop" plays for filler, comprising of various songs. We also stream live, just go to our website "KXCJ.org" and click on the "Listen button" There's also a schedule and other things on the website. It's weird streaming live, my girlfriend is over in Germany right now and she listened to my show today! AAAHHH technology! Anyway check it out if you get a chance! I'm going to sign off for now, i'm so pleased to see that you still have this site up and running Ted, it's really awesome... Peace to all.. Jimmy.
New history page called Nineteen Sixty-Eight Amazing photo thanks to Barbara W. Click on HISTORY IN PICTURES then click GROUPS then NINETEEN SIXTY-EIGHT
From michelle silver ( Thursday November 23rd, 2017, 09:22 AM ) Email address: [email protected]
gigantic smile on my face
looked at the pictures
filled with love
From ted ( Saturday July 15th, 2017, 07:47 AM )
Here's the truck
From Denise Willey ( Thursday July 13th, 2017, 08:26 PM ) Email address: [email protected]
Sorry, can't get picture to post. Will post it on the FB page...
From Denise Willey ( Thursday July 13th, 2017, 08:20 PM ) Email address: [email protected]
This is the original truck my mom and I arrived in when we came to Sunnyridge. Though a little worse for wear it sits under an Oak tree on my mom's land in Mt. Shasta still. My mom traded our old Rambler for this truck and built a redwood camper on the back and we left Berkeley for adventures elsewhere...Sunnyridge was definitely one of them!!!
From Ted ( Monday May 22nd, 2017, 04:05 PM )
I added a new "history page" to this website. Click "HISTORY IN PICTURES"..."HISTORY"..."WOODSTOCK 69"
From Jewel Star ( Wednesday May 10th, 2017, 03:05 PM ) Email address: [email protected]
Found my two posts & pics in Archive 50! Until next time . . .
Hi Alice! I was wondering if you check in on this page. I do from time to time to see if there are any updates from those I knew at Sunnyridge. I'm the one who forgot to put on my top in time before your folks showed up and took the pic that is on the sliding bar above. I was squatting next to Phip and next to Peter. So fun to see your pics. I posted some in a past comment, but I'm not seeing the old posts anywhere. I'll keep looking. Would love to know how your life went after you took off with Mike. You would have known me as Julie, I know go by Jewel Star. Are you living back east now? Here is a pic of the guy I left Sunnyridge for. We were the only two single girls there at the time.
It is is generally acknowledged that even into the early 1960’s, although nothing remained of Browntown proper, there were extensive remnants of old mining cabins and mining relics scattered throughout the surrounding area. In 1967, a “hippie” commune known as Sunny Ridge was established on an old mining claim on Blind Sam Gulch, which is somewhat near Browntown. At one time, nearly 100 people were said to have lived on the commune (enough so that about half of the native population of the Illinois Valley claims to have been born at Sunny Ridge – a few of them probably were) until they were evicted from the claim by BLM in the late 1970’s or so. It is generally believed that during that decade, many of the original mining structures and relics in the vicinity were recycled by the residents of Sunny Ridge in an effort to put “junk” to some sort of practical use for their social experiment.
From Ted ( Sunday March 26th, 2017, 01:05 PM )
Hi Alice. Not much going on here these days. Facebook is easier and old hippies have other concerns.
From Alice Mager ( Friday March 24th, 2017, 01:43 PM ) Email address: [email protected]
Ran across a blog recently. The link above takes you to it. More news about Reva and her kids.
My novel Disappear Home begins in a hippie commune in the early 1970s. Reva, my sister-in-law, her husband and their kids lived on one such commune, Sunnyridge, in southern Oregon, shown here in the summer of 1970. Though the specifics of their daily lives were never mentioned, when I met them I was captivated by their free-spirited, non-materialistic way of seeing the world. For a brief time, when her marriage began to unravel, Reva left Sunnyridge, bringing her three kids, Eva, Aura, and Indra, back east to live near her parents. In their chaotic New Haven apartment Reva sprouted beans in the bathtub, baked bread, cultured her own yogurt. After a few months they went back to Oregon. I idolized Reva, and in my novel took some pieces of her experience, adding what I’d read about communes like The Hog Farm in California and the notorious Manson Family to create a fictional commune that felt authentic. Over the last day or so I have been working on publicity stuff and came upon the Sunnyridge Commune website. It blew my mind, not because it was so different from the picture I had in my head, but because it looked just as I’d imagined; unromantic and hardscrabble, the opposite of a peace and love utopia. Part of this is my belief that no matter how idealistic people are, they are only human. Left socially unchecked, hierarchies form, and power is abused. This is not a possibility, but a given. It was kind of eerie to be validated retrospectively, to discover Sunnyridge, the real-life commune, looking practically identical to the fictional Sweet Earth Farm commune in my head. What a strange trip, to borrow hippie vernacular, that a place cobbled together from factual fragments and wholesale imagination came so close to being accurate, that somehow this reality is based on an untrue story.
There is a tribute page for Thom Miley now. Click "HISTORY IN PICTURES" and then "PEOPLE" to find the page. Feel free to add a message and if you have any pictures to add to the slideshow (only one presently) just send them to me or upload yourself. Thanks.
From Ted for - Melinda Lightfoot ( Sunday May 22nd, 2016, 01:01 PM )
May 1 at 6:39pm · From Melinda Lightfoot...
Hello everyone, We have a date for the planned friends and family gathering in remembrance and honor of Thom: Saturday, August 6. Don’t have any other set plans yet, but most likely the time will be something like 11 am to 2 or 3 pm. We may reserve a picnic area in San Pedro Valley Park, or may hold it indoors where it will be cooler. More details will follow, Just wanted you all to be able to mark your calendars now. Some of you will know other old friends to share this invitation with. For all of you, please let me know whether or not you plan to come so that we can plan appropriately for the number of people. Lastly, thank you all for your prayers and expressions of sympathy. It all helps!
From Ted for - Melinda Lightfoot ( Sunday May 22nd, 2016, 12:59 PM )
A message from Melinda Lightfoot (Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 2:16 AM) "Thom passed away quietly this evening about 9 pm. He was comfortable and not in pain. He had been unresponsive for several days, and had stopped eating and drinking. He had some respiratory distress earlier this evening when I was there, but they put him on oxygen and then gave him liquid morphine to slow his breathing rate. It worked, and once he was breathing calmly and I thought he’d be okay for the night, I left to go home. Then after about 20 minutes, the nurse called to tell me he was gone."
From Ted ( Monday March 28th, 2016, 06:02 PM )
Elizabeth just sent this:
"The situation seems much improved. Thom is talking and it may be that he will be out of ICU in a few days. Have just arrived in Oakland and will see Ethan later today."
Ethan Miley and Elizabeth have reported that Thom Miley is gravely ill.
They are currently with him in California. His grandson told me in the school where I work that Thom's kidneys failed and he can't even talk and probably won't last long. I will post any new information here and on Facebook for friends and family.
From Mij ( Monday February 08th, 2016, 07:53 PM )
Thank you Ted..we all appreciate the kind words and thoughts, it's been tough one for sure. We have decided to do a celebration of his life on April 9th and of course the invitation extends to anyone whom might like to attend. It will be here at the Homestead... It's cool to be checking into here again and writing a bit, i'll try to do it more often..
From Teddy ( Sunday February 07th, 2016, 12:35 PM )
Wow, that's a heavy loss, Mij. A brother. Family. Hope your whole family is sharing the great attitude I notice in your post. Celebrate his life...yes!
From Mij ( Saturday February 06th, 2016, 07:09 PM )
Wow, i haven't written on here in so long i'm not sure how the heck to do it! Well, here it goes.. First of all i'd like to say hello to everyone and i hope the world is treating you all better than a baby treats a diaper! A special howdy-do to you Mr. and Mrs. Pilger as it's only by your amazing fortitude and gracious generosity that this site continues to shine its light. I have to say i was unsure as to whether it was still up and going as i've been very neglectful in my checking in and annoying everyone.. The Eaton family and Sunnyridge have a very....special connection. Our family would not be here were it not for the amazing happenstance of my oldest brother Bob coming through and visiting Sunnyridge back in 1969 along with so many others whom found themselves drawn to this special niche in the world. The commune was a beacon that somehow and someway reached out to people..people like my brother whom found himself here with a bunch of strangers on a hill in the middle of the woods living a lifestyle that was at that time pretty much unheard of and considered..well, crazy! lol! He was so enthralled and taken with it that he went back to Phoenix Arizona where the Eaton clan had resided for almost 30 yrs and told my dad all about Sunnyridge. My dad came and visited and the rest as they say, is history... It is with a sad heart that i tell you my brother Bob passed away on Wednesday..i could give you all sorts of details but suffice to say he'd been wrestling with health issues. He just couldn't keep up the fight anymore and as is the way of life he came full circle and it was his time to go... I want to mention how AMAZING my sister has been and send out a special big hug to her for the stoic and gracious way in which she has dealt with this whole thing..everyone has been awesome and i'm so glad that i've been blessed with the great fortune of having such an amazing family.. As for funeral plans and such, Bob requested to be cremated and his ashes will be spread over a place he had chosen and although there will be no public funeral the family is planning a celebration of his life in early April, i can provide more information as that time draws near...... I will try to write more often on here ( I could just hear a collective "Oh No"!! ) It's easy to get caught up in all the things that seem so important we forget to do the little things that make it pleasurable, like getting on here and allowing myself the contentment of writing unintelligible diatribes..i do have to say that I'm still a bit..scatter-brained? My thoughts are not very conducive to getting on a social website and putting words into intelligible sentences and paragraphs so i will say adieu for now. Peace and good fortune to all.....
From Elizabeth Blake ( Thursday January 14th, 2016, 08:00 AM ) Email address: [email protected]
It's still all there in our hearts. Loving kindness to all
From barbara weinstein ( Wednesday January 13th, 2016, 11:33 AM ) Email address: [email protected]
may we live in all time. namaste
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