Thursday, March 1, 1984
Day 1, Gaviota to 4 miles west of Ellwood, 14 miles approx. Nuclear-Free Pacific Day, Overnight at Casa de Maria
Where does one begin? Well, perhaps early in the morning. It wasn’t an easy sleep. I woke up several time worried that my watch wasn’t correctly set, however, morning came at 4:30 a.m. to be exact and I was up hoping that everyone else would be up as well. They were, whew! In fact, Cary’s light was on and there wasn’t any stillness left in the Casa Ysidro dorm. There has been a great place to stay even thought I haven’t even walked around the grounds, just constantly on the move. Lots of calls made, few responses. So be it! It was morning and time for us to begin. I moved wordlessly around, jumped in the shower. It was hot and beat strongly on my tired face. What is this a novel?
Well, anyhow, we got off at 5:25 a.m. and we fetched Victor at 5:30 a.m. It was funny walking down the lane to his house. Very dark, and I wondered if he would be ready? But he was, there standing by the door. He couldn’t recognize me at first until I got in the light, then I reminded him that I was there the other day. I led him out to the driveway and he at once began to weave tales of bygone days. He is truly a great human-being. We got into the van and started off, finally on our way. I looked to the east furtively at the now lightening sky and wondered if we would make it to the Western Gate in time. One the way, Victor Sky Eagle would weave stories, anecdotes, and memories about his days in the navy, or the circus, or his travels as a young man.
We zipped out of town and it seemed that the sun was rushing to rise. Finally, the sign for Gaviota appeared and I knew we were close to the Holister Ranch. We drove past the park entrance and up the road to the guard house. Again, doubts crossed my mind . What if there was a hitch and we weren’t allowed in? Well, finally the gate was in sight. We pulled up and I spoke to the gatekeeper. “Guests of Jim …. (I almost forgot his name) Shrack! O.K. sign this here and one here. Gads, more paperwork! Again I look to the east, the sky was reddening brightly now. Let’s go, speed writing please!
Off again, now where and how far to go? San Augustine was said to be 15 minutes away. We drove on. Pass two trestles I thought, the next one must be it. Around another curve but no it was only Sacate Beach, only a 1/3 of the way after driving ten minutes. Quick decision time! I told Tony to turn around somewhat unsure. Victor said the beach was up ahead. I looked up to the sky, not enough time! The sun was almost up! Sacate Beach! Well, we drove back to the entrance, drove down and over the RR tracks and it looked o.k. We walked down to the beach and it felt good. As Victor prepared for the ceremony, the sun crested the ridge. Spiderwebs of golden dewy light spun down from the ridge. It was a heavenly pattern.
Victor was ready. He placed us around the circle in four directions and the ceremony began. First, purification, sage. I love the smell of burning sage. It brings back powerful images from the Long Walk for Survival. After he smoked us all, he began to sing his prayers. Beautiful words that I couldn’t translate yet could understand. Victor can speak eight languages and he’s only 85! The ceremony was very strong for me. Victor spoke of many things but one message that really stayed with me was health. Spiritual health for myself, for the earth, for all creatures and people. During the ceremony, I saw an otter on its back in the water a short distance away.
The ceremony lasted about 30-45 minutes and I was very thankful for his presence. I showed Victor the Buddhist drum that I was carrying and he said that if wanted to beat it and say a prayer that was fine. That was already in my mind. I beat the drum and chanted for about five minutes then bowed to the sun which was warming up our bodies by now. Afterwards, we stood on the beach and looked about. I picked up a couple of rocks and touched the water to say thanks. Shortly thereafter, some fins appeared in the water – dolphins! About eight to ten of them just off shore! They must have heard the drum! I took it out and began to beat it and they seemed to slow down and several stopped to look at us. A couple of them flapped their tales at us. Wow, my first sight of dolphins in their natural state. And they were there to check us out! They are magnificent beings!
Then two sea lions appeared. They also came to check us out! They looked at us and we at them and we exchanged greetings. They moved on as did the dolphins. Soon after, Cary spotted whales out in the water and sure enough there they were spouting geysers of air and water. It is truly a great place for a ceremony! It was as if they all came to give us their blessings for our journey. Well, we finally had to leave and we proceeded out to the gate and down the road to the park where Cary, and I got out to stay while Tony and Adele took Victor back to town. Tony got back very quickly and I said we should check one place put for some media because I might have told one camera crew the wrong location. As Tony and myself drove out of the park, the park ranger was talking to a local about a launch of a missile from Vandenberg AFB at 10:00 am. As soon as Tony and I drove past the ranger shack, we looked out of the van and there was the missile searing the sky with its hot fiery tongue streaking upward quickly out of the atmosphere! Wow! Intense day and it was only 10:00 am. It seemed very ironic that this missile went off on March 1, Nuclear-Free Pacific Day! This was the 30th year since the first hydrogen test, (thermonuclear), at Bikini Island. Well, that is the Air Force for you. It wasn’t a nuclear test this time yet the irony or coincidence was too hard to ignore. There wasn’t any media at the other location, so we went back to the beach and it was time to start. We formed a circle on the beach and just a few words were said. Let us walk in peace and love, and we’re off.
A great day to begin! Lizards! Thousands of them, well I lost count at 179 but plenty more scampered along the side of the road. Sometimes they stop and glare at us for disturbing their daily sunning. Lizards always glare. Hawks – big hawks- screeched at us in the first couple of miles. We walked about fourteen to fifteen miles today, a good first day. Tony and I finished off the day at a good clip at around 4 MPH. Then it was back to the Casa de Maria to get ready to our road show on to the next stay place.
I was a bit disappointed that none of the media folks that I had previously talked with had taken the time to show up. I hope our presence will be felt by others or just that we may dwell in our own peace of mind that we tried our best and we did it with integrity. A hearty dinner, a good sleep and a new day tomorrow, Ho, All My Relations! DJO
March 2, Thursday
Back along the busy expressway in the warm sun buffeted by the winds of passing trucks, several army convoys. A few toots of support, even one from an army car. Beautiful scenes along the way, pastures, meadows, mountains. I can’t keep up with the other walkers and feel I am holding them back so I must beg Dale to be a support driver, rest my feet, at least until my shoes catch up with me. My luggage is en route from L.A. via a friend who will join us today. We must workout and balance our responsibilities. Dale takes everything on himself. I hope he can keep up his own pace without affecting his health. So far no media response but we will be on the UC campus this afternoon, hope to reach people there. It was hard to leave the Casa de Maria retreat, beautiful gardens. A peaceful house to urselves, a good place to start. AK
Friday, March 2
Day 2, Ellwood to UCSB, 9 miles, Goleta Presbyterian Church, Day walkers – Shirrel Way, Margaret.
Adele - Back along the busy expressway in the warm sun, buffeted by the winds of passing trucks, several army convoys, a few toots of support – even one from an army car. Beautiful scenes along the way, pastures, meadows, mountains. I can’t keep up with the other walkers and feel I am holding them back so I must beg Dale to be a support driver, rest my feet at least until my shoes catch up to me. My luggage is en route from L.A. via a friend who will join us today. We must work out a balance of responsibilities. Dale takes everything on himself and I hope he can keep up his own pace without affecting his health. So far no media response, but we will be on the U.C. campus this afternoon, hope to reach people there. It was hard to leave the Casa de Maria retreat – beautiful gardens, a peaceful house to ourselves, a good place to start.
Cary – We are each of us beginning to get a sense of personalities, strengths and weaknesses. We seem to overlap well in skills and interests, but for some reason, (perhaps it is still too soon), we haven’t settled into a good give and take relationship. Tonight we worked through some problems which need never have become problems. There are a lot of different ways to state feelings. We haven’t yet worked out how to do it without causing unnecessary problems. This kind of thing will come. I am glad we are away from the freeway. Now we can hear ourselves think! I hope we can start talking with each other while walking. We hit our first college campus. It was pretty quiet, but the people who came over to talk were interested and interesting. We got one letter (written in Russian) to carry, and a ten dollar donation.
Saturday, March 3
Day 3, UCSB to downtown Santa Barbara, 13 miles, Stay at 312 East Sola St.
Dale – Started off the day with a pleasant walk by the ocean. Its comforting to hear the ocean waves crashing against the shore. There was something that is still sticking in my mind from the first day and that is while we were walking past a small school near Gariota, there was a playground with a jet fighter in it. Again, we see the way in which our values are formed while at a young age. The fantasies of a child can only be of flying with that jet in a conflict situation attacking, shooting etc. I know that was definitely the case with me when I was younger. Now if it was painted vibrant colors and labeled as a jet ambulance or mail carrier or peace jet then the imagery of war might be broken.
Sunday, March 4
Day 4, Santa Barbara to Carpenteria, 14 miles, stay with Ruth and Ted Berlin, Day walker Serena
Dale – Again, a bright sunny day. Started off with a sore foot. There is a need to have a down to earth, intense rap about what each individual see’s for themselves in this walk. There are several issues that are, of course hanging over the group. But, on the other hand it all relates to sensitivity, ego, consciousness and of course this relates to some of the more weighty issues that we confront every day whether it is the walk pace, banner carrying, or rest breaks and where they should be, its not the mechanics of these issues but the sensitivity or willingness to listen to one another and to have compassion for each other and this of course relates to racism, militarism, etc. if we only want to hear ourselves or think that my way is the only way, then we are on the wrong path and our message is false.
Cary –We had a great night with the Berlin’s. We talked politics all evening and watched it on TV as well. Very stimulating discussion. I think we were an encouragement to them and that the exchange of energy was a lift for all of us. It feels good to spread a little hope around. My feet are doing fine in spite of some blisters I must be getting healing from somewhere. We saw the dolphins again this morning as we walked along Rt. 101. It will be hot today but it is great to walk beside the ocean. Our personal dynamics are improving. We still need to so some talking, but I think our first “crisis” is over. Our next may arise when we have to deal with the desert. I have a feeling that that may not be as much of a problem as we suspect right now, however I am an optimist. We had our lunch on a tiny strip of beach hidden behind the rocks. While I stood for a while with my feet I the water and the gulls overhead eating food, prepared for us by friends who believe in what we are doing. I watched the pelicans eating food prepared by the sea. I have felt more intensity here than anywhere, yet the power waking in us. I will be sad to leave the sea. It has a strength for life that I doubt any nuclear holocaust could crush. We may sear the skin off the earth, but even afterwards, in the place where it all began, it would begin again.
Day 5, Monday March 5
Walked approx. 18 miles, Stayed with Ronnie Adams, Ron Hertz, Ventura CA.
Day 6, Tuesday, March 6
Walked approx. 20 miles, Stayed with Paul Kay, Oxnard, Ca.
Day 7, Wednesday, March 7
Walked approx. 20 miles, stayed with Helen Hatapoff, Malibu, Ca.
Dale – Well, here it is the 7th day! Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. We vigiled at Pt. Magu and were harassed, so to speak. No freedom of speech or religion either. No leafleting here, they say. We walked 20-22 miles today probably closer to 20 miles and tomorrow on towards L.A. We had two folks stop by the road to day and asked about the walk, one of those individuals had a daughter that was on the Bethlehem Peace Pilgrimage. Yesterday, we went to Pt. Magu from Ventura and got some radio play from KVEN and it was a long day of winding around streets to try and make our way to the base. When we got there, grim testimony to the work that goes on there. A missile park! Replicas of all the missiles, the daggers of death, they’ve tested. And the newest idol is at the front gate, the Cruise missile. Well, when we got there, we were a bit scattered and were not totally clear about our situation because none of us had been there before. But, ahead we went. We came up to the line where it said U.S. Govt. property and crossed over it without much thought. On toward the main gate to vigil. Well, traffic was going pretty thick out of the facility and we came up to the main gate but we were still scattered and unclear what we wanted to accomplish. It was apparent that the 2 military police officers were very agitated by our presence. So we crossed back to the side of the road to vigil but we weren’t together with unity and this was immediate so I said if we are not in unity then we should leave and I then said let’s go and we headed out. On our way out, the security stopped us. It seemed very unjust and I refused and said that I didn’t have I.D. for it seemed that we should have a right to walk peaceably. But with the government, these rights don’t exist! I asked the military commander why, but he said it was arbitrary who they would stop, so it is a message that we will carry with us. It was a good experience for us.
Later that evening, we had a small gathering and there was a young man from Kampochea, (Cambodia) and he was so humble in his manner, grateful for whatever was offered that he took a long time in accepting any food. He has no doubt been through a long and arduous journey, more than we can ever appreciate. Earlier in the day, at a park, a Hispanic man came to us because he saw we were a group of people who laughed and were happy and he was moved by that to approach us. His name was Prolencio (?) and he said that he was an alcoholic but he knew that with all of his faults, if he accepted Jesus, then Jesus will be with you. Any mistakes that he has made will be forgiven. He kept shaking my hand and showing his friendship and wanting to express his appreciation for our friendliness towards one another. Even with all his faults, he knew that if we were true to ourselves, we are with the lord. I was very moved by his empathy and sincerity.
Day 11, Sunday, March 11
March 8. Ah, the first rest day and a much needed one at that. It was quite a long haul but in a way I think it tested our fiber to see if we could make the grade. We are staying with David & Jackie for both the 10th and 11th. We’ll start walking tomorrow to Santa Monica from Malibu. Malibu was o.k. until we got closer to Santa Monica, then it got very busy and a lot of narrow space to walk and too much private beach to rest. I didn’t like that stretch at all. No place to eat lunch, hard to stop with the car and so on. But we did find some rocks to sit on underneath a house and that was nice. The ocean washing on the rocks just a few feet away. We had another intense discussion and I unloaded a lot of baggage that I had been carrying. But, of course problems crept up later. We finally made it to St. Agustines by the Sea. Several folks arrived to greet us, Steve Osgood, Jerry Rubin, David & Jackie and we all made our way over to the potluck at Barry and Shirley’s. Several folks showed up there and we had a nice round circle discussion on the peace walk but also discussion on other topics. The following morning we were going to walk to Los Angeles.
We started off the day 3/9/84 with a circle at the Rand Corporation across the street from city hall. A woman who worked in the mayor’s office came over and wished us well. I spoke to her the day before and she was going to get a letter from the mayor so we could bring that to Russia. Jerry Rubin arrived with a globe and a candle inside it for a brief vigil at the Rand headquarters. Following that, we proceeded to the park where the children’s tree of life was growing. Very simple and pro-life is what Tony mentioned. While walking towards L.A., we were joined by Sister Sawada, a Buddhist nun from the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order. It was a pleasure walking with her. I called a lot of media but alas to no avail as none of the contact came to document the walk. As we walked, our tension built and something as simple as a “Don’t Walk” sign could trigger problems and discord within the group. We really didn’t realize it but walking towards the downtown L.A. Civic Center on a Friday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. was an insane thing to do. Yet, we did it and as Pamela indicated to us later, a lot of people had seen us and we survived. Although it lead to a lot of tension, and as a result some of us lost our tempers, and Tony decided to fast and not walk the following day. I don’t know if this will continue or will it lead us to greater clarity, but the issues are the same communication, clarity, leadership, and purpose related issues that keep arising again and again. I see it as an evolving and continuing and learning process.
The next day we started off early and journeyed to the ocean to say goodbye to the Pacific. We had a ceremony to bless ourselves and bid a fond farewell. I then drove Adele and Cary to City Hall to start walking and then drove to see Chuck at the bakery. He was someone that we met on the journey and he gave me two boxes of food. He’s a real gem and he spoke of the fact of living in community with the same people for a couple of years. He talked about the confusion of not knowing what, where, why answers and that doubt will plague us time and time again. Should we continue or should we give up? Thoughts and insights that were comforting in respect to the strive that we found in our group. On this day, we were just down to two walkers but it was a pleasant journey, emotions were light that day and that is just what we needed. Our first ten days and I must say that it was a true test of our will and determination. There will be many more days ahead and we shall experience and I will try to look and listen and try to be aware and sensitive to all that comes into our reality. Try your best.
It seems strange to be leaving the walk after 11 days of high excitement, for me the fun is both the changing scenes and especially the evening sessions with people, where we all get encouragement and highs from each other, for us to continue the trek, for them to continue organizing in all their different groups and activities, from religious vigils to civil disobedience and jail terms. The walking itself is jut a chore to be done, like the phoning and mail and shopping. My reward is the people, I realize finally at Jackie and David’s house. (Physical fitness is a pretty good by-product, as my feet toughen up. But I still can’t walk fast enough or long enough to keep up with the others.) We all love talking about ourselves to a captive audience, although that will soon get boring as we fall into a set pattern. I hope the walk hangs together long enough to add the new people who will bring new vigor plus new conflict as they try to fit in. I wish there was a way to go slower so we could talk to people on the street, leave leaflets with them and have a bigger impact.
It’s amazing what a variety of experiences, conflicts, agreements, growth and change there has been in the past 11 days, a constant source of adrenalin pouring into the blood. It was good to hear David talking of his walk where people looked after each other when care was needed, but still there was constant turnover so that when the walk reached the East coast, there was a whole new cast of characters. Will this happen to this walk too? Can this walk withstand the different goals people bring? It’s like an ongoing soap opera, instant family-community with all its problems.
Our first rest day was great. It is amazing what 24 hours of rest can do. Tony, Dale, and I went to Friends Meeting with our hosts and talked with some of the people. They were very supportive. The house was beautiful with lots of gardens and big rooms and quiet. We all seemed to split up and be alone for a while, reading, writing letters, taking naps. We got some shopping done and some talking. We had a meeting in the afternoon. Some issues that had been vague to me now became clear. Money is among them. We need to put our bodies in to everyone’s satisfaction, but different ideas about the purpose of the walk are creating some conflicts about how money is spent. This will need to be worked out carefully. There are other important things that didn’t really get dealt with, such as vigils and leafleting. The walk cannot be all things to all people. Right now we have two very different perceptions of the way the walk should be and yet we have only one walk. And what will happen when others join?
We all had a spaghetti dinner that evening, our last with Adele. A friend of hers joined us and Dale went back to L.A. to get Sister Sawada, who could walk with us for a while. It was a great meal with good company. We said goodbye to Adele and her friend, cleaned up and went to bed. Tomorrow we will walk 20+ miles.
Jacqui Holt March, 12. I enjoyed meeting all of you. You are walking for all of us. Thank you. In peace and love, Jacqui.David Wayte, March 12.
It was a blessing to spend the week with you. Your warmth and enthusiasm filled our home with a beautiful energy. I hope that the diversity of your group continues to give you strength across the country. You are spreading light wherever you walk and bringing people together with your quiet inspiration. Tony with enthusiasm and intensity, Cary with her clear commitment to non-violence, Adele with her marvelous sense of humor, and Dale with his energy and vision. Peace be with all of you.
Dale, March 12.
I think Mondays always get a bad rap. This Monday was a pretty darn good day. We stared out around 8:00 a.m. with David & Jacqui and Sawada Angi-san. It’s great to have some fresh blood in the walk. We had a long day today, close to 20+ miles. A woman stopped us on the road and gave us a $25 donation. Great! We walked past some apartments and a man who apparently had just been woken up by the drums yelled at me to knock the drumming. I can understand that it is an infringement of his right to sleep in peace but on the other hand when I beat the drum, I’m praying for the children of the earth. Si where does the interest lie or where should one stand? Well, anyhow it was a day in which we passed through six communities maybe more. They all run into one another. Well. I was very tired and drove a lot. At one point during the latter part of the afternoon, I just had to stop and close my eyes for a bit. Well, I pulled into a parking lot and promptly fell asleep. Sure enough many visions and dreams zipped through my mind, then I heard the drums and opened my eyes to see the walkers arriving and a van pulled up and people spilled out of the van and more followed behind. About 25 people stared to walk with us. It was great! It gave the group a definite power-boost. We walked to a park and then had a brief vigil near the park. Jack Nouman was there just getting out of jail and he seemed just like I would have pictured him. There is a lot of character in his eyes and his face. I sense a deep intensity. At the meeting after dinner we just shared thoughts and perspectives but it was real close and in a very intimate level. People were very interested and we spoke from our hearts. Jack is someone I would like to spend some time with. He impressed me very much though we only spoke a few words. His presence was felt.
Day 13, 25 miles. March 13. Newman Center San Bernardino.
Day 14, 20 miles. Cary, March 14.
Right now it is so peaceful. I am in the car on a quiet little four-lane road that winds through rolling, grassy hills. There are lots of fluffy gray clouds but the sun is out and I can hear birds and insects and smell the grass and earth. It rained most of the morning. Tony and Dale are walking someplace behind me. We are almost through for the for the day. We had a break-time vigil outside of Norton AFB. We stayed for about 20 minutes and no one bothered us. Tony went for the car and Dale and I kept walking. We walked for about 20 minutes and then saw someone taking pictures of us. It was a reporter. Just as he was about to leave a strange car pulled a fast U-turn right in front of us and the men inside said he was the police. He looked very angry and asked for our names. When he asked the reporter, who said he was the press, his attitude changed like night to day. It was very funny. If the reporter had just said his name and watched, he might have had a good story. Likely a harassment story. Instead, we were politely informed of Norton Air Base touchiness and asked a few interview-type questions. We received handshakes, smiles and a caution to be careful about traffic. It was somewhat embarrassing. If the reporter had not been there, the detective would have given us both barrels. Such a coincidence. The reporter was amused and we get an interesting story out of this. It was a good example of the power of the press in certain situations. The public eye is important to the powers that be, thank goodness, and they are more likely to watch their step when it turns in their direction.
Dale, March 14.
Well, 12 bells just sounded and so it is really the next day but since I live in the past so much, lets reflect on yesterday. The past two days have been remarkably less tense amongst us. We are coming to terms with each other and our situation as well. Today, we walked in the rain and it was a bit heavy at times but very cleansing and refreshing. We conducted a vigil at Norton AFB and just by our simple presence attracted attention that included being tailed by base security as we walked around the fence of the base. The base has the role of military airlift command in support of the Grenada invasion. There is also an MX Missile connection and a TRW facility nearby. Yesterday, we walked through Fontana and were later told that a lot of Klan activity takes place in that community. It perceived a bit more hostility in that area than usual but nothing that would seem different that the normal hostility that we often find. Pamela called tonight and had some concerns about the drumming. She thought that the drums may cause some difficult situations up the road either with organizers or with walkers. I understand what she is saying, which is to say that if I am a Buddhist then that would be clear and understood but I am not a Buddhist so that may be difficult for people to understand why I would use the drum. I really enjoyed the company of Sister Sawada and the energy that she brings to the group but most importantly is her intensity balanced with her light touch. I wish she could have stayed for a little bit longer. Today, we were joined by a young man who walked with us for an hour and a half. He was from the area and was involved in “Iron-man” Triathlons. A great deal of stamina needed for that activity. P.S. Don’t forget the huge lemons and orange orchards! The size of grapefruits!
Day 17, March 17, Hemet, Ca.
Dale – Happy St. Patrick’s day!