Henry In His Own Words: Desert Philosopher and Authentically Interesting Person – Part 1

henry bikeFor the new Moon in Capricorn… Meet my grandfather. Henry. Here is a partial list of his claims to fame:

– Spontaneously standing on his head in grocery stores to demonstrate the benefits of a healthy diet.
– Climbing the same mountain 127 times, over a 50 year window, last assent at 83 years old.
– A vegetarian, from the early fifties until he died
– Attending flying saucer conventions
– Oldest person in the 20 mile walkathons year, after year, after year
Taking me to meet Peace Pilgrim
– Living in a three bathroom, no bedroom house.
– Building an underground house.
– Coaxing the #2 ranked ping pong player in China to his house to play a few games on his homemade adobe ping pong table.
– Having his truck stolen by me.
– Keeping a carbon copy of every bit of correspondence he wrote for more than 50 years, personal or otherwise.
– Never raising his voice, and I mean never.
– Being first in line to volunteer when the first organic food co-op was opened in the city, and being at least 40 years older than anyone else there.
– Sleeping outdoors in front of his house in the desert, ten months a year

Henry was a triple Capricorn with a stellium in Sagittarius (Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus). That’s him upside down on the bike, circa 1923, and that bike is moving.

He was a professor of English and Library Sciences before dropping out of conventional life in his early thirties to spend the next fifty years building adobe (mud) houses, reading, traveling, climbing mountains and listening to music.

I was fortunate to grow up next door to him…where “next door” meant a three minute walk through the desert.

These are excerpts from his various letters…with more coming. Enjoy.

Letter to “Spencer” June 16 1958

“… And I enjoyed the article on nervous and sensitive people. With it I agree entirely. I am a nervous and sensitive myself and think most of my ailments start in my mind. That is why I always feel better when I set out on a trip. My mind has so many new and interesting things to think about, it quits thinking about my body and it’s weaknesses…”

Letter to my mother November 5th 1956

“… Maybe I will get a good community here after all. Such a venture takes time. As time goes by the good ones stay and the bad ones leave. A crook has to keep moving to keep getting something for nothing…”

Letter to my Mother Feb 23 1957

“…Money does not worry me anymore. I have a feeling I will have what I need for the rest of my life. My aspirations are for more spiritual development. As you can see I sent you one oh Gandhi’s favorite passages of scripture. This was probably his most precious one. I have repeated it over so many times (especially when driving and had nothing else to do) that it has become a part of me. Of course the auto-suggestion people came out with this one to be repeated as one falls asleep “Everyday in every way I am getting better and better,” 15 or 20 years ago. ”

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Henry In His Own Words: Desert Philosopher and Authentically Interesting Person – Part 1 — 18 Comments

  1. OMG: I am a AC Capricorn (Conj Venus-Jupiter) with A STELLIUM of Saggitarius incl. Sun and Moon.

    Truth to be told: There are great similarities with Henry’s in my speaking style… and seeing his feats, it does remind me a part of myself (I also have the tendency of stunmanship… hmm… hmm…)

  2. Having read about Henry for the the last few years, I’m still amazed at what a unique individual he was. You’re lucky to have known him, and we’re lucky to get these glimpses.

  3. I don’t know if I’m saying this the right way but I feel inspired to tell you, the love and laughter I recieved from both you and Henry is absolutly beautiful. Thank you.

  4. I love Henry. Something about him speaks to the inner quirky person in me who was willing to move from a fairly large city to a tiny town in Appalachia. I could live without a couch and was just thinking recently that I’d really prefer a small cot in a corner instead of a big, clunky bed. Beds seem so inefficient. I feel like Henry would understand.

  5. My Mother (an Aries) used to say, and told us to say, “Everyday in every way I am getting better and better,” as we fell asleep. She was a big Dale Carnegie fan. I hadn’t thought about that in years – thanks.

  6. omg this describes me to a tee. i dropped my only job as a TA at an asian prep school that my girlfriend used to work at because i spent so much time there. she was a virgo and i had my jupiter trine and mutually recept both stelliums. then i dropped the whole idea of love and a job. and became a full on version of my higher self. dropped everything. i was a valedictorian in 5th grade, don’t need to impress anyone. all i have is a stupid pin, but i can converse with everyone and make them smile. i also am insanely fit now as a vegan. it is my secret strength. i also walk 4 hours and catch the red sun. i want to be a solar gazer like santos bonacci. but i get lazy. but i ebb and flow in counter-space. all i need is the best juiciest fruit and herbs like he said and we’re jamming

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