Today’s newsletter spurred a lot of emails. They made me realize, something is missing.
I’ve maintained this blog for a long time. Nearly 25 years! Obviously, most who read here have no earthly idea my background… which used to be common knowledge.
Specifically, that man right there is my grandfather. He was called a “health nut” back in the day. My mother called him a “bohemian”. We (the kids), just loved him beyond all measure.
Now what’s happening is I am turning into him. If figures because my greatest fear throughout my life, is that I would end up like him. Today, I accept that this is my legacy.
I just want to show you my roots… and how far the go. If you want some insight into… everything. Your life and mine, then read a little bit about, Henry (in his own words). These are short posts with no boring parts. Read them and be transported and inspired.
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 two 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. ”
There are nine parts. Skip to Part 2