Essay

You Can't Come Halfway Home From the Bar

One writer's obsession with a little known poet leads him on a bizarre odyssey to the Russian River Valley.

by Ian Daly
were you ever driving at 3 in the morning down some 2 lane road in upstate new york & it was raining & the only thing you can get on the radio is some station out of memphis or someplace which comes in perfectly clear & plays great music like life is but a dream du wop du wop & you just turn it up & say to yourself “what the fuck, what the fuck?” well that’s how I feel walking to the post office.
          —Jeffrey Miller, The First One’s Free


I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for last December, when I took off from New York City for the little redwood town of Monte Rio, California, hidden in the backroads of the Russian River Valley an hour or so north of San Francisco. My flight got in late, and as I veered onto Highway 1 and wound my way up the inky black coastline, I switched on the Velvet Underground and tried to figure it all out.

On July 29, 1977—30 years before my visit—a young poet you’ve probably never heard of died a terrible death here on his 29th birthday. His name was Jeffrey Miller.


Jeffrey enjoying a beer on the patio of The Twelfth House Restaurant. (Sonoma County California, 1975. Courtesy of Michele Neff)



I was raised on stories about Jeffrey. Before his death he’d been the love of my Aunt Michele’s life, as she was his—inescapably, and sometimes toxically. Since high school they’d spent years dancing in and out of love—crying, laughing, fucking, fighting, drinking, and smoking their way around the country, from Michigan to Cape Cod and finally Monte Rio. They had a circle of poet friends. They lived in a shack with a woodstove and no electricity—the mere sight of which, according to family legend, drove my Buick-executive grandfather to tears. To me, a weird kid with anti-establishment sentiments growing up among the manicured golf courses of Naples, Florida, this all sounded about as righteous as it gets.

I wasn’t the first to be seduced by Jeffrey’s story. Andrei Codrescu, the Romanian poet, novelist, and NPR commentator, befriended Jeffrey when the two of them lived out a bohemian fantasy along the banks of the Russian River in the ’70s. “Young poets fall in love with his work all the time,” Codrescu wrote me when I contacted him. “I get letters and pictures (!) from young women in Hawaii who know his poems by heart, and on and on. That Jeffrey is a full-time job 30 years after he died. You’d think he was Kurt Cobain, which in some ways he was, only funnier and a better poet.”

The poet Joanne Kyger still remembers the day she met Jeffrey outside a bar in Bolinas, the coastal outpost that Zen poets such as she and Gary Snyder call home. She turned up in Monte Rio decades later for a memorial reading dedicated to Jeffrey in the local theater. Codrescu threw the event—more of a reunion, really—after he published The Heart Is a Quarter Pounder (Farfalla Press, 2005), a posthumous collection of Jeffrey’s verse. Codrescu had published Jeffrey’s work before, just a year after his death, in the now completely unavailable The First One’s Free (Left Coast Press, 1978). I used to thumb through that faded old yellow paperback in middle school, when I first came across it among the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that lined the walls of our den. His poetry had a way not just of dragging you into his world but, I guess more importantly to me then, out of your own. I remember staring at the black-and-white image on the cover, of Jeffrey in an old picture frame, and wondering what his world was like.

What I didn’t realize was how long I’d wonder.

     EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE

     Down by the river
                                                   was it bombs or kisses? It took me weeks
                                                                                                                to get those
     broken kites out of my mouth
     sticks poked holes in my brain & the moon boomed in,
                                                                                             internal hatpin
     milking The Zombie's eyeball.
                                                                                             Actually,
     I'm not so big on torture,
                                                                   preferring the euphoric touch
                               where the string's end gets tied to a toothache
     & bells spit out a bloody yippee
                                                                                             whenever you sneak out
     & slam the door.
                                                         —in the empty bowl of a has been
                                               —in the sticky distance of a drowning fly swims
                                                                                    toward that lone Cheerio,
     —in a wink, tossed across a crowded party & demolishing
     the polite wall of chatter
                                                                                    —here on The Lush West Coast
                                                         where passion's a crime against nature,
                                                                   you stuck your tongue out
                                                                                   & I felt infinity
                                                                                             —filling my ear
     like rock & roll

Backed up, as the poetry eventually was, by the stories my aunt would tell me after enough Chardonnay, the Russian River poetry scene grew into an all-out private obsession. Jeffrey, or at least the myth of Jeffrey, secretly became the single biggest reason I wanted to be a writer myself—and I’d always imagined that someday I’d make a pilgrimage to the lost paradise of Monte Rio to see what I could glean from the vestiges. Jeffrey lost his life on the night of his 29th birthday. I’d recently celebrated my own, so I decided it was as good a time as any to finally take that trip. But there was something else pulling me out there, too—something I’d always sensed but which Codrescu finally put words to: Jeffrey, he said, wrote like he was already dead. His death seemed preordained somehow, almost mystical—a down-to-the-crossroads arrangement made all the more prophetic by the disembodied quality of his verse.

“After he died I was struck by this weird light,” Codrescu told me, “like a lot of his poems were written from the other side, and he was leaving them behind for others to read them. Very few poets have that. Really, only the great ones.”

And so it was that I found myself slithering up a lonely ribbon of the Pacific Coast Highway to the strains of “Here She Comes Now,” veering east into a wall of fog at the Russian River delta, to chase the ghost of a long-dead idol.

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Originally Published: December 17, 2008
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COMMENTS (24)

On December 19, 2008 at 7:29am Joshua Costin wrote:
Enlighghtening

On December 19, 2008 at 6:24pm Rob Rust wrote:
made me want to take a long midnight drive until the gas tank's empty. Then start walking.

i'll be revisiting this one.

On December 20, 2008 at 7:45pm Gail Hayssen wrote:
I remember this all quite well except there is an error in the story. Mary was in Elk Hart lake Wisconsin when she received the call of Glenns death. He was her closest friend and was devastated by the news. I know where she was in Wisconsin not California as I was standing next to her at the time the call came in.

The stories I could tell you of that time. But maybe you know them all by now.

On December 21, 2008 at 1:27am Brenda Skinner wrote:
sad, moving-- in real time: endings don't usually finish neat, tidy or with pretty bows-- Thank you for sharing.

On December 23, 2008 at 3:39pm David Zauhar wrote:
Great essay. I still have a copy of First One's Free. We'll never be 16 with our hand in pamela's pants ever again, but Miller's poems will always be there to bring it all back.

On December 31, 2008 at 9:01pm Carol Derfner wrote:
Pretty wonderful how Ian captures a little slice of the times, the place and the soulful people who converged in small communities along the Russian River.

I travelled around "with the band" in those days and Guerneville was always a stopover. Drug, sex and rock 'n roll for days on end... poetry too!

I think Jeffrey Miller was a sort of Everyman of his time -- or, at the least, the wild one we all wanted to be... Thanks Ian.

On January 2, 2009 at 8:28pm Caroline Conway wrote:
are we still allowed to use the word *tragic* ? please fill in the blank with that one, if so.

fine writing & admire the shape of this piece. it's tight but has room for all of the 'empty' to filter in.

cheers.

On January 3, 2009 at 10:24pm gil helmick wrote:
those days were full of verve, the scent of raw creation and the pregnant aromas of redwood and musk. the air quivered with light. for many, anarchy was conservative. i recall nights that would have caused a bus load of waylaid beatniks to blush, demur, race south and seek guidance.

i was at jeffrey's party. i left shortly before the fateful entourage.

the next day, i was unexpectedly at my cabin. it clung to the mountain at whose base jeffrey perished. i was scrubbing the white walls attempting to remove a letter written in blood.

i was living with a girl a forestville. i left the cabin in monte rio to a friend who was negotiating the hairpin turns,switch backs and destroyed guard rails of cocaine and divorce. that morning, i was pulled from the toxin residues of jeffrey's party by a call from a neighbor exclaiming that a window was broken, a telephone dangled over the exterior wall and an ambulance had recently departed. my friend had slashed his wrists and with those wrists wrote a narrative in sweeping crimson strokes across most of the walls. it was addressed to his wife.

the sponge was red, my hands were red, the water in the bucket, red. the phone rang, i answered. i was told that jeffery was dead. i leaned against the wall and slid to the floor.. i sat in a state of blood zen. time was weightless.

days later, we gathered for the funeral in guerneville. i recall hearing "stairway to heaven" in the windowless parlor. the air was chilled, dark, damp and empty. andrei announced he had decided to learn harmonica. angry murmurs regarding the cosmetics pasted to jeffrey's quiet face rippled the shadows. strange rituals were at work.

much later, we waded across the sand where the russian river empties into the pacific. the sky and water were sharp and gray. a onshore wind propelled an endless current of sand over our feet and tracks. michelle could barely stand and at times, didn't. there were friends who knew jeffrey in michigan and closer to jeffrey than many were aware. i saw them on the perimeter weeping quietly. at water's edge, a box was passed. in it, a plastic bag with jeffrey's ashes and chips of bone. many of us dug into that bag, clutched our last touch of jeffrey miller, turned and flung him to sea. i felt the chips of bone as my fingers pressed into the ash. when i pitched those ashes west, an onshore gust delivered flakes into my nose and mouth. i recall the taste and sting. i shuddered then grinned. jeffrey wasn't fond of sentimentality.

weeks later, i lay in bed in southern california. the hour pushed toward sunrise. the windows remained dark. it was that hour of the wolf that magnifies the cracking and groans of a house. i was reading. the girl next to me was asleep. her eyes snapped open, unblinking. she was riveted to a corner near the ceiling across the room. her body stiffened. she was nearly rigid.

her voice was calm and even, she said "gil. jeff's here." she was silent for a moment. "he's come to say good bye. he says it's time to let go."

i have a direct and constant experience with mortality. i'm uncertain if this experience is unique or i'm simply more aware of it than most. at that instant, an amazing warmth and calmness saturated my being. an instant later, her body relaxed. she said that jeff was free now. her eyes closed and her breath was deep and even. during that moment and beyond sunrise, the grip of mortality was eased and my quiet grieving for jeffrey passed.

jeffrey's death was significant in many ways. his legacy as a poet is obvious and unfortunately brief. the loss to the universe of poetry cannot be understated. however, poetry is a vein that allows us to see the forces that fuel us. his poetic hesitations, revelations and confessions were like dyes that tracked the circulation within the soul. for some, his work was pure punk plasma.

jeffrey was a subterranean. many of us were and some remain, subterranean. his death was the death that subterraneans expect for themselves. we danced with that death. we taunted that death with different colored capes.

in the 1950's, during that era of grainy, existential black and white television william bendex was in a collapsed tunnel. after drilling into quicksand beneath the east river, oxygen was being sucked through a gaping crevice that refused to be plugged. the men threw sandbags, tools, machines, anything within grasp was pitched into that black wound. the void wouldn't be satisfied. seconds remained before the compression failed and everyone perished. bendex, eyes wide and heart full, glanced at his comrades and leaped into the gap. the hole closed behind.

for subterraneans, the void presents itself close up. it's contours are personal. consequently, one size fits all. jeffrey's passing filled that void. an era closed in his wake.

subterraneans navigate the margins beneath the radar. we surface at will. on that grainy, existential screen, bill bendix surfaced on the east river alive and muddy. i imagine jeffrey surfacing as well. across his face, that heart warming sneer aglow.

peace.

gil helmick

On January 4, 2009 at 1:18pm tom woolner wrote:
Like my friend Gil, who posted above, I was a friend of Jeff's. Our friendship started in Michigan, where we went to college together, to SF, and finally to Monte Rio. Reading the mail, the Pink Elephant, etc., you've nailed it pretty well. the chronology is a bit off - Jeff followed my girlfriend Ellen and I up to the river from SF, andwe moved there in 1971 - he came soon after.

I was at Jeff's birthday party that night, and I carry a lot of guilt - turne - sadness from what happened.

We had a cake, which had a baseball diamond with player/figures - the candle representing Jeff fizzled when it was lit.

Later that night, Jeff asked me to give him a ride home. He said--- will kill me, I've been flirting with his wife. well, he did. I said no, because I then live in the other direction, Sebastopol, and I thought I would get pulled over for drunk driving, and I was holding.

I realize now that what Pat said is true - if Jeff hadn't died that night, he would have died soon after. He lived on that edge that so many of us did, but he refused to get off it when some of us began a strategic retreat.

The next year my girlfriend Ellen went to Paris. ( had always thought that Jee was in love with her - I've learned since then, you can love more than one person at the same time). She threw a bouquet of flowers in the Seine for him.

Jeff showed up in my dreams for months afterwards, like many in my life who have passed to early. I am not surprised that his life has made it into legendary status among people who never knew him.

On January 7, 2009 at 1:07pm Peter Cavanaugh wrote:
Dave Standrich back in Michiganistan keeps turning me on to the most excellent finds, particularly such spectacular treats as “You Can’t Come Home Half-Way From The Bar” by Ian Daly.

So Jeffrey Miller went to Grand Blanc High.

Son-of-a-bitch!

That’s an exclamation of delight, not aspersion cast at Jeffrey.

“Iggy Pop, the Stones, the MC5, and the Velvet Underground?”

Just like that there Grand Blanc Radio Station.

On South Center Road.

With seventy acres of antenna field.

Where DJs parked for blow-jobs.

“Jeffrey died instantly, his heart impaled on the jagged metal of the roof’s armature.”

“He had his hand under her panties, she had his hand on his dick”

Son-of-a-bitch!

That’s a joyous, unlimited, envious salutation.

To Jeffrey.

And Rock ‘n Roll.

Lovingly Submitted in memory of Ron Ashton.

Peter Cavanaugh

Oakhurst, California

WildWednesday.com

MySpace.com/localdj

"When you realize that consciousness is constantly transforming, there’s no such thing as a person. There’s only the universe behaving as a person.”--Deepak Chopra--”Larry King Live”----January 5, 2009

On January 8, 2009 at 11:04am gil helmick wrote:
hello peter cavanaugh,

gil helmick here. i left an entry above.

i've never believed in the existence of time. if i did, i would speculate it exists to aid many of us in avoiding head on collisions.

i notice you live in oakhurst. the daughters i bred during the era in ian's story, were born along the russian river and raised in oakhurst.

the ride remains wild.

peace.

gil

On January 9, 2009 at 5:30pm John Ward wrote:
The last time I saw Jeffrey was in the fall of '70. We were on our way to a Van Morrison concert in Boston. What stands out in my memory is my wife (at the time) trying to pick out the tangles in his thick mat of hair in the back of the van along with a few other ex-pats of Grand Blanc. (Peter, I don't think I know you, but I know about the radio station).

Jeffrey's brother Kurt was my best friend as we grew up. Jeffrey was a typical older brother that loved giving us a hard time. Kurt's death was the first real loss that I ever had. I know it scarred Jeffrey, too. I don't know how much, if ever, he talked about it.

I remember distinctly when I heard about Jeffrey's death. I cried like a baby, not because we were that close but because I was thinking about his mother. How does one live after the death of her two oldest sons? The youngest son, Joel, lives in Seattle near his mother Marcella.

Ian's piece was (as mentioned in an earlier comment) very enlightening. Especially for me. I knew that Jeffrey was a special person, despite the fact he wasn't much fun to be around as a 10 year-old. I'm not a poetry critic, but the fact that his name still comes up after all these years means something. There's a part of me that would have loved to be near the Russian River during that era.

Thanks, Ian, for filling in the gaps for me. Keep up the good works.

John

On January 9, 2009 at 5:34pm John Ward wrote:
Just a correction.....the article was "very enlighghtening".

On January 29, 2009 at 8:21am Bruce Cheney wrote:
Ian Daly, I’m sorry we didn’t connect (I did respond to your email?) while you were working on this but it’s a good piece and I don’t know what I could have added. You captured that time well and I’ve been walking around the last few days thinking about Jeffery. There are a few things however. There are a lot of little, factual, errors in it but my memory is so suspect that I’m not confident to try and correct them and myth doesn’t depend on them anyway. But the cause of the accident, the speculation that “Demon” acted purposely I’m not sure needed to be included. I remember Andrei telling us after the memorial reading that he (“Demon”) confessed only to checking out the back seat and thus took his eyes off the road at the moment he hit that very dangerous “S” curve, causing the accident. I agree with Pat that whatever debt may have been incurred, has been paid. Another thing is this idea that Jeffery was a walking corpse waiting to happen. It’s convenient, it’s romantic, it fits the myth, but it isn’t true. That he was sensitive is certainly true and his and Michelle’s sometimes volatile relationship, his brother’s horrible death, the deaths of several close friends weighed on him but he didn’t court it. Jeffery had, in his own way, an incredible set of principles that he stuck to. He was a product of his times and lived as far off the official grid as he could. A lot of us took the core values of the Beats and 60s very seriously. It wasn’t an excuse to act irresponsibly into our late twenties, it was who we were. We grew-up in the suburbs and watched our parents lead their very dull lives and we weren’t going to do it. But there was no precedent to follow, we worked it out one day at a time. I’ve never had a long-term goal or plan in my entire life. I’ve simply drifted into things as they presented themselves. Michelle once broke up with Jeffery to follow a guy she met because he was going to give her “a picket fence and a Volvo.” Jeffery wasn’t going to do that. He simply couldn’t. Like many writers, he looked to the academy as a way to somehow skirt “serious” work and get enough money to allow him to write and hang-out. He went into a Master’s program as much for the student loans as he did for a degree. He said he simply wanted a “little T.A. job somewhere” but he badly failed his orals because he didn’t take it seriously. He just wouldn’t play. If it looks tawdry and doomed and slack on paper, it belies the sheer fun that we had. Jeffery was fun. So many people were devastated by his death because he brought so much to our lives. Finally you raise the question, if fact, the ultimate question, about Jeffery’s life and death. I’ve never heard the story about him lying about his age but the speculation that he was somehow aware of not being able to pull off his pose anymore is interesting. It’s the thing I haven’t been able to figure out in the past 30+ years although I reject the notion that he was going to grow-up and start wearing Dockers. But what was he going to do? When I left America 10 years ago, although it wasn’t clear until later, I left because I was sick of being reminded every single day about what I didn’t have, who I was supposed to be, how I was supposed to act at age 48. If you’re rich/famous in America, you’re “unconventional” or “boho’ but if you act the same way without the press, you’re “pathetic”? I had a vague, romantic notion that in Europe I wouldn’t be looked upon as an “aging poseur groping for the vestiges of [my] already-lost youth.” Which, of course, is someone else’s projection, someone who probably will end up in an MBA program someday, someone who seriously believes these life-as-box-score validations. But that shit is hard to live with and I compromised much more than Jeffery did. Maybe because I had a daughter at twenty-one or was infected with a very damaging strain of New England work ethic, but Jeffery was always going to hustle his way through without compromise. Jeffery had a creed he jokingly(??) lived by: “Absolutely refusing to learn from experience.” So, maybe in a way, he was doomed. Doomed by fate to be forever young.

On February 25, 2009 at 8:31pm gil helmick wrote:
i agree with bruce. i don't believe jefferey was attempting to manifest a death wish. he was too much of an existentialist for that. his sense of humor is testimony to that.

perhaps these considerations are how we attempt to influence pointless loss and tragedy.

hunce created a video of that included jefferey and most of us. does anyone out there have a copy?

On April 19, 2009 at 11:57am Geraldo Manchego wrote:
Good living article. As good living comments.

On August 1, 2009 at 7:29pm winter pat wrote:
where the fuck is bruce cheney? There's no baseball in Europe!

On February 14, 2010 at 2:21am Patricia M. Daly wrote:
In reading this piece, I have discovered both Jeffrey Miller and Ian Daly. Jeffrey I never met, never knew--though in reading Ian's essay and the comments on it, I feel as if I did/do know him. Ian, too, I have never met, though he is my second cousin. But in reading Ian's essay, I feel that I have begun to know and understand him and the blue-gene fabric that wraps around familial strangers like the mists around Jeffrey's cabin. I recognized my own losses, my own longings, in Ian's journey and was transfixed by his words: "Death is an incomplete circuit, an electric potential. It is the origin of fear and obsession" (C. S. Lewis wrote, in "A Grief Observed," that "grief feels so much like fear"); and "Having cancer was, in many ways, like taking a long nap and waking up feeling old and sad" (many afternoons since my husband's passing, I have nodded into a nap's narcotics only to wake drenched in dread of death and life--how can my husband be dead? How can I live without him?); and "I was a windblown gamete, dislodged from my lighter half." In Ian's essay I have found not my lighter half (he's waiting for me on the other side, and he's telling me not to rush, and he's urging me, in the words of the Eagles song, to "lighten up while I still can") but my writer-second- cousin, Ian Daly. Ian, I'm grateful that your words and images have introduced me to Jeffrey Miller and to you and have reintroduced me to myself and reminded me of the insoluble bond of family blood.

On May 6, 2010 at 1:43am Annie wrote:
I worked with Jeffrey at Hunces house in Caz and a few places on Freezeout in Duncans Mills. Enjoyed your story, perspective.

On May 9, 2010 at 7:50am rich rothley wrote:
great piece ian i met jeffery in michigan as he would show up occassionaly in the company of mmy best friends sister michele i was always struck by his open eyed view and incredable insight 1970 in kalamazoo there happen a major concert as we walked accross campus to attend thru some fairly heavy traffic jeff declared suddenly "its an event man!! traffic is backed up all the way to climax" the passing of kurt will always haunt me as the potential he held could never be expressed as with jeffs.............................................................................................................................................thanks for bring this incredable jeffery back to life for me one can only expect to get as ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,good as we......give rufus

On November 27, 2010 at 10:25am R. white wrote:
I knew Jeff well. He was one of my best friends back in Grand Blanc. We both graduated in the same class. We hung out together alot. We had english classes together and did a lot of creative writing. I knew that Jeff had died. I did not know the specifics. Another good friend of our told me of this website. I did not realize he was a famous poet. I knew his mom and his grandmother and girlfriend well. It saddens me to read some of the responses to his death. We played little league basball together.

On April 16, 2011 at 3:49pm Alexandra Ellen Appel wrote:
Good piece, a little weird, memories. I was there - personally tired of
the whole scene. I was The Poet along with Gail King, Marianne Ware
and a few others. I missed the party for which I am eternally grateful.
Michelle and I waitressed together at 'Rivers End', I loved her and Mary,
loved the men too but did not get the whole Jeffrey aura & Codescu
thing; happily never made it with either of them. A few years back
Andre asked me to read at Jeffery's memorial, I declined. I am the
women on the piano in Hunce's film and then reading in front of the
fountain with my young son and then husband, the very dead artist,
Doug Bremner.

Hello Bruce, hello Gil wherever you guys are. I have found memories
but would never want to re-live those days, I also loved both Glen and
Tammy. Crazy f'ed up hippies that we were. Still are for all I know.

I would like to be in touch with Michelle and Mary.

So it goes.

On April 19, 2012 at 2:03pm Star Cheney wrote:
Funny that I’m just seeing this article now. And coming across it randomly, no less. Jeffrey Miller was my god father, for lack of a more appropriate term... He was my father’s best friend. He used to tell me that he and my dad were like Bert and Ernie or Barney and Fred. My child mind immediately created a visual of my father as Fred Flintstone. Jeff was Barney, of course, given the blond hair and the smaller stature. It was hilarious. Even now, it makes me smile. They kind of acted like cave men. Brutish and vulgar. Like an x-rated version of the children’s cartoon: with Barney and Fred drinking beer and talking about girls and sex, which they did in droves, even in my 5 year-old presence. I remember sitting in between the two of them in the front seat of some American car, the kind with the front seat that spread across the width of the car. The music was on, there was always music. Loud music. And they were drinking and smoking and laughing. They were always laughing. And they were always going on and on about stuff I didn’t understand. The odd thing about this memory, to me, is how safe I felt and how happy. How loved. I remember riding in that same car with just Jeff and he would brag that he could do 5 things at once. 1- drive the car, 2 - read the paper (he would spread the newspaper across the steering wheel), 3 - drink beer (I would hold it for him while he spread out the paper), 4- smoke a cigarette, and 5 - talk to me! I remember laughing hysterically which only encouraged him to brag more. Jeffery was lots of things to lots of people but to me he was fun and happiness and joy. Whenever Jeffery and Michelle were around there was fun and laughter and music and dancing. We once staying up “all night” with them in our living room on Carl Street dancing and singing. I have always associated his death with the end of that happiness, joy and safety in my life. After he died my parents got divorced and my father and I moved up to “The Land” (just down the road from Jeffrey and Michelle’s cabin) and lived out his grief. I don’t know that we’ve ever talked about it that way but Jeffery’s death was absolutely a turning point. My dad always used to tell me not to be sad about Jeff, that he was up in heaven with a beer in one hand and a blond in the other and that he was watching over us. I remember thinking I wish he’d stayed and watched over me from down here. For me, the idea of nostalgia for that time/place (the Russian River in the 70’s) seems ludicrous. Even as a small child, I remember thinking that those people were fucking crazy. Perhaps it was that sentiment that got us children of the Russian River through to be the survivors we are. In any case, thank you for this article and I too would be interested in seeing the video. I think there must be some video out there too of that epic Easter egg hunt at Hunce’s Penis Palace. I’m sure all of us kids have that day burned into our memories as one bright spot. I’d love to see it if there is.

On June 16, 2012 at 10:38pm JoeJoe wrote:
Gracias Star

You hit it like Willie Horton

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Biography

Ian Daly lives in New York City and is senior writer for Details magazine. His work has also appeared in Esquire and the New York Times.

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