Our November 15, 1969 chant during the anti-war demonstration in Washington DC was:

“Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Min, the NLF is gonna win.”  It rings in my ears every day I’m in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi where he lived.  Back then I barely understood what the NLF (National Liberation Front) was.  What I knew was the Vietnam War had to end. Continue reading Vietnam

Bad News

When I planned my latest work trip to Bali, I looked forward to meeting with Dek.  I “reserved” as much of time as possible with him so we could work together making and designing furniture.  Dek’s my main man in Bali.  We share a warehouse, workshop space, and meet daily to move all our projects as well as our lives, forward.  He is smart, highly skilled, intuitive, incredibly hard working, fun to be with, and fully Balinese.  He and his wife from NYC, own and run eight or nine businesses, which, by all reports, are starting to run them! Continue reading Bad News


I have spent my few weeks at the Folk’s house as Dad was dying and finding photos, keepsakes, papers, and awards in the file drawers and boxes in the garage, as Dad was completing his life in preparation for the day.  I was driven to pull albums down from the highest shelves to look at the photos and records.  I didn’t understand the compulsion, but went with it.  That urge is over since last night.  There are many things untouched, but no pull to open them now. Continue reading Dad

Dad’s Last Weeks

Through the sunny days and cool nights of Southern California’s October and early November 2007, I watched Dad’s withdrawal from life; his losing weight, talking less and less, then not at all; eating less, than not at all; drinking less, then not at all. I knew his last two bites of ice cream were indeed the last food he would eat. He was disappearing from life, pulling inward, hour by hour, until he participated only in the inner world unless disturbed or called out for a minute or two by a visitor or upon hearing something like Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto, a long time favorite. Continue reading Dad’s Last Weeks

2nd Day in Kyoto

I have been in Kyoto for two days now.  Today, Sunday, we got up at 5:00am to get to the biggest temple flea market in Kyoto by 6:00.  3 1/2 hours was not nearly enough time to see half the stalls, much less take in the temple and gardens.  I chose a beautiful stack (mountain?) of men’s and women’s kimonos which took three of us with four bags each to drag to the car half a mile away.  We were also carrying a cast iron lantern and the backpack mentioned below.  This is a strange and wonderful culture.  I found a 200 year old Edo period raincoat with rare Edo patterns of indigo dyeing and a huge, 100 year old, leather, herbalist’s backpack with perhaps 20 woven trays and one hundred sections for healing herbs.  Continue reading 2nd Day in Kyoto

24 Hours in Kyoto


I have now been in Japan a bit more than 24 hours in Kyoto.  I so love it here!  Got in late and was picked up by a good friend, Rhett, at 7:15pm at Starbucks across from the new train station.  We went out to my favorite (to date) Okinawa restaurant.  Having been up for 30 hours with no sleep, I slept well in Rhett’s guest room from 12:00am until 6:00am this morning when we needed to be up to get to a country auction up in the mountains 1 1/2 hours from Kyoto that started at 7:50am.  It was cold and raining hard all morning, but at least they let me stand under the roof this time!  Eight hours of standing on cold concrete in the windy winter was a painful, but amazing adventure.  No one is allowed in these auctions without a license.  Rhett thinks I’m cool enough to slip in, white skin and all.  We found lots of crazy good pieces straight out of Kyoto area country homes. Continue reading 24 Hours in Kyoto

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay, A UN Heritage site, is a water and rock world of ghostly images.  It’s compiled of some 400 sq. miles of craggy rounded top rocks jutting out from the warm salt water in the perpetual haze that completely obscures everything more than three miles distant.  Each rock island is different, yet after two days of weaving through these huge unworldly rocks, they create a repetitive rhythm that is strangely relaxing.  The layered effect of progressively lighter gray outlines of rock islands in the distance creates an impression of a mountain range, even though you know the surface is 98% water.  The early November air is still soft and warm.  Our cabins in our private 8 cabin ship were unused but for naps and nights.  Just as well with an extended family of large rats running around in the ceiling above the bed. Continue reading Ha Long Bay