Promise Of Paradise

3:30pm Thursdays
  • Hosted by Sarah Reith, Alice Woelfle, Kate Magruder

 

Welcome to Promise of Paradise, Back to the Land Oral Histories of Mendocino County.  We are working to document an experiment that began roughly fifty years ago all across the country. In the 60’s and 70’s, young people began to “tune in, turn on, and drop out.” Anything was possible. College-educated hippies began to stream away from the cities and into the country, to put a modern twist on ancient homesteading skills. We’ll hear about the sense of exhilaration, the resilience, and how these now aging hippies recall their rush towards freedom and responsibility.

We’ll also hear about how the lack of boundaries led to tragedy and disillusionment; the racial insensitivity; and how the back to the land experiment altered Mendocino County.

Who were these people, why did they come, and what mark did they make on this county’s history?

Promise of Paradise is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, California Humanities, the Arts Council of Mendocino County, the Judy Pruden Historical Preservation Fund of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, the Mendocino Institute, StoryCenter, and Grace Hudson Museum.

 

Promise of Paradise Episode 26: Dorothy Cong

May 14, 2019

Dorothy Cong was born in Ft. Bragg in 1946. She grew up on the Sandkulla ranch near Elk. Her family were among the first white settlers on the Mendocino coast and In many ways her childhood represented the life that back to the land hippies were seeking. They lived off the land raising their own food and building their own houses, but unlike the newcomers of the 1960s and 70s Dorothy’s family lived this way out of necessity.

Promise of Paradise Episode 25: Leon Springer

May 2, 2019
Leon Springer

Leon Springer moved to Potter Valley in 1974 to build yurts and live communally. Now a successful businessman, he remembers how he discovered what he could become through hard work, lots of fun, and friendships that last for decades. We’ll take a journey from an iconic concert experience in San Francisco to Mothers Day blintzes on the Eel River; double digging in the garden and feeding kids and bears.

 

Episode 22: Stuart Greenberg

Apr 11, 2019

Stuart Greenbergs' parents were communists who were politically active in the 1930s. They moved often during his childhood and passed on their values of gender equality and communal living. He participated in the birth of the organic farming movement in Illinois before moving to California as a single dad when his children were 2 and four years old. They settled in Laytonville where he raised them off the grid. 

Live Power Community Farm.

 

April 4, 2019 -- Today we’ll hear from two people in Covelo, who still farm according to the principles of harmony between the garden and the gardener, the buyer and the seller, and the people and animals who use their living power to work the land.

Promise of Paradise Episode 20: Tom Wodetzki

Mar 29, 2019
Tom Wodetzki, aka Moonlight.

March 28, 2019 -- Today we’ll be hearing from Tom Wodetzki of Albion, a long-time political activist. Tom lived on a commune in Albion called Salmon Creek Farm for 15 years, the longest stretch of any of his fellow communards. He’s had a hand in just about every political and environmental movement this county has seen since the 70s. But before he arrived in Albion, Tom cut his political teeth back East in the civil rights movement and demonstrating against the Vietnam War.

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