Whatever you may have heard, countercultural Berkeley did not materialize, Brigadoon-like, out of the marijuana haze of a Vietnam War protest. Long before there was a Berkeley Barb or a How Berkeley Can You Be? parade, there were Berkeley bohemians. And Charles Augustus Keeler, by the standards of proto-hippiedom, was Sgt. Pepper.
The poem was originally titled Easy Rider. Westering, as it is now known, is probably the first poem Nobel Laureate in Literature Seamus Heaney wrote in Berkeley, after arriving here from Belfast in 1970 for a stint as a visiting professor in English. The poem’s original title evokes the 1969 film of the same name, starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson. In it, the trio motorcycle east from L.A. through the nineteen-sixties America of new styles, hair lengths, music, political activity, and sexual behavior.
Posted on January 10, 2018 - 1:33pm
Lately, I’ve been spending time at Founders’ Rock trying and mostly failing to get a grasp on reality.
Founders’ Rock is an outcropping at the northeast corner of the UC Berkeley campus, where Gayley Road and Hearst Avenue meet, a lonely spot shaded by toyon, oak, and eucalyptus. The rock itself—lichen-encrusted and moss-fringed—is an unassuming jumble.
Jonathan Sheehan, director of the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, has always been interested in social insects. So a few years ago, after meeting a beekeeper in Santa Cruz and telling him he’d like to keep his own bees, Sheehan found himself driving his little blue Honda Accord home—with his first hive in the back.
“As I was driving, I was worried I’d get into an accident and find 30,000 angry bees in the car,” Sheehan says. “It’s been fun ever since.”
Posted on August 17, 2016 - 1:37pm