Letters + Opinion » Mailbox

Treasuring Table Bluff




There are local folks who take their visitors to Fern Canyon or Trinidad, but I usually take them to Table Bluff first when the weather cooperates. Great ocean and bay views including parts of the refuge, Eel River delta and beyond to the Wildcat range.

On Thanksgiving Day, one brave soul jumped off (lifted off?) the cliff edge under the blossoming canopy of a paraglider, making lazy arcs over the dunes and then touching down with both feet on the roadway below.

The members in the photos of the Gospel Outreach Outreach ("The Light on the Bluff," Nov. 22) seemed healthy and in mostly good spirits. I would be interested to read from more former members about their experiences and how they fared afterwards.

David Ammerman, Cutten



There on the cover of last week's Journal  was my long-gone tribe, smiling up out of the past. 

I lived at the Lighthouse Ranch at the peak of the Jesus People movement --worked in the garden, sang with my "sisters" in the kitchen while laboring over cooking pots and mixing bowls so big they could have doubled as bathtubs. I had a tiny curtained bunk in the sisters' dorm -- a squat building that sat near the edge of the bluff, overlooking the ocean.  

Was it utopia? Hardly. It was usually chilly and gray; mildew had to be fought back at every opportunity. People bickered over who got the last piece of toast or what had become of a particular pair of socks. No, not utopia. But uniquely memorable and dear? Indeed. 

It was, for many of us, a final, heartfelt attempt to make good on the fading promises of the counterculture movement. In Jesus, we saw a way to hold onto the concept of oneness, harmony, love and service. It was a way to be a new and improved hippie.

The Lighthouse Ranch haunts me. Not long ago I drove out and wandered The Land, as we called it then; ghosts were everywhere. Painted scriptures faded into the boards of the old brothers' dorm and Psalm 40:2 was scrawled into a small cement slab: "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."  

While it is melancholy to see the last vestige of that time removed forever, odd to watch one's life slowly become an anachronism, I'm happy that The Land is now the land. After all, it's in the memory where those sweet, singing faces abide, still shining, like it was yesterday.

Carla Lowe Baku, Eureka

Add a comment