Part Three on Wavy Gravy has to do with his stuff.
Wavy spends a good part of the year in Berkeley, with the summer months spent in Laytonville at Camp Winnarainbow. He says, “Our scene is up north. Mrs. Gravy and I are in Berkeley with second and third generation Hog Farmers.”
In the Berkeley home, Wavy’s got a lot of stuff. The photo above is a line from a George Carlin routine “A Place for Your Stuff.”
Actually, this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That’s all; a little place for my stuff. That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody’s got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that’s your stuff, that’ll be his stuff over there. That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is- a place to keep your stuff.
The full routine:
It is a brilliant routine. Anyways – presented here are photos of some of Wavy’s stuff.
Outside, let’s start with the best peace symbol in Berkeley:
There is a courtyard inside the gate on Berryman.
A rubber tree:
Wavy says it is the only rubber tree in Berkeley. I have no information or belief which would cause me to doubt this statement.
What would a Hog Farm house be without a few swine?
The main office of Camp Winnarainbow and a former office of Seva – two non-profits that are integral parts of who Wavy is – are part of the compound.
And then – the house, a huge brown-shingle beauty.
First stop inside the backdoor is a kitchen. It smells and looks like a commune kitchen of the 1960s or 1970s. It is very neat and very clean but there is a vibe and a good smell that I can’t pin down. And there’s a WG clock!
The kitchen leads to the dining room, with a wall filled with pictures of friends and family who are still alive.
The dining room leads to a living room where the fireplace and mantle celebrate friends and family who are no longer alive.
The small photos with the Buddha are of Neem Karoli Baba, a Hindu sage who was and is a strong influence on Larry Brilliant and Wavy.
Going upstairs, there are visuals – of course.
In the upstairs hall, it seems that every door is a work of art.
I did not intrude on the room of Jah/Bonnie/Mrs. Gravy other than to walk out to a sun porch to look at the scrapbooks.
Oh. My. Goodness. Oh. My. Those were the days.
The main event in the main arena is Wavy’s work room / prayer room with its puja table. A puja is a prayer ritual from the Hindu faith tradition of devotional worship to one or more deities. The puja table may be used for sacred text, icons, incense, or in the case of Wavy Gravy, all that plus stuff.
This Hog Farm poster was by Rick Griffin, one of the leading designers of psychedelic posters in the 1960s.
Hogs / swine / pigs. Everywhere in the room. Also, as you will see, clowns.
Harpo – my favorite Marx.
In this room are Wavy’s two fish on leashes.
This is Kilgore Trout, an imagined unknown science fiction writer whose name recurs in the fiction of Kurt Vonnegut. Trout is identified as the author of Venus on the Half Shell, a science fiction novel by Philip Jose Farmer based on a Vonnegut fragment in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Why not?
This is Saul Bass. Saul Bass was a very cool graphic designer best known for his movie title sequences, movie posters, and corporate logos.
On the walls and shelves are many photos. Here are some:
This is the late Nicole Grasset, a medical virologist who was a leader in the smallpox eradication program in Asia.
This is the late Govindappa Venkataswamy (known as “Dr. V”), an Indian ophthalmologist who founded the Aravind Eye Hospitals, which are one of the biggest network of ophthalmology hospitals in the world and perform nearly 50 percent of all eye surgeries in India.
There are also many photos of Wavy. A few of them:
And my favorite photo in the whole house:
Wavy as clown and Bonnie on the left, Hugh and Jah on the right. Juxtaposed incarnations/names.
Lastly inside the house, a look at the Wavy’s art work. He decoupages distressed photos onto sliced cross-sections of logs.
I asked Wavy what he thinks of Berkeley 2018. “Because of my infirmities, I don’t get about as I used to. The Berkeley that’s close to me, I absolutely adore. I miss the good riot though. I wish I’d be able to go honk at Milo Poop-o-lop-olis-whatever. Just when you think that Berkeley is all used up, something comes up and – BANG – here we are, ready to fight the fight.”
I treasure the time I have spent with Wavy. He has lived a life which could never happen again and which only by a cosmic miracle he has been able to live. He has lived a life with principles and humor and communitarianism and extreme humor. His use of language is extraordinary. He has been shown the great light. He likes ice cream. He has lived into his 80s after not expecting to see 40. Thousands of children are better because of Camp Winnarainbow. Hundreds of thousands see because of Seva. And all the other benefits he has done for countless charities. He prays each day to be the best Wavy Gravy that he can be. He tries, every day.
We are favored, privileged and fortunate to have him in midst. He makes Berkeley a better Berkeley and he makes us better us. He has trusted and followed his crazy ideas to an extent that the rest of us can’t imagine. What an inspiration!
There is a celebration today of Wavy’s 82nd birthday. A chance for you – yes, YOU – to take in a little dose of this Clown Prince in our midst.
My friend spent longer than usual looking at this post before I published it. He has gone for a simple, clean Danish modern look in his quarters.
Gone somewhere I don’t know where probably not forever is much of the stuff with which he surrounded himself for many year.
He recently brought this puja table home from a road trip to Garberville. In and of itself it does not signal a Return to Clutter, but it is a development worth watching.
What does he think of this look at Wavy’s stuff?
Absolutely amazing adventure ! Thank you and Happy Birthday Wavy !
Hurray and Happy Birthday to Wavy!! Carry on!
Thank you! I remember Wavy as a kid always marveled at the peace sign on Henry… I went to the Catholic school down the street- where the peace sign was rarely discussed… and so I knew it was something potent, important and radical….