Friday, January 16, 2015


WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH ODD, WITH (SOMETIMES)TROUBLESOME PEOPLE?? I will go wander among a community of mavericks and see what I think---

And I will take 40 of my friends with me.  These are fellow WIN (wandering individuals network)
members----many of whom have never been to the infamous SLABS.

Every day I lead them to one or more of its distinctive areas. The SLABS community is likely the "most free" (least governed) place in the US---which is both good news and bad for its inhabitants.
Good news because misfits such as Leonard Knight can express their creativity publicly.  Where else can you--on public land--build a monument such as this? Salvation Mountain took 25 years to build--and is now on the National Registry of Folk Art. 
The Slabs are perhaps the only permanent, free campground in the world.  You can go there and stake out a homestead and build yourself a home like this?
Or this?
Or this
Or this

Or create your own personal museum and art colony like this?

Turning junk into art.
This very creative (he built that glass wall on the right) and articulate guy is a relative newcomer to a community of artist who live and do their art here in a place they call East Jesus

Sometimes pretty good art. (yes, that's a bus they partially buried just for the effect)

At the Slabs--misfits say whatever they wish-- to the world.

Or build their own religious sanctuary?

You can start your own business--paying no rent?

Or build your own theater.  I am standing where a scene was shot in the movie INTO THE WILD.
You can start your own community.  This is a well established one with about 50 members.
These facilities are owned by the largest community there--the LOWs (Loners On Wheels)-- a chapter of a thriving national organization.
A warm pool---104 or so degrees---free and open to all.
The Lows welcomed us into their space for our visit here---threw a party and a dance for us.

Complete with a professional DJ
As you leave the Slabs--after what will likely be a surrealistic visit--this sign warns you that conventional reality is just ahead.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I APPROVE---I APPROVE---I TOAST---I CELEBRATE--THIS SERENDIPITOUS SQUARE MILE.  Started as a quirky accident on the remains of an abandoned Marine base---it has endured for 40 plus years---evolved---adapted---achieved national fame.
It serves hundreds as a PLACE TO BE.  (the existential minimum)

I say we can afford to give everyone a place to BE.  It is SOCIAL SAVAGERY to squeeze blood rent from everyone.  A fair percentage of us cannot and will not live "respectable" lives.
Like Thoreau, we "hear a different drummer" and "march to the music we hear".

Friday, January 02, 2015


I REJOINED THE WINs (Wandering Individuals Network: after a hiatus of 3 years and rediscovered the joys of belonging to a mobile tribe.
This is the best of travel groups in my opinion because they do it together---and cheaply--have a 20 yr history--a very satisfying culture that respects privacy and freedom--yet knows how to act cooperatively.  They're friendly and fun to be with.
They asked me to compose a poem about the experience here. (Peg Leg Smith--an old prospector who based here in the desert and claimed to have found a fabulous gold mine) Here's the poem I wrote and performed: The gold boa is for effect.
Finding Peg Leg’s Gold

There’s gold, there’s gold, there’s gold here ’bouts.
Peg Leg Smith was right!
There's lots and lots of gold around
And most of it's in sight.

A golden sun up from that hill,
Broadcast on every channel,
Beaming golden kilowatts
On every solar panel.

Here’s golden agers by the dozen
Sharing this holiday,
Eating golden turkey in
Our golden hide-a-way.

We’re making golden memories-
What more could one desire?
Than sharing golden moments
Around a golden fire.

Some say gold is where you find it-
Where miners dig and take it.
I say gold of the precious kind
Is where good people make it.

About 75 of us collaborated on Thanksgiving dinner.
Went hiking in the nearby canyons
marveled at the metal sculptures scattered across the landscape around Borrego Springs.
These are new ones since I was last here.
Love the detail on this one. I estimate there are a total of 100 of them.  All depict the various animals and people who visited or lived in this area.

And speaking of living in the area----some miles away are the remnants of an incredibly bold mountain top experiment.  Read about it here and here.
It's about 20 miles away from Borrego Springs and a challenging climb up a mountain.
Here's what's left.
Water was stored here.
Looking down from their mountaintop home. For 17 years they lived here.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  It's a weird, wild and wonderful world out there.  GO SEE IT.
There are warm, wise, wandering folks to share the experience with. CONNECT UP.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I'M TIRED OF WRITING ABOUT MYSELF---so I'll relate a few more highlights and tell you what I think this all means.  Really, I have been trying to make a point.

1. I lived briefly on a desert Island (Ballast key) about 10 miles out from Key West, Fla.
I sailed my Shark Catamaran out there with my girlfriend (the lady who ran off to mexico) and settled in for a week or so.  It was fascinating at first and then it got tedious.  Finally we ran out of water and hurried back.

2. I sailed down the Mississippi River from Memphis to New Orleans on that same boat (sails only--no motor) --(different girlfriend)--a distance of about 600 miles---took 10 days---we slept at night on sandbars.  This was one of those fantasies that was as thrilling as I'd hoped it would be.
One exciting moment was sailing past the Delta Queen paddle wheel steamboat with all the people waving to us.  We drifted along in splendid silence--sometimes only a few feet off shore sometimes startling deer.
I went on to have many boating experiences--not least was "losing myself" in the canyons of Lake Powell.

3 I've not had a job in about 40 years.  I found a way to avoid rent---and that has made all the difference.  The income from the houses I've owned was just enough to let me live comfortably unemployed--let me spend my time doing what I enjoyed.

4. Had 15 minutes of fame---with my "Believe and Be Damned" speech.  Got a standing ovation from a packed house in Ft Lauderdale.  Did a radio talk show circuit discussing it-- Gave it about a hundred times in Unitarian churches across the country.  (Truthfully, it amounts to nothing---made no serious money---people forget what you said) Just gave me a short "high"--(not a bad thing)
And Oh yes: I won 1st prize in the Beaux Arts Ball in New Orleans in a self made costume.

5.Miscellaneous stuff:  Had a nose Job--to remove a bump injury--Traveled above the Arctic circle with my Friend Arnold--to the town of Inuvick.  Memorized a hundred classic poems which I can still recite.  Wrote a hundred or so of my own.  Was nearly bit by a sidewinder rattlesnake. Have a low tolerance for Alcohol and therefore have never been drunk.  I have boondocked more than 7000 nights all over Canada, the USA and Mexico.

CONCLUSION:  By now you've got the flavor of my life.  In some ways it was indeed thrown away because I have few material things to show for it.  I have traded a career for experiences.  I DON'T REGRET IT.  Thoreau said it best:  "Time is the stream I go fishing in".  I believe with Ayn Rand in the virtue of selfishness.  That if you live your life for yourself--doing the things that make you happy, you are more likely to contribute to a better world than if you give your self away--let yourself be used by others.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014



1. I very briefly interviewed Rev Moon--founder of the Moonie cult---asked him 3 very challenging questions.  It was in the late 60's when his following in the US was probably less than a hundred.  A Karate expert named Jhoon Rhee was trying to recruit me---invited me to the welcome party in Washington DC.  Rev Moon spoke briefly then opened the floor for questions. I asked the pivotal question: Do you really claim to be Jesus Christ returned to earth? (he does) He said:  "I will let you decide that".  I said: "Will you die a mortal's death?" He said "yes". (Scripture has him ruling over a transformed earth when he comes back) Finally, I asked if he could do miracles.  Now he was annoyed with me and saw I was not a follower.  He said: "Even if I did a miracle for you---you would not believe."  My embarrassed host moved the meeting along.  I watched later as the new Jesus Christ tried to cut a cake with a sword. He didn't know that the cake was not solid but was built on a cardboard foundation.  When the sword wouldn't go through--he became a little flustered---then grasping both ends of the sword he crunched through the cardboard--collapsing the huge cake.  It was obvious to me (maybe others) that ego had surged momentarily in the New Jesus Christ. Everyone laughed nervously and broke into applause.
Imagine my astonishment over the years when this fakir from North Korea got hundreds of thousands to follow him.

2. I Briefly interviewed Sandra Tanner---granddaughter of Brigham Young--and author of the fiercely anti-Mormon book:  "MORMON CLAIMS EXAMINED"---A scholarly--very detailed--analysis of the falsehoods and follies of Mormonism. Check her out here.  (also if the subject interest you I recommend Stephen Mansfield's book: THE MORMONIZING OF AMERICA.) She and her husband are a bold couple to wage their war right there in Salt Lake.  I credit their research with much of what I know about this ridiculous religion.  Sadly, they are evangelical Christians with their own follies to consider.  Mormonism is more vulnerable than Christianity because along with its doctrines it makes scientific claims that are Provably untrue.  After a century of trying to defend the claims of the book of Abraham---the LDS church admitted last month that it simply wasn't true.  And now genetic evidence proves that the American Indians are NOT descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel. You have to be REALLY REALLY credulous to be a Mormon. But I digress.

3. One of my strangest experiences was meeting someone incredibly LIKE ME. We even looked a bit alike---rode identical BMW motorcycles and had the same outgoing--pleasing--manner.  We locked on to each other at a National Motorcycle rally and didn't come up for air for about 2 hours---both of us astonished to meet an intellectual and philosophical and emotional twin.  Here's the Amazing thing:  I WAS BORED OUT OF MY SKULL.  There was nowhere to go with our conversation--no solid differences to explore--no character traits to adopt---In short---nothing to be learned.  Admire him as I did---he had nothing for me.  I went away wondering if I had anything to offer anybody.  Certainly I don't think I will flock with birds too much like me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Here's a few more.
1. The hyper rush of sharing.
Lured away to Mexico by an old love living there--I went down to heal her broken heart--leaving my current lady twisting in the wind. (nice story in itself--the Mexico lady--she lusted for bullfighters--moved to San Miguel de Allende---got one---got two---was disappointed with both---unsatisfying lovers--their stomachs a mass of ugly scars---from bulls horns--and their penis's not matching their courage--their ego's unbearable---she jettisoned them and took up with a cheese seller---who broke her heart)
My work done--I returned to New Orleans to find my lady sleeping with one of my friends.  OOOh the pains of hell----FOR AWHILE---like a sledge hammer to the gut and then it slowly went away. We three conferred and decided to share the lady on alternate days.  She slept with me on Mon, Wed, Fri and him on Tu, Thurs, Sat.  Sunday she slept alone.  She did this for a month then quit--choosing to be with me---said of the experiment:  "It was thrilling for awhile but became exhausting---That her lovers were like rival bulls trying to outdo each other." From my perspective it was hyper exciting.  On my nights I would quiver with anticipation---find great joy in pleasuring her--exhaust myself in ecstasy. In the months afterwards-- when our passion began to cool---I would urge her to find another lover to "threaten me with" and bring back the hyper sex. We lived together for 5 years. (Miss "L" if you read this why not comment anonymously on your memory of this experiment )

2. Barroom strategies:
I've done some of my hardest thinking on this subject.  Here are my conclusions: Three elements to a successful connection in a bar: a. Show some--but not too much--interest.
                                                  b. Display credentials---subtly--like speaking intelligently.
                                                  c. Display aliveness---(your playful child persona) "promise" fun.
Turns out someone has written a master work on this subject: Neil Strauss's book:  THE GAME.

3. Contractual relationship:
I did this once---With the lady who went off to Mexico.  We read a book on contractual marriages and decided to try a contractual relationship---spent some time carefully drawing up our wants and then signing a one month contract.  Think we renewed it once.  Have forgotten what ended it---Oh yes--she moved off to Mexico.

4. Wrote a poem to men from "Mars"--explaining those "ladies from venus".  All in good fun but containing seeds of truth.

What Every Martian Needs to Know

A spaceship has landed with men from Mars.
And, before they disembark,
Gather to hear the tour director
Make his briefing remarks.

Men, we’ve come this billion miles
Because we’re incomplete.
And the thing that we are lacking
Is women, soft and sweet.

Earth is mating ground, but remember
Women have come from Venus,
A whole different planet, and there’s a world
Of differences between us.

We are mighty studs and stallions
With inborn driving need
To charm a lot of maidens and
Scatter lots of seed.

But these ladies here from Venus
Have a different agenda.
They only want one loving mate
And a cozy hacienda.

So love and sex are apples and oranges
To us Martian males.
But women won’t have them separately;
They insist on fruit cocktail.

Mother Nature’s thrown us a cross-purpose curve;
The solution’s still in doubt.
Couple’s must find a way to work
This contradiction out.

Meanwhile, men, go charm some lady;
Get kissed upon the lips.
And to help you in your quest,
We pass along these tips.

Ladies from Venus are like skittish rabbits.
Do I need to tell you, Rookie?
We must develop gentle habits
Pretend you don’t need the nooky.

Don’t get in a hurry to shed your pants.
Restrain that raging need.
Bide your time, and do the dance.
Love can’t be won with speed.

When women tell their troubles, you wanna fix ‘em
As soon as they’ve arisen.
But curiously, what Venus wants
Is just for Mars to listen!

So polish your manners; listen for hours.
Brag in moderation.
Fix her rig; bring her flowers.
Avoid inebriation.

Don’t flash money or flex your muscles.
They’ll think you’re an uncouth sap.
Women from Venus consistently
Reject all macho crap.

I know, I know, it’s a peck of trouble,
I can hear some of you say,
We’re jumping through hoops, we need love on the double,
Why, it’s easier just to be gay!’

But gentlemen, gentlemen, when the rose finally blooms,
When body and soul are a-quiver,
When joy and passion fill the room
With pleasures only women deliver,

You’ll sing with me the ecstasy song,

OOOh sweet Venus, where ya been so long.’ “ 

PREVIEWS OF COMING POSTS:  I think I will wrap up this personal history segment with a few more experiences from my thrown away life that you may find hard to believe--like an interview with Rev. Moon---founder of the moonies---and with Mrs Tanner--Brigham Young's granddaughter. Then I hope to make explicit the point I've been hinting at--what my life has to do with yours. When I've done this I will tell you what I've been doing in the past month.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


WOMEN CANNOT KNOW HOW DEEPLY WE ACHE FOR THEIR PLEASURES.  Watch male animals battle for females till they are exhausted ---even when hungry lions are about--and you get some hint as to the urgency of our need.  We begin to yearn for you---I daresay about 6 and endure about 10 years of extraordinary frustration in this culture. (how much Dahmer-like wierdness can be traced to this frustration is worth researching)  In a world I would make-- the balance of desire would be more even----or the culture less cruel. (some cultures--I've heard---allow nannies to masturbate young boys --to ease their tension) Happily, our culture is bending a bit---sex is easier, earlier and
in more imaginative forms.  I think--on balance--it's a good thing. Frustrated sexual desires lead to
life altering abuses of the young as in the Catholic priests scandals.

But I digress.  I have promised to share some "unbelievable" incidents of my own sexual history.
1. I begin with a "lightweight" incident at college where I was seduced by a teacher who with infinite finesse-- shepherded me to bed.  I enjoyed it---not a big deal---not hard to believe?

2. I once dated a nudist---who surprised me on our first date by answering the door nude.  Said she wanted to see the look on my face. (sheepish smile) also not hard to believe?---Stay tuned!

3. Three times in my travels I have seduced ladies at rest areas. One was a Mormon lady at the rest area near the Salt flats speedway. Another outside Dallas and the third in New Mexico.  All seemed to me a gift from the Gods. Right place--right time? Also not hard to believe?---stay tuned!!

4. Dated a Guru.  A female guru came to Tampa town and I watched her declaim her message to a packed house. She has a nationwide following.  Friends arranged a date with her because I was single and at the time performing a one-man Walt Whitman show. (who had much to say about enlightenment).  We clicked-- and she invited me to perform at her home congregation. I did and she paid me generously--then spent some quality time with me. Woo Woo people would know her so I will detail no more. I will say that Enlightened intimacy is as good as you would suspect--super fun!
She tried to enlist me--but I simply did not believe her metaphysics and declined. I'm getting a little harder to believe now---aren't I?  Stay tuned--you positively won't believe the final one!

5. I tried to seduce my grade school teacher---40 years later.  She was still beautiful--widowed and we had exchanged chit chatty letters. I remembered the fire I felt in her class. When I went home recently, I called on her--thanked her for my lessons and displayed my most charming and erudite self---showed her I was quoted in a scholarly book (Practicing Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton--page 83)  Ever so carefully I moved to that line you cannot cross without giving offense or revealing your desire.  But if you don't approach that line, you have NO chance of "success."  I went right up to the line in a phone call that night and my quarry suddenly understood my intentions.  I could hear in her voice that she was shocked and not the least bit interested.  I retreated quickly, assuring her with as much plausibility as I could muster that this was a poorly worded misunderstanding. Perhaps I covered my backside---perhaps I didn't.
What we've illustrated here is that lust can envision the remotest possibilities---entertain the most far fetched wishes--and call a most rational man into absurd action.  Jeesus--what was I thinking.

6. OK here's where I'll lose you---but it's true. Here's the story: (All the parties but myself are dead)
She was high society, drop dead gorgeous and 10 years older-- and she wanted to play tennis with me. (friend of a friend) I'm terrible at tennis but she didn't seem to care.  Our second time out while taking  a lengthy break on the grass, I noticed a pulsating artery in her neck and understood what it meant: She wanted me!! I hadn't even considered it because she was so far out of my impoverished Seminary Student ballpark. My heart surged--and I kissed her--then and there.  We began to meet and eventually became lovers.  I will never forget the irony of guest preaching in a southern Baptist Church one Sunday and looking out from the pulpit to see her and her husband in the audience. (shades of Rev Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne) Honestly--it didn't trouble me at all--I was already drifting away from absolute (revealed) ethics toward relative (discovered/situational/consequential) ethics.

Eventually, I got married to my college sweetheart, moved away and never saw her for 22 years.
(here's the part you will find hard to believe)
I met her briefly at the funeral of a mutual friend.  Still exquisitely beautiful---still married. She was warm--we exchanged pleasantries.  Found myself in a private side conversation with her husband and asked him about his job with Wal-mart. (He was in the inner circle as a site locator and often in the company of Sam Walton)  He said: "I Quit! That bastard was having an affair with my wife--sending me out of town so he could get with her."
So there you have the unbelievable thing:  Sam Walton and I shared a lover!!

RANDY RUMINATES: I don't know if all this revelation is doing me or you any good.  One of my friends has warned me that "stuff you put on the internet never goes away." But Jesus and Brad Blanton say: the truth will set you free!

Sunday, December 07, 2014


She called me one day; said I want to buy you breakfast; I met her at IHOP; pleasantly puzzled because we had dated several times and I sensed no movement toward intimacy.  Oh how I lusted for her; beautiful, curvaceous, aloof.  My charm had failed me--I considered giving up.

She said "I know you want me and I want to tell you why I've refused."
Then followed a story that sped my heart--literally.  She said "I've been abandoned by lovers who grew tired of me---and it hurt for a long time.  One day at my job my boss called me in and told me that he loved his wife but found himself fantasizing about me.  He ask if I would consider trading sex for a weeks pay.  I was shocked and told him no.  Then I thought about it and considered the money and the fact that I liked him anyway.

Next week I told him I would try it once.  I did!  I liked it---he was a good lover.  That was 3 years ago and we still see each other---and he pays me.  I've decided that any future lovers would have to pay me so that if they dumped me I would have compensation to make me feel better."

Now you can guess why my heart sped up.  IT WAS POSSIBLE!  The only question remaining was HOW MUCH.  She thought about it and gave me a number.  I pulled out my wallet on the spot and paid. We went to her place---it was money well spent.  We got along famously.

A week later I asked for a monthly rate that I could afford.  We agreed and months went by.  I never tired of her---thought at times I was falling in love with her---took her on dates etc.  She told me that she had 3 lovers--her original boss and another guy.  I learned to live with that. Sex was always safe.

I left her for a greater love--life on the road when I moved away from Tampa.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I'm not ashamed of this arrangement---Money is a logical way to overcome the inequity of desire.  I've (overtly) paid for sex two other times: Once at the infamous Mustang Ranch outside Reno and once when I was 17 in a back street bordello in Vicksburg, Ms.
I don't think women feel the kind of raging lust that men feel.  A sign in a remote bar on Hwy 50 says it succinctly:  Men:No shirt, No shoes----no service----Women: No shirt---free drinks.