Home on Whidbey is a family blog revolving around Fran, Ed, Brad, Yessi, plus puppy Benton, and our family, travels, friends, neighbors and community. Thanks for reading.


Looking Back

During the very early years of my childhood we lived in Ojai, California and these were indeed formative years.  I was shaped and changed and influenced by this powerful community.  A community of art, history, beauty and people of note.  When Ed and I visited Ojai in about 1985, we were in luck to  be able to attend Philosopher Krishnamaurti's last lecture, where Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895/1896 - February 17, 1986), made his U.S. home.  My parents, George and Wilma Abel, attended his lectures in the Oak Grove often, when I was a small child. 

On that same Ojai visit, Ed and I were fortunate to be able to visit Beatrice Wood's studio where she was holding court.  A world famous potter, Beatrice Wood (March 3, 1893 - March 12, 1998), had just purchased a computer, and that day she was only interested in Ed, a computer programer. Her curiosity was intense, even as a very elderly woman.  She had selected Ojai as her home to be close to Jiddu Krisnamurti and was a life long member of the Theological Society.

Beatrice Wood.  When asked the secret to her incredible longevity,
she would respond, "I owe it all to chocolate and young men." 

On a walk one day, with my sister and parents, we stopped at Beatrice Wood's studio where my parents purchased tiny pots for my sister and me.  I still have my little pot.

A Beatrice Wood pot 

The famous "B" on the bottom of the pot

Georgia & Frances
Sisters in Ojai 1946

Beautiful majestic Oak trees dominate the landscape

My school, San Antonio School

Ojai Post Office
Historic Spanish architecture molds Ojai's charm.

Not being shaped just by powerful people, but powerful events too, one summer Ojai burned.  My mother, sister and I evacuated our home for the neighboring town of Oxnard as a wild fire raged.  Our father stayed behind to protect our home.   On hearing on the radio a man had suffered a heart attach protecting his home, we returned to the valley and our home to find out if our father was ok.  He was, but the fire was very close.  Being surrounded by orange orchards, we moved all our possessions into the orchard, where we slept  that night (determined by my parents to be safer than the house).  During the night the fire was controlled, just a few miles from our home.  We woke up freezing cold, with no fire to heat the night, but safe, although shivering.

Ojai wildfire (later fire but looks exactly the one of my childhood)

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