by Travis Mateer
My state of mind was already a bit crispy around the edges after driving from Redding, to San Francisco, to Eureka, so it was in true Gozno style that I introduced myself to Mr. Rockefeller.
You might think it sad for me to be talking to a portrait of a wealthy man with very little scratch attached to my own name, but that’s because you didn’t have a vigorous conversation with your Map-App while trying not to crash into giant Redwood trees for the hour previous to entering the “historic” Eureka Inn.
Yes, Hollywood is well represented at the Eureka Inn, but did you know the story of a young director named George Lucas who used some curious extras once upon a time from a drug rehab movement that became a cult and originated in Santa Monica?
Hat-tip to the PsyOp Cinema guys for reminding me about the crazy Synanon roots of what eventually morphed into AA. From the link (emphasis mine):
In the early 1960s, the Synanon house became quite the fashionable hang-out for Hollywood’s more cerebral celebrities. Guest speakers in 1963 alone included Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, legendary sci-fi author Ray Bradbury, and the original host of the Tonight Show, Steve Allen. Other visitors included Leonard Nimoy, Jane Fonda, Charlton Heston, and Milton Berle, among dozens of other curious stars. Synanon had some pretty cool parties, thanks to the fact that so many jazz musicians were around trying to kick their habit.
But it wasn’t just the Hollywood elite and L.A. musicians lining up to get a peek at the exciting things happening in Santa Monica. Others who couldn’t resist poking their heads in for a look at the program included counterculture drug aficionado Tim Leary, futurist Buckminster Fuller, and labor activist Cesar Chavez.
Politicians also came knocking. Senator Thomas Dodd from Connecticut claimed in 1962 that, “There is indeed a miracle on the beach at Santa Monica.” Jerry Brown Jr., the current governor of California, even visited Synanon while with his father in the mid-60s. Synanon was widely held up as a tremendously successful program by countless politicians well into the early 1970s. No wonder, given the kinds of numbers Synanon was reporting.
Why did I bold the part about jazz? Because I was enjoying some fantastic jazz in Eureka, California, when the police showed up. To their credit, they seemed as confused about why they were there as everyone else was.
Is this the kind of scene at 9:45pm you really want to be calling the cops about?
I had a long day of driving and documenting my thoughts on the synchronicities that won’t leave me along. Why would someone name a Credit Union the TRAVIS Credit Union, I wondered?
Here’s the story of why the Air Force Base was RENAMED Travis:
The base was renamed Travis Air Force Base in 1951 for Brigadier General Robert F. Travis, who was killed when a B-29 Superfortress crashed shortly after takeoff on 5 August 1950. The ensuing fire caused the 10,000 pounds of high explosives in the plane’s cargo — a Mark 4 nuclear weapon — to detonate, killing General Travis and 18 others. (The bomb’s plutonium pit was being transported in a different plane.)
The Military Air Transport Service (MATS) resumed command of Travis AFB on 1 July 1958, after SAC’s new dispersal policy led to the transfer of the 14th Air Division to Beale AFB, California and the 1501st Air Transport Wing (Heavy) became the host unit. On 1 January 1966, MATS was redesignated as the Military Airlift Command (MAC) and on 6 January 1966, the 60th Military Airlift Wing (60 MAW) replaced the 1501st ATW as the host unit.
As Travis was an important SAC base, it received anti-aircraft defenses in the 1950s. The 436th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion was active by 1955. The 436th AAAB was redesignated as an antiaircraft artillery missile battalion on 5 January 1957 and subsequently occupied four Nike Ajax sites, which went to 1st Missile Battalion, 61st Artillery on 1 September 1958. Controlling the SAMs was the 29th Artillery Group (Air Defense).
I’d like to write more, but I’m exhausted, and I have to figure out where I’m going tomorrow. That is, after checking out the local culture.
If you appreciate the daily posts I’m still putting up while traveling on this epic road trip, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) hasn’t seen a donation for quite some time, nor has the donation button at my about page been used. You have the power to change that! And it sure would help the stares of Rockefeller feel less intimidating!
Thanks for reading!