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Happy Valley

Morning Assembly

The choice is always ours. Then, let me choose The longest art, the hard Promethian way Cherishingly to tend and feed and fan That inward fire, whose small, precarious flame, Kindled or quenched, creates The noble or ignoble men we are, The worlds we live in and the very fates, Our bright or muddy star. … Continue reading »

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The years ’79 and ’80 brought a remarkable group of students to the Happy Valley School: Jamie Grover, Ondine, Denlow, Phil Hayes, Ivan, Amee, Romy, David Forsyth, Gokhan , the Meek family, Colm, Sarah, and Caitriona, Jake and Marion Rupp…just to name a very few. There was also the arrival of some interesting new teachers: … Continue reading »

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Promoting Moral Growth

It was the summer of 1985 and Cambridge, Mass., was muggy. I was living in an old Radcliffe dorm room, smaller than my first few cars. Single bed, small desk, and a giant fan which I pointed directly at the bed at night. I was there to work in a summer program under Lawrence Kohlberg, … Continue reading »

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Leaving HVS

  The notice came on a Saturday morning, June 2004. “You have one week to vacate your office and one month to vacate your house.” After 27 years at Happy Valley School, my tenure as Director was to end. I was the only person ever to occupy that office, built in 1979. By the late … Continue reading »

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Dances With Coyotes

For nearly 15 years, I lived in the Upper Ojai Valley, our house perched at the edge of a vast field, offering our family a daily panorama of the changing weather, the changing seasons, and a constant diorama of wildlife doing what wildlife does. Besides the regular stream of birds, the fields were the daily … Continue reading »

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To blog or not to blog…

  I have not posted on this blog for awhile now. While I occasionally have begun to frame a piece, I have not gotten around to the writing. It seems that I get caught between the urge to get it all down and the wish to let it all go. And if I must write, … Continue reading »

Categories: Happy Valley, Musings | 11 Comments

Snake aversion

We put our golden retriever, Doc, through rattlesnake aversion therapy a couple of weeks back. Not generally a fan of that sort of thing, it is necessary if one is to hike our local hills. In the morning and evenings especially, snakes are on the move. In our HVS days, we would have years of … Continue reading »

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I was shut in an empty classroom with 3×5 cards color coded and spread across two tables. I was trying to create class schedules for the some 20 odd students that comprised The Happy Valley School in 1978. Dr. Lunt, the HVS Director, keyed into the room followed by a tall bearded fellow, a prospective … Continue reading »

Categories: Fragments, Happy Valley | 6 Comments


 The artist, Beatrice Wood, died in March of 1998. She had just turned 105. For the last 20 years of her life she was my friend and I hers. From 1990-98 we were also next door neighbors. Her studio was about 100 feet up the hill from my bedroom and it was common for me … Continue reading »

Categories: Fragments, Happy Valley | 2 Comments

Base camp

On the final morning of our trek, it was never a problem to get students up and going…as a matter of fact, the challenge was to keep the anxious from packing up and bolting out ahead of us. After some accidents early on, we finally learned to put the packers behind us as we wound … Continue reading »

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