Editor: The following “Rave” was sent to us by an old and very good friend, Dickie Magidoff, who lived in OB from 1972 through 1978. Dickie came to OB for a 3-week visit, and ended up staying seven years. As soon as he arrived, Dickie began working on the then hard copy OB Rag, and became a mainstay of the paper for years. A type-setter by trade, and a politico by nature, Dickie ended up living in Berkeley and Oakland, California, until his recent marriage to Ellen Sugg – another former OBcean – and move to the small town of Burney in Shasta County.
by Dickie Magidoff / January 4, 2010
For the New Year I send you all great appreciation and thanks from up here in the north country of California.
For me, reading the OBRag online is something like having a great reality show or Sims computer game to watch – the biggest difference of course being that, unlike reality shows, OB is real – and reading about the community good times, the community struggles, the great pictures, the genuine controversies, with real people going back and forth (with some humor) evolving a community perspective dazzling in its texture, inspiring in its purpose, and potent in its action—it helps keep me going in this very conservative place where I live.
Up here in Shasta County it seems most of the grass roots dynamism belongs to the teabaggers and their base and, though I have met a ton of wonderful people and there is such natural beauty around here, I have been unable to get much traction in any effective way [the Sarah Palin book tour had to add a 2nd show in Redding there was such a huge demand for tickets to see her]. I did share a lot of the early fire coverage by the Rag blog – fire was such an issue that summer up here . . . and all kinds of people felt your coverage was great in its breadth and depth.
OB is real and it is a place I lived for seven years in the 1970s and visited many times a year for another 20 years. It was a home away from home for my wonderful daughter as she was growing up in the ’80 and ’90s , a place I never stopped feeling I “knew,” and a place where many I consider among my dearest and closest friends still live.
Arriving in OB on Thanksgiving Day 1972 (just for a few-week visit I thought), it felt like a fantasy come true for me, a community where I felt both comfortable and challenged, with such a community essence and a growing personal friendships I had never experienced in such abundance – a place to organize among people like myself – and of course there was the Ocean and the Beach – I had never been as aware of the phases of the moon before, because I saw the open sky every day.
I worked on the original OB Rag for a couple of years and was deeply involved in the beginnings of the OB Childcare Project (which I think still exists in some form today). I helped on and supported many efforts around community planning with the OB Community Planning Group and around getting the police off our case in OB with the Human Rights Committee as well as antiwar campaigns, support for the growing women’s movement in OB, and later efforts against deportations of undocumented people. I worked at the old InBetween for a year (a story maybe worth a separate post someday) and became a bit more familiar with the OB “street”. OB was a place I felt truly a part of and where I had effect.
Your wonderful online publication recaptures that for me in a vivid and engaging way. It is so wonderful to tap into the energy that sustains the OB community ideal still as something special where people can relate in human ways and engage with each others’ lives. Really it is an inspiration . . . .
Many of you Ragsters I know well . . . and I can’t wait to see you all and hopefully soon [I know I know I can hear some of you saying I always say that . . . but I do mean it] – and those of you I have come to know through your posts and comments, well I look forward to the real replacing the virtual between us. You sound like such an eloquent and friendly crew – (I especially hope to catch a wave with bodysurferbob . . .)
Finally: when I worked on the original Rag one of the things I did was sell ads. I really appreciated the people who put it on the line materially to support a community resource like the Rag. So I want to give a special thank you to the OBRag blog advertisers. I hope it is working out for all of you and you can continue to support and be supported by the Rag blog and its base.
And really finally it is great to see my dear old friend Frank Gormlie continuing over 35 years of genuine, principled, popular journalism in San Diego. Frank – you truly deserve the credit and the blame!!
If you are curious about our habitat, come visit . . . we love city company . . .
Happy New Year to All!!!
Burney, Shasta County