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Alex Horvath
Sonoma County, CA
Aging Gracefully
Recent Activity
In June of 2008, self-described homeless person Ricky Green was attacked by a mob of six people in Bolinas, California. The attackers included one adult female and two teenagers. Green was beaten about the head with skateboards, fists, and feet. He was also stabbed, and left lying in a pool of his own blood in a residential neighborhood not far from the entrance to Brighton Beach. The attackers were arrested and charged (initially with attempted murder, but the charges were later reduced in exchange for guilty pleas). All of the attackers were eventually convicted on various assault charges and sentenced... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2012 at Sleep Deprived
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I have no business visiting the pet section at PetSmart as it invariably breaks my heart, and occasionally results in my bringing an extra cat home. Such was the case about two weeks ago when I ventured into the glassed in area at the Rohnert Park store and saw "Sylvie," an 11-year-old feline who was sleeping soundly all the way in the back of her cage. This wasn't the first time I saw her - I had seen her every Saturday for the past month as I stopped in to do our weekly pet food shopping. And every week, Sylvie... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2012 at Sleep Deprived
Of course this train ride could not be an effortless trip. The train was loaded with Indonesian military officers, most of which were puffing on opium cigarettes. The train also broke down about half way across the island, and we had to walk in the dark, and board a second train to get to Jakarta. Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2012 at Sleep Deprived
"Would I like the $1 an hour that I had earned since I arrived at around dinner time, or would I like something a little more memorable..." she asked, taking my young hand and leading me into a close embrace. Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2011 at Sleep Deprived
"Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!" -- Truman Burbank In the movie "The Truman Show", the protagonist, Truman Burbank, is a person that was born and raised on the set of a "reality" television program in a fictional town called Seahaven. But to him, life on the set truly is reality.Truman is watched by millions of people worldwide, but he has no idea that is existence is that of a character on television. He's the star of the program but he doesn't realize it. People on the outside feel bad... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
If you find your photo taped to the mirror behind the bar at Smiley’s Saloon, chances are that you may be dead. The long mirror inside the 152 year old bar is often the barometer for comings and goings – mainly the goings – of many in the community. It’s been a helluva year with regard to members of the community passing away. Since November 2003, Bolinas has lost Carolyn Brown, Russ Riviere, Jill Whitcroft, Patrick Holland, Pat Haines, Peter Allen, Bill Spessard, and “Pearl,” among others. In recent days, another passing: Tyrone Jamito of Stinson Beach, a Bolinas School... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
There are many tales involving the stealing of the Bolinas 2 Miles road sign, but none that I remember better than the one I am about to relate, which involves the time a local restaurateur, frustrated with what he considered lack of business, concocted his own “Bolinas” road sign in for form of seven white rubber letters that had been glued to the road at the Bolinas Wye. A guard had been hired to watch the sign and make sure no vandals were able to abscond with it. The year was 1977, about five years after the original sign (or... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
Helicopters buzzing about overhead, trips up Mt. Tam to water one’s private garden, backyards on The Mesa that were covered with camouflage, and citizens worried that newcomers were narks. Ah, the good old days of Bolinas in the 1970’s, when entrepreneurs from our town and beyond tried in earnest to get a lump-sum out of the soil in the area, or sometimes just some extra money (and weed) to get through the winter. There are plenty of folks that have much more hands-on experience in these areas than I given that my association with marijuana stopped in 1969, when I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
I’m not sure of the year that it first went on the air, but I am darned sure of the exact date when it went off. And that was December 15, 1975, when officials from the Federal Communications Commission arrived at the Bolinas Community Public Utilities District building on Elm Road, confiscated radio equipment from a small studio on the second floor, and padlocked the doors so that no one could get in. This was the end of the road for WRFB, call letters that were short for WRadio Free Bolinas, a small station — 1/10th of a watt -... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
The crusty old police officer spotted me staring at him, squinting, trying to get close enough to read the name on the brass plate that was pinned to his shirt just above the badge. I could barely make out the name. Just as I was getting close and spelling out the individual letters, he moved toward me, looked me in the eye and with a threatening voice growled, “Do you want to go to jail?” The year was 1976. I was 15-years old and had come to the Marin County Civic Center to write about an ongoing murder trial as... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
In January of 1968, in the months that followed our family moving from the suburbs of New Jersey to Bolinas, my mother got it in her head that she should buy herself a new car. She had thought this out carefully and talked it over with several of the new friends that she had made in town, many of the conversations taking place down at Smiley’s Saloon and others over all-night burgundy parties in our living room, or early morning coffee the following day, with feet propped up near the open oven door in the kitchen of our Brighton Avenue... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
At the risk of telling stories out of school, another amphibious vehicle tale has come to mind – this time involving a person whom I shall refer to as “Isaac,” who in 1980 went to a Ford dealership in San Rafael and purchased a brand-new, bright yellow pick-up truck. Isaac was a great guy. He was honest as the day is long, had a twisted sense of humor, and worked hard on construction sites and doing backhoe jobs when needed. The new truck was somewhat of a luxury, although Isaac did figure that he would use it for work at... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
I was named after both of my grandfathers – Alexander Healy from Worland, Wyoming, and Dr. Bela Horvath, from Budapest Hungary. Strangely, I see myself as a mix of both men, with a peppering of both of my parents thrown in for flavor. I have my father’s intellect and sense of humor, which I’m sure he got from his parents. I’m sure that I would have loved both men but it is my maternal grandfather that I remember the best and had a special relationship with. Lately I have been remembering the time in January 1983, a year after my... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
My favorite Thanksgiving in Bolinas was in 1995, a year when I was living back in town and working part-time at Smiley’s Saloon while working full-time at the Pacific Sun. I was going through my first divorce and had moved to let my mind heal and to get my arms around whatever I was going to do with the rest of my life. Being a bar-keep was not on that list but the social interaction kept me from isolating, the money was good and there was no lack of material for my column in the Sun. What I am about... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
I was once the press secretary to the mayor of Bolinas, Calif. Later I was the vice-mayor of the tiny coastal community. It may seem like the statements are a pack of lies, but they are actually true. At least if you buy into the fact that Dean Greenstreet was once the Mayor of Bolinas. Greenstreet was The Mayor (albeit unelected to the title). He moved to Bolinas in the early 1970’s following a divorce from a woman in Novato. To the teenagers of the time, in a town known for counterculture people and men that favored long hair, tie-dye... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
News from Bolinas was rather dire last week with the unfortunate demise of master-guitarist Buddy Craig, and of long-time community do-gooder/town cleaner, Bicycle Tim Walsh, who hung himself at the Bolinas Community Center last Tuesday. Craig’s death was also a suicide. In the town the size of Bolinas, this kind of random and intentional occurrence is rough on the soul of everyone, and my e-mail box has received several cry-outs of frustration and wanting to share the news and commiserate. Why would anyone that landed in this little burg - arguably one of the most beautiful spots on the planet... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
It always seemed peculiar how the adults of yesteryear (the senior citizens of today) could hijack the holidays of small children as they did in Bolinas in the late 1960’s and early1970’s. A perfect example would be Easter, a religious holiday for many and also a day of hunting for Easter Eggs and colorful candies as we did for the first part of the day. However, at about 11 AM, the adults would round up the kids in their households and pack them into cars for a drive out to Palomarin, a desolate area located about ten miles from town,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
It’s not often that I think of it, but something reminded me the other day of the time back in 1984 when I was selected for inclusion on San Francisco Focus Magazine’s list of 50 Most Eligible Bachelor’s in the entire Bay Area. It was a big deal to this 23 year old, who had only weeks earlier fought off assertions from two trusted female friends - a mother and daughter in my extended family who lived up on Horseshoe Hill - that I had no more qualifications to be on that list than any of the vagrants that lined... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
I don’t know why it is that I am surprised about this, but the Wal-Mart store in Rohnert Park, California, does not carry any Hanukkah-related merchandise. I had gone into the store on Wednesday evening to pick up some OTC congestion medication and to look for a simple Hanukkah decoration that my wife, who is Jewish, could bring in to her office – something to add equal time to the Christmas decorations that had been put up. I walked the store looking for any Hanukkah products, finally finding my way in to the Christmas department. I looked up and down... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Sleep Deprived
Alex Horvath added a favorite at Sleep Deprived
Jan 1, 2010
Having grown up in Bolinas during a period where people were tearing down road signs so that outsiders couldn't find the place, I have been acutely aware that I was surrounded by Xenophobes - a term that means people who are afraid of outsiders. Xenophobia, is the name of a board game that I have often thought of marketing, with characters from Bolinas as pieces on the game, and places like the Free Box, the BPUD Building, the Macrame Playground (that no longer exists), and the Dock as corners on the board. I have considered something like a "Get out... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2009 at Sleep Deprived
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On a Fourth of July in 1994, Emily, a woman who was visiting Bolinas from San Francisco, confessed to me over morning coffee that she was attracted to Gary - and asked if all of the women in town had crushes on him. I told her that I had no way of knowing - but who knows - maybe she would get lucky? We walked downtown to Smiley's and were enjoying a pre-parade Bloody Mary inside the saloon when Gary showed up at the door shirtless and with a half-empty flask of Wild Turkey whiskey in hand. He put the bottle down and reached up to the windowsill above the door and began doing chin-ups - all the while yelling across the room, "Let's all masturbate!" It was no later than Nine O'Clock in the morning. I asked Emily, "Are you still attracted to Gary?" Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2009 at Sleep Deprived