Listeners can now subscribe to the remastered version of my free audiobook Nobody's Property: Living on the Remains of a Life in California on Podiobooks.com. I am working on scanning pictures and other ephemera from Jenny/Rose's trunk and on providing a free PDF of each chapter. Find the pictures and chapters on my living on the remains page.
They returned to California in the rainy season. Over the Santa Cruz mountains the heavy clouds brought their load of rain to the slopes above the bay, loosing the water over oak woodland, over evergreen forest, over the long reservoirs that slaked the city’s thirst, over the mansions of the very rich and the houses of the less rich. The old streams filled and where they ran aboveground cut a little into the banks of their courses; where they ran belowground they set a faster pace through concrete culverts to the bay, but they could not pick up any more of the water than they already carried.
The little optimistic houses built on floodplains and bay mud, the houses that sat over the culverts behind their yards of lemon trees and pansies and hydrangea—all still fruiting and blooming through the wet—now sat in a swamp. Sump pumps burbled the water out into the street, but once the street filled up the water had nowhere to go. The sewers were full and below tideline. The little yards we…
When I was two years old, my parents and I lived for a while in a cottage up Laurel Canyon. There is a picture of me from this time: I'm wearing toddler-sized cowgirl buckskins, my red hair is in high pigtails poking out each side of my head, I'm smiling, and I'm holding a toothbrush. Remember, this was less than two years after the Manson Family came down from the Ranch and murdered Sharon Tate and her guests up on Cielo Drive. The crazed women tasted blood and used it to scrawl PIG on the door. They crashed more than a party; they crashed a culture. And across the continent and the ocean, people were looking for my Aunt Jenny.