May 30, 2008

Tracking down Wanderjahrians

For reasons I won't get into here, I'm staying up all night. My server died on Memorial Day, and in the shuffle to get things up and make sure things are REALLY backed up like they were supposed to be (*AHEM*), I started going through old emails, and old files. Nice thing to do on a quiet night.

One mailbox I found from about 10 years ago was from someone who went to school with me at a school called Wanderjahr. Wanderjahr was an "alternative" school, a boarding school at Far View Ranch in Bangor CA (Bangor is in the foothills; if you draw an equilateral triangle with Marysville and Oroville, Bangor is the third point, to the east). I remember that area so fondly, with small towns like Challenge and "Rough and Ready" (and even Gibsonville, just beyond LaPorte, population 3).

Anyway, Kim Schafer, the daughter of the co-directors of the camp, somehow managed to track me down (Kim, if you see this, my email address still hasn't changed), and mentioned some upcoming newsletter and the possibility of a reunion. I didn't hear much more from her after that, so presume nothing came of it.

But it got me curious about how well I could track down some people from there. So I set my google skills to work.

First thing to try was to google "Drobish". Bo Drobish was the founder of the school, and I haven't heard from him in at least 20 years if not longer. A few years ago, I tried calling the phone number of Far View Ranch (where Wanderjahr was located), but no answer.

First suggestion was an search, so I went there, and searched the most recent year's census, 1930. What did I find?

Faith B Drobish name city, Riverside, CA abt 1896
H Boardenan Drobish name city, Riverside, CA abt 1922
M Joy Drobish name city, Riverside, CA abt 1924

Now, I never heard "H Boardenan" before, but I remembered that Bo had a younger sister, Joy (who founded Far View Ranch Camp, which was a summer camp I attended for a couple years before Wanderjahr). So Bo must have been short for Boardenan. I had never known his full name until now! How about that.

Also, Faith. When I was living there, there was an older woman named Faith, on top of the hill behind the main house complex. We called her Aunt Faith, if my failing memory serves. And Faith is also listed there in Riverside in 1930. And Bo was about that age back in the mid 70s (very active man, but a bit gray and balding).

I then tried to track down Joy. I googled Joy Drobish, and found a few hits, but not many. Dope-slapping me back to reality, I tried her (then) married name, Joy Palmerlee. I actually found a few hits with Joy Palmerlee Apra, suggesting that she apparently remarried. She appears to be living with her husband Dan, in Oakland. I could even call her, but I wouldn't know what to say, and besides it's getting late even there.

I then refocused my attention on finding Bo Drobish, so I googled him. I found a notice in the Middle Mountain Foundation newsletter that mentioned:

In Memory of:


H. Boardman “Bo” Drobish

So at this point, I knew he'd died. And then, I found the link that tied it all together.

This link is from the Lisle Fellowship newsletter from Winter, 2002:

Last issue we had a brief entry for “Bo” Drobish, who passed away in April 2001. His sister, Joy Drobish Palmerlee Apra, submitted a lovely summary of his life and relationship with Lisle. We decided it would be sweet to include it in this issue.

“This is to inform you that my brother, “Bo” Drobish (H. Boardman Drobish), died on April 20, 2001 at age 79. He and I were Lislers together in Golden, CO the summer of 1947.

He later took on more leadership, for instance a Lisle Unit in California (1950 and 1951) and perhaps another. We have a family ranch in northern California at Bangor in Butee County, called Far View Ranch)…Uncle Si and Aunt Edna were there then.

Bo was a graduate of UC Berkeley in 1947, after serving as a pilot and 1st Lieutenant in the US Air Force, dropping food over Italy. His specialty was agriculture and permaculture. He died naturally and suddenly in Kalispell, MT, where he lived near a son who was an organic farmer. Thank you. Sincerely—Joy Drobish Palmerlee Apra.”

Our thanks to Joy for sharing this view of her brother’s life with us. Also, our condolences to her and the rest of “Bo’s” family.

This told me a LOT! First, it confirmed that Bo was dead. It also confirmed that Joy Apra was the same Joy Palmerlee who was his brother. And finally, when I heard that part about "near a son who was an organic farmer.", my immediate thought was "Kip!" That's GOT to be Kip!

I then did some googling of Kip Drobish in Montana, and sure enough, he's there. He lives close to the land, off the grid (more or less, he's on enough to post comments in blogs). He owns (and rents as a vacation home), a straw bale house. I even read a moving statement he prepared for a Senate subcommittee on the demise of old growth forests.

There are some others I wasn't able to find (at least not yet, it's only 2 AM, and I still have 5 hours to kill). Notably, John Suttle, the cowboy and my closest friend there. I don't think I'll call Joy or maybe even Kip (although I may email him a link to this). But I sure wouldn't mind getting ahold of John again.

A quick check wasn't terribly encouraging. Suttle's not that strange a surname, and I somehow doubt he's a lawyer (never struck me as the lawyerin' type, if you catch my drift). Nor can I imagine him in a B-minus grade horror film (according to imdb).

Anyway, with over 2500 Google hits for "John Suttle" (even with the quotes), I'm not hopeful of finding him. I also tried to find Linda Morgan, but got 31k hits for her. Won't even bother...

Michael (was David) Vezie

Posted by mlv at 01:12 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 27, 2008

Back to blogging (again)

Here it is again, my annual (or biannual?) "I'm getting back into blogging" post. There's some hope that this may work ("Yeah, right!" I hear all of you saying). The only thought is that I'm getting into twitter, and sometimes what needs to be said takes longer than 140 characters. Mind you, I've been good at cramming everything into 140 characters. I'm even trying to break my long term (ever since I started typing) habit of putting two spaces after a period. GrammarGirl set me straight on that.

The other approach is to make it a quick thing. Get a thought. Write it down. Don't sweat about it for a week, and then compose an elegant tome.

Good news here is that it didn't take forever to figure out just HOW to post to the blog. I've even had the foresight to bookmark the posting link (novel concept, I know, but this computer I'm at now had no such bookmarks).

Anyway, sorry to all you followers out there, your long wait is finally over (I have to be careful, more comments like that, and this is going to be dumped straight in the humor cateogory :)).


UPDATE: Another idea for success. Leave the entry window open in a firefox tab on my various computers, right next to my twitter tab. So if some thought won't fit in 140, just tab over and keep typing.

Posted by mlv at 11:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 01, 2007

Just missed it!

I've actually (until yesterday) managed to post every day for a week! But Wednesday's post didn't get posted until early Thursday morning. :(

I'll keep working on it, though.


Posted by mlv at 12:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2007

Comments re-enabled

I've re-enabled comments, but you have to sign in with TypeKey to post. Actually, if anyone actually reads this, I'd appreciate a comment.

So I suppose you can consider this an open thread.


Update: I just checked. Given the fact that I've had comments in just one post in the past two years (spam that I've deleted doesn't count), maybe this belongs in the Silly category?

Posted by mlv at 07:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2007

Trying to update this...

I'm trying to update the appearance of this blog. I figured out how to add categories (thanks mostly to the MT help pages). But the overall look is something I'm not thrilled with.

I really like how The Anchoress has her page, so I tried copying her style sheet to mine. I managed to do that, but it was disasterous; made the whole thing unreadable.

If anyone ever actually reads this AND knows how to do it, let me know.


Posted by mlv at 03:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2006

Suburban rustications

Yeah, I actually changed the name again. I think a significant percentage of my posts are announcements that the name has changed (well, a bit of hyperbole there, it's only 10% (7% if you ignore the initial intro post)). Then again, compared with the blogosphere as a whole, I suspect anything above 1% is firmly entrenched in the "significant" category.

So, what's the story with the name? Well, first let me say that in the general scheme of suburbia, I'm a failure. I don't like beer, I can't barbecue anything more complex than a marshmallow without ruining it, I've got a brown thumb, and don't ask me about my lawn. Thankfully, my wife takes care of most of that (except the beer, but that's fine, except when a friend asks me for some beer (I'm mastering the "what, you didn't bring it?" look). Actually what usually happens is I hand him a bottle of whatever he brought over 2-3 visits ago that's still in the fridge.

I've got plans for a bathroom cabinet that I'm planning on building (probably after Pascha; doubt I'll get it designed before Holy Week) right in front of me (possibly more on that later). And this afternoon I baked a couple loaves of bread for my breakfasts and lunches next week. So I got to thinking that even though I'm not big on the typical suburbia thang, I do like doing things for myself now and then (can't say I'm all that great at it, but I do like the bread and I'm still practicing the carpentry). Well, I also have a penchant for the verbal arts, so I imbibe in a few "word a day" mailing lists. One of them, from, had today the word, "rusticate". That got me thinking that that's somewhat like what I do. Rather than buying bread at the store, I buy flour and bake my own. Rather than buying furniture, I'm making it myself. Okay, I buy most everything else, and my belt looks like a Gadget website's gift guide (maybe from a year or two ago, but still). So I thought about the idea of living in suburbia, but with my heart still in the country.

For the record, I was raised in suburbia, but did spend a couple years living in the country, and I think it grew on me. The old saw about taking the boy out of the country and vise versa seems true to me.

No promises that the next post won't be yet another name change. But here's something now anyway...


Posted by mlv at 10:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 08, 2006

No comments, sorry.

Sorry I've disabled comments. If you are actually reading this, and want to comment, email me, and after I pick myself up off the floor, I'll reenable them. But I've been getting dozens of spam comments every day, and that's more than I care to deal with.



Posted by mlv at 05:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 02, 2005

Tech help, please

I'm getting swarmed with trackback spam. How do other people deal with this? I just went through the archives and marked all to not accept TrackBack pings (I've had to erase maybe 30-40 TrackBacks today alone, and about 1000 since dusting off the site). How do other people deal with this? Should I upgrade (I'm using MovableType 3.15)?

By the way, if you stumbled upon me, I encourage you to look through some of the old archives, especially the Welcome post.

Update: I decided to play some with the stylesheets. I never found the one I originally chose all that readable.

Update II: I've upgraded to MT 3.2. But my templates have now changed (I think).


Posted by mlv at 05:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

Something's HAPPENING???

Yeah, some actual activity here. Please drop me a line if (1) you've been watching this, and (2) you're not a spammer (I deleted a whole boatload of trackbacks and comments left by spammers. Ugh.).

For those of you mythical "faithful readers", the probable reason why I stopped posting was twofold. You may note that the last post was right before Pascha. I posted some spiritual posts relating to various upcoming feasts, and knew that it would be weird (to say the least!) to avoid a post for the Feast of Feasts. It got harder to explain that absence, which fostered a hesitation to posting. Add to that the "geek factor", which is (at least for me) the fascination with things I don't understand -- as long as I don't understand them. Once I understand them, I get bored. Well, I started to understand this whole blogging thing, so it started getting boring.

Anyway, what's happening now?

I changed the name, which reflects a change in the blog. When it was "OrthodoxBlog", it contained both general conserative political posts and Orthodox Christian spiritual posts. This blog will be just general secular topics. When I get so inspired, I may start another blog (just for confusion's sake, called OrthodoxBlog) that will be dedicated to spiritual things (festal posts, etc). There's a priestmonk of my aquaintance who maintains a mailing list just like that.

I don't know how often I'll post things. This isn't going to be a quasi-full time job, I don't think. For starters, I don't have the time for the in-depth research that is behind that.

But... we'll just see what happens.


Posted by mlv at 06:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 02, 2005


I've just added categories to the blog, so thought some description might be in order:

General: Anything that doesn't quite fit in other categories, or blog-related posts (this one, for example :).

Political: Anything that relates to our leaders in Washington DC (or Beacon Hill, or wherever they may fester).

Social: Anything pertaining to (what I think are) the important social issues of our day. Obviously, there will be those that fall into more than one category (my post on the recent efforts by the Massachusetts legislature to allow cloning, for example). When that happens, I'll put it in both categories.

Spiritual: I post things that are interesting or important to me. This includes the occasional passage from Church fathers, or maybe something relevant to a church feast. There won't be a lot of these, though.


Posted by mlv at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2005

Sorry it's been quiet

I'm still trying to get a feeling for this blog; what I'm going to post to it, etc. I realize that compared with some blogs (like most of the ones in my blogroll), this one's rather quiet. Part of that has been Terri Schiavo. I'll try to start posting more, I promise.


Posted by mlv at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2005

Couple funny links

A couple blog posts I just read made me spill my lunch.

First one, from PowerLine Blog is about the Dems threat (or promise) to shut down the government. Nice thought, but I'm not holding my breath.

Second one, quite unrelated, from the Onion via Baldilocks offers an almost-plausible explanation about Michael Jackson.

And I'll finish with a batty post from Babalu.


Posted by mlv at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2005


This is the first post to my blog. Some notes (and a little history) might be in order. I had heard about blogs for some time, but never really read any until one Saturday last fall, I stumbled across Michelle Malkin on C-SPAN talking about immigration. I googled her, and started following her blog. I then started following some more, and now it's grown to a 5-6 blog a day habit.

What's amazed me about blogs is that it's the ultimate expression of freedom of the press. In a strict sense, we haven't had full freedom of press because not everyone owns a press. Sure, anyone with a roll of dimes and a local copy store can plaster nearby light poles, but no one outside their neighborhood is going to see it.

But now with blogs (and especially with some of the free blog servers), anyone can go into their local library, and after a couple clicks have their own email address, and after a couple more, their own blog, and anyone in the world can read it. There's no guarantee that anyone in the world will want to read it, but freedom of the press just guarantees the ability to write, not that anyone has to read it.

So I watched the tail end (and the eventual aftermath) of the Rathergate business. I've recently watched the Eason Jordan situation, and have come to realize that a truly free press (in the form of blogs) can be a powerful force to be reconned with.

Now, what do I expect to do with this blog? I don't know, yet. There's every chance that it'll be just one more in the millions of stagnant blogs (I tend to be fascinated by new technolog, but once it becomes an old routine, I get bored with it). In a dream world, it would be like Michelle Malkin's, but with more of a social conservative, rather than immigration focus.

Which brings me to myself. One of the main differences between the blogosphere and MSM is that MSM pretends to be unbiased, while the blogosphere makes no such pretense. With that in mind, I'll describe myself.

I'm an Orthodox Christian, which people usually identify with various ethnic groups (Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc). But my ethnicity is 100% USDA Grade A Purebred American Mutt. In other words, my roots are scattered over most of western Europe (well, northwestern Europe, I guess). I won't bore you with the details (suffice to say there's nothing over 1/8). So to keep it simple, my ethnicity is American. I wasn't raised Orthodox, but I'll leave the story of my conversion to a later (as of now still theoretical) post.

My politics have changed over the long (I'm in my early 40s) years. When I was young and stupid, I was a bit moonbatty, being totally convinced at one point that the world would, before the end of 1984, be a smouldering lump of radioactive rubble.

When that didn't happen, I mellowed out a bit. Years later, when I became Orthodox, my ethics mirrored my faith, especially in areas like abortion and euthanasia. Make a long story short(er), I went from a raving liberal to a conservative in a little over a decade.

So where do I stand? On social issues (homosexuality, abortion, etc), I'm a conservative Christian. Fiscally, I'm in favor of small government, lower taxes, less regulations, etc. Put simply, I'm in the conservative end of the Republican party.

Anyway, that's enough babbling for one post.


Posted by mlv at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)