After spending the Fall of 1968 in Ashland, Oregon, I returned to Carmel in January, and found a job in the maintenance department at the Highlands Inn for minimum wage ($1.25/hr) with room and board for $30 a month. I had a room in Ferguson--the employee housing structure (read: shack) on the grounds of the Inn. There was a four foot diameter x 100 foot tall Monterey Pine around which Ferguson was built, and during the storms that lashed the coast that winter, the building, and more particularly my room, would creak and groan. The fact that the pine tree was leaning against the thin plywood sheet that served as the back of my closet made the violence of that winter memorable. The filthy bathroom, which was used by the maintenance crew and gardeners during the day and a few residents such as myself at night, was down the hall. I kept it as clean as I could tolerate.
My room was large enough for a small bed, a small desk, a small chair and a light bulb. That's all I needed.
Here's a self portrait at my Dutch door.
I took this picture during a coffee break. There were five or six of us rebuilding a retaining wall that had failed during the torrential rains that winter.
Here are some post cards from the 60's.
That's Point Lobos in the distance. I remember spending an afternoon sweeping the Monterey Pine needles from the road in the foreground. It was before leaf blowers, and I'm grateful for that because it took me longer and I could listen to the sea.
I maintained the pool, and was proud to keep it beautiful even during the stormy winter of 1969.
One of my duties was to keep the pathways swept. I can tell that I wasn't maintaining the pool when this picture was taken---the water is too green!
The fact that I didn't have any money, or plans for my life didn't matter a whit: I was living in the most beautiful place in the world. Would that I could return to that time and place and set a noble course.