Saturday, August 27, 2005

Torched and Toasted

Greg Desilet saw the posting about Charlie and wrote:

"Thanks for the email regarding Charlie. I don't recall but I probably met him since I used Kinko's a lot in those days and knew the owner and founder Paul Orfalea (after moving to Colorado I worked for Kinko's in different capacities for 16 years)..."

Greg's working on a novel that incorporates much of his experiences during the riots and added:

"... those who visit the DBOA web site may be interested in looking at the "Fiction" link at my site where I have placed a sample from the novel I am working on that centers around the bank burning events. Included with the text are several pictures taken by myself the night of the bank burning and the following day. I have additional pictures that I plan to include with the novel when it is finally finished and (hopefully) published. As far as I know, my pictures of the interior of the bank are the latest into the evening of the bank burning that anyone took of the interior."

Direct link to the novel excerpt:

Greg Desilet Fiction

Link to Greg's website:

Greg Desilet

(Bank of Amerika, Isla Vista Branch, February 26, 1970 courtesy of Greg Desilet)

Thanks, Greg. Look forward to reading the book!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Charlie Jones, RIP

FRIENDS ~ Longtime Isla Vistan CHARLIE JONES has passed on. Below, in the order they were sent to many of us, are some edited recollections of Charlie. More memories are in the Comments section. Please add yours by clicking "comments" at the bottom of this posting. To add comments: scroll down to the end of this memorial posting about Charlie. There is an orange hyperlink titled "comments." Click on that link and then, scrolling to the bottom of the posting page that opens, click on "Add comment," add your text, and then "login and publish."

(Image of Charlie courtesy of the Isla Vista Free Press, 1988)

(more images at

From Farfalla, 8/24/2005:

I am writing with the sad news that Charlie passed away in his sleep last
Wednesday. I just heard today, so perhaps you've already heard. I've
written to Arthur to ask if a gathering is planned and will let you know.
If you already have information to share, I'd appreciate hearing back.




From Cheri, 8/24/2005:

Thanks, Falla. Here is what I know: there will be a wake for him on Aug. 30, Tue, from 5pm - ? At his apartment: 332 Elwood Bch Dr #10, Goleta 93117.
Cards or letters can be sent to his partner Maia at the same address, except #9.

According to Harriet Eckstein, he died from long-term Epstein-Barr.


From Ed, 8/25/2005:

I was a friend of Charlie back in 1974-75, when he was the sweetest anarchist you could ever know. Of all the people that I knew then I may have respected his opinion the most. He was a island of calm in an ocean of ferment and chaos. The world is a worse place for his no longer being in it.

As a side note about the cause of his illness, while I am sure that Harriet Eckstein was doing her best to accurately state things, Charlie could not have possibly have died from "long-term Epstein-Barr." First of all, Epstein-Barr is the virus that causes mononucleosis. About half the country carries antibodies for it because they either caught the illness or were exposed and developed an immunity. There is no such disease as "long-term Epstein-Barr." Some people mistakenly believe that Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but the connection was made in a long-discredited study. There is no link between EBV and CFS. Finally, CFS is not fatal unless the person commits suicide because of the pain and other disabling effects (something that unfortunately happens too often). There are no recorded cases of death that can be attributed to CFS outside of suicide despite studies going back to the 1980s.

I say all this as a former member of the Board of Directors of The Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association, the largest national group focusing on CFS (aka CFIDS). I was also President of CFIDS-Albuquerque and founder & first President of CFIDS-New Mexico. I have had CFS since December 1990.

I am cc'ing this message originally sent to Macolm to Cheri Gurse... in the hopes that she can (a) pass this along to Harriet and (b) send a correction to those she has E-mailed. While obviously her concern is for Charlie and not whether CFS is fatal or whether EBV is a disease, I think it is important that people know the facts rather than learn and perhaps innocently spread misinformation. This disease is bad enough without people thinking it can be fatal. (BTW, it affects approximately 650,000 Americans, which qualifies it as a serious health issue even if it isn't given the research resources it deserves).

I am also cc'ing Carol Cuzner and Larry Padway, the former being Charlie's roommate in 1974 and the latter being a friend of Charlie's in the same time period...

Ed Isenberg


From John, 8/24/2005:

I think I know Charly--ddin't he work at the original Kinko's next to the Hamburger Habit? Didn't he have long hair down past his shoulders and wore John Lennon glasses? I would like to know. Thanks, John I. Gilderbloom

From Malcolm, 8/25/2005:

Hi, John ~ Yes, that was Charlie. Always kept his hair long even after many of us cut ours -- many times. Charlie took real interest in the health of the IVRPD, worked for the district for a period of time, and was also a well known juggler. His smile was infectious. ~ Malcolm

From John, 8/25/2005:

Thanks! If you ever heard the corporate version of Kinko's starting-- Charlie got zero air. But who knows if Charlie was not at Kinko's would the "Alternative" become the corporate giant? I would still like to find out what happened to Murv Glass-- so much talent and energy. I cannot make it because I am in Louisville and just got back from Isla Vista. Give my best regards to everyone. John


From Ed, 8/25/2005:

I was just told he was a lawyer and that he supported progressive causes. I think I heard about him through Malcolm (how I know him is truly an odd story). I may have heard about Charlie being a lawyer when my old friend Steve Logan died, and I was communicating with several people in SB. I just don't remember.

When I knew Charlie in 1973-75, he was living at Das Institute, which was a former fraternity house in Isla Vista that about 20 people had taken over. I was co-owner and News Editor of the Isla Vista Town Crier, was involved with a woman who lived at D.I., and was very old friends (and still am) with another woman who lived there. I did a big expose about an FBI informant who was the biggest heroin dealer in SB County, but kept being freed by the FBI. He (the dealer/informant) started stalking me and almost shot me twice (once in public at a restaurant). Lots of fun staring at a .45 pointed at your face at point-blank range... Anyway, D.I. was made up of two groups, one of which was quite radical and expected Nixon to declare martial law at any moment, and the other basically just typical left-leaning Isla Vistans. I became friends with the more radical element, which included Charlie (who described himself as an anarchist). We loaded our own bullets and had lots of guns, and often went target practicing up in the San Marcos Pass area. At one point Charlie offered to beat this guy up, but when it came to it and he had hit the guy and knocked him to the ground, Charlie said he just didn't have it in him to hurt someone so deliberately. Eventually the crisis with this guy passed (I told one of his junkies, my next-door-neighbor and once-girlfriend, that I was carrying a gun and would shoot the informant on sight, claiming self-defense and mental impairment). However, I stayed friends with Charlie and the others, and if I remember correctly went bowling with him on many occasions at midnight. I lost track of him when I moved away from the area in November 1975.

If you knew Steve Logan I have many stories to tell about him, as he was my best friend for several years and my roommate in the early 1970s. I was so sorry to have missed his funeral, and now I have to miss Charlie's as well. :-(

There was one more story that involved Charley. On the night after this informant hit me in a restaurant while flaunting his gun, we heard a rumor that he and his drug dealer friends were going to break into Das Institute and shoot everybody. Since these guys had beaten up others to the point of hospitalization, it seemed a plausible threat. So my girlfriend and I moved into a vacant room at the end of the hall, and "non-combatants" moved to the second floor while everyone on the first floor was armed with a weapon. I had a shotgun leaning up next to the door. In the middle of the night, one woman got up to go to the bathroom, and tripped over a bicycle that we had put in the hallway as something that would make noise if someone broke in. All I remember is suddenly lying on the floor with my shotgun, head and arms out the doorway into the hall, aiming at the dark silhouette that was screaming "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!" with my finger on the trigger. After what seemed forever someone turned on the hall light and there was this woman, stark naked, frozen with her hands up high, and guns, rifles and shotguns pointing at her from every doorway! If one person had started shooting we all would have, and she would have been cut to pieces. We were so scared we all got out of bed and sat around the kitchen drinking coffee (of all things) trying to calm down. That was when I moved back to my apartment and decided to threaten the dealer. Anyway, Charlie was one of those with a gun that awful night, Saturday, February 9th, 1974, my 23rd birthday.

Those were such bizarre times. I lived in a 4-plex on Pardall Rd right next to the University. The next-door-apartment was home to a stripper and also a heroin addict who as I said had been my girlfriend for a few weeks. Downstairs were Campus Crusade for Christ. Across the street was the Women's Center where several fiercely Lesbian women lived. Upstairs were my cocaine supplier friends and in another apartment someone who would later become a lawyer and has been friends with me and my wife for over 31 years. The woman I mentioned in Das Institute who was my old friend we still see at least once a year, and have been friends now for over 34 years. And if Steve Logan was still with us we would be celebrating our 35th year as friends (I saw him last just a few months before he died).

I have often said, those were not the happiest times of my life, but they were definitely the most intense. The same thing people say about their time spent in a war, which is what we looked at it as being at the time...



From Carol, 8/25/2005:

... I am sorry to hear of Charlie's passing. I had no idea he was still living in the Goleta/IV area. I like your description of him as a "sweet anarchist" and an "island of calm" - very true.

My main Charlie story is that he was my "guide" when I took acid for the second and last time, with E [Carrol], in late autumn in, I think, 1975. He was with E and I for the first few hours, which was the best part of the trip - he did tarot readings for us and we talked and hung out. E and I then went out walking for a couple of hours, and did other activities I don't remember now. The trip went on too long for me, and by the time we got home to our apartment on Pasado in the evening, I was really tired of it and wanted it to be over. I also remember Charlie being a calm and rational presence at Das and at the credit union, his juggling, and lots of other tarot readings he did - he was the one who first interested me in tarot.

"I was particularly impressed that Charlie used an Aleister Crowley deck that he had studied carefully and learned to use with Light energy intention, instead of the Dark energy Crowley's deck was notorious for.

I lived at Das Institut (it had a longer, Germanic name, created by the founders, who were associated with Rich Applebaum, a professor in the Sociology Department at UCSB - but the name was usually shorted to Das or D.I.) from July 1974 to December 1975. Ed described Das as having a general left-leaning IV-activist faction, and I would expand on that a little by describing it as the radical arts group. This part of Das participated in local street theater, such as the Gorrilla Theater presentation in support of Isla Vista's application to the Santa Barbara Local Agency Formation Commission for cityhood. We once put on a production, in the Das courtyard, of Aristophanes' THE BIRDS, and I believe Charlie was in the cast, along with Emerson, Dean Kennedy, Dan Slick, Stan Hoffman and others. Charlie was also one of the organizers of the famous (or should I say infamous?!) F.O.D.I. Balls ("Friends of Das Institut") that we held at Halloween for a couple of years to raise money for local causes. I remained friends with my Das comrades and worked with Charlie on the Board at the credit union until I left the area in November 1977.

A final memory is of Charlie arranging a memorial service for a girl named Patti, a really sweet person, who had volunteered at the credit union for only a few months, when she was picked up at a bus-stop by someone who raped her, killed her and left her body in a canyon east of Santa Barbara. I will never forget Charlie telling us at the C.U. that Patti's school backpack had been found in the mountains and our all realizing what that must mean, and shortly afterward her body was found. That's a sad memory, but it was typical (in my experience of Charlie) that he cared enough that after she went missing he helped the police and was in contact with her family, and then he organized the local memorial service.

Thanks for letting me add to the memory book on Charlie Jones."


From Marc, 8/25/2005:

Hi everyone... I wish I could attend his memorial service.

I remember Charlie as the only guy who worked at the Park District longer than I did, at the time, as he stayed on long after I left. He was both friendly and prickly, outraged and warm. We worked together to wreck the community center (sorry Carmen) "Save Little Acorn" election. We opposed each other's choice for IVRPD General Manager. He wanted the blonde woman and I wanted Jim Crandall. We both got our way, eventually. He was a force to reckoned with, that's for sure.


Marc Borgman


From Carmen, 8/25/2005:


It's so good to hear from you. And it was wonderful to see you at the 12/10
bash. Charlie was a potfull, that's for sure.

I visited with Jim Nicholas yesterday in SF. I don't know if that was your
IV generation or not. He was IVCC's Admin Asst in the mid-70s and was a
really good contribution. He has a Burning of the Bank Award that Mike Gold
lettered up, before Charlie starting doing them.




PLEASE SEE COMMENTS, BELOW. Click on "Comments," go to the bottom of the page and read. If you'd like to add a memory of Charlie, click on "Post A Comment," enter text, enter your "identity," then click "Publish."


Friday, August 12, 2005

Riot Clothes

While I was making a shirt for Carmelo, I made some other new ones with the famous Perfect Park Sit-in image and the negative print of the bank burning. Please check out the stuff at:

DBOA CafeShop

One of the new shirts: