Dear Sarah,

Kindly accept the Story of My Life as payment in full:

Born and raised near Milwaukee, my father had a band and my brother and I used to sleep in the car when he had gigs.

In high school, "Kansas City" was popular on the junkbox and we went to shows to see Big Bopper and Buddy Holly, in Milwaukee.

After attending the Art Institute of Chicago, I went to San Francisco. It was the pre-hippy/late beat, era. As a 19 year old art student, I got to hang out with the beat poets of early '60's.

I worked at a coffeehouse in North Beach called Coffee and Confusion, that featured live folk music. Janis Joplin played her autoharp there. Howard Hessman worked next door at the Coffee Gallery.

Living in the 21st and Noe area of the city, we had a great party house on top of a hill overlooking the city. We had a awesome Halloween Party there. Allen Ginsberg had just returned from India and he and his entourage came in Hindu garb. That's where my friends, M.F. (the Charlatans), I.P. (later the father of my two children) and I, conceived the idea for opening the Magic Theatre for Madmen Only near the corner of Height and Divisidero.

It was kind of an eclectic assortment of antiques, art, clothing, and trippy stuff. We had display windows that we decorated in bizarre collage style. The back section was an art gallery with a table to hangout and drink coffee or soft drinks. We had a soda machine and my favorite, a pinball machine. Chet Helms used to hang out there, before he opened the Family Dog on the Great Highway. In addition to art exhibits, we had poetry readings and even a Magic show. Kirby Doyle did a reading and wrote a poem for me.

LSD, pot, Wichita, Magic Theatre Vortex and Ginsburg Readings. Wisconsin, Northern California, then thebirth of Jamie Rain in a treehouse in the Redwoods. Then Spain,

Krisha Song was born in Madrid. Time in Canary Islands, then back to Wisconsin, Oklahoma, then Eastern Tennessee.

We moved to Cosby after seeing an ad in Mother Earth News from Del Rio, TN. We wrote then received an answer from M. S. to come on out to Tennessee. Del Rio was too snaky and isolated for me, so M. found us a place in Cosby. We fell in love with the Smoky Mountains and the rest as they say is History.

There was a large hippie, counterculture, back to earth or whatever you want to call it, group of people living in the area. We did potlucks, square dances, puppet shows, and published the Smoky Mountain Rag.

Then in about '81 Jimbo, Anna and I opened the Rainbow Clown, a craft, plants, and art galley. We talked A. G. into taking half of the building for the Front Porch Restaurant.

A.'s husband, L. was still living and working in Michigan, and A. had time on her hands. However, as the mother of seven children I don't know how. The older ones lived in Michigan and the younger with her. The place eventually became just the Front Porch. We had Mexican food and blue grass music. It's still going on managed by her more than capable daughter, M.

In 1987 my best friend T. and I got married. Word of advise. NEVER marry your best friend. A good friendship is harder to find. Our marriage lasted about 1 month. Then it took a few years before we were friends again.

We moved to Knoxville in '87, mainly for me to stop the long drive every Wed. night to go see M. and R.R. at M.'s on Market Square Mall. Getting home at 4:00 in the morning was getting old.

J.  III was my friend and the video genius for ConCat until his murder in '91. There's now an  Endowed Memorial Scholarship at Knoxville College.

In 1992, A.C., my granddaughter was born. I got to be in the delivery room with my son, Jamie Rain, and daughter-in-law, M. It was awesome.

I now live with my son and granddaughter. A.also lives with her mom, M. half the time. Jamie Rain has a hardwood floor refinishing business called Mr. Sandman. The logo was created by M. M. He loves music, fencing and writing (sounds like a singles ad, however he is, single that is) .

My daughter, Krisha Song, graduated from Warren Wilson College as a Theatre major and works as a Black and White photo processor. She converted to Judaism a few years ago.

Krisha used to host both the Masquerade and dances at our conventions.

As I write this, she is still awaiting her big break into film. (So, if you know anybody...(Don't you know everybody?)).

Love irregardless,

C.

P. S.  Eat the chocolate before it goes bad.