Sunday, August 21, 2016

Elfland and more

I bought this book "Unnatural History of UCSC" when I was down there recently thinking it would be some kind of institutional history.  I admit, I didn't look at it too closely, I was managing so many people, actually the whole darn crowd.  Somebody showed it to me and I asked Dennis to buy it.

But no, it's not that at all.  Basically, a student-written compilation of all the weird things natural or the woods at UCSC ,  An emphasis on the 1970s.  That would be when I was there (1970-74).  People, faculty, students, would go out there and build odd stuff, maybe for performances or ritual, whatever.  Generally tolerated though the administration would get weirded out from time to time. Some of it I remember (the labyrinth), some of it I sort of remember, (Kiva Lodge), most I don't (Elfland et al).  Most of it was quite close to me. I was so caught up with my own issues, academic, social, romantic life that I didn't really pay too much attention to all that.  I did like to walk in the redwoods.  But not very far, just a little.

Weird stuff happened at UCSC then, plenty weird, that's just how it was. The place encouraged you to go out in the woods and create .... well .... whatever the spirit moved you.   Kind of brings it all back.

A lecture emeritus wrote "If you're interested in finding out what a deer-cow or a morad is, or you're curious about John o' the Woods or King of the Elves, two inhabitants at one time or another of our campus, check out this book. You may discover a hermetic aspect of college familiar to your parents' generation."

I kind of like being part of those mythological times, though.

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