Resident Testimonials

From Catharine Lucas at 5:22 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 4 – Bookmarks from the road! Evacuated, with nothing to read! ARGHHH! Luckily, my hostess had a book from Berkeley Library that I have ordered for FH: Rising Out of Hatred, by Eli Saslow. If you can find it, get it! True story by award-winning journalist , about Derek Black, the young White Nationalist, a rising star in the movement to make the U.S. all white, who goes to a progressive college and makes friends with students of color and other whites who are appalled to discover who he is. His change of mind and heart is a riveting drama, excruciating for a lad who must overturn deep beliefs inculcated from birth and replace family loyalty with the mixed reaction of his new community, a few of whom are willing to befriend him, despite his appalling ideas. A startling story with a strong message on the power of love to overcome hate and allow transformation. Derek could not have recovered from his training on his own; those who saw more to him than his twisted world-view gave him a new vision, through a combination of loving acceptance and direct challenge. His own natural warmth, plus a courageous openness and sharp intelligence, let him hear his peers and help him break free of his past identity and grow. Ultimately, he sees Trump come to power, using the talking points of White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis, to the delight of his family and to his own horror as he realizes he has helped make these ideas mainstream. One Reviewer says, “This is a double portrait: of a worse America and of a better America. Neither of them has come to pass, but either of them might. Thanks to reporting that is both truthful and humane, we see in one young man’s decision a guide to the choices that face a generation and a country.” Great story! Believe it!

From Betsy Harrell at 10:26 a.m., Friday, Oct. 2 – My son, Chandlee came Monday night to pick me up and I am now at his home in Los Altos. I am reading the announcements on the front page about our return to Friends House. Greetings to all!

From Kate Erhart (Liz’s sister) via email to Paula Wright, 9:20 a.m., Friday, Oct. 2 – I spoke with Liz this am and she told me about the delay (in returning to Friends House). Best to be safe for everyone. Please share with Clara that I think you folks have done an amazing job managing this and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything that is being done. It seems someone has thought of everything. You are all amazing.

From Elizabeth Hayes at 10:17 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1 – Thank you Clara and all the staff for what you have done. Excellent job taking care of us all!! Thank you the work and preparation for our return. I will be using the shopping services while in quarantine. Again.

From Catherine Lucas at 7:18 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 1 – Shifting shelter today — will be at 1048 Sierra Street — same phone, my own cell: 510 406-3966. Planning to stay through weekend, to allow Friends House more time to recover and wait for true all-clear before heading back.

From Catherine Lucas at 9:44 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30 – News about Alex and Teddy — they got picked up with Sue Lynn, by her family, Nancy an Les, and have been staying happily with that household in Sebastopol for the duration; will be returning with them as return becomes possible. I’ve found extended shelter in my old Berkeley home on Sierra st, will see dear old neighbors, and Dogen will visit his old “little dog” dog park. Nostalgia time all around. A happy outcome for me, great comfort. love to all, catharine

From Chula Morel-Seytoux at 2:40 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30 – Hubert and I are in Sebastopol living in a farm house in the middle of vineyards where our son-in-law works. I feel like I am on a nature retreat with deer, rabbits, squirrels, birds, ducks and even a skunk! Does anyone know the whereabouts of Alex McDonald Teddy ? Chula

From Joan Przekop (via Facebook) at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30 – Hi Everyone, I have been reading your posts…where you are, etc….& would like to find out how to join with you online. I am at daughter Sally’s in San Bruno, arriving at 1:30 am Sunday morning. An incredible young man came over from AL around 11:00pm and helped me get Bella & my stuff into the car….and away we went. Very slowly..bumper to bumper until after Petaluma.
I am snug and safe & Bella is a trouper. Miss you all and hope you are snug & safe too! Love, Joanie

From Bruce Hartman at 8:36 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30 – We are doing well (Charlotte B and I ) in Sacramento at the Residence Inn. we look forward to a reunion when the fire and smoke subside.

From Margaret Bean and Maureen Glancy at 11:51 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29 – Aren’t we fortunate to be able to evacuate! (This is my goody two-shoes persona.). We are in the upstairs Air B&B of my friend Arlene in Sebastopol, meanwhile two other senior evacuees, Miriam and Sharon are in her spare bedroom. They send regards to Ruth Robinson, Vera Korkus, and Christine. Their two long-haired Chihuahuas are 17 years old, Arlene’s doodle is 12 and Annie is the only non senior in the bunch! We all watched the debate tonight!! Stay well, friends.

From Ralph Baierlein at 5:50 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29 – Elizabeth, you asked where “the AL ladies” are and how to contact them. The AL ladies are safely in Sacramento. Kerrilynn Soldavini is with them (along with some other FH staff). You should be able to reach Kerrilynn on her cell phone: 510-414-5511. Kerrilynn should be able to give you room numbers and some help with the hotel phone system.

From Catherine Lucas at 7:59 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29 – Waiting to get some sense of how long it might be before we can return — beginning to miss my wonderful, protected, convenient life at Friends House — no place like home, and it takes a spell in Oz to appreciate it. (A pair of sparkling red ruby slippers on the walk this morning brought that to mind.) Meantime, Victoria reminded me that after the 2017 evacuation it took about two weeks to clean up and prepare our campus for re-entry! Aiee — so I’ve spent today casting about for alternative housing, since my long-suffering friend Karen has pressures and stresses that make having a guest extra hard. No idea where I’ll end up– tricky to find someone who wants both me (with all my stuff) and my little dog!

From Joe Panaro at 4:01 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29 – Those who are at the hotel in Sacramento. I am in 706. Joe.

From Mary Rankin at 1:42 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29 – (Ken Seibert posting for Mary Rankin) Mary is staying with a friend in Santa Cruz.

From Joe Panaro at 9:33 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29 – Last 6 to leave by old bus to Veterans Center Petaluma (the morning of Sept. 28) arrived at sunrise. Clara, Barri and Izzy were there. Waited there until new bus came and picked us up – 4 from Friends House. We then picked up some from another place in Petaluma, then to pick up a CNA in Coffey Park, and we arrived in Sacramento at about 5. Dinner brought to rooms at about 7. Clara had some egg McMuffins for us in Petaluma before we left at noon.

From Catherine Lucas at 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29 – Looks like we’re still under mandatory evacuation orders, on the map I see — I’ve been told no one can get back to FH campus to check on status –Will have to start making slightly longer term plans around here – meantime, imagine my surprise when a familiar voice — not Berkeley-familiar, but Friends House familiar!– called my name as I arrived home from Dogen walk — Victoria! What could be more fun! We agreed this is a kind of vacation — she’s in a beautiful house next door to her daughter, four doors from where I stay when I come, but she too will need new lodgings when her hosts return in a few days. Hope everyone else is settled safely for the duration – Wondering how I might spend this time constructively — maybe just treat it like a vacation! Not a bad plan… catharine

From Steve Schuck at 5:59 p.m., Monday, Sept. 28 – Community Conversation, same time, same place (10:00a Tuesday 29 Sep). If Mary isn’t on, I will moderate. Phone: (717)275-8940 Internet: (video available) Access Code 5990629# Friends and relatives welcome. The Access Code identifies Mary’s private conference room that we use now and then. It is always open. Drop by at other times to see if someone else is hanging around, or arrange other meetings. Be aware of HC at 3:30 Thursday, 01.Oct.

From Ken and Victoria Wikle at 5:11 p.m., Monday, Sept. 28 – We are with our daughter in Berkeley. Hoping for good news at FH.

From Barbara Tye and Elizabeth Boardman at 3:16 p.m., Monday, Sept. 28 – We’re safe with relatives in San Mateo and anxious for eyewitness news of the condition of the Friends House buildings and grounds. When we drove away, frankly it was difficult to believe that any of it would survive. However recent fire perimeter maps–though possibly inaccurate–give us hope. We’re also wondering where the AL ladies went and how they can be contacted–??? love to you all; stay safe; see you soon. B&E

From Ralph Baierlein, at 10:56 a.m., Monday, Sept. 28 – If you are looking for current information about the fire and the evacuation orders, I recommend You will be offered a map; just a click on the link. Ralph.

From Steve Schuck, at 9:57 a.m., Monday, Sept. 28 – I checked out and left campus around 11:00 Sunday evening. Santa Rosa was difficult, the rest smooth. I am now at my sister’s house south of San Francisco. They are healthy and welcoming. This cloud has a silver lining. Thank you, Ralph and H&WB for the practice drills. Thank you, wonderful staff, all levels, for the smooth implementation.

From Catherine Lucas, at 6:56 a.m., Monday, Sept. 28: I’m waiting to see a post from someone on the state of the fire and the evacuation — I was one who “got away” by midnight (son Steven came for me and drove us down to Berkeley.) Look forward to hearing from folks — Sue Lynn? Linda Harlow? love to all, Catharine & Dogen.

From Ken Seibert and Lynn Ashmall, sent at 3:17 a.m., Monday, Sept. 28: Lynn and I evacuated to friends in San Mateo with our 2 cats.

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