Sunday, October 20, 2019

Artist Profile --. Skyler Fell

"Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong". -- Lester Bangs in Almost Famous

I'm not sure if you have ever had the opportunity to experience the film 'Almost Famous'.  It's one of my favorite films. I grew up when rock and roll was brilliant, when it could be everything to a 16 year old kid.

That kid was me.

I dreamed of being in Linda Ronstadt's band, traveling the country, experiencing the fans and the spotlights and yes…. we were a couple. Those were my daydreams, by day I hung out at record stores and read every music rag on the shelf at the closest Tower Records.

I was a realist however and didn't let all those fanciful daydreams cloud my real life goals but I did always want to be one of the bylines in Rolling Stone and Cream, later SPIN and NME. I read all those reviews and I must admit I wanted to be Lester Bangs or Dave Marsh.

When I first saw Almost Famous many years later I recognized that I had always wanted to be that teenage kid based on Cameron Crowe. We grew up at the same time and his story of a kid who, because of his association with Lester Bangs, gets to write a feature that would make the cover of Rolling Stone is the kind of thing that many of my daydreams had been made of.

So reader, when I was given the chance to write this column and interview local musicians and cover music for Wonder Valley's website I looked forward to asking this question…

Skyler Fell, What do you love about music?

Skyler: I love most things about music, the way it is a universal language, our precious musical communities, live culture and talking to our ancestors by song.

Ronnie: Not everyone can live in the desert. How does the desert color your music?

Skyler: Well, we have a select set of songs we play when it’s over 105F, they are all pretty slow and involve lots of beer drinking between verses.

Other than that, I love singing while I’m riding my mustang pony around the desert and his hoofbeats keep time.

Ronnie: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?

Skyler: Hi Desert Time Traveling Accordion Rampage!

Ronnie: You are currently laid up with a broken ankle, how did that happen and how is your rehab going?

Skyler: I broke my ankle out herding cattle in the high country of Wyoming

Ronnie: Ouch! Tell me about your music heroes?

Skyler: My music hero’s are usually my band mates. I’m also super stoked about my local music scene and what other folks out here in the Hi Desert are up to.

Ronnie: I miss the feeling  one gets from a real protest song, do you feel music can be a force for change?

Skyler: Live music is always a force for change, these days just getting folks to interact without their smart phone can be a stretch. Now more than ever gathering for live music and creating culture is essential.

Ronnie: What are you working on now?

Skyler; Right now we have a 9pm every first Saturday night residency at your local Joshua Tree Saloon.

Ronnie: What's the favorite recording you have made so far:

Skyler: Tumbleweed Timemachine recently recorded Dan Abbott’s song ‘Life is Excellent’ for the 2020 Accordion Babes Calendar & Album. Our stand up bass player Steven McCarthey recorded the song in his home studio. It was a great experience to record with such inspiring characters from my musical community and feel open to bearing my soul through our creation of REAL LIVE CULTURE.

Accordion Babes Calendar

Tumbleweed Timemachine Facebook Page

I hope you enjoyed our first Artist Highlight, stay tuned for more to come.

Ronnie Ruff
Wonder Valley California

Friday, October 18, 2019

FREE flu shots at Mobile Medical Unit.

Flu shots (regular) will be available free at the Morongo Basin Healthcare Districts's Mobile Medical Unit, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277. Insurance is not required. First come, first served. Quantities are limited.

You may also get a check up with qualifying insurance, and be prescribed a 90-day prescription to Joshua Tree National Park.

Please make use of the Mobile Medical Van when you can, or we may lose the service.

Owls, with Susan Doggett.

WHEN: 2:30 p.m., Saturday, October 26, 2019
WHERE: Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277
A $2 donation is requested. If you cannot afford a donation, please be our guest.

Susan Doggett, a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator, will bring 3 local live owls: a barn owl, a screech owl, and a great horned owl. She’ll talk about misconceptions and mythologies attached to the different owl species. The audience will get a chance to view the owls in their cages.

Note: Wonder Valley is not part of the exotic newcastle disease quarantine zone.

Emergency Community Meeting.

Join Sheriff John McMahon, Supervisor Dawn Rowe and the District Attorney's Office

WHEN: 5:30 p.m., Monday, October 21, 2019
WHERE: Sportsman's Club
ADDRESS: 6225 Sunburst Street, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
On Thursday, October 17, 2019, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office announced they received a letter from the State of California Department of Hospitals concerning a residential placement recommendation made to the Ventura County Superior Court for the community placement of Ross Wollschlager, who was committed as a sexually violent predator, into the community of Joshua Tree. Members of local government would like to present information to concerned community members and voice our collective opposition of Wollschlager’s placement within San Bernardino County, for the specific purpose of public safety and awareness. Under Welfare & Institutions Code §6609.2, Sheriff John McMahon has authority to give notice of any impending release of a sexually violent predator to any person. Captain Newport will inform those in attendance as to the court proceedings to date, as well as those subsequently scheduled, while informing the public regarding options available to affected communities.

The state of Amboy Road.

From our MAC Representative, Steve Reyes.

After the last community meeting, I received an email from Mark Lunquist in response to the condition of Amboy Road.  Brendon Biggs, the Deputy Director-Operations Division, Public Works, who stated this long section of Amboy Road has been identified for a larger Capital Improvement Project.  The Department of Public Works is performing some surface patches and fixing shoulder erosion.  Mr. Biggs will pass on when there is a final list and schedule.

Thanks to Mark Lundquist and Ms. Rowe for following up on this issue.   

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Desert Trail Column - October 17, 2019

Last week we provided the wrong date for Pastor Casper’s one-year anniversary potluck at Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road. The correct date is October 27. We apologize for the error.
The community meeting with our San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe was well-attended and very informative. Supervisor Rowe clarified the current status of her appointment as supervisor and discussed the controversy surrounding the FP-5 charges that now appear on our property taxes, along with other issues. She was very open and down-to-Earth with her comments and answers to our questions. Our Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) representative Steve Reyes did a great job running the meeting and provided yummy food for everyone in attendance. It was nice to be able to talk directly to our district’s supervisor, and we thank Steve for providing us with that opportunity.

The USDA Food Distribution will take place on Tuesday, October 22 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road, from 9 to noon.
On Wednesday, October 23, the mobile medical van will be at our community center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A Nurse Practitioner will provide medical care and screenings, referrals for lab tests, prescription refills and some immunizations. No appointment is necessary. For information, call 760-365-9305.

Also on October 23, the Salvation Army Food Distribution will be held at our community center from 11 a.m. until the food is gone. Food is from Trader Joe’s and usually includes fresh meat, bread, fruits and vegetables.

Mark your calendars for a Halloween presentation with Ken Layne at our community center on October 26.

Most events at our WVCC are sponsored by our local nonprofit Friends of Wonder Valley. For additional information on any local event, contact WVCC Coordinator Teresa Sitz at or 760-367-9880.
The non-profit 29 Soaring Club is at our Twentynine Palms Airport every Sunday from 11 a.m. to sunset, weather permitting. They own two gliders and a tow plane and provide rides from $20 to $50 cash, depending on altitude desired. Non-expiring gift certificates are available onsite. Call Mike at 760-464-2835 for further information.

Handy Hint: A free and simple way to save time when getting dressed and to free up space is to go through your closet from one end to the other and remove every single piece of clothing that does not fit, or that you haven’t worn in the past year. You’ll be amazed!
Today’s Thought: “I think sleeping was my problem in school. If school had started at four in the afternoon, I’d be a college graduate today.” – George Foreman

Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Monday, October 14, 2019

William Hillyard, Sr., has passed.

Feb. 11, 1937 - Sept. 26, 2019
From the Desert Trail, October 9, 2019

William ‘Bill’ Hillyard
Career Navy officer, Citizens Patrol volunteer, 82
William “Bill” Hillyard, 82, passed away Sept. 26, 2019.

He was born on Feb. 11, 1937, the only child of Harold and Victoria Hillyard.

He graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in June of 1961 and upon graduation, entered the U.S. Navy, retiring after 28 years of service as captain. He had prior service in the National Guard and Army Reserve, giving him a total of 35 years service to his country.

He served with the Twentynine Palms Citizens Patrol for 10 years and was a member of the Twentynine Palms Elks Lodge.

Bill had many interests: family, military history, genealogy, travel and the competitive nature of showing dogs. He especially loved spending time on the open ocean and traveling across the United States. Bill was known for his quick wit, humor and devotion to his family and friends.

Bill is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary Ann “Maureen,” daughter Debra (Tony) Delicata, sons William Jr. (Ann), Kenneth and James (Kaye), and grandchildren Preston Drake-Hillyard, Evan Hillyard, Stephanie and Michael Delicata and Isabel Hillyard Budolfsen.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society in Bill’s name.


Condolences, Bill and Ann.