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.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Down The Hill In The Canyon

I don't know where to start with the documentary "Echo In The Canyon", should it be the bland live versions of great, classic songs from California's Laurel Canyon music era that make up much of the film?  Should I start with the missed opportunity to tell the whole story, not just 2 years from 1967 to 1969 and even then concentrate on only a few artists?  Or, maybe that there was little or no mention of Joni Mitchell whose home was at the center of much of the explosive creativity.

This project, which started as a 2015 performance to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Laurel Canyon scene should have been left as just that, a concert film. The labored and incomplete telling of the Laurel Canyon story seems like an afterthought. The promotion of the film was rather misleading as well, leading us to believe it was the complete story of the musical magic that took place in those hills behind Hollywood. There is far too much mediocre  21st century concert and interview footage at the expense of wonderful 20th century archival coolness.

The timeframe documented here by director Andrew Slater and covered in song by Jakob Dylan and his cast of singers took place from 1965 until 1967 when singer songwriters and bands were playing off one another to push the limits of the music coming from across the pond. Folk artists were relocating from New York to California and many settled in the hills behind LA. The meld of rock and folk became the sound of Laurel Canyon but the film totally ignores country music influences being experimented with by not only the Byrds but also by the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers and others.

“Echo in the Canyon” is a great title however even if the film isn't because it represents the early echoes of genius but ends far before it describes the ways in which the inspiration shared by these bands lead in so many different directions and continue to reverberate in the music being made in Southern California to this day.

Sadly the history of this California music phenomenon is reduced in 'Echoes in the Canyon' to the Beatles led to The Byrds, and then in turn how The Beach Boys’ landmark album, “Pet Sounds,” inspired “Sgt. Pepper.” Never mind all the music made at Joni's house at 8217 Lookout Mountain that became the place that was memorialized in Our House by CSN or the jams happening at Burrito Manor off Mulholland Dr. Left out were the stories of Jackson Brown, Linda Ronstadt and the Doors, all should be major parts of any telling of this story.

Yes readers this much anticipated film truly disappointed. I felt saddened by the inconsistency of what was included and what was left out the story about the music scene that was such a huge source of happiness in my early life. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't see the film. I am suggesting that you should not expect much more than being underwhelmed at the mediocrity of "Echo In The Canyon".

Official Trailer

Jakob Dylan
Tom Petty
Eric Clapton
Ringo Starr
Stephen Stills
David Crosby
Roger McGuinn
Regina Spektor
Graham Nash
Cat Power
Lou Adler
John Sebastian
Jackson Browne
Michelle Phillips
Norah Jones
Jade Castrinos

"Echo In The Canyon" can be purchased on Amazon or streamed from the usual locations.

Ronnie Ruff
Wonder Valley California

Friday, October 11, 2019

USDA Food Distribution -- OCT. 22.

The USDA Food Distribution will begin at 9:00 a.m. and ends at noon on TUESDAY, October 22, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277. The Community Center is next to the Fire Station.

Low income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site. No ID or other documentation is required. You may pick up ONE (1) box for a neighbor, or they may pick up ONE (1) box for you, IF a signed pick up form is presented. One pick up per person. Pick up forms are available online at They are also available at the WVCC on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., and at the kiosk outside the WVCC the week before the event.

For more information, call Teresa Sitz at (760) 367-9880.

The text below is required.

Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Recycling option.

I do not know anything about this and am not recommending it -- just making this information available to the general public.

Tired of those RECYCLABLES stacking up?

Plastic bottles and aluminum cans
Sell 'em to me -- I pay cash!!
Saturday Drop-off!!

WHEN: Every Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Jeanine Beauty Supply
6470 Adobe Road (Behind the store in the parking lot)
WHAT: Recyclables (.2/plastic bottles OR 55/lb, .2.5/aluminum cans OR .65/lb)
Will haul glass, no payout
Pick-Ups Mon. thru Fri. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Call 760-553-3617

Remember, I am not recommending this service, no guarantees are implied. This is only posted for informational purposes.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Desert Trail Column - October 10, 2019

Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road at Kuhns Road, will hold a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday, October 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. Funds are needed for roof repair. Homemade cookies and other goodies will also be for sale. Call Pastor Lonnie Casper at 760-401-6128 or 760-391-0480 for further information.
The Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) meeting will be held on Monday, October 14 at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst Road, at 5:30 p.m. Our Wonder Valley MAC representative Steve Reyes encourages everyone to attend. For further information, contact Steve at
Bob Dougherty from the San Bernardino County Department of Aging and Adult Services will be at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526½ Amboy Road at Blower Road, from 11 to noon on Wednesday, October 16. He will be giving out bus passes to seniors and assisting with HEAP applications.
Don’t forget about the Christmas Shoeboxes that will be taken to an orphanage in Mexico. Plastic “shoeboxes” are available at Dollar Tree. Fill with children’s necessities, hygiene products and/or goodies, then drop off at Wonder Valley Community Church by Sunday, November 24.
Mark your calendars for a couple of upcoming events. The mobile medical van will be at our community center on October 23, and a one-year anniversary potluck for Pastor Casper will be held at Wonder Valley Community Church on November 24.
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.
Darlene’s Commentary: In the early winter, when the sun is setting, the view from my backyard is of the Sheephole Mountains taking on beautiful light and amazing colors. Deep purples, magenta and all shades of pink will cover them top to bottom for about five or six minutes, then disappear as the sun sets. Something I always love to watch.
Karen’s Commentary: If you find a healthy-looking wild baby bird on the ground, carefully place it back in its nest. If the entire nest has fallen, place it back where it came from. If it’s learning to fly, leave it alone. If in an unsafe location, place nearby in shade. Mother birds do not reject babies touched by a human.
Our new grader operator is doing a fine job on our roads. If you have any comments, complaints, compliments, questions or suggestions, contact him at or leave a message at 760-367-9880.
Handy Hint: You can download nearly 60,000 free public domain e-books at
Today’s Thought: “Clean” is a relative term.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Luminescent Art Show | The Palms.

Do you have an idea you'd like to light up? We invite you to be part of the first annual "Got a Light?" luminescent art show, at The Palms in Wonder Valley, From December 21, 2019 to January 4, 2020.
Who wants to make some art out of lights (of any type) and display it as part of a group show behind the Palms? E-mail us at if interested

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Spooky Stories from Ken Layne : October 26.

WHEN: 4 p.m., Saturday, October 26
WHERE: Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

When it's nighttime in the Mojave, it's time for strange tales from Desert Oracle's editor and radio host, Ken Layne. Come out on this autumn afternoon to hear interesting and spooky lore of our arid lands.

Dress up if you like, there'll be lots of candy.

We are asking fror a $2 donation to cover expenses, but if you can't afford it, please be our guest.

For more information, visit: