Thursday, October 31, 2019

Desert Trail Column - October 31, 2019

Lonnie Casper celebrated one year as pastor of the Wonder Valley Community Church this past Sunday. A delicious potluck was enjoyed by all, and Lonnie and his wife Jo are looking forward to many more years here in Wonder Valley. The church has now discontinued summer hours and has returned to the regular time of 10:30 a.m. for Sunday church services.
The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, 77575 29 Palms Highway at Thunder Road, will hold a reception for the Copper Mountain College Students’ Art Show on Saturday, November 2 from 1 to 5 p.m. These students have fresh talent and new-age as well as unique art that has never been seen before! Come meet the artists, snack on free refreshments and enjoy music by Dana Larson.This show will run through November 24, and some works will be available for purchase. For more information, call Laurel at 760-367-3807.
Mark your calendars for some upcoming events. A newly-formed group called Coffee and Friends invites all ladies of Wonder Valley and Twentynine Palms to their meeting on November 12 at the Fangmeyer residence, 73883 Manana Drive. At Wonder Valley Community Church, a Thanksgiving potluck will be held on November 24, which is also the deadline for donating Christmas shoeboxes that the church will send to an orphanage in Mexico.
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.
We send out belated Rainbows-of-Opals-and-Calendulas to Teresa Sitz’s mom, Charlene Stewart, who turned 83 this past week. She just moved here form Washington DC, and we want to welcome her to our area.

Darlene’s Commentary: Once or twice a year, a full moon rises due east and shines like a beacon directed straight at my house, caused by light reflecting off the salt flats’ crystals. It’s incredibly beautiful!
Karen’s Commentary: The end of the Meyers Weed Show Frenzy is in sight!

Food for Life Ministry prepares and serves delicious hot meals every Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. at Church of the Nazarene, 72603 Juanita Drive in Twentynine Palms. If you are unable to get to the church, Reach Out Morongo Basin may deliver these meals directly to your residence. Call 760-361.1410.

Handy Hint: To dislodge gum from hair, massage butter into the offending wad to slide it easily from tangled locks.
Today’s Thought: If you make a trip to Alaska, you might want to keep in mind the fact that it is illegal there to wake a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking its picture.

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

Saturday, October 26, 2019


Over the years I have met so many really wonderful people because of being a music geek . I've been a fan of so many genres and personalities that it's hard to keep track of them all.  Rock, country, punk, folk, funk, alternative, college and country rock, I could keep going but I won't. Let's just say there's little I don't like. Needless to say then, I've met so many cool and interesting folks along the way.

Making friends based on the love of a music genre is a far better option than one based on employment, politics or location or for that matter anything else in my oh so jaded opinion. When you share a love of music with someone you don't usually give a damn about their politics and their location is meaningless as well.

One of the personalities I have obsessed over at times, Gram Parsons, has a mystical hold over Hi Desert lore. Stories of burned caskets in Joshua Tree  and kidnapped corpses in LA have been told and thanks to my pal Phil Kaufman I have the location of the deed.  

I've belonged to various fan groups and been to my share of GP tribute shows over the years in Nashville and Austin and for the most part I have found Cosmic American fans to be some of the best, loyal and kind friends I've made.  We have debated who wrote the Rolling Stones "Wild Horses" and the biggest question of all -- when will Parsons be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

I look forward to highlighting some of these friends as we go down this path of sharing my opinions and musings on my musical condition. We will discuss music together, you and I and it's my hope that we both learn something in the process. The stories will be true and the truth will be music. I'm unsure however if it will set you free.

All that said I want to share with you some links to a few Facebook groups that are full of good people talking about Cosmic American Music.

One relatively new friend I have met through these groups is Laura Harmondale.

Laura is a local here in the Hi Desert and we met at a three artist song swap at our local bar here in Wonder Valley the Palms! We chatted a bit before the show and the show was just filled with great songs and performances. We talked again a few months back about doing a photo shoot but due to pending monsoons we postponed but now that I am writing this column we decided to do an artist feature and interview next week. How cool is that?  

So, Laura Harmondale... What do you love about music? be continued ...

Monday, October 21, 2019

Creosote Capers.

Two people were spied clipping creosote bushes on a road in Wonder Valley. Two separate cars stopped to tell the clippers that it was illegal to cut the creosote.

The clippers said they were on private property. The drivers of the car weren't buying it and said they were going to call the Sheriff's Department if the clippers did not beat it.

This poor chopped up bush may have been on private property but we're quite sure the clippers did not have the owner's permission. It is illegal to cut bushes on BLM (federal) land.

The clippers had large loppers and chopped this poor bush within an inch of its life -- see the two piles of branched to each side. Not only does this kind of trimming endanger the bush but it also endangers those insects and animals that depend on the creosote bush for their lives, including 21 bees specific to the creosote bush, several crickets, and other insects, and many burrowing animals, and even ants that collect the trichomes (seeds) dropped by the bush.

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.

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:

Mobile Medical Van : October 23.

The Morongo Basin Healthcare District Mobile Medical Unit will be at the Wonder Valley Community Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Wednesday, October 23 , 2019. The WVCC is at 80526-1/2 Amboy Road, in Wonder Valley -- next to the old fire station.

This coincides with the Salvation Army Food Distribution.

A Nurse Practitioner will be on board, providing primary medical care and screenings, and if necessary, prescribing lab tests and refilling prescriptions. Some immunizations are available.

Take advantage of the MBHD’s “Take A Hike Program.” MBHD medical providers write a prescription for patients to “Take A Hike” in Joshua Tree National Park. Each prescription is good for 90 days and provides free entry to the park for the patient and up to five people in the same vehicle as the patient.

This outdoor program provides the patient opportunities to manage health and body weight through increased physical activity. Patient must have insurance accepted by the program -- see below.

Medi-Cal, IEHP and most insurances are accepted. A discounted fee-for-service is available for those without insurance. Care is provided regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

Appointments are encouraged. To schedule an appointment, call 760-365-9305.

Walk-ins will be accepted as time permits.

Morongo Basin Healthcare District seeks to improve the health and wellness of residents who live within its designated boundaries. Services of the healthcare district include the Morongo Basin Community Health Center with offices in Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley; and LIFT Transportation Services, providing free, non-emergency transportation to medical appointments. Business offices of the Morongo Basin Healthcare District are located at 6530 La Contenta Road, Suite 100 Yucca Valley | 760.820.9229 |

Salvation Army Food Distribution : October 23.

The Salvation Army Food Distribution takes place starting at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 23 at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277. The Community Center is located between the Fire Station and the palm tree cell tower.

The distribution is first come first served, and ends when there is no more food. The distribution is open to Wonder Valley residents, who self-certify on site. No documentation is required, though you will need to fill out a form the first time you attend.

The distribution will be “shopping style.” You will take what you like from a selection of food from Trader Joe’s. Please be mindful that people behind you need food, as well, and only take what you need. There may also be a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

A Tale Of Two Honky Tonks

California has a rich history of hell raising establishments.  Books have been written and documentaries filmed about their history and in some cases demise. The Whiskey, the Troubadour, the Crystal Palace, the Palomino and many others all have rich histories and glory days that guided California Country.  The Palomino is now only a neon sign in a museum but that sign and that rich history is embedded in the hearts of the folks that played and drank there.

For almost fifty years a building in North Hollywood was home to the Palomino Club, with it's bright neon sign and wild west bucking bronco reputation. The Flying Burrito Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Rosie Flores, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson and a slew of other country and country rock stars made the club their home.

Tipping back whiskey shots and dodging thrown chairs, the Pal was the hotspot for music industry hot shots, out of work actors, truckers and thrill seekers. They crowded in front of the dusty stage nightly for a wild west hootenanny eighteen miles from downtown LA.

North Hollywood at the time was a rowdy place, home to cowboys and stuntmen, far from the art district hipster haven of today. Shitkickers, as they were called, liked to party hard and sleep only occasionally. I have been told parties went on for days. There were fights every damn night and the artists that performed were about as rowdy as the shitkicking patrons. Stories and tales of the shenanigans include horses on stage and Jerry Lee Lewis getting angry and pushing the house piano off the stage. The club's bouncer a 300lb fellow called Tiny even got an arrow in his back from an unhappy patron.

By the end of the 60s, country music was changing. The Nashville acts of the 50s and 60s made way for the long haired country rock stars of the 70s. Gram Parsons and his band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, made the scene with their hippy look and country meets rock sound, Parsons once said he nearly got killed playing the Palomino. But, he became a popular performer at the club with both the shitkickers and the waitresses, who he could turn into sobbing schoolgirls with his southern charm and hillbilly crooning.

In 1969 Keith Richards, Parson's new pal and his girlfriend of the time Anita Pallenberg would spend quite a bit of time getting high in the Hi Desert. Parsons and Richards once even lugged a barber chair up to the crest of a mountain they called their own which afforded them a 360-degree view of the Joshua Tree covered desertscape. It would only be a year later that Parsons would die of an overdose of booze and drugs at the nearby Joshua Tree Inn in 1973.

The previous year only a few miles north of where Parsons died a biker roadhouse opened in Pioneertown and would soon be home to some of the same shitkickers hanging out in North Hollywood at the Palomino with Parsons.

Pioneertown was created as a film stage for the popular Western movies and TV shows of the 50s. Roy Rogers, Gene Autrey, Russell Hayden, and the Sons of the Pioneers (for whom the town was named) were some of the original investors and personalities who helped build and invent Pioneertown. More than 50 films and several television shows were filmed in Pioneertown throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s.

An old saloon facade on the set was purchased in 1972 by Francis Aleba, and her husband John and they created an outlaw biker burrito bar called The Cantina. The Cantina would only last about ten years before John and Francis closed it down but in 1982 their daughter Harriet and her husband, Claude “Pappy” Allen opened “Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace” The new venture was a far more family oriented establishment but still home to bikers and live music. Pappy and his granddaughter Kristina along with Harriet would play along with the bands booked into the palace. It was a free spirited place where Pappy lead the fun and Harriet ran the kitchen. In 1994 when Pappy passed hundreds of mourners from around the world attended the memorial. Pappy's was sold and later closed.

The Palomino Club however was still going strong but the music had changed from honky tonk to mostly rock. Rock and Roll era stars The Everly Brothers, The Pretenders, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bo Diddley,The Blasters, Albert King, Neil Young, New Riders of the Purple Sage, even Quiet Riot featuring Randy Rhoads, and Canned Heat all played the Pal.  Post punk stars like Elvis Costello and Green Day also played but things were changing and by 1995 the club was no longer economically viable and like Pappy's also closed.

In 2003 Pappy and Harriet's was purchased by Robyn Celia and Linda Krantz, two New Yorkers who loved the venue and wanted to see it returned to its former glory.  They did a lot of repairs to the building and brought the venue back to life with their persistence.

Since then it has become an alt rock mecca that has hosted bands from the Breeders to Arctic Monkeys, Leon Russell to Paul McCartney. With indoor and outdoor stages and a beautiful mountain backdrop it has become a wildly popular destination for LA thirty something's seeking the solace and beauty of the desert.

While ticket prices are far more than the three dollars needed to see top acts of the day at the Palomino most shows sell out. Gone are the days of just walking in and taking a seat at the beautiful rustic bar. While it is painful to see a cherished venue like the Palomino close it is also sad to see any iconic venue change and evolve into something less unique, less cool and less cosmic. Time passes and neighborhoods change, maybe sometimes things happen for the best either way. If you have ever loved a venue, a scene, you certainly know what I mean.

Ronnie Ruff
Wonder Valley California

Note… full disclosure, I appear in the following short documentary about Pappy's.


Friday, October 4, 2019

JESSICAFEST this Saturday

An evening of great music is always welcome out here in Wonder Valley but when it is all to benefit someone in need the event is extra special.

This Saturday at our road house under the Mojave stars, the Palms and local musicians are banding together to help Jessica Berryhill of der Trio and Hostile Hippies heal from a terrible recent hit and run accident. Jessica is out of the hospital but will need lots of rehabilitation and mending.

I spoke with her today about the accident, her music and this weekend.

After 22 days in the hospital and multiple broken bones Jessica is on the mend but it could be 6 months or more for healing. What was her first question for the doctor after almost dying, you may ask?  "When can I play my drums?".

Like Cameron Crowe from the film Almost Famous I decided that when I interview a musician I want one of my questions to be "Jessica what do you just love about music?".  Jessica answered that question before I even asked it, Jessica says she loves the way playing the drums makes her feel -- extremely happy! Isn't that the best reason?

Jessica was born in Twentynine Palms and after moving to Ventura as a small child moved to Palm Springs because it was a better climate for the health of her mom. After hooking up with an old friend and sitting behind a drum kit she found music needed to be a part of her life, later she even found her dad had been a drummer as well.

She later visited Joshua Tree and just fell in love with the music community and like musicians do, they are rallying to support her in her time of need.

I asked my new friend who her favorite drummers were? Jessica responded immediately, Danny Frankle! She said Danny is not only the nicest person but also a great player.  She also likes Charlie Watts, who like her, just hits those drums without all the unnecessary flash!

She is really looking forward to Saturday night where she can hear some of her friends play on her behalf so that soon she can be behind the drum kit once again.

Some amazing musicians have stepped forth to pitch in and help. This will not only be a benefit to help a really good person and friend to many, but it will also be an evening of great music!!

Live music schedule:

6:30 Merz (indoor stage)
7:00 Nell St. John (indoor stage)
7:20 Paul Moeller and Chaos Junkies (outdoor stage)
8:00 Desert Queens (indoor stage)
8:30 Larry Copcar/ Tony Mason (indoor stage)
9:00 John Zulluu and Clive Barker (outdoor stage)
9:30 Firebug (inside stage)
10:00 Greg DaPonte Band (outdoor stage)
10:30 Josh Kjerstad / Victoria Williams / Max Maximillian (indoor stage)
11:20: Seena (indoor stage)

Also, DJ ALKimmy spinning some tunes!

The benefit is this Saturday, Oct 5th at The Palms in Wonder Valley
6 pm- midnight-ish.
Free camping available!
Suggested Donation: $10 but the more the better!

You may also donate to Jessica's GoFundMe at:

Thursday, October 3, 2019

WV Community Meeting with Supervisor Dawn Rowe.

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, October 7, 2019
WHERE: Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277

I'm very excited to announce that the San Bernardino County 3rd District Supervisor, Dawn Rowe, is coming to the Wonder Valley Community Center at 11 a.m., on Monday, October 7, 2019.

We haven't had a Supervisor visit one of our meetings in the last 5 years, or more. Thank our new Municipal Advisory Council Delegate Steve Reyes for setting this up. He will be running the meeting.

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate. Bring your questions, suggestions, rants, and raves.

Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of Wonder Valley.

AGENDA posted 8:00 a.m., October 3, 2019

Rowe talks fire protection at town hall meeting, 10/09/2019

Desert Trail Column - October 3, 2019

The Weed Show presentation was very interesting and informative. Ted Meyers revealed a few of his secret tricks and tips on creating an entry that could be a winner. Thanks, Ted.
The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, 77575 29 Palms Highway at Thunder Road, will hold a reception on Saturday, October 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. for featured artists Tammy Wood and Jeni Bate. This show will run through October 27. Come meet the artists and enjoy the refreshments, with music provided by The Luminators. For information, call Laurel at 760-367-3807.
A Wonder Valley Community Meeting with our San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe will take place on Monday, October 7 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Our MAC representative Steve Reyes invited Supervisor Rowe to come here to meet with us and answer any questions we might have. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. This is a great opportunity to meet and speak to a top-ranking member of our County government. We thank Steve for arranging this meeting. Contact Steve at
Mark your calendars for some upcoming events. At Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road, a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for roof repair on October 12 and Pastor Casper’s one-year anniversary potluck on October 27. At our community center, Bob Dougherty from the Department of Aging and Adult Services on October 16 and a Halloween Presentation with Ken Layne 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.
Since the birthstone for October is the opal, and the flower is the calendula, we send out Rainbows-of-Opals-and-Calendulas to Ron Root who celebrates his special day this week. Happy birthday, Ron!
Karen's Commentary: Giving space to Dar.
Darlene’s Commentary: What I’d like to see in Wonder Valley’s future is a community that supports parks, community events, remaining rural, preserving the natural environment, preserving historical places and encouraging local people to open small businesses here. I’d love to see Wonder Valley remain one-of-a-kind, a special place we can be proud of.
Today’s Thought: In Survivalists’ language, they will GOOD (Get Out of Dodge) in their BOV (Bug Out Vehicle), along with the Golden Horde (masses of panicked people). In case of a GDE (electrical Grid-Down Event), when YOYO (You’re on Your Own), you’ll need an INCH (I’m Never Coming Home) bag because it may be TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It)!

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